RECORD: La Pérouse, Jean François de Galaup de. 1798-9. A voyage round the world performed in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788. 2 vols., atlas. London: T. Johnson, volume 2.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data. RN1

NOTE: This work formed part of the Beagle library. The Beagle Library project has been generously supported by a Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant and Charles Darwin University and the Charles Darwin University Foundation, Northern Territory, Australia.

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IN THE YEARS 1785, 1786, 1787, AND 1788,




OF THE 22D OF APRIL, 1791,









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Description of Easter Island — Occurrences there — Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants page 1.
Journey of M. de Langle into the Interior of Easter Island—New Observations upon the Manners and the Arts of the Natives, upon the Quality and Cultivation of the Soil, &c. page 21.
Departure from Easter Island—Astronomical Observations—Arrival at the Sandwich Islands—Anchorage in the Bay of Keriporepo, in the Island of Mowée—Departure page 29.
Departure from the Sandwich Islands—Signs of approaching the American Coast—Discovery of Mount Saint-Elias—Discovery of Monti Bay—The Ships Boats reconnoitre the Entrance of a great River, to which we preserve the Name of Bebring's River—The reconnoitring of a very deep Bay—The favourable Report of many of the Officers engages us to put in there—Risks we run in entering it—The Description of this Bay, to which I give

VOL. II. a

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the Name of Port des Français – Manners and Customs 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 resume our first Anchorage—Departure page 95.
Description of Port des Français—Its Lengitude and Latitude—Advantages and Inconveniences of this Port—Its Mineral and Vegetable Productions—Birds, Fishes, Shells, Quadrupeds—Manners and Customs of the Indians—Their Arts, Arms, Dress, and Inclination for Theft—Strong Presumption that the Russians only communicate indirectly with these People—Their Music, Dancing, and Passion for Play—Differtation on their Language page 123.
Departure from Port des Français—Exploring of the Coast of America—Bay of Captain Cook's Islands—Port of Les Remedios, and Bucarelli, of the Pilot Maurelle—La Croyere Islands—Saint Carlos Islands—Description of the Coast from Cross as far as Cape Hector—Reconnoitring of a great

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Gulph or Channel, and the exact Determination of its Breadth—Sartine Islands—Captain Cook's Woody Point—Verification of our Time keepers—Breaker's Point—Necker Islands—Arrival at Monterey page 156.
Description of Monterey Bay—Historical Details respecting the Two Catifernias, and their Missions—Manners and Customs of the independent Indians, and of those converted—Grains, Fruits, Pulse, of every Species—Quadrupeds, Birds, Fishes, Shells, &c.—Military Constitution of these Two Provinces—Details respecting Commerce, &c. page 194.
Astronomical Observations—Comparison of the Refults obtained by the Distances of the Sun and Moon, and by our Time-keepers, which have served as the Basis of our Chart of the American Coast—Just Motives for thinking that our Lur deserves the Considence 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 proposed to follow in traversing the Western

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Ocean as far as China—Fain Research of the Island Island Noftra Senora de la Gorta—Discovery of Necker's Island—Mee', during the Night, with a funken Rock, upon which we were in danger of perishing—Description of that funken Rock—Determination of its Institude and Longitude—Vain Search after the Isles de la Mira and des Jardins—We make the Island of Assumption of the Mariannes—Description and true Situation of that Island in Latitude and Longitude—Error of the old Charts of the Manners—We fix the Longitude and Latitude of the Bashee Islands—We anchor in the Road of Macco page 247.
Arrival at Mecao—Stay in the Road of Type—The Governer's obliging Reception—Description of Mecao—Its Government—Its Population—Its Relations with the Chenese—Departure from Macao—Landing on the Island of Luconia—Uncertainty of the Position of the Banks of Bulinao, Mansiloq, and Marivelle—Description of the Village of Marivelle, or Mirabelle—We enter into Manilla-Bay by the South Passage, after having in vain tried the North—Marks for turning into Manilla-Bay without Risk—Anchorage at Cavile page 271.
Arrival at Cavite—Manner in which we were received by the Commandant of the Place—M Boutin,

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the Lieutenant of my Ship, is dispatched to the Governor General at Manilla—The Reception given this Officer—Details relative to Cavite, and its Arsenal—Description of Manilla, and the Parts adjacent—Its Population—Disadvantages resulting from the Government established there—Penances of which we were Witness's during Passion Week—Duty on Tobacco—Creation of the new Company of the Philippines—Reflections upon this Establishment—Details relative to the Islands south of the Philippines—Continual War with the Moors or Mahometans of these different Islands—Stay at Manilla—Military State of the Island of Luconia page 301.
Departure from Cavite—Meet with a Bank in the Middle of the Channel of Formosa—Latitude and Longitude of this Bank—We come to an Anchor two Leagues from the Shore off Old Fort Zealand—Get under Way the next Day—Particulars respecting the Pescadore, or Pong-hou Islands—Survey of the Island Botol Tabaco-xima—We run along Kumi Island, which makes Part of the Kingdom of Liqueo—The Frigates enter into the Sea of Japan, and run along the Coast of China—We shape our Course for Quelpaert Island—We run along the Coast of Corea, and every Day make Astronomical Observations—Particulars of Quel-

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paert Island, Corea, &c.—Discovery of Dagelet Island, its Latitude and Longitude page 331.
Route towards the North-West Part of Japan—View of Cape Noto, and of the Island Jootsi sima—Details respecting this Island—Latitude and Longitude of this Part of Japan—Meet with several Japanese and Chinese Vessels—We return towards the Coast of Tartary, which we make in 42 Degrees of North Latitude—Stay at Baie de Ternai—Its Productions—Details relative to this Country—We sail from it, after a Stay of only three Days—Anchor in Baie de Suffren page 360.
We continue our Route to the Northward—Discovery of a Peak to the Eastward—We perceive that we were sailing in a Channel—We direct our Course towards the Coast of Segalien Island—Anchor at Baie de Langle—Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants—Their Information determines us to continue our Route to the Northward—We run along the Coast of the Island—Put into Baie d'Estaing—Departure—We find, that the Channel between the Island and the Continent of Tartary is obstructed by some Banks—Arrival at Baie de Castries, upon the Coast of Tartary page 386.

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Proceedings at Baie de Castries—Description of this Bay, and of a Tartarian Village—Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants—Their Respect for Tombs and Property—The extreme Confidence with which they inspired us—Their Tenderness for their Children—Their Union among themselves—Four Foreign Cames come into this Bay—Geographical Details given us by their Crews—Productions of Baie de Castries—Its Shells, Quadrupeds, Birds, Stones, Plants page 422.
Departure from Baie de Castries—Discovery of the Strait which dicides Jesso from Oku-Jesso—Stay at Baie de Crillon, upon the Point of the Island Toboka or Segalien—Account of the Inhabitants, and their Village—We cross the Strait, and examine all the Lands discovered by the Dutch on board the Kastricum—Staten Island—Uries Strait—Company's Land—Islands of the Four Brothers—Mareckan Island—We pass through the Kurile Islands, and shape our Course for Kamtschatka page 446.
Supplement to the preceding Chapters—New Details relative to the Eastern Coast of Tartary—Doubt as to the pretended Pearl Fishery spoken of by the


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Jesuits—Natural Differences between the Islanders of these Countries and the Inhabitants of Continents—Poverty of the Country—Impossibility of carrying on any useful Commerce there—Vocabulary of the Inhabitants of Toboka or Segalien Island page 472.


Page 9, line 28, for Mausoleums read Mausclea.

Page 20, Note, line 3 from bot. for des Bresses read de Brosses.

Page 69, line 26, for Six read Ten.

Page 331, line 22, for Likeu read Liquco.

Page 492, line 6 from bot. for Techicotampé re Tehikotampé.

Page 495, line 12, for Choumau read Chouma.

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1785, 1786, 1787, AND 1788.


Description of Easter Island—Occurrences there—Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants.

(APRIL 1786.)

COOK's Bay, in Easter Island, or Isle de Paque, is situated in 27° 11′ south latitude, and 111° 55′ 30″ west longitude. It is the only anchorage, sheltered from the east and south-east winds, that is to be found in these latitudes; and even here a vessel would run great risk from westerly winds, but that they never blow from that part of the horizon without previously shifting from east to north-east, to north, and so in succession to the west, which allows time to get under way; and after having stood out a quarter of a league to sea, there is no cause for apprehension. It is easy to know this bay again: after having doubled the two rocks at the south point of the island, it will be necessary to coast along a mile from the shore,


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till a little sandy creek makes its appearance, which is the most certain mark. When this creek bears east by south, and the two rocks of which I have spoken are shut in by the point, the anchor may be let go in twenty fathoms, sandy bottom, a quarter of a league from the shore. If you have more offing, bottom is found only in thirty-five or forty fathoms, and the depth increases so rapidly that the anchor drags. The landing is easy enough at the foot of one of the statues of which I shall presently speak.

At day-break I made every preparation for our landing. I had reason to flatter myself I should find friends on shore, since I had loaded all those with presents who had come from thence over night; but from the accounts of other navigators, I was well aware, that these Indians are only children of a larger growth, in whose eyes our different commodities appear so desirable as to induce them to put every means in practice to get possession of them. I thought it necessary, therefore, to restrain them by fear, and ordered our landing to be made with a little military parade; accordingly it was effected with four boats and twelve armed foldiers. M. de Langle and myself were followed by all the passengers and officers, except those who were wanted on board to carry on the duty of the two frigates; so that we amounted to about seventy persons, including our boats crews.

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Four or five hundred Indians were waiting for us on the shore; they were unarmed; some of them cloathed in pieces of white or yellow stuff, but the greater number naked: many were tatooed, and had their faces painted red; their shouts and countenances were expressive of joy; and they came forward to offer us their hands, and to facilitate our landing.

The island in this part rises about twenty feet from the sea. The hills are seven or eight hundred toises inland; and from their base the country shopes with a gentle declivity towards the sea. This space is covered with grass fit for the feeding of cattle; among which are large stones lying loose upon the ground: they appeared to me to be the same as those of the Isle of France, called there giraumons (pumpkins), because the greater number are of the size of that fruit: these stones, which we found so troublesome in walking, are of great use, by contributing to the freshness and moisture of the ground, and partly supply the want of the salutary shade of the trees which the inhabitants were so imprudent as to cut down, in times, no doubt, very remote, by which their country lies fully exposed to the rays of the sun, and is destitute of running streams and springs. They were ignorant, that in little islands surrounded by an immense ocean, the coolness of land covered with trees can alone stop

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and condense the clouds, and thus attract to the mountains abundant rain to form springs and rivulets on all sides. Those islands which are deprived of this advantage are reduced to a dreadful drought, which by degrees destroying the shrubs and plants renders them almost uninhabitable. M. de Langle and myself had no doubt, that this people owed the misfortune of their situation to the imprudence of their ancestors; and it is probable, that the other islands of the South Sea abound in water, only because they fortunately contain mountains, on which it has been impossible to cut down the woods: thus the liberality of nature to the inhabitants of these latter islands appears, notwithstanding her seeming parsimony in reserving to herself these inaccessible places. A long abode in the Isle of France, which so strikingly resembles Easter Island, has convinced me, that trees never shoot again in such situations, unless they are sheltered from the sea winds, either by other trees or an enclosure of walls; and the knowledge of this fact has discovered to me the cause of the devastation of Easter Island. The inhabitants have much less reason to complain of the eruptions of their volcanoes, long since extinguished, than of their own imprudence. But as man by habit accustoms himself to almost any situation, these people appeared less miserable to me than to captain Cook and Mr. Forster. They arrived here after a long

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and disagreeable voyage; in want of every thing, and sick of the scurvy; they found neither water, wood, nor hogs; a few fowls, bananas, and potatoes are but feeble resources in these circumstances. Their narratives bear testimony to their situation. Ours was infinitely better: the crews enjoyed the most perfect health; we had taken in at Chili every thing that was necessary for many months, and we only desired of these people the privilege of doing them good: we brought them goats, sheep, and hogs; we had seeds of orange, lemon, and cotton trees, of maize, and, in short, of every species of plants, which was likely to flourish in the island.

Our first care after landing was to form an enclosure with armed soldiers ranged in a circle; and having enjoined the inhabitants to leave this space void, we pitched a tent in it; I then ordered to be brought on shore the various presents that I intended for them, as well as the different animals: but as I had expressly forbidden the men to fire, or even keep at a distance, by the butt ends of their firelocks, such of the Indians as might be too troublesome, the soldiers soon found themselves exposed to the rapacity of the continually increasing numbers of these islanders. They were at least eight hundred; and in this number there were certainly a hundred and fifty women. The faces of these were many of them agreeable; and they

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offered their favours to all those who would make them a present. The Indians would engage us to accept them, by themselves setting the example. They were only separated from the view of the spectators by a simple covering of the stuff of the country, and while our attention was attracted by the women, we were robbed of our hats and handkerchiefs. They all appeared to be accomplices in the robbery; for scarcely was it accomplished, than like a flock of birds they all fled at the same instant; but seeing that we did not make use of our firelocks, they returned a few minutes after, recommenced their caresses, and watched the moment for committing a new depredation: this proceeding continued the whole morning. As we were obliged to go away at night, and had so little time to employ in their education, we determined to amuse curselves with the tricks made use of to rob us; and at length, to obviate every pretence that might lead to dangerous consequences, I ordered them to restore to the soldiers and sailors the hats which had been taken away. The Indians were unarmed; three or four only, out of the whole number, had a kind of women club, which was far from being formidable. Some of them seemed to have a slight authority over the others: I took them for chiefs, and distributed medals among them, which I hung their necks by a chain; but I soon

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found that these were the most notorious thieves; and although they had the appearance of pursuing those who took away our handkerchiefs, it was easy to perceive that they did so with the most decided intention not to overtake them.

Having only eight or ten hours to remain upon the island, and wishing to make the most of our time, I left the care of the tent and all our effects to M. Escures, my first lieutenant, giving him charge besides of all the soldiers and sailors who were on shore. We then divided ourselves into two parties; the first, under the command of M de Langle, was to penetrate as far as possible into the interior of the island, to sow seeds in all such places as might appear favourable to vegetation, to examine the soil, plants, cultivation, population, monuments, and in short every thing which might be interesting among this very extraordinary people: those who felt themselves strong enough to take a long journey, accompanied him; among these were Messieurs Dagelet, de Lamanon, Duché, Dufresne, de la Martinière, father Receveur, the Abbé Mongès, and the gardener. The second, of which I was one, contented itself with visiting the monuments, terraces, houses, and plantations within the distance of a league round our establishment. The drawing of these monuments made by Mr. Hodges was a very imperfect representation of what we saw. Mr. Forster thinks that they are the work

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of a people much more considerable than is at present found here; but his opinion appears to mo by no means well founded. The largest of the rude busts which are upon these terraces, and which we measured, is only fourteen feet six inches in height, seven feet six inches in breadth across the shoulders, three feet in thickness round the belly, six feet broad, and five feet thick at the base; these might well be the work of the present race of inhabitants, whose numbers I believe, without the smallest exaggeration, amount to two thousand. The number of women appeared to be nearly that of the men, and the children seemed to be in the same proportion as in other countries; and although out of about twelve hundred persons, who on our arrival collected in the neighbourhood of the bay, there were at most three hundred women, I have not drawn any other conjecture from it, than that the people from the extremity of the island had come to see our ships, 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 houses, consequently that we saw only those who inhabit the vicinity of the bay. The narrative of M. de Langle confirms this opinion; he met in the interior of the island a great many women and children: and we all entered into those caverns in which Mr. Forster and some officers of captain

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Cook thought at first that the women might be concealed. These are subterraneous habitations, of the same form as those which I shall presently describe, and in which we found little faggots, the largest piece of which was not five feet in length, and did not exceed fix inches in diameter. It is however certain, that the inhabitants hid their women when captain Cook visited them in 1772; but it is impossible for me to guess the reason of it, and we are indebted, perhaps, to the generous manner in which he conducted himself towards these people, for the confidence they put in us, which has enabled us to form a more accurate judgment of their population.

All the monuments which are at this time in existence, and of which M. Duché has given a very exact drawing, appeared to be very ancient; they are situated 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 present government may have so far equalized their condition, that there no longer exists among them a chief of sufficient authority to employ a number of men in erecting a statue to perpetuate his memory. These colossal images are at present superseded by small pyramidal heaps of stones, the topmost of which is whitewashed. These species of mausoleums, which are only the work of an hour for a single man,


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are piled up upon the sea shore; and one of the natives shewed us that these stones covered a tomb, by laying himself down at full length on the ground; afterwards, raising his hands towards the sky, he appeared evidently desirous of expressing that they believed in a future state. I was upon my guard gainst this opinion, but having seen this sign repeated by many, and M. de Langle, who had penetrated into the interior of the island, having reported the same fact, I no longer entertained a doubt of it, and I believe that all our officers and passengers partook in this opinion; we did not however perceive traces of any worship, for I do not think that any one can take the statues for idols, although these Indians may have shewed a kind of veneration for them. These busts of colloffal size, the dimensions of which I have already given, and which strongly prove the small progress they have made in sculpture, are formed of a volcanic production known to naturalists by the name of Lapillo: this is so soft and light a stone, that some of captain Cook's officers thought it was artificial, composed of a kind of mortar which had been hardened in the air. No more remains, but to explain how ic was possible to raise, without engines, so very considerable a weight; but as it is certainly a very light volcanic stone, it would be easy, with levers five or fix toises long, and by slipping stones underneath, as captain Cook very

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well explains it, to lift a much more considerable weight; a hundred men would be sufficient for this purpose, for indeed there would not have been room for more. Thus the wonder disappears; we restore to nature her stone of Lapillo, which is not factitious; and have reason to think, that if there are no monuments of modern construction in the island, it is because all ranks in it are become equal, and that a man has but little temptation to make himself king of a people almost naked, and who live on potatoes and yams; and on the other hand, these Indians not being able to go to war from the want of neighbours, have no need of a chief.

I can only hazard conjectures upon the manners of this people, whose language I did not understand, and whom I saw only during the course of one day; but possessing the experience of former navigators, from an acquaintance with their narratives, I was able to add to them my own observations.

Scarcely a tenth part of the land in this island is under cultivation; and I am persuaded that three days labour of each Indian is sufficient to procure their annual subsistence. The ease with which the necessaries of life are provided induced me to think, that the productions of the earth were in common. Besides, I am nearly certain the houses are common, at least to a whole village or dis-

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trict. I measured one of those houses 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 reversed: the only entrances were by two doors, two feet high, through which it was necessary to creep on hands and feet. This house is capable of containing more than two hundred persons: it is not the dwelling of any chief, for there is not any furniture in it, and so great a space would be useless to him; it forms a village of itself, with two or three small houses at a little distance from it. There is, probably, in every district a chief, who superintends the plantations. Captain Cook thought that this chief was the proprietor of it; but if this celebrated navigator found some difficulty in procuring a considerable quantity of yams and potatoes, it ought rather to be attributed to the scarcity of these eatables, than to the necessity of obtaining an almost general consent to their being sold.

As for the women, I dare not decide whether they are common to a whole district, and the children to the republic: certain it is that no Indian appeared to have the authority of a husband over any one of the women, and if they are private property, it is a kind of which the possessors are very liberal.

* This house was not then finished; so that captain Cook could not possibly have seen it.

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I have already mentioned, that some of the houses are subterraneous; but others are built with reeds, which proves that there are marshy places in the interior of the island. The reeds are very skilfully arranged, and are a sufficient defence against the rain. The building is supported by pillars of cut stone*, eighteen inches thick; in these, holes are bored at equal distances, through which pass long poles, which form an arched frame; the space between is filled up with reed thatch.

There can be no doubt, as captain Cook observes, of the identity of this people with that of the other islands of the South Sea: they have the same language, and the same cast of features: their cloth is also made of the bark of the mulberry tree; but this is very scarce, on account of the drought, which has destroyed those trees. The few remaining are only three feet high; and even these are obliged to be surrounded with fences to keep off the wind, for the trees never exceed the height of the wall by which they are sheltered.

I have no doubt, that formerly these people enjoyed the same productions as those of the Society Islands. The fruit trees must have perished from the drought, as well as the dogs and hogs, to whom water is absolutely necessary. But man, who in Hudson's Streights drinks the oil of the

* These are not freestone, but compact lava.

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whale, accustoms himself to every thing, and I have seen the natives of Easter Island drink the sea water like the albatrosses at Cape Horn. We were there in the rainy season, and a little brackish water was found in some holes on the sea shore; they offered it to us in their calabashes, but it disgusted even those who were most thirsty. I do not expect, that the hogs which I have given them will multiply; but I have great hopes, that the sheep and goats, which drink but little, and are fond of salt, will prosper 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 shore: I there found almost every one without either hat or handkerchief; our forbearance had emboldened the thieves, and I had fared no better than the rest. An Indian who had assisted me to get down from a terrace, after having rendered me this service, took away my hat, and fled at full speed, followed as usual by the rest. I did not order him to be pursued, not being willing to have the exclusive right of being protected from the sun, and observing that almost every person was without a hat, I continued to examine the terrace, a monument that has given me the highest opinion of the abilities of the earlier inhabitants for building, for the pompous word architecture cannot with propriety be made use of here.


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It appears that they have never had the least knowledge of any cement, but they cut and divide the stones in the most perfect manner: they were also placed and joined together according to all the rules of art.*

I made a collection of specimens of these stones; they consist of lava of different compactness. The lightest, and that which consequently would be the soonest decomposed, forms the outer soil in the interior of the island; that which is next the sea consists of a lava much more compact, so as to make a longer resistance; but I do not know any instrument or matter hard enough, in the possession of these islanders, to cut the latter stones; perhaps a longer continuance on the island might have furnished me with some explanations on this subject. At two o'clock I returned on board and M. de Clonard went on shore. Soon afterwards two officers of the Astrolabe arrived, to inform me that the Indians had just committed a new theft, which might be attended with more serious consequences. Some divers had cut under water the small cable of the Astrolabe's boat, and had taken away her grapnel, which had not been discovered till the robbers were pretty far advanced into the interior of the island. As this grapnel was necessary to us, two officers and several soldiers pursued them; but they were assailed by a shower of stones. A musket, loaded with powder,

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and fired in the air, had no effect; they were at length under the necessity of firing one with small shot, some grains of which doubtless struck one of those Indians, for the stoning ceased, and our officers were able peaceably to regain our tent; but it was impossible to overtake the robbers, who must have been astonished at not having been able to weary our patience.

They soon returned around our tent, recommenced the offers of their women, and we were as good friends as at our first interview. At length, at six in the evening, every thing was reembarked, the boats had returned on board, and I made the signal to prepare for sailing. Before we got under way, M. de Langle gave me an account of his journey into the interior of the island, which I shall relate in the following chapter: he had sown the seeds in different parts of the road, and had given the islanders proofs of the greatest good will towards them. I will, however, finish their portrait by relating, that a sort of chief, to whom M. de Langle made a present of a he and she goat, received them with one hand, and robbed him of his handkerchief with the other.

It is certain, that these people have not the same ideas of theft that we have; with them, probably no shame is attached to it; but they very well knew, that they committed an unjust action, since they immediately took to flight, in order to avoid

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the punishment which they doubtless feared, and which we should certainly have inflicted on them in proportion to the crime, had we made any considerable stay in the island; for our extreme lenity might have ended by producing disagreeable consequences.

No one, after having read the narratives of the later navigators, can take the Indians of the South Sea for savages; they have on the contrary made very great progress in civilization, and I think them as corrupt as the circumstances 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 most hardened rogues of Europe are not such great hypocrites as these islanders; all their caresses were feigned; their countenances never expressed a single sentiment of truth; and the man of whom it was necessary to be most distrustful, was the Indian to whom a present had that moment been made, and who appeared the most eager to return for it a thousand little services.

They brought to us by force young girls of thirteen or fourteen years of age, in the hope of receiving pay for them; the repugnance of those young females was a proof, that in this respect the custom of the country was violated. Not a single Frenchman made use of the barbarous right which


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was given him; and if there were some moments dedicated to nature, the desire and consent were mutual, and the women made the first advances.

I found again in this country all the arts of the Society Isles, but with much fewer means of exercifing them, for want of the raw materials. Their canoes have also the same form, but they are composed only of very narrow planks, four or five feet long, and at most can carry but four men. I have only seen three of them in this part of the island, and I should not be much surprised, if in a short time, for want of wood, there should not be a single one remaining there. They have besides learned to make shift without them; and they swim so expertly, that in the most tempestuous sea they go two leagues from the shore, and in returning to land, often, by way of frolic, choose those places where the surf breaks with the greatest fury.

The coast appeared to me not to abound much in fish, and I believe that the inhabitants live chiefly on vegetables; their food consists of potatoes, yams, bananas, sugar canes, and a small fruit which grows upon the rocks on the sea-shore, similar to the grapes that are found in parts adjacent to the tropic in the Atlantic Ocean; the few sowls that are found upon the island cannot be considered as a resource. Our navigators did not meet with any land bird, and even sea sowl are not very common.

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The fields are cultivated with a great deal of skill. They root up the grass, lay it in heaps, burn it, and thus fertilize the earth with its ashes. The banana trees are planted in a straight line. They also cultivate the garden nightshade, but I am ignorant what use they make of it; if I knew they had vessels which could stand fire, I should think, that, as at Madagascar or the Isle of France, they eat it in the same manner as they do spinage; but they have no other method of cooking their provision than that of the Society Isles, which consists in digging a hole, and covering their yams and potatoes with red hot stones and embers, mixed with earth, so that every thing which they eat is cooked as in an oven.

The exactness with which they measured the ship showed, that they had not been inattentive spectators of our arts; they examined our cables, anchors, compass, and wheel, and they returned the next day with a cord to take the measure over again, which made me think, that they had had some discussions on shore upon the subject, and that they had still doubts relative to it. I esteem them far less, because they appeared to me capable of reflection. One reflection will, perhaps, escape them, namely, that we employed no violence against them; though they were not ignorant of our being armed, since the mere presenting a firelock in sport made them run away: on the contrary,

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we landed on the island only with an intention to do them service; we heaped presents upon them, we caressed the children; we sowed in their fields all kinds of useful seeds; presented them with hogs, goats, and sheep, which probably will multiply; we demanded nothing in return: nevertheless they threw stones at us, and robbed us of every thing which it was possible for them to take away. It would, perhaps, have been imprudent in other circumstances to conduct ourselves with so much lenity; but I had resolved to go away in the evening, and I flattered myself that at day-break, when they no longer perceived our ships, they would attribute our speedy departure to the just displeasure we entertained at their proceedings, and that this reflection might amend them; though this idea is a little chimerical, it is of no great consequence to navigators, as the island* offers scarcely any resource to ships that may touch there, besides being at no great distance from the Society Isles.

* Easter Island, discovered in 1722 by Roggewein, appears, according to Pérouse, to have experienced a reverse in its population, and in the products of its soil: this at least might be inferred from the remarkable difference in the accounts of these two navigators. The reader who may be desirous to reconcile them ought to consult The Voyage of Roggewein, printed at the Hague in 1739, or the extract which the president Des Brosses has given of it in his work, intitled, Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes, vol. ii, page 226, and following.—(Fr. Ed.)

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Journey of M. de Langle into the Interior of Easter Island—New Observations upon the Manners and the Arts of the Natives, upon the Quality and Cultivation of the Soil, &c.

(APRIL 1786.)

"I SET out at eight o'clock in the morning, accompanied by Messrs. Dagelet, de Lamanon, Dufresne, Duché, the abbé Mongès, father Receveur, and the gardener; we bent our course from the shore two leagues to the eastward, towards the interior of the island; the walk was very painful, across hills covered with volcanic stones; but I soon perceived that there were foot paths, by which we might easily proceed from house to house; we availed ourselves of these, and visited many plantations of yams and potatoes. The soil of these plantations consisted of a very fertile vegetable earth, which the gardener judged proper for the cultivation of our feeds: he sowed cabbages, carrots, beets, maize, and pumpkins; and we endeavoured to make the islanders understand, that these seeds would produce roots and fruits which they might eat. They perfectly comprehended us, and from that moment pointed out to us the best spots, signifying to us the places in which they were desirous of seeing our new

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productions. We added to the leguminous plants, seeds of the orange, lemon, and cotton trees, making them comprehend, that these were trees, and that what we had before sown were plants.

"We did not meet with any other small shrubs than the paper mulberry tree*, and the mimosa. There were also pretty considerable fields of garden nightshade, which these people appeared to me to cultivate in the lands already exhausted by yams and potatoes. We continued our route towards the mountains, which, though of considerable height, are all easy of access, and covered with grass; we perceived no marks of any torrent or ravine. After having gone about two leagues to the east, we returned southward towards the shore which we had coasted the evening before, and upon which, by the assistance of our telescopes, we had perceived a great many monuments: several were overthrown; it appeared that these people did not employ themselves in repairing them; others were standing upright, their bases half destroyed. The largest of those that I measured was sixteen feet ten inches

* Morus Papyrifera, abounding in Japan, where they prepare the bark of it to use as paper. This bark, being extremely fibrous, serves the women of Louisiana to make different works with the silk which they draw out of it: the leaf is good for the nourishment of silk-worms. This tree now grows in France.—(Fr. Ed.)

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in height, including the capital, which was three feet one inch, and which is of a porous lava, very light; its breadth over the shoulders was six feet seven inches, and its thickness at the base two feet seven inches.

"Having perceived a small village, I directed my course towards it; one of the houses was three hundred feet in length, and in the form of a canoe reversed. Very near this place we observed the foundations of several others, which no longer existed; they are composed of stones of cut lava, in which are holes about two inches across. This part of the island appeared to us to be in a much better state of cultivation, and more populous, than the parts adjacent to Cook's Bay. The monuments and terraces were also in greater number. We perceived upon some of the stones, of which those terraces are composed, some rude sculptures of skeletons; and we also saw there holes which were stopped up with stones, 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 expressive signs, that they deposited them there, and that afterwards they ascended to heaven. We found upon the sea-shore pyramids of stones, ranged very nearly in the same form as cannon balls in a park of artillery, and we perceived some human bones in the vicinity of those pyra-

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mids, and of those statues, all of which had the back turned towards the sea. In the morning we visited seven different terraces, upon which there were statues, some upright, others thrown down, differing from each other only in size; the injuries of time were more or less apparent on them, according to their antiquity. We found near the farthest a kind of mannikin of reed, representing a human figure, ten feet in height; it was covered with a white stuff of the country, the head of a natural size, but the body slender, the limbs in nearly exact proportion; from its neck hung a net, in the shape of a basket, covered with white stuff, which appeared to be filled with grass. By the side of this bag was the image of a child, two feet in length, the arms of which were placed across, and the legs pendent. This mannikin could not have existed many years; perhaps it was a model of some statues to be erected in honour of the chiefs of the country. Near this same terrace there were two parapets, which formed an enclosure of three hundred and eighty-four feet in length, by three hundred and twenty-four in breadth: we were not able to ascertain whether it was a reservoir for water, or the beginning of a fortress; but it appeared to us, that this work had never been finished.

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"Continuing to bend our course to the west, we met about twenty children, who were walking under the care of some women, and who appeared to go towards the houses of which I have already spoken.

"At the south end of the island we saw the crater of an old volcano, the size, depth, and regularity of which excited our admiration; it is in the shape of a truncated cone; its superior base, which is the largest, appeared to be more than two thirds of a league in circumference: the lower base may be estimated, by supposing that the side of the cone makes with the axis an angle of about 30°. This lower base forms a perfect circle; the bottom is marshy, containing large pools of fresh water, the surface of which appeared to be above the level of the sea; the depth of this crater is at least eight hundred feet.

"Father Receveur, who descended into it, related to us, that this marsh was surrounded by some beautiful plantations of banana and mulberry trees. It appears, according to our observations in sailing along the coast, that a considerable portion of it has rolled down on the side next the sea, thus occasioning 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 grass which has sprung up on the sides of the cone, the swamps which are at the bottom, and the fer-

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tility of the adjacent lands, are proofs that the subterraneous fires have a long time been extinct*. The only birds which we met with in the island we saw at the bottom of the crater; these were terns. Night obliged me to return towards the ships. We perceived near a house a great number of children, who ran away at our approach: it appeared to us probable, that this house was the habitation of all the children of the district. There was too little difference in their ages for them all to belong to the two women who seemed to be charged with the care of them. There was near this house a hole in the earth, in which they cooked yams and potatoes, according to the manner practised in the Society Isles.

"On our return to the tent, I presented to three of the natives the three different species of animals which we had destined for them.

"These islanders are hospitable; they several times presented us with potatoes and sugar canes; but they never let an opportunity slip of robbing us, when they could do it with impunity. Scarcely a tenth part of the island is cultivated; the lands which are cleared are in the form of a regular oblong, and without any kind of enclosure:

* "There is on the edge of the crater, on the side towards the sea, a statue, almost entirely destroyed by time, which proves that the volcano has been extinct for several ages."

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the remainder of the island, even to the summit of the mountains, is covered with a coarse grass. It was the rainy season when we were there, and we found the earth moistened at least a foot deep; some holes in the hills contained a little fresh water, but we did not find in any part the least appearance of a stream. The land seemed to be of a good quality, and there would be a far more abundant vegetation if it were watered. We did not obtain from these people the knowledge of any instrument, which they used for the cultivation of their fields. Probably, after having cleared them, they dig holes in them with wooden stakes, and in this manner plant their yams and potatoes. We very rarely met with a few bushes of mimosa, whose largest branches are only three inches in diameter. The most probable conjectures that can be formed as to the government of these people are, that they consist only of a single nation, divided into as many districts as there are morais, because it is to be observed, that the villages are built near those burying places. The products of the earth seem to be common to all the inhabitants of the same district; and as the men, without any regard to delicacy, make offers of the women to strangers, it is natural to suppose, 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,

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who, in every district, are charged with the care of bringing them up.

"Twice as many men are met with as women, and if indeed the latter are not less numerous, it is because they keep more at home than the men. The whole population may be estimated at two thousand people; several houses that we saw building, and a great number of children, ought to induce a belief that it does not diminish; there is however reason to think, that the population was more considerable when the island was better wooded. If these islanders had industry enough to build cisterns, they would thereby remedy one of the greatest misfortunes of their situation, and perhaps they would prolong their lives. There is not a single man seen in this island who appears to be above the age of sixty-five, if we can form any estimate of the age of people with whom we are so little acquainted, and whose manner of life differs so essentially from our own."

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Departure from Easter Island—Astronomical Observations—Arrival at the Sandwich Islands—Anchorage in the Bay of Keriporepo, in the Island of Mowée—Departure.

(APRIL, MAY, JUNE, 1786.)

ON taking our departu from Cook's Bay in Easter Island, on the 10th in the evening, I stood to the northward, and coasted along the island a league from the shore, by moon-light. We did not lose sight of it till the next day at two o'clock, when we were about twenty leagues off. The wind till the 17th was constantly at south east, and east south east. The weather was extremely clear; it neither changed nor was overcast till the wind shifted to the east north east, 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 Islands, and furnished almost every day, during six weeks, a complete allowance for the ships companies. This wholesome food preserved us in good health; and after being ten months at sea, during which we had been only twenty-five days in port, we had not a sick person on board the two ships. We traversed unknown seas; our course was very nearly parallel

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to that of captain Cook in 1777, when he sailed from the Society Islands for the north-west coast of America; but we were about eight hundred leagues more to the eastward. I flattered myself, that in a distance of near two thousand leagues, I should make some discovery; sailors were continually at the mast-head, and I had promised a reward to him who should first discover land. For the purpose of overlooking a greater space, our ships kept abreast of each other during the day, leaving between them an interval of three or four leagues.

M. Dagelet, in this run, never neglected an opportunity of making lunar observations; their agreement with the time-keepers of M. Berthoud was so 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 satisfactory; and we every day knew the set of the currents, by the difference between the longitude by account, and the longitude by observation; they carried us one degree to the south west, at the rate of about three leagues in twenty-four hours; and afterwards changed to the east, running with the same rapidity, till in seven degrees north, when they again took their course to the westward; and on our arrival at the Sandwich Islands, our longitude by account differed nearly five degrees from

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that by observation, so that if, like the ancient navigators, we had had no means of ascertaining the longitude by observation, we should have placed the Sandwich islands 5° more to the eastward. It is, without doubt, from the set of the currents, formerly so little observed, that all the errors in the Spanish charts have originated; for it is remarkable, that of late the greater part of the islands discovered by Quiros, Mendana, and other navigators of that nation, have been found again, but always placed upon their charts too near the coast of America. I ought also to add, that if the vanity of our pilots had not a little suffered from the difference that was daily found between the longitude by account, and that by observation, it is very probable that we should have had an error of eight or ten degrees on our making the land, and consequently, that in times less enlightened, we should have placed the Sandwich Islands ten degrees more to the eastward.

These reflections left much doubt on my mind as to the existence of the cluster of islands called by the Spaniards La Mesa, Los Majos, La Disgraciada. Upon the chart that admiral Anson took on board the Spanish galleon, and which the editor of his voyage has caused to be engraved, this cluster is placed precisely in the same latitude as the Sandwich Islands, and 16 or 17° more to the eastward. My daily differences of longitude


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made me think, that these islands were the same*; but what completely convinced me, was the name

* In the course of the years 1786 and 1787, captain Dixon anchored three times at the Sandwich Islands; and having the same doubt as La Pérouse with regard to the identity of these islands, and those called Los Majos, La Mesa, &c. he made researches in consequence; his results were perfectly similar, as may be seen by the following extracts:
"The islands Los Majos, La Maso, and St. Maria la Gorta, laid down by Mr. Roberts, from 18° 30′ to 28° north latitude, and from 135° to 149° west longitude †, and copied by him from a Spanish manuscript chart, were in vain looked for by us, and, to use Maurelle's words, "it may be pronounced that no such islands are to be found;" so that their intention has uniformly been to mislead rather than be of service to future navigators."
"Our observation at noon, on the 8th of May, gave 17° 4′ north latitude, and 129° 57′ west longitude; in this situation we looked for an island called by the Spaniards Roco Partida, but in vain; however, we stood to the northward under an easy sail, and kept a good look out, expecting soon to fall in with the group of islands already mentioned.
From the 11th to the 14th we lay to every night, and when we made sail in the morning, spread at the distance of eight or ten miles, standing westerly: it being probable that though the Spaniards might have been pretty correct in the latitude of these islands, yet they might easily be mistaken several degrees in their longitude: but our latitude on the 15th, at noon, being 20° 9′ north, and 140° 1′ west longitude, which is considerably to the westward of any island laid down by the Spaniards, we concluded, and with reason, that there must be some gross mistake in their chart."
"On the 1st of November we looked out for St. Maria le Gorta, which is laid down in Cook's chart in 27° 50′ north latitude, and in 149° west longitude; and the same afternoon, sailed directly over it. Indeed we scarcely expected to meet with any such place, as it is copied by Mr. Roberts into the above chart from the same authority which we had already sound to be erroneous respecting Los Majos and Roco Partida."

† It must be observed, that Dixon reckons his longitude from the west, whereas Cook, in his third voyage, reckons it the opposite way; Dixon's reason without doubt is, that, having shaped his course to the westward in doubling Cape Horn, this manner of reckoning was more natural and more convenient to him.

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of Mesa, which signifies table, given by the Spaniards to the island of Owhyhee. I had read in the description of this same island by captain King, that, after having doubled the eastern point, they discovered a mountain called Mowna-roa, which was visible at a great distance: it is, says he, flattened at the summit, and forms what French mariners call plateau. The English expression is still more signicant, for captain King calls it Table-land.

Although the season was very far advanced, and I had no time to lose in order to reach the American coasts, I determined at all events to shape a course which might bring my opinion to the proof; the result, if I were in error, would necessarily be, to meet with a second cluster of islands, forgotten perhaps by the Spaniards for more


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than a century, and to determine their situation, and their precise distance from the Sandwich islands. Those who know my character cannot suspect, that I have been influenced in this research by the desire of taking away from captain Cook the honour of this discovery. Full of respect and admiration for the memory of that great man, he will always appear to me the greatest of navigators; and he who has determined the exact situation of these islands; who has explored their coasts; who has made us acquainted with the manners, customs, and religion of the inhabitants; and who has paid with his blood for all the knowledge of which we are at this time in possession respecting these people; he is, I say, the true Columbus of this country, of the coast of Alashka, and of almost all the islands of the South Sea. Chance sometimes makes discoveries to the most ignorant; but it belongs only to great men like him, to leave no more information to be desired concerning the countries they have seen. Mariners, philosophers, naturalists, each find in their voyages something which is the object of their peculiar study; all men perhaps, at least all navigators, owe a tribute of praise to his memory: how can I refuse it, at the moment of reading those islands, where he so unfortunately finished his career?.

On the 7th of May, in 8° north latitude, we


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perceived a great many birds of the petrel species, man of war, and tropic birds; these last two species, it is said, seldom go any great distance from land; we also saw a great many turtles pass alongside. The Astrolabe caught two of them, which they shared with us, and which we found very good. The birds and turtles followed us as far as 14°, and I doubt not but we passed some island which was probably uninhabited; for a rock in the middle of the sea would rather be a place of resort for these animals than a cultivated country. We were now very near Rocca-Partida and la Nublada: I shaped my course so as to pass almost in sight of Rocca-Partida, if its lon gitude were justly determined; but I did not wish to run past its latitude, not being able to spare from my other schemes a single day to this research. I knew very well, that in this way it was probable I should miss it, and I was not much surprised at not finding it. When we had crossed its latitude the birds disappeared, and till my arrival at the Sandwich Islands, a space of five hundred leagues, we never saw more than two or three in a day.

On the 15th I was in 19° 17′ north latitude, and 130° west longitude, that is to say, in the same latitude as the cluster of islands laid down in the Spanish charts, as well as in that of the Sandwich Islands,

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but a hundred leagues more to the eastward than the former, and four hundred and sixty to the eastward of the latter. Thinking to render an important service to geography if I could succeed in taking away from the charts these idle names, which point out islands that have no existence, and perpetuate errors which are very prejudicial to navigation, I was desirous, in order to leave no doubt, to prolong my track as far as the Sandwich Islands; I even formed the design of passing between the island of Owhyhee and that of Mowee, which the English had not been able to explore; and I proposed to land at Mowee, to traffic there with the inhabitants for some supplies of fresh stock, and leave it without loss of time. I knew, that by partially following my plan, and only running down 200 leagues on this parallel, there would still be unbelievers, and I wished that not the slightest objection should remain.

On the 18th of May I was in 20° north latitude, and 139° west longitude, precisely upon the Spanish island Disgraciada, where I met with no sign of land.

On the 20th I passed through the middle of the supposed cluster of Los Majos, without perceiving signs of being near any island: I continued to run to the westward upon this parallel between 20° and 21°: at length, on the 28th in the morning,

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I got sight of the mountains of the island of Owhyhee, which were covered with snow, and seon afterwards of those of Mowee, which are not quite so high. I crowded all the fail I could in order to near the land, but when night came on I was still seven or eight leagues from it. I passed the time till morning in standing off and on waiting for day, in order to run into the channel formed by these two islands, and to seek for an anchorage to leeward of Mowee, near the island of Morokinne. Our longitude by observation corresponded so exactly with that of captain Cook, that after having pricked off the ship's place upon the chart by our bearings, according to the English method, we found only 10′ difference, which we were more to the eastward.

At nine in the morning I saw the point of Mowee bearing west 15° north. I perceived also an island bearing west 22° north, which the English had not been able to get sight of, and is not found in their chart, which in this part is very defective; whilst every thing that they have laid down from their own observations is deserving of the warmest praise. The appearance of the island of Mowee was delightful, I coasted it along at about a league distance; it projects into the channel in the direction of south-west by west: we saw cascades falling from the summits of the mountains, and de-

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scending to the sea, after having watered the habitations of the natives, which are so numerous, that a space of three or four leagues may be taken for a single village; but all the houses are upon the sea shore, and the mountains seem to occupy so much of the island, that the habitable part of it appears to be scarcely half a league broad. It is necessary to be a seaman, and reduced, as we were, in these scorching climates to a bottle of water a day, to form a just conception of the sensations we experienced. The trees which crowned the mountains, the verdure, the banana trees which were perceived around the habitations, all produced an inexpressible charm upon our senses; but the sea broke upon the coast with great fury, and we were reduced to desire, and to devour with our eyes, what it was impossible for us to attain.

The breeze had freshened, and we ran at the rate of two leagues an hour; I wished before night to explore this part of the coast as far as Morokinne, near which I flattered myself I should be able to find an anchorage sheltered from the trade winds: this plan, which was dictated by the imperious circumstances in which I was placed, did not permit me to shorten sail in order to wait for about a hundred and fifty canoes which were putting off from the shore; they were laden with fruits and hogs, which the Indians proposed to exchange for our pieces of iron.

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Almost all the canoes came aboard of one or other of the frigates, but we were going so fast through the water that they filled alongside: the Indians were obliged to let go the ropes which we had thrown them, and leaping into the sea swam alongside after their hogs, and taking them in their arms, they took their canoes upon their shoulders, emptied them of the water, and gaily got in again, endeavouring by force of paddling to regain the situation that they had been obliged to abandon, and which had been in an instant occupied by others, who also met with the same accident. Thus we saw more than forty canoes successively overset; and although the commerce we entered into with these honest Indians was perfectly agreeable to both parties, it was impossible for us to procure more than fifteen hogs and some fruits, and we lost the opportunity of bargaining for more than three hundred others.

These canoes had outriggers: each held from three to five men; the common size 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 these dimensions, which did not exceed fifty pounds weight. It is with these ticklish vessels that the inhabitants of these islands make runs of sixty leagues, traverse channels that are twenty leagues wide, like that between Atooi and Wohaoo, where the sea runs

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very high; but they are such excellent swimmers, that they can scarcely be compared to any thing but seals and sea lions.

In proportion as we advanced, the mountains seemed to remove towards the interior of the island, which appeared to us in the form of a vast amphitheatre of a yellow green; we no longer perceived any cascades; the trees were much more sparingly scattered in the plain, the villages were composed only of ten or twelve cabins very remote from each other. We had every instant fresh cause to regret the country we had left behind us, and we found no shelter till we saw before us a rugged shore, where torrents of lava had formerly run, as the cascades now flow in the other part of the island.

After having steered south west by west, as far as the south-west point of the island of Mowee, I stood west and north west in order to gain the anchorage where the Astrolabe had already brought up, in twenty-three fathoms, in very hard grey sand, about a third of a league from shore. We lay sheltered from the sea breeze by a high bluff, capped by clouds. We had strong squalls from time to time, and the wind shifted every instant, so that we were constantly dragging our anchors. This roadstead was so much the worse, as we were exposed in it to currents, which prevented us from riding head to wind, except in the squalls, but they

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made so high a sea, that it was scarcely possible for our ships boats to live. I sent one of them, however, immediately to sound around the ships; the officer reported to me, that the bottom continued the same quite to the shore; that the depth of water gradually diminished; and that there was still seven fathoms at two cables length from the shore; but when we weighed the anchor, I saw that the cable was rendered absolutely unserviceable, and that under a slight covering of sand there must have been a rocky bottom.

The Indians of the villages in this part of the island were eager to come alongside in their canoes, bringing, as articles of commerce, hogs, potatoes, bananas, roots of arum, which the Indians call tarro, with Puffs, and some other curiosities which make pars of their dress. I did not chuse to allow them to come on board till the frigate was at anchor, and the sails were furled; I told them, that I was taboo*, and this word, which I

* A word which, according to their religion, signifies a thing they cannot touch, or a consecrated 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 Islands from the vocabulary of captain Cook, who made a long stay in these islands, and who possessed advantages which no other navigator has had to carry on a communication with the islanders. To these motives may be added, the considence due to the known talents of Anderson, by whom he was so ably seconded.
Dixon gives a vocabulary of the language of the Sandwich islands, in which the word taboo signifies embargo; although in his Journal he explains the ceremony of lying taboo in the same manner as captain Cook.
The following table contains words of similar 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 expressing the pronunciation of the words, which varies according to the individuals who pronounce them.
Correspondent WORDS from the Vocabularies
Cocoa nut
The fun
Hai, raa
W. man
The vocabulary of Cook, although more perfect, still comes in support of my assertion; the word which signifies a woman is there found in two different places; he has repeated it without any mark of a doubt, and it is probable he has learned this signification from two individuals whose pronunciation was different, for in one place he writes Wabeine and in the other Mabeine.—(Fr. Ed.)

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picked up from the English narratives, had all the success which I expected from it. M. de Langle,

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who had not taken the same precaution, had in an instant the deck of his ship quite crouded with a multitude of these Indians; but they were so docile, and so fearful of giving offence, that it was extremely easy to prevail on them to return to their canoes. I had no idea of a people at once so mild and respectful. When I permitted them to come on board my ship, they did not advance a single step without our concurrence; they always evinced a fear of displeasing us; the greatest fidelity prevailed in their commerce. They took a great fancy to our pieces of old iron hoops; they were not wanting in address to procure them, by making good bargains on their own part; they would never agree to sell a quantity of stuffs, or several hogs in a lump; they very well knew, that there would be more profit arising to them by making an agreement to fix a particular price for every article.

These commercial habits, this knowledge of iron, which from their own confession they did not acquire from the English, are fresh proofs of the

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frequent communications which these people have formerly had with the Spaniards*.

* It appears certain, that these islands were first discovered by Gaetan in 1542. This navigator sailed from the Port of the Nativity, on the western coast of Mexico, in 20° of north latitude: he stood to the westward, and after having run nine hundred leagues in this direction (without changing his latitude) he discovered a group of islands, inhabited by almost naked savages. These islands were furrounded with coral rocks: they contained cocoas, and several other fruits, but neither gold nor silver. He called them the King's Islands, probably from the day on which he made the discovery; and he named one, which he found twenty leagues to the westward, Garden Island. It was impossible for geographers, from this narrative, not to have placed the discoveries of Gaetan precisely at the same point where captain Cook has since again found the Sandwich Islands; but the Spanish editer adds, that these islands are situated between the 9th and 11th degrees of latitude, instead of saying between the 19th and 21st, as all mariners ought to conclude from the course of Gaetan.
Is this omission of ten degrees an error of the press, or does it originate from the policy of the Spanish court, which, during the last century, had so great an interest in keeping secret the situation of all the islands of this ocean?
I am led to believe that it is an error of the press, because it was very impolitie to print that Gaetan, failing from 20° of latitude, shaped his course to the westward; if they were desirous of deceiving as to the latitude, it was not very difficult to have made him steer another course.
Be this however as it may, if ten degrees be added to the latitude mentioned by Gaetan, every thing agrees; the fame distance from the coast of Mexico, the same people, the same vegetable productions, a coast in like manner surrounded with coral rocks, the same extent from north to south; the situation of the Sandwich Islands being nearly between 19 and 21 degrees, as those of Gaetan are between 9 and 11. This fresh proof, joined to those already cited, appears to me to carry this geographical discussion to absolute certainty. Besides, I can farther affirm, that there exists no group of islands between the 9th and 11th degrees, for it is the common track of the galleons from Acapulco to Manilla.

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This nation had, during a century, very strong reasons against making these islands known, because the western seas of America were infested by pirates, who would have found provisions among these islanders, and who, on the contrary, from the difficulty of procuring them, were obliged to run westward towards the Indian seas, or to return by Cape Horn into the Atlantic Ocean. When the navigation of the Spaniards to the westward was reduced to a single galleon from Manilla, I think this extremely rich veffel was conftrained by the proprietors to follow a fixed track, which might leffen their risk. Thus by degrees this nation has perhaps lost even the remembrance of these islands, preserved upon the general chart of Cook's third voyage by lieutenant Roberts, with their ancient situation at 15° more to the eastward than the Sandwich Islands; but their identity with these last seems to me to be so clearly demonstrated, that I thought it my duty to clear them away from the surface of the sea.

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It was so late before our sails were surled, that I was under the necessity of deserring till the next day the landing which I proposed to make upon this island, where nothing could detain me but a convenient watering place, but we already perceived, that this part of the coast was altogether destitute of running water, the declivity of the mountain having directed all the falls of rain towards the windward side. Some few days labour on the summit of the mountains might perhaps have proved sufficient to render so precious a benefit common to the whole island; but these Indians have not yet arrived at this degree of industry; in many other respects, however, they are very far advanced. The form of their government is well known by the English narratives: their extreme subordination is a striking proof, that there is an acknowledged authority, that gradually extends from the king to the lowest chief, and is based upon the people. My imagination feels great pleasure in comparing them with the Indians of Easter Island, whose industry is at least as far advanced: the monuments of the latter shew even more skill; the fabrication of their stuffs, as well as the construction of their houses, is much better, but their government is so vicious, that no one is capable of putting an end to its disorder; they do not acknowledge any authority, and although I do not think them absolutely wicked, it

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is but too common for licentiousness to have troublesome and even fatal consequences. In making a comparison between these two nations, all the advantages seem to be in favour of those of the Sandwich Islands, though all prejudices were against them on account of the death of captain Cook. It is more natural for navigators to regret so great a man, than coolly and impartially to examine whether it were not some imprudence on his part, that obliged the inhabitants of Owhyhee to have recourse to necessary defence*.

* It is incontestibly proved, that the English commenced hostilities; this is a truth, which it would be in vain to conceal. I will not adduce any proofs of it, but such as are contained in the narrative of captain Cook's friend, of the man who looked upon him as his father, and whom the islanders believed to be his son; in short, of captain King, who tells us, after a faithful relation of the events which led to his death, "I was apprehensive of some unhappy moment, in which this confidence would prevent him from taking the necessary precautions."
The reader will also be able to judge for himself, by a comparison of the following circumstances:
Cook very inconsiderately gave orders to fire with ball, if his labourers were disturbed; though he had before him the experience of the massacre of ten men of captain Furneaux's ship's company, a maacre which was occasioned by the discharge of two firelocks upon the Zealanders, who had committed a trifling theft of some fish and bread.
Pareea, one of the chiefs, reclaiming his canoe, which had been seized upon by the ship's company, was knocked down by a violent blow of an oar, with which they struck him on he head; recovered from the stunning occasioned by it, he had the generosity to forget the violence which had been offered him; he returned a short time afterwards, brought back a hat that had been stolen, and appeared to be afraid that captain Cook himself might kill, or at least punish him.
Before the commission of any other crime than that of stealing the boat, two guns had been fired upon two great canoes, which endeavoured to make their escape.
Nevertheless, after these events, captain Cook walked to the village where the king was, and received those marks of respect, which they had always been accustomed to pay him; the inhabitants proftrated themselves before him.
There was no circumstance which could give rise to an idea of any hostile intention on the part of the islanders, when the boats placed across the bay fired again upon some canoes which endeavoured to escape, and unfortunately killed a chief of the first rank.
This death drove the islanders to madness. One of them was contented with challenging captain Cook, and threatening to throw a stone at him. Captain Cook discharged a musket at him, loaded with small shot, which, owing to the matting with which he was clothed, had no effect: this discharge of the musket became the signal of engagement. Phillips was on the point of being stabbed. Cook then fired a second musket charged with ball, and killed the foremost of the islanders. The attack immediately became more serious; the soldiers and sailors made a discharge of musketry. Four marines were already killed, and three others, with a lieutenant, were wounded, when captain Cook, finding the situation he was in, approached the water side; he called out to the boats to cease their firing, and to land, that he might embark his little troop: it was at this instant, that he was stabbed in the back, and fell upon his face into the sea.
It yet remains to be added, that Cook, having determined to bring the king and his family on board his ship, either willingly or by force, and having for that purpose penetrated into the country, was very ill prepared for such an attempt, by taking no more than a detachment of ten men.—(Fr. Ed.)

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The night was very calm, with the exception of some gusts, which lasted less than two minutes.

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At day-break the longboat of the Astrolabe was detached with Messrs. De Vaujuas, Boutin, and Bernizet; they had orders to sound a very deep bay which lay to the north west of us, and in which I supposed 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 island of Mowee not affording either wood or water, and having only three very bad roads, must be very little frequented.

At eight o'clock in the morning four boats of the two frigates were ready to set off, the first two carried twenty armed soldiers, commanded by M. de Pierrevert, one of the lieutenants; M. de Langle, accompanied by all the passengers 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 alongside in their canoes; these Indians continued their traffic; they


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did not follow us on shore, and they preserved that appearance of confidence in us, which their countenances had never ceased to express. About a hundred and twenty persons, men and women, waited for us on the beach. The soldiers, with their officers, were first disembarked; we fixed upon a space which we chose to reserve to ourselves; the soldiers fixed their bayonets, and made exactly the same dispositions, as if in the prefence of an enemy. These forms made no impression on the inhabitants; the women testified to us, by the most expressive gestures, that there was not any mark of kindness which they were not disposed to conser upon us; and the men, in the most respectful attitude, endeavoured to penetrate into the motive of our visit, in order to anticipate our wants. Two Indians came forward who appeared to have some authority over the others; they very gravely made me a pretty long speech, 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 inestimable value. My liberality had a very great effect; the women redoubled their careffes, but they were not very seducing; their features had no delicacy, and their dress discovered to me, among much the greater number, traces of the ravages committed by the venereal disease. As


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there were no women came to the ships in the canoes, I thought that they attributed to the Europeans those evils of which they bore the marks, but I soon perceived that this remembrance, supposing it real, had not left on their minds any kind of resentment.

Let me be permitted, however, to examine, whether modern navigators be in fact the true authors of these evils; and whether this crime, with which they reproach themselves in their narratives, be not more fancied than real. To give my conjectures the greater weight, I will support them by the observations of M. Rollin, a very enlightened man, and surgeon-major of my ship. He visited in this island several individuals who were attacked by the venereal disease, and remarked symptoms, the gradual developement of which would have required twelve or fifteen years in Europe: he also saw children of seven or eight years old labouring under it, who could only have been infected while yet in their mothers wombs. I may farther observe, that captain Cook, on his first arrival at the Sandwich Islands, touched only at Atooi and Oneeheow, and that nine months after, on his return from the north, he found almost all the inhabitants of Mowee who came on board his ship were infected with this disease. As Mowee is sixty leagues to windward of Atooi, the apparent rapidity of this progress seems to throw much

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doubt on the prevailing hypothesis*. If to these different observations be added that which results from the ancient communication of the Spaniards with these islanders, it will doubtless appear probable, that they long ago shared with other nations the missortunes attached to this scourge of humanity.

I thought this discussion 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 these expeditions were able to prevent. There is, however, a reproach, from which they cannot escape, the not having taken sufficient precautions to avoid the evil; and if it be nearly demonstrated, that this disease is not the effect of their imprudence, it is not equally so, that their communication with these people may not have given it a greater activity, and have rendered its consequences infinitely more terrible†.

* It appeared to captain Cook, that the inhabitants of Mowee had been informed of his stay at Atooi and at Oneeheow. It is not therefore furprifing, that the venereal disease had been communicated in the same time as the news. Besides, Bougainville is convinced, that the inhabitants of the islands of the Pacific Ocean communicate with each other from very considerable distances.—Voyage round the World by Bougainville.—(Fr. Ed.)

† It is not to be doubted, that modern navigators may have to reproach themselves with having communicated, even with a knowledge of the cause, the venereal disease in the South Sea islands. Captain Cook makes no secret of it in his narratives; and what he principally says of it may be seen in his Third Voyage.—(Fr. Ed.)

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After having visited the village, I gave orders that six soldiers, commanded by a ferjeant, should accompany us: I left the others upon the beach, under the command of M. de Pierrevert; they were charged with the protection of our ships boats, from which not a single sailor had landed.

Though the French were the first who of late times had landed on the island of Mowee, I did not think it my duty to take possession of it in the name of the king: the customs of Europeans are in this respect completely ridiculous. Philosophers have undoubtedly reason to sigh at seeing that men, for no other reason than because they are in possession of cannon and bayonets, reckon as nothing sixty thousand of their fellow creatures; and, without respect for their most facred rights, regarding as an object of conquest a land, which its inhabitants have watered with their sweat, and which during so many ages has served as a tomb to their ancestors. These people have fortunately been discovered at a period, in which religion is no longer made use of as a pretext for violence and cupidity. Modern navigators, in describing the manners of newly discovered nations, have no other

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object than that of completing the history of man; their expeditions will complete our knowledge of the globe; and the information which they endeavour to spread has no other end in view, than that of adding to the happiness of the islanders they visit, and augmenting the means of their subsistence.

It is in pursuance of these principles, that they have already transported into their islands bulls, cows, goats, sheep, and rams; that they have also planted trees there, sown the seeds of all countries, and carried to them tools proper to accelerate the progress of industry. For our parts, we shall esteem ourselves sufficiently recompensed for the extreme fatigues of this voyage, if we could become the means of destroying the custom of human facrifices, which is said to be generally spread over the South Sea islands. But notwithstanding the opinion of Mr. Anderson and captain Cook, I think, with captain King, that a people so good, so mild, so hospitable, cannot be cannibals: an atrocious religion is with difficulty associated with mild manners; and since captain King says, in his narrative, that the priests of Owhyhee were their best friends, I think I may conclude, that if mildness and humanity have already made some progress in this class charged with human facrifices, the rest of the inhabitants must be still less ferocious. It evidently appears then, that the practice of man-eating no longer

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exists among these islanders, though it is but too probable, that it has not ceased any great length of time*.

