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changing with a difference, while others sold altogether on
the Peak, or in the group, willing to confine their posses
sions to one or the other of these places. In this manner
Mr. Warrington, or Judge Warrington, as he was now
called, bought three fifty-acre lots adjoining his own share
on the Peak, and sold his hundred-acre lot in the group.



332 THE CRATER;

The price established by these original sales, would seem
to give a value of ten dollars an acre to land on the Peak,
and of three dollars an acre to land in the group. Some
lots, however, had a higher value than others, all these
things being left to be determined by the estimate which
the colonists placed on their respective valuations. As
everything was conducted on a general and understood
principle, and the drawing was made fairly and in public,
there was no discontent ; though some of the lots were
certainly a good deal preferable to others. The greatest
difference in value existed in the lots in the group, where
soil and water were often wanted ; though, on the whole >
much more of both was found than had been at first ex
pected. There were vast deposits of mud, and others of
sand, and Heaton early suggested the expediency of mix
ing the two together, by way of producing fertility. An
experiment of this nature had been tried, under his orders,
during the absence of the governor, and the result was of
the most satisfactory nature ; the acre thus manured pro
ducing abundantly.

As it was the sand that was to be conveyed to the mud,
the toil was much less than might have been imagined.
This sand usually lay near the water, and the numberless
channels admitted of its being transported in boats along
a vast reach of shore. Each lot having a water front,
every man might manure a few acres, by this process,
without any great expense ; and no sooner were the rights
determined, and the decisions of the parties made as to
their final settlements, than many went to work to render
the cracked and baked mud left by the retiring ocean fer
tile and profitable. Lighters were constructed for the
purpose, and the colonists formed themselves into gangs,
labouring in common, and transporting so many loads of
sand to each levee, as the banks were called, though not
raised as on the Mississippi, and distributing it bountifully
over the surface. The spade was employed to mix the two
earths together.

Most of the allotments of land, in the group, were in the
immediate neighbourhood of the Reef. As there were
quite a hundred of them, more than ten thousand acres
of the islands were thus taken up, at the start. By a



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 333

rough calculation, however, the group extended east and
west sixty-three miles, and north and south about fifty,
the Reef being a very little west and a very little south of
its centre. Of this surface it was thought something like
three-fourths was dry land, or naked rock. This would
give rather more than a million and a half of acres of land;
but, of this great extent of territory, not more than two-
thirds could be rendered available for the purposes of hus
bandry, for want of soil, or the elements of soil. There
were places where the deposit of mud seemed to be of vast
depth, while in others it did not exceed a few inches. The
same was true of the sands, though the last was rarely of
as great depth as the mud, or alluvium.

A month was consumed in making the allotments, and
in putting the different proprietors in possession of their
respective estates. Then, indeed, were the results of the
property-system made directly apparent. No sooner was
an individual put in possession of his deed, and told that
the lot it represented was absolutely his own, to do what
he pleased with it, than he went to work with energy and
filled with hopes, to turn his new domains to account. It
is true that education and intelligence, if they will only
acquit themselves of their tasks with disinterested probity,
may enlighten and instruct the ignorant how to turn their
means to account; but, all experience proves that each
individual usually takes the best care of his own interests,
and that the system is wisest which grants to him the am
plest opportunity so to do.

To work all went, the men forming themselves into
gangs, and aiding each other. The want of horses and
neat cattle was much felt, more especially as Heaton's ex
perience set every one at the sand, as the first step in a
profitable husbandry : wheelbarrows, however, were made
use of instead of carts, and it was found that a dozen pair
of hands could do a good deal with that utensil, in the
course of a day. All sorts of contrivances were resorted
to in order to transport the sand, but the governor esta
blished a regular system, by which the lighter should de
liver one load at each farm, in succession. By the end of
a month it was found that a good deal had been done, the



334 THE CRATER;

distances being short and the other facilities constantly
increasing by the accession of new boats.

