Robert Kerr.

A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea an online

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Online LibraryRobert KerrA General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea an → online text (page 1 of 52)
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V. _Continued_. Captain King's Journal of the Transactions on
returning to the Sandwich Islands.

VI. General Account of the Sandwich Islands. Their Number, Names, and
Situation. OWHYHEE. Its Extent, and Division into Districts. Account of
its Coasts, and the adjacent Country. Volcanic Appearances. Snowy
Mountains. Their Height determined. Account of a Journey into the
Interior Parts of the Country. MOWEE. TAHOOHOWA. MOROTOI. RANAI. WOAHOO.
ATOOI. ONEEHEOW. OREEHOUA. TAAOORA. Climate. Winds. Currents. Tides.
Animals and Vegetables. Astronomical Observations.

VII. General Account of the Sandwich Islands continued. Of the
Inhabitants. Their Origin. Persons. Pernicious effects of the Ava.
Numbers. Disposition and Manners. Reasons for supposing them not
Cannibals. Dress and Ornaments. Villages and Houses. Food. Occupations
and Amusements. Addicted to Gaming. Their extraordinary Dexterity in
Swimming. Arts and Manufactures. Curious Specimens of their Sculpture.
Kipparee, or Method of Painting Cloth. Mats. Fishing Hooks. Cordage.
Salt Pans. Warlike Instruments.

SECT. VIII. General Account of the Sandwich Islands continued.
Government. People divided into three Classes. Power of Erreetaboo.
Genealogy of the Kings of Owhyhee and Mowee. Power of the Chiefs. State
of the inferior Class. Punishment of Crimes. Religion. Society of
Priests. The Orono. Their Idols. Songs chanted by the Chiefs, before
they drink Ava. Human Sacrifices. Custom of Knocking out the fore Teeth.
Notions with regard to a future State. Marriages. Remarkable Instance of
Jealousy. Funeral Rites.

VI. Transactions during the second Expedition to the North, by the way of
Kamtschatka; and on the Return Home by the way of Canton and the Cape of
Good Hope.

I. Departure from Oneheeow. Fruitless Attempt to discover Modoopapappa.
Course steered for Awatska Bay. Occurrences during that Passage. Sudden
Change from Heat to Cold. Distress occasioned by the Leaking of the
Resolution. View of the Coast of Kamtschatka. Extreme Rigour of the
Climate. Lose Sight of the Discovery. The Resolution enters the Bay of
Awatska. Prospect of the Town of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Party sent
ashore. Their Reception by the Commanding-Officer of the Port. Message
dispatched to the Commander at Bolcheretsk. Arrival of the Discovery.
Return of the Messengers from the Commander. Extraordinary mode of
Travelling. Visit from a Merchant and a German Servant belonging to the

II. Scarcity of Provisions and Stores at the Harbour of Saint Peter and
Saint Paul; A Party set out to visit the Commander at Bolcheretsk.
Passage up the River Awatska. Account of their Reception by the Toion of
Karatchin. Description of Kamtschadale Dress. Journey on Sledges.
Description of this Mode of Travelling. Arrival at Natcheekin. Account
of Hot Springs. Embark on Bolchoireka. Reception at the Capital.
Generous and hospitable Conduct of the Commander and the Garrison.
Description of Bolcheretsk. Presents from the Commander. Russian and
Kamtschadale Dancing. Affecting Departure from Bolcheretsk. Return to
Saint Peter and Saint Paul's, accompanied by Major Behm, who visits the
Ship. Generosity of the Sailors. Dispatches sent by Major Behm to
Petersburg. His Departure and Character.

III. Continuation of Transactions in the Harbour of St Peter and St
Paul. Abundance of Fish. Death of a Seaman belonging to the Resolution.
The Russian Hospital put under the Care of the Ship's Surgeons. Supply
of Flour and Cattle. Celebration of the King's Birth-day. Difficulties
in Sailing out of the Bay. Eruption of a Volcano. Steer to the
Northward. Cheepoonskoi Noss. Errors of the Russian Charts.
Kamptschatskoi Noss. Island of St. Laurence. View, from the same Point,
of the Coasts Asia and America, and the Islands of St. Diomede. Various
Attempts to get to the North, between the two Continents. Obstructed by
impenetrable Ice. Sea-horses and White Bears killed. Captain Clerke's
Determination and future Designs.