The soil of this island is formed only of decomposed lava, and other volcanic matters: the inhabitants drink only brackish water drawn from shallow wells, and in such small quantity, that one of them cannot furnish half a barrel of water a day. In our walk we met with four little villages of ten or twelve houses; they are built and covered with straw in the same manner as those of our poorest peasants: 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 stooping; it is shut by a simple latch, which every one can open. The articles of furniture of these islanders consist of mats, which like our carpets form a very neat covering upon which they lie down; they have besides other kitchen utenfils, such as large calabashes, to which they give any form they please when they are green; they varnish them, and trace upon them in black

* The horror which these islanders showed when they were suspected of eating man's flesh, that which they testified when asked if they had not eaten the body of captain Cook, in part confirms the opinion of La Pérouse; Cook, however, had obtained certain proof of this custom among the inhabitants of New Zealand; and it cannot be denied, that the practice of human sacrifices, and of eating enemies killed in battle, is spread over all the South Sea islands.—(Fr. Ed.)

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all kinds of sketches; I have also seen some which were glued to one another, and thus formed very large vessels: it appears that this glue is capable of resisting moisture, and I had a great desire to know its composition. The stuffs, of which they have a very great quantity, are, like those of the other islands, made of the paper mulberry tree, but although they are painted with much greater variety, their fabric seerns to me inferior to that of all the others. At my return I was again harangued by some women, who waited for me under some trees; they made me offers of several pieces of stuff, which I paid for with hatchets and iron nails.

The reader ought not to expect in this work to find details of a people so well made known by the English narratives; these navigators passed four months in these islands, and our stay there was little more than a few hours; they had the further advantage of understanding the language of the country; it is necessary, therefore, that we should confine ourselves to the relation of our own history.

Our re-embarkation was made at eleven o'clock in very good order, without confusion, and without our having the smaliest cause of complaint against any one. We arrived on board at noon, where M. de Clonard had been visited by a chief, and had purchased from him a cloak, and a fine helmet covered over with red feathers; he had also

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bought more than a hundred hogs, bananas, potatoes, tarro, a great many stuffs, mats, a canoe with an out-rigger, and various other little articles of feathers and shells. On our arrival on board, the two frigates dragged their anchors; it blew fresh from the south east; we were driving down upon the island of Morokinne, which was however far enough distant to give us time to hoist in our boats. I made the signal for weighing, but before we could purchase our anchor, I was obliged to make sail, and to drag it till I had passed the island of Morokinne, to hinder me from driving past 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 should 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 shape my course between the island of Ranai and the west part of the island of Mowee; it was a new channel which I should have wished to reconnoitre, but prudence would not permit me to attempt it in the night. Till eight o'clock the breezes were so light that we could not run more than half a league. At length the wind settled at north east. I stood to the westward, passing at an equal distance the north-west point of the island of Tahoorowa, and the south-west point of the island of Ranai. At day-break I stretched towards the

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south-west extremity of the island of Morotoi, which I coasted at three quarters of a league distance, and like the English, I go into the open sea by the channel which separates the island of Wohaoo from that of Morotoi; this last island did not appear to me to be inhabited in this part, although, according to the English account, it is very populous on the other side. It is remarkable, that in these islands the most healthy and fertile parts, and of course the best inhabited, are always to windward. Our islands of Guadaloupe. Martinico, &c. have so exact a resemblance to this new cluster, that as far as navigation is concerned they appear to me to have a perfect similarity.

Messrs. Dagelet and Bernizet have taken, with great accuracy, all the bearings of those parts of the islands of Mowée and Morokinne that we sailed along: it was impossible for the English, who never came nearer to them than the distance of ten leagues, to attain any exactness. M. Bernizet constructed a chart, and M. Dagelet furnished astronomical observations, which deserve equal confidence with those of captain Cook.

On the 1st of June, at six o'clock in the evening, we had cleared all the islands; we had not employed more than forty-eight hours in examining them, and at most fifteen days in clearing up a point in geography which appeared to me very important, since it expunges from our charts five or six

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islands which have no existence. The fishes which had followed us from the vicinity of Easter Island as far as the anchorage disappeared. One fact worthy enough of attention is, that the same shoal of fish followed our frigates fifteen hundred leagues; several bonetas, wounded by our harpoons, retained a mark on their backs which rendered it impossible to mistake them, and we thus recollected every day the same fish that we had seen over night. I have no doubt, that had we not stopped at the Sandwich Islands, they would still have followed us two or three hundred leagues, that is to lay, till they came to a temperature they could not bear.

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Departure from the Sandwich Islands—Signs of approaching the American Coast—Discovery of Mount Saint-Elias—Discovery 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 in there—Risks we run in entering it—The Description of this Bay, to which I give the Name of Port des Français—Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants—Our Traffic with them—Journal of our Proceedings during our Stay.

(JUNE, JULY, 1786.)

THE easterly winds continued till we were in 30° north latitude; I stood to the northward, with fair weather. The fresh stock, that we had procured during our short stay at the Sandwich Islands, afforded an agreeable and wholesome subsistence to the ships companies of the two frigates for three weeks; it was impossible for us however to preserve our hogs alive, for want of water and food; I was under the necessity of following captain Cook's method of salting them, but the hogs were so small, that the greater number of them were under twenty pounds weight. Their fresh would not bear salt without being

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corroded by it, and its substance partly destroyed, which made it necessary to consume it the first.

On the 6th of June, being in 30° of north latitude, the wind shifted to south east; the sky became whitish and dull; every thing told us, that we had gotten out of the trade winds, and I was very much afraid that we should soon have cause to regret the loss of the fine weather, which had hitherto preserved us in so good a state of health, and during which we had almost every day made lunar observations, or at least compared the true hour of the meridian in which we were with that of our time-keepers.

My apprehensions of sogs were quickly realized; they began on the 9th June, in 34° north latitude, and we had no clear weather till the 14th of the same month, in 41°. I at first thought these seas more foggy than those which separate Europe from America. I should have been much deceived if I had obstinately adopted this opinion; the fogs of Acadia, of Newfoundland, and Hudson's Bay have, from their continued thickness, an incontestible right of preeminence; but the humidity was extreme; the fog, or rain, had penetrated through all the sailors clothing; we had never the smallest ray of the sun to dry them, and I had before been convinced by melancholy experience, in my voyage to Hudson's Bay, that cold wet weather was perhaps the principal

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and most active cause of scurvy. Not one person was yet afflicted with it; but after having remained so long at sea, we might all have a disposition of body tending to that disorder. I therefore gave orders to place stoves, filled with burning coals, under the half deck, and between decks, where the people slept; I distributed to every sailor and soldier a pair of boots, and restored to them the flannel under-waistcoats and breeches which I had kept in reserve from the time of our departure from the seas of Cape Horn.

My surgeon, who shared with M. de Clonard the care of all these details, proposed also, that we should mix their grog* at breakfast with a slight infusion of bark, which, without sensibly affecting the taste of this drink, might produce very salutary effects. I was under the necessity of ordering this mixture to be made secretly; without this precaution the crews would certainly have resused 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 controversy had it been submitted to general opinion.

These different precautions were attended with the greatest success, but they were not the only ones which occupied our leisure in the course of

* A liquor composed of one part brandy and two parts water, much more wholesome for the crews than raw spirit.

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so long a run: my carpenter made, from a plan of M. de Langle, a corn mill, which proved of the greatest use to us.

The pursers, persuaded that kiln-dried corn would keep much better than flour and biscuit, proposed to us to take on board a great quantity of it; this we had again increased at Chili. They had furnished us with mill-stones 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 same time assured, that M. de Suffrein had no other mill to provide for the wants of his whole squadron; there could therefore remain no doubt, but that these mill-stones were fully adequate to so small a ship's company as our's; but when we attempted to use 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 our corn formed nearly one half of our store of provision, we should have been in the greatest embarrassment, but for the inventive genius of M. de Langle, who, assisted by a sailor that had formerly been a miller's boy, hit upon the scheme of adapting to our mill-stones the movement of a windmill: he first tried sails to be turned by the wind, with some success, but he soon substituted a handle instead of them; by this new method, flour as perfect as that of common mills was obtained, and

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we were every day able to grind two hundred weight of corn.

On the 14th the wind changed to west south-west. The following observations were the result of our long experience: The sky became pretty generally clear when the winds were only some few degrees from west to north, and the sun appeared upon the horizon; from west to south-west, the weather was in general accompanied by a little rain; from south-west to south-east, and even to east, the horizon was foggy, with an extreme humidity, which penetrated into the cabins and every part of the ship. Thus a simple view of the table of winds, will always shew the reader the state of the weather, and will be of the most essential service to such as shall succeed us in this navigation; besides, they who wish to join to the pleasure of reading the events of this voyage a small share of interest for persons 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 scurvy, have run over an unknown coast, the theatre of all the geographical romances* too lightly adopted by modern geographers†.

* These romances are, the Voyage of Admiral Fuentes, and the pretended navigations of the Chinese and Japanese on this coast.

† The details of the voyage of admiral Fuentes, or De Fonte, are certainly very extraordinary; but we dare not altogether reject them, when we compare with the chart of his discoveries those of Cook, la Pérouse, Dixon, and Meares. It appears, from the discourse delivered by Buache at the Academy of Sciences, that Lorencio Ferrer de Maldonado difcovered the north-western passage by entering into a streight of Hudson's Bay, which is the same that admiral de Fonte met with in his return from the South Sea, and which is laid down upon the charts under the name of Repulse 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 least no proof against the latter having had a knowledge of the voyage of Maldonado, and that he made it the basis of his romance. The analogy which appears on the comparison will always leave some doubts; and in geography every doubt ought to be entertained, till it can be clearly removed by incontestible proofs.
Neither the discourse of Buache, nor the Spanish voyage which served as the basis of it, have yet been printed. Those readers who may be desirous to know the discussions, to which the voyage of admiral de Fonte gave rise, will find them in the following works:
Explication de la carte des nouvelles découvertcs au nord de la mer du Sud. Par de Lisle, etc. Paris, 1752.
Confidérations géographiques et physiques fur les nouvelles découvertes au nord de la grande mer, appelée vulgairement la mer du Sud. Par Philippe Buache, etc. Paris, 1753.
Nouvelles Cartes des découvertes de l'amiral de Fonte, etc. Par de Lisle. etc. Paris, 1753.
Lettre d'un officier de la marine russienne à un seigneur de la cour, etc. A Berlin.
Observations critiques fur les nouvelles découvertes de l'amiral Fuentes, etc. Par Robert de Vaugondy, fils, etc. Paris, 1753.
Journal bistorique, Mémoires pour l'histoire des seiences et des beaux arts, Journal des Savans, Journal économique, pour Pannée 1753.—(Fr. Ed.)

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This part of America, as far as Mount Saint-Elias in 60°, was only just seen by captain Cook,


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with the exception of the port of Nootka, in which he stopped; but from Mount Saint Elias as far as the point of Alashka, and even to that of the frozen cape, this celebrated navigator ran down the coast with a perseverance 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 interests 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 season, and still more from the vast plan of our voyage, we shall have left a great many details to succeeding 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 coast, the determination as to latitude and longitude of the most remarkable points, will insure an utility to our labours, which no seaman will call in question.

We never ceased to have a fair wind from the time of our departure from the Sandwich Islands

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till we landed at Mount Saint Elias. In proportion as we advanced to the northward, and approached America, we saw sea weeds pass by of a species absolutely unknown to us; a head of the size of an orange terminated a stalk of forty or fifty feet long; this sea weed resembled but much exceeded in size the stalk of an onion which has run up to seed. Whales of the largest species, divers, and wild geese also announced to us that we were approaching land; at length, on the 23d, at four o'clock in the morning, we descried it: the fog suddenly dispersing all at once discovered to us a long chain of mountains covered with snow, which if the weather had been clear we should have been able to have seen thirty leagues farther off; we distinguished Behring's Mount Saint Elias, the summit of which appeared above the clouds.

The fight of land, which in general gives rise to the most agreeable sensations after a long voyage, failed in the present instance to produce the same effect upon us. Those immense heaps of snow, which covered a barren land without trees, were far from agreeable to our view; the mountains appeared a little remote from the sea, which broke against 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, destitute of all verdure, formed a striking contrast to the white-

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ness of the snow, which was perceptible through the clouds; it served as the base to a long ridge of mountains, which appeared to stretch fifteen leagues from east to west. At first we thought ourselves very near it; the summit of the mountains appeared to be just over our heads, and the snow cast forth a brightness calculated to deceive eyes not accustomed to it; but in proportion as we advanced, we perceived in front of the high ground hillocks covered with trees, which we took for islands; it appeared probable, that we might there have found a shelter for our ships, as well as wood and water. I proposed therefore, by means of the easterly wind which blew along shore, to reconnoitre at a very little distance these supposed islands: but it chopped about to the southward, and the sky became very black in that part of the horizon; I therefore thought it proper to wait for a more favourable opportunity, and kept close to the wind in order to avoid a lee shore. At noon we made an observation in 59° 21′ north latitude, the west longitude was by our time-keepers 143° 23′. A thick fog enveloped the land during the whole of the 25th, but on the 26th the weather became very fine; the coast appeared at 2 in the morning with all its windings. I ran along it at the distance of two leagues; we founded in seventy fathoms, muddy bottom; I was very desirous of finding a harbour, and soon entertained hopes that I had met with it.

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I have already spoken of a table-land, the elevation of which was one hundred and fifty or two hundred toises, serving as a base to immense mountains a few leagues more inland; we soon perceived a low point, covered with trees, to the eastward, which appeared to join this table-land, and to terminate at a little distance from a second chain of mountains, which was to be seen still farther towards the east. We were all nearly unanimous in opinion, that the table-land was terminated by the low point covered with trees, that it was an island separated from the mountains by an arm of the sea, the direction of which, like that of the coast, might be east and west, and that we should find in the expected channel a convenient shelter for our ships.

I stood towards this point, keeping my lead going; the least depth of water was forty-five fathoms, muddy ground. At two o'clock in the afternoon a calm made it necessary for me to come to an anchor; the breeze had been very light during the whole of this day, and had varied from west to north; by observation at noon we were in 59° 41′ north latitude, and by our time-keepers in 143° 3′ west longitude; we were three leagues to the south west of the woody point which I still supposed to be an island. At six o'clock in the morning I had dispatched my longboat, commanded by M. de Boutin, for the purpose of reconnoitring this bay or channel. Messrs.

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de Monti and de Vaujuas went from the Altrolabe for the same purpose, and we brought up, waiting the return of these officers. The water was very smoth; the current ran at the rate of about half a league an hour, to the south south west, which completely confirmed me in the opinion, that if this woody point were not that of a channel, it formed at least the mouth of a great river.

The barometer had fallen very considerably in the last twenty-four hours; the sky was very black; every thing indicated that soul weather was about to succeed 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 unanimously reported, that there was neither river nor channel; that the coast formed only a pretty considerable hollow in the north-east in the shape of a semicircle; that the soundings in this creek were thirty fathoms, muddy ground, but there was no shelter from the wind from south south west to east south east, which is the most dangerous. The sea broke violently upon the shore, which was covered with drist wood. M. de Monti had with great difficulty landed; and as he was the commanding ofter of this little division of boats, I gave this bay the name of de Monti Bay. They added, that the cause of our mistake was this, that the woody point joined a

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part of the coast which was much lower, without a tree on it, which gave it the appearance of a promontory. Messrs. de Monti, de Vaujuas, and Boutin had taken bearings of the different points of this bay; from their unanimous report, there was not the slightest doubt remaining of the steps we ought to take. I made the signal for getting under way, and as the weather threatened to be very bad, I took advantage of a breeze from the north-west to run to the south-east, and to gain an offing*.

* It will appear, without doubt somewhat extraordinary, that I should contend against the report of three officers, in order to maintain, that Pérouse, from on board his ship, had formed a better judgment of the coast; it is the part of the reader to appreciate the proofs of my affertion, and, if he have any doubts about it, to consult Dixon's voyage and charts.
I affert, that De Monti's Bay is neither more nor less than the anchorage of Dixon on the 23d of May in the year following; an anchorage sheltered from all winds, by the corner of an island which forms a kind of jetty, to which he gave the name of Port Mulgrave.
"The situation Mr. Turner had pitched on for us to anchor in, was round a low point to the northward, about three miles up the bay."
"These islands, in common with the rest of the coast, are entirely covered with pines of two or three different species, intermixed here and there with witch hazle, and various kinds of brush-wood."
Dixon lays down the latitude of Port Mulgrave in
And its longitude, from the meridian of London, at 140°; which makes, from the meridian of Paris
La Pérouse lays down the latitude of De Monti's Bay in
And its longitude in
If the three officers sent by La Pérouse were not at the bottom of the bay, it is not very astonishing, that they thought they saw a continuation of the coast, and that the number of little islands, which are at the bottom, had concealed from them the passage, which separates these islands from the continent.—(Fr. Ed.)

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The night was calm, but foggy; the wind was changing every moment; at length it stood at east, and blew fresh from this point for twenty-four hours.

On the 28th the weather became more moderate; by our observation we were in 59° 19′ north latitude, and in 142° 41′ west longitude, according to our time-pieces; a heavy fog hung upon the coast, we could not distinguish the points which were visible on the preceding days; the wind was still at east, but the barometer rose, 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 some measure dispersed, we took bearings, which formed an unin-

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terrupted series with those of the preceding days, and which, together with those afterwards taken with the greatest possible care, have served for the construction of the charts and the atlas. Navigators, and those who make geography their particular study, will, perhaps, be very glad to know, that to give a still greater degree of precision to the views and plan of the coasts, M. Dagelet has been particularly careful to verify and correct the bearings taken by the azimuth compass, by measuring the reciprocal distances of the hills, by taking, with a sextant, their relative angles, and at the same time determining the height of the mountains above the level of the sea. This method, without being perfectly exact, is sufficiently so to enable navigators to form a judgment, by the height of a coast, of the distance they are from it; and it is according to this rule, that this academician has determined the height of Mount Saint Elias to be nineteen hundred and eighty toises, and its situation eight leagues inland*.

On the 29th of June by our observations we were in 59° 20′ north latitude, the longitude by our time-keepers was 142° 2′ west, we had in the course of twenty-four hours made twenty-four miles easting. The fogs and south wind conti-

* Cook says, that Mount Saint Elias lies twelve leagues inland, in 60° 27′ latitude, and 219° of longitude, from the meridian of Greenwich. Third Voyage, vol. iii.—(Fr. Ed.)

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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 distance than four leagues. According to our place on he chart we were five or fix leagues to the eastward of the bay to which captain Cook had given the name of Behring; our soundings were regularly from sixty to seventy fathoms, muddy bottom. Our latitude by observation was 58° 55′, and our time-keepers gave 141° 48′ longitude. With all fail set I stood in for the land, with a very light breeze from west south west; we perceived to the eastward a bay which seemed very deep, and which at first I took for that of Behring. Approaching within a league and a half of it, I distinctly 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 whitish and almost fresh, ever appearance indicated, that we were at the mount of a great river, since the colour and faltness of the water had changed two leagues from the shore. I made the signal to anchor in thirty fathoms, muddy ground; and I detached the longboat, commanded by M. de Clonard, my first lieutenant, accompanied by Meffrs. Monneron and Bernizet. M. de Langle had also sent two of his boats, under the orders of Messrs. Marchainville and Daigremont. These officers returned at noon. They ran along the coast as

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near as the breakers would permit, and they sound a sand-bank level with the water, at the mouth of a great river which discharges itself into the sea by two pretty considerable channels; but each of these mouths had a bar, like that of the river Bayonne, upon which the sea broke with so much force, that it was impossible for our boats to come near it. M. de Clonard during five or fix hours searched in vain for an entrance; he saw smoke, which proved that the country was inhabited: we perceived from the ship a very calm sea beyond the bank, and a bason of several leagues in breadth and two leagues in depth; it is therefore to be presumed, that, when the water is smooth, ships or at least boats may enter this gulph; but as the current runs very strong, and as the sea breaks almost incessantly upon the bars, the aspect alone of this place must 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 loss of the crew of his boat to the fury of the sea than to the barbarity of the Indians*. I preserved 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: 1st, It was captain Tscherikow, and not captain Behring, who lost his boats, 2dly, He experienced this misfortune in 56° of latitude, according to the Report of Muller. Voyages and Discoveries made by the Russians.—(Fr. Ed.)

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no existence, but that captain Cook rather supposed than perceived it, since he passed ten or twelve leagues from it*. On the first of July at

* The place which Pérouse points out by the name of Behing's River, is, beyond a doubt, Behring's Bay, described by Cook. It remains to be known, whether this change in the colour and saltness of the sea water be sufficient to decide, that this hollow in the land may be a river, and whether the cause as to the saltness may not arise from the enormous quantity of pieces of ice which are continually falling from the top of the mountains; and as to the colour, from the land of the coast and shore on which the sea breaks with so much fury.
After all, river or bay, or perhaps both (for bays being formed by the advancement of the mountains into the sea, it is probable that there may be at the bottom a river or a torrent) here is the proof of the identity of the two places. Cook determines the opening of this bay to be in 59° 18′ north latitude. La Pérouse was in the west of this bay, and makes its latitude 59° 20′.
Cook reckoned himself in longitude 220° 19′ east of Greenwich, which makes 139° 41′ west longitude; and by adding to it 2° 20′, difference between the meridian of Greenwich and that of Paris, it will make Cook's west longitude 142° 1′ from the meridian of Paris.
La Pérouse fixes his longitude at 142° 2′, which makes only the difference of a minute over and above the two leagues which captain Cook was farther from the coast.
The opening of the bay bore from Cook north 47° east.
La Pérouse, being nearer the coast by two leagues, found that this opening bore north 33° east.
Cook was eight leagues from the coast, and had seventy fathoms water, muddy bottom.
La Pérouse was five or six leagues from the coast, and had constantly from sixty to seventy fathoms, muddy ground.
If I had not pushed my proofs thus far, I would recommend to the reader himself to prick off Cook's place upon the chart on the 6th of May 1778, and that of Perouse 29th June 1786, and to follow their journals, paying a due regard to the variation of the compass, according to the determination of the two voyagers.—(Fr. Ed.)


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noon, I got under way with a light breeze at south-west, running along the land at two or three leagues distance. At our anchorage we had observed in 59° 7′ north latitude, and were in 141° 17′ west longitude, according to our time-keepers; the entrance of the river then bore north 17° east, and Cape Fair Weather east 5° south. We ran along the land with a light breeze from the west, at two or three leagues distance, and near enough to distinguish men by the assistance of our perspective glasses, had there been any upon the shore, but we saw breakers which seemed to render a landing impossible.

On the 2d at noon I set Mount Fair Weather, bearing north 6° east; our observation gave us 58° 36′ of latitude; the longitude by the timekeepers was 140° 31′, and our distance from the land two leagues. At two o'clock in the afternoon we discovered a falling in of the coast a little to the eastward of Cape Fair Weather, which appeared to be a very fine bay. I stood towards

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it, and at the distance of a league dispatched the jolly boat, commanded by M. de Pierrevert, with M. Bernizet, to reconnoitre it. The Astrolabe sent two boats for the same purpose, commanded by Messrs. de Flassan and Boutervilliers. We perceived from the ship a great reef of rocks, behind which the sea was very calm. This reef appeared to be about three or four hundred toises in length, from east to west, and to be terminated, at about two cables length, by the point of the continent, leaving a pretty large opening, so that nature seemed to have made, at the extremity of America, a harbour like that of Toulon, only more vast in her designs and in her means; this new harbour was three or four leagues deep. The report of Messrs. de Flassan and Boutervilliers concerning it was extremely favourable; they had gone in and out of it several times, and had constantly found seven or eight fathoms of water in the middle of the passage, and at the distance of twenty toises from either side there were five fathoms; they added, that within the bay there was ten or twelve fathoms, with a good bottom. From their report I resolved to shape my course towards the passage; our boats sounded, and had orders when we should come near to the points to place themselves one upon each of the extremities, so that the ships might have only to run between them.


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We soon perceived Indians, who made signs of friendship to us, by waiting, and hanging up in the air white cloaks and different skins: several canoes of these Indians were fishing in the bay, where the water was as smooth as in a bason, whilst the jetty was seen covered with foam by the breakers, but the water was very smooth beyond the passage, which was an additional proof to us that there was a considerable depth.

At seven o'clock in the evening we were before it; the wind was light, and the ebb-tide so strong that it was impossible to stem it. The Astrolabe 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 soon as I was certain that it set towards the offing, I weighed anchor and rejoined the Astrolabe, very undecided as to the conduct I should pursue the next day. The very rapid current, of which our officers had given no account, had abated the eagerness I at first entertained to put into this harbour. I was not ignorant of the serious difficulties which always attend the going in and out of narrow channels when the tides run very strong; and being obliged to explore the American coasts during the fine season, I thought that a forced stay in a bay, the departure from which required an union of fortunate circumstances, might prove very injurious to the

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success of our expedition. I kept however standing off and on all night, and at day-break informed M. de Langle of my observations, but the report of his two officers was extremely favourable; they had sounded the passage and interior of the bay; they represented that the current, which appeared to us so strong, they had several times stemmed in their boat, so that M. de Langle thought that we should find it a commodious harbour, and his reasons appeared to me to be so forcible, that I made no hesitation to adopt them.

This port had never been discovered by any other navigator; it is situated thirty-three leagues to the north-west of that of los Remedios, the extreme boundary of Spanish 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 establishing factories in this part of the American coast, no other nation could pretend to the smallest right of opposing the project*. The calmness of the interior of

* Since La Pérouse explored the north-west coast of America, from Mount Saint Elias as far as Monterey, two English navigators have made nearly the same course, 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 Owhyhee, one of the Sandwich Islands, on the 26th May 1786. La Pérouse passed by Owhyhee the 28th of the same month; he anchored at Mowee the next day, and left it the 30th: he made Mount Saint-Elias the 23d of June 1786; whilst Dixon sailed from Owhyhee the 13th of June, and having directed his course towards Cook's River, only reached the north-west coast 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 same month to return to the Sandwich Islands: 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 Pérouse 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 discoveries.
Captain Meares, commander of the snow Nootka, left Bengal in March 1786; he touched at Oonolashka in August, and towards the end of September arrived at the entrance of Prince William's Harbour, where he wintered: it was only in 1788 and 1789 that he visited the American coast. This voyage is not yet translated into French.—(Fr. Ed.)

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this bay was very delightful to us, who were under the absolute necessity of making an almost entire change in our stowage, for the purpose of getting out six guns that were in the hold, without which it would have been imprudent to navigate the Chinese seas*, so frequently insested

* We ought to arrive at China in the beginning of February.


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by pirates. I gave this place the name of Port des Français.

At six o'clock in the morning we made sail to reach the entrance with the last of the flood. The Astrolabe sailed before my frigate, and we stationed, as on the night before, a boat upon each point. The wind blew from west to west south west, the entrance lies north and south; thus far every thing seemed to favour us. But at seven o'clock in the morning, when we were in the channel, the wind chopped about to the west north west, and to north west by west, so that it was necessary to throw the ship up in the wind, and even to lay all aback; fortunately the flood tide carried our frigates into the bay, causing us to range along the rocks from the eastern point within half pistol shot. I came to an anchor within it, in three fathoms and a half, rocky bottom, and half a cable's length from the shore; the Astrolabe did exactly the same.

During thirty years experience of navigation, I had never before seen two ships so near being lost; the circumstance of experiencing such an event at the extremity of the world would have rendered our misfortune still greater, but there was no longer any danger. Our longboats were quickly out, we carried out hawsers with kedge anchors to warp her off, and before the tide had perceptibly fallen we were in six fathoms water; she touched however with her heel once or twice, but


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so slightly as not to receive any damage. Our situation would not by any means have been so embarrassing, had we not been at anchor upon a rocky bottom, which extended several cables lengths around us; a circumstance altogether contrary to the report of Messrs. de Flassan and Boutervilliers. This was not a time to be making reflections, it became necessary to withdraw ourselves from this bad anchorage, and the rapidity of the current was a great obstade; its violence obliged me to let go a bower anchor. I dreaded every instant that the cable would be cut, and that we should drive ashore; our apprehension was still increased, because the wind from the west north-west freshened very much. The frigate swung in shore with her stern very near the rocks; it was impossible to think of warping off. I ordered the top-gallant masts to be struck -ered, and waited the end of this bad weather, which would not have been dangerous had we been anchored in better ground.

I quickly sent to sound the bay. M. Boutin reported to me in a short time, that he had found an excellent bed of sand, at four cables length from our present anchorage, that we should there have ten fathoms, but that more a-head in the bay towards the north he could find no bottom at sixty fathoms, except at half a cable's length from the shore, where he found thirty fathoms,

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muddy bottom. He told me also, that the north-west wind did not penetrate into the interior of the harbour, but that there it was absolutely calm.

M. d'Escures had been at the same time dispatched to visit the bottom of this bay, of which he gave the most favourable intelligence; he had sailed round an island near which we might anchor, in twenty fathoms of water, in muddy ground; no place could be more convenient for fixing our observatory; the wood, already cut, was scattered upon the shore, and cascades of the finest water sell from the summit of the mountains, even into the sea. He had penetrated towards the bottom of the bay two leagues beyond the island. It was covered with pieces of ice. He had perceived the entrance of two extensive channels, but eager to come and give me an account of his mission, he had not explored them. From this report, we formed in our imaginations an idea of the possibility of perhaps penetrating, by one of these 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 sand discovered by M. Boutin, and the Astrolabe was able to get under way, and gain the anchorage of the island; the next day I joined her, by the help of a light breeze from the south east, and the assistance of our boats.

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During our forced stay at the entrance of the bay, we had been continually surrounded by the canoes of the Indians. In exchange for our iron, they offered us fish, skins of otters, and other animals, as well as different little articles of their dress; they had, to our great surprise, the appearance of being well accustomed to traffic, and made a bargain in favour of themselves, with as much ability as the most experienced purchasers of Europe. There was none of our articles of commerce for which they expressed so ardent a desire as iron; they accepted also some beads, but it served rather to finish a bargain than to form the basis of an exchange. We prevailed with them in the end to receive plates and pewter pots; but these articles had only a transient success, and iron prevailed over all. This metal was by no means unknown to them; they had each of them a dagger of it hung from their neck; the form of this instrument resembled that of the creese of the natives of Hindostan, but they bore not any resemblance in the handle, which was no more than a lengthening of the blade rounded, and without an edge; this weapon was inclosed in a case of tanned leather, and it appeared to be the most valuable article in their possession. Observing us to examine these daggers with great attention, they made signs to us, that they never used them but against bears, and other beasts of the forests. Some of

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them were also made of copper, but they did not appear to prefer them to others. This last metal is common enough among them, they more particularly use it for collars, bracelets, and different other ornaments; they also tip the points of their arrows with it.

It was a great question among us where these metals came from. The copper might be supposed to exist 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, exist in nature; or at least so rarely, that very few mineralogists have ever seen 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 island of Elbe: I have found it at Erba-longa, a village two leagues to the northward of Bastia, the capital of the island of Corsica; it was spread with great profusion in the mass of a rock, situated on the sea-shore, and constantly under the octaedral form. The existence of native iron is still further proved by the samples which exist in the greater part of the cabinets of natural history, and by the opinion of Stahl, Linnæus, Margraff, &c.
In the same manner, since mines of iron exist in America, there may also be native iron there. I will not however conclude from it, that the iron which Pérouse saw in the possession of these Indians sprung from that source; and I am inclined to think with Cook, that they might have had it from their communications with the Russians, who come from Kamtschatka, and who have extended their commerce as far as these people; or from their connexions with the interior colonies, who may have procured it for them in our settlements on the north-east coast of America.—(Fr. Ed.)

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cannot be admitted that these people knew the method of reducing the ores of iron to the state of metal; besides, we saw on the day of our arrival polished collars, and some little articles of brass, which is well known to be a composition of copper and zink*: thus every thing we had seen induced us to think, that the metals we had met with came from the Russians, or the factors for the Hudson's Bay company, or from the American traders who travelled into the interior of America, or even from the Spaniards; but I shall hereafter make it appear, that it is most probable they procured these metals from the Russians. We brought away a great many specimens of this iron; it is as soft

* Copper, fused with pure zink, gives tombac; to obtain brass, it is necessary to melt it with calamine.
Calamine undoubtedly contains zink; but it contains also earth, sand, and martial ochre, and frequently galena. That which contains but little or no zink will not be proper to make brass.
Zink, which is a semi-metal, when not pure, may contain also sulphurous and martial pyrites, blende, and a very hard earthy substance.
It may thus be seen, that a very different metal is obtained by melting copper with pure zink, and by melting it with calamine.—(Fr. Ed.)

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and as easy to cut as lead*, and perhaps it is not impossible for mineralogists to point out the country and the mine which produced it.

The love of gold is not more prevalent in Europe than that of iron in this part of America, which is a strong additional proof of the scarcity of this metal: every islander possesses some of it, to say the truth, a small quantity; but they are so avaricious of it, that they will leave no stone unturned to procure it. On the day of our arrival we were visited by the chief of the principal village.

Before he came on board he seemed to address a prayer to the sun; he afterwards made us a long speech, which was terminated by some very agreeable songs, that bore a strong resemblance to the plain-song of our churches; the Indians of his canoe accompanied him by repeating the same air in chorus. After this ceremony, they almost all of them came on board, and during the space of an hour danced to the sound of their own voices, which was very much in tune. I made the chief several presents, which rendered him so troublesome, that he every day passed five or six hours on board, and I was obliged to renew them very frequently, or else he went away discontented, and muttering threats, which however were not

* This quality would denote a virgin or native iron.—(Fr. Ed.)

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very dangerous. As soon as we had established ourselves upon the island, almost all the Indians of the Bay repaired thither. The report of our arrival had spread itself to the adjacent parts; we saw the arrival of several canoes filled with a very considerable quantity of otters skins, which these Indians bartered for hatchets, knives, and bar iron. They gave us their salmon for pieces of old hoops; but they soon became more knowing, and we afterwards could not procure this fish except for nails, and other small pieces of iron. I believe there is not any country where the sea otter is more common than in this part of America, and I should not be much surprised if a factory, which would extend its commerce only forty or fifty leagues along the sea shore, should annually collect ten thousand skins of this animal. M. Rollin, surgeon-major of my frigate, skinned, diffected, and stuffed 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 Astrolabe caught one, which had without doubt escaped from the Indians, for it was forely wounded. It seemed to have attained its full growth, and weighed at least seventy pounds. M. de Langle caused it to be skinned, in order to stuff it, but as the order was given at the moment of our entrance into the Bay, this work was not at-

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tended to, and we could not preserve either the head or jaw.

The sea otter is an amphibious animal, better known from the beauty of its skin, than from the exact description of the animal itself. The Indians of Port des Français call it skecter; the Russians give it the name of colry-morsky*, and distinguish the female by the word maska. Some naturalists have spoken of it under the denomination of saricovienne; but the description of the saricovienne by M. Buffon in no respect answers to this animal, which neither resembles the otter of Canada, nor that of Europe.

On the day of our arrival at the second anchorage, we established the observatory upon an island which was only a musket shot from the ship; here we formed a settlement for the time of our stay in this port; we pitched tents for our sailmakers and smiths, and we here deposited the casks from our hold, which we entirely set up again. As all the Indian villages were on the continent, we flattered ourselves with being in a state of security upon our island, but we were soon convinced of the contrary. We had already experienced that the Indians are great thieves, but we did not suppose them to be possessed of an acti-

* According to Coxe, bobry-morsky, or sea beaver; the female matka; and the young ones, under five months old, medvisdky, &c.—(Fr. Ed.)

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vity and obstinacy capable of carrying into execution the longest and most difficult projects; we were soon taught to know them better. They passed every night in watching the most favourable opportunity to rob us, but we kept a good guard on board our ships, and they seldom deceived our vigilance. I had besides established the Spartan law; the person robbed was punished, and if we did not applaud the robber, we at least reclaimed nothing, in order to avoid every quarrel, that might be attended with melancholy consequences. I do not dissemble, that this extreme lenity rendered them insolent; I had however endeavoured to convince them of the superiority of our arms; a cannon, with ball, had been discharged in their presence, for the purpose of letting them see that they could be reached at a distance, and a musket, loaded with ball, had, in the prefence of a great number of these Indians, penetrated through several doubles of a cuirass which they had sold to us, after having made us understand, by signs, that it was impenetrable to arrows and daggers; besides, our most expert marksmen killed the birds flying over their heads. I am very certain they never thought of inspiring us with sentiments of fear, but I have been convinced by their conduct, they imagined our patience to be inexhaustible: they soon compelled me to take away the settlement I had made upon

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the island; they disembarked there in the night from the side of the coast; they traversed a very thick wood, which was totally impervious to the day, and gliding upon their bellies like adders, almost without stirring a leaf, they contrived, in spite of our sentinels, to carry off some of our effects; in a word, they had the address to introduce themselves into the tent where Messrs. de Lauriston and Darbaud, who were the guard of the observatory, slept; they took away a musket, ornamented with silver, as well as the clothes of the two officers, who, by way of precaution, had placed them under their bolster; they were unperceived by a guard of twelve soldiers, and they never once awakened the two officers. This last theft would have given us but little disquiet, but for the loss of the original memorandum book, in which was written all our astronomical observations since we had arrived in Port des Français.

These obstructions did not prevent our boats from taking in wood and water; all our officers were without intermission employed at the head of different working parties, which we were under the necessity of sending on shore; their appearance and good discipline kept the Indians in awe.

Whilst we made the most speedy preparations for our departure, Messrs. de Monneron and Bernizet surveyed the bay in a boat well armed. I had it not in my power to order any of the officers to

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accompany them, because they were all employed, but I had resolved that these last, before their departure, should verify the bearings of all the points, and lay down all the soundings. We then proposed to dedicate twenty-four hours to the hunting of bears, whose tracks we had perceived in the mountains, and immediately afterwards to take our departure, the advanced season not allowing us a longer stay.

We had already visited the bottom of the bay, which is perhaps the most extraordinary place in the world. To form a conception of it, let us suppose a bason of water of a depth in the middle that could not be fathomed, bordered by peaked mountains, of an excessive height, covered with snow, without a blade of grass upon this immense collection of rocks condemned by nature to perpetual sterility. I never saw a breath of air ruffle the surface of this water; it is never troubled but by the fall of enormous pieces of ice which continually detach themselves from five different glaciers, and which in salling make a noise that resounds far in the mountains. The air is in this place so very calm, and the silence so profound, that the mere voice of a man may be heard half a league off, as well as the noise of some sea birds which lay their eggs in the cavities of these rocks. It was at the extremity of this bay, that we were in hopes of finding channels, by which we might

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penetrate into the interior of America. We imagined, that it might terminate in a great river, the course of which might lie between two mountains, and that this river might take its source in the great lakes to the northward of Canada. Such was our supposition, and here follows the result of it: We departed with the two longboats of the Boussole and Astrolabe. Messrs. de Monti, de Marchainville, de Boutervilliers, and father Receveur, accompanied M. de Langle; with me went Messrs. Dagelet, Boutin, Saint-Céran, Duché, and Prevost. We entered the west channel; prudence required us not to keep too close to the shore, for fear of the fall of stones and ice. At length we arrived, after having proceeded only a league and a half, at a narrow gulph, terminated by two immense glaciers; we were under the necessity of pushing away the pieces of ice with which the sea was covered, in order to penetrate into this hollow: the water was so deep, that at half a cable's length from the land, I did not find bottom with a hundred and twenty fathoms. Messrs. de Langle, de Monti, and Dagelet, as well as several other officers, had a desire to climb up the glacier; with inexpressible fatigue they attained the distance of about two leagues; after being obliged, at great risk, to leap over clefts of very great depth, they were not able to descry any thing but a continuation of glaciers and snow, which seemed to have

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no termination but at the summit of Mount Fair Weather.

During this cruise my boat remained upon the shore; a piece of ice, that fell into the water at more than four hundred toises distance, occasioned along the sea shore so considerable an undulation, that she was overset, and thrown a good way upon the edge of the glacier; this accident was soon repaired, and we all returned on board, having in a few hours completed our voyage into the interior of America. I had dispatched Messrs. Monneron and Bernizet to visit the eastern channel, which, like the other, was terminated by two glaciers.


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 resume our first Anchorage—Departure.

(JULY 1786.)

THE day after this excursion the chief came on board, better attended and much more dressed than common; after a great many songs and dances, he made a proposal to sell me the island on which we had placed our observatory,

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reserving, no doubt, to himself and the other Indians the right of robbing us. It was somewhat more than doubtful whether this chief had a property in any land, the government of these people is such, that the country might belong to the whole society: however, as a great many Indians were witnesses to this bargain, I had an undoubted right to conclude that they gave their sanction to it, and I accepted the chief's offer; convinced at the same time that the contract for this purchase might be set aside by many tribunals, if the nation should ever contest it with us; for we had no proof that the chief was the real proprietor, and the witnesses his representatives. Be that as it may, I gave him several ells of red cloth, hatchets, knives, bar-iron, and nails; I also made presents to all his suite. The bargain being thus concluded, I sent to take possession of the island with the customary formalities. I ordered them to bury a bottle at the foot of a rock, which contained an inscription adapted to this taking possession, and I laid near it one of the bronze medals which had been struck in France before our departure.

The principal work, however, which had been the peculiar object of our stopping here, was finished; our guns were mounted, our stowage completed, and we had taken in as great a quantity of wood and water as at our departure from Chili. No port in the universe could furnish more con-

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veniencies for expediting this labour, which is frequently so difficult in other countries. Cascades, as I have already mentioned, falling from the top of the mountains, poured the clearest water into the casks as they lay in the longboat; drift wood in great abundance is seattered along the shore of a smooth sea. The survey of Messrs. de Monneron and Bernizet was finished, as well as the measurement of a base taken by M. Biondela, which had enabled M. de Langle, M. Dagelet, and a great number of other officers, to measure trigonometrically the height of the mountains. We had only to regret the loss of the memorandum book of observations by M. Dagelet, and this misfortune was nearly done away by the different notes which had been found again; in a word, we esteemed ourselves the most fortunate of navigators, in having arrived at so great a distance from Europe without having a single person sick, or one man of the two ships companies afflicted with the scurvy.

But a misfortune of the most lamentable kind, which no human prudence could foresee, at this period awaited us. It is with the most lively grief that I am about to trace the story of a disafter, which was a thousand times more cruel than disease, and all the other events incident to long voyages. I yield to the imperious duty I have imposed on myself of writing this narrative;


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and I am not ashamed or afraid to make known, that my sorrows since this event have been a hundred times accompanied by my tears; that time has not had power to assuage my grief; every instant, every object recals to my mind the loss we sustained, in circumstances where we thought we had so little cause to dread such an event.

I have already mentioned, that the soundings were to be laid down in the draught of Messrs. de Monneron and Bernizet by the sea officers; in consequence, the pinnace of the Astrolabe, under the orders of M. de Marchainville, was ordered for the next day, and I prepared that belonging to my ship, as well as the barge, the command of which I gave to M. Boutin. M. d'Escures, my first lieutenant, chevalier of St. Lewis, commanded the pinnace of the Boussole, and was the commanding officer of this little expedition. As his zeal had sometimes appeared to me to be rather too warm, I thought it my duty to give him his instructions in writing. The details I made of the prudence which I expected from him, appeared to him so minute, that he asked me if I thought he was a child, adding, that he had commanded ships before that time. I amicably explained to him the motive for my orders; I told him, that M. de Langle and I had sounded the passage of the bay two days before, and that I perceived that the commanding officer in the

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second boat had passed too near the point, upon which he had even touched; I added, that young officers, during a siege, deemed it a feather in their cap to mount the parapet of the trenches, and that the same spirit made them when in boats brave the dangers of rocks and breakers, but that this unreflecting boldness might be attended with the most melancholy consequences in a voyage like ours, where these kind of dangers were every moment presenting themselves before us. After this conversation I gave him the following instructions, which I read to M. Boutin; they will explain, better than any other exposition, the mission of M. d'Escures, and the precautions which I took.

Instructions given in writing to M. d'Escures, by M. de la Pérouse.

"Previous to making known to M. d'Escures the object of his mission, I apprize him, that he is expressly forbidden to expose the boats to any danger, and to approach the passage if the sea break there. He is to set off at six o'clock in the morning, with two other boats, commanded by Messrs. de Marchainville and Boutin, and sound the bay from the passage as far as the little creek which is to the west of the two paps. He is to lay down the soundings upon the draught which I have put into his hands, or he is to sketch

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one from which they may be taken. Even if there is no broken water in this channel, but only a swell, as this work is not very pressing, he is to postpone sounding till another day, and he will constantly keep in view that all things of this kind which are done with difficulty, are always done ill. It seems probable, that the most convenient moment for approaching the channel will be at slack water, about half past eight o'clock; if circumstances are then favourable, he will endeavour to measure the breadth of it with a log line, and he is to place the three boats in a parallel line, sounding acrofs it, or from east to west. He is afterwards to sound from north to south; but there is little likelihood of his being able to take these latter soundings during the same tide, because the current will have acquired too great strength.

"In waiting for slack water, or supposing the sea should be rough, M. d'Escures will take the soundings 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 also to endeavour to lay down upon the draught the extent of the two bottoms of rock and sand, in order that the good ground may be well and easily known. I think, that, when the channel from the south of the island is open from the point of the paps, there is a certainty of a good sandy bottom. M. d'Escures is to ascertain


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whether my opinion be well sounded; but I again repeat, that I entreat him not to deviate from the most consummate prudence."

After these instructions could I be supposed to have any thing to fear? They were given to a man of thirty-three years of age, who had before commanded men of war: What a combination of motives for security!

Our boats set off as I had ordered at six o'clock in the morning; it was as much a party of pleasure as of utility and instruction; they might hunt and breakfast under the trees. I joined with M. d'Escures, M. Pierrevert and M. de Montarnal, the only relation that I had in the sea service, and to whom I was attached with as tender an affection as if he had been my own son. No young officer had ever given rife to more promising hopes, and M. de Pierrevert had already acquired what I shortly expected from the other.

Seven of the best soldiers of the detachment formed the armament of this longboat, in which the head pilot of my ship embarked to take soundings. M. Boutin had for second in his small boat M. Mouton, lieutenant of the frigate. I knew that the boat of the Astrolabe was commanded by M. de Marchainville; but I was not informed whether there were any other officers on board.

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At ten o'clock in the morning I saw our jolly boat coming back. In some surprise, because I did not expect her so soon, I asked M. Boutin, before he came on board the frigate, if any thing new had occurred; the first thing which struck me as a cause 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 most lively sorrow. He soon informed me of the dreadful wreck he had just witnessed, and from which he had himself escaped only by the firmness of his disposition, which had discovered to him all the refources that remained in such extremity of danger. Drawn away by following his commander into the middle of the breakers, which set into the channel, whilst the tide ran out of it at the rate of three or four leagues an hour, he imagined he could lay his boat's stern to the sea, and driving in this manner it would prevent her from filling, so that she might nevertheless be drifted out to sea by the tide. He soon saw breakers ahead of his boat, and found himself in the main sea. More taken up with the fafety of his comrades than with his own, he rowed along the edge of the breakers, in hopes of saving some of them; he even pushed into them again, but was repelled by the tide; at length he got upon the shoulders of M. Mouton, in order to see to a greater distance: vain hope! all alas had been swallowed up, and M. Boutin returned


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at the time of slack water. The sea having become very calm, this officer entertained some hopes for the pinnace (biscayenne) of the Astrolabe. He had only seen ours perish. M. de Marchainville was at the time a full quarter of a league from the place of danger, that is to say, in water as perfectly calm as the best enclosed port; but this young officer, impelled by a generosity which undoubtedly was imprudent, since in these circumstances all assistance was impossible, having too high a courage, and too elevated a soul to make these reflections when his friends were in so imminent a danger, flew to their assistance, threw himself into the breakers, and perished like his commanding officer, a victim to his generosity and formal disobedience of orders.

M. de Langle soon came on board my ship, equally oppressed with grief as myself, and with tears in his eyes, informed me, that the misfortune was still infinitely greater than I imagined. Since our departure from France he had made it an invariable rule never to send the two brothers* on the same expedition, and he had yielded in this single instance to the desire which they had expressed, to walk and hunt together, for it was almost under this point of view that both of us had considered this excursion of our boats, which

* Messrs. la Borde Marchainville and la Borde Boutervilliers.

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we thought as little exposed to danger as they would have been in Brest Road when the weather is remarkably fine.

At the same moment we had a visit from the Indians in their canoes, to announce to us this melancholy event; these rude unpolished men expressed to us by signs, that they had seen our two boats perish, and that there was no possibility of affording them assistance; we loaded them with presents, and we endeavoured to make them understand that he who should have saved a single man would have been entitled to all our riches.

Nothing could be better calculated to move their humanity; they hastened to the sea-shore, and spread themselves over the two coasts of the bay. I had already dispatched my longboat, commanded by M. de Clonard, to the eastward, where if any one, contrary to all probability, had escaped death, it was likely he would land. M. de Langle went upon the western shore, in order to leave no part unvisited, and I remained on board, charged with the protection of the two ships, with the necessary complement of men to preclude all fear from the Indians, against whom prudence required that we should be constantly on our guard. Messrs. de Langle and Clonard were attended by all the officers, and many other persons; they went three leagues along the beach, upon which, however, not the smallest wreck

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came ashore. I nevertheless still entertained a small degree of hope; the mind with difficulty acquiesces in so sudden a transition from a pleasant situation to that of so rooted a sorrow; but this illusion was destroyed by the return of our boats, and I was thereby plunged into a state of such acute distress as no language is adequate to describe but in the most imperfect manner. I am in this place going to insert the narrative of M. Boutin; he was the friend of M. d'Escures, and we both entertained the same opinion of that officer's unfortunate imprudence.

M. Boutin's Narrative.

"On the 13th July, at fifty minutes past five o'clock in the morning, I set off from the Boussole in the jolly boat; my orders were to follow M. d'Escures, who commanded our pinnace, and M. de Marchainville, commanding that of the Astrolabe, was to join us. The instructions received in writing by M. d'Escures from M. de la Pérouse, and which had been communicated to me, enjoined him to employ these three boats in sounding the bay; to lay down the soundings from the bearings upon the draught which had been put into his hands; to sound the passage, if the water were smooth, and to measure its width; but he was expressly forbidden to expose the boats under his orders to the least risk, or to approach the channel at all, if

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there was either broken water or swell in it. After having doubled the western point of the island, near to which we were at anchor, I perceived that the sea broke all over the channel, and that it would be impossible to approach it. M. d'Escures was at that time ahead, lying on his oars, and seemed desirous to wait for me, but when I was come within gun-shot he continued his course; and as his boat rowed much better than mine, he feveral times repeated the same manœuvre without any possibility on my part of joining him. At a quarter after seven o'clock, having constantly steered for the channel, we were not more than two cables length from it, when our pinnace put about. I did the same in his wake; we shaped our course 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 Astrolabe at a quarter of a league's distance within the bay. M. d'Escures then laughingly hailed me; saying, 'I think we can't do better than go to breakfast, for the sea breaks horribly in the channel.' I answered, 'Certainly, and I imagine that our labour will extend no farther than to determine the limits of the sandy bay which lies on the larboard hand in going in.' M. de Pierrevert, who was with M. d'Escures, was about to answer me, but his eyes being turned towards the eastern coast, he saw that we were drifted by the ebb. I

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also perceived it, and immediately both our boats began pulling away to the northward, in order to increase our distance from the channel, from which we were still a hundred toises off. I did not think of our being exposed to the least danger, since by gaining only twenty toises on either tack we always possessed the resource of running our boats ashore. After having rowed more than a minute, without being able to stem the tide, I tried in vain to approach the eastern shore. Our pinnace, which was ahead of us, made the same useless efforts to reach the western shore. We were then under the necessity of once more laying our heads to the northward, to prevent our falling across the breakers. The first billows began to shew themselves at a small distance from my boat; I now thought it high time to let go the grapnel, but it did not hold: fortunately the rope not being made fast to a thwart, ran out end for end, and discharged us of a weight which might have proved very fatal to us. In an instant afterwards I was in the middle of the heaviest seas, which almost filled the boat; she did not however sink, or cease to answer her helm; so that I could always keep her stern to the sea, from which circumstance I entertained great hopes of efcaping the danger.

"Our pinnace increased her distance from me whilst I was letting go the grapnel, and in a few

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minutes afterwards she was in the midst of the breakers. I had lost sight of her on shipping the first seas, but in one of these moments when I found myself at the top of the breakers, I saw her again going down about thirty or forty toises ahead; she was broadside to, and I saw neither men nor oars. My only hope had been, that she might be able to stem the current, but I was too certain she would perish if she was drawn into it; for in order to escape, it were absolutely necessary to have a boat which would swim when full of water, and in this situation would answer her helm to prevent her oversetting; our pinnace most unfortunately possessed none of these qualities.

"I was still in the middle of the breakers, looking out all round, and I saw, that, aftern of my boat to the southward, the breakers formed a continued line as far as I could see; they also appeared to extend farther to the westward; at length I perceived, that, if I could get only fifty toises to the eastward, I should find a less dangerous sea. I used every exertion to succeed in this, by pulling away to starboard in the interval of the breaking of the seas, and at twenty-five minutes after seven o'clock I was out of all danger, having only to contend against a very heavy swell, and some small waves, occasioned by a breeze from the west-north-west.

After having baled the water out of my boat, I fought means of giving assistance to my unfortu-

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nate shipmates; but from that time every hope had vanished.

"From the moment in which I had seen our pinnace go down among the breakers, I had kept pulling away to the eastward, and it took me some minutes to get clear of them. It was impossible that those who were wrecked in the midst of so rapid a current could ever get out of its course, and they must have been swept away by it during the remainder of the tide, which set towards the offing till forty-five minutes after eight o'clock: besides, how was it possible for the most excellent swimmer to resist even for a few moments the force of these waves? Nevertheless, as I could not make any other reasonable search than in the part to which the current set, I laid the boat's head to the southward, rowing along the breakers on my starboard hand, and every instant changing my course in order to get nearer to some seals and sea-weeds, which from time to time gave me hopes.

"As there was a heavy swell, when I was at the top of the seas I could see a considerable way, and I should have been able to perceive an oar or a piece of wreck at more than two hundred toises distance.

"My observations were soon attracted towards the point of the eastern entrance, where I perceived some men who made signals with cloaks; as I

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have since learned, they were the Indians, but I then took them for the crew of the Astrolabe's pinnace, and I imagined that they waited for slack water to come to our assistance; I was very far from thinking that my unfortunate friends had fallen the victims of their generous boldness.

"At three quarters after eight o'clock*, the tide having turned, there were no longer any breakers, but only a very heavy swell. I deemed it my duty to continue my search in this swell, following the set of the ebb which had done; but I was as unfortunate in this second search as in the first. Perceiving, at nine o'clock, that the flood came from the south-west, and that I had neither provision, nor grapnel, nor sails, my crew drenched with water, and very cold, fearing not to be able to re-enter the bay when the flood ran strong; seeing besides that it already set with great violence to the north east, which prevented my getting to the southward, where I meant to continue my search if the tide had permitted, I again entered the bay, and shaped my course to the northward.

"The channel was already almost shut in by the eastern point; the sea still continued to break upon

* Half after eight o'clock was the hour that had been pointed out in my instructions to approach the channel without danger, because the current would, at all events, have set in, and at a quarter after seven the longboats were swallowed up.

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the two points, but it was smooth 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 signals, and whom I took for Frenchmen. They expressed to me by their gestures that they had seen our two boats overset, and not seeing the pinnace of the Astrolabe, I became perfectly convinced of the fate of M. de Marchainville, whom I knew too well to suppose, that he would have reflected on the inutility of the danger to which he would expose himself. As we are however always disposed to flatter ourselves, there still remained a very faint hope, that I might find him on board our ships, where it was possible he might have gone to ask for assistance: my first words on getting on board were, 'have you any news of M. de Marchainville?', No,' deprived me of every hope for his safety.

"These details being finished, I think it necessary to explain the motives of M. d'Escures's conduct. It is impossible, that he ever should have thought of going into the channel; he wished only to approach it; and imagined the distance he was from it was more than sufficient to keep him out of all danger. It was this distance of which he as well as I, and the eighteen persons 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 possible to

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judge of the violence of the current: it might be imagined that I wished to exculpate myself, for I repeat that I judged this distance more than sufficient, and even the sight of the coast, which appeared to be swiftly moving to the north, excited in me only surprise. Without enumerating all the reasons which contributed to possess us with so melancholy a confidence, I cannot but remark, that, on the day of our entrance into this bay, this passage was sounded in every direction by our boats for more than two hours without finding any current. It is true, that, when our ships stood towards it, they were drifted away by the ebb, but this was owing to the lightness of the breeze that our boats at the same instant stemmed the tide with the greatest facility. Finally, on 11th July, the day the moon was at the full, our two commanders, accompanied by several other officers, had themselves sounded this channel; they went out of it with the ebb, and entered it again with the flood, without observing any thing which could lead them to imagine there was the least danger, especially with boats well manned. From this it is fair to infer, that on the 13th of July particular circumstances contributed to give the current an additional violence, such as an extraordinary melting of the snow, 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

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passage, M. de Marchainville was a quarter of a league within it; I never saw him afterwards, but all those who knew his character are convinced, that his noble and generous disposition 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 supposed, either that the grapnel rope had snapped, or that the oars had been lost; he must at the instant have rowed for the purpose of coming to the beginning of the first breakers; seeing us buffeting in the middle of the waves, he no doubt listened only to the dictates of his courage, and strove to surmount the breakers, and bring us assistance from without, at the risk of perishing along with us. This sort of death is undoubtedly a glorious one, but how cruel to him who escaped the danger, the reflection that he must for ever relinquish the hope of seeing his companions again, or any of those heroes who came with the generous intention of saving his life.

"It is not possible, that I should willingly have omitted any essential fact, or misrepresented those which I have reported; M. Mouton, lieutenant of the frigate, who was second in command in my boat, has it in his power to correct my errors, if my memory have in any instance sailed me; his firmness, with that of the cockswain and the four


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rowers, contributed not a little to our preservation. My orders, in the midst of the breakers, were executed with as much exactness as in the most ordinary circumstances."

(Signed) BOUTIN."

Nothing more now remained to be done, but to quit, as speedily as possible, a country where we had experienced so melancholy a disaster; but there were still some days due to the families of our unfortunate friends; too precipitate a departure might occasion doubts and uneafiness in Europe; it might not occur to people there, that the current extended no farther than a league without the channel; that the boats, and those wrecked in them, could be driven to no greater distance, and that the fury of the sea in that place dissipated 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 resolution of waiting some days longer; but I quitted the anchorage of the island, and took that of the bed of sand, which is at the entrance upon the west coast. It took me five days to effect this passage, though no more than a league, during which time we were exposed to a squall 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

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our anchors, for we were less than a cable's length from the shore. The wind being contrary detained us longer than I intended to stay, and we did not sail till the 30th July, eighteen days after the event, the description of which has given me so much pain, and the remembrance of which will perpetually make me unhappy. Before our departure, we erected upon the island in the middle of the bay, to which I gave the name of Cenotaph Island, a monument to the memory of our unfortunate companions. The following inscription was composed by M. de Lamanon, who buried it in a bottle at the foot of the monument:

"At the entrance of this harbour, perished twenty brave


Reader, whoever thou art, join thy tears to ours.

On the 14th July 1786, the frigates Boussole and Astrolabe, which sailed from Brest the 1st August 1785, arrived in this port. From the care of M. de la Pérouse, commander in chief of the expedition, of the viscount de Langle, commander of the second frigate, of Messrs. Clonard and de Monti, second captains of the two ships, and of the other officers and surgeons, none of the diseases which are incident to long voyages had afflicted our ships' companies; M. de la Pérouse found himself happy in the reflection, as

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did all the others likewise, of having been from one end of the world to the other, through every kind of danger, and of having visited people reputed to be barbarous, without losing a single man, or shedding a drop of blood. On the 13th of July, at five o'clock in the morning, three boats set off for the purpose of laying down the soundings upon the draught which had been made of the bay. They were commanded by M. d'Escures, lieutenant of the navy, and a chevalier of St. Louis: M. de la Pérouse had given him instructions in writing, which expressly charged him not to approach the current, but at the moment he conceived himself at a sufficient distance from it, he found himself drawn in by it. Messrs. de la Borde, brothers, and de Flassan, who were in the boat of the second frigate, were not afraid of exposing themselves to danger, by flying to the assistance of their companions, but they, alas! shared the same unhappy fate. The third boat was under the orders of M. Boutin, lieutenant of the navy. This officer, contending with courage against the breakers during the space of several hours, made the most vigorous but useless exertions to assist his friends, and was only indebted for his own safety to the superior construction of his boat, to his own enlightened prudence, joined with that of M. Laprise Mouton, lieutenant of the frigate, his second in command,

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and to the activity and ready obedience of his crew, consisting of Jean Marie, cockswain, Lhostis, le Bas, Corentin Jers, and Moners, all four sailors. The Indians seemed to participate in our sorrows, which were extreme. Moved, but not discouraged by our misfortunes, we sailed the 30th of July, to continue our voyage."

"The names of the officers, soldiers, and sailors who were lost on the 13th of July, at a quarter past seven o'clock in the morning.


Officers.—Messrs. d'Escures, de Pierrevert, de Montarnal.

Crew.—Le Mâitre, first Pilot; Lieutot, corporal and cockswain; in; Prieur, Fraichot, Berrin, Bolet, Fleury, Chb, all seven soldiers; the oldest not thirty-three years of age.