All sorts of habitations were invented. The scarcity of
wood in the group was a serious evil, and it was found in
dispensable to import that material. Parts of Rancocus
Island were well wooded, there growing among other trees
a quantity of noble yellow pines. Bigelow was sent
across in the Abraham to set up a mill, and to cut lumber.
There being plenty of water-power, the mill was soon got
at work, and a lot of excellent plank, boards, &c., was
shipped in the schooner for the crater. Shingle-makers
were also employed, the cedar abounding, as well as the
pine. The transportation to the coast was the point of
difficulty on Rancocus Island as well as elsewhere ; none
of the cattle being yet old enough to be used. Socrates
had three pair of yearling steers, and one of two years old
breaking, but it was too soon to set either at work. With
the last, a little very light labour was done, but it was more
to train the animals, than with any other object.

On Rancocus Island, however, Bigelow had made a very
ingenious canal, that was of vast service in floating logs to
the mill. The dam made a long narrow pond that pene
trated two or three miles up a gorge in the mountains, and
into this dam the logs were rolled down the declivities,
which were steep enough to carry anything into the water.
When cut into lumber, it was found that the stream below
the mill, would carry small rafts down to the sea.

While all these projects were in the course of operation,
the governor did not forget the high interests connected
with his foreign relations; Waally was to be looked to,
and Ooroony's son to be righted. The council was una
nimously of opinion that sound policy required such an
exhibition of force on the part of the colony, as should
make a lasting impression on their turbulent neighbours.
An expedition was accordingly fitted out, in which the
Mermaid, the Abraham, and a new pilot-boat built schoo
ner of fifty tons burthen, were employed. This new
schooner was nearly ready for launching when the Ranco
cus returned, and was put into the water for the occasion.
She had been laid down in the cove, where Bigelow had
found room for a sufficient yard, and where limber was



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 335

nearer at hand, than on the Reef. As Rancocus Island
supplied the most accessible and the best lumber, the
council had determined to make a permanent establish
ment on it, for the double purposes of occupation and
building vessels. As the resources of that island were de
veloped, it was found important on other accounts, also.
Excellent clay for bricks was found, as was lime-stone, in
endless quantities. For the purposes of agriculture, the
place was nearly useless, there not being one thousand
acres of good arable land in the whole island ; but the
mountains were perfect mines of treasure in the way of
necessary supplies of the sorts mentioned.

A brick-yard was immediately cleared and formed, and
a lime-kiln constructed. Among the colonists, it was easy
to find men accustomed to work in all these familiar
branches. The American can usually turn his hand to a
dozen different pursuits ; and, though he may not abso
lutely reach perfection in either, he is commonly found
useful and reasonably expert in all. Before the governor
sailed on his expedition against Waally, a brick-kiln and a
lime-kiln were nearly built, and a vast quantity of lumber
had been carried over to the Reef. As sandal-wood had
been collecting for the twelve months of her late absence,
the Rancocus had also been -filled up, and had taken in a
new cargo for Canton. It was not the intention of the
governor to command his ship this voyage ; but he gave
her to Saunders, who was every way competent to the trust.
When all was ready, the Rancocus, the Mermaid, the
Abraham, and the Anne, as the new pilot-boat schooner
was called, sailed for Betto's group ; it being a part of the
governor's plan to use the ship, in passing, with a view to
intimidate his enemies. In consequence of the revolution
that had put Waally up again, every one of the Kannakas
who had gone out in the Rancocus on her last voyage,
refused to go home, knowing that they would at once be
impressed into Waally's service ; and they all now cheer
fully shipped anew, for a second voyage to foreign lands.
By this time, these men were very useful ; and the governor
had a project for bringing up a number of the lads of the
islands, and of making use of them in the public service.



336 THE CRATER;

This scheme was connected with his contemplated success,
and formed no small part of the policy of the day.