IV. Fruitless Attempts to penetrate through Ice to the North-West.
Dangerous Situation of the Discovery. Sea-horses killed. Fresh
Obstructions from the Ice. Report of Damages, received by the Discovery.
Captain Clerke's Determination to proceed to the Southward. Joy of the
Ships' Crews on that Occasion. Pass Serdze Kamen. Return through
Beering's Strait. Enquiry into the Extent of the North-East Coast of
Asia. Reasons for rejecting Muller's Map of the Promontory of the
Tschutski. Reasons for believing the Coast does not reach a higher
Latitude than 70-2/3° North. General Observations on the
Impracticability of a North-East or North-West Passage from the Atlantic
into the Pacific Ocean. Comparative View of the Progress made in the
Years 1778 and 1779. Remarks on the Sea and Sea-coasts, North of
Beering's Strait. History of the Voyage resumed. Pass the Island of St.
Laurence. The Island of Mednoi. Death of Captain Clerke. Short Account
of his Services.

V. Return to the Harbour of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Promotion of
Officers. Funeral of Captain Clerke. Damages of the Discovery repaired.
Various other Occupations of the Ships' Crews. Letters from the
Commander. Supply of Flour and Naval Stores from a Russian Galliot.
Account of an Exile. Bear-hunting and Fishing Parties. Disgrace of the
Serjeant. Celebration of the King's Coronation Day, and Visit from the
Commander. The Serjeant reinstated. A Russian Soldier promoted at our
Request. Remarks on the Discipline of the Russian Army. Church at
Paratounca. Method of Bear-hunting. Farther Account of the Bears and
Kamtschadales. Inscription to the Memory of Captain Clerke. Supply of
Cattle. Entertainments on the Empress's Name Day. Present from the
Commander. Attempt of a Marine to desert. Work out of the Bay. Nautical
and Geographical Description of Awatska Bay. Astronomical Tables and

VI. General Account of Kamtschatka. Geographical Description. Rivers.
Soil. Climate. Volcanoes. Hot Springs. Productions. Vegetables. Animals.
Birds. Fish.

VII. General Account of Kamtschatka, continued. Of the Inhabitants.
Origin of the Kamtschadales. Discovered by the Russians. Abstract of
their History. Numbers. Present State. Of the Russian Commerce in
Kamtschatka. Of the Kamtschadale Habitations, and Dress. Of the Kurile
Islands. The Koreki. The Tschutski.

VIII. Plan of our future Proceedings. Course to the Southward, along the
Coast of Kamtschatka. Cape Lopatka. Pass the Islands Shoomska and
Paramousir. Driven to the Eastward of the Kuriles. Singular Situation
with respect to the pretended Discoveries of former Navigators.
Fruitless Attempts to reach the Islands North of Japan. Geographical
Conclusions. View of the Coast of Japan. Run along the East Side. Pass
two Japanese Vessels. Driven off the Coast by contrary Winds.
Extraordinary Effect of Currents. Steer for the Bashees. Pass large
Quantities of Pumice Stone. Discover Sulphur Island. Pass the Pratas.
Isles of Lema, and Ladrone Island. Chinese Pilot taken on board the
Resolution. Journals of the Officers and Men secured.

IX. Working up to Macao. A Chinese Comprador. Sent on Shore to visit the
Portuguese Governor. Effects of the Intelligence we received from
Europe. Anchor in the Typa. Passage up to Canton. Bocca Tygris. Wampu.
Description of a Sampane. Reception at the English Factory. Instance of
the suspicious Character of the Chinese. Of their Mode of trading. Of
the City of Canton. Its Size. Population. Number of Sampanes. Military
Force. Of the Streets and Houses. Visit to a Chinese. Return to Macao.
Great Demand for the Sea-Otter Skins. Plan of a Voyage for opening a
Fur-Trade on the Western Coast of America, and prosecuting further
Discoveries in the Neighbourhood of Japan. Departure from Macao. Price
of Provisions in China.

X. Leave the Typa. Orders of the Court of France respecting Captain
Cook. Resolutions in consequence thereof. Strike Soundings on the
Macclesfield Banks. Pass Pulo Sapata. Steer for Pulo Condore. Anchor at
Pulo Condore. Transactions during our Stay. Journey to the principal
Town. Receive a Visit from a Mandarin. Examine his Letters. Refreshments
to be procured. Description, and present State of the Island. Its
Produce. An Assertion of M. Sonnerat refuted. Astronomical and Nautical

XI. Departure from Pulo Condore. Pass the Straits of Banca. View of the
Island of Sumatra. Straits of Sunda. Occurrences there. Description of
the Island of Cracatoa. Prince's Island. Effects of the Climate of Java.
Run to the Cape of Good Hope. Transactions there. Description of False
Bay. Passage to the Orkneys. General Reflections.