Officers.—Messrs. de la Borde Marchainville, de la Borde Boutervilliers, brothers; Flassan.

Crew.—Soulas, corporal and cockswain; Philiby, Julien le Penn, Pierre Rabier, all four soldiers; Thomas Andrieuse, Goulven Farreau, Guillaume Duquesne, all three captains of the tops, in the flower of their age."

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We procured, by our stay at the entrance of the bay, infinitely more knowledge of the manners and customs of the Indians, than we could possibly have obtained at the other anchorage. Our ships lay at anchor near their villages; we every day made them visits, and every day we had cause of complaint against them; though our conduct towards them had never varied, and we had never ceased giving them proofs of our mildness and benevolence.

On the 22d of July, they brought us some pieces of the wreck of our boats, which the sea had driven upon the eastern coast, very near the bay, and by signs they gave us to understand, they had buried one of our unfortunate companions upon the shore where he had been cast by the billows. Upon these signs Messrs. de Clonard, de Monneron, and de Monti immediately directed their course towards the east, accompanied by these same Indians, whom we loaded with presents.

Our officers proceeded three leagues over stones in a frightful road; every half hour the guides required a new payment, or they refused to go farther; at length they pushed into the woods, and took to their heels. Our officers too late perceived, that their report was only a trick invented to obtain still more presents. They saw in this journey immense forests of fir-trees of the largest dimensions; they measured some of them, which

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were five feet diameter, and which seemed to be more than a hundred and forty feet high.

We were by no means surprised at the recital they gave of the manœuvre of the Indians; their address in stealing is incomparable. Messrs. de Langle and Lamanon, with several officers and naturalists, had, two days previous to this, made a journey to the westward, the object of which equally related to these melancholy refearches: it was just as fruitless as the other; but they met with a village of Indians, upon the banks of a small river entirely barred with stakes for a salmon fishery. We had long entertained suspicions, that this fish came from that part of the coast, but we were not certain of it, and this discovery satisfied our curiosity. The salmon, ascending the river, meet with the stakes, which not being able to leap over, they endeavour to return towards the sea, and find in their passage narrow baskets, closed at the farther end, and placed in the angles of the cause-way; having entered these baskets, and not being able to return, they are taken. These fish are so abundant that the crews of the two ships, during our stay, took a vast quantity of them, and each frigate salted two barrels.

Our travellers also met with a morai*, which proved to them, that these Indians were in the

* I have preserved the name morai, which expresses stronger than tomb an exposure to the open air.

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habit of burning their dead, and preserving the head; they found one of them wrapped up in several skins. This monument consists of four tolerably strong stakes, which support a little wooden chamber, in which repose the ashes deposited in coffins; they opened these coffins, untied the packet of skins which enveloped the head, and after having satisfied their curiosity, they scrupulously replaced every thing; and added to it a great many presents of different kinds of iron instruments and beads. The Indians, who were witnesses of this visit, discovered a little uneasiness; but they did not sail very speedily to take away the presents left by our travellers. Others who were curious, having the next day visited the same place, found there only the ashes and the head; they left there new presents, which shared the same fate as those of the preceding day; and I am certain, that the Indians would have been very glad, had we repeated our visits several times in the day. But if they, with some reluctance, permitted us to visit their tombs, it was not the same in regard to their cabins, which they would not suffer us to approach till they had previously removed their women, who are the most disgusting objects in the universe.

We were witnesses every day to the entrance of strange canoes into the bay, and every day whole villages went out of it, and yielded their places to

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others. These Indians seem to entertain very great dread of the channel, and never ventured in it but at slack water: by the assistance of our glasses we distinctly perceived, that when they were between the two points, the chief, or at least the most considerable man of the party rose up, extended his arms towards the sun, and appeared to address prayers to it, whilst all the others paddled with their whole strength. It was in consequence of asking the meaning of this custom, that we were informed, that some little time before seven large canoes had been lost there; the eighth was saved; the Indians who escaped this misfortune consecrated it either to their god, or to the memory of their companions; we saw it by the side of a morai, which no doubt contained the ashes of some of those who were cast away.

This canoe did not resemble those of the country, which are formed only of a hollowed tree, raised at the sides 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 seals' skin, which served it as a sheathing, so perfectly sewn together, that the best workmen in Europe would find great difficulty to imitate the work. This covering, which we measured with the greatest attention, was deposited in the morai by the side of the coffins with the ashes; and the

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wood-work of the canoe, raised upon stocks, remained bare near this monument.

I had a great desire to bring this covering to Europe; we were absolutely in possession of it; this part of the bay not being inhabited, no Indian could throw any impediment in our way; I was persuaded, besides, that those who were cast away were strangers, and I will explain my conjectures on this head in the following chapter; but there exists an universal religion in favour of the asylums of the dead, and I was desirous these might be respected. 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 west, which did not cease till we had gained three leagues offing: the horizon was so clear that we perceived and set Mount Saint-Elias, bearing north west, distant at least forty leagues. At eight o'clock in the evening I was three leagues to the southward of the bay, and sounded in ninety fathoms water, over a muddy bottom.

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Description of Port des François—Its Longitude and Latitude—Advantages and Inconveniences of this Port—Its Mineral and Vegetable Productions—Birds, Fishes, Shells, Quadrupeds—Manners and Customs of the Indians—Their Arts, Arms, Dress, and Inclination for Theft—Strong Presumption that the Russians only communicate indirectly with these People—Their Music, Dancing, and Passion for Play—Dissertation on their Language.

(JULY 1786.)

THE bay, or rather the harbour, to which I gave the name of Port des François, is situated, according to our observations and those of M. Dagelet, in 58° 37′ north latitude, and 139° 50′ west longitude; the variation of the compass is there 28° east, and the dip of the needle 74°. The sea rises there seven feet and a half at full and change of the moon; it is high water at one o'clock: the sea breezes, or perhaps other causes, act so powerfully upon the current of the channel, that I have seen the flood come in there like the most rapid river; and in other circumstances, though at the same periods of the moon, it may be stemmed by a

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boat. I have in my different excursions found the high-water mark to be 15 feet above the surface of the sea.

These tides are probably incident to the bad season. When the winds blow with violence from the southward, the channel must be impracticable, and at all times the currents render the entrance difficult; the going out of it also requires a combination of circumstances, which may retard the departure of a vessel many weeks; there is no getting under way but at the top of high water; the breeze from the west to the north-west does not often rise till toward eleven o'clock, which does not permit the taking advantage of the morning tide; finally, the easterly winds, which are contrary, appear to me to be more frequent than those from the west, and the vast height of the surrounding mountains never permits the land breezes, or those from the north, to penetrate into the road. As this port possesses great advantages, I thought it a duty incumbent on me to make its inconveniences also known. It seems to me, that this anchorage is not convenient for those ships which are sent out at a venture for trafficking in skins; such ships ought to anchor in a great many bays, and always make the shortest stay possible in any of them, because the Indians have always disposed of their whole stock in the first week; and all lost time is prejudicial to the interests of the owners;

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but a nation which should form the project of establishing factories, similar to those of the English in Hudson's Bay, could not make choice of a place more proper for such a settlement. A simple battery of four heavy cannon, placed upon the point of the continent, would be fully adequate to the defence of so narrow an entrance, which is also made so difficult by the currents. This battery could not be turned or taken by land, because the sea always breaks with such violence upon the coast that to disembark is impossible. The sort, the magazines, and all the settlements for commerce, should be raised upon Cenotaph Island, the circumference of which is nearly a league: it is capable of being cultivated, and there is plenty of wood and water. The ships not having their cargo to seek, but being certain of having it collected to a single point, would not be exposed to any delay; some buoys, placed for the internal navigation of the bay, would make it extremely safe and easy; it would form pilots, who, better versed than we are in the set and strength of the current at particular times of tide, would ensure the entrance and departure of the ships. Finally, our traffic for otters skins has been so very considerable, that I may fairly presume, there could not in any part of America be a greater quantity of them collected.

The climate of this coast seemed to me to be infinitely milder than that of Hudson's Bay, in the

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same degree of latitude. We measured pines of six feet diameter, and a hundred and forty feet high; those of the same species at Prince of Wales's Fort and Fort York are of a dimension scarce sufficient for studding-sail booms.

Vegetation is also very vigorous during three or four months of the year. I should not be in the least surprised to see Russian corn, and a great many common plants, thrive there exceedingly. We found great abundance of celery, round leaved sorrel, lupine, the wild pea, yarrow, and endive. Every day and every meal the copper of our ship's company was filled with them; we ate them in soups, ragouts, and sallads; and these herbs did not a little contribute to keep us in our good state of health. There was seen among these pot-herbs almost all those of the meadows and mountains of France; the angelica, the butter-cup, the violet, many species of grass proper for fodder; we might without any danger have cooked and eat all these herbs, if they had not been mixed with some roots of a kind of hemlock, about which we knew nothing.

The woods abound in gooseberries, rasberries, and strawberries; clusters of elder trees, the dwarf willow, different species of briar which grow in the shade, the gum poplar tree, the poplar, the sallow, the horn-beam, and finally superb pines fit for the masts of our largest ships. Not any of the vegetable productions of this country are un-


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known in Europe. M. de Martinière, in his different excursions, met with only three plants which he thought new, and it is well known, that a botanist might do the same in the vicinity of Paris.

The rivers were filled with trout and salmon, but we took in the bay only sletans*, some of which are more than a hundred pounds in weight, ling†, the single thornback, capelans‡, and some plaice. As we preferred salmon and trout to all these fishes, and the Indians sold us them in greater quantities than we could consume, we had very little fishing, and that only with the line; our business never afforded us time to haul the feine, which required the combined force of five and twenty or thirty men to draw it ashore. Muscles are scattered in profusion upon that part of the shore which is uncovered at low water, and the rocks are clothed with small limpets. There are also found in the hollows of the rocks different

* Or faitans, a flat fish longer and not so square as the turbot, the back of which is covered with small scales; those which are taken in Europe are much less.—(Fr. Ed.)

† A fish to the eye and taste similar to cod, but generally larger, and as easy to take, because of its greediness.—(Fr. Ed.)

‡ This fish resembles the whiting, though a little larger; the flesh of it is soft, of good taste, and easy of digestion; it abounds on the coast of Provence, where it is known by the name of poor priest.—(Fr. Ed.)

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species of whelks and other sea snails. I have seen upon the sand of the beach pretty large cockles, and M. de Lamanon took from a place elevated more than two hundred toises above the level of the sea petrefactions, very well preserved, and of the largest dimensions, of the shell known by conchologists under the name of the royal cloak, and more commonly St. James's shell. This fact is by no means new to naturalists, who have found them at more considerable heights; but I think there will long remain a difficulty of explaining it, so as to satisfy all objections. We did not find any shell of this species thrown up upon the beach, which is well known to be the cabinet of nature.

In the woods our hunters met with bears, martens, squirrels; and the Indians sold us skins of the brown and black bear; of the Canadian lynx, ermine, marten, little grey squirrel, beaver, Canadian marmot, or monax, and the red fox. M. de Lamanon also took alive a water and a musk rat. We saw tanned skins of the orignal, or elk, and a horn of a wild goat; but the commonest and most precious peltry is that of the sea otter, wolf, and bear. There is no great variety of birds, but the individuals are pretty numerous: the thickets were full of sparrows, nightingales, blackbirds, and yellow hammers; we were there in pairing time, and their singing appeared to me delightful. In the air were seen hovering the white-headed

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eagle, the large species of raven; we surprised and killed a king-fisher, and we saw a very beautiful blue jay, with some humming birds. The swallow or martin, and the black oyster-catcher build their nests in the clefts of the rocks on the sea-shore; gulls, the red-footed guillemot, some cormorants, wild geese, and divers, of the large and small species, are the only sea birds which we saw.

But if the animal and vegetable productions of this country resemble a great many others, its appearance has no sort of comparison; and I have my doubts whether the profound valleys of the Alps and Pyrenees present views as frightful, but which are at the same time so picturesque, that they would deserve the visits of the curious were they not at the extremity of the world.

The primitive mountains of granite, or schistus, perpetually covered with snow, upon which are neither trees nor plants, have their foundation in the sea, and form upon the shore a kind of quay; their slope is so rapid, that after the first two or three hundred toises, the wild goats cannot climb them; and all the gullies which separate them are immense glaciers, of which the tops cannot be discerned, while the base is washed by the sea: at a cable's length from the land there is no bottom at less than a hundred and sixty fathoms.


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The sides of the harbour are formed by secondary mountains, the elevation of which does not exceed from eight to nine hundred toises; they are covered with pipes, and overspread with verdine, and the seen on their summits; to me they appeared to be entirely , which is in the commencement of a of decomposition; they are extremely difficult to climb, but not altogether inaccessible. Messrs. Lamanon, de la Martinière, Colligaon, the abbé Mongè, and father Receveur, zealous and indesatigable naturalists, made their way almost to the top of them, but it was with very great satigue that they ascended any considerable height; not a stone or pebble escaped their researches. Too skilful naturalists not to know that in the valleys are to be found specimens of every thing which forms the mass of the mountains, they collected ochre, coppery pyrites, garnets brittle but very large and perfectly crystallized, scherle in crystal, granite, sehiti very pure quartz, mica, plumbago, and coa's; some of thes substances prove that these mountain contain copper and iron ores, but we saw not the least trace of any other metals.

Nature assigns inhabitants to so frightful a country who as widely differ from the people of civilized countries, as the scene I have just described differs from our cultivated plains, as rude and

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barbarous as their soil is rocky and barren, they inhabit this land only to destroy its population: at war with all the animals, they despise the vegetable substances which grow around them. I have seen women and children cat some rasberries and strawberries, but these are undoubtedly viands far too insipid for men, who live upon the earth like vultures in the air, or wolves and tigers in the forests*.

Their arts are somewhat advanced, and in this respect civilization has made considerable progress; but that which softens their ferocity, and polishes their manners, is yet in its infancy: the mode of life they pursue excluding all kind of subordination, they are continually agitated by fear or revenge; prone to anger, and easily irritated, they are continually attacking each other dagger

* An old proverb puts credulity on its guard against the narratives of travellers. This prejudice may be injurious to the confidence of certain readers, who may not carefully reflect, that a navigator's reputation would be irreparably injured by the slightest deviation from truth, which could not sail to provoke a formal denial from the numerous witnesses who accompanied him. If, however, this sentiment, which excludes reflection, cannot be banished from the mind, I here offer a remedy which is certain, and that is, to compare what our navigator says with the details given by Dixon upon the north-west coast of America; always keeping in mind, that this Englishman made his voyage a year subsequent to la Pérouse, without any possibility of knowing his journal.—(Fr. Ed.)

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in hand. Exposed in the winter to perish for want, because the chase cannot be successful, they live during the summer in the greatest abundance, as they can catch in less than an hour a sufficient quantity of fish for the support of their family; they remain idle during the rest of the day, which they pass at play, to which they are as much addicted as some of the inhabitants in our great cities. This gaming is the great source of their quarrels. If to all these destructive vices they should unfortunately add a knowledge of the use of any inebriating liquor, I should not hesitate to pronounce, that this colony would be entirely annihilated.

In vain may philosophers exclaim against this picture. They write books in their closets, whilst I have been engaged in voyages during a course of thirty years. I have been a witness of the injustice and deceptions of these people, whom they have described to us as so good, because they are very near to a state of nature; but this same nature is only sublime in her masses, she is negligent of all details. It is not possible to penetrate into woods which the hand of civilized man has not made passable; to traverse plains filled with stones and rocks, and inundated by impassable marshes; in a word to form society with man in a state of nature; because he is barborous, deceitful, and wicked. In this opinion I have been confirmed by my own melancholy experience; I

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nevertheless have not thought proper to make use of the force, which was entrusted to me, for the purpose of repelling the injustice of these savages, and of teaching them, that men have rights which must not be violated with impunity.

Indians in their canoes were continually round our frigates; they passed two or three hours there before they began to exchange a few fishes, or two or three otters skins; they seized all occasions to rob us; they tore off the iron which was easy to be carried away, and above all they examined carefully how they might deceive our vigilance during the night. I caused the principal persons amongst them to come on board my frigate, I loaded them with prefents, yet these very men whom I so particularly distinguished, did not disdain the thest of an old pair of breeches or a nail. When they assumed a mild and pleasant appearance, I was positive they had stolen something, although I frequently pretended not to perceive it.

I had expressly recommended the caressing of their children, and giving them little presents; the parents were infensible to this mark of benevolence, which I thought incident to all countries; the only reflection it gave rise to in their breasts was, to ask to accompany their children when I made them come on board; and I several times, for my instruction, had the pleasure

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of seeing the father take advantage of the moment in which we seemed most engaged with his child, to take up and hide under his skin garment every thing that lay within his reach.

Sometimes, immediately after loading them with presents, I pretended to have a desire for certain little articles of trifling value, which belonged to these Indians; but this was a trial of their generosity, which I always made in vain.

I will however admit, if it be desired, that it is impossible for a society to exist without some virtues; but I am obliged to confess, that I had not the penetration to perceive them; quarrelling continually among themselves, indifferent to their children, and absolute tyrants over their women, whom they incessantly condemn to the most painful labours; I have observed nothing among these people which will permit me to soften the colouring of this picture.

We never went on shore 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 surgeon majors of our two frigates having been so imprudent as to go a hunting by themselves, were attacked by the Indians, who endeavoured to force their muskets from them, but in this they were unsuccessful: thus two men, without any other assistance, made so good a defence as to oblige them to retire.


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The same event was experienced by M. de Lesseps, a young Russian interpreter, to whose assistance one of our boat's crews very fortunately arrived. These commencements of hostility appeared to them so trifling, that they did not in the least prevent them from coming on board, and they never suspected our being capable of making reprisals*.

I gave the name of village to three or four wooden sheds, 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 some flat fish and salmon drying in the smoke. Eighteen or twenty persons were lodged in each of these sheds; on one side the women and children, and the men on the other. It seemed to me that every cabin formed a small colony, independent of its neighbour; each of them had its canoe, and a kind of chief; it took away its planks and fish, departed and proceeded out of the bay, without the rest of the village seeming to be at all concerned.

I think I may venture to assert, that this port is inhabited only in the favourable season,

* The reader will recognise, in the features of this picture, the mournful impression of the recent loss, which has so lately been detailed; all the relations agree as to the principal facts, of which even the cannibalism cannot be suppressed. I have not thought it necessary to weaken it, as it bears the seal of a sensibility so honourable to its author.—(Fr. Ed.)

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and that the Indians never pass a winter in it; I did not see a single cabin sheltered from the rain; and although there had never been collected together so many as three hundred Indians in the bay, we were visited by seven or eight hundred others.

The canoes were continually entering and going out of the bay, and each of them brought and carried away their house and furniture, which consisted of a great many small boxes, in which were enclosed their most valuable effects: these boxes are placed at the entrance of their cabins, which possess a nastiness and stench, to which the den of no known animal in the world can properly be compared. They never remove themselves more than two steps for the performance of any necessary occasion, in which they seek neither for shade nor privacy, as if they had not an instant to lose; and when this happens during a meal, they take their place again, from which they never were at a greater distance than five or six feet*. The wooden vessels in which

* "The inside of these dwellings exhibits a complete picture of dirt and filth, indolence and laziness; in one corner are thrown the bones, and remaining fragments of victuals left at their meals, in another are heaps of fish, pieces of stinking flesh, grease, oil, &c."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 173.
Cook describes the nastiness of the inside of the houses of the inhabitants of Nootka in the following terms:
"The nastiness and stench of their houses are, however, at least equal to their confusion. For, as they dry their fish within doors, they also gut them there, which with their bones and fragments thrown down at meals, and the addition of other sorts of silth, lie every where in heaps, and are, I believe, never carried away, till it becomes troublesome, from their size, to walk over them; in a word, their houses are as silthy as hog-sties; every thing in and about them stinking of fish, train-oil, and smoke."—Cook's third Voyage, vol. ii.

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they cook their fish ate never washed; they serve them for kettle, dish, and plate; as these vessels cannot bear the fire, they make the water boil with red hot flint stones, which are renewed at intervals till the victuals are quite ready. They are also acquainted with the method of roasting, which differs little or nothing from that of soldiers in a camp. It is probable, that we may only have seen a small part of these people, who in all likelihood inhabit a considerable part of the seashore. During the summer they wander in the different bays, seeking their food like seals; and in the winter they push into the interior of the country to hunt beavers and other animals, of which they brought us the spoils; though their feet are always naked, the sole of them is never callous, and they cannot, without fhrinking, walk over stones; which is a proof they only travel in canoes, or on the snow with rackets.

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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 small, and resemble the shepherd dog of M. de Busson; they seldom bark, but have a hiss nearly resembling that of the Bengal jackal*, and they are so savage, that to other dogs they seem to be what their masters are to civilized people.

The men pierce the cartilage of the ears and nose, to which they hang different small ornaments; they make fears on their arms and breasts, with a very keen-edged instrument, which they sharpen by passing over their teeth as over a stone; their teeth are filed close to the gums, and for this operation they use a sand-stone rounded in the shape of a tongue. They use ochre, foot, and plumbago, mixed up with train oil, to paint the face and the rest of the body in a frightful manner. In their full dress, their hair is flowing at full length, powdered, and plaited with the down of sea birds; this is their greatest luxury, and is perhaps reserved only to the chiefs of a family; their shoulders are covered with a simple skin; the rest of the body absolutely naked, except the head, which is generally covered with a little straw hat, very

* A wild, carniverous, and dangerous animal, partaking of the dog and the wolf; it is common in Ana, barks like a dog in the night, but not with to much strength; the skin is of a yellowish cast, of which they make fine sur.—(Fr. Ed.)

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skilfully plaited; but they sometimes place on their heads two horned bonnets of eagles feathers, and even whole heads of bears, in which they fix a wooden skull-cap. These several head-dresses are extremely various; but their principal object, like all their other customs, is to render themselves frightful, perhaps for the purpose of keeping their enemies in awe.

Some Indians had entire shirts of otters skin, and the common dress of a great chief was a shirt of a tanned skin of the elk, bordered with a fringe of deers hooss and beaks of birds, which when they dance imitates the noise of a kind of bell; this same dress is very well known among the savages of Canada, and other nations who inhabit the eastern parts of America*.

I never saw any tatooing but on the arms of a few women, who are addicted to a custom which renders them hideous, and which I could scarcely have believed, had I not been a witness to it; all of them, without exception, have the lower lip slit at the root of the gums, the whole width of the mouth; they wear a kind of wooden bowl without handles, which rests against the gums, to which this lower

* "The chief (who always conducts the vocal concert) puts on a large coat, made of the elk skin, tanned, round the lower part of which is one, or sometimes two rows of dried berries, or the beaks of birds, which make a rattling noise whenever he moves."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 242.

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cut lip serves for a support, so that the lower part of the mouth jets out two or three inches*. The drawing by M. Duché de Vancy, which is exactness itself, will explain, better than any description, the most disgusting fashion perhaps on the earth.

* This custom appears general among the colonies which inhabit the coast of America from 50° to 61st°, it is extended even to the inhabitants of Fox islands and the Alcutian Islands.—See Coxe, in his translation of New Discoveries by the Russians, pages 34, 35; 104, and 138.
At Pott Mulgrave, 59° 23′ north latitude, 142° 20′ west longitude from the of Paris:
"An aperture is made in the thick part of the under-lip, and increased by degrees in a line par with the mouth, and equally long: in this aperture, a piece of wood is constantly wore, of an eliptical form, about half an inch thick; the superfices not flat, but hollowed eat on each side like a spoon, though not quite so deep; the egges are likewise hollowed in the form of a pully, in order to six this precious ornament more firmly in the lip, which by this means is frequently extended at least three in tes horizontally, and consequently distorts every feature in the lower part of the face. This curious piece of wooden wore only by the women, and seems to be considered as a mark of distinction, it not being wore by all indiscriminately, but only those who appeared in a superior station to the rest."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 172.
At the entrance of Norfolk harbour, 57° 3′ north latitude, 137° 5′ west longitude from the meridian of Paris:
"The women, too, ornament, or rather distort their lips in the same manner as I have already described; and it should seem, that the female who is ornamented with the largest piece of wood, is generally most respected by her finds, and by the community is general."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 186.
Hippah Island, one of Queen Charlotte's Islands, 53° 48′ north latitude, 135° 20′ west longitude from the meridian of Paris:
"There were likewise a few women amongst them, who all seemed pretty well advanced in years; their under lips were disterted in the same manner as those of the women at Port Mulgrave and Norfolk Sound, and the pieces of wood were particularly large. One of these lip-pieces appearing to be peculiarly ornamented, captain Dixon wished to purchase it, and offered the old woman to whom it belonged a hatchet; but this she refused with contempt; toes, basons, and several other articles were afterwards shewn to her, and as constantly rejected. Our captain began now to despair of making his wished-for purchase, and had nearly given it up, when one of out people happening to shew the old lady a few buttons which looked remarkably bright, she eagerly embraced the offer, and was now altogether as ready to part with her wooden ornament as before she was desirous of keeping it. This curious lip-piece measured three and seven eighth inches long, and two and five-eighth inches in the widest part: it was inlaid with a small pearly shell, round which was a rim of copper."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 208.
We may further compare what Cook says of the customs of the savages of Oonalashka, of Norton's Sound, in 64° 31′ north latitude, and 165° 7′ west longitude, meridian of Paris, and of Prince William's Sound, situate in 61° 11′ 30″ north latitude, and 148° 52′ west longitude, meridian of Paris.—Cook's third Voyage.—(Fr. Ed.)

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The young girls have only a needle in the lower lip, and the married women alone have the right of

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the bowl*. We sometimes prevailed on them to pull off this ornament, to which they with difficulty agreed; they then testified the same embarrassment, and made the same gestures as a woman in Europe who discovers her bosom. The lower lip then fell upon the chin, and this second picture was not more enchanting than the first.

These women, the most disgusting of any on the earth, covered with stinking skins, which are frequently untanned, failed not, however, to excite desires in some persons, in fact of no small consequence; they at first started many difficulties, giving assurances by their gestures that they ran the risk of their lives; but being overcome

* Marriage among these savages not being subject to any other formalities than those prescribed by nature, I think, with Dixon, that the porringer is rather a mark of puberty, or womanhood, than a mark of distinction of the exclusive property of one man alone. The respect they have for those who bear this ornament may arise from this principle, for I do not suppose that the privation of this honour can be a punishment in a country so little civilized, where it would besides be very easy to know those again who might have enjoyed it.
"This curious operation of cutting the under-lip of the females never takes place during their infancy, but from every observation I was able to make, seems 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 simply perforated, and a piece of copper wire introduced to prevent the aperture from closing; the aperture afterwards is lengthened, from time to time, in a line parallel with the mouth, and the wooden ornaments are enlarged in proportion, till they are frequently increased to three, or even four inches in length, and nearly as wide, but this generally happens, when the matron is a advanced in years, and consequently the museless are relaxed; so that possibly old age may obtain greater respect than this very singular ornament."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 187—(Fr. Ed.)

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by presents, they had no objection to the sun being a witness, and absolutely refused to retire into the wood*. There can be no doubt that this planet

* Dixon's details are generally so conformable to those given by la Pérouse, that I am at a loss to conceive what could give rise to the difference they have discovered in appreciating the charms of the female sex.
Could chance then have presented to Dixon an object which was singular in its species? or can this difference be really any other than that of the known indulgence of a seaman, especially after a voyage of long continuance? Be this as it may, here is his narrative:
"They are particularly fond of painting their faces with a variety of colours, so that it is no easy matter to discover their real complexion; however, we prevailed on one woman, by persuasion, and a trifling present, to wash her face and hands, and the alteration it made in her appearance absolutely surprised us; her countenance had all the chearful glow of an English milk-maid; and the healthy red which flushed her cheek, was even beautifully contrasted with the whiteness of her neck; her eyes were black and sparkling; her eye-brows the same colour, and most beautifully arched; her forehead so remarkably clear, that the translucent veins were seen meandering even in their minutest branches—in short, she was what would be reckoned handsome even in England: but this symmetry of features is entirely destroyed by a custom extremely singular."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 171.
I ought, however, in support of the details given by Dixon, to cite the narrative of a Spanish voyage, undertaken in 1777, written by D. Maurelle, second captain of the frigate la Favorite. This navigator, in confirmation of the custom of the ridiculous ornament placed in a hole made in the middle of the under-lip, adds, "Several among them, if better dressed, might dispute charms with the most beautiful Spanish women."—(Fr. Ed.)

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is the god of these people, they frequently address themselves to it in their prayers, but I saw neither temple nor priests, nor the least trace of any worship.

The stature of these Indians is very near our own: the features of their face are very various, and exhibit no particular character but in the expression of their eyes, which never beam forth a single sentiment of tenderness. The colour of their skin is very brown, owing to their being continually exposed to the air; but their children, at the time of birth, are as white as ours. Their beard is in fact less than that of Europeans, but nevertheless sufficient to take away all possibility of doubt of it: the belief that the American Indians have no beards, is an error which has been too slightly adopted; I have seen the native Indians of New England, Canada, Acadia, and Hudson's Bay, and I have found amongst the different nations several individuals with beards, which led me to think that the others were in the habit of

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pulling them out by the roots*. The frame of their body is feeble; the weakest of our sailors would overcome in wrestling the strongest of the

* "The young men have no beards, and I was at first inclined to think that this arose from a natural want of hair on that part, but I was soon undeceived in this particular, for all the men we saw, who were advanced in years, had beards all over the chin, and some of them whiskers on each side the upper lip.
"As this supposed defect amongst the natives of America has occasioned much speculative enquiry amongst the learned and ingenious, I took every opportunity of learning how it was occasioned, and was given to understand, that the young men got rid of their beards by plucking them out, but as they advance in years, the hair is suffered to grow."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 238.
An enemy to every system, and my inquiries having always truth alone for their object, I will not keep back any of the assertions which are contrary to those of la Pérouse; I think, therefore, the reader will, with pleasure, peruse the following extract taken from Lettres Americaines, by Carli, 24th letter:
"There is certainly nothing astonishing in seeing the Americans without hair, and without beard, since, if we may believe all the historians, the Tartars and Chinese are equally unprovided with them. Hippocrates tells us, that in his time, the Scythians had neither hair nor beard. The Huns were perhaps descendants of these Scythians, for Jornandes relates, that they grew old without beard, after having become adults without the ornament of puberty. The history of Hyton, the Armenian, who escaped from Tartary in 1305, and became a monk in Cyprus, informs us, that the Tartars, especially those of Cathay, had no beard, but how many people are there in Asia and Africa in the same circumstances!"—(Fr. Ed.)


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Indians. I have seen some of them whose swelled legs seemed symptomatic of the scurvy, but their gums were in a very good state; I have my doubts, however, of their arriving to any great age, and I perceived only one woman who seemed to have reached sixty; she did not enjoy any privilege, and was, like the others, subjected to the different labours of her sex.

My voyages have enabled me to make comparisons between different nations, and I dare venture to assert, that the Indians of Port des Français are not Esquimaux; they have evidently a common origin with all the inhabitants of the interior of Canada and the northern parts of America.

The Esquimaux are distinguished from the other American Indians by a very particular countenance, and customs absolutely different. The first seem to me to bear a strong resemblance to the Greenlanders; they inhabit the coast of Labrador, Hudson's Streight, and a skirt of land, the whole extent of America, as far as the peninsula of Alashka. There is much doubt whether these people came originally from Greenland or Asia; it is certainly an idle question to agitate, as the problem will never be satisfactorily solved; it is sufficient to say, that the Esquimaux are a people much more addicted to fishing than to hunting, and that they prefer oil to blood, and perhaps to every thing, very commonly eating raw fish: their canoes are always covered with seal skins, very well stretched;


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they are so expert in swimming, that they scarcely differ from seals; they turn themselves in the water with the same facility as amphibious animals; they have a square face, small eyes and feet, a broad breast, and are of short stature. None of these characters seem to agree with the natives of Port des Français; they are much bigger, meagre, not robust, and unskilful in the construction of their canoes, which are formed of a hollow tree raised on each side with planks.

Like us, they fish by staking the rivers, or with a line. In the latter method they are very ingenious: they fasten to every line a large seal's bladder, and then throw it into the water; from every canoe a dozen or fifteen lines may be cast; when the fish is hooked, it sets the bladder in motion, and the canoe hastens after it; two men may thus watch a dozen or fifteen lines without the trouble of holding them in their hands*.

These Indians have made much more progress

* ….. "The success of their fishery, which is conducted in a very singular manner. They bait their hook with a kind of fish, called by the sailors squids, and having sunk it to the bottom, they fix a bladder to the end of the line as a buoy, and should that not watch sufficiently, they add another. Their lines are very strong, being made of the sinews or intestines of animals. One man is sufficient to look after five or fix of these buoys, &c."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 174.—(Fr. Ed.)

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in the arts than in morals, and their industry is more advanced than that of the inhabitants of the South Sea islands; I except, however, agriculture, which, by inclining man to stay at home, securing his subsistence, and inspiring him with the dread of seeing the land which he has cultivated ravaged, is perhaps the properest method of softening his manners, and making him fit for society.

The Americans of Port des Français know how to forge iron, to fashion copper, to spin the hair of different animals, and, by the help of a needle, to fabricate with this yarn a tissue equal to our tapestry; they intermix in this tissue narrow strips of otter's skin, which gives their cloaks the semblance of the finest silk shag. In no part of the world can hats and baskets of reeds be plaited with more skill; they figure upon them very agreeable designs; they also engrave very tolerably figures of men and animals in wood and stone; they inlay boxes with mother of pearl, the form of which is very elegant; they make ornaments of serpentine, to which they give the polish of marble.

Their weapons of attack and defence are the dagger which I have already described, a lance made of wood hardened by fire, or with iron, according to the wealth of the owner; and lastly, a bow and arrows, which are generally tipped at the point

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with copper; but these bows have nothing particular in them, and are not near so strong as those of many other nations.

I found amongst their trinkets pieces of yellow amber, but I am ignorant whether it be a production of their country, or whether, like the iron, they have received it from the old continent by their indirect communication with the Russians.

I have already mentioned, that seven large canoes had been cast away at the entrance of the harbour; these canoes were thirty-four feet long, four broad, and six deep; these considerable dimensions rendered them very proper for making long voyages. They were covered with seal skins, after the manner of the Esquimaux, which induced us to think, that Port des Français was a repository, and only inhabited during the fishing season. It seemed to us possible, that the Esqumaux from the vicinity of Shumagin Islands, and the peninsula explored by captain Cook, extended their commerce as far as this part of America, that they here distributed iron and other articles, and that, with advantage to themselves, they carried back otters skins, which they seek after with the greatest eagerness. The shape of the wrecked canoes, and the vast quantity of skins for which we trafficked, and which might have been

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collected here for the purpose of being sold to these strangers, seem to support this conjecture, which I should not however hazard, but that it appears to explain, better than any other, the origin of the iron and other European merchandizes in their possession.

I have spoken of the passion of these Indians for play; that to which they deliver themselves up with the greatest avidity is absolutely a game of chance; they have thirty wooden pieces, each having different marks like our dice; of these they hide seven; each of them plays in his turn, and he whose guess comes nearest to the number marked upon the seven pieces, is the winner of the stake agreed upon, which is generally a piece of iron or a hatchet. This gaming renders them serious and melancholy; I have nevertheless very frequently heard them sing: and when the chief came to pay me a visit, he commonly paddled round the ship singing, his arms extended in the form of a cross in token of friendship; he then came on board, and played a pantomime, which was expressive either of combats, surprises, or death. The air which preceded this dance was agreeable, and tolerably harmonious. Here is one of them which we were enabled to note*:

* Those who have the strongest voices take the air a third lower, and the women a third higher than the natural

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pitch; some of them sing an octave, and frequently make a rest of two bars in a place where the air is highest.

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M. de Lamanon is the author of the following dissertation upon the language of these people; I only give in this place the numerical terms, for the purpose of satisfying those readers who love to compare those of different idioms*.

One, keirrk.
Two, theirh †.
Three, neisk.
Four, taakhoun.
Five, keitschine.
Six, kleitouchou.
Seven, takatouchou.
Eight, netskatouchou.
Nine, kouebok.
Ten, tchinecate.
Eleven, keirkrha-keirrk.
Twelve, keirkrha-theirh.
Thirteen, keirkrha neisk.
Fourteen, keirkrha-taakhoun.

* A more extensive vocabulary, comprising the languages of the different people visited by these navigators, has been mentioned; it was the work of the united care of Messrs. Monneron, Lesseps, Lavaux, Lamanon, Mongès, and Receveur, but it is not arrived.—(Fr. Ed.)

† To represent the r guttural, which these people pronounce still harder than the Germans the chr, the rh has been substituted, as if it were pronounced rhabiller, speaking very thick, and as more conformable to the French language.

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Fifteen, keirkrha-keitschine.
Sixteen, keirkrha-kleitouchou.
Seventeen, keirkrha-takatouchou.
Eighteen, keirkrha netskatouchou.
Nineteen, keirkrha-kouehok.
Twenty, theirha.
Thirty, neiskrha.
Forty, taakhounrha.
Fifty, keitschinerha.
Sixty, kleitouchourha.
Seventy, takatouchourha.
Eighty, netskatouchourha.
Ninety, kouehokrha.
A hundred, tchinecaterha.

"Our characters cannot express the language of these people; they have, in fact, some articulations similar to ours, but to many of them we are absolutely strangers; they make no use of the consonants B, F, X, J, D, P, V; and notwithstanding their talent for imitation, they cannot pronounce the first four. They had the same difficulty in the L, and the G N liquidated; they pronounce the letter R as if it were double, and by speaking it very thick: they also pronounce the chr of the Germans with as great a roughness as the Swifs of particular cantons. They have besides an articulated sound very difficult to seize upon, an imitation of which cannot be attempted without ex-

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citing laughter; it is partly represented by the letters khlrl, making only one syllable pronounced equally from the throat and tongue; this syllable is found in the word khlrleies, which signifies hair. Their initial consonants are K, T, N, S, M; the first are those they most frequently use; none of their words begin with R, and their termination is almost always in ou, ouls, oulch, or in vowels. The thick speaking, the frequency of the letter K, and the double consonants, render this language extremely rugged; it is less 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 roughness of their language is not so perceptible when they sing. I have been able to make only a few observations on their parts of speech, from the difficulty of communicating abstract ideas by signs: I recollect, however, that they have interjections expressive of admiration, wrath, and pleasure: I do not think that they have any articles, for I found no words that recur often, and which serve to connect their speech. I showed them the tooth of a seal, they called it kaourré, and they afterwards gave the same name, without any variation, to a whole parcel of teeth. They have very few collective names; they have not sufficiently generalized their ideas to have obtained terms even in a small degree abstracted;

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they have not so far particularized them as to avoid giving the same name to very distinct things; thus with them kaaga equally signifies head and face, and the word alcaou, chief and friend. I did not find any similarity between this language and that of Alashka, Norton, Nootka, or that of the Greenlanders, Esquimaux, Mexicans, Naudowessecs, and Chipawas, whose vocabularies I have compared. I pronounced to them words from these different idioms; they comprehended none of them, though I varied my pronunciation as much as I possibly could: but although there may not perhaps be an idea or a thing which is expressed by the same word among the Indians of Port des Français, and the people whom I have just cited, there seems to be a considerable affinity of sound between this language and that of Nootka Sound. The K is in both the prevailing letter, and is found in almost every word. The initial and terminating consonants are frequently the same, and it is not perhaps impossible that this language and the Mexican may have a common origin; but if this origin exist, it must go back to a very remote period, since these idioms have no resemblance but in the first elements of words, and not in their signification."

I will finish the article respecting these people by saying, that we have not perceived among them any trace of anthropophagism; but it is so

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general a custom among the Indians of America, that I should still perhaps have this trait to add to their picture, had they been at war, and taken any prisoners*.


Departure from Port des Français—Exploring of the Coast of America—Bay of Captain Cook's Islands—Port of Los Remedios, and Bucarelli, of the Pilot Maurelle—La Croyere Islands—Saint Carlos Islands—Description of the Coast from Cross-Sound as far as Cape Hector—Reconnoitring of a great Gulph or Channel, and the exact Determination of its Bread'h—Sartine Islands—Captain Cook's Woody Point—Verification of our Time-keepers—Breaker's Point—Necker Islands—Arrival at Monterey.


THE forced stay which I had just made at Port des Français had obliged me to change my plan of my voyage on the American coast; I had still time to run it down, in order to determine its direction, but it was impossible to think of

* Captain J. Meares has proved, in the narrative of his voyages, that the people who inhabit the north-west coast of America are cannibals.—(Fr. Ed.)

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touching at any other place, and still less to reconnoitre every bay: all my intentions were obliged to be made subordinate to the absolute necessity of arriving at Manilla by the end of January, and at China in the course of February, in order to be enabled to employ the following summer in reconnoitring the coasts of Tartary, Japan, Kamtschatka, and even to the Aleutian Islands. I faw, with gries, that so vast a plan left only time to observe objects, and never that of clearing up any doubt; but obliged to navigate seas in the monsoon, it was necessary either to lose a year, or arrive at Monterey between the 10th and 15th of September, to pass there only six or seven days, to complete our wood and water, and afterwards with all possible speed to traverse the Great Ocean, over a space of more than 120* of longitude, or near two thousand four hundred sea leagues, because between the tropics the degrees differ very little from those on the equator I had reason to be apprehensive, that I should not have time to visit, according to my instructions, the Caroline Islands, and those to the north of the Marian Islands. The exploring of the Carolines might more or less depend on the quickness of our run, and we had reason to suppose it would be very long, from the bad sailing of our ships; besides, the geographical situation of these islands, which lie very much to the westward

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and to leeward, rendered it very difficult to comprise them in the further plan of my voyage south of the line.

These different considerations determined me, in case of separation, to give M. de Langle a new rendezvous; I had previously fixed upon the ports of los Remedios and Nootka; we had agreed not to go into harbour but at Monterey, and this last port was preferred, because, that being the most distant, we should have a greater quantity of wood and water to replace there.

Our disafter at Port des Français required some changes in our staff establishment; I gave M. Darbaud, a very well informed midshipman, an order to act as ensign; and I gave a lieutenant's commission to M. Broudou, a young volunteer, who since our departure from France had given many proofs of his zeal and abilities.

I proposed to the officers and passengers, that our peltry should be sold at China, for the sole profit of the sailors; and my proposition being unanimously received with transport, I gave orders to M. Dufreine to become their super-cargo. This commission he executed with a zeal and understanding that I cannot too highly applaud. He was made our principal agent in purchasing, packing up, and choice of the place of sale of these different furs; and as I am

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positive, that there was not a single skin privately purchased, this arrangement enabled us to know with the utmost precision the price they would fetch in China, which might vary from a competition of sellers; it was besides more advantageous to the sailors, who were convinced, that their health and their interests 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 first eight and forty hours we ran only six leagues: the light breezes during these two days ran round the compass from north to south; the weather was gloomy and foggy; we were always distant from three to four leagues and in fight of the low lands, but the high mountains were only visible at intervals; it was sufficiently so to connect our bearings, and precisely to determine the lying of the coast, of the principal points of which we took care to lay down the latitude and longitude with all possible accuracy. I was very desirous, that the winds might put it in my power to explore this coast rapidly as far as Cape Edgecumbe or Enganno, because it had been already seen by captain Cook, who had in fact passed it at a very considerable distance; but his observations were so exact, that he could only have made the most trifling errors, and being equally in haste with this celebrated navigator, I felt that I could

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not, any more than he, look after details, which ought to be the object of a particular expedition, and to which it might be necessary to dedicate several seasons. I was in the utmost impatience to arrive in 55°, and to have a little time to allot to this survey as far as Nootka, from which a gale of wind had driven off captain Cook fifty or sixty leagues. It is in this part of America, according to M de Guignes, that the Chinese must have landed, and it is in these same latitudes also, 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 Spanish admiral, the existence of whom I think may be disputed; but struck with the observation I have already made, that all the islands and countries pointed cut in the ancient narratives of the Spaniards, though very defectively laid down as to latitude and longitude, have been found again in these latter periods, I was inclined to believe, that some ancient navigator of that laborious nation had found a bay, the mouth of which might be in this part of the coast, and that this single fact had served as a foundation to the ridiculous romance of Fuentes and Bernarda. It was not my intention to penetrate into this channel if I should meet with it; the season was too far advanced; and I could not afford to sacrifice the whole plan of my

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voyage to this inquiry, but in the hope of being able to get into the east sea by crossing America; being certain, however, since Hearne's voyage, that this passage was a chimera*, I was resolved to ascertain only the breadth of this channel, and its depth as far as twenty-five or thirty leagues, according to the time I should have to spare: leaving it to nations who, like the Spaniards, the English, and Americans, have possessions on the continent of America, to make a more exact survey, which cannot prove of any advantage to the general interest 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 observations gave us 57° 45′ north latitude, three leagues from the land, which we could only perceive in a confused manner through the fog; this luckily dispersed at four o'clock, and we perfectly distinguished the entrance of Cross Sound, which seemed to form two very deep bays, where it is probable ships would find a good anchorage.

The high mountains covered with snow, and the peaks of which are from thirteen to fourteen hun-

* La Pérouse, too honest to suspect in the narrative of Hearne's voyage the publication of a political falsehood, in this place delivers an opinion diameticaliy opposite to mine. I will hereafter return to this important question.—(Fr. Ed.)
See the first note in ch. 1, vol. i, and the note p. 64 of this vol.—T.


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dred toises in height, terminate at Cross Sound. The lands which border upon the sea, although still elevated as high as eight or nine hundred toises, are covered with trees even to the summit, and the chain of primitive mountains seemed to go a great way into the interior of America. At sun-down I set the west point of Cross Sound, bearing north 25° west, at about five leagues distance; Mount Fair Weather then bore north 50° west, and Mount Crillon north 45° west. This mountain, almost as high as Mount Fair Weather, is to the northward of Cross Sound, as Mount Fair Weather is to the northward of Port des Français; they serve as marks for the harbour to which they are adjacent; in coming from the southward the one might easily be taken for the other, if there were not a difference of 15′ in their latitude; besides, from all points of the compass Mount Fair Weather appears to be accompanied by two mountains not quite so high as itself, and Mount Crillon, more insulated, has its point inclined towards the south. I continued to run along the coast at three leagues distance; the mountains being all the time covered with fog, we could only see the low lands at particular intervals, and we endeavoured to distinguish their summits, that we might not lose the connection of our bearing.

We made but very little way; the run of twenty-four hours not being more than ten leagues:

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at day-break I set a cape which is to the south of the entrance of Cross Sound, bearing north 29° west; I called it Cape Cross*. We had abreast of us an infinite number of small low islands, very woody; the high hills appeared in the middle ground, and we no longer perceived the mountains covered with snow. I approached the little islands, even till I saw from the deck the breakers of the coast, and I discovered between them several passages, which might perhaps form good roadsteads: it is to this part of America that captain Cook gave the name of The Bay of Islands. At sun-set the entrance of Port Los Remedios bore east 2° south, that of Guadaloupe Bay, east 21° south, and Cape Enganno also east 33° south; but all these capes and points were imperfectly ascertained, by reason of the fogs which covered their summits.

From Cross Sound as far as Cape Enganno, over an extent of twenty-five leagues of coast, I am convinced, that twenty different ports might be found, and three months would scarcely be sufficient to develope this labyrinth. I limited

* Cook also called it Cape Cross, but he fixed the latitude of it in 57° 57′. This difference must arise from the configuration of the coast, which presents in this place a great many capes, and Cook must certainly have determined the situation of that, which upon the chart is seen to be the southernmost.—(Fr. Ed.)

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myself 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 these islands, as well as their direction along the coast, with the entrance of the principal bays.

On the 6th the weather became a little clearer; we were able to observe the sun's altitude, and compare the true time with that of our time-keepers. Our latitude was 57° 18′ 40″, and our longitude, taken from our recently regulated time-keepers, observed upon Cenotaph Island, 138° 49′ 30″. I have already spoken of the perfection of the sea time-keepers of M. Berthoud, their loss, on the average of the sun's daily motion, is so trifling and uniform, that there is reason to think this artist has attained the highest degree of perfection of which they are susceptible.

The whole day of the sixth was tolerably clear, and our bearings were taken as correctly as we could desire. At seven o'clock in the evening we still perceived Mount Crillon, bearing north 66° west, Mount Saint Hyacinth, north 78° east, and Cape Enganno*, east 10° south: this last is a low land, covered with trees, which juts a great way into the sea, and upon which rests Mount Saint Hyacinth, the form of which is a truncated cone,

* Mount Saint Hyacinth and Cape Enganno of the Spaniards, are Cook's Mount Edgecumbe and Cape Edgecumbe.—(Fr. Ed.)

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rounded at the top; its elevation may be at least two hundred toises.

On the 7th in the morning, we perceived the side of Cape Enganno opposite to that along which we had run the day before. The out-line of Mount Saint Hyacinth was perfectly well defined, and we discovered to the eastward of this mount a large bay, the depth of which was hidden from us by the fog; but it is so open to the south and south-east winds, which are the most dangerous, that it behoves navigators to be extremely cautious of anchoring there*. The land is covered with trees, and of the same degree of elevation as that to the southward of Cross Sound; a little snow covered the tops of them, and they are so pointed and numerous, that the smallest change of position is sufficient to alter their appearance; these summits are some leagues in the interior, and bound the horizon: the hills are placed with their backs to each other, and are joined to a low and uneven coast, which is terminated by the sea. Some islands, like those of which I have already spoken,

* Dixon came to an anchor there to traffic for furs; he gave it the name of Nurfolk Sound; its north latitude is in 57° 3′; and its west longitude, reckoned from the meridian of Paris, in 138° 16′.
He anchored in eight fathoms, sandy ground, at three quarters of a mile from the shore. Cock perceived the aperture of this found the 2d of May 1778, but did not anchor in it.—(Fr. Ed.)

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lie in front of this uneven coast; we have only noticed the most remarkable, the others are laid down upon the draught promiscuously, as a sign that they are very numerous; thus from the north and south of Enganno, for a space of ten leagues, the coast is bordered with islands. At ten o'clock in the morning we had doubled the whole of them; the hills were apparent to the naked eye, and we were enabled to take the outlines of them. At six o'clock in the evening we set to the north-east a cape which ran a good way to the westward, and with Cape Enganno formed the south-east point of the great bay, one third of which, as I have already said, is filled with little islands. From the end of these islands to the new cape we saw two large bays*, which seemed to be of great depth, I gave to this last cape the name of Cape Tschirikow, in honour of the celebrated Russian navigator, who, in 1741, landed in this same part of America. Behind the cape to the eastward, there is a large

* These two bays, which la Pérouse has named Port Necker and Port Guibert, are so near, that it cannot be determined at which of them Dixon touched; but this navigator having run down the coast from the right to the left of his anchorage, which he called Port Banks, only found bays much smaller than that where he was, and entirely uninhabited.
The latitude of Port Banks is in
And its west longitude, reckoned from the meridian of Paris, is
(Fr. Ed.)

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and deep bay, which I also named Tschiri-kow Bay. At seven o'clock in the evening, I got sight of a group of five islets*, separated from the continent by a channel of four or five leagues, and of which neither captain Cook nor pilot Maurelle have made the least mention. I have called this group La Croyère Islands, from the name of the French geographer Delisle de la Croyère, who embarked with Captain Tschiri kow, and died during the voyage. As the night approached, I shaped my course so as to gain an offing. The breeze from the west continued to be favourable to us during the whole day of the 8th; we observed in 55° 39′ 31″ north latitude, and 137° 5′ 23″ west longitude, according to our time-keepers. We saw many great openings between some considerable islands, which were visible to us in various direc-

* Dixon has marked these five islets on his chart, under the name of Hazy Isles.
Determination of la Pérouse.
North latitude
West longitude
Determination of Dixon.
North latitude
West longitude, reduced to meridian of Paris
I think it unnecessary to enter into any detail to prove, that in every respect the determinations of la Pérouse are entitled to a preference.—(Fr. Ed.)

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tions, while the continent was at so great a distance as to be entirely out of fight. This new archipelago, very different from the first, begins four leagues to the south-east of Cape Tschiri-kow, and probably extends as far as Cape Hector: in the vicinity of these islands, the currents were very strong, and we felt their influence at the distance of three leagues. Port Bucarelli, of the Spanish pilot Maurelle, is in this quarter. I have not been able, from his chart, or the explanation, to distinguish any thing which can make it clear, but his volcanoes and his Port Bucarelli are in islands distant perhaps from the continent forty leagues. I confess I should be but little surprised if, from Cross Sound, we had coasted along nothing but islands*; for the aspect of the land was very different from that more to the northward, and I saw the high chain of Mount Crillon lose itself in the east.

On the 9th, at seven o'clock in the morning,

* Dixon is of the same opinion, and I think founded on the same probabilities.
……"So that we were near the middle of the island towards the northward and castward. In this situation we saw high land to the north-west, near 30 leagues distant, and which evidently was the same we had seen on the 1st of July. This circumstance clearly proved, the land we had been coasting along for near a month, to be a group of islands."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 216, 217.—(Fr. Ed.)

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we continued to run along the land at three leagues distance, and I made the Saint Carlos Islands; the most considerable of them lies south-east and north-west, and the circumference of it may be about two leagues; a long chain joins it to other very low islets which are farther advanced in the channel. I am persuaded, however, that there is a passage sufficiently wide*, but I was not sufficiently certain of it to put it to the trial, because it was necessary to run in before the wind, and if my conjectures on it were not well founded, there might have been considerable difficulty in regaining an offing from Saint Carlos Islands, and I should have lost much precious time. I ranged along that which was the outermost, half a league off, and being at this distance exactly at noon, east and west from the south-east point, we ascertained its situation with the utmost precision, in 54° 48′ north latitude, 136° 19′ longitude west.

There was a fresh breeze west-north west, and the weather became foggy: I crowded fail towards the land, which was enveloped in fog in proportion as we came nearer to it. At half past seven o'clock in the evening, we were less than a league from the coast, which I with difficulty perceived,

* This passage seems to exist; Dixon also saw it, and made use of it to trace, partly by guess, the strait to which he gave his own name.—(Fr. Ed.)


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though I saw the breakers from deck; I set a high-bearing cape east-north east, beyond which nothing was to be seen; it was not possible for us to form a judgment of the direction of this land, I therefore determined to put about, and wait for clearer weather: the fog had scarcely dispersed for a moment.

On the 10th of August, towards noon, we observed in 54° 20′ north latitude, and 135° 20′ 45″ west longitude, according to our time-keepers. At four o'clock in the morning I tacked and stood in shore, and perceived it in a bright part of the horizon, a league and a half off, to the south-east; it resembled an island, but so transient, and of so little extent the clear, that it was impossible to distinguish any thing. We did not expect the land from this point of the compass, which increased our uncertainty as to the direction of the coast. We had, during the night, passed through the most rapid currents that I had ever met with in the open sea, but as our observations and dead reckonings agreed, it is probable, that the currents were occasioned by the tide, and had set equally strong each way.

The weather became very bad during the night between the 10th and the 11th; the fog thickened; it blew very fresh, and I tacked and stood off shore. At day-break we stretched in for the land, and approached so near to it, that though

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it was in a mist, I distinguished, at one o'clock in the afternoon, the same point as the evening before, which extended from north-north-west to south-east a quarter south, and which connects almost all our bearings, leaving, however, a chasm of eight or nine leagues, where we perceived no land; I do not know whether the fog concealed it from us, or whether there be some deep bay, or other opening, in this part, which I presume to be the case, on account of the strong currents, of which I have already spoken. We would not have left a doubt remaining on that head, had the weather been clear, for we approached within less than a league of the coast, the breakers on which were distinctly perceived; it runs much more to the south-east than I imagined, from the chart of the Spanish pilot, which does not merit any confidence. Our observation at noon was 54° 9′ 26″ north latitude; I continued running along the coast, at a league's distance, till four o'clock in the evening, the fog then thickened so much that we could not perceive the Astrolabe, of which we were then within hail, I therefore tacked and stood off shore. It had not in the least cleared up during the day of the 12th, and I kept an offing of ten leagues, because I was in an uncertainty as to the direction of the land. On the 13th and 14th the weather was foggy, and almost calm; I took advantage of these light airs

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to approach near the coast, from which we were still distant five leagues at six o'clock in the evening.

From the Saint Carlos Islands, we had no ground, even at a league from the land, with a hundred and twenty fathoms of line.

On the 15th in the morning the weather cleared up; we ran within two leagues of the coast; it was in some places bordered by breakers which extended considerably from the shore; the wind blew from the eastward, and we descried in this point of the compass a great bay: the horizon was very extensive, though the sky was gloomy; we could see eighteen or twenty leagues of coast on each side; it extended from north-north-east to south-south-east, and appeared to stretch south-south-east and north-north-west, much further south than I imagined.

At eight o'clock in the morning I was under the necessity of standing to sea, on account of the thick fog with which we were enveloped, and which lasted till the 16th at ten o'clock; we then perceived the land very confusedly in the north-east; the fog soon obliged us to tack and stand again off shore. The whole day of the 17th was calm; the fog at length dispersed, and I saw the coast about eight leagues off. This want of wind prevented me from approaching it, but we made excellent lunar observations, for the first time since

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our departure from Port des Français. Our latitude was 53° 12′ 40″ north; our longitude, according to our time-keepers, 136° 52′ 57″: the mean result of our distances gave 137° 27′ 58″ or 35′ 1″ more to the west, and that of the Astrolabe 15′ less. The breeze from the west-north-west having freshened, and the weather remaining clear, I neared the land, and on the eighteenth at noon I was within a league and a half of it; I ran along it at this distance, and I discovered a bay running so far into the country, that I could not see the land by which it was terminated: I gave it the name of de la Touche Bay; it is situate in 52° 39′ north latitude, and 134° 49′ west longitude; I have no doubt but it affords very good anchorage.

A league and a half more to the eastward we saw a hollow, in which it might be equally possible that there was a shelter for ships, but this place seemed to me to be very inferior to de la Touche Bay. From the 55th as far as the 53d degree the sea was covered with a species of diver, named by Buffon the macareux of Kamtschatka; it is black, its beak and feet are red, and it has upon its head two white stripes, which raise themselves in tusts like these of the cockatoo. We faw some of them to the southward, but they were scarce, and appear to be in some measure wanderers. These birds never go farther than five or six leagues from the

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land, and navigators who fall in with them during a fog may be assured, that they are not more than that distance from the shore: we killed two of them, which were stuffed. This bird is only known by means of Behring's voyage*.

On the 19th, in the evening, we discovered a cape which appeared to terminate the coast of America; the horizon was very clear, and we saw beyond only four or five small islets, to which I gave the name of Kerouart Islands, and called the point Cape Hector. We had a dead calm during the whole night, about three or four leagues from the land, but at day-break a light breeze from the north-west enabled me to near it; I then saw clearly that the coast I had followed for two hundred leagues finished in this place, and probably formed the opening of a very large channel or gulph, as I perceived no land to the east, though the weather was very clear; I then shaped my course to the northward, for the purpose of discovering the back of the lands which I had just before run along to the eastward. I coasted along Kerouart Islands and Cape Hector† at the distance

* Captain Cook also met with it on the coast of Alashka.—(Fr. Ed.)

† Cape St. James, of Dixon. According to Pérouse it lies 51° 57′ 20″ north latitude, and 133° 37′ west longitude. According to Dixon 51° 46′ north latitude, 132° 20′ west longitude.—(Fr. Ed.)

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of a league, and I crossed at the same distance some very strong currents, which even obliged me to bear up and stand off shore. Cape Hector, which forms the entrance of this new channel, appeared to me to be a point, the exact determination of which was very interesting. Its latitude is 51° 57′ 20″ north; and its longitude, according to our time keepers, 133° 37′ west. Night prevented me from getting farther to the northward, and I therefore stood on and off shore. At day break I again shaped my course the same as on the former day; the weather being very clear, I saw the other side of de la Touche Bay, to which I gave the name of Cape Buache, more than twenty leagues from the eastern coast, which I had run along during the preceding days. Recollecting at that moment the form of the land from Cross Sound, I was inclined to think that this resembled the Gulph of California, and even extended into 57° of north latitude. Neither the season, nor my further plans, would suffer me to ascertain the fact, but I wished at least to determine with precision the width, east and west, of this gulph or channel, whichever it may be called, and I stood to the north-east. On the 21st at noon I observed in 52° 1′ north latitude, and 133° 7′ 31″ west longitude; Cape Hector bore south-west ten or twelve leagues, and we had no foundings. The wind soon shifted to the south-east; a thick fog

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succeeded to the clear weather, which had in the morning permitted us to see land at eighteen or twenty leagues distance; it blew very fresh, and prudence forbad me any longer to continue my course to the north-north-east; I hauled my wind, and stood on and off under close-reefed topsails during the night. At day-break, the wind having fallen, I tacked and stood in for the land, though the horizon was still foggy, and I perceived it at noon through the fog. My latitude by account was then 52° 22′; the coast extended from north ¼ east to east ¼ north, and by the lead we had a hundred fathoms water, rocky ground. After a very short interval of a clear sky, the fog came on again; it threatened to blow hard, and I again made a stretch into the offing, but I had fortunately taken very good bearings, and I was well assured of the breadth of this gulph or channel from east to west; it comprised about thirty leagues between Cape Hector and Cape Fleurieu*, the name given by me to the south-easternmost island of

* Dixon calls it Cape Cox.
Cape Fleurieu of la Pérouse.
North latitude
West longitude
Dixon's Cape Cox.
North latitude
West longitude, reduced to meridian of Paris
(Fr. Ed.)