The appearance of so formidable a force as was now
brought against Waally, reduced that turbulent chief to
terms without a battle. About twenty of his canoes had
got separated from the rest of the fleet in a squall, while
returning from the unsuccessful attempt on the Reef, and
they were never heard of more ; or, if heard of, it was in
uncertain rumours, which gave an account of the arrival
of three or four canoes at some islands a long way to-lee
ward, with a handful of half-stai>ved warriors on board. It
is supposed that all the rest perished at sea. This disaster
had rendered Waally unpopular among the friends of those
who were lost ; and that unpopularity was heightened by
the want of success in the expedition itself. Success is all
in all, with the common mind ; and we daily see the vulgar
shouting at the heels of those whom they are ready to cru
cify at the first turn of fortune. In this good land of ours,
popularity adds to its more worthless properties the sub
stantial result of power ; and it is not surprising that so
many forget their God in the endeavour to cottrt the peo
ple. In time, however, all of these persons of mistaken
ambition come to exclaim, with Shakspeare's Wolsey

Had I but served my God with hajf the zeal
I served my king, he would, not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies."

Waally's power, already tottering through the influence
of evil fortune, crumbled entirely before the force Gover
nor Woolston now brought against it. Although the latter
had but forty whites with him, they came in ships, and
provided with cannon ; and not a chief dreamed of stand
ing by the offender, in this his hour of need. Waally had
the tact to comprehend his situation, and the wisdom to
submit to his fortune. He sent a messenger to the gover
nor with a palm-branch, offering to restore young Ooroony
to all his father's authority, and to confine himself to his
strictly inherited dominions. Such, in fact, was the basis
of the treaty that was now made, though hostages were
taken for its fulfilment. To each condition Waally con-



on, TBLCAN'S PEAK. 337

rented ; and everything was settled to the entire satisfaction
of the whites, and to the honour and credit of young
Ooroony. The result was, in substance, as we shall now
record.

In the first place, one hundred lads were selected and
handed over to the governor, as so many apprentices to the
eea. These young Kannakas were so many hostages for the
good behaviour of their parents ; while the parents, always
within reach of the power of the colonists, were so many
hostages for the good behaviour of the Kannakas. Touch
ing the last, however, the governor had very few misgiv
ings, since he believed it very possible so to treat, and so
to train them, as to make them fast friends. In placing
them on board the different vessels, therefore, rigid instruc
tions were given to their officers to be kind to these young
sters; and each and all were to be taught to read, and
instructed in the Christian religion. The Rev. Mr. Horn-
blower took great interest in this last arrangement, as did
half the females of the colony. Justice and kind treatment,
in fact, produced their usual results in the cases of these
hundred youths ; every one of whom got to be, in the end,
far more attached to the Reef, and its customs, than to
their own islands and their original habits. The sea, no
doubt, contributed its share to this process of civilization ;
for it is ever found that the man who gets a thorough taste
for that element, is loth to quit it again for terra firma.

One hundred able-bodied men were added to the recruits
that the governor obtained in Betto's group. They were
taken as hired labourers, and not as hostages. Beads and
old iron were to be their pay, with fish-hooks, and such
other trifles as had a value in their eyes ; and their engage
ment was limited to two months. There was a disposition
among a few of the colonists to make slaves of these men,
and to work their lands by means of a physical force ob
tained in Betto's group ; but to this scheme the council
would not lend itself for a moment. The governor well
knew that the usefulness, virtue, and moral condition of
his people, depended on their being employed , and he had
no wish to undermine he permanent prosperity of the
29



338 THE CRATER;

colony, by resorting to an expedient that might do well
enough for a short time, but which would certainly bring
its own punishment in the end.

Still, an accession of physical force, properly directed,
would be of great use in this early age of the colony. The
labourers were accordingly engaged ; but this was done by
the government, which not' only took the control of the
men, but which also engaged to see them paid the promised
remuneration. Another good was also anticipated from
this arrangement. The two groups must exist as friends
or as enemies. So long as young Ooroony reigned, it was
thought there would be little difficulty in maintaining ami
cable relations ; and it was hoped that the intercourse cre
ated by this arrangement, aided by the trade in sandal-
wood, might have the effect to bind the natives to the whites
by the tie of interest.