Vocabulary of the Language of Nootka, or King George's Sound. April, 1778.

Table to shew the Affinity between the Languages Spoken at Oonalashka and
Norton Sound, and those of the Greenlanders and Esquimaux.


The Author's Preface.

I. Account of the Wager and her Equipment. Captain Kid's Death.
Succeeded by Captain Cheap. Our Disasters commence with our Voyage. We
lose Sight of our Squadron in a Gale of Wind. Dreadful Storm. Ship

II. We land on a wild Shore. No Appearance of Inhabitants. One of our
Lieutenants dies. Conduct of a Part of the Crew who remained on the
Wreck. We name the Place of our Residence Mount Misery. Narrative of
Transactions there. Indians appear in Canoes off the Coast. Description
of them. Discontents amongst our People.

III. Unfortunate Death of Mr Cozens. Improper Conduct of Captain Cheap.
The Indians join us in a friendly Manner, but depart presently on
account of the Misconduct of our Men. Our Number dreadfully reduced by
Famine. Description of the various Contrivances used for procuring Food.
Further Transactions. Departure from the Island.

IV. Occurrences on our Voyage. We encounter bad Weather and various
Dangers and Distresses. Leave a Part of our Crew behind on a desert
Shore. A strange Cemetry discovered. Narrow Escape from Wreck. Return to
Mount Misery. We are visited by a Chanos Indian Cacique, who talks
Spanish, with whom we again take our Departure from the Island.

V. Navigation of the River. One of our Men dies from Fatigue. Inhumanity
of the Captain. Description of our Passage through a horrible and
desolate Country. Our Conductor leaves us, and a Party of our Men desert
with the Boat. Dreadful Situation of the Remainder. The Cacique returns.
Account of our Journey Overland. Kindness of two Indian Women.
Description of the Indian Mode of Fishing. Cruel Treatment of my Indian
Benefactress by her Husband.

VI. The Cacique's Conduct changes. Description of the Indian Mode of
Bird-fowling. Their Religion. Mr Elliot, our Surgeon, dies. Transactions
on our Journey. Miserable Situation to which we are reduced.

VII. We land on the Island of Chiloe. To our great Joy we at length
discover Something having the Appearance of a House. Kindness of the
Natives. We are delivered to the Custody of a Spanish Guard.
Transactions with the Spanish Residents. Arrival at Chaco. Manners of
the Inhabitants.

VIII. Adventure with the Niece of an old Priest at Castro. Superstition
of the People. The Lima Ship arrives, in which we depart for Valparaiso,
January 1743. Arrival at and Treatment there. Journey to Chili. Arrival
at St. Jago. Generous Conduct of a Scotch Physician. Description of the
City and of the People.

IX. Account of the Bull Feasts and other Amusements. Occurrences during
nearly two Years Residence. In December, 1744, we embark for Europe in
the Lys French Frigate. The Vessel leaky. Dangerous Voyage. Narrow
Escape from English Cruizers. Arrival in England. Conclusion







General Account of the Sandwich Islands. - Their Number, Names, and
Situation. - OWHYHEE. - Its Extent, and Division into Districts. - Account of
its Coasts, and the adjacent Country. - Volcanic Appearances. - Snowy
Mountains. - Their Height determined. - Account of a Journey into the
Interior Parts of the Country. - MOWEE. - TAHOOROWA. - MOROTOI. - RANAI. -
WOAHOO. - ATOOI. - ONEEHEOW. - OBEEHOUA. - TAHOORA. - Climate. - Winds. -
Currents. - Tides. - Animals and Vegetables. - Astronomical

As we are now about to take our final leave of the Sandwich Islands, it
will not be improper to introduce here some general account of their
situation and natural history, and of the manners and customs of the

This subject has indeed been, in some measure, preoccupied by persons far
more capable of doing it justice than I can pretend to be. Had Captain Cook
and Mr Anderson lived to avail themselves of the advantages which we
enjoyed by a return to these islands, it cannot be questioned, that the
public would have derived much additional information from the skill and
diligence of two such accurate observers. The reader will therefore lament
with me our common misfortune, which hath deprived him of the labours of
such superior abilities, and imposed on me the task of presenting him with
the best supplementary account the various duties of my station permitted
me to furnish.