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the new group, which I had just discovered upon the eastern coast of this channel; and it is behind this group of islands that I perceived the continent, the primitive mountains of which, without trees, and covered with snow, shewed themselves in several directions, having peaks which seemed to be situate more than thirty leagues in the interior of the country. All that we had seen of this kind from Cross Sound were comparatively hills, and my conjectures as to a bay six or seven degrees to the northward were still more strengthened. The season did not suffer me to clear up this opinion any farther; it was already the end of August; the fogs were almost continual; the days also began to shorten; but a still stronger motive, the apprehension of missing the China monsoon, induced me to relinquish this research, to the completion of which at least six weeks would be necessary, on account of the various precautions requisite in these kind of voyages, which can only be undertaken with propriety during the longest and finest days in the year. A whole season would not be more than sufficient for a similar labour, which ought to be the object of a particular expedition; ours, far more extensive, was accomplished by the precise determination of the width of this channel, up which we had penetrated about thirty leagues to the northward: we also ascertained the latitudes and longitudes of the capes, which form the


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extremities of its entrance, which are deserving of the same confidence as those of the most remarkable capes on the coast of Europe. I was sorry to see, that during three and twenty days since our departure from Port des Français, we had made very little way, and I had not an instant to lose till I reached Monterey. The reader will easily perceive, that during the whole course of this voyage, my thoughts have always been obliged to precede my ship two or three hundred leagues, because my several courses were continually subjected either to monsoons, or to seasons, in every part of the two hemispheres which I had occasion to run over, being obliged to sail in high latitudes, and to cross straits between New Holland and New Guinea which might probably be subject to the same monsoons as those of the Moluccas, or other islands of that sea.

The fog was very thick during the night; I stood to the south-south-west; at day-break the weather cleared up, but was of short duration; at eleven o'clock, however, the sky again became clear. We set Cape Fleurieu, bearing north-east by north, and had excellent observations. Our latitude was 51° 47′ 54″ north, and longitude, by our time-keepers, 132° 0′ 50″ west. We were becalmed the whole day; after sun-set, the wind shifted to the north-west, with a very foggy horizon; I had

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previously set Cape Fleurieu bearing north-east by north. Its latitude and longitude, as determined by Mons. Dagelet, are 51° 45′, and 131° 0′ 15″.

I have already mentioned, that this cape forms the point of a very elevated island, behind which I no longer perceived the continent, which was concealed from me by the fog; during the night it became still thicker; and I frequently lost fight of the Astrolabe, whose bell I could nevertheless hear.

At day-break the weather became fine; Cape Fleurieu bore north-west 18° west, distant eighteen leagues. The continent extended as far as east; the horizon, though dull, permitted us to see it twenty leagues off. I stood to the eastward in order to near it, but the coast again became enveloped in fog, and cleared up in the south-south-east, which enabled me to discover a cape in this point of the compass. I changed my course for fear of being embayed by running east, with the wind aft, which might have made it difficult for me to get out; I soon perceived that this land in the south-south-east, towards which I was standing, consisted of several clusters of islands, which extended from the continent to those in the offing, and upon which I did not see a bush or a shrub; I passed one of them a third of a league off; we saw wood and grass floating upon the coast; the latitude and longitude

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of the westernmost island are 50° 56′ and 131° 38′. I named these different clusters Sartine Islands*. It is probable that a passage may lie between them, but it would not be prudent to engage in it without precaution. After having doubled them, I stood towards the continent, with my head to the east south-east; it extended from north north-east to south-east by east; the horizon was a little foggy, but tolerably extensive. We could not distinguish the tops of the mountains, but we faw the low lands very distinctly.

I stood off and on during the whole night, that I might not pass by captain Cook's Woody Point, which that navigator ascertained, and which formed a continuation of the coast from Mount Saint-Elias to Nootka, and by procuring me the advantage of a comparison of our longitudes with his, would destroy all doubts that might exist as to the exactness of our determinations. At day-break I shaped my course for the land; I passed within a league and a half of the woody point, which at noon bore north by west, distant about three leagues, its precise latitude is 50° 4′ north, and its longitude 130° 25′ west. Captain Cook, who was not so

* Beresford's Islands, by Dixon, who sixes their north latitude in
And west longitude, reduced to the meridian of Paris, in
(Fr. Ed.)

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near this point, and has only determined it from bearings, lays it down upon his charts in 50°, and 130° 20′, reduced to the meridian of Paris; that is, 4′ more to the southward, and 5′ more to the eastward: but our determination is more deserving of confidence, because we were much nearer the land, and our estimation of the distances less liable to errour. In this place it may be proper to observe the astonishing precision of the new methods; they will ascertain, in less than a century, the true situation of every point of the earth, and will advance the science of geography more than all the ages that have preceded us.

The 25th I continued to run to the eastward, towards Nootka Sound, which I had a great desire to make before night, although the sight of it could not be very interesting after the exact determination of Woody Point. A thick fog, which came on at five o'clock in the evening, entirely obscured the land from me, and I shaped my course towards the point of the breakers fifteen leagues to the southward of Nootka, for the purpose of making the part of the coast comprised between the point of the breakers and Cape Flattery, which captain Cook had it not in his power to explore; this space is about thirty leagues.

The weather was very foggy on the 26th; the winds varied, with sudden squalls from north-east to

N 3

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south-east, the barometer sell;nevertheless there was no wind; we were becalmed, and had not steerage way till the 28th. I had taken advantage of a few light airs to stand off from the coast, which I supposed to lie to the south-east; we were surrounded by little land birds, which settled on our rigging; several of which we took, but as they were of a species very common in Europe, they do not deserve a particular description. At length, on the 28th, at five o'clock in the evening, there was a clear, and we made and set Cook's Breakers Point, which bore north, the land afterwards extended as far as north-east, the clear was of short continuance, but we were enabled to take good bearings.

On the 29th of August the weather was still thick, but the barometer rose, and I shaped my course towards the land, hoping it would have cleared up before night: I founded every half hour; we passed from seventy fathoms, sandy ground, to a bottom of round pebbles in forty fathoms water, and after failing a league fell again into seventy-five fathoms, muddy sand. It was evident that we had passed over a bank, and it is not perhaps very easy to explain how a mountain of round flint stones, a hundred and fifty feet high, and a league in extent, should be found upon a bed of sand eight leagues from the shore; it is well known, that these ftint stones take a round form in confequence

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of friction, and this heaping up supposes a current at the bottom of the sea like that of a river.

At length there was, as I had flattered myself, a clear at sun-set. We set the land from the east-north-east as far as north-west by north, and these bearings perfectly coincided with those of the preceding evening. We had at noon observed in 48° 37′, our longitude, according to our time-keepers, was 128° 21′ 42″. The last point that we had seen from the south-east could not be at a greater distance than six or seven leagues from Cape Flattery, of which I was very desirous to get a fight, but the fog was too thick.

On the 30th the sea became very high, the winds varied from south to south-west; I stood into the offing, and the clear part of the horizon being less than half a league, I shaped my course parallel to the coast, in order to arrive speedily in 47°, with the intention of exploring it as far as the 45th degree, seeing that this part forms an hiatus in captain Cook's chart.

On the 1st of September at noon, I made a point or cape, which bore north-north-east of us about ten leagues, and, according to the bearing we took, in 47°. The land extended to the east: I approached it within three or four leagues; it was badly defined, for the fog covered all its projecting parts. My north latitude, by meridional observation, was 46° 36′ 21″, and the longitude, by our time-keepers,

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127° 2′ 5″ west, by lunar observations 126° 33′. The currents upon these coasts run uncommonly strong; we found ourselves in whirlpools which did not allow us to steer even with a three knot breeze, and at the distance of five leagues from land.

I ran down the coast during the night, under an easy fail, with our head to the southward. At day-break stretched to the eastward to near the land; we were becalmed four leagues from the coast, drifted about by the currents, which caused us to put about every instant for fear of running foul of the Astrolabe, whose situation was in no wise better than ours: fortunately, we had good muddy ground to bring up in, if the currents should have set us towards the coast; but the sea ran extremely high, and our cables could with difficulty have resisted the pitching. Round Cape, of the Spaniards, bore east 5° south of us; the land extended afterwards as far as south-east; our latitude at noon was 45° 55′ north; our longitude, by our time-keepers, 126° 47′ 35″ west, and by lunar observations 126° 22′. The weather at length permitted us to take an observation; this was the second time since our departure from Port des Français; it only differed from the longitude of our time-keepers by 25′ 35″. This calm day was one of the most vexatious we had passed since we left France; there was not a breath of wind during the night; we sounded every half hour, in

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order to anchor in spite of the heavy sea, in case we found ourselves drifted towards the shore; but we never found less than eighty fathoms, muddy ground.

At day-break our distance from the land was the same as the night before: our observations, like those of the preceding day, gave us 45° 55′; our bearings were nearly the same, so that, drifted by contrary currents, it seemed as if, during the last twenty-four hours, we had turned upon a pivot.

At length, at three o'clock, a light breeze sprung up from the north-north-west, by the assistance of which we were able to gain an offing, and get out of these currents, in which we had been engaged for two days; this breeze dispersed a fog-bank with which we had been enveloped, and which deprived us of the sight of land. There now only remained five or six leagues of coast for us to examine, as far as 45°, a point which captain Cook had reconnoitred; the weather was very favourable, and I was too eager not to profit by this fair wind. We crowded fail, and I shaped my course south by west, almost parallel to the coast, which runs north and south. The night was very fine, and at day-break we saw land north by east; the sky was clear in this part of the horizon, but very foggy more to the eastward, we nevertheless saw the coast lying east-north-east, and as far as east-south-east, but only at intervals. At noon our la-

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titude, by observation, was 44° 41′, and our time-keepers gave us 126° 56′ 17″ west longitude; we were about eight leagues from the coast, which we neared by standing a little more to the eastward. At six o'clock in the evening we were four leagues off; the land extended from north-east to east-south-east, and was very hazy. The night being fine, I ran along the land, which was seen by moon-light: the fog however hid it from us at sun-rise, but clearing up again at noon, it appeared stretching from north-east to south by east; we founded in seventy-five fathoms water.

Our latitude was 42° 58′ 56″, and longitude, by time-keeper, 127° 5′ 20″. At two o'clock we were abreast of nine little islands or rocks, distant about a league from Cape Blanco, which bore north-east by east of us: I gave them the name of Isles Necker. I continued to run along the land, with our head to the south-south-east, and at three or four leagues distance we only perceived the tops of the mountains above the clouds, which were covered with trees, and without snow. At night the land extended as far as south-east; but the men at the mast-head assured us they had seen it as far as south by east. Uncertain as to the direction of this coast, which had never been explored, I stood to the south-south-west, under an easy fail. At day-break we again perceived the land, which stretched


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from north to north by east. I steered south-east by east, in order to approach it, but at seven o'clock in the morning a thick fog once more hid it from our sight. We found the sky less clear in this part of America than in the high latitudes, where navigators enjoy, at least by intervals, the sight of every thing which lies within their horizon; the land in this place never once appeared distinctly. On the 7th the fog was still thicker than on the day preceding; it cleared up, however, towards noon, and we saw the tops of the mountains to the eastward at a very considerable distance. As our course was to the southward, it is evident, that, from the 42d degree, the coast begins to run away to the eastward. Our latitude, observed at noon, was 40° 48′ 30″ north; our longitude, according to the time-keeper, was 126° 59′ 45″ west. I continued my course to near the land, from which, at night-fall, I was only four leagues distant. We there perceived a volcano on the top of a mountain, which bore east of us; its flame was very lively, but a thick fog soon deprived us of this sight; it became necessary to gain an offing. Being apprehensive, that, by following a course parallel to the coast, I might fall in with some rock or island at no great distance from the continent, I tacked and stood off shore. The fog was very thick. On the 8th, towards ten o'clock in the morning, the atmosphere cleared

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up, and we perceived the tops of the mountains, but an impenetrable barrier constantly hid the low lands from our sight. The weather was become very bad; it blew extremely fresh, and the barometer fell considerably. I continued until night-fall to run to the south-east, which course brought me nearer to the coast, at the same time that I ran along it; but I had lost sight of it since noon, and at night-fall the horizon was so thick, that I might have been very near land without being able to see it. As there was an appearance of a gale of wind, and as, if it came from the westward, I should have been upon a lee shore, I determined to stand out to sea, under the sore-sail and maintop-sail only. It blew very hard, but much less than I had apprehended. At day-break the weather was cloudy, but the wind abated, and I stood eastward towards the land. The fog soon compelled me to alter my course, and run nearly parallel with the coast, the direction of which I supposed to be south by east. The weather was no clearer on the 10th and 11th; the result of these two days run was also south by east. Our horizon was never more than two leagues in extent, and very frequently not more than a musket-shot. Our latitude, by observation, was, however, 36° 58′ 43″; longitude, by our time-keepers, 126° 32′ 5″. Either the currents or a bad reckoning had carried us 30′ to the

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southward, but we were still 16′ north of Monterey. I steered east directly in for the land, for although the weather was foggy, we had a horizon of two leagues. I stood off and on the whole night. The weather continued to be cloudy the next day; I however kept on my course towards the land: at noon our longitude was 124° 52′, without any appearance of land; the fog again enveloped us at four o'clock in the afternoon, and I determined to stand off and on, and wait for more favourable weather. There was no doubt of our being very near the coast; several land birds flew round our ships, and we caught a hawk of the gerfalcon species. The fog continued the whole night; and the next morning at ten o'clock we perceived the land, very foggy, and extremely near. To examine it was impossible: I approached it within a league, and saw the breakers very distinctly: we sounded in twenty-five fathoms; but though I was certain of being in Monterey Bay, it was impossible, in such hazy weather, to recognize the Spanish settlement. At night-fall I again stood out to sea, and at day-break stretched in for the land, with a thick fog, which did not disperse till noon. I then ran down close in shore, and at three o'clock in the afternoon we got sight of Fort Monterey, and two three-masted vessels which lay in the road. Contrary winds compelled us to come to an anchor two leagues from the shore,

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in forty-five fathoms, muddy ground; and the next day we brought up in twelve fathoms, two cables length from the land. Don Estuan Martinez, the commander of these two ships, sent us pilots during the night; he had been informed by the viceroy of Mexico, as well as by the governor of the presidency, of our probable arrival in this bay.

It is not a little remarkable, that during the whole of this long run, in the midst of the thickest fogs, the Astrolabe always sailed within hail of my ship, and was never farther from her, till I gave orders to M. de Langle to reconnoitre the entrance of Monterey.

Before I make an end of this chapter, which will only be interesting to navigators and geographers, I think it necessary to deliver my opinion as to admiral de Fuentes's pretended channel of Saint Lazarus. I am convinced, that this admiral never existed*, and that a voyage into the interior of America, across rivers and lakes, and performed in so short a time, is so absurd, that without the spirit of system, which is highly prejudicial to all sciences, geographers of a certain reputation would have rejected a history destitute of all probability, and fabricated in England, at a period when the partisans for and against the north-west passage maintained their opinions with as much enthu-

* See note, page 64 of this volume.—T.

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siasm, as could possibly enter into questions of theology at the same period in France, still a hundred times more ridiculous than the other. The narrative of admiral de Fuentes may be compared then to those pious frauds, which cannot bear the elucidation of discussion, and which have since been rejected with merited contempt: but it may be almost looked upon as certain, that from Cross Sound, or at least from Port los Remedios as far as Cape Hector, all the navigators have only coasted along islands to the 52d degree, and that between the islands and the continent, there is a channel, the width of which, east and west, may be more or less considerable, but I do not think that it exceeds fifty leagues, since it is no more than thirty at its mouth between Cape Hector and Cape Fleurieu. This channel is interspersed, perhaps, with islands, the navigation of which may be difficult, but I am certain, that there are several passages between these islands, which communicate with the main ocean. The Spanish Ports los Remedios and Bucarelli are situate far from the continent; and even if the taking possession, unaccompanied by any settlement, were not a ridiculous title, that of the Spaniards in this part of America might well be contested; for it has been demonstrated to me, that the pilot Maurelle never perceived the continent from 50° as far as 57° 20′: I am besides absolutely certain, that from Port des

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Français to the north of Cross Sound we were in America, because that Behring's River, in 59° 9′, is so very confiderable, that one of equal magnitude could only exist in a country of great breadth. I was very desirous of visiting it in our boats, but they could not stem the currents at the entrance. Our frigates anchored at its mouth; the water was whitish and fresh two or three leagues from the sea-shore; and this makes it probable, that the channel between the islands and the continent does not run further to the northward than 57° 30′. I know that geographers may draw lines from the north-east, leaving Port des Français and Behring's River in America, and extend their channel to the northward and eastward to the utmost limits of their imagination; but such a labour, destitute of facts, will be only an absurdity, and it is probable enough, that upon the coast of America, by which this new channel is limited to the eastward, there will be found the mouth of some river, which may perhaps be navigable, because it can hardly be supposed that the declivity of the country is such as to direct them all to the eastward. Behring's River forms, however, an exception to this rule; the probabilities even are, that there would be no bar at the mouth of these supposed rivers, because that this channel which is of small width, is sheltered by the islands which are placed in front of it to the westward; and it is well known that bars

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are formed by the re-action of the sea upon the current of rivers*.

* This chapter, so truly interesting to general navigation, will, without doubt, leave something to be desired by seamen and geographers, and more especially by the partisans of the north-west passage. Although of the number of these last, I cannot help making the observation, that, if la Pérouse had attempted to reconnoitre all the great openings and bays which this immense extent of coast, interspersed over with islands, presented, he must have abandoned all the ultimate projects of his voyage, and formally departed from his instructions.
The honour of having compared the perfect description of the habitable parts of the globe will belong to the nineteenth century; then will be decided the important question respecting the communication of two seas in the north part of America. Let us reserve a place for the immortal name of that enterprising navigator, who, availing himself of the progress of astronomy, shall make this communication known.
In order to come nearer to it at present, let us remove all discouraging uncertainties, and add a word to what has been already said in the first note in chapter i. and in the notes at pages 64, 65, and 161 of this volume.
The ship Eternal Father, commanded by captain David Melguer, a Portuguese, departed from Japan about the year 1660, and ran to the northward as far as about the 84th degree of latitude, from which he shaped his course between Spitsbergen and Greenland, and passing by the west of Scotland and Ireland, returned to Oporto in Portugal.
Captain Vannout, a Dutchman, affirms, that he has passed through Hudson's Strait into the South Sea.
I advise those who may dedicate their labours to the investigation of this question, to read the collection of observation, upon the probability of a north-west passage, inserted in the Voyages of Captain J. Meares.(Fr. Ed)


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Description of Monterey Bay—Historical Details respecting the Two Californias, and their Missions—Manners and Customs of the independent Indians, and of those converted—Grains, Fruits, Pulse, of every Species—Quadrupeds, Birds, Fishes, Shells, &c.—Military Constitution of these Two Provinces—Details respecting Commerce, &c.


MONTEREY BAY, formed by New-year Point to the north, and by that of Cyprus to the south, has an opening of eight leagues in this direction, and nearly six of depth to the eastward, where the land is sandy and low. The sea breaks there as far as the foot of the sandy downs with which the coast is surrounded, with a roaring which we heard more than a league off. The lands north and south of this bay are high, and covered with trees; those ships which are desirous of touching there ought to follow the south coast, and after having doubled the Point of Pines, which stretches to the northward, they get sight of the presidency, and they may come to an anchor in ten fathoms within it, and a little within the land of this point, which shelters from the winds from the offing. The Spanish ships, which propose to

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make a long stay at Monterey, are accustomed to bring up within one or two cable's lengths of the land, in six fathoms, and make fast to an anchor which they bury in the sand of the beach; they have then nothing to fear from the southerly winds, which are sometimes very strong, but, as they blow from the coast, do not expose them to any danger. We found bottom over the whole bay; and anchored four leagues from the land, in sixty fathoms, soft muddy ground, but there is a very heavy sea, and it is only an anchorage fit for a few hours, in waiting for day, or the clearing up of the fog. At full and change of the moon it is high water at half past one o'clock; the tide rises seven feet, and as this bay is very open, the current in it is nearly imperceptible; I never saw it run more than half a knot. It is impossible to conceive the number of whales with which we were surrounded, or their familiarity; they every half minute spouted within half a pistol-shot of our ships, and made a prodigious stench in the air. We were ignorant of this property in whales, but were informed by the inhabitants, that the water which they flung out, and which they scattered to a great distance, was impregnated with that offensive smell; this phenomenon to us would probably have been none at all to the fishermen of Greenland or Nantucket.

The coasts of Monterey Bay are almost con-

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tinually enveloped in fogs, which cause great difficulty in the approach to them. But for this circumstance there would be few more easy to land upon; there is not any rock concealed under water that extends a cable's length from the shore, and if the fog be too thick, there is the resource of coming to an anchor, and there waiting for a clear, which will enable you to get a good sight of the Spanish settlement, situate in the angle formed by the south and east coast.

The sea was covered with pelicans. These birds, it seems, never go farther than five or six leagues from the land, and navigators, who shall hereafter meet with them during a fog, may rest assured, that they are within that distance of it. The first time we saw any of them was in Monterey Bay, and I have since learned, that they are very common over the whole coast of California; the Spaniards call them alkatræ.

A lieutenant-colonel, whose residence is at Monterey, is governor of the Californias; the extent of his government is more than eight hundred leagues in circumserence, but his real subjects consist only of two hundred and eighty-two cavalry, whose duty it is to garrison five small forts, and to furnish detachments of four or five men to each of the twenty five missions, or parishes, established in old and new California. So small are the means which are adequate to the

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restraining about fifty thousand wandering* Indians in this vast part of America, among whom nearly ten thousand have embraced christianity. These Indians are in general small and weak, and discover none of that love of liberty and independence, which characterizes the northern nations, of whose arts and industry they are also destitute; their colour very nearly approaches that of the negroes whose hair is not wholly; the hair of these people is strong, and of great length; they cut it four or five inches from the roots. Several among them have a beard, others, according to the missionary fathers, have never had any, and this is a question which is even undecided in the country †. The governor, who had travelled a great way into the interior of these lands, and who had passed fifteen years of his life among the savages, assured us, that those who had no beards had plucked them up with bivalve shells, that served them as pincers; the president of the missions, who had resided an equal length of time in California, maintained the contrary; it was

* They very frequently change their places of habitation, according to the season for fishing or hunting.

† We have spoken our opinion as to the American beards in the preceding chapter; but we write chpters in proportion to the extent of our travelling; and as we are not attached to any system, when we learn new facts, we are never afraid of reporting them.

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difficult, therefore, for travellers to decide between them. Under the necessity of reporting no more than we actually saw, we are constrained to allow, that we perceived only half the adults to have a beard, this, with some of them, was very ample, and would have made a figure of some importance in Turkey, or the vicinity of Moscow*.

These Indians are extremely skilful in drawing the bow, they killed before us the smallest birds; it is true they display an inexpressible patience in approaching them, they conceal themselves, and as it were glide along near to the game, seldom shooting till within fifteen paces.

Their industry in hunting the larger animals is still more admirable. We saw an Indian with a stag's head fixed upon his own, walk on all fours, as if he were browsing the grass, and he played this pantomime to such perfection, that all our hunters would have fired at him at thirty paces had they not been prevented. In this manner they approach herds of stags within a very small distance, and kill them with a flight of arrows.

Loretto is the only presidency of old California, on the east coast of this peninsula. The garrison consists of fifty-four troopers, who furnish small

* The governor had travelled much more than the missionary; and his opinion would have prevailed with me, had been obliged to take one side.

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detachments to the fifteen following missions, the duties of which are performed by Dominican friars, who have succeeded the Jesuits and Franciscans; the last have remained possessors of ten missions in new California. The fifteen missions of the department of Loretto are, Saint Vincent, Saint Dominick le Rosaire, Saint Fernando, Saint Francis de Borgia, Saint Gertrude, Saint Ignatius, Guadeloupe, Saint Rosalia, the Conception, Saint Joseph, Saint Francis de Xavier, Loretto, Saint Joseph of Cape Lucar, and All Saints. About four thousand Indians, converted and collected together in these fifteen parishes, the names of which I have just mentioned, are the sole fruit of the long apostleship of the different religious orders, which have succeeded each other in this painful ministry. Father Vénéga's History of California, relates the period of the establishment of Fort Loretto, and the different missions under its protection. By comparing their past state with that of the present year, it will be seen, that both the spiritual and temporal progress of these missions have been very slow; there is still no more than one single Spanish colony; the country, it is true, is unwholesome, and the land of the province of Sonora, which borders upon the Gulf of California to the east, and California to the west, is much more attractive to the Spaniards; they find in this country abundant mines and a fertile soil, objects far more precious in their eyes than the fishery for pearls

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in the peninsula, which requires a certain number of divers, which it is frequently very difficult to procure. But the northern California, notwithstanding its great distance from Mexico, seems to me to unite infinitely more advantages; its oldest settlement, which is Saint Diego, was first established the 26th of July, 1769: it is the most southern presidency, as Saint François is the most northern; the latter was founded the 9th of October 1776, the channel of Saint Barbe in September 1786, and Monterey, at this time the capital and chief place of the two Californias, the 3d of June 1770. The road of this presidency was first discovered in 1602, by Sebastian Viscairo, commander of a small armed squadron at Acapulco, by order of the viscount de Monterey, viceroy of Mexico. From this period, the galleons on their return from Manilla have sometimes touched at this bay, for the purpose of procuring some refreshments after their long passage; but it was only in 1770, that the Franciscans established their first mission here. They have at present ten of them, in which they reckon five thousand one hundred and forty-three converted Indians. The four following columns will shew, with the name of the parish, the period of its foundation, the presidency on which it is dependant, and the number of baptized Indians. I must in this place give notice, that the Spaniards generally give the

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name of presidio (presidency) to all the forts, both in Africa and America, situate in infidel countries; which supposes, that there are no inhabitants, but only a garrison dwelling in the interior of the citadel.

Names of Parishes. Names of Presidencies on which they are dependant. Period of their Foundation. Number of Indians converted.
Saint Charles Monterey 3d June 1770 711
Saint Anthony Idem 14th July 1771 850
Saint Louis Idem 1st September 1772 492
Saint Clare Saint Francis 18th January 1777 475
Saint Francis Idem 9th October 1776 250
Saint Bonaventure Saint Barbe 3d May 1782 120
Saint Barbe Idem 3d September 1786
Saint Gabriel Idem 8th September 1771 843
Saint John Capistan Saint Diego 1st November 1776 544
Saint Diego Idem 26th July 1769 858

Spanish piety has, to this time, maintained these missions and presidencies at a great expence, with the sole view of civilizing and converting the Indians of these countries; a system far more deserving praise than that of those avaricious men, who seemed to be clothed with the national authority only to per-

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petuate the most cruel atrocities with impunity. The reader will soon perceive, that a new branch of commerce can procure more advantages to the Spanish nation than the richest mines of Mexico, and that the falubrity of the air, the fertility of the land, and besides the abundance of all kinds of peltry, the sale of which is certain in China, give to this part of America infinite advantages over old California, the unwholesomeness and barrenness of which can never be compensated by the few pearls, which may be fished up from the bottom of the sea.

Before the Spanish settlements, the Indians of California cultivated nothing but maize, and almost entirely lived by fishing and hunting. There is not any country in the world, which more abounds in fish and game of every description: hares, rabbits, and stags are very common there; seals and otters are also found there in prodigious numbers; but to the northward, and during the winter, they kill a very great number of bears, foxes, wolves, and wild cats. The thickets and plains abound with small grey tusted partridges, which like those in Europe live in society, but in large companies of three or four hundred; they are fat and extremely well flavoured. The trees serve as habitations to the most delightful birds; our ornithologists stuffed a great variety of sparrows, titmice, speckled wood-peckers, and tropic birds. Among the

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birds of prey are found the white-headed eagle, the great and small falcon, the goss hawk, the sparrow hawk, the black vulture, the large owl, and the raven. On the ponds and sea-shore are seen the wild duck, the grey and white pelican with yellow tufts, different species of gulls, cormorants, curlews, ringplovers, small sea water hens, and herons. We also killed and stuffed a bee-eater, which, according to most ornithologists, is peculiar to the old continent.

This land possesses also an inexpressible fertility; farinaceous roots and seeds of all kinds abundantly prosper there; we enriched the missionaries and governor's gardens with different grains and seeds which we brought from Paris; they were in a high state of preservation, and will procure them new enjoyments.

The crops of maize, barley, corn, and pease, cannot be equalled but by those of Chili; our European cultivators can have no conception of a similar fertility; the medium produce of corn is from seventy to eighty for one; the extremes sixty and a hundred. Fruit trees are still very rare there, but the climate is extremely suitable to them: it differs a little from that of our southern French provinces, at least the cold is never so piercing there, but the heats of the summer are there much more moderate, owing to the continual fogs which reign in these countries, and

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which procure for the land a humidity very favourable to vegetation.

The forest trees are the stone-pine, cyprus, evergreen oak, and occidental plane tree; there is no underwood, and a verdant carpet, over which it is very agreeable to walk, covers the ground. There are also vast savannahs, abounding with all sorts of game. The land, though very well adapted to vegetation, is light and sandy, and is indebted, I believe, for its fertility, to the humidity of the air, for it is very indifferently watered. The nearest running stream to the presidency is two leagues distant; this rivulet, which runs near to the mission of Saint Charles, is called by the old navigators Carmel River. The too great distance from our ships prevented us from watering there; we drew water from pools behind the fort, where its quality was very indifferent, scarcely dissolving soap. The river Carmel, which affords an agreeable and wholesome drink to the missionaries and their Indians, might with a very little labour water their gardens also.

It is with the warmest satisfaction, that I make known the wise and pious conduct of those religious persons, who so faithfully fulfil the purpose of their institution; I will not dissemble what appears to me reprehensible in their domestic institutions, but I will pronounce that, individually humane and good, they, by their gentleness and

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charity, temper the austerity of the rules which have been prescribed for them by their superiors. I confess that, more friendly to the rights of man than to theology, I could have wished them, to the principles of christianity, to have added a legislation, which by degrees might have made citizens of men, whose state at this moment differs scarcely any thing from that of the house negroes in our colonies, governed with the greatest mildness and humanity.

I am perfectly well aware of the extreme difficulty of this new plan; I know, that these men have very few ideas, still less stability, and, that if they be not continually treated like children, they escape from those who have been at the trouble of instructing them: I also know, that reasoning has no effect upon them, that their senses must be forcibly appealed to, and that corporal punishments, with rewards in a double proportion, have to this moment been the only means reforted to by their legislators; but would it be impossible to an ardent zeal, and an extraordinary patience, to convince a small number of families of the advantages of a society founded on the rights of the people? to establish a right of property among them, which is so bewitching to all men; and thus, by this new order of things, to engage each man to cultivate his field with emulation, or to dedicate his time to some other kind of employment?

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I am sensible, that the progress of this new civilization will be very slow; the cares, which are necessary to be allotted to it, very tedious and painful; the theatres, on which it must be performed, very distant; and that applause should never actuate him, who has consecrated his life in meriting it: I am also not afraid to pronounce, that human motives are insufficient for a ministry like this, and that the enthusiasm of religion, with the recompences that it promises, can alone compensate the sacrifices, the tediousness, the fatigues, and the risks of this kind of life; I have only farther to desire a little more philosophy in these austere, charitable, and religious men, than I have met with in these missions.

I have already taken the liberty to make known my opinion of the monks of Chili, whose irregularities in general appeared to me to be scandalous*. It is with the same truth that I will describe these truly apostolic men, who have left the lazy life of a cloister, to give themselves up to cares, fatigues, and solicitudes of every kind. It is my intention, according to my custom, to furnish my own history in relating theirs, and to submit to the observation of the reader what we saw and learned during our short stay at Monterey.

On the 14th of September, in the evening, we

* There are also monks of great merit to be met with in Chili; but in general they enjoy there a liberty contrary to the state which they have embraced.

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anchored at two leagues from the shore, in view of the presidency, and the two ships that were in the road. They had fired guns every quarter of an hour, in order to make known the anchorage, which the fog might conceal from us. At ten o'clock in the evening, the captain of the corvette la Favorite came on board my ship in his longboat, and offered to pilot our ships into the port. The corvette la Princesse had also sent a pilot with her longboat on board the Astrolabe. We learned, that these were two Spanish ships, which were commanded by Don Estevan Martinez, lieutenant of a frigate of the department of Saint Blas, in the province of Guadalaxara. A small navy was kept up by the Spanish government in this port, under the orders of the viceroy of Mexico; it consists of four corvettes of twelve guns, and one goletta, their particular destination is the supplying with necessaries the presidencies of North California. These are the same ships which have made the two last Spanish expeditions on the north-west coast of America; they are also sometimes sent as packet-boats to Manilla, when it is necessary to convey with expedition the orders of the court.

We weighed at ten o'clock in the morning, and anchored in the road at noon; they saluted us with seven guns, which we returned; and I dispatched an officer to the governor with the letter


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of the Spanish minister, which had been forwarded to me in France before my departure; it was unsealed, and addressed to the viceroy of Mexico, whose authority extends as far as Monterey, though it is eleven hundred leagues by land from his capital.

M. Fagès, commandant of the sort of the two Californias, had already received orders to pay us the same civility and respect as the ships of his own nation; they executed these orders with a grace and obliging attention, which deserve from us the most lively acknowledgments. They did not confine themselves to obliging expressions; oxen, roots, greens, and milk, were sent on board in abundance. The same eagerness to serve us became a subject of rivalship between the commanders of the two corvettes and the commandant of the fort; each of them was desirous exclusively to possess the right of providing for our wants, and when the account came to be closed, it was absolutely necessary to insist on their receiving our money. Roots, greens, milk, sowls, all the labourers of the garrison to assist our getting in wood and water, were furnished gratis; and the oxen, sheep, and corn of various sorts were rated at so very moderate a price, that it was evident they only presented us an account because we had pressingly required it.

M. Fagès to these acts of generosity joined the

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most obliging demeanour; his house was ours, and all his servants were at our disposal.

The holy fathers of the mission of Saint Charles, two leagues distant from Monterey, soon arrived at the presidency: equally attentive to us as the officers of the fort and the two frigates, they invited us to dine with them, and promised to make us acquainted with the detail of the rules of their missions, the manner in which the Indians live, their arts, their newly acquired manners, and, generally speaking, every thing which might be interesting to the curiosity of travellers. We eagerly accepted offers, which, had we not been so kindly prevented, we should not have feared to have solicited; it was agreed, that we should set out the next day but one. M. Fagès requested to accompany us, and took upon himself to furnish us with horses. After traversing a small plain covered with herds of cattle, and in which there were left only a few trees to serve as a shelter to these animals against the rain or too great heat, we ascended the hills, and were struck with the sound of several bells which announced our arrival, of which the monks had been advertised by a horseman whom the governor had detached for that purpose.

We were received like lords of a parish when they make their first appearance on their estate; the president of the missions, cloathed in his cope, the holy water sprinkle in his hand, waited for us


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at the door of the church, which was illuminated the same as on their greatest festivals; he conducted us to the foot of the high altar, where Te Deum was sung in thanksgivings for the happy success of our voyage.

Before we entered the church, we had passed by a place where the Indians of both sexes were enged in a row; they expressed no surprise in their countenances, and we were left in doubt whether we were the subject of their conversation during the rest of the day. The parish church is very neat, although covered with straw; it is dedicated to Saint Charles, and ornamented with pretty good paintings, copied from Italian originals. There is a picture of Hell, in which the painter seems to have borrowed a little of the imagination of Callot; but as it is absolutely necessary to strike the senses of these new converts with the most lively impressions, I am persuaded that a similar representation has never done more service in any country, and that it would be impossible for the ptestant mode of worship, which forbids images, and nearly all the other ceremonies of our church, to make any progress among this people. I have my doubts, whether the picture of Paradise, which is placed opposite to that of Hell, produces so good an effect on them; the state of quietness which it represents, and that complacent satisfaction of the elect who surround the throne of the Supreme Being, are

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ideas too sublime for rude unpolished men; but it is necessary to place rewards by the side of punishments, and it was a rigorous duty not to allow the smallest change in the kind of delights promised by the catholic religion.

We repassed, on going out of the church, the same row of male and female Indians, who had never quitted their post during the Te Deum; the children only had removed a little, and formed groups round the missionary's house, which is in front of the church, as are also the different store-houses. On the right stands the Indian village, consisting of about fifty cabins, which serve as dwelling places to seven hundred and forty persons of both sexes, comprising their children, which compose the mission of Saint Charles, or of Monterey.

These cabins are the moft miserable that are to be met with among any people; they are round, six feet in diameter, by four in height; some stakes, of the size of an arm, fixed in the earth, and which approach each other in an arch at the top, compose the timber-work of it; eight or ten bundles of straw, very ill arranged over these stakes, defend the inhabitants, well or ill, from the rain and wind; and more than half of this cabin remains open when the weather is fine; their only precaution is to have each of them two or three bundles of straw at hand by way of reserve.

All the exhortations of the missionaries have

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never been able to procure a change of this general architecture of the two Californias; the Indians say, that they like plenty of air, that it is convenient to set fire to their houses when they are devoured in them by too great a quantity of fleas, and that they can build another in less than two hours. The independent Indians, who as hunters so frequently change their places of abode, have a stronger motive.

The colour of these Indians, which is that of negroes; the house of the religious; their store-houses, which are built of brick and pointed with mortar; the floor of earth, upon which they press in the grain; the oxen, horses, in a word, every thing reminded us of a habitation in Saint Domingo, or any other West India colony. The men and women are assembled by the found of the bell, one of the religious conducts them to their work, to church, and to all their other exercises. We mention it with pain, the resemblance is so perfect, that we saw men and women loaded with irons, others in the stocks*; and at length the noise of the strokes of a whip struck our ears, this

* Le bloc, is a beam sawed lengthways, in which is hollowed a hole of the size of an ordinary leg: an iron hinge unites one of the extremities of this beam; the other side is open for the purpose of letting the leg of the prisoner pass through it, and they close it with a padlock; which obliges him to remain lying down, and in a very painful attitude.


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punishment being also admitted, but not exercised with much severity.

The monks, by their answers to our different questions, gave us the most complete information respecting the government of this species of religious community; for no other name can be given to the legislation they have established: they are superiors both in spiritual and temporal affairs: the products of the land are entirely entrusted to their administration. There are seven hours allotted to labour in the day, two hours to prayers, and four or five on Sundays and festivals, which are altogether dedicated to rest and divine worship. Corporal punishments are inflicted on the Indians of both sexes who neglect pious exercises, and several sins, the punishment of which in Europe is reserved only to Divine Justice, are punished with chains or the stocks. In a word, to make an end of the comparison with religious communities, from the moment a new convert is baptized, he becomes the same as if he had pronounced eternal vows; if he make his escape for the purpose of returning to his relations in the independent villages, they cause him to be summoned to return three times; and if he refuse, they claim the authority of the governor, who sends soldiers to force him away from the midst of his family*, and con-

* As these people are at war with their neighbours, they can never remove themselves farther than twenty or thirty leagues.

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duct him to the missions, where he is condemned to receive a certain number of lashes with the whip. These people are so destitute of courage, that they never oppose the least resistance to three or four soldiers, who, in respect to them, so grossly violate the rights of men; and this custom, against which reason so forcibly objects, is maintained, because theologians have decided, that baptism could not in conscience be administered to men so fickle, unless the government, in some measure, became responsible for their perseverance, by officiating as their god-father.

M. Philip de Neve, the predecessor of M. Fagès, who has been dead about four years, commandant of the interior provinces of Mexico, a man of great humanity and much christian philosophy, had protested against this custom; he was of opinion, that the progress of faith would be more rapid, and the prayers of the Indians more agreeable to the Supreme Being, if they were not constrained; he was desirous of a constitution less monkish, to give more civil liberty to the Indians, and less despotism to the executive power of the presidencies, the government of which might fall into the hands of covetous and barbarous men; he thought, that it was also necessary to moderate their authority, by erecting a magistracy, which should act as a tribune of the Indians, and possess sufficient authority to guarantee them from vexations. This just man

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had served his country from his infancy; but he did not possess the prejudices of his station, and he was sensible, that a military government is liable to great inconveniences, when it is not moderated by some intermediate power; he might, however, have experienced the difficulty of supporting the conflict of three authorities, in a country so far distant from the general government of Mexico, since the missionaries, who are so pious and respectable, are already in an open rupture with the governor, who on his part appears to me to be a loyal soldier.

We wisshed to be present at the distributions which took place at every meal; and as every day, with this species of religious, resembled the preceding one, by giving the history of one of these days, the reader will be in possession of the whole year's proceedings.

The Indians as well as the missionaries rise with the sun, and go to prayers and mass, which last an hour, and during this time there is cooked in the middle of the square, in three large kettles, barley meal, the grain of which has been roasted previous to being ground; this species of boiled food, which the Indians call atole, and of which they are very fond, is seasoned neither with salt nor butter, and to us would prove a very insipid mess.

Every cabin sends to take the portion for all

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its inhabitants in a vessel made of bark; there is not the least confusion or disorder, and when the coppers are empty, they distribute that which sticks to the bottom to the children who have best retained their lessons of catechism.

This meal continues three quarters of an hour, after which they all return to their labours; some go to plough the earth with oxen, others to dig the garden; in a word, every one is employed in different domestic occupations, and always under the superintendence of one or two of the religious.

The women are charged with little else but the care of their housewifery, their children, and roasting and grinding the several grains: this last operation is very long and laborious, because they have no other means of doing it but by crushing the grain in pieces with a cylinder upon a stone. M. de Langle, being a witness of this operation, made the missionaries a present of his mill, and a greater service could not have been rendered them, as by these means four women would in a day perform the work of a hundred, and time enough will remain to spin the wool of their sheep, and to manufacture coarse stuffs. But at present the religious, more occupied with the interests of heaven than temporal welfare, have greatly neglected the introduction of the common arts: they are themselves so austere, that they have no chimney to their chambers, though winter is fre-

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quently very severe there; and even the greatest anchorites have never led a more edifying life*.

At noon the dinner was announced by the bell; the Indians quitted their work, and sent to fetch their rations in the same vessels as at breakfast; but this second mess was thicker than the first; there was mixed in it corn and maize, and pease and beans; the Indians name it poussole. They return again to their labour from two o'clock till four or five; afterwards they attend evening prayers, which continue near an hour, and is followed by a new ration of atole like that at breakfast. These three distributions are sufficient for the subsistence of the far greater number of Indians, and this very economical soup might perhaps be very profitably adopted in our years of scarcity; some seasoning would certainly be necessary to be added to it, their whole knowledge of cookery consisting in being able to roast the grain before it is reduced into meal. As the Indian women have no vessels of earth or metal for this operation, they perform it in large baskets made of bark, over a little lighted charcoal; they turn these vessels with so much rapidity and address, that they effect the swelling and bursting of the grain without burning the

* Father Firmin, of Suen, president of the missions of new California, is one of the most respectable and estimable men I ever met with; his mildness, charity, and love for the Indians are inexpressible.

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basket, though it is made of very combustible materials: and we can testify, that the best roasted coffee does not nearly equal the exactness with which these women prepare their corn. It is distributed to them every morning, and the smallest dishonesty when they give it out is punished by whipping, but it is very seldom indeed they are exposed to it. These punishments are adjudged by Indian magistrates, called caciques; there are in every mission three of them, chosen by the people from amongst those whom the missionaries have not excluded; but to give a just idea of this magistracy, we shall say that these caciques are like the governors of a plantation, passive beings, blind executors of the will of their superiors, and that their principal functions consist in serving as beadles in the church, and there maintaining order and an air of contemplation. The women are never whipped in public, but in an enclosed and somewhat distant place, left perhaps their cries might inspire too lively a compassion, which might stimulate the men to revolt; these last, on the contrary, are exposed to the view of all their fellowcitizens, that their punishment may serve as an example; in general they ask pardon, in which case the executioner lessens the force of his lashes, but the number of them is never receded from.

The rewards are particular small distributions of grain, of which they make little thin cakes,

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baked on burning coals; and on the great festivals the ration is in beef; many of them eat it raw, especially the fat, which they esteem equal to the best butter or cheese. They skin all animals with the greatest address, and when they are fat, they make, like the ravens, a croaking of pleasure, devouring at the same time the most delicate parts with their eyes.

They are frequently permitted to hunt and fish on their own account, and on their return they generally make the missionaries some present in game and fish, but they always proportion the quantity to what is absolutely necessary for them, always taking care to increase it if they hear of any new guests who are on a visit to their superiors. The women rear fowls about their cabins, the eggs of which they give their children; these fowls are the property of the Indians, as well as their cloaths, and other little articles of household furniture, and those necessary for the chase. There is no instance of their having robbed each other, though their fastenings to the doors consist only of a simple bundle of straw, which they place across the entrance when all the inhabitants are absent.

To some of our readers these manners will appear patriarchal; they will not reflect, that there is not any furniture in these habitations, which offers objects sufficient to tempt the cupidity of those in the neighbouring cabin. The Indians

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being assured of their food, they have no other want, than that of giving life to others, who cannot fail to be as stupid and enslaved as themselves.

The men in the missions have sacrificed much more to christianity than the women, because they were accustomed to polygamy, and were even in the custom of espousing all the sisters of a family. The women, on the other hand, have acquired the advantage of exclusively receiving the caresses of one man only. I consess, however, that notwithstanding the unanimous report of the missionaries on this pretended polygamy, I cannot conceive, that it could have been established in a savage nation; for the number of men there being pretty nearly equal to the women, a forced continence must be the result of it to many, unless that conjugal fidelity had been less rigorously observed there than in the missions, where the religious have constituted themselves the guardians of the women's virtue. An hour after supper they have the care of shutting up, under lock and key, all those whose husbands are absent, as well as the young girls above nine years of age, and during the day they are entrusted to the superintendence of the matrons. So many precautions are still insufficient, and we have seen men in the stocks, and women in irons, for having deceived the vigilance of these female argusses, who have not been sufficiently sharp-sighted.

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The converted Indians have preserved all the ancient usages which their new religion does not prohibit; the same cabins, the same games, the same dresses; that of the richest consists of an otter's skin cloak, which covers their loins, and descends below their groin; the most lazy have only a simple piece of linen cloth, with which they are furnished by the mission, for the purpose of hiding their nakedness, and a small cloak of rabbit's skin covers their shoulders, which is fastened with a pack-thread under the chin; the head and the rest of the body is absolutely naked; some of them, however, have hats of straw, very neatly matted.

The women's dress is a cloak of deer skin, ill tanned; those of the missions have a custom of making a small boddice, with sleeves, of them; it is their only apparel, with a small apron of rushes, and a petticoat of stag's skin, which covers their loins, and descends to the middle of the leg. The young girls under nine years of age have merely a simple girdle, and the children of the other sex are quite naked.

The hair of the men and women is cut four or five inches from the roots. The Indians of the rancheries* having no instruments of iron, perform this operation with lighted firebrands; they have also a custom of painting their bodies red,

* Name of the independent Indian villages.

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and black when they are in mourning. The missionaries have forbidden the first of these paintings, but they have been under the necessity of tolerating the other, because these people are attached to their friends in the most lively manner; they shed tears whenever they are called to their remembrance, although it may be a long time since they have lost them, and if even by accident any one have pronounced their name before them, they conceive themselves offended. The ties of family have less force with them than those of friendship; the children scarcely acknowledge their father; they quit his cabin as soon as they are capable of providing for their own subsistence, but they preserve a much longer attachment to the mother, who, with extreme tenderness, had brought them up, and never beaten them but when they discovered a cowardice in their little fights with children of the same age.

The old men of the rancheries, who are no longer capable of hunting, are supported at the expence of their whole village, and in general are considerably respected. The independent savages are very frequently at war, but the fear of the Spaniards makes them respect their missions, and this, perhaps, is not one of the least causes of the augmentation of the christian villages. Their arms are the bow, and arrow pointed with a flint very skilfully worked; these bows, made of wood,

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and strung with the sinews of an ox, are very far superior to those of the inhabitants of Port des Français.

We were assured, that they neither eat their prisoners, nor their enemies killed in battle; that, nevertheless, when they had vanquished, and put to death upon the field of battle, chiefs, or very courageous men, they have eaten some pieces of them, less as a sign of hatred or revenge, than as a homage which they paid to their valour, and in the full persuasion that this food would be likely to increase their own courage. They scalp the vanquished as in Canada, and pluck out their eyes, which they have the art of preserving free from corruption, and which they carefully keep as precious signs of their victory. Their custom is to burn their dead, and to deposit their ashes in morais.

They have two games to which they dedicate their whole leisure. The first, to which they give the name of takersia, consists in throwing and rolling a small hoop, of three inches in diameter, in a space of ten square toises, cleared of grass, and surrounded with fascines. Each of the two players holds a stick, of the size of a common cane, and five feet long; they endeavour to pass this stick into the hoop whilst it is in motion, if in this they succeed they gain two points, and if the hoop, when it stops, simply rests upon their

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stick, they gain one by it; the game is three points. This game is a violent exercise, because the hoop or the stick is always in action.

The other game, named toussi, is more easy; they play it with four, two on each side; each in his turn hides a piece of wood in his hands, whilst his partner makes a thousand gestures, to take off the attention of the adversaries. It is curious enough to a stander-by to see them squatted down opposite to each other, keeping the most profound silence, watching the features and most minute circumstances, which may assist them in discovering the hand which conceals the piece of wood; they gain or lose a point, according to their guessing right or wrong, and those who gain it have a right to hide in their turn: the game is five points, and the common stake is beads, and among the independent Indians the favours of their women. These have no knowledge of a God, or of a future state, with the exception of some southern nations, who had a confused idea of this kind before the arrival of the missionaries; these placed their Paradise in the middle of the seas, where the elect enjoy a coolness that they can never meet with in their burning sands, and they supposed Hell to be in the hollow of the mountains.

The missionaries, always persuaded from their prejudices, and perhaps from their own experience,

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that the reason of these men is never clear, which is, in their opinion, a just motive for treating them like children, admit but a very small number of them to the communion; these are the geniuses of the colony, who, like Descartes and Newton, would have enlightened their age, and their fellow citizens, by teaching them that four and four make eight, a calculation far beyond the reach of a great number. The plan pursued by these missionaries is by no means calculated to free them from this state of ignorance; every object of it is confined to obtaining the rewards of another life, and the commonest arts, even that of our village surgeons, are not exercised among them; many children fall sacrifices in consequence of ruptures, which the slightest address might cure, and our surgeons were fortunate enough to relieve a small number of them, and to teach them the use of bandages.

It must be allowed, that, if the Jesuits were neither more charitable, nor more pious, than these religious, they were at least possessed of greater talents; the immense edifice, which they raised in Paragua, must excite the most lively admiration; but their ambition and prejudices will ever be liable to the reproach of that system of community so contrary to the principles of civilization, which has been imitated but too servilely in all the missions of California. This government is to


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the Indians a real theocracy; they believe, that their superiors have an immediate and continual communication with God, and that they every day cause him to descend upon the altar. Under the favour of this opinion, the fathers live in the greatest security in the middle of the villages, their doors are not even shut in the night whilst they are asleep; though the history of their mission furnishes the example of the massacre of one of their body. It is well known, that this assassination was the consequence of a commotion occasioned by an imprudence, for homicide is a crime very rare, even among the independents; it is, however, only punished by general contempt; but if a man fall under the blows of several persons, it is supposed that he has deserved his fate, since he has drawn so many enemies upon him.

North California, the most northern settlement in which is Saint Francis, in latitude 37° 58′, has, according to the opinion of the governor of Monterey, no other boundary than that of America; and our ships, in penetrating as far as Mount Saint Elias, have not reached its limits. To the motives of piety, which originally determined Spain to sacrifice such considerable sums for the maintenance of its missions and presidencies, are at this time to be added powerful motives of state, which may direct the attention of government towards that valuable part of America, where the otters skins

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are as common as in the Aleutian Islands, and those of the other seas frequented by the Russians.

We found at Monterey a Spanish commissary, called M. Vincent Vassadre y Vega; he had brought orders to the governor, which enjoined him to collect together all the otter skins of his ten missions and four presidencies, the government having reserved to itself the exclusive commerce of them. M. Fagès assured me, that he could annually furnish twenty thousand of them; and as he knew the country, he added, that if the commerce of China required a sale of thirty thousand skins, two or three settlements to the northward of Saint Francis would soon procure them for the commerce of his nation.

It is not a little surprising, that the Spaniards having dependencies so near, and communications so frequent between Manilla and China, have remained to this moment ignorant of the value of this valuable peltry.

It is to captain Cook, and the publication of his voyage, that they owe this elucidation of their interests, which will hereafter be productive of the greatest advantages; thus, this great man has navigated for the general benefit of every nation, and his own holds over the others only the glory of the enterprize, and that of having given him birth.

The otter is an amphibious animal, as common over the whole western coast of America, from

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28° as far as 60°, as seals in Hudson's Bay, and on the coast of Labrador. The Indians, who are not so good seamen as the Esquimaux, and whose boats at Monterey are only made of reeds*, catch them on the land with snares, or by knocking them down with large sticks when they find them at a distance from the shore; for this purpose, they keep themselves concealed behind rocks, for this animal is frightened at the least noise, and immediately plunges into the water. Antecedent to the present year, an otter's skin bore no higher value than two hares skins; the Spaniards never suspected they would be so much sought after; they had never sent them to Europe, and Mexico was too hot a climate to suppose there would be any sale for them there.

I am of opinion, that in a few years there will be a great revolution in the commerce of the Russians at Kiatcha, from the difficulty they will find in withstanding this competition. The comparison that I have made between the otters skins of Monterey and those of Port des Français, leads me to believe, that the skins of the south are rather inferior; but the difference is so trifling, that I am not positively certain of it, and I have my doubts whether this inferiority can make so great a differ-

* Those of the Channel of Saint Barbe and Saint Diego have wooden canoes, built nearly like those of the inhabitants of Mowée, but without out-riggers.

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ence as ten per cent, in the price of the commodity. It is next to a certainty, that the new company at Manilla will endeavour to get this commerce into its own hands, which would be the most fortunate circumstance that could happen for the Russians, because it is the nature of exclusive privileges to destroy, or at least in great measure to cripple all the branches of industry and commerce, to which liberty alone can give all the energies of which they are capable.

New California, notwithstanding its fertility, cannot as yet reckon a single settler; some soldiers married to Indian women, who dwell in forts, or who are spread among the small detachments of troops in the different missions, at this time constitute the whole Spanish nation in this part of America. If it were at a less distance from Europe, it would in no respect yield to Virginia, which is opposite to it; but its proximity to Asia may indemnify it, and I am of opinion, that good laws, and more especially liberty of commerce, would speedily procure it some settlers; for the Spanish possessions are so extensive, that it is impossible to imagine, that for a long time to come the population can become extensive in any of its colonies. The great number of both sexes who are in a state of celibacy, and have taken vows to continue so, and the invariable policy of the Spanish government to admit only

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one religion, and to employ the most violent means in support of it, will incessantly oppose a new impediment to every increase.

The government of the converted colonies would be more favourable to population, if a certain portion of liberty and property had formed the basis of it; however, since the establishment of ten different missions in North California, the fathers have baptized there seven thousand seven hundred and one Indians of both sexes, and only buried two thousand three hundred and eighty-eight; but it must be remarked, that the calculation does not convey information, as in the cities of Europe, whether the population increase or diminish, because they are continually baptizing independent Indians; the only result from it is the propagation of christianity, and as I have already said, the affairs of the other world cannot be in better hands.

The Franciscan missionaries are almost all Europeans; they have a college* at Mexico, of which the guardian is the general of his order in America; this house is not dependent on the provincial of the Franciscans of Mexico, but its superiors are in Europe.

The viceroy is at this time sole judge of all disputes in the different missions, which do not acknow-

* It is the name which they give to their convent.

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ledge the authority of the commandant of Monterey, who is only obliged to grant assistance when they claim it; but as he has claims upon all the Indians, more especially those of the rancheries, and likewise commands the detachments of cavalry resident in the missions, these different dependencies very frequently interrupt the harmony between the military government and that of the ecclesiastics, who in Spain have many resources to complete the accomplishment of their plans. These affairs were formerly determined by the governor of the interior provinces, but the new viceroy, Don Bernardo Galves, has united all the powers.

Spain allows four hundred piastres to each missionary, whose number is fixed at two to a parish: if there be a supernumerary, he receives no salary. There is very little occasion for money in a country where there is nothing to be purchased; beads are the only money of the Indians; of course the college of Mexico never sends a piastre in species, but the value in effects, such as wax candles for the church, chocolate, sugar, oil, wine, with some pieces of linen, which the missionaries divide into small girdles, to cover that which modesty does not permit the converted Indians to shew openly. The salary of the governor is four thousand piastres; that of the lieutenant governor four hundred and fifty; that of the captain inspector of the two

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hundred and eighty-three cavalry, distributed in the two Californias, two thousand. Every horseman has two hundred and seventeen; but out of this he is obliged to provide his subsistence, and to furnish himself with horses, clothes, arms, and all sorts of necessaries in general. The government, which possesses studs of horses and brood mares, and also herds of cattle, sells its horses to the soldiers, as well as the food which is necessary for their consumption. Eight piastres is the price of a good horse, and that of an ox five. The governor has the management of the studs of horses and parks of cattle; at the end of the year, he gives to each horseman the balance he is entitled to in money, which is paid to him with great punctuality.

As the soldiers* had been of the greatest service to us, I asked permission to make them a present of a piece of blue cloth, and I sent to the missions, coverlets, stuffs, beads, iron tools, and in general all the little articles, which might be necessary to them, and which we had not an opportunity of distributing among he Indians of Port des Français. The president informed the whole village, that it was a present from their old and faithful allies, who professed the same religion as the Spaniards; which so particularly procured us their good-will, that the next day each of them brought us a bundle of hay or straw, for

* There were only eighteen at the presidency.

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the sheep and oxen we were about to put on board. Our gardener gave the missionaries some Chili potatoes, very perfectly preserved; I believe that this was not the least valuable of our presents, and that this root will thrive very well in those light and very fertile lands in the vicinity of Monterey.

From the day of our arrival we had sedulously employed ourselves in getting in wood and water; we had received permission to cut the former as near as possible to our longboats. Our botanists, on their part, lost not a moment towards increasing the collection of plants, but the season was very unfavourable, the summer's heat had entirely dried them up, and their seeds were scattered over the earth. Those which M. Collignon, our gardener, could recollect, were the common wormwood, the sea wormwood, southernwood, mugwort, the Mexican tea, the golden rod of Canada, the Italian starwort, milfoil, deadly nightshade, spurrey, and water mint. The gardens of the governor and the missions were filled with an infinite number of pot-herbs, which were gathered for us, and our ships companies had not in any country met with so great a quantity of pulse.

Our mineralogists were not less zealous than the botanists, but they were still less fortunate; they met upon the mountains, in ravines, and on the sea-shore, only a light and argillaceous stone,

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very easily decomposed, and which is a species of marle; they also found blocks of granite, the veins of which concealed crystallized feld-spar, some rounded fragments of porphyry and jasper, but no trace of metal. Shells are not more abundant there, with the exception of superb haliotes; they are even nine inches in length by four in breadth, all the rest are not worth the trouble it would take to collect them*. The south and east coasts of Old California are much richer in this part of natural history; there are found oysters, the pearls of which equal in size and beauty those of Ceylon, or the Gulph of Persia. These would be an article of great value, and certain of a sale in China, but it is impossible for the Spaniards to make use of all their means of industry.

On the 22d in the evening every thing was on board; we took leave of the governor and missionaries. We carried away as much provision as on our departure from Conception; the poultry-yard of M. Fagés, and that of the religious, had been transferred to our hen-coops; the religious had also added besides, grain, beans, pease, and had only kept what was absolutely necessary; they refused to receive any payment, and to the representations we made them, only answered, that they

* There are also little olives, whelks, and different sea snails, which afford nothing curious.

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were but the administrators, and not the proprietors of the property of the missions.

On the 23d the winds were contrary, and in the morning of the 24th we sailed with a breeze at west. Don Estevan Martinez came on board at day-break; his longboat, and all his crew were continually at our service, and assisted us in all our labours. I can but feebly express the sentiments of gratitude which we are indebted to him for these acts of kindness, as well as those of M. Vincent Vassadre y Vega, a young man of great merit and genius, who was upon the point of departing for China, to conclude a commercial treaty relative to otters skins.

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Astronomical Observations—Comparison of the Results obtained by the Distances of the Sun and Moon, and by our Time-keepers, which have served as the Basis of our Chart of the American Coast—Just Motives for thinking that our Labour deserves 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.

(SEPTEMBER, 1786.)

WHILST our ships companies were employed in completing our wood and water, M. Dagelet took his quadrant ashore, for the purpose of determining, with the greatest exactness, the latitude of Monterey; it was matter of considerable regret to him, that circumstances would not suffer him to make a stay there long enough to resume the comparisons of our time-keepers; the theft of the memorandum book of observations, committed on us by the savages of Port des Français, left him in some small uncertainty as to the daily loss of the time-piece No. 19, with the assistance of which we had determined all the points of

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the coast of America; this astronomer was even of opinion, that he ought to regard as nothing the comparisons made upon Cenotaph Island, and he preferred to them those taken at the bay of Talcaguana, in Chili, though too old, perhaps, to deserve a perfect confidence; but it ought never, for a moment, to be forgotten, that we every day compared the result in longitude given by the time-piece with that given by observing the distances of the sun and moon on board each ship, and that the continual and perfect agreement of these results did not leave any doubt, with regard to the accuracy of those on which we at length determined.