The vessels lay at Betto's group a fortnight, completing
all the arrangements made ; though the Rancocus sailed
on her voyage as soon as the terms of the treaty were
agreed on, and the Anne was sent back to the Reef with
the news that the war had terminated. As for Waally, he
was obliged to place his favourite son in the hands of young
Ooroony, who held the youthful chief as a hostage for hia
father's good behaviour.



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 339



CHAPTER XXIII.

* Thou shalt seek the beach of sand
Where the water bounds the elfin land ;
Thou shalt watch the oozy brine
Till the sturgeon leaps in the bright moonshine,
Then dart the glistening arch below,
And catch a drop from his silver bow ;
The water-sprites will wield their arms,
And dash around, with roar and rave,
And vain are the woodland spirit's charms,
They are the imps that rule the wave.
Yet trust thee in thy single might ;
If thy heart be pure, and thy spirit right,
Thou shalt win the warlike fight."

DRAKE.

A TWELVEMONTH passed, after the return of the expedi
tion against Betto's group, without the occurrence of any
one very marked event. Within that time, Bridget made
Mark the father of a fine boy, and Anne bore her fourth
child to Heaton. The propagation of the human species,
indeed, flourished marvellously, no less than seventy-eight
children having been born in the course of that single
year. There were a few deaths, only one among the adults,
the result of an accident, the health of the colony having
been excellent. An enumeration, made near the close of
the year, showed a total of three hundred and seventy-nine
souls, including those absent in the Rancocus, and ex
cluding the Kannakas.

As for these Kannakas, the results of their employment
quite equalled the governor's expectations. They would
not labour like civilized men, it is true, nor was it easy to
make them use tools ; but at lifts, and drags, and heavy
work, they could be, and were, made to do a vast deal.
The first great object of the governor had been to get his
people all comfortably housed, beneath good roofs, and out
of the way of the rains. Fortunately there were no decayed



340 THE CRATER;

vegetable substances in the group, to produce fevers ; and
so long as the person could be kept dry, there was little
danger to the health.

Four sorts, or classes, of houses were erected, each man
being left to choose for himself, with the understanding
that he was to receive a certain amount, in value, fro**! the
commonwealth, by contribution in labour, or in materials.
All beyond that amount was to be paid for. To equalize
advantages, a tariff was established, as to the value of
labour and materials. These materials consisted of lum
ber, including shingles, stone, lime and bricks; bricks
burned, as well as those which were unburned, or adobe.
Nails were also delivered from the public store, free of
charge.

Of course, no one at first thought of building very largely.
Small kitchens were all that were got up, at the commence
ment, and they varied in size, according to the means of
their owners, as much as they differed in materials. Some
built of wood; some of stones; some of regular bricks;
and some of adobe. All did very well, but the stone was
found to be much the preferable material, especially where
the plastering within was furred off from the walls. These
stones came from Rancocus Island, where they were found
in inexhaustible quantities, partaking of the character of
tufa. The largest of them were landed at the Reef, the
loading and unloading being principally done by the Kan-
nakas, while the smallest were delivered at different points
along the channel, according to the wishes of the owners
of the land. More than a hundred dwellings were erected
in the course of the few months immediately succeeding
the arrival of the immigrants. About half were on the
Peak, and the remainder were in the group. It is true,
no one of all these dwellings was large ; but each was com
fortable, and fully answered the purpose of protection
against the rain. A roof of cedar shingles was tight, as a
matter of course, and what was more, it was lasting. Some
of the buildings were sided with these shingles ; though
clap-boards were commonly used for that purpose. The
adobe answered very well when securely roofed, though it
was thought the unburnt brick absorbed more moisture
than the brick which had been burned.