This group consists of eleven islands, extending in latitude from 18° 54'
to 22° 15' N., and in longitude from 199° 36' to 205° 06' E. They are
called by the natives, 1. Owhyhee. 2. Mowee. 3. Ranai, or Oranai. 4.
Morotinnee, or Morokinnee. 5. Kahowrowee, or Tahoorowa. 6. Morotoi, or
Morokoi. 7. Woahoo, or Oahoo. 8. Atooi, Atowi, or Towi, and sometimes
Kowi.[2] 9. Neeheehow, or Oneeheow. 10. Oreehona, or Reehoua; and, 11.
Tahoora; and are all inhabited, excepting Morotinnee and Tahoora. Besides
the islands above enumerated, we were told by the Indians, that there is
another called Modoopapapa,[3] or Komodoopapapa, lying to the W.S.W. of
Tahoora, which is low and sandy, and visited only for the purpose of
catching turtle and sea-fowl; and, as I could never learn that they knew of
any others, it is probable that none exist in their neighbourhood.

They were named by Captain Cook the _Sandwich Islands_, in honour of
the EARL OF SANDWICH, under whose administration he had enriched geography
with so many splendid and important discoveries; a tribute justly due to
that noble person for the liberal support these voyages derived from his
power, in whatever could extend their utility, or promote their success;
for the zeal with which he seconded the views of that great navigator; and,
if I may be allowed to add the voice of private gratitude, for the generous
protection, which, since the death of their unfortunate commander, he has
afforded all the officers that served under him.

Owhyhee, the easternmost, and by much the largest of these islands, is of a
triangular shape, and nearly equilateral. The angular points make the
north, east, and south extremities, of which the northern is in latitude
20° 17' N., longitude 204° 02' E.; the eastern in latitude 19° 34' N.,
longitude 205° 06' E.; and the southern extremity in latitude 18° 54' N.,
longitude 204° 15' E. Its greatest length, which lies in a direction nearly
north and south, is 23-1/2 leagues; its breadth is 24 leagues; and it is
about 255 geographical, or 293 English miles in circumference. The whole
island is divided into six large districts; Amakooa and Aheedoo, which lie
on the north-east side; Apoona and Kaoo on the south-east; Akona and
Koaarra on the west.

The districts of Amakooa and Aheedoo are separated by a mountain called
Mounah Kaah (or the mountain Kaah), which rises in three peaks, perpetually
covered with snow, and may be clearly seen at 40 leagues distance.

To the north of this mountain the coast consists of high and abrupt cliffs,
down which fall many beautiful cascades of water. We were once flattered
with the hopes of meeting with a harbour round a bluff head, in latitude
20° 10' N., and longitude 204° 26' E.; but, on doubling the point, and
standing close in, we found it connected by a low valley, with another high
head to the north-west. The country rises inland with a gentle ascent, is
intersected by deep narrow glens, or rather chasms, and appeared to be well
cultivated and sprinkled over with a number of villages. The snowy mountain
is very steep, and the lower part of it covered with wood.

The coast of Aheedoo, which lies to the south of Mouna Kaah, is of a
moderate height, and the interior parts appear more even than the country
to the north-west, and less broken by ravines. Off these two districts we
cruised for almost a month; and, whenever our distance from shore would
permit it, were sure of being surrounded by canoes laden with all kinds of
refreshments. We had frequently a very heavy sea, and great swell on this
side of the island; and as we had no soundings, and could observe much foul
ground off the shore, we never approached nearer the land than two or three
leagues, excepting on the occasion already mentioned.

The coast to the north-east of Apoona, which forms the eastern extremity of
the island, is low and flat; the acclivity of the inland parts is very
gradual, and the whole country covered with cocoa-nut and bread-fruit
trees. This, as far as we could judge, is the finest part of the island,
and we were afterward told that the king had a place of residence here. At
the south-west extremity the hills rise abruptly from the sea side, leaving
but a narrow border of low ground toward the beach. We were pretty near the
shore at this part of the island, and found the sides of the hills covered
with a fine verdure; but the country seemed to be very thinly inhabited. On
doubling the east point of the island, we came in sight of another snowy
mountain, called Mouna Roa (or the extensive mountain), which continued to
be a very conspicuous object all the while we were sailing along the south-
east side. It is flat at the top, making what is called by mariners table-
land; the summit was constantly buried in snow, and we once saw its sides
also slightly covered for a considerable way down; but the greatest part of
this disappeared again in a few days.