As the persons who study the mathematics may be desirous to know what is the limit of the errors of which the determinations of longitude, concluded at sea from the observations of the distance of the sun and moon, may be susceptible, it will not appear out of season, in this place, to give an idea of them.

Theory, assisted by a long series of observations, has never, till the present moment, attained to the furnishing of tables critically exact as to the motion of the moon; nevertheless, this primary source of error, considering the precision already attained on this subject, leaves only an uncertainty of 40″ or 50″ of time at the most, and commonly only 30″, which only answer to a quarter of a degree of geographical longitude; because the motion of the

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moon, in regard to the sun, is, upon the average, one half minute of a degree for every minute of time, and the minute of time answers to a quarter of a degree of geographical longitude; whence it follows, that the longitudes deduced from the comparison of distances observed at sea, with distances calculated for the same periods, and for a determined meridian, can only be affected by the error of the tables, if there be one, to the extent of a quarter of a degree in common cases, often even less, and very rarely a greater.

The second source of error, that which arises from the imperfection of the instruments, and from a defect in the skill or precision of the observer, cannot be assigned in so exact a manner, as that which is caused by the imperfection of the tables.

As to the reflecting octants and sextants, the limitation of the error depends, as to the instrument, on the accuracy of the divisions; and as to the observer, 1°. on the difficulty of verifying the point of 0; 2°. that of well observing the contact of the two planets; and this last depends on the goodness of the sight, experience, and expertness of the observer.

The only cause of error common to the reflecting circles, and the sextants and octants, is the difficulty of observing the contacts; and they have many advantages over these, which render the use of them more certain: the principal one is, that

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the error to be dreaded in the verification is nothing, because the observations being successively made on the right and left, there is never occasion to make this verification. As to the inaccuracy of the scale, it is reduced at will by repeated observations, and it depends only on the patience of the observer, that the error proceeding from the scale may finally be considered as nothing*. After having thus laid down the limit of error, we may be allowed to conclude, that the mean of cur results for the determination of the longitude, by observation of the distances of the sun and moon, has not, in any case, been affected by an error of more than a quarter of a degree; for having constantly employed the reflecting circle, having never neglected, during every operation, to repeat the observation as often as the circumstances of the moment would permit, the observers being always in full practice, we had nothing further to dread, but the uncertainty or limited error which might proceed from the imperfections of our lunar tables.

We have then been enabled to employ, with certainty, the results of these operations repeated

* The sextants we used were made by Ramsden, an English artist; the reflecting circles, the invention of M. de Borde, were executed by Lenoir, a French astronomical and mathematical instrument maker.

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almost every day, to verify the regularity of the time-keepers by the comparison of their results with the others. We again trust, and without doubt with reason, in the combination and continual agreement of several results of observations, obtained in different circumstances, and separately, as I have said, on board each ship, all which reciprocally serving as proof, have furnished a common and incontestible proof of the steady regularity of the time-keeper, No. 19, with the assistance of which we have determined the longitude of all the points of the American coasts which we have surveyed. The precautions of every kind, which we have accumulated and multiplied, give me an assurance, that our determinations have acquired a degree of accuracy, which deserves the considence of navigators and men of science.

The utility of the time-keepers is so generally acknowledged, and so clearly explained in the Voyage de M. de Fleurieu, that we shall only speak of the advantages we derived from them, for the purpose of better observing how much M. Berthoud has surpassed the limits, which have been assigned to his art; since, after eighteen months, numbers 18 and 19 afforded results as satisfactory as at our departure, and have enabled us to determine several times a day our exact position as to


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longitude, from which M. Bernizet has drawn the chart of the American coast*.

This chart certainly leaves a great deal to be wished for as to the details; but we can answer for the principal points of the coast, which we have critically determined, as well as its direction; it appeared to us to be generally accessible; we have not perceived any breakers in the offing, but there may be some banks near the coast; of this, however, we have no proof.

M. de Lamanon, author of the following notes, is of opinion, that it is extremely difficult to give exact vocabularies of the idiom of the different people who inhabit the parts adjacent to Monterey: he can only answer for the care and pains he has taken to avoid the adoption of any errors; he would not perhaps himself place any considerable confidence in his own observations, if he had not in the missions, where he passed three or four days, met with two Indians, who, from perfectly

* It is necessary to remark, that the labour of the astronomical observations, and of the charts, was common to the two ships; and as M. Monge was landed at Teneriffe, M. de Langle, who is himself a very good astronomer, remained charged with the direction of all this labour, in which he was assisted by Mesirs. Vajuas, Lauriston, and Blondelas. This last has drawn a part of the charts from the observations that were given to him.


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understanding the Spanish language, afforded him great assistance.

I will take upon me to say, from the observations of M. de Lamanon, that there is not perhaps any country where the different idioms are so multiplied as in North California. The numerous colonies which divide this country, although very near each other, live insulated, and have each a particular language. It is the difficulty of learning them all which consoles the missionaries for not knowing any of them; they need an interpreter for their sermons and death-bed exhortations.

Monterey, and the mission of Saint Charles, which is dependant on it, comprise the country of the Achastliens and the Ecclemachs. The two languages of these people, partly united in the same mission, would soon form a third, if the christian Indians ceased their communication with those of the rancheries. The language of the Achastliens is proportioned to the feeble developement of their understanding. As they have few abstract ideas, they have few words to express them; they did not seem to us to distinguish the several species of animals by different names; they give the same name, ouakeche, to frogs and toads; they made no greater difference among the vegetables, which they used in the same manner. Their epithets for the qualities of moral objects are almost all borrowed from the sense of taste, which is that

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which they most delight in gratifying; in this way they use the word missich to signify a good man, and a favoury food, and they give the word keches to a wicked man, and tainted meat.

They distinguish the plural from the singular; they conjugate some tenses of verbs; but they have no declension; their substantives are much more numerous than their adjectives, and they never use the labials F B, or the letter X; they have the chr as at Port des Français, chrskonder, bird, chruk, cabin, but their pronunciation is in general smoother.

The dipthong ou appears in more than half their words; chouroui, to sing, touroun, the skin, touours, a finger nail; and the most common initial consonants are the T and the K: the terminations very often vary.

They make use of their fingers in order to count as far as ten, very few of them can do it from memory, independent of any material sign. If they want to express the number which follows eight, they begin by counting with their fingers, one, two, &c. and stop when they have pronounced nine; without this assistance, it is seldom they arrive at number five.

Their numerical terms are;

One, moukala.
Two, outis.

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Three, capes.
Four, outiti.
Five, is.
Six, etesake.
Seven, kaleis.
Eight, oulousmasakhen.
Nine, pak.
Ten, tonta.

The country of the Ecclemachs extends more than twenty leagues to the east of Monterey; the language of its inhabitants widely differs from those of all their neighbours; it even possesses more resemblance to our European languages than to those of America. This grammatical phenomenon, which in this respect is more curious than any that has hitherto been observed on this continent, will perhaps interest the learned, who, from the comparison of languages, trace the history of the transplanting of nations. It seems that the languages of America have a distinct character, which positively separates them from those of the old continent. In comparing them with those of Brasil and Chili, and a part of California, as well as with the numerous vocabularies given by different voyagers, it is to be observed, that the American languages in general are deficient in many of the labial letters, and more particularly of the letter F, which the Ecclemachs use, and pronounce like the Europeans.

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The idiom of this nation is also richer than that of the other people of California, though it is not to be compared with the languages of civilized nations. If from these observations we should be induced to conclude, that the Ecclemachs are strangers to this part of America, it must at least be admitted, that they have been inhabitants of it for a long time past; for in colour, features, and in general all the exterior forms, they differ nothing from the other people of this country.

Their numerical terms are:

One, pek.
Two, oulach.
Three, oullef.
Four, amnahon.
Five, pemaca.
Six, pekoulana.
Seven, houlakoalano.
Eight, koulefala.
Nine, kamakoualane.
Ten, tomoïla.

Other words.

Friend, nigefech,
Bow, pagounach.
Beard, iscotre.

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To dance, mefpa.
Teeth, aour.
Seal, opobabos.
No, maal.
Yes, ike.
Father, aoi.
Mother, atzia.
Star, aimoulas.
Night, toumanes.

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Departure from Monterey—Plan of the Track which we proposed to follow in traversing the Western Ocean as far as China—Vain Research of the Island Nostra Senora de la Gorta—Discovery of Necker's Island—Meet, during the Night, with a sunken Rock, upon which we were in danger of perishing—Description of that sunken Rock—Determination of its Latitude and Longitude—Vain Search after the Isles de la Mira and des Jardins—We make the Island of Assumption one of the Mariannes—Description and true Situation of that Island in Latitude and Longitude—Error of the old Charts of the Mariannes—We fix the Longitude and Latitude of the Bashee Islands—We anchor in the Road of Macao.

(SEPTEMBER, 1786.—JANUARY, 1787.)

THE part of the great ocean which we had to traverse, in order to arrive at Macao, is nearly an unknown sea; the Spaniards, who alone had frequented it, had, during a great length of time, lost that ardour for discoveries, which might perhaps have been excited by the thirst for gold, but which caused them to brave all dangers. To the old enthusiasm, the cold calculation of security has

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succeeded; their track during their voyage from Acapulco to Manilla, lies within a space of twenty leagues, between the 13th and the 14th degree of latitude; on their return they run nearly in the parallel of 40°, by the aid of westerly winds, which are very frequent in these seas. Certain, from long experience, of never meeting there either sunken rocks or shoals, they can run during the night with as little precaution as in the European seas; their voyages from one port to another are much shorter, by being more direct; and the interest of their employers is less exposed to be injured by ship-wrecks.

The object of our voyage being new discoveries, and the progress of navigation in seas but little known, we endeavoured to shun frequented tracks, with as much care as the galleons on the contrary take to follow, as it were, the wake of the ship that has preceded them; we were, however, obliged to keep in the zone of the trade winds; without their assistance we had no chance of reaching China in six months, and confequently of pursuing the ultimate design of our voyage.

In departing from Monterey, I formed the plan of shaping my course to the south-west as far as 28° of latitude, in which parallel some geographers have placed the island of Nostra Senora de la Gorta. All my endeavours to find out the navigator, who formerly made this discovery, have been entirely

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fruitless. In vain have I read over my notes, and all the printed voyages which were on board the two frigates; I have found neither a history nor romance of this island, and I believe it is solely from the chart taken by admiral Anson in the galleon from Manilla, that geographers have continued to assign it a place in the great ocean*.

I had procured at Monterey a Spanish manuscript chart of this same ocean, which differs very little from that which the editor of Admiral Anson's Voyage has caused to be engraved, and it may be relied upon, that, since the taking of the Manilla galleon by this admiral, and even during the course of two ages, no progress has been made in the knowledge of this sea, till the fortunate discovery of the Sandwich Islands; the Resolution and Discovery being, with the Boussole and Astrolabe, the only ships which for two hundred years have departed from the tracks followed by the galleons†.

Calms and contrary winds detained us two days in sight of Monterey; but they soon became fixed at north-west, and permitted me to reach the parallel of 28°, in which I proposed to run the space of five hundred leagues, as far as the longitude assigned to the island of Nostra Senora de la Gorta:

* See the note p. 32 of this volume.—(Fr. Ed.)

† Admiral Anson, and several buccancers, having had no other object than that of making prizes, have always followed the common track.

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this was less in the hope of meeting with it, than to blot it from the charts, because it would be very desireable, for the success of navigation, that islands badly determined as to latitude and longitude should remain in oblivion, or totally unknown, till the time when accurate observations, at least as to latitude, had marked their true situation upon a line; if, however, observations on the longitude had not allowed the assigning to them the exact point which they occupy upon the globe. It was my intention after this, to run down to the south-west, and to cross the track of captain Clarke, at 20° of latitude, and in 179° of east longitude, from the meridian of Paris; this is nearly the point where the English captain was obliged to quit this track, for the purpose of visiting Kamtschatka*.

I had at first a very fortunate run; the north-westerly winds were succeeded by those from the north-east, and I had no doubt of our soon attaining the region of the trade winds; but on the

* Captain Clarke, in departing from the Sandwich Islands, wished to follow the parallel of 20° as far as the meridian of Kamtschatka, because this track being new, he hoped to make some discoveries in it. He did not change his course till the 30th of March 1779; he was then in 180° 40′ east longitude, or at 179° 20′ to the westward of the meridian of Greenwich; which gives 178° 20′ eastern longitude from the meridian of Paris.—(Fr. Ed.)

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18th of October, they changed to the westward, and were there as steady as in the high latitudes, only varying from north-west to south-west. I contended with these obstacles for eight or ten days, taking advantage of the different changes to get to the westward, and at length gain the longitude at which I had proposed to arrive.

We had almost continual storms and rains; the humidity between the decks was extreme; all the sailors clothes were drenched, and I was very apprehensive that the scurvy might be the consequence of this unfavourable weather; but we had only a few degrees to run to arrive at the meridian which I wished to attain, and on the 27th of October I reached it. We had no other sign of land than two species of sandpipers, which were caught on board the Astrolabe; but they were so lean, that it seemed to us very possible they might have wandered over the seas for a long time, or might come from the Sandwich Islands, from which we were distant not more than a hundred and twenty leagues. The island of Nostra Senora de la Gorta being laid down upon my Spanish chart 45′ more to the southward, and 4° more to the westward, than upon that of admiral Anson, I shaped my course with an intention of passing over this second point, but I was not at all more fortunate. The westerly winds continuing to blow always in these latitudes, I endeavoured to near

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the tropic, in order to meet with the trade winds, which might carry us to Asia, and the temperature of which seemed to me more likely to keep our ships companies in good health: as yet we had not a sick man on board; but our voyage, although very long, was scarcely yet begun, in relation to the immense space which remained to us to run over. If the vast plan of our voyage did not startle any one, our sails and rigging every day reminded us, that we had continually kept the seas for seventeen months; our running rigging was giving way every moment, and our sail-makers were incessantly employed in repairing our canvas, which was almost entirely worn out; it is true, we had a second suit of sails on board, but the projected length of our voyage required the most rigid economy. Near the half of our cordage was already unserviceable, and we were very far from having made the half of our voyage.

On the 3d of November, in 24° 4′ north latitude, and 165° 2′ west longitude, we were surrounded with noddies, man-of-war birds, and terns, which seldom go far from land; we therefore stood on with more caution, carrying very little sail during the night, and on the 4th of November, in the evening, we made an island which bore west of us four or five leagues; it appeared to be rather inconsiderable, but we flattered ourselves it was not the only one.

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I made a signal to keep our wind, and to remain standing on and off all night, waiting for day with the utmost impatience, in order to continue our discovery. At five o'clock in the morning of the 5th of November we were only three leagues from the island, and ran down before the wind to reconnoitre it. I hailed the Astrolabe to make sail ahead, and prepare to anchor, if the coast should afford an anchorage, and a creek where it was possible to land.

This very small island is little else than a rock of about five hundred toises in length, and in height sixty, at the most: there is not a single tree to be seen on it; but on the top of it is a great deal of grass; the naked rock is covered with the dung of various birds, and appears white, which makes a contrast to the different red spots upon which the grass has not grown. I came within a third of a league of it; the extremities of it were perpendicular, like a wall, and the sea broke all around with the utmost violence, which rendered it impossible to think of landing. We almost entirely sailed round this island, and took a very exact plan of it; its latitude and longitude, determined by M. Dagelet, are 23° 34′ north, and 166° 52′ west of Paris. I named it Isle Necker. If its sterility render it of little importance, its exact situation is very interesting to navigators, to whom it might be attended with fatal consequences. I had passed

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very near to the south part without sounding, not to stop the ship's way. The breakers covered the whole coast, except the south-east point, where there was a little ridge of rocks which might extend two cables length; I wished, before I continued my course, to be convinced whether we could get ground. Both the frigates sounded, the Astrolabe being nearly a league to leeward; we found alongside of each frigate only five and twenty fathoms; the bottom of broken shells. M. de Langle and I were very far from expecting so small a depth. It seemed evident to me, that Necker Island is at this time only the top, or, in some sort, perhaps, the nucleus of a much more considerable island, which, probably, from being composed of a tender and dissoluble substance, the sea by degrees has mined away; but the rock, which at present is observed to be very hard, will, during many ages, defy the tooth of Time, and the efforts of the sea. As it was very material for us to know the extent of this bank, we continued to sound on board the two frigates, directing our course to the westward. In proportion as we left the shore, the depth gradually increased, and, at the distance of about ten miles, we had no bottom with a hundred and fifty fathoms of line out; but over this space of ten miles, we found no other ground than coral and broken shells. During the course of this day, we had men continually looking out at the mast-


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head; the weather was squally, with rain; there was, however, from time to time, very fine clears, and our horizon extended at such times ten or twelve leagues; at sun-set, more especially, it was as fine as could possibly be conceived. We perceived nothing around us; but the number of birds was not diminished, and we saw flights, consisting of several hundreds, moving in different directions, so that we could not tell, with any precision, to what quarter they were going.

We had had so fine a prospect at night-fall, and the moon, which was almost at the full, gave so great a light, that I thought we might venture to stand on. I had, in fact, by the light of the moon, perceived overnight Necker Island, at four or five leagues distance; I gave orders, however, to take in all the studding-sails, and to reduce the ships way to three or four knots an hour. The wind being at east, we steered west. From the time of our departure from Monterey, we had never had a finer night, or a smoother sea, and it was this smoothness of the water which had nearly proved fatal to us. Towards half an hour past one o'clock in the morning, we perceived breakers at two cables length ahead of the ship: the sea was so smooth, as I have already mentioned, that they scarcely made any noise, but broke at a distance from each other, and very little. The Astrolabe perceived them at the same time; this ship was rather more

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distant from them than the Boussole; we both at the same instant hauled to port, with our heads to the south-south-east; and, as our ship had strong head-way during this manœuvre, I do not think that our distance from the breakers can be estimated at more than a cable's length. I gave orders for sounding; we had nine fathoms, rocky bottom; soon after ten fathoms, twelve fathoms, and in about a quarter of an hour got no ground with sixty fathoms. We had just escaped the most imminent danger to which navigators can be exposed: and I do no more than justice to my ship's company in saying, that there never was, in similar circumstances, less disorder and confusion: the slightest negligence in the working of the ship which we had to execute, in order to remove ourselves from the breakers, would necessarily have brought on our destruction. During nearly an hour, we perceived the continuation of these breakers; but they stretched away in the westward, and in three hours we had lost sight of them. I continued, however, steering south-south-east till day; it was very fine and clear, and we did not perceive any breaker, though we had only run five leagues from the time we had changed our course. I am persuaded, that if we had not more particularly reconnoitered this sunken rock, many doubts would have remained as to the reality of its existence. But it was not sufficient for us to be certain of it, and to have

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escaped the danger: I was still desirous, that navigators should no longer be exposed to it; in consequence of which, I made the signal, at day-break, to tack, to find it once more. At eight o'clock in the morning we had sight of it, in the north-north-west; I crouded sail to near it, and we soon perceived an islet or split rock, the diameter of which was, at most, fifty toises, and from twenty to five and twenty fathoms in height; it was situate upon the north-west extremity of this reef of rocks, the south-east point of which, where we had been so near destruction, extended more than four leagues in that point of the compass. We saw, between the islet and the south-east breakers, three sand banks, which were not raised more than four feet above the level of the sea: they were, between each of them, separated by a kind of greenish water, which did not seem to be a fathom deep: rocks level with the water, upon which the sea broke with violence, surrounded this dangerous shoal, as a circle of diamonds surrounds a medallion, and thus guarded it from the fury of the sea. We coasted along it at less than the distance of a league on the east, south, and west side; we were in no uncertainty as to any part but the north, of which we could only obtain a bird's eye view from the mast-head: it may thus be possible, that it is considerably more extensive than we have been able to form a judgment of; but the length of it


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from south-east to north-west, or from the extremity of the breakers which had nearly proved so fatal to us, as far as the islet, is four leagues. The geographical situation of this islet, estimated from the only visible part of it, was fixed by M. Dagelet in 23° 45′ north latitude, and 168° 10′ west longitude; it is twenty-three leagues distant to the west-north-west from Necker's Island; it may safely be approached within the distance of four leagues. I named this dangerous rock, Basse des Frégates Française, because it was near proving the termination of our voyage.

Having determined, with all the accuracy in our power, the geographical situation of this reef, I directed my course to the west-south-west. I had observed, that all the clouds seemed to gather in this point of the compass, and I from that flattered myself, with at length finding land there of some importance. A heavy swell, which came from the west-north-west, induced me to think, that there was no island to the northward; and I was at some pains to persuade myself, that Necker Island, and Basse des Frégates Françaises, might perhaps precede an archipelago probably inhabited, or at least habitable; but my conjectures were never realized, the birds soon disappeared, and we lost all hopes of meeting any thing.

I made no change in the plan I had laid down of crossing the track of captain Clarke, at 179°


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of east longitude, and on the 16th of November I attained that point. But though more than two degrees to the southward of the tropic, we did not fall in with the trade winds, which, in this latitude in the Atlantic Ocean, experience but very slight and momentary variations, and in a space of more than eight hundred leagues, as far as the vicinity of the Mariannes, we ran in the parallel of 20°, with winds nearly as variable as those which are met with in the months of June and July on the French coasts. The wind from the north-west, which made a very high sea, shifted first to the north, and then to the north-east; the weather was clear, and very fine; they soon veered to east and south-east; the sky was then whitish and dull, and it rained a good deal; some hours afterwards, when this same wind had shifted to the south-west, then to west, and finally to north-west, the horizon became clear. This revolution continued three or four days, and it happened only once that the south-east winds chopped back again to the east and north-east.

I have made some details upon this regularly variable progress of the wind in this latitude and season, because it seems to me to contradict the opinion of those, who explain the regularity and steadiness of the winds between the tropics, by the earth's rotatory motion. It is rather extraordinary, that in the most immense sea of the whole globe,

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over a space where the reaction of the land cannot have any influence, we experienced variable winds during almost two months, and that it should so happen, that in the vicinity of the Mariannes alone, the winds should be fixed at east*: though we

* If the cause of the trade winds be uncertain, the knowledge of their existence, and the period in which they prevail, is infinitely useful to navigators; it will only happen after having crossed the South Sea at different times, and in all seasons, that a certain rule can be established; nevertheless, voyages known at this moment prove, that the easterly winds prevail in the seas adverted to by la Pérouse; a survey of Cook's table of courses in his third voyage may carry conviction as to their steadiness during the months of March, April, &c. If Clarke changed his course sooner than he had otherwise intended, this was not owing to contrary winds; for when they blew from the southward, he took advantage of them to run to the northward. Captain King thus expresses himself upon the steadiness of the winds: "In the midst of those light winds, which had almost continually prevailed since our departure from the Sandwich Islands." In the following page, it is said: "On the 6th of April, at noon, we lost the trade winds."
By comparing Dixon's journal with his table of courses, it will be seen, that on the 18th of September, he departed from Attoui, and arrived at Macao the 8th of November; during the fifty-two days sailing between the equator and the 13th degree of north latitude, he ran down 88 degrees of longitude, and the wind was southerly only a single day; all the rest of the time the wind continued to the eastward.
"Our captain judged it most prudent to steer to the southward, 'till we were in about 13 deg. 30 min. North latitude, and then bear away to the westward; as that track was the most likely for a true trade, and it had been found in captain Cook's last voyage, that in the latitude 20 and 21 deg. to leeward of these islands, the winds are at best but light, and often variable."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 281.
"From this day (22d October) to the 31st, we had little variety. A constant easterly trade caused a heavy swell to set in from east-north-east," &c.—Dixon's Voyage, p. 285. Here then is a fresh proof, that the trade winds prevail between these parallels during the months of September, October, and November.—(Fr. Ed.)

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ran only in one track over this ocean, this is not an entirely solitary fact, because our run lasted nearly two months. I agree, however, that it ought not to be inferred, that the zone comprised between the north tropic and the 19th degree is not in the line of the trade winds in the months of November and December. A single voyage is not sufficient to change in this manner received opinions; but it may be relied on, that the laws on which they are founded are not so general, but they may admit many exceptions, and therefore do not refuse to bend to the explanations of those who imagine they have dived into all the secrets of nature.

Halley's system of the variation of the magnetic needle would have been unworthy of confidence, even in the eyes of its author, if this astronomer, celebrated on so many other accounts, had departed from Monterey in 124° of west longitude, and had run over the great ocean as far as

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160° of east longitude; for he would have perceived, that in the space of 76°, or more than fifteen hundred leagues, the variation is only five degrees; and that of course the navigator can conclude nothing from it for the determination or correcting of his longitude. The method of lunar observations, more especially when joined to that of the time-keepers, leaves so little to be desired in this respect, that we landed upon the island of Assumption, one of the Mariannes, with the greatest exactness; under a supposition, that the Island of Tinian, the situation of which captain Wallis gave from his observations, might be a little to the southward of Assumption, a direction which all navigators and geographers have agreed to give to the Marianne Islands. On the 14th of December, at two o'clock in the afternoon, we made these islands. I had directed my course with an intention to pass between Mira Island and Desert and Garden Islands; but their idle names occupy spaces on the charts, where no land ever was, and thus deceive navigators, who will one day or other, perhaps, meet with them several degrees to the northward or southward*. This same Assumption

* "I have already advanced, in the last note but one to chap. i. and the notes to chap. ii. that there is no certainty to be obtained on this head, and that it would even be dangerous to blot from geographical maps the ancient discoveries, for which a navigator may have searched in vain. Here is an additional proof of the truth of my assertion:
Captain Marshall, returning in 1788 from Botany Bay to Macao, fell in with Garden Islands in 21¾° north latitude, and 148½° west longitude, from the meridian of Paris.—(Fr. Ed.)

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Island, which forms a part of a group of islands so known, upon which we have a history in several volumes, is laid down upon the Jesuits chart, copied by all the geographers, 30′ too far to the northward; its true position is in 19° 45′ north latitude, and 143° 15′ east longitude.

As from our anchorage we took the bearings of the Mangs, 28° to the westward, distant about five leagues, we observed, that the three rocks of this name are also placed 30′ too much to the northward: and it is nearly certain, that there exists the same error as to Uracas, the last of the Marianne Islands, the archipelago of which extends only as far as 20° 20′ north latitude. The Jesuits have estimated the distances between them tolerably well; but their astronomical observations are in this respect very bad. They have been equally unfortunate in their judgment as to the size of Assumption; for it is probable, that they had no other means of ascertaining it but by their reckoning. They attribute six leagues of circumference to it: from the angles we took it is reduced one half, and the highest point is about two hundred toises above the

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level of the sea. It would be difficult for the most lively imagination to conceive a more horrible place. The commonest view, after so very long a run, would have appeared delightful to us; but a perfect cone, the surface of which, to forty toises above the level of the sea, was as black as coal, while it deceived our hopes, could not but afflict our sight; for during several weeks we had feasted our imagination with the cocoa nuts and turtles, which we flattered ourselves with the hopes of finding in some one of the Marianne Islands.

We perceived, indeed, some cocoa nut trees, which scarcely occupied a fifteenth part of the circumference of the island, in a hollow of forty toises, and which were thus sheltered, in some measure, from the east wind; this is the only place where it is possible for ships to come to an anchor, in a bottom of thirty fathoms, black sand, which extends at least a quarter of a league. This anchorage had been gained by the Astrolabe; I had also let go an anchor within reach of a pistol-shot of that frigate; but having dragged it half a cable's length, we lost all bottom, and were obliged to weigh it with a hundred fathoms of cable out, and to make two tacks in order to near the land. This trifling misfortune but little afflicted me, because I saw that the island did not deserve a long stay. My boat went on shore, under the command of M. Boutin, lieutenant of the ship, as did that of

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the Astrolabe, in which M. de Langle himself embarked, with Messrs. de la Martinière, Vaujuas, Prevost, and father Receveur. I observed, by the help of my perspective glass, that they found it very difficult to get on shore; the sea broke all around, and they had taken advantage of a smoother interval, and jumped into the sea up to their necks; I was much afraid, that the re-embarking might prove still more difficult, the billows appearing to increase every moment; this was from that time the only event which could induce me to come to an anchor, for we were all as eager to leave it as we had before been ardent in our wishes to arrive at it. Fortunately, at two o'clock, our boats returned, and the Astrolabe got under way. M. Boutin informed me, that the island was a thousand times more horrible than it appeared at the distance of a quarter of a league; torrents of lava formed ravines and precipices, bordered by some stunted cocoa trees, very thinly sown, together with a few matted creeping plants, through which it is almost impossible to walk a hundred toises in an hour. Fifteen or sixteen persons were employed, from nine o'clock in the morning till noon, to carry to the two boats about a hundred cocoa nuts, which they had only the trouble of picking up from under the trees; but the extreme difficulty lay in carrying them to the sea-shore, though the distance was very small. The lava which had flowed

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from the crater overspreads the whole side of the cone, to within forty toises from the sea; the summit seems in some measure to be vied, consisting of a dark foot-coloured glass; we did not once get a sight of the summit, as it was always capped by a cloud; but though we had not seen it smoke, the smell of sulphur, which it emitted to the distance of half a league at sea, gave me reason to think, that it was not quite extinct, and that it was probable the last eruption of it was at no great distance of time; for there did not appear any trace of decomposition on the lava in the middle of the mountain.

Every thing announced, that neither human creature nor quadruped had ever been so unfortunate as to have only this place for an asylum, upon which we perceived nothing but some large crabs, which might be very dangerous in the night, if they found any person asleep; they brought one of them on board: it is probable that this crustaceous animal has driven away the sea birds from the island, by devouring their eggs, which they always lay upon the land. We saw at the anchorage only three or four noddies, but when we approached the Mangs, our ships were surrounded by an innumerable quantity of birds. M. de Langle, while upon Assumption Island, killed a bird that was black, very much resembling a black bird, which did not however increase our collection, because it fell

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down a precipice. Our naturalists found very fine shells in the hollows of the rocks. M. de la Martinière made an ample collection of plants, and carried on board three or four different species of banana trees, which I had never seen in any other country. We saw no other fishes but the red ray, the small shark, and a sea serpent, which might be three feet in length and three inches in diameter. The hundred cocoa nuts, and the very small number of objects of natural history that we had procured so quickly from this volcano, for this is its true appellation, had exposed our boats and their crews to no inconsiderable dangers. M. Boutin, who was obliged to throw himself into the sea, in order to debark and get on board again, had received several wounds in his hands, which he had been obliged to lean upon the sharp-edged rocks, with which the island is bordered. M. de Langle had also run several risks, but these are inseparable from all landings on such small islands, and especially of so round a form as this; the sea, coming from the windward, glides along the coast, and makes a surf upon all the points, which renders the landing very dangerous.

Fortunately, we had a sufficiency of water to serve us till we reached China, for it would be difficult to take in any of it at Assumption, if there had been any upon this island; our sailors saw none except in the hollows of the rocks,

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where it was preserved as in a vessel, and the most considerable of them did not contain six bottles.

The Astrolabe having gotten under way at three o'clock, we continued our course to the west-north-west, running at three or four leagues distance from the Mangs, which bore north-east by north of us. I could have much wished to be able to determine the situation of Uracas, the northernmost of the Marianne Islands; but it would have lost a night, and I was eager to reach China, fearing that the ships from Europe might have departed before our arrival; I ardently desired to put France in possession of the details of our labours on the American coast, as well as the narrative of our voyage as far as Macao, and that I might not lose a moment, I stood on with every sail out.

During the night the two frigates were surrounded by immense quantities of birds, which seemed to me to be inhabitants of the Mangs and Uracas, that are only rocks. These birds evidently never go far to leeward, for we had scarcely lost sight of the Mariannes in the east, and they had accompanied us fifty leagues to the westward. The greatest number were species of man-of-war birds, and noddies, with some gulls, terns, and tropic birds. The breezes were strong in the channel

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which separates the Mariannes from the Philippines, the sea was very high, and we were constantly driven to the southward by the currents; they might run about half a knot an hour. For the first time since our departure from France the Boussole made a little water, but I attributed the cause of it to some seams about the water-line, the oakum of which had decayed. Our caulkers, who, during this voyage, had examined the side of the ship, sound several seams almost entirely open, and they suspected those which were near the water to be in the same state; it was not possible for them to work on them at sea, but it became their first employment on our arrival in Macao Road.

On the 28th we made the Bashee* Islands, of which admiral Byron has given a determination as to loe that is not exact: that of captain Wallis is much nearer the truth. We passed about a league from the two rocks which are the most to the northward; they ought to be called islets, notwithstanding the authority of Dampier, because the least of them is half a league in circumference, and, though it is not woody, we perceived a great deal of grass on the east side. The west longitude of this islet, determined when it bore a league south of us, was fixed from the mean

* Bashees, or Bachi Islands, so named by William Dampier, from the name of an intoxicating liquor very much drunk there.—(Fr. Ed.)

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of more than sixty lunar observations, taken during the most favourable circumstances, in 119° 41′, and its north latitude in 21° 9′ 13″*. M. Bernizet has also laid down the relative position of all these islands, and drawn a plan, which is the result of more than two hundred bearings taken. I did not propose to touch here, the Bashees having been already several times visited, and having nothing particularly interesting. After determining the position, I then continued my course towards China, and on the 1st of January 1787, I found bottom in sixty fathoms. The next day we were surrounded by a great number of fishing boats, which kept the sea in very bad weather; they could not pay any attention to us. The nature of their fishing did not allow them to turn from it, for the purpose of coming alongside the ships; they dragged over the bottom with very long nets, which they cannot haul up in two hours.

On the 2d of January we made the White Rock. We anchored in the evening to the northward of Ling ting Island, and the next day in Macao Road, after having entered a strait or channel, which I thought little frequented, though

* I thought it was necessary to apprize navigators, that these pretended rocks are small islands, because this denomination led me into an error for several hours.

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very beautiful*. We had taken on board Chinese pilots from Lamma Island.


Arrival at Macao—Stay in the Road of Typa—The Governor's obliging Reception—Description of Macao—Its Government—Its Population—Its Relations with the Chinese—Departure from Macao—Landing on the Island of Luconia—Uncertainty of the Position of the Banks of Bulinao, Mansiloq, and Marivelle—Description of the Village of Marivelle, or Mirabelle—We enter into Manilla-Bay by the South Passage, after having in vain tried the North—Marks for turning into Manilla-Bay without Risk—Anchorage at Cavite.


THE Chinese, who had piloted us up to Macao, refused to conduct us up to the anchorage of Typa; they testified the greatest eagerness to get

* Navigators who are desirous to know this channel, ought to procure Daltymple's chart, engraved in the Neptune of Daprès; we left the Great Lamma, the Ling-ting Islands, Chichow, Laf-fam-mée, Long-shitow, Chang-chow, to the southward, and only the island Socko-chow, and the great island Lantao to the northward.

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away with their boats, and we since learned, that the mandarin of Macao would have demanded from each of them half the sum he had received. These kind of contributions are generally preceded by several sound bastinadoes. This people, whose laws are so much boasted of in Europe, is perhaps the most unfortunate, the most aggrieved, and the most arbitrarily governed, of any on the face of the earth; if, however, it be fair to judge of the Chinese government, by the despotism of the mandarin of Macao.

The weather, which was very cloudy, had prevented us from perceiving the town; at noon it cleared up, and we made it from the west a degree south about three leagues. I sent a boat on shore, commanded by M. Boutin, to advertise the governor of our arrival, and to acquaint him, that we intended to make some stay in the road, for the purpose of resting and refreshing our ships companies. M. Bernardo Alexis de Lemos, governor of Macao, received this officer in the most obliging manner; he made us an offer of every assistance in his power, and immediately sent a Malay pilot on board, to conduct us to the anchorage of Typa; at day break the next day we got under way, and at eight o'clock in the morning we brought up in three fathoms and a half, muddy ground, the town of Macao bearing north-west five miles.

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We came to an anchor alongside of a French flute, commanded by M. de Richery, ensign in the navy; she came from Manilla, destined, by Messrs. d'Entrecasteaux and Cossigny, to cruize on the eastern coasts, and there to protect our commerce. We had then at length, at the end of eighteen months, the pleasure of meeting not only with our countrymen, but even comrades and acquaintances. M. de Richery had the night before accompanied the Malay pilot, and had brought us a very considerable quantity of fruits, pulse, fresh meat, and in general every thing which he could imagine might be agreeable to navigators after a long voyage. Our apparent good state of health seemed to surprise him. He informed us of the political state of Europe, the situation of which was exactly the same as at our departure from France; but all his researches at Macao to find out some one who had been charged with our packets were in vain; it was more than probable, that no letter addressed to us had arrived in China, and we experienced the melancholy idea of having been forgotten by our friends and families. Sorrowful situations make men unjust; these letters, which we so forcibly regretted, might have been entrusted to the company's ship which had lost its passage; her consort alone had arrived this year, and information was received from the captain, that the greater part of the money;


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and all the letters, had been sent by the other ship. We were perhaps more afflicted than the merchants by the unfavourable weather which had prevented the arrival of this ship, and it was impossible for us not to remark, that out of twenty-nine English ships, five Dutch, two Danes, one Swede, two Americans, and two French, the only one which had lost its passage was of our nation. As the English never trust the command of their ships except to thorough-bred seamen, a similar event is what rarely happens to them; and when, arriving too late in the Chinese Seas, they find the north-east monsoon set in, they struggle with obstinacy against this impediment; they frequently penetrate to the eastward of the Philippines, and standing to the northward in this sea, much more extensive and less exposed to currents, they re-enter by the south of the Bashee Islands, make the land of Piedra Blanca, and, as we did, pass to the northward of the Great Lamma. We were witnesses of the arrival of an English vessel, which, after having followed this track, anchored in Macao Road ten days after us, and immediately afterwards went up to Canton*.

* D'Entrecasteaux, in 1787, made a voyage from the Isle of France to China against a monsoon; he crossed parts of a sea almost unknown, and discovered some dangerous rocks and shoals not mentioned in any chart.—(Fr. Ed.)

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My first care, after the ship's being moored, was to go on shore with M. de Langle, in order to thank the governor for the obliging reception he had given to M. Boutin, and to ask his permission to have an establishment on shore, for the purpose of erecting an observatory, and giving rest to M. Dagelet, who was very much fatigued with our voyage, as well as M. Rollin, our surgeon major, who after having, by his care and advice, warded off the scurvy and all other diseases from us, would himself have been obliged to yield to the fatigues of our long voyage, had our arrival been retarded a week longer.

M. de Lemos received us as countrymen; every favour we had asked was granted, with a politeness to which no language can do justice. He made us an offer of his house, and, as he did not speak French, his wife, a young Portuguese from Lisbon, officiated as his interpreter. To the answers of her husband she added amiableness and grace peculiar to herself, and such as travellers can rarely flatter themselves with meeting in the first cities of Europe.

Dona Maria de Saldagna had twelve years ago married M. de Lemos at Goa, and very soon after the marriage I happened to be in that city, commander of the flute la Seine; she was so kind as to remind me of this event, which was very strongly impressed on my memory, and obligingly

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to add, that I was an old acquaintance; after which, calling all her children, she told me that she always thus presented herself to her friends; that their education was the object of all her cares; that she was proud of being their mother, which pride we must have the goodness to pardon, as she was determined to introduce herself to our acquaintance with all her faults.

The whole world could not exhibit a more charming picture; the finest children surrounded and embraced the most lovely mother, whose kindness and sweetness of manners spread itself over every thing around her.

We were soon convinced, that to her charms and private virtues she added a firm character, and an elevated mind; that in several delicate circumstances, in which M. de Lemos had found himself involved with the Chinese, he had been confirmed in his generous resolutions by Madame de Lemos, and they were both united in opinion, that they ought not, after the example of their predecessors, to sacrifice the honour of their nation to any other interest whatever. The administration of M. de Lemos at Goa would have been a distinguished period for that colony, if government had thought proper to continue him in his place for a longer term than three years, and had allowed him time to accustom the Chinese to a resistance, of

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which, for more than a century, they had lost even the remembrance.

As a man is as far distant from China at Macao as in Europe, from the extreme difficulty of penetrating into this empire, I will not follow the example of navigators who have spoken of it without any knowledge whatever; I will therefore confine myself to a description of the connexion of the Europeans with the Chinese; the extreme humiliation they experience in it; the feeble protection they can derive from the Portuguese settlement upon the coast of China, and finally, the importance which might be attached to the city of Macao, in the possession of a nation which would conduct itself with justice, but at the same time with dignity and firmness, against a government which is perhaps the most unjust and oppressive, and at the same time the most cowardly, that at this moment exists in the whole world.

The Chinese carry on a commerce with the Europeans, which amounts to fifty millions, two fifths of which are paid in silver, the rest in English cloth, Batavian or Malacca tin, in cotton from Surat and Bengal, in opium from Patna, in sandal wood and pepper, from the coast of Malabar. Some articles of luxury are also carried from Europe, as looking glasses of the largest dimensions, Geneva watches, coral, fine pearls; but it is scarcely worth while to reckon these last articles, as they

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cannot be sold to any advantage but in very small quantities. In exchange for all these riches, nothing is carried away but black or green tea, with some chests of raw silk for the European manufactures, for I reckon as nothing the China ware, with which they ballast their ships, and the silks, from which they scarcely derive any profit. There certainly is not any nation in the world, that carries on so advantageous a commerce with strangers, nevertheless there is not one that imposes such hard conditions, and that with greater impudence multiplies restraints and vexations of every kind; there is not a single cup of tea drunk in Europe, which has not been the cause of an humiliation to those who purchased it at Canton, and who have embarked and sailed over half the globe to bring this leaf into our markets.

I cannot refrain from relating, that about two years ago, an English gunner, making a salute by order of his captain, killed a Chinese fisherman in a shampan, who had imprudently and unknown to the gunner placed himself within the range of the gun. The santock or governor of Canton demanded the gunner, and at length obtained him, on a promise that he would not do him any harm, adding, that he was not so unjust as to punish an involuntary homicide. Upon this assurance the unfortunate man was delivered up to him, and was hanged two hours afterwards. The national ho-

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nour demanded a speedy and extraordinary vengeance, but merchant ships do not possess the means of it; and the captains of these ships, accustomed to punctuality, honesty, and that moderation which does not endanger the property of their employers, could not undertake a generous resistance, which would have occasioned a loss of forty millions to their company, whose ships would have returned empty; but they without doubt denounced this injury, and flattered themselves they could obtain satisfaction for it. I dare undertake to assert, that all the agents of the different European companies would give a great part of their fortune, in order at length to convince these cowardly mandarins, that acts of injustice like theirs have passed all bounds.

The Portuguese have still greater cause of complaint against the Chinese, than any other nation. The respectable title by which they hold possession of Macao is well known. The gift of the ground on which this city is built is a monument of the emperor Camhy's gratitude, and was given to the Portuguese for having destroyed, in the islands adjacent to Canton, the pirates who infested those seas, and ravaged all the coasts of China. It is an idle piece of declamation to urge, that the abuse they made of their privileges was the cause of their losing them; their crimes have existed alone through the weakness of their government. The

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Chinese have every day loaded them with new injuries, and every moment have set up new pretensions; against these the Portuguese government has never opposed the smallest resistance; and this place, from which any European nation, possessing a small degree of energy, might overawe the emperor of China, is in a manner no more than a Chinese town, in which the Portuguese reside on sufferance, though they have an undoubted right to command there, and the means of making themselves dreaded, if they would only maintain a garrison of two thousand Europeans, two frigates, some corvettes, and a bomb-vessel.

Macao, situate at the mouth of the Tigris, can receive sixty-four gun ships into its road at the entrance of Typa; and in its port, which is below the city, and communicates with the river to the eastward, ships of seven or eight hundred tons half laden. Its latitude, according to our observations, is in 22° 12′ 40″, and its longitude 111° 19′ 30″ east.

The entrance of this port is defended by a fortress, consisting of two batteries, which on entering it is necessary to pass within pistol-shot. Three small sorts, two of which are mounted with a dozen guns, and one with six, guard the southern part of the city from all Chinese enterprizes; these fortifications, which are in the very worst state, would by no means be formidable to Europeans, but are fully

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adequate to keep in awe the whole maritime forces of the Chinese. There is, moreover, a mountain which commands the country, and on which a detachment might hold out a very long siege. The Portuguese of Macao, more religious than military, have built a church upon the ruins of a fort which crowned this mountain, and formed an impregnable post.

The land side is defended by two fortresses, one of which mounts forty guns, and which can contain a thousand men in garrison, has a cistern, two springs of running water, and casemates to enclose warlike ammunition and provision; another, upon which are mounted thirty guns, cannot allow of more than three hundred men; it has a spring, which is very abundant, and is never dry. These two citadels command the whole country. The Portuguese limits scarcely extend to the distance of a league from the city; they are bounded by a wall, guarded by a mandarin with a few soldiers. This mandarin is the real governor of Macao, and the person whom the Chinese obey; he has no right to sleep within the enclosure of the limits, but he may visit the place, and even the fortifications, inspect the custom-houses, &c. On these occasions the Portuguese are obliged to salute him with five guns. Not any European, however, is allowed to set a foot on the Chinese country beyond the wall; any imprudence of this kind would


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put them at the mercy of the Chinese, who might demand a large sum of money of them, or detain them prisoners; some officers of our frigates, however, exposed themselves to the risk, but this act of levity was not attended by any disagreeable consequences.

The whole population of Macao may be estimated at twenty thousand souls, of which one hundred are Portuguese by birth, about two thousand of half-blood, or Portuguese Indians; as many Caffre slaves, who serve them as domestics; the rest are Chinese, and employed in commerce, or the different trades which render the Portuguese themselves tributary to their industry. These, though almost all of them mulattoes, would think themselves dishonoured by exercising any mechanical art, and by that means supporting their family; but their pride is never in the least degree hurt in continually soliciting, with the greatest importunity, the charity of passengers.

The viceroy of Goa nominates to all the civil and military places at Macao. The governor is appointed by him, as well as all the senators, who divide with him the civil authority. He has just appointed the garrison to consist of a hundred and eighty Indian seapoys, and a hundred and twenty militia; the service of this guard consists in making night patroles; the soldiers are armed with staves, the officer only has a right to wear a sword, but in

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no case can he use it against a Chinese. If a robber of that nation be surprised breaking open a door, or taking away any effects, he may be stopped, but with the greatest precaution; and if a soldier, in defending himself against a robber, is so unfortunate as to kill him, he is delivered over to the Chinese governor, and hanged in the middle of the market-place, in the presence of that same guard of which he formed a part, of a Portuguese magistrate, and two Chinese mandarins, who, after the execution, on their departure from the town, are saluted as in entering; but if, on the other hand, a Chinese kill a Portuguese, he is committed into the hands of the judges of his own nation, who after having stripped him, make a pretence of fulfilling all the formalities of justice, but always suffer it to be evaded, very indifferent as to the claims which are made on them, and which have never been attended with the smallest satisfaction.

The Portuguese have lately made a vigorous effort, which ought to be engraved on brass in the calendars of the senate. A seapoy having killed a Chinese, they shot him themselves, in presence of the mandarins, and refused to submit the decision of this affair to the judgment of the Chinese.

The senate of Macao is composed of a governor, who is president of it, and three vercadores, who audit the finances of the city, the revenues of which consist in the duties imposed on merchan-

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dize, which enters Macao in Portuguese vessels only. They are so blind to their own interest, that they will not suffer any other nation to land goods in their city, even on paying the established duties, as if they feared to increase their own revenue, and to diminish that of the Chinese at Canton.

It is certain, that if the port of Macao were made free, and the city possessed a garrison, which could secure the commercial property that might be deposited there, the revenues of the customs would be doubled, and would, without doubt, be sufficient to defray all the expences of government; but a petty individual interest is opposed to an arrangement dictated by sound policy. The viceroy of Goa fells Portuguese commissions to the merchants of different nations, who carry on commerce from one part of India to another: these same adventurers make presents to the senate of Macao, according to the importance of their expedition; and these mercantile motives form, perhaps, an invincible impediment to the establishment of a free port, which would render Macao one of the most flourishing cities in Asia, and a hundred times superior to Goa, which never will be of any service to its metropolis.

After the three vercaderes, of whom I have spoken, rank two judges of orphans, entrusted with the charge of the property of minors, the execution of testaments, the nomination of tutors and guar-

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dians, and, in general, with all discussions relative to successions; there is an appeal from their sentence to Goa.

The other civil or criminal causes are also tried, in the first instance, by two senators, named judges. The produce of the customs is received by a treasurer, who pays, under the orders of the senate, the several appointments, and different expences; this, however, must be done by order of the viceroy of Goa, if the sum exceed three thousand piasters.

The most important magistracy is that of procureur of the city. He is the medium of communication between the two governments of Portugal and China; he is answerable for all strangers who winter at Macao; receives, and transmits to their respective governments, the reciprocal complaints of the two nations, of which a register, who has not any deliberative voice, keeps a record, as well as of all the deliberations of the council. He is the only person who is not removeable from his place at pleasure; that of the governor continues three years; the other magistrates are changed every year. So frequent a renewal, contrary to every received system, has not a little contributed to the annihilation of the ancient rights of the Portuguese, and it certainly could not be continued, if the viceroy of Goa did not find his account in having a great many places to give or to sell; for the manners

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and customs of Asia will readily admit of this conjecture.

An appeal lies to Goa from all the decrees of the senate; the known inability of these pretended senators makes this law extremely necessary. The colleagues of the governor, who is a man of great merit, are Portuguese of Macao, very haughty, very vain, and more ignorant than our country magistrates.

This city has a very pleasant appearance. The remains of its ancient opulence are several fine houses, let out to the supercargoes of the different companies, who are obliged to pass the winter at Macao; the Chinese compelling them to quit Canton, on the departure of the last vessel belonging to their nation, and not suffering them to return thither, till the arrival of the ships from Europe in the following monsoon.

Macao is a very agreeable residence during the winter, because the several supercargoes are generally men of distinguished merit, very well informed, and who have such considerable appointments as to enable them to keep an excellent house. The object of our mission stood so high in their estimation as to procure us, on their parts, the most flattering reception; had we possessed no other title than that of Frenchmen, we should, in a great measure, have been as orphans, the French East

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India company not having at that time any representative there.

A public testimony of gratitude is due from us to M. Elstockenstrom, the principal agent of the Swedish East India company, whose obliging behaviour was that not only of an old friend, but of a fellow countryman zealous for the interests of our nation. He readily charged himself, at our departure, with the sale of our peltry, the produce of which was to be divided among our ships companies, and he was so kind as to promise to remit the amount of it to the Isle of France.

The value of these peltries was ten times less than at the period when captains Gore and King arrived at Canton, because fix expeditions had this year been undertaken by the English to the northwest coast of America: two ships destined for this traffic had been dispatched from Bombay, two from Bengal, and two from Madras. The last two were the only ones which were returned, and with but a small quantity of furs; but the report of this expedition had reached China, and it was not possible to obtain more than twelve or fifteen piasters for a fur of the same quality as in 1780 would have fetched a hundred.

We had a thousand skins, which a Portuguese merchant had purchased for nine thousand five hundred piasters; but at the moment when we were departing for Manilla, instead of paying the

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money agreed on, he, under various idle pretences, made a difficulty of concluding the bargain. As all other competitors had been removed by the conclusion of our bargain, and they had all returned to Canton, he certainly expected, that in our then embarrassinent we would let them go at any price he was willing to give for them; and we had reason to suspect, that he might send on board fresh Chinese merchants to offer a much smaller sum; but though little accustomed to these manœuvres, they were too glaring not to be easily detected, and we positively refused to sell them.

There now remained no difficulty but that of landing our peltries, and their warehousing at Macao. The senate, to which our consul, M. Vaillard, addressed himself, refused permission; but the governor, being informed that it was the property of our sailors, who were employed on an expedition which might become useful to all the maritime nations of Europe, thought he should well fulfil the views of the Portuguese government, in departing, in this particular instance, from the rules which had been prescribed to him, and on this occasion, as in all others, he conducted himself with his accustomed delicacy*.

* After having embraced every occasion of proving with impartiality the confidence which is due to Dixon, I have a right to think, that the reader of la Pérouse's voyage will feel no inconsiderable regret to find that this captain has accused our navigators of mercantile views and imposture: justice demands of me to repel this calumnious imputation. Here is the literal text of Dixon's voyage:
"The L'Astrolabe and Boussale, two French ships, commanded by M. Peyrouse, and De Langle, sailed from France in 1785; they are said to have traced the north-west coast of America from the Spanish settlement of Montrery, to 60° north latitude; but this seems rather improbable, for though these vessels were professedly fitted out on discovery, yet the commanders did not forget that furs were a valuable article, and accordingly, whilst on the American coast, they procured about 600 sea-otter skins, chiefly in pieces, of a very inferior quality, and evidently the same as those imported by the Spaniards; whereas had these gentlemen been well in with the coast to the northward, they undoubtedly must have met with sea-otter skins, of a quality far superior to what they procured."—Dixon's Voyage, p. 320.
After having reminded the reader, that la Pérouse trafficked for otters skins only, according to the orders contained in the 19th article of the second part of his instructions, for the purpose of being able to obtain some facts relative to this branch of commerce, and that he then purchased them for the sole benefit of his crews, I cannot help observing, contrary to the assertion of Dixon, that this traffic took place at Port des Français, in 58° 37′ north latitude, and therefore that la Pérouse was correct in asserting, that there could not be more than ten per cent, difference in the quality of the skins taken at Port des Français, or at Monterey.

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It is useless to say, that the mandarin of Macao demanded nothing for our stay in the road of Typa, which, as well as the different islands, no longer make a part of the Portuguese possessions;


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if they had exhibited their pretensions we should have rejected them with contempt; but we learned, that they had demanded a thousand piasters of the crompador who furnished our provision. Considering the knavery of this crompador*, this sum was not extravagant, for his charges, during the first five or six days, amounted to more than three hundred piasters, but convinced of his dishonesty, we dismissed him. The commissary of provision went every day to market, as in an European city, to purchase what was necessary, and the total expence of a whole month was less than that of the first week.

* "As it was captain Dixon's wish to procure fresh provisions for the ship's company as soon as possible, no time was lost in making every necessary enquiry for that purpose, and we soon learnt, that in spite of our utmost care it would be impossible to avoid a number of impositions: that every vessel was supplied with whatever provisions they wanted by an officer, called a comprador, who always demanded a cumshau, or gratuity of three hundred dollars, exclusive of the profit which would accrue to him from serving us with provisions.
"A demand of this nature appeared so very exorbitant, that we determined, if possible, to avoid it; and a captain Talker, from Bombay, whose vessel lay near ours, kindly offered to furnish us with beef for the present. This, however, could not be done without caution; for we had a hoppo or custom-house boat on each side the vessel, with officers on board, who made it a point to prevent any beef coming on board unless furnished by a comprador,"—Dixon's Voyage, p. 292.—(Fr. Ed.)


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It is probable, that our economy displeased the mandarin; but this was a mere conjecture, for we had no dealings with him. The Chinese customhouses only resemble those of Europe as to articles of commerce, which come from the interior of China in Chinese vessels, or which are embarked at Macao in the same vessels, to be sold in the interior of the empire; but what we purchased at Macao, to be carried on board our ships in our own boats, was not subject to any visit.

At this season of the year, the climate of the road of Typa is very unequal; the thermometer varies eight degrees from one day to another: almost all of us were afflicted with severe colds, attended with a fever, which gave way to the fine temperature of the island of Luconia, which we made on the 15th of February. We left Macao on the 5th, at eight o'clock in the morning, with the wind at north, which would have allowed us to pass between the islands, if I had had a pilot; but desirous of sparing this expence, which is considerable, I followed the common course, and passed to the southward of the great Ladrone. We had taken on board each frigate six Chinese sailors, to replace those whom we had the misfortune to lose at the time our boats were lost.

The situation of these people is so unhappy, that, in spite of the laws of the empire, which, on pain of death, forbid their going out of it, we could in

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a week have enrolled two hundred men, if we had stood in need of them.

Our observatory was erected at Macao, in the convent of the Augustins, from which we fixed the east longitude of this city at 111° 19′ 30″, from a mean between several observations of distances between the sun and moon. The motion of our time-keepers was also verified, and we found that the daily loss of one of them was 12′ 36″, a much more considerable one that what we had ever observed before this period; it is, however, necessary to observe, that during twenty-four hours, the winding up of this time-piece had been forgotten, and that having thus been stopped, the defect in the continuity of its motion had in all likelihood produced this derangement. But supposing, that till our arrival at Macao, and before the negligence of which we were guilty, the delay in this time-piece was such as we had fixed at Conception, it would then have given the longitude of Macao 113° 33′ 33″, that is to say, 2° 14′ 3″ more than it actually is, according to our lunar observations; thus the error of this time-keeper, after a ten months navigation, had been no more than forty-five leagues.

The north winds enabled me to stand to the eastward, and I should have made Piedra Blanca, if they had not quickly come round to the east-south-east. From the instructions I had received at

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Macao, as to the best track to follow as far as Manilla, it appeared to me to be nearly equal, whether I passed to the northward or southward of Bank de Pratas; the diversity of opinions led me to this conclusion. The easterly winds, which blew with violence, determined me to haul close on the starboard tack, and to shape my course to leeward of this bank, which had been very ill laid down upon all the charts, till captain Cook's third voyage: captain King, in having very exactly fixed the latitude of it, has rendered a signal service to navigators who coast from Macao to Manilla, and who confidently followed the chart of M. Dalrymple, copied by M. Daprès. These two authors, so valuable and exact when they constructed plans from their own labours, have not always been able to procure good information, and the situation of Bank de Pratas, that of the east coast of the isle of Luconia, as well as that of Manilla Bay, are undeserving of the least confidence. As I was desirous of landing upon the island of Luconia, in latitude 17°, for the purpose of passing to the northward of Bank Bulinao, I ranged along the Bank de Pratas as near as I possibly could; I even passed at midnight within 1′ of the position that it occupies in M. Daprès's chart, who has laid down this danger 25′ too much to the southward. The situation which he has given to the banks Bulinao, Mansiloq, and Ma-

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rivelle, is not more exact. A track long pursued has sufficiently ascertained, that there is nothing to be apprehended in standing to the northward of 17°, and this observation appeared sufficient to the several governors of Manilla, who, in the course of two centuries, have never found a moment to employ a few small vessels to make a search after these dangers, and at least to fix their latitude, with their distance from the island of Luconia, which we made the 15th of February, in 18° 14′. We were in hopes, that we had nothing more to do than to run down the coast with the north-easterly winds, as far as the entrance of Manilla; but the monsoon winds do not reach along the land; they were variable from north-west to south-west during several days: the currents also set to the northward, at the rate of about a knot an hour, and till the 19th of February, we did not make more than a league a day. The northerly winds having at length freshened, we sailed along the Illoco coast, at the distance of two leagues, and we saw, in the port of Santa-Cruz, a small two-masted vessel, which was in all likelihood taking in a cargo of rice for China. It was impossible to make any of our bearings agree with M. Daprès's chart; but they enabled us to give the direction of this coast, but little known, though very much frequented. On the 20th we doubled Cape Bulinao, and on the 21st, came in fight of Point Ca-

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pones, which bore east of us exactly in the wind's eye; we worked up in order to near it, and to gain the anchorage, which extends no more than a league from the shore. We saw two Spanish vessels, which seemed to be afraid to open the entrance of Manilla Bay, out of which the easterly wind blew with considerable force: they remained under the shelter of the land. We made a stretch to the south of Marivelle Island; and the wind having in the afternoon suddenly shifted to east-south-east, we shaped our course between this island and that of la Monha, and were in hopes of entering the north channel; but after having made several tacks in this channel, which was but little more than half a league in width, we saw that the currents set to the westward with considerable violence, and insuperably opposed our intention: we then came to a resolution to bring up in the port of Marivelle, which was a league to leeward, for the purpose of waiting either for a fair wind, or a more favourable current. We came to an anchor there in eighteen fathoms, muddy bottom; the town bore north-west by west of us, and the Hogs (les Pores) south by east 3° south. This port is open only to the south-west winds; and it is such good holding ground, that I think a ship might lie there without any danger during the whole of the monsoon, in which they prevail.

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As we were in want of wood, which I knew was very dear at Manilla, I determined to pass twenty-four hours at Marivelle, to get in some cords of it, and the next morning at day-break, we sent all the carpenters of the two frigates on shore with our longboats; I at the same time appointed our small boats to sound the bay; the rest of the ship's company, with the yawl, was reserved for a fishing party in the creek of the town, which seemed to be sandy, and commodious for hauling the seine; but we were mistaken; we found nothing but rocks, and such shallow water at two cables length from the shore, that it was impossible to fish there. We reaped no other fruit from our fatigues, than some thorny woodcocks, very well preserved, which we added to our collection of shells. Towards noon, I went on shore to the village, which is composed of about forty houses, built of bamboo, covered with leaves, and raised about four feet from the ground. The floors of these houses consist of bamboos laid across at a small distance from each other, and which give these cabins the appearance of bird cages: they are ascended by a ladder, and I do not believe, that all the materials of such a house, roof and frame included, would weigh two hundred weight. In the front of the principal street, there is a large edifice of hewn stone, but almost totally

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in ruins; nevertheless, two brass guns are visible at the windows, which serve for embrasures.