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 341

The largest of all the private dwellings thus erected,
was thirty feet square, and the smallest was fifteen. The
last had its cooking apartment under a shed, however, de
tached from the house. Most of the ovens were thus
placed ; and in many instances the chimneys stood entirely
without the buildings, even when they were attached to
them. There was but one house of two stories, and that
was John Pennock's, who had sufficient means to construct
such a building. As for the governor, he did not com
mence building at all, until nearly every one else was
through, when he laid the corner-stones of two habitations ;
one on the Peak, which was his private property, standing
on his estate ; and the other on the Reef, which was strictly
intended to be a Government, or Colony House. The
first was of brick, and the last of stone, and of great so
lidity, being intended as a sort of fortress. The private
dwelling was only a story and a half high, but large on the
ground for that region, measuring sixty feet square. The
government building was much larger, measuring two
hundred feet in length, by sixty feet in depth. This spa
cious edifice, however, was not altogether intended for a
dwelling for the governor, but was so arranged as to con
tain great quantities of public property in its basement,
and to accommodate the courts, and all the public offices
on the first floor. It had an upper story, but that was left
unfinished and untenanted for years, though fitted with
arrangements for defence. Fortunately, cellars were little
wanted in that climate, for it was not easy to have one in
the group. It is true, that Pennock caused one to be
blown out with gun-powder, under his dwelling, though
every one prophesied that it would soon be full of water.
It proved to be dry, notwithstanding; and a very good
cellar it was, being exceedingly useful against the heats,
though of cold there was none to guard against.

The Colony House stood directly opposite to the draw
bridge, being placed there for the purposes of defence, as
well as to have access to the spring. A want of water was
rather an evil on the Reef; n6t that the sands did not fur
nish an ample supply, and that of the most delicious quality,
but it had to be carried to inconvenient distances. In
general, water was found in sufficient quantities and in
29*



342 THE CRATER;

suitable places, among the group ; but, at the Reef, there
was certainly this difficulty to contend with. As the go
vernor caused his brother, the surveyor-general, to lay out
a town on the Reef, it was early deemed necessary to make
some provision against this evil. A suitable place was
selected, and a cistern was blown out of the rock, into
which all the water that fell on the roof of Colony House
was led. This reservoir, when full, contained many thou
sand gallons ; and when once full, it was found that the
rains were sufficient to prevent its being very easily
emptied.

But the greatest improvement that was made on the
Reef, after all, was in the way of soil. As for the crater,
that, by this time, was a mass of verdure, among which a
thousand trees were not only growing, but flourishing.
This was as true of its plain, as of its mounds ; and of its
mounds, as of its plain. But the crater was composed of
materials very different from the base of the Reef. The
former was of tufa, so far as it was rock at all ; while the
latter was, in the main, pure lava. Nevertheless, some
thing like a soil began to form even on the Reef, purely
by the accessions caused though its use by man. Great
attention was paid to collecting everything that could con
tribute to the formation of earth, in piles ; and these piles
were regularly removed to such cavities, or inequalities in
the surface of the rock, as would be most likely to retain
their materials when spread. In this way many green
patches had been formed, and, in a good many instances,
trees had been set out, in spots where it was believed they
could find sufficient nourishment. But, no sooner had the
governor decided to build on the Reef, and to make his
capital there, than he set about embellishing the place sys
tematically. Whenever a suitable place could be found,
in what was intended for Colony House grounds, a space
of some ten acres in the rear of the building, he put in the
drill, and blew out rock. The fragments of stone were
used about the building ; and the place soon presented a
ragged, broken surface, of which one might well despair
of making anything. By perseverance, however, and still
more by skill and judgment, the whole area was lowered
more than a foot, and in many places, where nature assisted



OK, VULCAN'S PEAK. 343

the work, it was lowered several feet. It was a disputed
question, indeed, whether stone for the building could not
be obtained here, by blasting, cheaper and easier, than by
transporting it from Rancocus Island. Enough was pro
cured in this way not only to construct the building, but
to enclose the grounds with a sufficient wall. When all
was got off that was wanted, boat-loads of mud and sand
were brought by Kannakas, and deposited in the cavity.
This was a great work for such a community, though it
proceeded faster than, at first, one might have supposed.
The materials were very accessible, and the distances
short, which greatly facilitated the labour, though unload



Online LibraryJames Fenimore CooperWorks (Volume 29) → online text (page 31 of 42)