According to the tropical line of snow, as determined by Mr. Condamine,
from observations taken on the Cordilleras, this mountain must be at least
16,020 feet high, which exceeds the height of the Pico de Teyde, or Peak of
Teneriffe, by 724 feet, according to Dr. Heberden's computation, or 3,680,
according to that of the Chevalier de Borda. The peaks of Mouna Kaah
appeared to be about half a mile high; and as they are entirely covered
with snow, the altitude of their summits cannot be less than 18,400 feet.
But it is probable that both these mountains may be considerably higher.
For in insular situations, the effects of the warm sea air must necessarily
remove the line of snow in equal latitudes, to a greater height than where
the atmosphere is chilled on all sides by an immense tract of perpetual

The coast of Kaoo presents a prospect of the most horrid and dreary kind;
the whole country appearing to have undergone a total change from the
effects of some dreadful convulsion. The ground is every where covered with
cinders, and intersected in many places with black streaks, which seem to
mark the course of a lava that has flowed, not many ages back, from the
mountain Roa to the shore. The southern promontory looks like the mere
dregs of a volcano. The projecting head-land is composed of broken and
craggy rocks, piled irregularly on one another, and terminating in sharp

Notwithstanding the dismal aspect of this part of the island, there are
many villages scattered over it, and it certainly is much more populous
than the verdant mountains of Apoona. Nor is this circumstance hard to be
accounted for. As these islanders have no cattle, they have consequently no
use for pasturage, and therefore naturally prefer such ground as either
lies more convenient for fishing, or is best suited to the cultivation of
yams and plantains. Now amidst these ruins, there are many patches of rich
soil, which are carefully laid out in plantations, and the neighbouring sea
abounds with a variety of most excellent fish, with which, as well as with
other provisions, we were always plentifully supplied. Off this part of the
coast we could find no ground, at less than a cable's length from the
shore, with a hundred and sixty fathoms of line, excepting in a small bight
to the eastward of the south point, where we had regular soundings of fifty
and fifty-eight fathoms over a bottom of fine sand. Before we proceed to
the western districts, it may be necessary to remark, that the whole east
side of the island, from the northern to the southern extremity, does not
afford the smallest harbour or shelter for shipping.

The south-west parts of Akona are in the same state with the adjoining
district of Kaoo; but farther to the north, the country has been cultivated
with great pains, and is extremely populous.

In this part of the island is situated Karakakooa Bay, which has been
already described. Along the coast nothing is seen but large masses of
slag, and the fragments of black scorched rocks; behind which, the ground
rises gradually for about two miles and a half, and appears to have been
formerly covered with loose burnt stones. These the natives have taken the
pains of clearing away, frequently to the depth of three feet and upward;
which labour, great as it is, the fertility of the soil amply repays. Here
in a rich ashy mould, they cultivate sweet potatoes and the cloth-plant.
The fields are enclosed with stone-fences, and are interspersed with groves
of cocoa-nut trees. On the rising ground beyond these, the bread-fruit
trees are planted, and flourish with the greatest luxuriance.

Koaara extends from the westernmost point to the northern extremity of the
island; the whole coast between them forming an extensive bay, called Toe-
yah-yah, which is bounded to the north by two very conspicuous hills.
Toward the bottom of this bay there is foul corally ground, extending
upward of a mile from the shore, without which the soundings are regular,
with good anchorage, in twenty fathoms. The country, as far as the eye
could reach, seemed fruitful and well inhabited, the soil being in
appearance of the same kind with the district of Kaoo; but no fresh water
is to be got here.

I have hitherto confined myself to the coasts of this island, and the
adjacent country, which is all that I had an opportunity of being
acquainted with from my own observation. The only account I can give of the
interior parts, is from the information I obtained from a party, who set
out on the afternoon of the 26th of January, on an expedition up the
country, with an intention of penetrating as far as they could; and
principally of reaching, if possible, the snowy mountains.

Having procured two natives to serve them as guides, they left the village

Online LibraryRobert KerrA General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea an → online text (page 1 of 52)