They informed us, that this paltry decayed house was the habitation of the curate, the church, and the fort, but all these titles had not overawed the Moors of the islands to the south of the Philippines, who had seized upon it in 1780, had burned the village, destroyed the fort, the church, and the parson's house, made slaves of all the Indians who were not able to save themselves by flight, and retired with their captives, without meeting with any molestation. The inhabitants of the colony had been so terrified at this event, that they are afraid any longer to exercise their industry. The lands are almost all overgrown with weeds, and this parish is so poor, that we could purchase no more in it than a dozen fowls, and a small hog. The curate sold us a young ox, assuring us, at the same time, that it was the eighth part of the only herd that there was in the parish, the lands of which are ploughed with buffaloes.

This pastor was a young mulatto Indian, who inhabited the paltry decayed house I have described: some earthen pots, and a small sorry bed, composed the whole of his furniture. His parish, he told us, consisted of about two hundred persons, of both sexes and every age, ready, at the least warning, to hide themselves in the woods in order

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to escape the Moors, who still frequently make descents upon this coast: they are so audacious, and their enemies so very negligent, that they frequently penetrate as far as the extremity of Manilla Bay. During our short stay at Cavite, seven or eight Indians were taken away in their canoes, at less than a league from the entrance of the port. They assured us, that boats on their passage from Cavite to Manilla were taken by these same Moors, though the passage is no more than that from Brest to Landernau by sea. They make these expeditions in very light row boats; the Spaniards oppose to them an armament of galleys, which can scarcely move, and they have never taken any of them.

The next officer after the curate is an I dian, who bears the pompous name of alcade, and who enjoys the supreme honour of carrying a cane with a silver head: he appeared to exercise a great authority over the Indians; not one of them had right to sell us a fowl without his permission, and his having previously fixed the price of them. He also enjoyed the melancholy privilege of being the sole vender, on account of government, of the tobacco for smoking, of which the Indians are very fond, and almost continually make use. This tax has only been imposed within a few years; the poorest class of the people are scarcely able to bear the weight of it; it has already oc-

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carsioned several revolts, and I should not be much surprised it it should be, some time or other, attended with the same consequences as that upon tea and stamped paper in North America. We saw at the house of the curate three small antelopes, which he designed for the governor of Manilla, and which he refused to sell to us; we had besides no hopes of preserving them alive, this little animal being very delicate, and not exceeding a large rabbit in size; the male and female are exactly the miniature of the stag and the hind.

Our sportsmen saw in the woods some beautiful birds, the plumage of which was varied with the most lively colours, but these forests are impenetrable, on account of the climbing shrubs with which the trees are interlaced; by this means their excursion was not productive of much game, as they could only shoot upon the skirt of the wood. In the village we purchased some stabbed turtle doves. They give them this name because there is in the middle of their breast a red spot, which exactly resembles a wound given by the cut of a knife.

At length, on the approach of night, we embarked, and got ready for sailing the next day. One of the two Spanish ships, which we had seen the 23d under Point Capones, had, like us, determined to run into Marivelle, and to wait for more moderate breezes. I asked him for a pilot: the captain sent me his boatswain's mate, an old Indian, who did not inspire me with much confidence:

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we agreed, however, that I should give him fifteen piasters to pilot us to Cavite; and on the 25th, at day-break, we sailed and stood through the south channel, the old Indian having assured us, that all our efforts to enter by that of the north, where the currents always set to the westward, would be vain. Although the distance from Port de Marivelle to that of Cavite is only seven leagues, we were three days in making this run, coming to an anchor every evening in the bay, in muddy ground. We had occasion to observe, that M. Daprès's plan is far from exact: the island of Fraile, and that of Cavallo, which form the entrance of the south channel, are very badly laid down there; generally speaking, the whole is a mere tissue of errors. But we should have done still better to follow this guide than the Indian pilot, who was very near running us aground upon the bank of Saint Nicholas: he would, in spite of our representations, continue his stretch to the southward, and, in less than a minute, we shoaled from seventeen fathoms to four: I instantly put about, and I am convinced, that we should have touched if we had stood on a pistol-shot farther. In this bay the water is so smooth, that nothing announces the shoals in it; there is one mark, however, which renders it very easy to work into it; it is necessary always to keep the island de la Monha open with the north channel of the island of Marivelle, and to put about when this island begins to be shut in. At length, on the

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28th, we came to an anchor in the port of Cavite, in three fathoms, muddy bottom, at two cables length from the town. We had been twenty-three days on our run from Macao to Cavite; and it would have been much longer, if, according to the ancient custom of the Spaniards and Portuguese, we had obstinately persisted in passing to the northward of Bank de Pratas.


Arrival at Cavite—Manner in which we were received by the Commandant of the Place—M. Boutin, the Lieutenant of my Ship, is dispatched to the Governor General at Manilla—The Reception given this Officer—Details relative to Cavite, and its Arsenal—Description of Manilla, and the Parts adjacent—Its Population—Disadvantages resulting from the Government established there—Penances of which we were Witnesses during Passion Week—Duty on Tobacco—Creation of the new Company of the Philippines—Reflections upon this Establishment—Details relative to the Islands south of the Philippines—Continual War with the Moors or Mahometans of these different Islands—Stay at Manilla—Military State of the Island of Luconia.


WE had scarcely anchored at the entrance of the port of Cavite, when an officer from the commandant of the place came on board, to en-

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treat us not to go on shore till the arrival of orders from the governor general, to whom he intended to dispatch a courier, when he should be informed of the motives of our arrival. We answered, that we only wanted provision, and permission to refit our ships, in order to continue our voyage with the greatest possible speed; but before the departure of the Spanish officer, the commandant of the bay* arrived from Manilla, whence our ships had been perceived. He told us, that they had received information of our arrival in the Chinese seas, and that the letters of the Spanish minister had announced us to the governor general several months past. This officer added, that the season permitted our anchoring before Manilla, where we should find all the accommodations and resources united, which it was possible to procure at the Philippines; but we were at anchor before an arsenal within a musket-shot of the shore, and we were so unpolite as to acquaint this officer, that nothing could compensate these advantages; he was so good as to permit M. Boutin my lieutenant to go in his boat, and give an account of our arrival to the governor general, and to entreat him to give orders, that our several demands might be fulfilled before the 5th of April; the ulti-

* The commandant of the bay, in Spain, is the chief of the custom-house officers; he has military rank; that of Manilla has the rank of captain.

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mate object of our voyage requiring, that the two frigates should be under sail by the 10th of the same month. M. Basco, brigadier of the navy, governor general of Manilla, gave the handsomest reception to the officer whom I sent to him, and issued the most positive orders that nothing might retard our departure.

He also wrote to the commandant of Cavite, to give us permission to communicate with the place, and to procure every convenience and assistance in his power. The return of M. Boutin, charged with dispatches from M. Basco, made us all citizens of Cavite. Our ships were so near the land, that we could go on shore and return on board every minute. We found proper houses for repairing our sails, salting our provision, and building two boats; for lodging our naturalists, and our geographical engineers: the good commandant lent us his own to erect our observatory in. We were also as completely at our ease, as if we had been in the country, and we found in the market and the arsenal the same resources, as if we had been in one of the best ports in Europe.

Cavite, three leagues to the south-west of Manilla, was formerly a very considerable place, but at the Philippines, as in Europe, the large towns in a great measure drain the little ones; at this time there remains no more than the commandant of the arsenal, a contador, two lieutenants of the

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port, the commandant of the place, a hundred and fifty men in garrison, and the officers attached to this corps.

All the other inhabitants are Mulattoes or Indians employed at the arsenal, and with their families, which are very numerous, form a population of about four thousand souls, divided between the city and the suburb Saint-Roch. There are only two parishes there, and three convents of men, each occupied by two ecclesiastics, although thirty might be conveniently accommodated there. The Jesuits formerly possessed a very handsome house here, which the commercial company, lately established by government, has taken into its own hands. The whole place seems little else than a heap of ruins; the old stone houses are either abandoned, or occupied by Indians who never repair them; and Cavite, the second town of the Philippines, the capital of a province of its own name, is at this time only a paltry village, where there remain no other Spaniards than those of the military establishment and of administration. But if the town afford only ruins to the eye, it is not so with the port, where M. Bermudès, brigadier in the navy, who commands there, has established a discipline and order which give reason to regret, that his talents have been exercised on so small a theatre. All his workmen are Indians, and he has the same workhouses as those which are seen in our Euro-

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pean arsenals. This officer, of the same rank as the governor general, does not find any detail beneath his notice, and he has proved to us by his conversation, that there are hardly any above his knowledge. Every thing we asked of him was granted with perfect politeness; the smiths, block-makers, and riggers were several days at work for our two frigates. Our desires were all anticipated by M. Bermudès, and his friendship was so much the more flattering, as it was evident from his character, that he did not bestow it upon light grounds; this austerity of principle which attached to him, had perhaps injured his military fortune. As we had no hopes of elsewhere meeting with so commodious a port, M. de Langle and I resolved to overhawl our rigging completely, and strip our lower masts. This precaution was not attended with any loss of time, as we were under the necessity of waiting at least a month for the provision, for which we had made application to the intendant of Manilla.

The next day but one after our arrival at Cavite, we embarked with M. de Langle, accompanied by several officers, for the capital. We were two hours and a half in making his trip in our boats, which were well armed, on account of the Moors with which Manilla Bay is frequently infested. Our first visit was to the governor, who kept us to dinner, and sent the captain of his guards to conduct us to the houses of the archbishop, the intendant,


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and the different oödors. This was by no means one of the least satiguing days that we experienced in the voyage. The heat was extreme, and we were on foot in a city where none of the inhabitants ever went out except in a carriage; but there were none to be bired, as at Batavia, and had it not been for M. Sebir, a French merchant, who was informed by chance of our arrival at Manilla, and sent his coach to us, we should have been obliged to relinquish the different visits we had purposed to make.

The city of Manilla, with its outskirts, is very considerable; its population is estimated at thirty-eight thousand souls, among which there are not more than a thousand or twelve hundred Spaniards, the rest are Mulattoes, Chinese, or Indians, who cultivate all the arts, and carry on every species of industry. The poorest of the Spanish families have one or more carriages: two very fine horses cost thirty piasters; the board and wages of a coachman six piasters a month; thus there is not any country where the expence of a coach is more necessary, and at the same time less weighty. The neighbourhood of Manilla is delightful; a beautiful river flows by it, branching into different channels, the two principal of which lead to that famous lagoon, or lake of Bahia, which is seven leagues within the country, bordered by more than a hundred Indian vil-

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lages, situate in the midst of a highly sertile territory.

Manilla, built upon the shore of the bay which bears its name, and which is more than twenty-five leagues in circumference, lies at the mouth of a river, which is navigable as far as the lake from which it derives its source, and is perhaps the most delightfully situate of any city in the world. All the necessaries of life are to be met with there in the greatest abundance, and at an excellent market, but the clothes, manufactures, and furniture of Europe, bear an excessive price. The want of emulation, prohibitions, and every species of restraint put upon commerce, render the productions and merchandise of China and India at least as dear as in Europe; and this colony, notwithstanding its receipts from the customs amount to near eight hundred thousand piasters, still costs Spain every year fifteen hundred thousand livres, which are sent thither from Mexico. The immense possessions of the Spaniards in America have prevented the government from essentially applying its attention to the Philippines; they are still like the possessions of great lords, which remain uncultivated, and are yet capable of making the fortunes of many families.

I shall not be afraid to assert, that a very great nation, which should have no other colony than the Philippines, and which would establish the best

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kind of government there that could be constituted, might, without the least envy, behold all the European settlements in Africa and America.

These different islands are peopled by three millions of inhabitants, and that of Luconia contains nearly a third of them. These people are, in my opinion, not at all inferior to Europeans: they cultivate the land with abundant skill; are carpenters, joiners, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, weavers, masons, &c. I have visited their villages, and have found them affable, hospitable, and honest; and though the Spaniards speak of, and even treat them with contempt, I have found that the vices, which they place to the account of the Indians, ought in justice to be attributed to the government they have established among them. It is well known, that the avidity of gold, and the spirit of conquest, with which the Portuguese and Spaniards were animated during two centuries, caused adventurers from these nations to over-run the different seas and islands of the two hemispheres, in the sole hope of meeting with that valuable metal.

Some streams, in which gold dust is sound, and the neighbourhood of the Spice Islands, without doubt were the temptations, which led to the settlement of the Philippines; but the produce has not been adequate to the hopes that were enter-


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tained of it. The enthusiasm of religion succeeded to the motives of avarice; great numbers of religious, of every order, were sent thither to preach up christianity, and so abundant was the harvest, that these different islands soon contained eight or nine hundred christians. Had this zeal been enlightened by a little philosophy, the conquests of the Spaniards could not have been more certainly established, than by the adoption of this system, and the settlement would have been productive of the greatest utility to the metropolis; but while making them christians, they forgot to render them citizens. The people were divided into parishes, and subjected to the most trifling and extravagant practices; every sin and every fault is still punished with whipping; the non-attendance at prayers, or mass, is noted down, and the punishment is inflicted on the men or women, by order of the curate, at the church door. The holidays, the religious societies, and particular devotions, consume a great deal of their time, and as in hot climates the imagination and feelings are more active than in those of moderate temperature, I have, during passion week, seen masked penitents dragging chains in the streets, their waist and leg surrounded with a girdle of thorns, receiving, at every station, in front of the church doors, or before the oratories, several strokes of discipline, and submitting to as rigorous penances

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as those of the Indian faquirs. These practices, much more calculated to make enthusiasts than to inspire true devotion, have at present been forbidden by the archbishop of Manilla, but it is certain, that some confessors, if they do not command, at least continue to recommend them.

These people, who are already idle from the influence of the climate, and the small number of their wants, united to the impossibility of disposing of the fruits of the earth to any degree of advantage, which compensates the labour of it, are but too easily persuaded, by monastic institutions which enervate the mind, that the present life is no more than a pilgrimage, and that the goods of this world are mere unprofitableness; thus, when all the inhabitants are furnished with the quantity of rice, sugar, and pulse, which is necessary for their subsistence, the rest becomes of no value. Under these circumstances, sugar has been known to be sold for less than a halfpenny a pound, and rice to remain upon the ground without being cut. It would, I think, be difficult for the most unenlightened society, to conceive a more absurd system of government, than that which has directed these colonies for upwards of two centuries. The port of Manilla, which ought to be open and free to all nations, has, even within a few years, been shut against Europeans, and only open to some Moors, Americans, or Portuguese of Goa.

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The governor is entrusted with the most despotic authority. The judges of the courts, who ought to moderate it, are destitute of power when opposed to the will of the representative of the Spanish government; he can in reality, if not of right, receive or confiscate the merchandise of strangers whom the hopes of advantage had drawn to Manilla, and who would not run the risks of coming there but from the likelihood of very great profits, which is in fact attended with the most ruinous consequences to the consumers. There is not the smallest particle of liberty there; monks and inquisitors direct the consciences of the people; spies overlook all temporal concerns, and the governor the most innocent actions. A conversation, or a walk into the interior of the island, are within the pale of his jurisdiction and authority; in a word, the finest and most delightful country in the world is certainly the last that a man who loves liberty would wish to inhabit. I saw at Manilla that honest and virtuous governor of the Mariannes, M. Tobias, too celebrated for his own repose by the praises of the abbé Raynal. I have seen him persecuted by monks, who alienated the affections of his wife, by representing him as a reprobate hypocrite; she instituted a suit of divorce against him, and demanded a separation, on pretence of not being obliged to live with an impious man, a resolution that was highly ap-

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plauded by all the fanatics. M. Tobias is lieutenant-colonel of the regiment which forms the garrison of Manilla; he is acknowledged to be the best officer in the country; the governor has nevertheless ordered, that his appointments, which are very considerable, should be left in possession of his pious wife, and that he should receive no more than twenty-six piasters a month for the subsistence of himself and sons. This brave soldier, reduced to despair, was waiting for an opportunity of escaping from this colony to go and demand justice. There is a very wife law, which ought to moderate this excessive authority, but it is unfortunately without any effect; by this law every citizen is empowered to prosecute the late governor before his successor, but this latter is interested in excusing every thing which may be argued as a reproach on his predecessor, and the citizen who is so rash as to prefer his complaints, is only exposed to new and much greater vexations.

The most galling distinctions are established and maintained with the harshest severity. The number of horses harnessed to carriages is fixed for every rank of persons; those which have the greatest number take precedence, and the single caprice of an ordor may detain in a line behind his carriage all those who have the misfortune to be travelling the same road. So many

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vices in this government, and so many vexations resulting from it, have not, however, entirely destroyed the advantages of the climate; the peasants still display an air of happiness, which is not generally to be observed in our European villages, their houses, shaded by fruit trees which grow without cultivation, are peculiarly neat. The tax which every head of a family pays is very moderate, it is limited to five reals and a half, including in it the rights of the church, which the nation gathers; all the bishops, canons, and priests are paid by government, but they have established voluntary perquisites, which amply compensate the smallness of their stipends.

Within a few years a terrible scourge has arisen, which threatens to destroy their remainder of happiness; this is the tax upon tobacco; the passion of these people for the smoke of this narcotic is so excessive, that there is not a moment in the day in which a man or woman is without a fegar* in the mouth; even children scarcely out of the cradle contract the habit. The tobacco in the island of Luconia is the best in Asia; every one cultivates it round his house for his own consumption, and the few foreign vessels, which have permission to land at Manilla, transport it into every part of India.

* A roll which is made of the leaf of tobacco, and which they smoke instead of a pipe.—(Fr. Ed.)

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A prohibitory law has lately been proclaimed; the tobacco of every individual has been forced from him, and the cultivation of it confined to particular districts, where it is raised for the benefit of government. The price has been fixed at half a piaster the pound; and although the consumption of it is very much diminished, the pay of a day-labourer is not sufficient to procure for his family the tobacco which is every day consumed in it. All the inhabitants generally agree, that a tax of two piasters, added to the capitation of those that before contributed, would have brought in to the revenue a sum equal to that of the sale of tobacco, and would not have occasioned the disorders of which this has been productive. Insurrections have threatened every point of the island; troops have been employed to suppress them; an army of custom-house officers is kept on foot to prevent smuggling, and to compel the consumers to apply for it to the national offices; several have been massacred, but the tribunals have inflicted speedy vengeance for their deaths, passing judgment and sentence on the Indians with much fewer formalities than on other citizens. There still remains a leaven to which the most trifling fermentation might give a formidable activity, and there can be no doubt, that an enemy, having a design of conquest, would find,

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the moment they set foot on the island*, and brought them weapons to make use of, an army of

* The Philippines, from their extent, their climate, and the sertility of their soil, are capable of producing all colonial commodities. They abound in precious metals, and their situation is most advantageous for the commerce of China and India. Any European nation, which should obtain a firm sooting there, and would establish a port for magazines and refreshment upon the coast of Africa, or at Madagascar, or in any of the neighbouring seas, might, without regret, abando, its American possessions. This important property, in the estimation of the Spanish government, seems to be greatly undervalued, but this apparent indifference undoubtedly arises from the difficulty of maintaining their immense possessions in the two worlds, and the want of power to put them into such a state of political activity to draw all the assistance that might be wished from them to the interests of the metropolis.
The Philippines are certainly then objects which may be coveted by the maritime powers of Europe; and if the enemies of Spain do not take advantage of the weak state in which they are suffered to remain, they will certainly one day or other fall a prey to the Malays.
When the metallic treasures and productions of the soil of the South Sea islands shall become more known; when new courses opened to commerce shall permit a communication with speed and safety as far as the centre of this sea, the importance of the Philippines will then be fully known. The Spaniards, who have a settlement already in the Bashee Islands, will soon have another in the Sandwich Islands, though situate a little to the northward of the ordinary track of the galleons, and their possessions, if permitted to be extended, will form a kind of chain round the world. The Russians will soon be sensible of all the advantages which they might derive from the South Sea commerce, and all their maritime views will be turned towards the ports of Kamtschatka.
This state of things, however, will only endure till the energy of the people, who cover this part of the globe, shall set bounds to these impolitic extensions; till the moment when they will resume their natural rights, by expelling all Europeans, in order to trade freely with all nations; but this moment is still far distant, and, as the abbé Raynal has foretold, the Spaniards, before it arrives, weakened by the numerous possessions, which they cannot effectually protect, will be successively driven from their settlements by some more powerful nation.—(Fr. Ed.)

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Indians ready to act under their orders. The picture which might be drawn of the state of Manilla, in a few years time, would be very different from that of its present state, if the Spanish government would adopt a better constitution for the Philippines. The land is equal to the raising of the most valuable productions; nine hundred thousand individuals of both sexes, in the island of Luconia, might be encouraged to cultivate it; the climate will allow the produce of ten crops of silk in a year, whilst that of China gives but a saint promise of two.

Cotton, indigo, sugar canes, coffee, grow without the trouble of cultivation, under the foot-steps of the inhabitants, who despise them. Every circumstance promises, that their spices would

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not be at all inferior to those of the Moluccas; an absolute liberty of commerce for all nations would ensure a sale, that would encourage the cultivation of them all; a moderate duty on all articles exported would be sufficient, in a very few years, to defray all the expences of government; the liberty of religion, with a few privileges granted to the Chinese, would soon draw into this island a hundred thousand inhabitants from the eastern provinces of their empire, which the tyranny of the mandarins drives away from it. If to these advantages the Spaniards should add the conquest of Macao, their settlements in Asia, and the advantages which their commerce would derive from them, would undoubtedly be more considerable than those of the Dutch at Java and the Moluccas. The creation of the new company of the Philippines seems to signify, that the attention of government is at length turned to that part of the world; the plan of cardinal Alberoni has been adopted, but not in all its parts. This minister had perceived, that Spain, having no manufactures, would act a more politic part, by enriching the Asiatic nations with its precious metals, rather than those of Europe, who were her rivals, whose commerce she nourished, and whose strength she increased, by consuming the articles of their industry; he, therefore, thought, that Manilla ought to be made an open mart for all nations; and was

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very desirous of persuading the merchants of the different provinces of Spain, to go and provide themselves in this market with the linen and other stuffs of China and the Indies, necessary for the consumption of the metropolis and the colonies.

Cardinal Alberoni is known to have possessed more imagination than knowledge. He understood the situation of Europe well enough, but had not the flighted idea of Asia. The most material articles of consumption for Spain and her colonies are those of Bengal and the coast of Coromandel; and it is certainly as easy to carry them to Cadiz as to Manilla, situate as it is at a great distance from that coast, while its seas are subject to monsoons, which expose navigators to considerable delays and losses. Thus the difference of price at Manilla and in India would be at least fifty per cent; and if to this price be added the immense expence of armaments fitted out in Spain, for the protection of so distant a country, it will be evident, that those Indian products, which have been sent by the way of Manilla, must be sold at a very high rate in the Spanish parts of Europe, still higher in its American colonies; and that the nations which, like France, England, and Holland, carry on a direct commerce, may always introduce them in a contraband way, with the greatest advantage. It is, however, a defective combination of this plan, which served as a basis

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for that of the new company, but what is still worse, with prejudices and restrictions, which render it far inferior to that of the Italian minister; in a word, it is such, that it appears to me impossible this company can be supported four years, though its privileges may, in some sort, have swallowed up altogether the commerce of the nation in its American colonies. The pretended fair of Manilla, where the new company might provide itself, is only open to the Indian nations, as if they dreaded to see the competition of sellers increase there, and to obtain the linens of Bengal at too low a price.

It ought also to be observed, that these pretended Moorish flags, or Armenians, or from Goa, carry only English merchandize; and as these different disguises occasion additional expences, the whole amount falls ultimately on the consumers: thus the difference of prices between India and Manilla no longer remains at fifty per cent, but is risen to sixty, and even to eighty. To this error may be added that of the right, which the company enjoys, of purchasing exclusively the productions of the island of Luconia, the industry of which, not being excited by a competition of purchasers, will always remain in that state of listlessness, to which is owing its insignificance during two centuries. Otherauthors have spoken sufficiently of the civil and military government of Manilla; I have thought it

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necessary to exhibit this city under this new appearance, which the establishment of the new company may perhaps have rendered interesting, in an age in which it is the duty of all men destined to hold a rank in the state, to understand the theory of commerce.

The Spaniards have some settlements in the different islands to the southward of that of Luconia, but they seem only to be on sufferance there, and their situation at Luconia does not engage the inhabitants of the other islands to acknowledge their sovereignty; they are there on the contrary always at war. These pretended Moors, of whom I have already spoken, who infest their coasts, who make so many descents, and who carry away into slavery the Indians of both sexes, subject to the Spaniards, are the inhabitants of Minoanao, Panay, and Mindoro, which acknowledge no other authority than that of their particular princes, as improperly named sultans, as the people are Moors; they are in fact Malays, and embraced mahometanism nearly at the same period when christianity began to be preached at Manilla. The Spaniards have called them Moors, and their sovereigns sultans, because of the identity of their religion with that of the African people so named, who have been enemies to the Spaniards for several centuries. The only military establishment of the Spaniards in the southern Philippines, is

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that of Samboangan, in the island of Mindanao, where a garrison is maintained of a hundred and fifty men, commanded by a military governor, under the nomination of the governor general of Manilla; in the other islands there are only a few villages, defended by bad batteries, served by militia, and commanded by alcades, chosen by the governor general, but eligible from every class of citizens, that are not enrolled as soldiers; the true masters of the different islands, in which the Spanish villages are situate, would soon have destroyed them, had they not had a very great interest in their preservation. These Moors are at peace in their own islands; but they fit out ships to commit piracies on the coasts of that of Luconia; and the alcades purchase a great number of slaves made by these pirates, which saves them the trouble of carrying them to Batavia, where they would obtain a much lower price for them. The weakness of the government of the Philippines is more forcibly described by these details, than by all the reasonings of different navigators. It will be perceived by the reader, that the Spaniards have not the power to protect the commerce of their possessions; the whole of their benefits towards there people, till the present moment, have had no other end in view, than their happiness in another life.

We staid only a few hours at Manilla; and the governor having taken leave of us immediately


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after dinner, to take his afternoon's nap, we were at liberty to visit M. Sebir, who had rendered us the most effential services, during our stay in Manilla Bay. This French merchant, who was by far the most enlightened man of our nation, whom I had met with in the Chinese seas, thought that the new company of the Philippines, and the intimate connexion of the cabinets of Versailles and Madrid, might procure him the means of extending his speculations, which he had found to be cramped by the re-establishment of the French East India company; he had, in consequence, settled all his affairs at Canton and Macao, where he had been fixed several years, and had formed a commercial house at Manilla, where he also prosecuted the decision of a very considerable lawsuit, in which one of his friends was materially interested: but he was already convinced, that the prejudices against strangers, and the despotism of the administration, would form an insuperable impediment to the execution of his designs, and when we arrived, he was thinking of winding up all his business, rather than of extending it.

We returned to our boats at six o'clock in the evening, and about eight, got on board our frigates; but being apprehensive, that while we were employed at Cavite, in repairing our ships, the factors for biscuit, flour, &c. might make us victims to the ordinary slowness of merchants of their na-

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tion, I deemed it necessary to order an officer to take up his abode at Manilla, and to go every day to visit the different agents, to whom the intendant had directed us. I made choice of M. Vaujuas, lieutenant of the Astrolabe; but this officer soon wrote to inform me, that his stay at Manilla was totally unnecessary; that M. Gonfoles Carmagnal, intendant of the Philippines, took such particular care in our behalf, that he every day went himself to inspect the progress of the workmen, who were at work for our ships, and that his vigilance was equally active, as if he himself had made a part of the expedition. His obliging behaviour and attentions require from us a public testimony of gratitude. His cabinet of natural history was open to our naturalists, to whom he gave a part of his different collections. At the moment of our departure I received from him a complete double collection of shells, which are found in the Philippine seas. His desire to be of service to us extended to every thing, in which we could have an interest.

We had only arrived at Manilla about a week, when we received a letter from M. Elstockenstrom, by which this chief supercargo of the Swedish East India company informed us, that he had sold our otters skins for ten thousand piasters, and authorised us to draw upon him for that sum. I wished very much to procure this money at Ma-

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nilla, in order to distribute it to our ships companies, who having left Macao without receiving it, were apprehensive that their hopes would never be realised. M. Sebir had not at this time any remittance to make to Macao; we, therefore, had recourse to M Gonsoles, who was an entire stranger to business of this nature, but who made use of the influence which his amiable character entured him among the different merchants of Manilla, to engage them to discount our bills of exchange; and the money arising from them was divided among the sailors before our departure.

The excessive heats of Manilla began to produce some bad effects on the health of our ships companies. Some of the sailors were attacked with colics, which were not, however, attended with any serious consequences. But Messrs. de Lamanon and Daigremont, who had brought from Macao the beginning of a dysentery, in all probability occasioned by a checked perspiration, far from finding the land a relief to their disorder, found themselves grow worse, to such a degree, that M. Daigremont was given over the twenty-third day after our arrival, and died on the twenty-fifth: he was the second person who had died of sickness on board the Astrolabe, and a similar misfortune had not been experienced on board the Boussoie, though our ship's company in general had perhaps enjoyed a worse state of health than

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that of the other frigate. It is necessary to observe, that the servant, who died in the voyage from Chili to Easter Island, had embarked with a violent disorder on his lungs, and M. de Langle had yielded to the request of his master, who had flattered himself that the air of the sea, and the hot countries, would relieve his complaint. As for M. Daigremont, in spite of his physicians, and unknown to his friends and comrades, he would cure his disorder with burnt brandy, pimento, and other remedies, which the strongest man could not have resisted, and he fell the victim of his own imprudence, and the dupe of too good an opinion which he entertained of the strength of his constitution.

On the 28th of March all our labours at Cavite were finished; our boats built, our sails repaired, all our rigging overhaured, the frigates completely caulked, and our falt provision barrelled up; we were not willing to trust this last-mentioned work to the victualling agents of Manilla; we knew that the fait provision of the galleons never kept good for three months, and our confidence in captain Cook's method was very great; there was, therefore, remitted to every falter, a copy of captain Cook's procedure, and we ourselves superintended this new kind of labour. We had salt and vinegar on board from Europe, and we purchased live

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hogs from the Spaniards at a very reasonable price.

The communications are so frequent between Manilla and China, that we every week received news from Macao; it was with the greatest astonishment we learned the arrival in Canton River of La Resolution, commanded by M. d'Entrecasteaux, and that of La Subtile frigate, under the orders of M. la Croix de Castries. These ships, which had failed from Batavia when the monsoon at north-east was in its full force, had run to the east of the Philippines, coasted along New Guinea, crossed seas abounding with dangerous rocks, of which they had no chart, and, after a navigation of seventy days from Batavia, were at length arrived at the entrance of Canton River, where they had come to an anchor the day after our departure. The astronomical observations made by them during this voyage will be very important for the knowledge of these seas, always open to ships which have missed the monsoon; and it is very surprising, that our East India company should have chosen, as commander of the vessel which this year lost its passage, a person who had not the smallest knowledge of this course.

At Manilla, I received a letter from M. d'Entrecasteaux, who informed me of the intent of his voyage; and, in a short time afterwards, La

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Subtile frigate came herself to bring me other dispatches.

M. la Croix de Castries, who had, in company with the Calypso, doubled the Cape of Good Hope, brought us the European news, but the latest date of this news was the 24th of April, and our curiosity had to regret the interval of nearly a year: besides, our families and friends had omitted to take advantage of this opportunity to write to us, and in the state of tranquillity which Europe at that time enjoyed, the interest of public occurrences was comparatively very seeble to that which agitated our hopes and fears. We had then again a fresh opportunity of sending our letters to France. La Subtile was so fully manned as to allow M. la Croix de Castries to repair, in part, the loss we had sustained in America of officers and soldiers: he gave an officer and four men to each frigate. M. Guyet, second lieutenant, embarked on board the Boussole, and M. le Gobien, a midshipman, on board the Astrolabe. This augmentation was necessary for us; we had eight officers less than on our departure from France, including M. de Saint Ceran, whose very impaired state of health obliged me to send him back to the Isle of France, on board La Subtile, our surgeons having all declared, that it was impossible for him to undergo the further fatigues of the voyage.

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At the period, however, which we had fixed, our provision was all shipped: but passion week, which suspends all business at Manilla, occasioned some delays in particular articles, and I was under the necessity of fixing my departure for Easter Monday. As the north-east monsoon was still very strong, the sacrifice of three or four days could prove no injury to our expedition. On the 3d of April we embarked all our astronomical instruments. M. Dagelet, since our departure from France, had never enjoyed a place more convenient for exactly ascertaining the motion of our time-keeper, No 19. Our observatory was erected in the governor's garden, at about a hundred and twenty toises from our ships. The eastern longitude of Cavite, which was determined by a great number of lunar observations, was in 118° 50′ 40″, its north latitude, taken with a three feet quadrant, in 14° 29′ 9″. Had we been willing to fix its longitude, according to the daily loss attributed to our time-keeper at Macao, it would have been in 118° 46′ 8″; that is to say, 4′ 32″ less than the result of our lunar observations.

Before we failed, I thought it my duty to go with M. de Langle to return our thanks to the governor general, for the great dispatch with which his orders had been executed; and still more particularly to the intendant, from whom we had received so many singular marks of favour. These

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duties being fulfilled, we both took advantage of a stay of forty-eight hours at the house of M. Sebir, in order to visit, in a boat or carriage, the parts adjacent to Manilla. We neither met with handsome houses, nor parks, nor gardens; but nature is there so beautiful, that a simple Indian village on the bank of the river, a house in the European style, surrounded by a few trees, forms a view more picturesque, than that of our most magnificent palaces; and the coldest imagination could not avoid painting happiness to itself in this delightful simplicity. Almost all the Spaniards make a custom of quitting their town houses after the Easter holidays, and of passing the scorching season in the country. There has been no attempt made to embellish a country which has no need of the assistance of art; a neat and spacious house, built on the water's edge, with very convenient baths, without avenues or gardens, but shaded by a few fruit trees; such is the dwelling of the most opulent citizens; and this would be one of the most delightful spots in the world to live in, if a more moderate government, and fewer prejudices, would secure the civil liberty of every inhabitant. The sortifications of Manilla have received several additions by order of the governor general, under the direction of M. Sauz, a very able engineer; but the garrison is far from numerous; in time of

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peace, it is limited to a single regiment of infantry, consisting of two battalions, each composed of a company of grenadiers and eight companies of fufileers, the two battalions forming together thirteen hundred effective men. This is a Mexican regiment; all the soldiers are the colour of mulattoes; and in point of skill and valour, we were assured not at all inferior to European troops. There are besides two companies of artillery, commanded by a lieutenant colonel, and each of them composed of eighty men, whose officers are a captain, lieutenant, ensign, and supernumerary; three companies of dragoons, forming a squadron of a hundred and fifty horse, commanded by the oldest captain of the three; finally, a battalion of twelve hundred militia, in former times raised and paid by a very rich Chinese of half blood, named Tuaffon, who was ennobled. All the soldiers of this corps are Chinese of half blood; they perform the same duty in the place as the regular troops, and at this time receive the same pay; but they would be a weak aid in time of war. If occasion required, eight thousand militia can be raised in a very short time, divided into provincial battalions, and commanded either by Creole or European officers. Each battalion has a company of grenadiers; one of these companies has been disciplined by a serjeant, who has retired from the

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regiment which is at Manilla; and the Spaniards, who are more prone to diminish than to extol the merit and bravery of the Indians, allow that this company is not in any respect inferior to European troops.

The little garrison of Samboangan, in the island of Mindanao, is not included in that of the island of Luconia; there are two corps, of a hundred and fifty men each, formed for the defence of the Ladrone Islands, and that of Mindanao, which corps are invariably attached to these colonies.


Departure from Cavite—Meet with a Bank in the middle of the Channel of Formosa—Latitude and Longitude of this Bank—We come to an Anchor two Leagues from the Shore of Old Fort Zealand—Get under Way the next day—Particulars respecting the Pescadore, or Pong-hou Islands—Survey of the Island Botol Tabaco-xima – We run along Kumi Island, which makes Part of the Kingdom of Likeu—The Frigates enter into the Sea of Japan, and run along the coast of China—We shape our Course for Quelpaert Island—We

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run along the Coast of Corea, and every Day make Astronomical Observations—Particulars of Quelpaert Island, Corea, &c.—Discovery of Dagelet Island, its Latitude and Longitude.

(APRIL, MAY, 1787.)

ON the ninth of April, according to our manner of reckoning, and the 10th, according to that of the Manillese, we failed with a fine breeze at north east, which gave us hopes of doubling, during the day, all the islands of the different passages of Manilla Bay. Before we got under way, M. de Langle and I received the visit of M. Bermudès, who assured us, that the north-east monsoon would not change for a month, and that it would be still later upon the coast of Formosa, the continent of China being as it were the source of the north winds, which during more than nine months of the year prevail upon the coasts of that empire; but our impatience did not suffer us to listen to the counsels of experience; we flattered ourselves with some lucky exception; every year we thought might experience a change in the different periods of the monsoons; and we took leave of him. Small variations of wind soon permitted us to get to the northward of the island of Luconia.

We had scarcely doubled Cape Bujador, when the wind became fixed at north-east, with an ob-

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stinacy which but too evidently proved to us the truth of M. Bermudès's advice. I indeed flattered myself with finding under Formosa the same variations as under the island of Luconia; the proximity of the continent of China, it is true, rendered this expectation rather improbable; but at all events, we had only to wait the change of the monsoon, the bad failing of our frigates, woodensheathed and filled, left us no hope of working to the northward with contrary winds. On the 21st of April we made the island of Formosa. We experienced, in the channel which divides it from that of Luconia, some very violent currents, which appeared to be occasioned by a regular tide, for our dead reckonings did not differ from the result of our astronomical observations as to latitude and longitude. On the 22d of April I set Lamay Island, which is at the south-west point of Formosa, east by south about three leagues distance. The sea was very high, and I was persuaded, from the aspect of the coast, that I should more easily get to the northward if I could near the Chinese coast. The north-north-east winds allowed me to steer north-west, and consequently to make northing; but I observed, that in the middle of the channel the sea was extremely changed. We were at that time in 22° 57′ north latitude, and to westward of the meridian of Cavite, that is to say, in 116° 41′ east longitude. We founded twenty-five fathoms, sandy

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bottom, and in four minutes afterwards only nineteen fathoms. This sudden shoaling of the water made me suppose, that these soundings were not that of China, from which we were still more than thirty leagues distant, but that of a bank, which is not laid down upon the charts. I continued to found, and in a short time found no more than twelve fathoms; I tacked, and stood towards the island of Formosa, and the bottom still continued very irregular. I then judged it prudent to come to an anchor, and made a signal for that purpose to the Astrolabe. The night was beautiful; in the morning we did not perceive any breakers around us. I got under way, and stood north-west and by west towards the continent of China; but at nine o'clock, having again twenty-one fathoms by the lead, and a minute afterwards only eleven, rocky bottom, I judged it prudent not to continue so dangerous a survey, as our boats rowed too ill to be able to sound ahead of our frigates, and to tell us the depth of water. I came to the resolution of running out upon the opposite point of the compass, and I fixed the course at south-east by east. In this manner we ran six leagues, over an uneven bottom of rock and sand from twenty-four fathoms to eleven; the soundings then grew deeper, and at ten o'clock in the evening we could get no ground, when about twelve leagues from the point from which we had put about in the

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morning. This bank, the limits of which to the north-west we did not fix, is upon the middle of the length of line we had run over, and in 23° north latitude, and 116° 45′ east longitude; its south-eastern extremity is in 22° 52′ latitude, and 117° 3′ longitude; it is, perhaps, not dangerous, since our shallowest water was eleven fathoms; but the nature and inequality of its bottom render it very suspicious, and it must be observed, that these shoals in the Chinese seas have very frequently almost all of them points level with the water, which have been the occasion of a great many shipwrecks.

The tack we then stood on carried us upon the coast of Formosa, towards the entrance of the bay of Old Fort Zealand*, where the city of Taywan, the capital of that island, stands. I had been informed of the revolt of that Chinese colony, and I knew, that an army of twenty thousand men, commanded by the santoq of Canton, had been sent against it. The north-east monsoon, which was still in full force, permitting me to sacrifice a few days to the pleasure of learning the latest news of this event, I came to an anchor to the westward of that bay, in seventeen fathoms, though our boats had sound fourteen fathoms a league and

* The plan of this fort is added to a letter of P. Mailla, a Jesuit. See the 14th collection of Lettres édifiantes.—(Fr. Ed.)

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a half from the shore; but I was well aware, that it was impossible to approach very near the island, that there were only seven feet of water in the port of Taywan, and that at the time when the Dutch were in possesion of it, their ships were obliged to remain at Pescadore Islands, where there is a very good harbour, which they fortified. This circumstance rendered me very dubious as to sending a boat ashore, which I could not support by my ships, and which would probably have looked suspicious in the state of war in which this Chinese colony was then engaged. The most fortunate circumstance that I could expect was, that the boat would be sent back without being suffered to land; if, on the other hand, they should detain it, my situation would be a very embarrasing one, and two or three fishing boats set on fire would have been a very inadequate compensation for such a misfortune. I therefore determined to endeavour to draw alongside some Chinese boats, which were sailing within reach of us; I shewed them piasters, which I knew was a powerful temptation, but the inhabitants of these islands seem to be forbidden any communication with strangers. It was extremely clear, that they were not afraid of us, because they passed within reach of our muskets, but they refused to come on board. One man alone had the hardiness to do so; we purchased his fish at his own price, in

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order that he might give a favourable account of us, should he dare to consess that he had communicated with us. It was totally out of our power to guess the answers which these fishermen made to our questions, which they certainly did not comprehend. The language of these people is not only destitute of the smallest resemblance to that of the Europeans, but that kind of pantomimic language, which we thought universal, is by no means better understood by them, and a motion of the head, which, among us, signifies yes, has, among them, a signification perhaps diametrically opposite. This little trial, supposing even that they gave the boat I should send the most favourable reception, convinced me still more of the impossibility there was of satisfying my curiosity; I determined, therefore, to get under way the next day with the land breeze. Several different fires lighted upon the coast, and which appeared to me to be signals, induced me to think, that we had raised an alarm, but it was more than probable, that the Chinese and rebel armies were not in the vicinity of Taywan, or we should have seen only a small number of fishing boats, since the greater part would have been otherwise employed. What was at this time only conjecture, became soon afterwards a certainty. The land and sea breezes having the next day permitted us to get ten leagues to the northward, we perceived the Chinese army


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at the mouth of a great river, which is in 23° 25′ north latitude, and the banks of which stretch four or five leagues out to sea. We came to an anchor abreast of this river, in thirty-seven fathoms, muddy ground. It was not possible for us to count all the vessels; many of them were under fail, others were at anchor on the coast, and a very great number of them were in the river. The admiral, covered with a number of different flags, was the farthest in the offing. He came to an anchor in a line with the banks, at a league to the eastward of our frigates. When night came, he hung out lights on all his masts, which served as a rallying point to several vessels which were still to windward; these vessels, being obliged to pass by our frigates in order to join their commander, were extremely cautious of coming within reach of our guns, ignorant, without doubt, whether we were friends or enemies. We were able, by the brightness of the moon, to make these observations till midnight, and we had never felt a more ardent wish for clear weather, than for the purpose of seeing the consequence of these events. We had set the southern islands of the Pescadores, bearing west by north. It is probable, that the Chinese army, having left the province of Fokien, had assembled in the island Pong-hou, the most considerable of the Pescadores, where there is a very good harbour, and that it had departed from this

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place of rendezvous in order to commence its operations. We could not, however, satisfy our curiosity, for the weather became so bad, that we were obliged to weigh before day, in order to get our anchor, which we could not possibly have hoven up, had we delayed the work but a single hour; the sky became obscured at four o'clock in the morning, it blew very hard, and the horizon was so thick that we could not see the land. At day-break, however, I saw the Chinese admiral running before the wind into the river, with some other small vessels, which I still perceived through the fog. I stood from the shore under close-reesed topfails and courses; the wind was at north north-east, and I flattered myself I should be able to double the Pescadores, by keeping the ship's head to the north-west; but to my great astonishment, I perceived, at nine o'clock in the morning, several rocks, making part of this group of islands, bearing north-north-west; the weather was so thick, that we could not possibly have distinguished them if we had not been very near. The breakers, with which they were surrounded, were hardly distinguishable from those which were occasioned by the sea; I had never in my life seen a higher sea. At nine o'clock in the morning we tacked and stood towards Formosa; and at noon the Astrolabe, which was ahead of us, made the signal for twelve fathoms, wearing at the same time: I instantly founded,

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and found forty; thus, in less than a quarter of a league's distance, there was a shoaling from forty fathoms to twelve, and in a very short time it would, in all likelihood, have decreased from twelve to two, since the Astrolabe found only eight fathoms when she wore, and it was probable that this ship had not more than four minutes to run upon that short tack. This event convinced us, that the channel between the islands north-east of the Pescadores, and the banks of Formosa, was not more than four leagues in width; it would, of course, have been dangerous in such dreadful weather to ply to windward during the night, with a horizon less than a league in extent, and so rough a sea, that every time we wore we were afraid of the sea breaking all over us. These different motives determined me to bear up, in order to run to the eastward of Formosa: my instructions did not enjoin me to direct my course through this channel, and it was clearly proved to me besides, that I could never succeed in it before the change of the monsoon, and as that was just at hand, and is always preceded by a very heavy gale of wind, I deemed it better to be exposed to it in the open sea, and I shaped my course towards the southern islands of the Pescadores, which bore west-south-west. Being obliged to come to this determination, I wished at least to reconnoitre these islands, as near as such bad wea-

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ther would permit. We ran along them at two leagues distance, and it appears, that they extend to the southward as far as 23° 12′; although M. Daprès's chart places the southernmost 13′ more to the northward. We are not so certain of their limits to the northward; the most southerly which we made extends as far as 23° 25′, but we do not know whether they reach any further.

These islands are a heap of rocks which assume all kinds of shapes; among others, one of them so exactly resembles the tower of Cordouan, which is at the entrance of Bourdeaux River, that one would think it was hewn out by the hands of men. Among these islets we counted five islands of a moderate height, which appeared like sandy downs, without any trees upon them. In fact, the dreadful weather of this day renders this observation very uncertain; but these islands must be known from the narratives of the Dutch, who, during the time they were masters of Formosa, sortified the Port of Ponghou; it is also known, that the Chinese maintain a garrison of five or six hundred Tartars there, who are relieved every year.

As the water was become much smoother from the shelter of these islands, we founded several times; we found a sandy bottom, so uneven, that the Astrolabe, within a musket-shot of the land, had forty fathoms, when by our lead we had only twenty-four, and we soon afterwards lost bottom

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altogether. On the approach of night, I ordered a south by east course to be steered, and at day-break I stood again east-south-east, for the purpose of passing into the channel between Formosa and the Bashee Islands. The next day we experienced as violent a squall of wind as that of the evening before, but which lasted no longer than ten o'clock in the evening: it was preceded by so abundant a rain, as can be seen no where but between the tropics. During the whole night the sky was in a flame; the most vivid lightning darted from every point of the horizon; but we heard no more than one clap of thunder. We ran before the wind, under the forefail, and two close-reesed topfails, steering south-east, in order to double Vele-rete, which, from the bearings we had taken before night of the south point of Formosa, ought to lie four leagues to the eastward of us. The wind was continually at north-west during the whole of this night, but the clouds flew with the greatest swistness towards the south-west; and a fog, the elevation of which was not a hundred toises above our heads, followed only the impulse of the lower currents of air. For several days I had made the same observation, which operated not a little in determining me to stand off shore during this crisis of nature, which the winds seemed to predict, and which were rendered still more probable by the moon's being at the full. The whole of the next day we

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remained in a dead calm, in mid channel, between the Bashee Islands and those of Botol Tabacoxima. This channel is sixteen leagues wide; our observations having placed the south-east point of Botol Tabaco-xima in 21° 57′ north latitude, and 119° 32′ east longitude. Being enabled, by the wind, to come within two miles of this island, I saw three villages very distinctly on the southern coast, and a canoe seemed to bend its course towards us. I should have wished to visit these villages, which were probably inhabited by people similar to those of the Bashee Islands, whom Dampier has described as so honest and hospitable; but the only bay, which seemed to promise an anchorage, was open to the south-east winds, which appeared likely to blow very shortly, because the clouds were forcibly driven from that quarter: towards midnight the wind in fact became fixed there, and permitted me to shape my course north-east by north, the direction in which M. Daprès lays down the island of Formosa, in 23° 30′. In our approach to Botol Tabaco-xima, we founded several times, and, till within the distance of half a league from the land, found no bottom; every thing announces, that if there be an anchorage it must be extremely near the coast. This island, on which no navigator has hitherto been known to land, may be about four leagues in circumference: it is separated by a channel of half a league from

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a very large rock or islet, upon which a finall degree of verdure, and a few shrubs, are perceptible, but it is neither inhabited nor habitable.

The island, on the contrary, seemed to contain a considerable number of inhabitants, since we counted three pretty large villages within the space of a league. It is very woody from the third part of its height, taken from the sea shore, to the summit, which seemed to us to be capped with trees of the largest size. The space of land comprised between these forests and the sandy shore, retains a very steep declivity; it was cultivated in many places, and displayed the most beautiful green, though surrowed with ravines formed by the torrents which descend from the mountains. I am of opinion, that, when the weather is clear, Botol Tabaco-xima may be distinguished at fifteen leagues distance: but this island is very often enveloped in fogs, and it appears, that admiral Anson had, at first, made only the islet I have just described, which is not half so high as Botol. After doubling this island, we directed our course to the north-north-east, keeping a very sharp look out for land during the whole night. A strong current, which set to the northward, prevented us from knowing, with certainty, what way we were making; but a very fine moon light, and constant attention, convinced us of the inconveniences which attend navigating in the middle of an archipelago very little known by geogra-


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phers; for all our acquaintance with it is derived from a letter of the missionary, father Gaubil, who had gained a knowledge of some details respecting the kingdom of Liqueo, and its thirty six islands, from an ambassador of the king of Liqueo, whom he got acquainted with at Pekin.

It may easily be conceived how very insufficient determinations of latitude and longitude, made upon such data, must be for the interests of navigation; but there is, notwithstanding, always a great advantage in knowing, that islands and shoals really exist in those seas, in which navigators may have occasion to sail. On the 5th of May, at one o'clock in the morning, we made an island, which bore north-north-east of us; we passed the rest of the night, standing off and on, under an easy sail, and at day-break I shaped my course so as to run along the west coast of this island, at the distance of half a league. We sounded several times, without finding bottom. We were soon satisfied that this island was inhabited, for we saw fires in several places, and herds of oxen grazing on the sea-shore. When we had doubled its west point, which is the most beautiful and best inhabited side, several canoes put off from the shore in order to observe us. They seemed to be extremely in fear of us; their curiosity caused them to advance within musket-shot, and their distrust made them immediately flee away with speed. Our shouts, gestures,

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signs of peace, and the sight of some stuffs, at length determined two of the canoes to come alongside of us: I made each of them a present of a piece of nankeen, and some medals. It was evident, that these islanders had not left the coast with any intention of trafficking with us, for they had nothing to offer in exchange for our presents; they only fastened to a rope a bucket of fresh water, making signs to us, that they still thought themselves in our debt, but that they were going ashore to fetch provision, which they expressed, by putting their hand into their mouth. Before coming alongside the frigate, they placed their hands upon their breast, and raised their arms towards the sky; these gestures were repeated by us, and then they resolved to come on board, but it was with a want of confidence, which was strongly expressed in their countenance during the whole time. They nevertheless invited us to approach the land, giving us to understand, that we should there want for nothing. These islanders are neither Japanese nor Chinese, but, situate between these two empires, they seem to partake of both people. Their covering was a shirt, and a pair of cotton drawers. Their hair, tucked up on the crown of the head, was rolled round a needle, which seemed to us to be gold: each of them had a dagger, the handle of which was gold also. Their canoes were made out of hollowed trees, and they managed them

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very indifferently. I could have wished to land upon this island, but as we had brought the ship to, in order to wait for these canoes, and as the current set to the northward with extreme rapidity, we had drifted a great way to leeward, and our efforts to reach it would perhaps have been in vain: besides, we had not a moment to lose, and it was of the highest importance to us, to get out of the Japan seas before the month of June, a period of storms and hurricanes, which render these seas the most dangerous in the whole world.

It is clear, that vessels which might be in want, would readily provide themselves with provision, wood, and water in this island, and perhaps even carry on a little trade; but as it is not more than three or four leagues in circumference, there is no great probability, that is population exceeds four or five hundred persons; and a few gold needles are not of themselves a proof of wealth. I preserved to it the name of Kumi Island; this is the name it bears on the chart of father Gaubil, in which it is laid down in latitude and longitude nearly the same as given by our observations, which place it in 24° 33′ north latitude, and 120° 56′ east longitude. Kumi Island, upon this chart, makes part of a group of seven or eight islands, of which this is the westernmost; and this is isolated, or at least separated from those which may be supposed to the eastward of it, by channels of eight or ten

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leagues, our horizon containing that extent, without our perceiving any land. From the details of father Gaubil, as to the great island of Liqueo, the capital of all the islands to the east of Formosa, I am much inclined to think, that Europeans would be well received there, and might establish a commerce as advantageous as at Japan. At one o'clock in the afternoon, I crowded sail to the northward, without waiting for those islanders, who had expressed to us by signs, that they would soon return with eatables; of these we had still great abundance, and a fair wind invited us not to waste such precious moments. I continued my course to the northward, with all sails set, and at sun-set we had entirely lost sight of Kumi Island; the sky was nevertheless very clear, and our horizon seemed to be ten leagues in extent. During the night, I stood on under easy sail, and after having run five leagues, I brought to at two o'clock in the morning, because I supposed that the currents might have carried us ten or twelve miles ahead of our reckoning. At day-break, I made an island in the north-north-east, and more to the east several rocks or islets. I directed my course so as to pass to the westward of this island, which, in the western part, is round and very woody. I ranged along it at a third of a league, without finding any bottom, or perceiving any trace of a habitation. It is so steep, that I do not even think it is habit-

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able; its extent may be two thirds of a league in diameter, or two leagues in circumference. When we came abreast of it, we made a second island of the same size, equally woody, and nearly of the same form, but only not quite so high; it bore north-north-east of us, and between these islands there were five groups of rocks, around which innumerable birds were flying. I preserved to this last the name of Hoapinsu Island, and to that most to the north-east the name of Tiaoyu-su, given by the same father Gaubil to the islands which are found to the east of the north point of Formosa, and which have been laid down upon the chart much more to the south, than from our observations of latitude they really are*. Be this as it may, our determinations place the island Hoapinsu in 25° 44′ north latitude, and 121° 14′ east longitude, and that of Tiaoyu-su in latitude 25° 55′, and longitude 121° 17′.

We at length got out of the archipelago of the islands of Liqueo, and were about to enter a more extensive sea between Japan and China, where, according to some geographers, soundings are al-

* The chart of father Gaubil presents a third island to the north west of Hoapinsu, under the name of Pongkiachan, and nearly the same distance from it as Tiaoyu-su: if this island exist, it is astonishing, from the course of la Pérouse, that he did not discover it.—See Lottres édifiantes, 28th collection.—(Fr. Ed.)

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ways to be met with. This observation is true, but it was not till in 24° 4′, that by our lead we had seventy fathoms water, and from that latitude, as far as beyond the channel of Japan, we had always been able to find ground: the coast of China is even so flat, that in 31 degrees we had only twenty-five fathoms, at more than thirty leagues from the land. It was my intention, at our departure from Manilla, to reconnoitre the entrance of the Yellow Sea, to the north of Nankin, if the circumstances of my voyage would allow me to dedicate a few weeks to it; but at all events, it was of importance to the success of my ultimate objects, to reach the entrance of the channel of Japan before the 20th of May, and I encountered obstacles upon the north coast of China, which did not permit me to make more than seven or eight leagues a day: the fogs were also as thick and as continual there, as upon the coasts of Labrador; the winds, which are very light, vary only from north-east to east; we were frequently in a dead calm, obliged to bring up, and to make signals, in order to keep at anchor, because we could not see the Astrolabe, though within hail: the violence of the currents was such, that we could not keep a lead at the bottom long enough to ascertain if we did not drive; the tide there, however, did not run more than a league an hour, but it was impossible to ascertain its direction: it

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changed every instant, and in the space of twelve hours went exactly round the compass, without there being a moment of flack water. We had only one fine clear in the space of ten or twelve days, so as to permit us to see an islet or rock situate in 30° 45′ north latitude, and 121° 26′ east longitude. It soon became foggy again, and we do not know whether it be contiguous to the continent, or separated from it by a large channel, for we never saw the coast, and our least depth of water was twenty fathoms.

On the 19th of May, after a calm, with a very thick fog which had continued a fortnight, the wind settled at north-west, and blew very fresh; the sky remained whitish and dull, but the horizon extended several leagues. The sea, which had till then been so smooth, became extremely rough. At this time I was at anchor in twenty-five fathoms. I made the signal for getting under way, and without losing an instant shaped my course north-east by east towards the Island of Quelpaert, which is the first remarkable object before entering into the channel of Japan. This island, which is only known to Europeans by the wreck of the Dutch ship Sparrow-hawk, in 1635, was at that time under the dominion of the king of Corea. We made it on the 21st of May, in the finest possible weather, and in circumstances the most favourable for taking lunar observations. We determined the south

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point to be in 33° 14′ north latitude, and 124° 15′ east longitude. I ran along the whole south-east side, at six miles distance, and for a space of twelve leagues took the most exact bearings, from which M. Bernizet has constructed a draught. It is scarcely possible to find an island which affords a finer aspect; a peak of about a thousand toises, which is visible at the distance of eighteen or twenty leagues, occupies the middle of the island, of which it is doubtless the reservoir; the land gradually slopes towards the sea, whence the habitations appear as an amphitheatre. The soil appeared to us to be cultivated to a very great height. By the assistance of our glasses we could perceive the division of fields; they are very much parcelled out, which is the strongest proof of a great population. The very varied gradation of colours, from the different states of cultivation, rendered the view of this island still more agreeable. Unfortunately, it belongs to a people who are prohibited from all communication with strangers, and who detain in slavery those who have the misfortune to be shipwrecked on these coasts. Some of the Dutchmen of the ship Sparrow-hawk, after a captivity of eighteen years there, during which they received many bastinadoes, found means to take away a bark, and to cross to Japan, from which they arrived at Batavia, and afterwards at Amsterdam. This history, the narrative of which is now before

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us, was not calculated to induce us to send a boat on shore; we had seen two canoes put off from it, but they never came within a league of us, and in all probability their only object was to watch us, and perhaps give the alarm on the coast of Corea. I continued my course north-east by east till midnight, and I lay to in order to wait for day, which was dull, but without a thick fog. I saw the north-east point of Quelpaert Island to the westward, and I fixed my course north-north-east, for the purpose of approaching Corea. We kept founding every hour, and found from sixty to seventy fathoms. At day-break we made different islands or rocks, which form a chain of more than fifteen leagues distant from the continent of Corea; their bearing is nearly north-east and south-west, and our observations place the most northern of them in 35° 15′ north latitude, and 127° 7′ east longitude. The continent was concealed from us by a thick fog, though it is not more than five or six leagues distant. The next day, about eleven o'clock, we got sight of it; it appeared behind the islets or rocks with which it was still bordered. At two leagues to the south of these islets we had from thirty to thirty-five fathoms, and a muddy bottom; the sky was also always whitish and dull, but the sun pierced through the fog, and enabled us to take excellent observations of latitude and longitude, which was very important to the interests of geo-

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graphy, not any European ship having ever been known to run through these seas, which have been traced upon our maps of the world from Japanese or Corean charts, published by the Jesuits. These missionaries have in fact corrected them by courses adjusted with great care on the land, and subjected to very good observations made at Pekin, so that the errors have been very inconsiderable; and it must be confessed, that they have rendered most essential services to the geography of this part of Asia, which they alone have made known to us, and of which they have given charts which come very near the truth. Navigators have only to regret, in this respect, the want of hydrographic details, which could not possibly be traced on them, as the Jesuits travelled by land.

On the 25th in the night we passed the Strait of Corea. We had after sun-down set the coast of Japan, which extends from east by north to east-south-east, and that of Corea from north-west to north. The sea appeared very open to the north-east, and a very great swell coming from that quarter, completely confirmed this opinion; the night was very clear, and the wind rather fresh from the south-west. We ran before the wind under very easy sail, not making more than two knots an hour, for the purpose of ascertaining at day-break the accuracy of the bearings we had taken in the evening, and drawing an exact chart of the strait. Our

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bearings, subjected to the observations of M. Dagelet, leave nothing to be wished for as to the precision of the plan which we took of it. We sounded every half hour, and as the coast of Corea appeared to me more interesting to follow than that of Japan, I approached within two leagues of it, and shaped a course parallel to its direction.

The channel, which separates the coast of the continent from that of Japan, may be about fifteen leagues wide; but as far as ten leagues it is narrowed by rocks, which, from Quelpaert Island, continually bordered the southern coast of Corea, and which did not end till we had doubled the south-east point of this peninsula, so that we were able to follow the continent very near, to see the houses and towns which lie on the sea shore, and to reconnoitre the entrance of the bays. We saw on the tops of the mountains some fortifications, exactly resembling those of European forts, and it is very probable, that the greatest objects of defence, on the part of the Coreans, are directed against the Japanese. This part of the coast is very safe to sail along at three leagues from the shore, for there is no perceptible danger, and there are sixty fathoms with a muddy bottom, but the country is mountainous, and seems to be much parched; the snow, in certain ravines, was not entirely melted, and the earth seemed but little capable of cultivation. The habitations are, how-

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ever, very numerous; we counted a dozen of shampans or junks sailing along the coast; these vessels did not appear to differ in any respect from those of China; like these their fails were made of mats. The sight of our ships did not appear to cause much sear in them; indeed they were very near the shore, and would have had time to reach it before they could be overtaken, had our movements inspired them with any distrust. I should have been glad if they had had courage enough to speak to us; but they continued their course without troubling themselves about us, and the sight of our vessels, though very new, did not excite their attention. At eleven o'clock, however, I saw two boats set sail for the purpose of reconnoitring us, approach within a league of us, follow us for two hours, and afterwards return into the harbour from which they came out in the morning; hence it is probable that we had raised an alarm upon the coast of Corea, as in the afternoon fires were seen lighted on all their promontories.

This day, the 26th, was one of the finest in our whole voyage, as well as most interesting, from the bearings we had taken of an extent of coast of more than thirty leagues. Notwithstanding this fine weather, the barometer sell to twenty-seven inches ten lines; but as it had several times given us false indications, we continued our course along the coast, which we distinguished by the light of


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the moon till midnight; the wind then chopped about from south to north with considerable violence, without any cloud's announcing this sudden shift; the sky was clear and serene, but it became very black, and I was obliged to stand off shore, to prevent my being embayed by the easterly winds. Though the clouds had not given us notice of this change, we had nevertheless had a warning which we did not understand, and which it is not, perhaps, easy to explain: the men looking out at the mast-head called down to us, that they selt burning vapours similar to those of the mouth of an oven, which passed like puffs of wind, and succeeded each other every half minute. All the officers went to the mast head, and experienced the same heats. The temperature was at this time 14° upon deck; we sent up a thermometer to the topmast cross-trees, and it rose to 20° nevertheless the puffs of heat passed away very rapidly, and at intervals the temperature of the air did not differ from that of the level of the sea. During this night we met with a gale of wind from the north, which continued only seven or eight hours, but the sea was very high. As the channel between Corea and Japan must be very broad in this latitude, we had nothing to fear from bad weather. The next day I approached within three leagues of the continent; it was not foggy, and we recollected the points we had seen

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the evening before. In spite of the violence of the wind we had gained a little to the northward, and the coast began to trend to the north-north-west; thus we had sailed beyond the most eastern part, and explored the most interesting coast of Corea. I then thought it necessary to shape my course for the south-west point of Niphon Island, the north-east point of which, or Cape Nabo, Captain King had made the subject of precise observations. These two ascertained points will at length terminate the doubts of geographers, who will no longer have to exercise their imaginations on the form of these coasts. I made the signal on the 27th to bear up and steer east. I soon perceived in the north-north-east an island, which is not laid down upon any chart, and which seemed to be about twenty leagues distant from the coast of Corea: I endeavoured to get near to it, but it was exactly in the wind's eye, which fortunately changing during the night, I at break of day shaped my course so as to survey this island, which I named Isle Dagelet, from the name of that astronomer, who was the first that discovered it. It is little more than three leagues in circumference; I ran along it, and almost made its circuit at the distance of a mile without finding bottom; I then determined to hoist out a boat, under the command of M. Boutin, with orders to found as far as the shore. He found bottom in twenty

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fathoms, but not till near the edge of the surf, which broke upon the coast at about a hundred toises from the island, the north-east point of which lies in 37° 25′ north latitude, and 129° 2′ cast longitude. It is very steep, but covered with the finest trees from the sea-shore to the summit. A rampart of bare rock, almost as steep as a wall, encircles the whole outline of it, with the exception of seven little sandy creeks, where it is possible to land. It was in these creeks that we saw upon the stocks some boats of a construction altogether Chinese. The fight of our ships, which passed within gun-shot, certainly frightened the workmen, and they fled into the wood, from which their dock-yard was not farther distant than fifty paces. Beside these, we faw a few huts, but without any villages or cultivation. From this, it appears probable, that the Corean carpenters, who are not at a greater distance from Dagelet Island than twenty leagues, come hither during the summer with provision, for the purpose of building boats there, which they sell upon the continent. This opinion is almost reduced to a certainty; for after we had doubled its westernmost point, the workmen of another dock yard, who could not before see our ships, which were hidden from their view by this point, were surprised by us near to their pieces of timber, working at their boats, and we saw them flee away into the forests, with the

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exception of two or three, who did not seem to be in the least afraid of us. I could have wished to find an anchorage, for the purpose of persuading these people by good offices that we were not their enemies, but the strong currents drove us from the land. Night approached, and being afraid we should be carried to leeward, and that the boat I had dispatched under the command of M. Boutin, might not be able to rejoin us, I was obliged to order him by a signal to return on board, just at the moment he was going to land upon the beach. I hauled towards the Astrolabe, who was much more to the westward, having been dristed by the currents, and we passed the night in a calm, occasioned by the height of the mountains of Dagelet Island, which intercepted the sea breeze.


Route towards the North-West Part of Japan—View of Cape Noto, and of the Island Joost-sima—Details respecting this Island—Latitude and Longitude of this Part of Japan—Meet with several Japanese and Chinese Vessels—We return towards the Coast of Tartary, which we make in 42 Degrees of North Latitude—Stay at Baie de Ternai

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—Its Productions—Details relative to this Country—We sail from it, after a Stay of only three Days—Anchor in Baie de Suffren.

(MAY—JULY, 1787.)

ON the 30th of May, 1787, the winds having fixed at south-south-east, I shaped my course east towards Japan, but it was only by very short days runs that I neared the coast. The winds were continually contrary, and time was so precious to us, that had it not been for the very great importance which I thought due to the determining the situation of at least a point or two of the west coast of Niphon Island, I should have abandoned this survey, and run before the wind for the coast of Tartary. On the 2d of June, in 37° 38′ north latitude, and 132° 10′ east longitude, according to our time-keepers, we discovered two Japanese vessels, one of which passed within hail of us. It had a crew of twenty men, all clad in blue cassocks, made like those of our priests. This vessel, which was about a hundred tons burthen, had a single high mast stepped in the middle, and which appeared to be only a parcel of small masts united by copper hoops and wooldings. The fail of it was linen, the breadths of which were not sewed, but laced lengthwise. This sail appeared to me very large, and two jibs, with a spritfail, composed the remainder of her suit. A

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small gallery of three feet in breadth projected from both sides of this vessel, and extended along her gunwale from the stern to about two thirds of her length. She had beams upon her stem, which projected, and were painted green. The boat placed athwart her bows exceeded the breadth of the vessel by seven or eight feet, which had, in other respects, a common sheer, a flat poop with two small windows, very little carved work, and did not resemble the Chinese junks in any thing but the manner of fastening the rudder with cords. Her side gallery was only raised two or three feet above her water line, and the extremities of the boat must touch the water in rolling. Every thing made me think, that these vessels were not destined to go any distance from the coasts, and they could not be safe in a high sea during a squall of wind; it is probable the Japanese have vessels for the winter better calculated to brave the bad weather. We passed so near to this vessel, that we observed even the countenances of individuals; they were expressive of no fear, not even astonishment; they changed their course only within pistol shot of the Astrolabe, fearing, perhaps to fall aboard of her. They had a small Japanese white flag, on which were words written vertically. The name of the vessel was on a kind of drum placed at the side of the ensign staff. The Astrolabe hailed her as she passed, but we compre-

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hended no more of their answer than they did of our question, and the continued her course to the southward, very eager, no doubt, to go and give intelligence of two foreign vessels having been met with in seas, where no European navigator had ever before been seen. On the 4th in the morning, in 133° 17′ east longitude, and 37° 13′ north latitude, we thought we saw land, but the weather was extremely foggy, and our horizon had very soon no further extent than a quarter of a league at most; it blew very fresh at south; the barometer had fallen six lines in twelve hours. Hoping that the sky might clear, I was at first desirous to bring to, but in the afternoon the wind freshened still more: the mizen topsail was blown away; we handed the topfails, and lay to under the forefail. At different times of the day we saw seven Chinese vessels, masted like that which I have described, but without the side gallery, and, though smaller, of a construction better calculated to encounter bad weather; they resembled that which Captain King perceived during Cook's third voyage, having the same three black bands in the concave part of their fail, all equally about thirty or forty tons burthen, with a crew of eight men. During the violence of the wind we saw one of them under bare poles; her mast, like those of our chasse marÖes, was only supported by two shrowds and a stay, which was carried to the stem;

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for these vessels have no bowsprit, but only a small spar eight or ten feet high, placed vertically, on which the Chinese carry a small fore fail like that of a boat. All these junks ran close to the wind with their larboard tacks on board, and their head to the west-south-west; and it is probable they were not sar distant from the land, since these vessels never sail but along the coasts. The morning of the next day was extremely foggy. We again perceived two Japanese vessels, and it was only on the 6th that we made Cape Noto, and the Island of Jootsi-sima*, which is separated from it by a channel about five leagues in width. The weather was clear, and the horizon very extensive; though we were six leagues from the land, we could distinguish the particular objects on it; the trees, the rivers, and the hollows. Some islets or rocks, along which we coasted at two leagues distance, and which were connected together by chains of rocks, even with the water's edge,

* All the geographers to the present time have given the name of Jootsi-sima, to an Island which is north-cast of Cape Noto. La Pérouse in this place gives the same name to another island, which he discovered sive leagues to the north-west of this cape, and which is marked upon all the charts without a name. Can this naming of la Pérouse proceed from an error: I do not know: but I thought it necessary to avoid, by this observation, the doubt which may are from two islands of the same name so very near the same cape.—(Fr. Ed.)

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prevented us from approaching nearer the coast. At this distance we had foundings in sixty fathoms, a bottom of rock and coral. We saw, at two o'clock, the island of Jootsi-sima in the north-east. I shaped my course so as to run along the west part of it, and we were soon obliged to hawl our wind, in order to weather the breakers, that are very dangerous in the fog, which, at this season, almost always conceals the northern coasts of Japan. At a league and a half from these breakers we had constantly sixty fathoms rocky bottom, and it would have been unadvisable to come to an anchor there, except in a case of most urgent necessity. This island is small and flat, but very well wooded, and of an agreeable aspect: I think that its circumference does not exceed two leagues; it seemed to us to be very well inhabited. We remarked some considerable edisices between the houses; and hard by a sort of castle, which was at the south-west point, we distinguished some gibbets, or at least posts, with a large beam placed athwart the top; perhaps these posts may be destined to other purposes; but it would be singular enough if the Japanese, whose customs are so different from ours, were in this point to resemble us so nearly. We had searcely doubled the island of Jootsi-sima before we were suddenly inveloped in a very thick fog; we had fortunately enjoyed time enough to take excellent bearings

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of the coasts of Japan to the south of Cape Noto, as far as a Cape beyond which there is nothing to be seen.

Our observations of latitude and longitude were exceedingly satisfactory. Since our departure from Manilla, our time-keepe, had gone very well: thus, Cape Noto, upon the coast of Japan, is a point upon which the geographers may be perfectly satisfied; it will give, together with Cape Nabo upon the eastern coast, fixed by captain King, the breadth of this empire in its north part. A still greater service will be rendered to geography by our determinations, for they will establish the breadth of the Tartarian Sea, towards which I determined to direct my course. The coast of Japan, which runs away sixty leagues east from Cape Noto, and the continual fogs which envelope these islands, would perhaps have required the remainder of the season, in order to coast along, and take bearings of the island of Niphon, as far as Cape Sangaar; we had a far more extensive field of discoveries to explore upon the coast of Tartary, and in the Strait of Teffoy. I then thought it necessary not to lose an instant, in order to arrive there speedily; I had besides had no other object in my inquiries on the coast of Japan, but to assign to the Tartarian Sea its true limits from north to south. Our observations place Cape Noto in 37° 36′ north latitude, and 135° 34′


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east longitude; Jootsi-sima Island, in latitude 37° 51′ and longitude 135° 20′; an islet or rock, which is to the west of Cape Noto, in latitude 37° 36′, and longitude 135° 14′, and the most southerly point of Niphon Island, of which we were within sight, in latitude 37° 18′, and longitude 135° 5′. These short observations, which will appear perhaps very dry to the greater number of our readers, cost us ten days of very laborious navigation in the midst of fogs; we believe, that geographers will find this time well employed, and they will only regret, that the estensive plan of our voyage has not permitted us to recounoitre and determine upon that coast, and more particularly on the south-east part of it, a greater number of points, from the situation of which it might have been possible to lay down the true form of the strait which separates that empire from Corea. We surveyed the coast of this peninsula with the greatest precision, as far as the point where it ceases to run to the north-east, and where it takes a direction towards the west, which obliged us to get into 37° north. Continual and obstinate south winds opposed the design I had formed to see and six the most southerly and westerly points of Niphon Island; these same south winds followed us till within sight of the coast of Tartary, which we made on the 11th of June. The weather was very clear the next day, the ba-

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rometer sell to 27 inches 7 lines, and there remained stationary, and while the barometer continued at this point, we enjoyed two of the finest days in this voyage. This instrument had, since our departure from Manilla, so often given us just pregnostications of the weather, that we owed it some indulgence for its variations; but there is this refus to be drawn from it, that the disposition of the atmosphere may be such as, without producing either rain or wind, to effect a great variation in the barometer; that of the Astrolabe was at the same degree as ours, and I am of opinion, that a long series of observations is still necessary to obtain a perfect knowledge of the language of this instrument, which may be in general a great utility to the security of navigation. That of Nairne, with its ingenious mode of suspension, has advantages far superior to any other. The point of the coast we made is exactly that which separates Corea from Mantchou Tartary; it is a very high land, which we perceived on the 11th at twenty leagues distance; it extended from north-north-west to north-east by north, and appeared to be of several different levels. The mountains, without being so lofty as those of the American coast, are at least six or seven hundred toises in height. We did not get ground till within four leagues of the land, and then had one hundred and eighty fathoms muddy sand; and at a league from the shore there were still eighty-four fathoms.

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I approached within this distance of the coast; it was very steep, but covered with trees and verdure. On the summit of the highest mountains snow was to be seen, but in a very small quantity; besides, there was no appearance of any trace of culture or habitation, and we thought, that the Mantchou Tartars, who are wandering shepherds, prefer to these mountains plains and valleys, where their flocks find a more abundant nourishment. In this extent of coast, of more than forty leagues, we did not discover any river. I was however very desirous of touching there, in order that our botanists and mineralogists might observe this land and its productions; but this coast was perpendicular, and as there were eighty-four fathoms water at a league's distance, it might probably be necessary to approach within two or three cables length of the shore, to have twenty fathoms water, and thus we should have been unable to get under way with the sea breeze. I flattered myself I should find a more convenient place, and I continued my course, with the finest weather and the clearest sky we had enjoyed since our departure from Europe. On the 12th, 13th, and 14th we were equally successful in making our observations, while we coasted along at the distance of three short leagues from the shore: at six o'clock in the evening of the latter day, we were becalmed, and enveloped in a fog; a light breeze from the south-

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east scarcely permitting us to steer. As far as we had hitherto proceeded, the direction of the coast was north-east by north; we were already in 44° of latitude, which is laid down by geographers as that of the pretended strait of. Tessoy; but we found ourselves 5° more to the west than the longitude given to that strait; these 5° ought to be cut off from Tartary, and added to the channel which separates the islands situate to the north of Japan.

The days on the 15th and 16th were very foggy; we were but a small distance from the coast of Tartary, and could see it in the clears; but this last day will be remarkable on our journal, by one of the most complete illusions, which I have ever witnessed since I became a seaman.

At four o'clock in the afternoon the thickest fog was succeeded by the finest sky; we discovered the continent, which extended from west by south to north by east, and a little afterwards, in the south, an extensive land, which seemed to join Tartary on the west, not leaving between it and the continent an opening of 15°. We distinguished mountains, ravines, and at length every particular object on shore, without being able to conceive which way we had entered into this strait, which could be no other than that of Teffoy, the research of which we had given up. In this situation, I thought it necessary to haul the wind, and steer to the south-south-east; but these mountains and ravines very


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soon disappeared. The most extraordinary fog bank I had ever seen had occasioned our error; we saw it dissipated; its forms, its tints were carried away and lost in the region of clouds, and we had still day enough left to take off from our minds every degree of uncertainty, as to the non-existence of this fantastical land. I stood on during the whole night over the space of sea which it had appeared to occupy, and at day-break there was nothing before our eyes; the horizon was nevertheless so extensive, that we perfectly distinguished the coast of Tartary, at the distance of about fifteen leagues. I shaped my course towards it, but at eight o'clock in the morning we were surrounded by the fog; we had fortunately had time to take good bearings, and to reconnoitre all the points we had set the preceding evening; thus there is not any hiatus in our chart of Tartary, from our land-fall in the 42d degree, as far as the strait of Ségalien.

On the 17th, 18th, and 19th the fog was still very thick; we made no way, but continued standing off and on, in order, on the first clear, to find again the mountains already perceived and placed upon our chart. On the 19th, in the evening, the fog dispersed; we were only three leagues from the land; we surveyed an extent of coast of more than twenty leagues from west-south-west to north-north-east; the whole of its form was perfectly

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well defined, a clear sky permitting us to distinguish all the tints of it, but in no part did we see the appearance of a bay, and at four leagues from the land no bottom was found with a line of two hundred fathoms. The fog soon compelled me to gain a greater offing, and we did not see the coast again till the next day at noon; we were very near it, and had never been in a situation to take better bearings; our latitude was 44° 45′ north, and we set a point bearing north-east by north, that was at least fifteen leagues from us. I ordered the Astrolabe to go ahead and look out for an anchorage. M. de Langle hoisted out his boat, and sent M. de Monti, his first lieutenant, to sound a bay which we perceived before us, and which appeared to afford a shelter. At two leagues from the land we found a hundred and forty fathoms, and two leagues farther in the offing, we had had two hundred fathoms; the water appeared gradually to shoal, and it was probable that at a quarter of a league from the shore we should find forty or fifty fathoms, which is very considerable, but a ship frequently anchors in a similar depth. We continued our course towards the land; a very thick fog bank soon arose on it, which a light breeze from the north carried over us. Before M. de Monti had reached the bay, which he had orders to found, M. de Langle was obliged to make him a signal to come on board again, and he rejoined the frigate at the moment

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when we were enveloped in the thickest fog, and obliged to stand off again from the shore. At sun-set there was once more a clear of a few minutes. The next day, towards eight o'clock, having only run three leagues east by north during twenty-four hours, we could set no other points but those already laid down upon our chart; we saw the flat top of a mountain, which I called, from its shape, Table Mountain, in order that it might be recognised by navigators. During the whole time we had run along this land, we had never seen any signs of inhabitants; not a single canoe had put off from the coast, and this country, though covered with the finest trees, which indicate a fertile soil, seems to be despised by the Tartars and Japanese; these people might form considerable colonies there, but, on the contrary, the policy of the last is to prevent all emigration, and all communication with foreigners; under which denomination they comprise the Chinese as well as the Europeans.

On the 21st and 22d the fog was very thick, but we kept the land so close aboard, that we saw it whenever the smallest clear came on, which happened almost every day at sun-set. The cold began to increase when we reached the 45th degree: at a league from the land we sound fifty-seven fathoms, muddy bottom.

On the 23d the wind became settled at north-

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east; I determined to stand in for a bay which I saw to the west-north-west, and where there was a probability of our finding a good anchorage. At six o'clock in the evening we dropped anchor there, in twenty-four fathoms, sandy bottom, and half a league from the shore. I named it Baie de Ternai, it is situate in 45° 13′ north latitude, and 135° 9′ east longitude. Although it is open to the easterly winds, I have reason to think, that they never blow in upon the coast there, and that they follow the direction of the land; the bottom is sandy, and diminishes gradually to six fathoms within a cable's length of the shore. The tide in this place rises five feet; it is high water at 8h 15h at full and change, but the flux and reflux do not alter the direction of the current at half a league from the shore; that which we experienced at the anchorage never varied but from south-west to south-east, and its greatest rapidity was a mile an hour.

During seventy-five days since our sailing from Manilla, we had, in fact, run along the coasts of Quelpaert Island, Corea, and Japan, but these countries, which are inhabited by people who are inhospitable to strangers, did not allow us to think of putting in there; on the other hand, we knew that the Tartars were hospitable, and our force was also sufficient to overawe any small tribes which we might meet on the sea-shore. We burned with impatience to go and recon-

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noitre this land, which had exercised our imagination since the time of our departure from France; this was the only part of the globe which had escaped the indefatigable activity of captain Cook, and we are indebted, perhaps, to the melancholy event which terminated his days, for the trifling advantage of being the first who landed there. It had been proved to us, that the Kastrikum had never sailed along the Tartarian coast, and we flattered ourselves, that, in the course of this voyage, we should find new proofs of that truth.

The geographers who, on the report of father des Anges, and from some Japanese charts, had drawn the strait of Tessoy, determined the limits of Jesso, of the Company's Land, and also of Staten Island, had disfigured the geography of this part of Asia, in such a manner, that it became absolutely necessary, in this respect, to put an end to all the ancient discussions by indisputable facts*. The latitude of Baie de Ternai

* Almost all the geographers have pointed out an island, under the name of Jeço, Yeço, or Jesso, to the north of Japan, which they have separated from Tartary, by a strait to which they have given the name of Tessoy. This error has been perpetuated, and this imaginary strait appears, towards the 43d degree of north latitude, on all the old charts. Its pretended existence may have had for its origin, the real strait which divides Ségalien Island from the continent, and which William de Lisle also named the Strait of Tessoy, on a chart of Asia, published in 1700.—(Fr. Ed.)

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was exactly the same as that of Port Acqueis, where the Dutch landed; the reader, nevertheless, will find the description of it very different.

Five small creeks, similar to the sides of a regular polygon, form the outline of this roadstead; these are separated from each other by hills, which are covered to the summit with trees. Never did France, in the freshest spring, offer gradations of colour of so varied and strong a green; and though we had not seen, since we began to run along the coast, either a single fire or canoe, we could not imagine that a country so near to China, and which appeared so fertile, should be entirely uninhabited. Before our boats had landed, our glasses were turned towards the shore, but we saw only bears and stags, which passed very quietly along the sea side. Every one's impatience to land was increased by this sight; arms were gotten ready with as much activity, as if we were about to defend ourselves against an enemy; and while these dispositions were making, the sailors, who were employed in fishing, had, with their lines, already caught ten or twelve cod-fish. The inhabitants of cities can with difficulty form a conception of the sensations experienced by sailors, on the prospect of a plentiful fishery; fresh provision is the want of all men, and that even which is least savoury is sar more wholesome than the best preserved salt meat. I gave in-

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stant orders to lock up the salt provision, and to take care of it for less fortunate periods. I caused casks to be prepared, in order to be filled with fresh and limpid water, a rivulet of which flowed into every creek; and I sent into the meadows to search for pot-herbs, where an immense quantity of small onions, sorrel, and celery were found. The same plants which grow in our climates carpeted the whole soil, but they were stronger, and of a deeper green; the greater part were in flower. Roses, red and yellow lilies, lilies of the valley, and all our meadow flowers in general, were met with at every step. Pine trees covered the tops of the mountains; oaks began only half way down, and diminished in strength and size, in proportion as they came nearer the sea; the banks of the rivers and rivulets were bordered with willow, birch, and maple trees, and on the skirts of the forests we saw apple and medlar trees in flower, with clumps of hazle-nut trees, the fruit of which already made its appearance. Our surprise was redoubled, when we reflected on the population which overburdens the extensive empire of China, so that the laws do not punish fathers barbarous enough to drown and destroy their children, and that this people, whose polity is so highly boasted of, dares not extend itself beyond its wall, to draw its subsistence from a land, the vegetation of which it would be

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necessary rather to check than to encourage. At every step we perceived traces of men, by the destruction they had made; several trees, cut with sharp-edged instruments; the remains of ravages by fire, were to be seen in several places, and we observed some sheds, which had been erected by hunters in a corner of the woods. We also found some small baskets, made of the bark of birch trees, sewed with thread, and similar to those of the Canadian Indians; rackets for walking on the snow; in a word, every thing induced us to think, that the Tartars approach the borders of the sea in the season for hunting and fishing; that they assemble in colonies at that period along the rivers, and that the bulk of the nation live in the interior of the country, on a soil perhaps better calculated for the multiplication of their immense flocks and herds.

At half past six-o'clock, three boats from the two frigates, filled with officers and passengers, landed in Bears Creek, and at seven, they had already fired several musket-shots at different wild beasts, which very speedily pushed into the woods. Three young sawns were the only victims of their inexperience; the noisy joy of those who had just landed, might well have made them gain the inaccessible woods, from which they were at no great distance. The meadows, so delightful to the fight, could scarcely be crossed; the thick grass was three

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or four seet high there, so that we in a manner found ourselves buried in it, and in a total impossibility of proceeding. We had, moreover, to dread being bitten by serpents, a great number of which had been seen on the banks of the rivulets, though we had not yet experienced their venomous quality. We therefore found ourselves on this land, merely in a magnificent solitude. The sandy flats upon the shore were the only places easy to walk on; and every where else it was only with incredible fatigue, that we could pass from one spot to another. The passion for hunting, however, caused M. de Langle, and several other officers and naturalists, to endeavour to surmount it, but without any success; and we thought, that with extreme patience, and profound silence, and by posting ourselves in ambush in the passes of the stags and bears, marked by their tracks, we might be able to obtain some of them. This plan was fixed for the next day; it was, however, so difficult of execution, that we seemed to have gone little less than ten thousand leagues by sea, only to be balked, in endeavouring to hunt in the middle of a swamp filled with moschetoes. On the 25th, in the evening, we nevertheless made the attempt, after having spent the whole day in vain; but every one having taken post at nine o'clock, and at ten, the time in which we expected the bears, having seen nothing, we

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were obliged in general to acknowledge, that fishing was better suited to us than hunting. We were really far more successful in it. Each of the five creeks, which form the outline of Baie de Ternai, afforded a very convenient place for hauling the seine, and had a rivulet, near which we established our kitchen; the fish had on one leap to take from the sea-shore into our kettles. We caught cod-fish, harp-fish, trout, salmon, herrings, and plaice. Our ships companies had abundance of them at every meal; this fish, and the different herbs with which it was seasoned, were, during the three days of our stay, at least a preservative against the attacks of the scurvy; for not one of our ships companies had at that time perceived the least symptom of it, notwithstanding the cold and damp occasioned by almost continual fogs, the effects of which we had en leavoured to obviate, by burning fires between deeks, under the sailors hammocks, when the weather would not permit us to carry them up.

It was in consequence of one of these fishing parties, that we discovered, on the bank of a rivulet, a Tartarian tomb, placed at the side of a small house in ruins, and almost buried in the grass: we were induced by our curiosity to open it, and we saw two persons placed side by side in it. Their heads were covered with an under cap of taffeta; their bodies, wrapped up in a bear's skin, had a

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girdle of the same, from which hung some small Chinese coins, and different copper trinkets. Blue beads were spread, and as it were sown in this tomb; we found there also ten or twelve kinds of silver bracelets, of the weight of ten pennyweights each, which we afterwards learned were pendants for the ears; an iron hatchet, a knife of the same metal, a wooden spoon, a comb, a small bag of blue nankeen, full of rice. There was yet no appearance of a state of decomposition, and the age of this monument could not be estimated at more than a year; the construction of it seemed to us inferior to that of the tombs of Port des Français; it consisted only of a small hut, formed of trunks of trees, covered with the bark of the birch tree; a space was left between them, for the purpose of lowering into it the two dead bodies. We took great care to cover them up again, scrupulously replacing every thing, after having only taken away a very small part of the different articles contained in this tomb, for the purpose of verifying our discovery. We could not entertain a doubt, that the Tartarian hunters made frequent landings in this bay; a canoe, left very near this monument, indicated to us, that they came thither by sea, doubtless from the mouth of some river, which we had not yet perceived.

The Chinese coins, the blue nankeen, the tassetas, the under caps, prove, that these people have

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regular commercial dealings with the Chinese, and it is not improbable, that they may be also subjects of that empire.

The rice, enclosed in the small bag of blue nankeen, marks out a Chinese custom, founded on the opinion of a continuation of wants in the life to come: in a word, the hatchet, knife, cloak of bear's skin, and comb, are articles which have all of them a marked resemblance to those used by the American Indians; and as these people have not perhaps ever had any communication with each other, may it not be fairly conjectured, from circumstances of such conformity, that men in the same degree of civilization, and under the same latitudes, adopt nearly the same customs, and that, if they were precisely in the same circumstances, there would be no greater difference between them, than between the wolves of Canada and those of Europe?

The delightful spectacle, which this part of East Tartary presented to our view, contained nothing, however, that was interesting to our botanists and mineralogifts. The plants there are the same as those of France, neither was there a greater difference in the substances which compose the soil of it. Slates, quartz, jasper, violet porphyry, small crystals, and amygdaloid, composed the specimens which the beds of rivers afforded us, without our being able to perceive the least trace of metals. Iron ore,

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which is pretty generally spread over the whole globe, appears only in a state of oxyd, serving as the colouring matter of different stones: sea and land birds were also very rare; we saw, however, ravens, turtle doves, quails, wag-tails, swallows, flycatchers, albatrosses, gulls, puffers, bitterns, and wild ducks, but the view was not enlivened by those innumerable flights of birds which are met with in other uninhabited countries. At Baie de Ternai they were solitary, and the most gloomy silence reigned in the interior of the woods. Shells were equally rare; we found upon the sand only broken muscle shells, bernacles, snails, and purpuræ.

At length, on the 27th in the morning, after having deposited in the earth different medals, with a bottle containing an inscription of the date of our arrival, the wind having veered to the south, I set sail, and ran along the coast at the distance of two thirds of a league, sailing over a bottom of forty fathoms, muddy sand, and near enough to distinguish the mouth of the smallest rivulet. In this manner we made fifty leagues with the finest weather that navigators could possibly with for. On the 29th, at eleven o'clock in the evening, the wind having shifted to the north, obliged me to tack to the eastward, and thus to gain an offing; we were then in 46° 50′ north latitude. We stood in for the land again the next day. Though the

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weather was very foggy; the horizon having three leagues of extent, we surveyed the same coast which we had seen the evening before to the northward, and which now bore west of us. It was much lower, more divided with hills, and at two leagues from the shore, we found only thirty fathoms, rocky bottom. We remained upon this kind of bank in a dead calm, and caught more than eighty cod-fish. A light breeze during the night, enabled us to haul off from it, and at day we again saw the land, four leagues distant; it seemed to extend only as far as north-north-west, but the fog concealed from us the points more to the northward. We continued to run along very near the coast, the direction of which then was north by east. On the first of July, a thick fog having surrounded us at so small a distance from the land, that we heard the surf breaking upon the shore, I made the signal to anchor, in thirty fathoms, bottom of mud and broken shells. Till the 4th the weather was so thick, that it was not possible to take any bearings, or to send our boats on shore; but we caught upwards of eight hundred cod-fish. I ordered the surplus of our consumption to be falted and put into barrels. The dredge also furnished us with a great quantity of oysters, the shell of which was so fine, that it seemed very possible they might contain pearls, though we had only sound two, half formed. This circumstance renders the account of

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the Jesuits very probable, who inform us, that there is a pearl fishery at the mouth of several rivers of East Tartary: but it may be supposed, that this is to the southward, at the places adjacent to Corea; for more to the northward the country is too destitute of inhabitants, to be able to engage in so considerable a labour, since after having run down two hundred leagues of this coast, very frequently within gunshot, and always at a short distance from the land, we had seen neither houses nor canoes, and when we went on shore, we only saw the tracks of some hunters, who did not seem to have settled in those places which we visited.

On the 4th, at three o'clock in the morning, there was a fine clear. We set the land as far as the north-east by north, and we saw upon our beam, at the distance of two miles from us, in the west-north-west, a great bay, into which a river, fifteen or twenty toises in breadth, discharged itself. A boat from each frigate, under the orders of Messrs. de Vaujuas and Darbaud, was manned and armed for the purpose of reconnoitring it. Messrs. de Monneron, la Martinière, Rollin, Bernizet, Collignon, l'abbé Mongès, and le pere Receveur, embarked in them. The landing was easy, and the water shoaled gradually towards the shore. The aspect of the country is nearly the same as that at Baie de Ternai, and, though three degrees more to the northward, in the productions of

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the earth, and the substances of which it is composed, it differs very little from it.

The traces of the inhabitants were in this place much fresher; branches cut from trees with a sharp edged instrument, the leaves of which still retained their verdure, were seen in many places. Two elks skins, very skilfully stretched upon small pieces of wood, were left by the side of a small cabin, which was not capable of lodging a family, but sufficient to serve as a shelter to two or three hunters, and there might, perhaps, have been a small number in it, whom fear might have driven into the woods. M. de Vaujuas thought proper to carry away one of these skins, but he left in exchange for it hatchets and other iron instruments, of a hundred fold the value of the elk's skin, which was sent me. This officer's report, as well as that of the naturalists, did not inspire me with any desire to prolong my stay in this bay, to which I gave the name of Baie de Suffren.


We continue our Route to the Northward—Discovery of a Peak to the Eastward—We perceive that we were sailing in a Channel—We direct our Course towards the Coast of Segalien Island—Anchor at

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Baie de Langle—Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants—Their Information determines us to continue our Route to the Northward—We run along the Coast of the Island—Put into Baie d'Estaing—Departure—We find, that the Channel between the Island and the Continent of Tartary is obstructed by some Banks—Arrival at Baie de Castries, upon the Coast of Tartary.

(JULY, 1787.)

I GOT under way from Baie de Suffren, with a light breeze at north-east, by the assistance of which I hoped to gain a distance from the coast. According to our observations, this bay is situate in 47° 51′ north latitude, and 137° 25′ east longitude. In the course of our departure we used the dredge several times, and caught oysters, to which were attached poulettes, little bivalve shell fish, which, in Europe, are very frequently met with petrified, and analogous to which some have of late years been found on the coast of Provence; large whelks, many sea hedgehogs of the common species, a great quantity of star fish and holothuriæ, with very small pieces of beautiful coral. The calm and fog compelled us to anchor in forty-four fathoms, bottom of muddy sand, a league farther from the shore. We still continued to catch cod-fish, but this was a trifling indemnification for the loss of time, during which the season too rapidly

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passed away, considering the desire we had to explore this sea entirely. At length, on the 5th, notwithstanding the fog, I set sail, the breeze having freshened from the south-west. In a clear interval, which had continued about ten minutes, we, from our anchorage, had taken bearings of eight or ten leagues of coast, to the north-east by north; we could thus run without inconvenience seven or eight leagues north-east by east, and sounding every half hour, I fixed my course to that point of the compass, for we could not see more than the distance of two musket-shots. In this manner we sailed till the approach of night, in fifty fathoms water; the wind then changed to the north-east, blowing very fresh, with a great deal of rain. The barometer fell twenty-seven inches six lines. During the whole day of the 6th of July, we struggled against contrary winds. Our latitude, by observation, was in 48° north, and our longitude 138° 20′ east. At noon it cleared up; we set some tops of mountains which extended to the northward, but a fog concealed the lower part of the coast from us, and we saw no point, though we were but three leagues off. The night following this day was extremely beautiful; by the light of the moon we shaped our course parallel to the coast. Its first direction was north-east, and afterwards north-north-east. At day break we ran along it; we flattered our-

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selves, that before night we should arrive in the 50th degree of latitude, the term which I had fixed for taking our departure from the coast of Tartary, and returning towards Jesso and Oku Jesso, very certain, that if they did not exist, we should at least fall in with the Kuriles, in standing to the eastward, but at eight o'clock in the morning we made an island which appeared of great extent, and which, with Tartary, formed an opening of 30 degrees. We did not distinguish any point of the island, and could only set the summits, which extending as far as south-east, indicated that we were already advanced sufficiently into the channel which divides it from the continent. At this moment our latitude was in 48° 35′, and that of the Astrolabe, who had run two leagues ahead, in 48° 40′. I thought at first that this was Segalien Island, the south part of which had been placed by the geographers two degrees too far to the northward; and I supposed, that if I directed my course into the channel, I should be compelled to follow it as far as its termination into the sea of Okhotsk, on account of the obstinacy of the southerly winds which constantly prevail in these seas during this season of the year. This situation placed an insuperable impediment to the desire I had to explore this sea entirely, and after having drawn a very exact chart of the coast of Tartary, no more remained to be

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done for effecting this plan, than to run along the west side of the first islands I might meet with, as far as the 44th degree, in consequence of which I directed my course to the south-east.

The aspect of this land was very different from that of Tartary; there was nothing to be seen but barren rocks, the cavities of which still preserved the snow, but we were at too great a distance to discover the lower lands, which, like those of the continent, might be covered with trees and verdure. To the highest of these mountains, which terminates like a chimney, I gave the name of Peak Lamanon, on account of its volcanic form, because the naturalist of this name had made volcanic productions his particular study.

The southerly winds obliged me to ply to windward with all sails set, for the purpose of weathering the southern extremity of the new land, the end of which we had not seen. It was only possible for us to take bearings of their summits during a few minutes, being enveloped in a thick fog; but we had soundings three or four leagues from the coast of Tartary to the westward, and in running to the eastward I put about whenever we had forty-eight fathoms. I did not know what distance these soundings placed us from the newly discovered island. In this uncertainty, however, on the 9th of July, we obtained our observation of latitude with

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a horizon of half a league. It gave us 48° 15′. The obstinacy of the southerly winds did not change during the days of the 9th and 10th, they were attended with so thick a fog, that we could scarcely see the distance of a musket-shot. We thus navigated this channel in the dark, very certain, that we had land to the south-south-east, east, and north, as far as south-west. The new reflections which occurred to my mind, from this land bearing south-south-east, strongly induced me to think, that we were not in the channel of Segalien Island, to which no geographer has ever assigned so southerly a situation, but rather to the westward of the land of Jesso, the eastern part of which had in all probability been coasted by the Dutch; and as we had sailed very near the coast of Tartary, we had, without perceiving it, entered into the gulph which is perhaps formed by the land of Jesso and this part of Asia. Nothing more remained for us but to determine whether Jesso be an island or a peninsula, forming, with Chinese Tartary, nearly the same figure as is formed by Ruffian Tartary and Kamtschatka. I waited for a clear with the utmost impatience, for the purpose of determining which way to decide this question, and on the 11th at noon I obtained one. It is in these foggy seas only, though in fact but very seldom, that a horizon of vast extent is seen; as if nature in some measure wished to compensate by a few instants of the most bril-

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liant clearness, for the profound and almost perpetual glooms which prevail over all these seas. At two o'clock in the afternoon the curtain drew up, and we took bearings of the land from the north by east, to the north by west. The opening was not more than 22° and a half, and several persons were certain of having seen summits which entirely enclosed it. This difference of opinions made me very undecided as to the steps I ought to take; great inconveniences might be the consequence of running away large twenty or thirty leagues to the northward, if we actually perceived the bottom of the gulph, because the season was sliding away, and we could not flatter ourselves, that we should be able to beat up these twenty leagues against the south wind in less than eight or ten days, since we had made but twelve leagues during the five days that we had been plying to windward in this channel. On the other hand, the intent of our expedition was incomplete, if we missed the strait which divides Jesso from Tartary. I then determined, that the best way was to find a port, and endeavour to procure some signs of the natives of the country. On the 11th and 12th the weather was clear, owing to the breeze being very strong, which obliged us to reef our topsails. We approached within less than a league of the coast of the island, it ran directly north and south. I was desirous to find a bight where our ships might be sheltered, but

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this coast does not present the smallest inlet, and the sea ran as high at half a league from the shore as in the offing; thus, though our soundings only varied from eighteen to thirty fathoms, over a very level bottom of sand, in the space of six leagues, I was obliged to continue contending against the south wind with all sails set.

The distance I was from this coast the first time I perceived it had led me into an error, but on a nearer approach to it, I found it as woody as that of Tartary. At length, on the 12th of July, in the evening, the south breeze having died away, I neared the land, and dropped anchor in fourteen fathoms, mud and sand, two miles from a small creek, into which flowed a river. M. de Langle, who had come to an anchor an hour before me, immediately came on board my ship, he had already hoisted out his longboat and small boats, and he proposed to me, to land before night, in order to reconnoitre the land, and see whether there were any hope of drawing any information from the inhabitants. By the assistance of our glasses, we perceived some cabins, and two islanders, who appeared to be running away toward the woods. I agreed to M. de Langle's proposal, and entreated him to receive into his suite M. Boutin and abbé Mongès; and after the frigate was brought up, the sails furled, and our boats hoisted out, I manned my pinnace, commanded by M. de Clonard,

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followed by Messrs. Duché, Prevost, and Collignon, and I gave them orders to join M. de Langle, who had already landed on the beach. The only two small houses on this bay they found abandoned, but only a very short time since, for the fire was still lighted; none of the furniture had been taken away; there was also a litter of young puppies, the eyes of which were not yet opened, and the mother, which they heard bark in the woods, led them to suppose, that the proprietors of these cottages were not far distant. M. de Langle then deposited hatchets, different iron tools, glass beads, and in general every thing which he imagined might be useful and agreeable to these islanders; persuaded, that, after his re-embarking, the inhabitants would return thither, and that our presents would convince them we were not enemies. He, at the same time, had the seine hauled, and at two casts of the net, caught more salmon than were sufficient for the consumption of the ships companies for more than a week. At the moment he was about to return on board, he saw seven men land on the shore from a canoe, who did not seem in any degree frightened at our numbers. They run their little boat aground upon the sand, and fat down upon mats, in the middle of our sailors, with an air of security, which gave a strong prepossession in their favour. In this number were two old men with long white beards, clothed with a stuff

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made of the barks of trees, nearly resembling the cloths of Madagascar. Two of these seven islanders had dresses of blue nankeen quilting, and the form of their dress differed but little from that of the Chinese: others only wore a long robe, which was altogether closed by means of a girdle, and a few small buttons, which exempted them from wearing a pair of drawers. Their head was naked, and among two or three of them bound round simply with a bandeau of bear's skin. They had the crown of their head and faces shaved: all the hair behind was of the length of ten or twelve inches, but cut in a different manner from the Chinese, who leave only a round tuft, which they call pentsec. They all had boots, made of seal skin, with a foot after the Chinese style, very skilfully manufactured. Their arms were bows, pikes, and arrows tipt with iron. The oldest of these islanders, to whom the others paid the greatest respect, had very weak eyes, and wore round his head a shade, to guard him from the effects of the too great brightness of the sun. The manners of these inhabitants were solemn, noble, and very striking. M. de Langle presented them with the surplus of what he had brought with him, and gave them to understand by signs, that he was obliged, by the coming on of night, to return on board, but that he was very desirous of finding them there again the next day, in order to

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make them new presents; they in their turn made signs, that they slept in the vicinity, and that they would be very punctual in giving them the meeting.

We generally supposed, that they were the proprietors of a warehouse of fish, which we had met with upon the bank of the small river, and which was erected upon stakes, at four or five feet above the level of the land. M. de Langle, in visiting it, shewed equal respect to it as to the abandoned cabins; he found in it, dried and smoked salmon and herrings, with vessels filled with oil, as well as salmon skins as thin as parchment. This magazine was evidently too considerable for the subsistence of one family, and he judged, that these people made a traffick of these different articles: it was near eleven o'clock at night before the boats returned on board, and the report which I received greatly excited my curiosity. I waited for day with the utmost impatience, and before sun-rise was on shore with the longboat and barge. The islanders arrived in the creek very shortly afterwards; they came from the north, where we had imagined their village was situate: they were soon followed by a second canoe, and we counted twenty-one inhabitants. In this number were the proprietors of the cabins, in whom the effects left by M. de Langle had inspired confidence; but not a single woman, and we had

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reason to suppose, that they were very jealous of them. We heard dogs bark in the woods: in all probability, these animals remained with the women. Our hunters were desirous to penetrate thither; but the islanders made us the most pressing remonstrances, to deter us from bending our steps towards the place from which these barkings came; and disposed as I then was, to ask them the most important questions, and desirous to inspire them with confidence, I gave orders not to contradict them in any thing.

M. de Langle, accompanied by most of his principal officers, arrived on shore very soon after me, and before the commencement of our conversation with the islanders; it was preceded by all kinds of presents. They seemed to set a value only on things which were useful: iron and stuffs prevailed over every thing; they understood metals as well as we did, and preferred silver to copper, copper to iron, &c. They were very poor; three or four only having pendent earrings of silver, ornamented with blue glass beads, exactly similar to those I found in the tomb at Baie de Ternai, and which I had taken for bracelets. Their other little ornaments were of copper, like those of the same tomb. Their pipes, and their steels to strike fire with, seemed of Chinese or Japanese manufacture; the former were of queen's metal skilfully worked. Pointing with the hand to the west,

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they gave us to understand, that the blue nankeen with which they were clothed, the beads, and the steels came from the country of the Mantchou Tartars, and they pronounced this name exactly in the same manner as we did. Afterwards, observing that each of us held a pencil and paper in our hand, in order to make a vocabulary of their language, they guessed our intention; they anticipated our questions, presenting of their own accord the different objects, adding the name of the country, and had the politeness to repeat it four or five times, till they were certain we had perfectly acquired their pronunciation. The ease with which they had guessed our meaning induced me to suppose, that the art of writing was known to them; and one of these islanders, as will be immediately seen, sketched us a draught of the country, and held the pencil in the same manner as the Chinese hold theirs. They appeared to wish very much for our hatchets and stuffs, and were not even afraid of asking for them; but they were as scrupulous as we were, never to take any thing that had not been actually given them. It was evident their ideas of theft were perfectly consonant to ours, and I should have had no apprehension in entrusting them to guard our effects. Their attention in this respect extended so far as not even to pick up from the shore a single one of the salmon which we had caught, though they were scattered there in thousands, for

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our fishery had been as successful as that of the over-night; we were under the necessity of repeatedly pressing them to take as many of them as they chose.

We were at length successful in making them comprehend, that we wished them to describe their country, and that of the Mantchous. One of the old men then rose up, and with the end of his staff sketched the coast of Tartary to the west, running nearly north and south. To the east, opposite, and in the same direction, he represented his own island, and placing his hand upon his breast, he gave us to understand, that he had just then sketched his own country: he had left a strait between his island and Tartary, and turning towards our ships, which were visible from the shore, he marked by a touch of a pencil that they might pass into it. To the south of this island he represented another, and left a strait at the same time, signifying that there was still a course for our ships. His sagacity in guessing our questions was very great, but less so than that of another islander, about thirty years of age, who, seeing that the figures sketched on the sand were effaced, took some paper and one of our pencils, on which he sketched his own island, which he named Tchoka, and by a stroke of the pencil designated the little river upon the banks of which we then were, which he placed at two-thirds of the length of the island from north to south. He af-

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terwards made a draught of the Mantchou land, leaving, as the old man had done, a strait at the bottom of the bight, and to our great surprise he added to it the river Segalien, which these islanders pronounced the same as we did; he placed the mouth of this river a little to the southward of the north point of his island, and by touches of the pencil to the number of seven, he marked how many days were necessary for a canoe to go from the place where we were to the mouth of Segalien River; but as the canoes of these people never go farther than a pistol-shot from the land, following the windings of the little creeks, we may presume, that in a right line they make little more than nine leagues a day; because the coast allows them to land every where, of which they avail themselves for the purpose of cooking their victuals and taking their meals, and in all probability they very often sleep on shore. Thus we estimated our distance from the extremity of the island at sixty-three leagues at the most. This same islander repeated what had previously been told to us, that they procured nankeens and other articles of commerce by their communication with the people who inhabit the banks of Segalien River, and he equally marked, by strokes of a pencil, how many days it required for a canoe to sail up this river as far as the places where they carried on their traffick. All the other islanders were witnesses to this conversation, and by

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their gestures gave their approbation to the discourse of their countrymen. It was afterwards our wish to know whether this strait were very broad; we endeavoured to make him understand our idea; he quickly apprehended it, and placing his two hands parallel and perpendicularly at two or three inches from each other, he gave us to understand, that he thus expressed the breadth of the little river where we took in our fresh water; he then removed them farther, indicating that this second breadth was that of the river Segalien, and placing them at a still greater distance, he marked the breadth of the strait which divides Tartary from his country. We wished to know the depth of the water; we took him to the edge of the river, from which we were only ten paces distant, and we plunged the end of a pike into it; he seemed to understand our meaning, and placing one hand five or six inches above the other, we supposed that he thus signified to us the depth of the river Segalien, and afterwards he extended his arms to the utmost, to express the depth of the strait. It now only remained to us to ascertain whether he meant the absolute or relative depths, for on the first supposition, this strait would have been only the depth of a single fathom, and this people, whose canoes had never approached our ships, might think that three or four feet of water were sufficient for us, as three or four inches were for their canoes;

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but on this point it was impossible to obtain any farther elucidation. M. de Langle and I thought, that at all events it was of the greatest importance to discover, whether the island we had run along were that to which the geographers have given the name of Segalien Island, without suspecting the extent of it to the south. I gave orders, that the two frigates should be held in readiness for sailing the next day. The bay in which we lay at anchor, received the name of Baie de Langle, from the name of the captain, who discovered and first landed on its shore.

We appropriated the remainder of the day to visiting the country, and the people who inhabit it. We have not, since our departure from France, met with any which more excited our curiosity and admiration. We knew, that the most numerous nations, and perhaps those who were the earliest civilized, inhabit the countries which border on these islands; but it does not appear, that they have ever conquered them, because there were no temptations for their cupidity; and it was very contrary to our ideas, to find among a people of hunters and fishermen, who do not cultivate any products of the earth, and who have no stocks, manners in general more grave and gentle, and an intellect perhaps more extensive, than among any nation of Europe. The knowledge of the best informed class of Europeans certainly renders

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them in all points very superior to those twenty-one islanders with whom we communicated at Baie de Langle; but among the people of these islands knowledge is much more extensively spread, than it is among the lower classes of the people of Europe; all the individuals there seem to have received the same education. Contrary to that stupid astonishment of the Indians of Port des Français, the attention of the inhabitants of Baie de Langle was attracted by our arts and our manufactures; they turned the stuffs over and over, they talked of them among themselves, and endeavoured to discover by what means they had been fabricated. They are acquainted with the weaver's shuttle; I brought thence a loom, with which they make linens exactly similar to ours, but the thread of it is made of the bark of the willow tree, which is very common in their island, and which seemed to me to differ but little from that of France. Though they do not cultivate the earth, they turn its spontaneous produce to their own advantage with the greatest skill. We found in their cabins a great many roots of a species of lily, which our botanists knew to be the yellow lily, or saranna of Kamtschatka. They dry them for their winter's provision. They had also a great deal of garlick and angelica root, which plants are found in the skirts of the woods. We were not able, from our short stay, to dis-

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cover whether these islanders have a form of government, and on this point we can therefore only hazard conjectures, but it is very evident, that they have great respect for the old men, and that their manners are very mild, and certainly if they were shepherds, and had numerous flocks, I could not form a different idea of the manners and customs of the patriarchs. They are in general, well made, of a strong constitution, very agreeable countenance, and bearded in a remarkable manner: their stature is low; I did not perceive any of them to be above five feet five inches, and several of them were less than five feet. They gave permission to our painters to draw their pictures, but the request of M. Rollin, our surgeon, who was desirous to take the measure of the different dimensions of their bodies, they constantly refused; they perhaps imagined that it was a magical operation, for it is known by travellers, that this idea of magic is very extensively prevalent in China and Tartary, and that several missionaries have there been brought before the tribunals, accused of being magicians, for having laid their hands on the children when they baptised them. This refusal, and their obstinacy in hiding and removing their women from us, are the only reproaches we have to lay to their charge. We are very certain, that the inhabitants of this island form a well regulated society, but so very poor, that

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Inhabitants of the Baie de Langle

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for a long time to come, they will have nothing to fear either from the ambition of conquerors, or the avarice of merchants; a little oil and dried fish are very trifling articles of exportation. We could only purchase two marten's skins; we saw the skins of bears and seals parcelled out, and cut into clothes, but very few in number, the peltries of these islands would be of very trifling importance to commerce. We found rounded pieces of coal upon the shore, but not a single specimen which contained gold, iron, or copper. I am led to believe, that there is not any iron or copper-mine in their mountains. The whole of the silver trinkets of these twenty-one islanders did not weigh two ounces, and a medal, with a silver chain, which I put round the neck of an old man, who appeared to be the chief of this troop, seemed, in their eyes, to be of inestimable value. Each of these inhabitants wore a large ring on their thumb, which was made of ivory, horn, or lead. They suffer their nails to grow in the same manner as the Chinese do; they salute like them, and it is well known, that this salute consists of kneeling and prostrating themselves on the earth; their manner of sitting down on their mats is the same, and, like them, they eat with little sticks. If they have a common origin with the Tartars and Chinese, their separation from these nations must be of very

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ancient date, for they have no resemblance to them in person and little in manners.

The Chinese, whom we had on board, did not understand a single word of the language of these islanders, but they perfectly comprehended that of two Mantchou Tartars, who a fortnight or three weeks before had passed from the continent to this island, for the purpose perhaps of making some purchase of fish.

We only met with them in the afternoon. They conversed readily with one of our Chinese, who perfectly well understood the Tartar; they gave him exactly the same details of the geography of the country, altering only the names, because that in all probability each language has peculiarly its own. The garments of these Tartars were of grey nankeen, similar to those of the coolies or street porters of Macao. Their hat is made of bark, and pointed; they had the tust of hair or pentsec in the manner of the Chinese; their manners and countenance were by no means so agreeable as those of the people of the island. They said that they lived eight days journey up Segalien River. All these reports, joined to what we had seen on the coast of Tartary, along which our ships had run so near, inclined us to think, that the sea-shores of that part of Asia are scarcely inhabited from the 42d degree, or the limits of Corea, as far as Segalien River; that mountains which are perhaps inaccessible se-

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parate this maritime country from the rest of Tartary, and that it is only to be approached by sea, and by sailing up some of the rivers, although we had not perceived any of them of considerable size*. The cabins of these islanders are built with skill; every precaution is taken against the cold in them; they are of wood, covered with the bark of birch trees, surmounted by a timber-work covered with dry straw, and arranged like the thatch of our peasants houses; the door is very low, and placed in the gable end; the hearth is in the middle, under an opening in the roof, which gives vent to the smoke; little banks or floors, raised eight or ten inches, encompass it all round, and the inside is strewed with mats. The cabin which I have just described, is situate in the middle of a thicket of rose trees, about a hundred paces from the sea-shore; these shrubs were in flower, and exhaled a most delicious odour; but they could not overcome the stench of the fish and oil, which would have prevailed over all the perfumes of Arabia. We wished to know whether the agreeable sensations of finell be, like those of taste, dependent on custom. I gave to one of the old men of whom I have spoken

* These islanders have never given us to understand, that they carried on any commerce with the coast of Tartary, certainly known by them, for they delineated it, but only with the people who dwell at the distance of eight days journey up the river Segalien.

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a bottle, filled with very sweet scented water; he brought it to his nose, and shewed the same disgust at this water as we felt at his oil. The pipe was never out of their mouth; their tobacco was in great leaves, and of a very excellent quality; I understood that they procured it from Tartary; but they clearly explained to us, that their pipes came from the island to the south, doubtless Japan. Our example could not persuade them to take snuff, and it would have been rendering them a very ill service, to accustom them to a new want. I was very much surprised at hearing in their language, a vocabulary of which will be found at the end of chapter XXI, the word ship for a ship, two, tree, for the numbers two and three. Ought not these English expressions to be admitted as proof, that a few words which are similar, in different languages, are not sufficient to indicate a common origin?

On the 14th of July, at day break, I made the signal for getting under way; the wind was southerly and the weather hazy which soon changed to a very thick fog. Till the 19th we had not the smallest clear. I shaped my course north-west towards the coast of Tartary; and when, according to our reckoning, we were in the place from which we discovered Peak Lamanon, we hauled the wind under an easy sail, plied to windward in the channel, waiting the end of this gloomy atmosphere, which in my opinion cannot be compared with

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that of any other sea. The fog disappeared for an instant. On the 19th, in the morning, we saw the land of the island from north-east by north as far as east-south-east; but it was still so enveloped in vapours, that it was not possible for us to discover any of the points which we had set the preceding days. I stood on to approach it, but we soon lost sight of it; however, we continued to run along it by the lead, till two o'clock in the afternoon, when we dropped anchor to the westward of a very fine bay, in twenty fathoms, gravelly bottom, and two miles from the shore. At four o'clock the fog dispersed, and we took bearings of the land aftern of us to the north by east. This bay, the best in which we had anchored since our departure from Manilla, I named Baie d'Estaing; it is situated in 48° 59′ north latitude, and 140° 32′ east longitude. At four o'clock in the afternoon, our boats landed there, at the foot of ten or twelve cabins, placed without any order, at a considerable distance from each other, and about a hundred paces from the sea-shore. They were rather larger than those I have already described; the same materials were used in their construction, but they were divided into two rooms: the inner one contained all the small articles of the furniture of the family, the hearth, and the bank which encompassed it round about; but the outer was entirely empty, and seemed set


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apart to receive visits in, strangers, in all probability, not being admitted into the presence of the women. Some of our officers met with two of them, who had fled, and hidden themselves in the grass. When our canoes landed in the creek, the women, terrified, set up loud shricks, as if they were afraid of being devoured; they were, however, under the guard of an islander, who brought them back to their houses, and seemed desirous to recover them from their fright. M. Blondela had time to draw sketches of them, and his drawing represents their countenance very exactly; it is rather extraordinary, but tolerably agreeable; their eyes are small, their lips large; the upper one painted blue, or tatooed, for it was not possible to be certain which: their legs were naked; a long linen shift enfolded them, and as they had bathed themselves in the dew of the grass, this garment, sticking close to their bodies, gave an opportunity to our artist to draw their figures at full length, which were not very elegant; their hair hung lank and uncurled, and the upper part of the head was not shaved, but that of the men was.

M. de Langle, who landed first, found the islanders assembled round four canoes, laden with smoked fish; his crew assisted to launch them into the water; and he learned, that the twenty-four men, who formed the crews of the canoes, were Mantchous, and that they were come from the

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banks of Segalien River to purchase this fish. He had a long conversation with them, through the medium of our Chinese, to whom they gave the best reception. They said, like our former geographers at Baie de Langle, that the land which we were coasting along was an island, to which they also gave the same name, and added, that we were still five days sail of a canoe from its extremity, but that with a fair wind, it would be possible to run that distance in two days, and sleep every night ashore: every thing, also, which had been told us at Baie de Langle, was confirmed in this new bay, but expressed far less intelligibly by the Chinese, who served us as interpreter. M. de Langle also met in a corner of the island with a kind of circus, planted with fifteen or twenty stakes, each surmounted with the head of a bear; the bones of these animals were scattered in the parts adjoining. As these people never use fire-arms, but combat the bears in close fight, their arrows being only capable of wounding them, the circus appeared to us intended to perpetuate the memory of their exploits; and the twenty bears heads exposed to view might retrace the victories they had obtained during ten years, to judge of them by the state of decomposition in which the greater part of them were found. The substances and productions of the soil of Baie d'Estaing, scarcely differ from those of Baie de Langle; salmon was also

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as common there, and every cabin had its store-house; we discovered, that these people threw away the head, tail, and backbone, and that they dry and smoke the rest of this fish, to be sold to the Mantchous, preserving only the smell, which infects their houses, their furniture, their dresses, and even the grass which surrounds their villages. Our boats at length departed, at eight o'clock in the evening, after having loaded the Tartars and islanders with presents; they returned to the ships at three quarters past eight, and I gave orders to prepare for sailing the next day.

On the 20th the day was very fine; we made excellent observations of latitude, and of the distance of sun and moon, from which we corrected our reckoning for the last six days, from our departure from Baie de Langle, situate in 47° 49′ north latitude, and 140° 29′ east longitude, which longitude only differs 3′ from that of Baie d'Estaing. The direction of the west coast of this island, from the parallel of 47° 39′, in which we perceived Baie de Langle, as far as the 52d degree, being directly north and south, we ran along at a short league's distance, and at seven o'clock in the evening, a thick fog having surrounded us, we came to an anchor in thirty-seven fathoms, bottom of mud and small flint stones. The coast was steeper and more mountainous than on the south side. We saw neither fire nor habitation,

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and as the night came on, we sent no boat on shore; but for the first time since we had quitted Tartary we caught eight or ten cod-fish, which seemed to indicate the proximity of the continent, of which we had lost sight in the 49th degree of latitude.

Being obliged to follow one of the coasts, I gave the preference to that of the island, for the purpose of making sure of the strait, if there really were one to the eastward, which required the strictest attention, on account of the fogs, which left us only very short intervals of clear weather; therefore I hugged the shore, and never kept at a greater distance from it than two leagues, from Baie de Langle to the end of the channel. My conjectures on the proximity of the coast of Tartary were so well founded, that as soon as our horizon became a little more extensive, we had a perfect view of it. In 50 degrees the channel began to grow narrower, and was no more than twelve or thirteen leagues in width.

On the 22d, in the evening, I came to an anchor in thirty-seven fathoms, muddy bottom, about a league from the land. I was then abreast of a small river, three leagues to the northward of which we saw a very remarkable peak; its base is upon the sea-shore, and its summit, from whatever side it is seen, preserves the most regular form; it is covered with verdure and trees, even to the summit; I gave it the name of Peak la

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Martinière, because it affords a fine field for botanical researches, which the learned person of this name makes his principal study.

As I had not seen any habitation in running along the coast of the island from d'Estaing Bay, I wished much to clear up my doubts on this subject. Accordingly, I armed four boats of the two frigates, under the command of M. de Clonard, and I gave him orders to go and reconnoitre the creek, into which flowed the small river the channel of which we saw. He came back at eight o'clock in the evening, and to my utter astonishment brought all his boats full of salmon, though the crews had neither lines nor nets with them. This officer reported to me, that he had landed at the mouth of a little rivulet, the breadth of which did not exceed four toises, nor the depth a foot; that he found it so completely filled with salmon, that the bed of it was covered all over with them, and that the sailors, with blows of their sticks, had killed twelve hundred in an hour; beside this he had met with nothing but two or three deserted huts, which he supposed to have been erected by the Mantchou Tartars, who, according to their custom, had come hither from the continent to traffic in the south of this island. The vegetation was still more vigorous, and the trees of a larger dimension than in the bays we had before visited; celery and cresses grew in abundance on the banks

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of this river; it was the first time since our departure from Manilla, that we had met with the latter plant. It would have been easy to gather several sacks full of juniper berries, but we gave the preference to herbs and fishes. Our botanists made an ample collection of pretty scarce plants, and our mineralogists brought away a great many crystals of spar, and other curious stones, but they neither met with marcasites nor pyrites, nor in short any thing which indicated the existence of mines. Fir trees and willows were very numerous indeed, much more so than the oak, the maple, the birch, and medlar trees, and if other navigators had landed on the banks of this river a month afterwards, they might there have gathered great quantities of goofeberries, strawberries, and raspberries, which were at this time in flower.

Whilst the crews of our boats made this plentiful harvest on shore, we on board caught a great many cod-fish, and this anchorage, in a few hours, furnished us with fresh provision for a week. I named this river Ruissaue du Saumon, and at day-break I got under sail. I continued to run along very near to this island, which had no termination to the northward, though every promontory that I saw gave me hopes of it. On the 23d we observed in 50° 54′ north latitude, and we had scarcely ever changed our longitude from Baie de Langle. In this latitude we took the bearings of a very fine bay, the only

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one since our running along this island which affords a safe shelter to ships against the wïnds of the channel. A few habitations appeared here and there upon the shore, near a ravine, which indicated the bed of a river rather more considerable than those which we had already seen. I did not deem it proper to reconnoitre more particularly this bay, which I named the Baie de la Jonquière, I however sailed across it. At a league from the shore the soundings were thirty-five fathoms, over a muddy bottom; but I was in such haste, and the clear weather occurred so seldom, and was so valuable to us, that I thought it my duty to avail myself of it in getting to the northward. Since we had attained the 50th degree of north latitude, I had returned entirely to my first opinion. I could no longer entertain a doubt, that the island we had run along from the 47th degree, and which according to the information of the natives might extend much more to the southward, was Segalien Island, the southern point of which has been fixed by the Russians in 54°, and which, in a north and south direction, forms one of the longest islands in the world. Thus the pretended strait of Tessoy could be only that which divides Segalien Island from Tartary, nearly in the 52d degree. I was too far advanced not to wish to reconnoitre this strait, and to know if it be navigable. I began to be afraid it was not, because we shoaled our water very fast in standing to the northward, and the land of

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Segalien Island were no more than swamps almost level with the water like sand banks.

On the 23d, in the evening, I came to an anchor in twenty-four fathoms, muddy bottom, at three leagues from the land. Two leagues more to the east I had found the same soundings three miles from the shore, and from sun-set till the moment when we let go the anchor, I had made two leagues towards the west, perpendicularly to the direction of that coast, for the purpose of discovering, if, by increasing our distance from Segalien Island, we should deepen our water, but it was constantly the same depth, and I began to suspect that the slope was from south to north, taking the length of the channel nearly similar to a river, the water of which diminishes as you advance towards its source.

On the 24th, at day-break, we got under sail, having fixed our course north-west. The water shoaled to eighteen fathoms in three hours; I steered west, and we carried with us exactly the same depth. I then determined to traverse this channel twice, east and west, in order to be assured if there was not deeper water, and also to find the channel of this strait, if there was one. This plan was the only reasonable one in the circumstances we were in, for the water decreased so rapidly, when we directed our course to the northward, that at every league the bottom rose three fathoms;

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thus, in supposing a gradual decrease of depth, we were no more than six leagues from the bottom of the gulph, and we did not perceive any current. This stagnation of the water seemed to be a proof that there was no channel, and was a very certain cause of the perfect equality of the slope. In the evening of the 26th, we came to an anchor on the coast of Tartary, and the next day at noon, the fog having dispersed, I resolved to run to the north-north-east, towards the middle of the channel, in order to complete the clearing up of this geographical point, which cost us so many fatigues. In this manner we sailed in sight of the two coasts; in this place, as I expected, the depth decreased three fathoms a league, and after having made four leagues, we let go the anchor in nine fathoms, sandy bottom. The winds had so constantly settled at south, that for near a month they had not varied 20°; and in thus running before the wind, towards the bottom of this gulf, we exposed ourselves to the risk of being embayed in such a manner, as to be obliged perhaps to wait the change of the monsoon, in order to get out of it. But this was by no means the greatest inconvenience; that of not being able to keep our anchorage, with as rough a sea as those of the coasts of Europe where there is no shelter, was of much greater importance. These southerly winds, the root of which, if I may so express it, is in the Chinese seas, reach,


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without any interruption, as far as the gulph of Segalien Island; they there violently agitate the sea, and prevail in this place more stedfastly than the trade winds between the tropics. We had advanced so far, that I much wished to reach, or at least see the termination of this strait; unfortunately the weather became very unsettled, and the sea ran higher and higher; we nevertheless hoisted out our boats, in order to sound around us. M. Boutin had orders to go towards the south-east, and M. de Vaujuas was charged with sounding to the northward, with an express prohibition from exposing themselves in any manner so as to render their return on board doubtful. This operation was not to be trusted but to officers of extreme prudence, because the sea running higher, and the wind increasing, might compel us to get under way, in order to save our ships. I then gave orders to these officers not to risk, on any pretence whatever, either the safety of our ships in waiting for the boats, or their own, if circumstances should be so imperious, as to compel us to set sail.

My orders were executed with the greatest precision. M. Boutin returned soon afterwards. M. de Vaujuas made a league to the northward, and found no more than six fathoms; he got as far as the state of the sea and weather permitted him to

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sound*. He set off at seven o'clock in the evening, and did not return till midnight; the sea already ran high, and not having been able to forget the misfortune we had experienced at Port des Français, I began to entertain the most dreadful uneasiness. His return seemed to me a compensation for the very bad situation in which our ships then were, for at day-break we were under the necessity of getting under way. The sea ran so high, that we were more than four hours in heaving up the anchor; the messenger and the purchase snapped; the capstan was broken, an accident by which three men were grievously wounded; we were compelled to carry all the sail that the masts could bear, though it blew extremely hard. Happily, some slight variations from south to south-south-west and to south-south-east were favourable to us, and we made five leagues in twenty-four hours.

* It is very probable, that the strait of Segalien has formerly been navigable, but every thing leads to the belief, that it will soon be dry, so that the island of Segalien will become a peninfula. This change will take place, either by the immense quantities of earth brought down by the river Segalien, the length of the course of which is more than five hundred leagues, and which receives other considerable rivers that flow into it, or on account of the situation of its mouth, in the narrowest part of a long channel, a position very favourable for the land's gaining upon the sea.—(Fr. Ed.)

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On the 28th, in the evening, the fog being dispersed, we found ourselves on the coast of Tartary, at the opening of a bay, which seemed very deep, and offered a safe and convenient anchorage. We were in absolute want of wood, and our stock of water was very much diminished; I determined, therefore, to put in here, and I made a signal to the Astrolabe to sound ahead. We came to an anchor at the north point of this bay, at five o'clock in the evening, in eleven fathoms, muddy bottom. M. de Langle having immediately hoisted out his boat, reported to me, that it offered the most excellent shelter possible, behind four islands, which defended it from the wind from the offing. He had landed at a village of Tartars, where he was very kindly received; he there discovered a watering place, where the most limpid water might fall in cascades into our longboats, and these islands, the good anchorage of which could not be farther distant than three cables lengths, were covered with woods. From the report of M. de Langle, I gave orders to prepare for anchoring in the bottom of the bay at day-break, and at eight o'clock in the morning we brought up in six fathoms, over a muddy bottom. This bay was named Baie de Castries.

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Proceedings at Baie de Castries—Description of this Bay, and of a Tartarian Village – Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants—Their Respect for Tombs and Property—The extreme Confidence with which they inspired us—Their Tenderness for their Children—Their Union among themselves—Four Foreign Canoes come into this Bay—Geographical Details given us by their Crews—Productions of Baie de Castries—Its Shells, Quadrupeds, Birds, Stones, Plants.

(JULY, AUGUST, 1787.)

THE known impossibility of sailing out to the northward of Segalien Island opened to us a new scene of events: it was very doubtful, whether we could arrive at Kamtschatka this year.

Baie de Castries, in which we had just come to an anchor, is situate at the bottom of a gulph, two hundred leagues distant from the strait of Sangaar, the only passage by which we could with certainty get out of the Japanese seas. The southerly winds were more steady, more constant, more obstinate, than in the seas of China, whence they originate; because, being shut in between two coasts, their greatest variation was only two points to the eastward or westward; and even

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with a very light breeze, the sea ran so high, as to put us in apprehension for our masts; and besides, our ships were not such good sailers, as to leave us the hope of gaining two hundred leagues to windward, before the end of the fine season, in so narrow a channel, where almost continual fogs rendered the plying to windward extremely difficult. The only part, however, left for us to take, was to attempt it, or else to wait for the north monsoon, which might be retarded as late as November. I did not suffer this last idea to dwell a moment in my mind; on the contrary, I deemed it necessary to redouble our activity, by endeavouring, in the shortest possible time, to provide for our necessities of wood and water; and I signified that our stay would only be five days. As soon as we were moored, particular duties were assigned to the boats and longboats of the two frigates, by M. de Langle and myself, which were to be invariable during our stay. The longboat was to get in our water, the barge our wood; the small boats were allotted to Messrs. Blondela, Bellegarde, Mouton, Bernizet, and Prevost, junior, who had orders to take a survey of the bay; our yawls, which drew little water, were appropriated to the salmon fishery, in a small river which was full of salmon; finally, our pinnaces served M. de Langle and me, to go and superintend our different labours, and to transport us, with the naturalists, to

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the Tartarian village, into the different islands, and to all the points in general, which appeared capable of being observed. The first and most important operation was the verification of the motion of our time-pieces: and our sails were scarcely furled, when Messrs. Dagelet, Lauriston, and Darbaud had fixed their instruments upon an island, situate at a very short distance from our ships, to which I gave the name of Isle de l'Observatoire. It also served to furnish our carpenters with timber, of which we were almost entirely destitute. A graduated pole was fixed in the water, at the foot of the observatory, in order to ascertain the rise of the tide. The quadrant and pendulum swinging seconds were arranged with a degree of activity deserving better success. The astronomical labours followed without any interruption. The short stay I had announced did not permit us to take a moment's rest. The morning and afternoon were set apart for correspondent altitudes, the night for the altitude of the stars. The comparison of the motion of our time-pieces was already begun: that numbered 19 left us in very little uncertainty, because its results, compared with those of the observations of distance between the sun and moon, were always the same, or at least had not deviated beyond the limits of error to which these kind of instruments are liable. It was not the same with

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No 18, which was on board the Astrolabe; its going had been very irregular, and M. de Langle, as well as M. Lauriston, were not able to assign to it, with the least certainty, any daily rate of going. The unskilfulness of a carpenter nearly destroyed all our hopes; he cut down a tree, near the astronomical tent, which in failing broke the glass of the quadrant, deranged the pendulum of comparison, and rendered the labours of the preceding days nearly nugatory. Our anchorage, according to the average of these observations, was in 51° 29′ north latitude, and 139° 41′ east longitude, according to number 19, calculating its daily loss at twelve seconds, as had before been verified at Cavite. The time of high water, at the new and full moon, was calculated to be at ten o'clock; its greatest rise, at the same periods, five feet eight inches; and the current ran at least at the rate of half a knot. The astronomers, compelled by this accident to confine themselves to observations of curiosity during the last two days, accompanied us in all our expeditions. Of all the bays we had visited on the coast of Tartary, that of de Castries was the only one which deserved the denomination: it ensures a shelter to ships against bad weather, and it would be very possible to pass the winter in it. The bottom of it is mud, and shoals gradually from twelve fathoms to five in approaching the coast, which is

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surrounded by a flat, three cables lengths from the shore; so that when the tide is low, it is very difficult to land there, even in a boat; there are, besides, vast beds of sea-weed*, among which there is only two or three feet of water, which oppose an invincible resistance to all the efforts of the boats crews.

There is not any sea more abounding in different species of fuci, and our finest meadows are not more green, or better covered with vegetation. A very large bight on the side where the Tartar village stood, and which we at first supposed deep enough to receive our ships, because it was high water when we came to an anchor at the bottom of the bay, two hours afterwards appeared to us only an extensive meadow of marine plants; we saw the salmon leap there, as they came out of a rivulet, the waters of which lose themselves among these weeds, where we took more than two thousand of them in a day.

The inhabitants, whose most certain and abundant subsistenence is this fish, witnessed the success of our fishery without the smallest uneasiness, doubtless because they were assured, that the quantity of fish is inexhaustible. The next day after our ar-

* These sea weeds or fuci are precisely the same as those which are used at Marseilles, for packing up cases of oil or liquor; it is the goémon, fucus vesiculosus, or common sea-wrack.

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rival in the bay, we landed at the foot of the village; the presents made by M. de Langle, who had preceded us, had procured us friends there.

There is not in any part of the world a tribe of better men to be found. The chief, or oldest man, came to receive us on the beach, accompanied by some others of the inhabitants. In saluting us he prostrated himself to the earth, after the manner of the Chinese, and afterwards conducted us to his cabin, where were his wife, his daughters-in-law, his children, and grandchildren. He caused a neat mat to be spread, upon which he invited us to sit down, and a small grain, with which we were unacquainted, was put with some salmon into a copper upon the fire, in order to be offered to us. This grain is the food which they esteem the most delicious, and they gave us to understand, that it came from the Mantchou country; they exclusively appropriate this name to the people, who live seven or eight day's journey off, at the head of the river Segalien, and who immediately communicate with the Chinese. They by signs made us understand, that they were themselves of the nation of the Orotchys, and shewing us the four strange canoes, which we had the same day seen arrive in the bay, they called the crews of them Bitchys; they signified to us, that these last dwell further to the south, but perhaps at a shorter distance than seven or eight leagues; for these nations, like those

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of Canada, change their name and language at every large village. These strangers, of whom I shall speak more in detail in the sequel of this chapter, had lighted a fire upon the sand at the edge of the sea near the village of the Orotchys, where they cooked their fish and grain in an iron kettle, suspended on a hook of the same metal, from a triangle formed by three pieces of wood tied together. They were come from the river Segalien, and brought back into their country grain and nankeens, which in all probability they had received in exchange for oil, dried fish, and perhaps some elk and bears skins, which, with squirrels and dogs, were the only quadrupeds the spoils of which we saw.

This village of the Orotchys was composed of four cabins, built in a solid manner, with the trunks of fir trees at their full length, neatly cut at the angles; a frame of tolerable workmanship supported the roof, formed of the bark of trees. A wooden bench, like that of the cabins of Segalien Island, encompassed the apartment round about; and the hearth was in the same way placed in the middle, under an opening large enough to give vent to the smoke. We had reason to think, that these four houses belonged to four different families, who live together in the greatest harmony and most perfect confidence. One of these families we saw take its departure on a voyage of some length, for it did

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not return during the five days that we passed in this bay. The proprietors put some planks before the doors of their house, to prevent the dogs from entering them, and in this state left it full of their effects. We were soon so perfectly well convinced of the inviolable fidelity of these people, and their almost religious respect for property, that we left our sacks full of stuffs, beads, iron tools, and in general every thing we used as articles of barter, in the middle of their cabins, and under no other seal of security than their own probity, without a single instance of their abusing our extreme confidence; and on our departure from this bay, we firmly entertained the opinion, that they did not even suspect the existence of such a crime as theft.

Every cabin was surrounded with a drying place for salmon, which remain upon poles, exposed to the heat of the sun, after having been during three or four days smoked round the fire, which is in the middle of their cabin; the women, who are charged with this operation, take care, as soon as the smoke has penetrated them, to carry them into the open air, where they acquire the hardness of wood.

They carried on their fishery in the same river with us, with lines or spears, and we saw them, with a disgusting avidity, eat raw the snout, the gills, the small bones, and sometimes the entire skin of the salmon, which they strip off with infinite dex-


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terity; they sucked up the mucilage of these parts, as we swallow an oyster. The greatest part of the fish, except when the fishery has been very abundant, arrive at their houses stript; the women then, with the same avidity, search for the whole fishes, and in a manner equally disgusting devour the mucilaginous parts of them, which they seem to think the most exquisite food. It was at Baie de Castries, that we learned the use of the circle of lead or bone, which these people, as well as those of Segalien Island, wear like a ring on the thumb; it serves them as a guard in cutting and stripping the salmon with a sharp edged knife, which they all carry, hung to their girdle.

Their village was built upon a tongue of low marshy land, and which appeared to us to be uninhabitable during the winter; but on the opposite side of the gulf, on a more elevated situation, and exposed to the south, there was, at the entrance of a wood, another village, consisting of eight cabins, much larger and better built than the first. Above this, and at a very small distance, we visited three yourts, or subterraneous houses, perfectly similar to those of the Kamtschadales, described in the third volume of captain Cook's last voyage; they were extensive enough to contain the inhabitants of the eight cabins during the rigour of the cold season; besides, on some of the skirts of this village were seen several tombs, which were larger

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and better built than the houses; each of them enclosed three, four, or five biers, of a neat workmanship, ornamented with Chinese scuffs, some pieces of which were brocade. Bows, arrows, lines, and, in general, the most valuable articles of these people, were suspended in the interior of these monuments, the wooden door of which was closed by a bar, supported at its extremities by two props.

Their houses, like the tombs, were filled with effects, nothing which they use having been taken away; dresses, skins, snow shoes, bows, arrows, pikes, had all remained in the deferted village, in which they never live but in the winter season; the summer they passed on the other side of the gulph, where they then were, and from which they saw us enter into their , descend even into the inside of the tombs, without ever having accompanied us, and without testifying the least fear of seeing their moveables carried away, which they, at the same time, were sensible had considerably excited our desires, as we had already made several exchanges with them. Our boats companies, as well as the officers, were feelingly alive to so striking a mark of confidence; and contempt and dishonour would have covered the man with shame and disgrace who had been base enough to commit the most trifling theft.

It was evident, that we had only visited the Orot-

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chys in their country houses, where they gather in their harvest of salmon, which, like the corn in Europe, forms the basis of their subsistence. I saw so sew elks skins among them, that I am inclined to think the chase is not very productive there. As a small part of their food, I also reckon some roots of yellow lily, or of saranne, which the women pluck up on the skirt of the woods, and dry round their hearth.

It might have been supposed, from so great a number of tombs, for we found some in all the islands and creeks, that they indicated some recent epidemical disorder which had ravaged these countries, and reduced the present generation to a very small number of men; but I am induced to believe, that the different families composing this nation were dispersed in the neighbouring bays, fishing and drying salmon, and that they only collected together in the winter; they then carried thither their provision of fish, in order to subsist on it till the return of the sun. The more probable supposition is, that the religious respect of these people for the tombs of their ancestors, induces them to maintain and repair them, and thus perhaps to delay, for several ages, the inevitable effect of the hand of Time. I did not perceive any external difference between the inhabitants: the same cannot be said of those who are dead, whose ashes repose in a style of greater or less magnifi-

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cence, according to their wealth; it is probable enough, that the labour of a long life would scarcely be sufficient to defray the expence of one of these sumptuous mausolea, which are nevertheless only entitled to a relative magnificence, and of which a very false idea must be formed, if the comparison extended to the monuments of more civilized people. The bodies of the poorest inhabitants are exposed in the open air, on a bier placed upon a stage, supported by stakes four feet high, but all of them have their bows, their arrows, nets, and some pieces of stuffs near their monuments, and, in all probability, it would be a facrilege to take them away.

It would seeem as if these people, as well as those of Segalien* Island, did not acknowledge any chief, and were subject to no regular form of government. The mildness of their manners, their respect for old age, might with them take away all the inconveniences of anarchy. We were never witnesses of the slightest quarrel. Their reciprocal affection, their tenderness for their children, afforded to us a most interesting spectacle; but our senses were disgusted with the fetid smell

* Segalien Island is one of those, the name of which has had the greatest number of variations among geographers; upon the ancient charts it is found under the following names: Sahalien, Ula-hata, the Black River, Saghalien, Anga-hata, Amur, Amour, &c.—(Fr. Ed.)

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of the salmon, with which not only the houses but the parts adjacent were infected. The bones of them were scattered, and the blood spread round the hearth; greedy dogs, though gentle and familiar enough, licked and devoured the remainder. The nastiness and stench of this people are disgusting. There is not perhaps anywhere a race of people more feebly constituted, or whose features are more different from those forms to which we attach the idea of beauty; their middle stature is below four feet ten inches, their bodies are lank, their voices thin and feeble, like that of children; they have high cheek bones, small blear eyes, placed diagonally; a large mouth, flat nose, short chin, almost beardless, and an olive-coloured skin, varnished with oil and smoke. They suffer their hair to grow, and tie it up nearly the same as we do; that of the women falls loose about their shoulders, and the portrait which I have just drawn agrees equally well with their countenances as those of the men, from whom it would be difficult to distinguish them, were it not for a slight difference in the dress, and a bare neck; they are not, however, subjected to any labour, which might, like the American Indians, change the elegance of their features, if nature had furnished them with this advantage. Their whole cares are limited to the cutting and sewing their clothes, disposing of their fish to be dried, and taking care of their

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children, to whom they give the breast till they are three or four years of age. I was very much surprised at seeing one of this age, who, after having bent a small bow, shot an arrow with tolerable exactness, and given a dog several blows with a stick, threw himself on his mother's bosom, and there took the situation of a child of five or six months old, who was asleep on her knee.

This sex seemed to enjoy no small degree of consideration among them. They never concluded any bargain with us, without first consulting their wives; the pendent silver ear-rings, and copper trinkets, are peculiarly reserved for their wives and daughters. The men and little boys are clothed with a waistcoat of nankeen, or the skin of a dog or a fish, cut in the shape of a waggoner's frock. If it reach below the knee, they wear no drawers: if it do not, they wear some in the Chinese style, which fall as low as the calf of the leg. All of them have boots of seal's skin, but they keep them for the winter; and they at all times, and of every age, even at the breast, wear a leather girdle, to which are attached a knife in a sheath, a steel to strike a light with, a pipe, and a small bag to contain tobacco.

The dress of the women is somewhat different; they are wrapped up in a large nankeen robe, or salmon's skin, which they have the art of perfectly

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tanning, and rendering extremely supple. This dress reaches as low as the ankle-bone, and is sometimes bordered with a fringe of small copper ornaments, which make a noise similar to that of small bells. Those salmon, the skins of which serve for clothing, are never caught in summer, and weigh thirty or forty pounds. Those, which, in the month of July, we had just taken, were only three or four pounds weight; but this disadvantage was amply compensated by their number, and the delicacy of their flavour: we all were of opinion, that we had never eaten better. It is impossible for us to speak of the religion of this people, not having seen either temples or priests, but some rudely carved figures, perhaps idols, suspended from the ceiling of their cabins: they represented children, arms, hands, legs, and very much resembled the ex-voto of several of our country chapels. It might be possible, that these images, which we had perhaps falsely taken for idols, served only to call to their remembrance a child devoured by bears, or some hunter wounded by those animals: there is, however, but little probability, that a people of such weak constitutions should be exempt from superstition. We sometimes suspected, that they took us for forcerers; they answered our different questions with visible uneasiness, though with great politeness; and when we sketched characters on paper, they seemed to take the motion of the hand which was

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writing for signs of magic, and refused to answer what we asked them, by giving us to understand, that it was evil. It was only by the greatest patience and difficulty, that M. Lavaux, surgeon of the Astrolabe, attained the formation of the vocabulary of the Orotchys and the Bitchys. In this respect, our presents could not vanquish their prejudices; they even received them with repugnance, and frequently refused them with obstinacy. I imagined I could perceive, that they were perhaps desirous of more delicacy in the manner of offering them; and to try if this suspicion were well founded, I sat down in one of their houses, and after having drawn towards me two little children, of three or four years old, and made them some trifling caresses, I gave them a piece of rose-coloured nankeen, which I had brought in my pocket. The most lively satisfaction was visibly testified in the countenances of the whole family, and I am certain they would have refused this present, had it been directly offered to themselves. The husband went out of his cabin, and soon afterwards returning with his most beautiful dog, he entreated me to accept of it: I refused it, at the same time endeavouring to make him understand, that it was more useful to him than to me; but he insisted, and perceiving that it was without success, he caused the two children, who had received the nankeen, to approach, and placing

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their little hands on the back of the dog, he gave me to understand, that I ought not to refuse his children. The delicacy of such manners, cannot exist but among a very polished people. It seems to me, that the civilization of a nation, which has neither flocks nor husbandry, cannot go beyond it. It is necessary to observe, that dogs are their most valuable property; they yoke them to small and very light fledges, extremely well made, and exactly similar to those of the Kamtschadales. These dogs, of the species of wolf dogs, and very strong, though of a middle size, are extremely docile, and very gentle, and seem to have imbibed the character of their masters, whilst those of Port des Français, which are of the same species, but much less, were savage and ferocious. A dog of this port, which we had taken and preserved on board during several months, rolled himself in the blood when we killed a beast or a sheep, ran at the fowls like a fox, and had more the inclinations of a wolf than those of a domestic dog. He fell into the sea, in a heavy roll, during the night; perhaps pushed overboard by some sailor, whom he had robbed of his allowance.

The strangers, whose four canoes were ashore before the village, had excited our curiosity, as well as their country of the Bitchys, to the southward of Baie de Castries. We exercised all our skill in questioning them as to the geography of

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their country; we sketched on paper the coast of Tartary, Segalien River, the island of that name, which they also call Tchoka, opposite to the same coast, and we left a passage between them. They took the pencil from our hands, and by a touch of it joined the island to the continent; then afterwards pushing their canoe upon the sand, they gave us to understand, that, after having departed from the river, they had thus pushed their canoe upon the bank of sand which joins the island to the continent, and which they had just sketched; then plucking up from the bottom of the sea, the weed with which I have already said the bottom of this gulph was filled, they placed it upon the shore, to signify that there was also this sea-weed on the bank which they had traversed. This account given by these strangers, who had gone from the river Segalien, and which was so conformable to the result of what we had seen since we were stopped in only six fathoms, left us no doubt. To be able to reconcile this recital with that of the people of Baie de Langle, it is sufficient, that at high water there remain at some points of the bank openings with three or four feet of water, a quantity more than sufficient for their canoes. As this was, however, a very interesting question, and had never been immediately resolved before me, I went on shore the next day, and we had a conversation by signs, the

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result of which was the same. At length M. de Langle and I charged M. Lavaux, who had a peculiar quickness in expressing and understanding foreign languages, to make fresh inquiries. He found the Bitchys invariable in their report, and I then gave up the design I had formed of sending my longboat as far as the bottom of the gulph, which might not be at a greater distance from Baie de Castries than ten or twelve leagues. Besides, that this plan would be attended with very great inconveniences; the smallest breeze from the southward made a very high sea in the bottom of this channel, so that a vessel that is not decked runs a risk of being filled by the waves, which very often break as on a bar; besides the obstinacy of the southerly winds, and continual fogs, rendered the period of the longboat's return very uncertain, and we had not a moment to lose; therefore, instead of sending the longboat to clear up a geographical point, upon which there could no longer remain any doubt, I proposed to redouble our activity, for the purpose of at length getting out of this gulph, in which we had sailed during three months, which we had explored almost entirely as far as the bottom, traversed several times in every direction, and continually sounded, as much for our own safety as not to leave any thing to geographers to wish for. The lead alone could be our guide in the midst of the fogs in which


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we had so long been enveloped; they had not, however, wearied out our patience, and we did not leave a single point on the two coasts without taking its bearings. There now only remained one interesting point more for us to clear up, that of the southern extremity of Segalien Island, which we had only reconnoitred as far as Baie de Langle, in 47° 49′, and I consess that I should, in all likelihood, have left this care to others, if it had been possible to sail out of this strait, because the season was advancing, and I was not insensible of the extreme difficulty of working two hundred leagues to windward in so narrow a channel full of fogs, and where the southerly winds had never varied but two points towards the east or west. I was, in fact, aware, from the narrative of the Kastricum, that the Dutch had met with northerly winds in the month of August; but it must be observed at the same time, that they sailed on the east side of their pretended Jesso; that we, on the contrary, were ingulphed between two lands, the extremities of which lay in the monsoon seas, and that this monsoon prevails over the coasts of China and Corea till the month of October.

It seemed to us, that nothing could change the winds from the first impulse which they received; these reflections made me more anxious to haften our departure, and I had irrevocably fixed the period of it at the 2d of August. The time which till

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then remained was employed in reconnoitring some part of the bay, as well as the different islands of which it is formed. Our naturalists made excursions over all the points of the coasts which they supposed might prove satisfactory to their curiosity. M. de Lamanon himself, who had laboured under a long sickness, and whose convalescence was very slow, wished much to accompany us; the lavas and other volcanic matters, of which he learned these islands were formed, did not suffer him to reflect on his feebleness. He, as well as the abbé Mongès and father Receveur, discovered, that the greatest part of the substances of the vicinity of the bay, and the islands which form the entrance of it, were of red lava, compact or porous, grey basaltes, tabular or in nodules, and trapps, which seemed not to have been attacked by the fire, but which had furnished the matter of the lavas and basaltes which had been melted in this furnace; among these volcanic matters, the eruption of which was supposed to be very ancient, were found several crystallizations. They were not able to discover the craters of the volcanoes; it would have required a stay of several weeks to study and follow the traces which might lead to them.

M. de la Martinière, with his usual activity, visited the ravines and courses of rivers, to search on the banks for new plants; but he found only the same species, and less numerous, which he had

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Burying place in the Baie de Castries

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met with in Baies de Ternai and de Suffren. The vegetation was nearly in the same state in which it is seen in the vicinity of Paris, about the middle of May: the strawberries and raspberries were still in flower; the gooseberries began to turn red; and celery, as well as cresses, were very scarce. Our conchologists were more fortunate; they found foliated oysters extremely fine, of a vinous and black colour, but sticking so fast to the rock, it required a great deal of skill to get them off, their leaves were so thin, that it was with difficulty we could preserve them entire; we also took with the dredge some whelks of a beautiful colour, pectines, small common muscles, as well as different kinds of the kimà cockle.

Our hunters killed several water hens, some wild ducks, cormorants, guillemots, black and white wag-tails, a small fly-catcher, of an azure blue colour, hitherto undescribed; but all these species were very scarce. The nature of all living beings in these almost constantly frozen climates appears to be in a state of torpidity. Cormorants and gulls, which, under a more happy climate, are united in society, in this place lead a solitary life on the tops of rocks. A sad and gloomy solitude seems to prevail over the whole sea-shore, and the woods, which refound only to the croaking of ravens, serve as a retreat to the white-headed eagle, and other birds of prey. The martin, and

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the sand martin, are the only birds that seem to be in their proper country; nests and flights of them are seen in all the rocks on the sea-shore. I am of opinion, that the chimney swallow and sand martin are the birds most generally spread over the whole globe, having met with one or other species of them in every country where I have landed.

Though I did not cause a well to be sunk here, I am of opinion, that to a certain depth the earth remains frozen during the summer, because the water of our watering-place was never more than a degree and a half above the freezing point, and the temperature of the streams, examined by a thermometer, never exceeded four degrees; the mercury, however, constantly kept at fifteen degrees, though in the open air. This temporary heat does not penetrate far, it only quickens vegetation, which is completed in less than three months, and, in a very short time, it calls forth an infinite multitude of files, moschetoes, gnats, and other troublesome insects.

The natives cultivate no plants; they seem, however, to be very sond of vegetable substances; the grain of the Mantchous, which is very similar to small shelled millet, is one of their dainties. They carefully collect the different wild roots, which they dry for their winter provision; amongst others, the bulbous root of the yellow lily, or faranne.

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Their industry and natural constitution being very inferior to the inhabitants of Segalien Island, they have not like these last the use of the shuttle, and are only clothed in the commonest kind of Chinese stuffs, and the spoils of some land animals, or seals. One of these last we killed with a stick; our gardener, M. Collignon, found it asleep on the sea-shore, and it was in no respect different from those of Hudson's Bay, and the coast of Labradore. This rencontre was followed by an accident very unfortunate to him; a shower of rain having furprised him in the woods while he was sowing some European seeds there, he wished to make a fire in order to dry himself, and very imprudently made use of gun-powder to light it; the fire was communicated to his powder-horn from the powder he held in his hand; the explosion broke the bone of his thumb, and so dreadfully wounded him, that he was entirely indebted to the skill of M. Rollin, our surgeon, for the preservation of his arm. I shall here take the opportunity of saying, that M. Rollin, in dividing his cares among the whole crew, was particularly attentive to those who seemed to enjoy the best health. He had observed among several the symptoms of scurvy, indicated by the swelling of their gums and legs, which made their appearance on shore; they would have given way to a stay of a fortnight, but we could not spare that time at Baie

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de Castries; we flattered ourselves, that sweetwort, infusion of spruce, and of Peruvian bark, mixed with their drink, would dissipate these slight symptoms, and allow us to deser refreshing our crews on shore till we had a better opportunity.


Departure from Baie de Castries—Discovery of the Strait which divides Jesso from Oku-Jesso *—Stay at Baie de Crillon, upon the Point of the Island Tchoka or Segalien—Account of the Inhabitants, and their Village—We cross the Strait, and examine all the Lands discovered by the Dutch on board the Kas-

* The hydrographical charts present us with almost all the names of the ancient navigators adapted to some of their discoveries. These denominations, which modesty rejects, have doubtless taken place at the solicitation of the ship's companies or principal officers; but la Pérouse, still more modest, has omitted this custom. There is no danger of his name falling into oblivion, it being too closely attached to the terrestrial globe by his discoveries and misfortunes. Obliged nevertheless, in order to avoid all equivocation, to change the name of the strait which he discovered between Jesso and Oku-Jesso, I think I cannot fill up the place in a manner more conformable to the national opinion, than by naming it The strait of la Pérouse.—(Fr. Ed.)

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tricum—Staten Island—Uriès Strait—Company's Land—Island of the Four Brothers—Mareckan Island—We pass through the Kurile Islands, and shape our Course for Kamtschatka.


ON the 2d of August, as I had previously announced, we sailed with a light breeze at west, which only prevailed at the bottom of the bay. We met with southerly winds at a league from the shore of Clostercam Point, they were at first very moderate, with clear weather; we plied to windward with tolerable success, our stretches being favourable to my designs. I more particularly endeavoured to reconnoitre the small part of the coast of Tartary, of which we had lost sight from the 49th to the 50th degree, because we had stood in very close to Segalien Island. I therefore, on our return, ran along the coast of the continent, as far as the point of our last bearings, in fight of Peak Lamanon. On the 6th, the weather, which had till then been very fine, became very bad: we met with a gale of wind from the southward, less alarming indeed from its violence than from the high sea it occasioned. We were compelled to carry all the sail our ships could bear, to prevent as much as possible our salling to leeward, and thereby losing in one day what we had gained in three. The barometer fell as low as twenty-

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seven inches five lines; the rain, the fog, the wind, the situation in which we then were, in a channel; the lands of which were on both sides concealed from us by the fogs, in short, every thing contributed to render our situation at least extremely fatiguing. But these squalls, at which we murmured, were the harbingers of the northerly winds, on which we had not reckoned. On the 8th, after a heavy shower, they came on, and on the 9th, in the evening, we had by their assistance attained the latitude of Baie de Langle, which we had left on the 14th of July. The finding again of this point, the longitude of which had been perfectly determined on our first passing it, was very important, after the accident that had happened to our astronomical tent in Baie de Castries; it might be of service in verifying the regularity of our time-keepers, by comparing, with the known longitude of Baie de Langle, that which they might give us for this same point. The result of our observations was, that after twenty-seven days, N° 19 placed us thirty-four minutes of a degree too far to the eastward. An equal division of this error, among the twenty-seven days, would suppose an augmentation of five seconds of time in the delay of the daily rate of the time-piece, which at Cavite only went twelve minutes in a day too slow. But M. Dagelet, who very frequently compared the results of lunar observations with those

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given by No 19, had remarked the period in which this time-piece had deviated from the daily rate it held at Cavite; and as he was certain, at the same time, that these results would once more be found to agree, if a loss of twenty seconds a day were supposed, instead of that of twelve, observed at Cavite, he thought he could establish, from the daily loss of twenty seconds, the calculations of the time-piece No 19, during the twenty-seven days spent between our departure from Baie de Langle, and our return within sight of this same point. We therefore have reason to think, that the whole west part of Segalien Island, as well as the east coast of Tartary, which form the two sides of the channel, will be laid down upon our chart with such a degree of precision, as not to leave a quarter of a degree of uncertainty in the determinations.

A bank, on which the soundings are very regular, and there is not the least danger, extends ten leagues from north to south, opposite Baie de Langle, and runs out about eight leagues to the westward. We passed it in running to the southward, and I lay to from ten o'clock in the evening till day-light, that we might not leave the smallest inlet without reconnoitring it. The next day we continued to run along the coast, at two leagues distance, and we perceived in the south-west a small flat island, which, with that of Segalien,

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formed a channel of about six leagues. I called it Isle Monneron, from the name of the officer of artillery employed in this expedition. We directed our course between these two islands, where we never found less than fifty fathoms water. We soon afterwards made a peak, the height of which was at least ten or twelve hundred toises: it seemed to be composed only of bare rock, with snow in its hollows; neither verdure nor trees were to be seen on it; I named it Peak de Langle*. We at the same time saw other lands much lower. The coast of Segalien Island terminates in a point; there was no longer a distant horizon of mountains: every thing announced, that we were near its southern extremity, and that the peak was upon another island. In this expectation, which became a certainty the next day, we let go the anchor in the evening, as the calm compelled us to anchor at the south point of Segalien Island. This point, to which I gave the name of Cape Crillon, is situate in 45° 57′ north latitude, and 140° 34′ east longitude; it terminates this island,

* This peak is in 45° 15′ north latitude. Captain Uries, commander of the Kastricum, on his making the land of Jesso in the month of June 1643, perceived also a remarkable peak in 44° 50′ latitude, which he named Anthony's Peak. These peaks, situate to the south of the strait of la Pérouse, will render it very casy to be discovered. Besides, it is probable, that the land delineated on the charts, under the name of Jesso, is a group of several islands.—(Fr. Ed.)

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which from north to south is one of the most extensive in the whole world, separated from Tartary by a channel, terminated to the northward by sand banks, between which there is no passage for ships, but where in all probability there remains some inlet for canoes, between the numerous beds of sea-weeds which obstruct the strait. This same island is Oku-Jesso *. Chicha Island, which was abreast of us, divided by a channel of twelve leagues from that of Segalien, and from Japan by the strait of Sangaar, is the Jesso of the Japanese, and extends to the south as far as the strait of Sangaar. The chain of the Kurile Islands is a great deal more to the eastward, and, with Jesso and Oku-Jesso, forms a second sea, which communicates with that of Ochotsk, and from which there is no penetrating to the coast of Tartary, but by the strait, which we had just discovered in 45° 40′, or that of Sangaar, after having sailed out between the Kuriles. This point of geography, the most important of all those left by modern navigators to be resolved by their successors †, cost us a great deal of fatigue, and many

* Oku-Jesso signifies High Jesso, or North Jesso. The Chinese call it Ta-han.—(Fr. Ed.)

† Till this time impenetrable darkness had enveloped those parts of the globe, known under the name of Jesso and Oku-Jesso, the position of which had varied in such a manner in the opinion of geographers, that there was reason to believe, that their existence was a romance. If, in fact, the charts of Afia by the following authors be consulted, it will be seen, that in 1650, Sanson represents Corea as an island. Jesso, Oku-Jesso,. Kamtschatka, have no place upon his chart, and the strait of Anian is there seen, dividing Asia from North America.
In 1700, William de Lisle joined Jesso to Oku-Jesso, and extended this island as far as Strait Sangaat, under the name of Jesso Land.
Danville, in 1732, published a map of this part of Asia, a great deal nearer the truth than that which he published twenty years afterwards, in which the gulph and Cape Aniva are joined to the continent, and Cape Patience forms the southern point of Segalien Island; these maps, and a part of the following, contain the same error as to the strait of Tessoy.
Desnos, like Danville, has retarded the science of geography, by his chart of 1770, which is very inferior to that which he had published in 1761.
In 1744, Hasius made of Jesso, Cape Aniva, and Cape Patience, a peninsula adjoining to Tartary, from which it was divided by a gulph that was entered by the strait of Tessoy.
A map of Asia, without date or author's name, but which might have been printed after the voyage of the Kastricum, represents the two Jessoes as two islands independent of Segalien Island; the intermediate Jesso seen by the Dutch comprizes the gulph and Cape Aniva; but it must be observed, that this second Jesso is divided from Segalien Island by a strait, placed in 44 degrees, which proves, that the existence of the strait discovered by la Pérouse had been already conjectared by them, suspected by father du Halde, adopted and afterwards rejected by Danville.
Robert, in 1767; Robert de Vaugondy in 1775; Brion in 1784; William de Lisle and Philip Buache, together, in 1788, have one after the other copied the same errors.
In a word, the chaos of ideas concerning this part of the globe, the ancient knowledge of which has been so frequently and learnelly discussed and compared by Philip Buache, cannot be more aptly described than by the following extract from his Considérations géographiques, page 115:
"Jesso, after having been transported to the east, attached to the south, and afterwards to the west, was at last in the north."
My sole intention in these comparisons, has been to establish, by indisputable proofs, that the geography of the eastern part of Asia was in its infancy even in 1788, a period subsequent to the departure of our unfortunate navigator, and that it is to his courage, zeal, and constancy, that we are at length indebted for the facts, which at this time have removed our uncertainties.—(Fr. Ed.)

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precautions were necessary, because the fogs render this navigation extremely difficult. From

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the 10th of April, the period of our departure from Manilla, till the day on which we crossed the strait, we had only put in for three days into Baie de Ternai, one into Baie de Langle, and five into Baie de Castries, for I reckon as nothing our anchoring on the open coast, though we sent to reconnoitre the land, and at these anchorages procured fish. It was at Cape Crillon, that we for the first time received the visit of the islanders on board, for they had upon both the coasts received ours, without testifying the least

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curiosity, or the smallest desire to see our frightes. These at first betrayed some distrust, and did not come near till after we had pronounced several words of the vocabulary made by M. Lavaux at Baie de Langle. If their fear were at first considerable, their confidence soon became extreme. They came on board as if they had been among their best friends, seated themselves in a circle on the quarter deck, and there smoked their pipes. We loaded them with presents of nankeen, silks, iron tools, beads, tobacco, and in general with every thing that seemed to be agreeable to them; but I soon perceived, that the tobacco and brandy were the commodities which they held in the highest estimation; and these were, nevertheless, what I distributed the most sparingly among them, because the tobacco was necessary for our ships companies, and I was searful of the consequences of the brandy. We more particularly observed in Crillon Bay, that the figures of these islanders was very fine, and their features of a very regular proportion: they were strong-built, well-sized, vigorous men. Their beard reaches to the breast, and their arms, neck, and back are covered with hair. I make this remark of them, because it is a general characteristic, though several individuals in Europe might easily be found as hairy as these islanders. I think their middle stature is about an inch lower than that of the French, but

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it is with difficulty to be perceived; because the just proportion of the parts of their bodies, and their different muscles strongly expressed, make them in general appear very fine men. Their skin is as tawny as that of the Algerines, or the other nations on the coast of Barbary.

Their manners are grave, and they expressed their thanks by noble gestures; but their solicitations for obtaining new presents were repeated even to importunity. Their gratitude never extended so far as to offer us in return even any of the salmon with which their canoes were filled, and a portion of which they carried on shore, because we had refused to give them the excessive price which they asked for it: they had nevertheless received as free gifts linens, stuffs, iron instruments, beads, &c. The joy of having met with another strait, beside that of Sangaar, had made us generous; we could not refrain from remarking, how much, in respect to gratitude, these islanders differed from the Orotchys of Baie de Castries, who, far from soliciting presents, frequently refused them with obstinacy, and made the most lively entreaties that we would permit them to requite us. If their morality be inferior to that of these Tartars, they enjoy a very decided superiority over them in their bodily strength and industry.

All the dresses of these islanders are woven by their own hands; their houses display an elegance

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and neatness far surpassing those of the continent; their furniture is of excellent workmanship, and almost all of Japanese manufacture. They have one very important article of commerce, unknown in the narrow sea of Tartary, and the exchange of which procures them all their wealth; this is whale oil; they make a plentiful harvest of it, though their manner of extracting it is not the most economical; it consists in cutting the flesh of the whales into small pieces, and leaving it to rot in the open air upon a slope exposed to the sun; the oil which flows from it is received into vessels made of bark, or of seal's skin. It is to be observed, that we had not seen a single whale on the west coast of the island, and that this fish is abundant on that of the east. It is a difficult question to determine, whether these people may not be a race of men absolutely different from that which we observed on the continent, although they are only separated from it by a channel of three or four leagues wide, which is obstructed by banks of sand and weed; they have, however, the same manner of living; hunting and fishing in particular furnish nearly their whole subsistence. They suffer the most fertile land to be overgrown with weeds, and they both have probably despised the raising of flocks and herds, which they might have brought from the head of Segalien River, or Japan. But even the same diet has formed very different con-

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stitutions; it is very true, that the cold of the islands in the same latitudes is not so intense as that of the continents; this cause alone cannot, however, have effected so remarkable a difference. I am of opinion, therefore, that the origin of the Bitchys, the Orotchys, and the other Tartars on the borders of the sea, as far as the vicinity of the northern coast of Segalien, is common to them, as well as the Kamtschadales, Coriacs, and those species of men who, like the Laplanders and Samoiedes, are to the human species what their birch and stunted fir trees are to the trees of the more southern forests. The inhabitants of Segalien Island, on the contrary, are very superior in bodily strength to the Japanese, Chinese, and Mantchou Tartars; their features are more regular, and more nearly resembling the form of Europeans. However, it is very difficult to rummage and to understand the records of the world, for the purpose of discovering the origin of nations; and navigators ought to leave the subject of systems to those who read their narratives.

Our first questions were upon the geography of the island, part of which we knew much better than they did. It appeared, that they are accustomed to make drawings of a coast, for at the first touch they traced out the part we had just explored, as far as opposite to Segalien River, leaving a narrow passage in it for their canoes.

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They marked every day's journey, and gave it a name; in a word, there can be no doubt, that though more than a hundred and fifty leagues distant from the month of this river, they have a perfect knowledge of it, and were it not for this river, which forms the point of communication with the Mantchou Tartars, who traffic with China, the Bitchys, the Orotchys, the Segaliens, and all the nations in general of these maritime countries, would have as little knowledge of the Chinese and their merchandise as they have of the inhabitants of the coast of America. Their sagacity was at a loss, when it was required of them to sketch the eastern coast of their island; they always traced it on the same line, north and south, and seemed ignorant that the direction of it was different, so that they left us in doubt, and we thought, for an instant, that Cape Crillon concealed a deep gulph from us, after which, Segalien Island again took a direction to the south. There was but little probability in this opinion. The strong current which came from the eastward indicated an opening, but as we were in a dead calm, and prudence forbad our suffering ourselves to be driven to leeward by this current, which might have drifted us too near the point, M. de Langle and I thought it necessary to send a boat on shore, commanded by M. de Vaujuas, whom we ordered to ascend the highest point of Cape Crillon, and

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there to set all the points of land which he could discover. He returned before night. Our first opinion was confirmed by the report he made, and we remained convinced, that we could not use too much circumspection, and be too much on our guard against mistakes, when we wished to describe a great country from premises so vague and liable to error as those which we had it in our power to procure. These people, in their navigation, seemed to have no regard to change of direction. A cove, of the length of three or four canoes, appeared to them a vast port, and a fathom of water almost an immeasurable depth; their scale of comparison is their canoe, which draws but a few inches of water, and is only two feet in breadth.

M. de Vaujuas, before his return on board, visited the village of the Point, where he met with a very kind reception. He made some exchanges, and brought back a great many salmon; he found the houses better built, and far more richly furnished, than those of Baie d'Earing; several of them were decorated in the inside with large varnished vessels from Japan. As Segalien Island is only separated from Chicha by a strait twelve leagues broad, it is much easier for the inhabitants on the borders of the strait to obtain for their use the merchandises of Japan, than it is for their countrymen more to the northward; these,

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in their turn, are much nearer Segalien River and the Mantchou Tartars, to whom they fell the whale oil, which is the bans of their exchanges.

The islanders who came to visit us retired before night, and, by signs, gave us to understand that they would return the next day; in fact, they were on board by day-break, with some salmon, which they exchanged for knives and hatchets; they sold us also a sabre, and a linen dress of their country, and they seemed to see with regret, that we were preparing to sail. They very earnestly persuaded us to double Cape Crillon, and to stay in a small bay, which they sketched, and which they called Tabouoro; this was the gulph of Aniva.

A light breeze had just sprung up from the north-east; I made the signal for getting under way, and at first directed my course to the south-east, in order to gain an offing from Cape Crillon, which is terminated by a rock or islet, towards which the tide sets in with very great strength. When we had doubled it, we perceived from the mast-head a second rock, which appeared about four leagues from the point towards the south-east; I named it La Dangereuse, because it is level with the surface of the water, and it is possible, that it may be covered at the height of the tide. I steered so as to pass to leeward of this rock, and went round it at a league's distance. The sea

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broke very much upon it; but I could not tell whether it were the effect of the tide, or the sand banks which surrounded it. At that distance we had regular soundings in twenty-three fathoms; and when we had doubled it, we deepened our water, and soon fell into fifty fathoms, where the current seemed to be more moderate. Hitherto we had in this channel crossed tide-ways stronger than those of Du Four or Brest Roads; we only, however, met with them upon the coast of Segalien Island, and on the north part of this strait. The southern coast, towards the island Chicha, is much less exposed to them; but we were there buffeted about by a swell from the offing, or from the eastward, which put us all night in the greatest danger of running foul of the Astrolabe, it being a dead calm, and neither ship had steerage way. The next day we found ourselves a little more to the southward than our reckoning, but only ten minutes to the north of the village of Acqueis, so named in the voyage of the Kastricum. We had just crossed the strait which divides Jesso from Oku-Jesso, and we were very near the place where the Dutch had anchored at Acqueis. This strait had doubtless been hidden from them by fogs; and it is probable, that the summits of mountains which are upon both islands had led them to think that they were connected by low lands lying between them; from this opinion they had traced a

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continuation of coast, even in the very place where we were passing. Excepting this error, the details of their voyage are precise enough. We set cape Aniva almost in the same point of the compass as that in which it is laid down on the Dutch charts. We also saw the gulph to which the Kastricum gave the name of Aniva; it is formed by the cape of this name, and Cape Crillon. The latitude of these capes only differs ten or twelve minutes, and their longitude from Cape Nabo less than a degree from that which was determined by us; an astonishing degree of precision for the time in which the voyage of the Kastricum was performed. I made it a rule not to change any of the names given by the Dutch, when the similarity of the report was such as to give me a knowledge of them; but a singularity remarkable enough is, that the Dutch, in shaping their course from Acqueis to Gulph Aniva, passed before the strait which we have just discovered, without suspecting, when they were anchored at Aniva, that they were upon another island; so very like are the exterior forms, the manners, and the modes of living of these people.

The next day the weather was very fine, but we made little way to the eastward. We saw Cape Aniva bearing north-west, and we perceived the eastern coast, which recedes to the northward, towards Cape Patience, in the latitude of 49°.


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This point was the limit of the voyage of captain Uries; and as his longitudes, from Cape Nabo, are very exact, the Dutch chart, which merited our confidence, from the number of points on it which were verified by us, lays down the breadth of Segalien Island as far as the 49th degree. The weather continued very fine; but the south-south-east winds, which during four days blew continually, retarded our progress to Staten and the Company's Islands. On the 15th, our latitude, by observation, was 46° 9′ north, and our longitude 142° 57′ east. We saw no land, and several times endeavoured, but always without effect, to find bottom with a line of two hundred fathoms.

On the 16th and 17th the sky was thick, grey, and the sun never made his appearance; the winds changed to the east, and I tacked to the southward, in order to approach Staten Island, of which we had a perfect view. On the 19th, we descried Cape Troun to the southward, and Cape Uries to the south-east by east; being the direction in which they ought to bear of us, according to the Dutch chart; modern navigators could not possibly have determined their situation with greater precision.

On the 20th, we perceived the Company's Island, and reconnoitred the strait of Uries, which, however, was very foggy. We ran along the south coast of the Company's Island, at three or four leagues

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distance; it was barren, destitute of trees or verdure, and seemed to be uninhabited and uninhabitable: we observed the white spots spoken of by the Dutch, which we at first took for snow, but on a closer examination, we perceived large clefts in the rocks, which were the colour of plaster. At six o'clock in the evening, we were abreast of the north-east point of this island, terminated by a very steep cape, which I named Cape Kastricum, from the name of the vessel to which we are indebted for this discovery. We saw beyond it four little islands or islets, and to the northward a large channel, which appeared open to the east-north, east, and formed the separation of the Kuriles from the Company's Island, the name of which ought to be religiously preserved, and prevail over those which may have been given to it by the Russians, more than a century after the voyage o' captain Uries.

The 21st, 22d, and 23d, were so foggy, that we could not possibly continue our course to the eastward, abreast of the Kuriles, which we were not able to distinguish at two cables length. We remained standing off and on at the mouth of the strait, where the sea did not seem agitated by any current; but on the 23d, our observations of longitude shewed us, that we had in two days been drifted 40′ to the westward, this observation we verified on the 24th, by setting the same points

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we had seen on the 21st, precisely where they ought to bear of us, according to our longitude by observation. The weather, though very foggy, permitted us to stand on during a part of this day, because we had frequent clears, and we saw and set the most northerly of the islands of the Four Brothers, and two points of Mareckan Island, which we took for two distinct islands. The most southerly bore east 15 degrees south of us. We had, in the course of three days, advanced no more than four leagues towards the north-east; the fogs were very thick, and having continued without any clear the 24th, 25th, and 26th, we were obliged to continue tacking between these islands, of which we knew neither the extent nor direction, not having the resource, as on the coasts of Tartary and Oku-Jesso, of sounding to discover the proximity of the land, for in this place there was no bottom to be found; and till the 29th, we continued in this situation, which was the most tiresome and fatiguing one during the whole voyage. It then cleared up, and we saw the summits of mountains to the eastward; I stood towards them. We soon began to raise the low lands, and we reconnoitred Mareckan Island, which I look upon as the first of the southern Kuriles. Its extent, from north-east to south-west, is about ten leagues. Each of its extremities is terminated by a high bluff; and a peak, or rather to judge of it from

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its form, a volcano, rises in the middle. As I entertained the design of going out from the Kuriles, by the passage which I supposed to be to the northward of Mareckan Island, I shaped my course towards the north-east point of that island. I saw two others to the east-north-east of it, but at a greater distance, and they seemed to leave a channel of four or five leagues between them and the first; but at eight o'clock in the evening, the winds veered to the northward, and died away; there being a very heavy swell, I was obliged to put about, and stretch to the westward, to gain an offing, because the sea was setting us in shore, and we found no bottom a league from the land, with a line of two hundred fathoms. These northerly winds determined me to sail out by the channel which is to the south of Mareckan Island, and to the northward of the Four Brothers, which appeared to me to be wide; its direction was to the southward, nearly parallel with that of the channel of Uries, which put me out of my course; but the winds did not leave any alternative, and clear weather was so rare, that I thought I ought to take advantage of the first we had enjoyed during ten days.

We crowded sail during the night, in order to arrive at the entrance of the channel; there was but little wind, and the sea was very high. At day-light, we descried to the south-east, at about


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two leagues distance, the south-west point of Mareckan, which I named Cape Rollin, from the name of our surgeon, and we remained in a dead calm, without the resource of coming to an anchor, should we be drifted towards the land, for we sounded, and were not able to strike ground. Fortunately, the current visibly drove us towards the middle of the channel, and, with too little wind to have steerage way, we advanced about five leagues to the eastward. We saw the islands of the Four Brothers in the south-west, and as very good observations of longitude permitted us to determine their position, as well as that of Cape Rollin, on Mareckan Island, we are certain, that the breadth of the channel is about fifteen leagues. The night was very fine; the winds settled at east-north-east, and we entered the channel by the light of the moon; I named it Canal de la Boussole, and I think it is the finest of all those which are to be met with between the Kuriles. It was very fortunate, that we availed ourselves of this favourable moment; for at midnight it became cloudy, and the next morning at day-break, we were enveloped in a very thick fog, before we were entirely certain whether we had gotten out. I continued standing to the southward amidst these fogs, with the intention of approaching, as soon as the weather cleared up, the islands situate to the northward, and if it were possible to survey them

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as far as point Lopatka; but the fogs were still more continual in this place than on the coast of Tartary. For the space of ten days, we had enjoyed only twenty-four hours of clear weather, and even that had been passed in almost a dead calm, and we were happy to take advantage of the half of a fine night to get out.

At six o'clock in the evening I tacked to the northward, towards the land, from which I supposed myself about twelve leagues distant; the fog was always equally thick. Towards midnight the wind shifted to the west, and I stood to the eastward, waiting for day to approach the coast. The day came, but the fog did not dispere; the sun, however, appeared twice during the morning, and for a few minutes only it increased our horizon a league or two; we took advantage of it in order to take the absolute altitudes of the sun, for the purpose of ascertaining the hour, and from that fixing the longitude. These observations left us in some uncertainty, because we had so bad a horizon; we nevertheless learned from them, that we had been carried about ten leagues to the south-east, which was very consonant with the results of the different bearings we had taken the preceding evening during the calm. The fog returned again with obstinacy, and was equally thick the next day; then, as the season was so rapidly advancing, I determined to abandon the exploring of the

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northern Kuriles, and to shape my course for Kamtschatka. We had determined the most southerly of them, which were those that had left geographers most in doubt. The geographical situation of Mareckan Island, as well as that of Point Lopatka, being well ascertained, it seems to me impossible that any error of importance can remain in the direction of the islands which are between these two points; I therefore thought it very imprudent to sacrifice to an almost useless inquiry the health of the ships companies, which began to stand in need of rest, and whom the continual fogs kept in a very unwholesome state of humidity, notwithstanding the precautions which we took to guard against it; in consequence of which, I stood east-north-east, and gave up the project I had entertained of coming to an anchor at one of the Kuriles, in order to observe the nature of the land, and the manners of the inhabitants there. I am certain that they are the same people as that of Tchoka and Chicha, according to the narratives of the Russians, who have published a vocabulary of the language of these islanders, perfectly similar to that which we formed at Baie de Langle. There is no other difference than that of the manner in which we have understood and expressed their pronunciation, which may not have struck French and Russian ears exactly alike. Besides, the aspect of the southern islands, close to which

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we ran along, is very dreary; and I am of opinion, that the Company's Island, those of the Four Brothers, Mareckan Island, &c. are uninhabitable. Barren rocks, without verdure and vegetable earth, can only serve as a refuge to persons ship-wrecked, who would afterwards have nothing better to do, than speedily to gain the island of Chicha or Tchoka, by crossing the channels which separate them.

Till the 5th of September the fog was equally obstinate as it had previously been, but as we had gotten a good offing, we crowded sail in the midst of darkness, and at six o'clock in the evening of the same day, it cleared up, and permitted us to see the coast of Kamtschatka. It extended from west by north to north by west, and the mountains which we set in that direction were actually those of the volcano which lies to the northward of St. Peter and St. Paul, from which, however, we were distant more than thirty-five leagues, our latitude being only 51° 30′. The whole of this coast appears hideous; the eye rests with pain, and almost with terror, on these enormous masses of rocks, which, in the beginning of September, were still covered with snow, and which seemed never to have had the least vegetation.

We stood to the northward. The winds, during the night, veered to the north-west. The next day the weather continued clear. We approached

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the land; it was agreeable to see it near, and the base of these enormous summits, which are crowned with eternal ice, was carpeted with the most beautiful verdure, diversified with thickets of trees.

On the 6th, in the evening, we made the entrance of Avatscha Bay, or Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The light-house which the Russians have erected upon the east point of this entrance was not lighted during the night; the governor informed us the next day, that their efforts had proved useless to keep the fire in it. The wind had constantly extinguished the light, which was only sheltered by four fir planks very badly joined. It will be seen by the reader, that this monument, worthy of Kamtschatka, has not been modelled after any of the light-houses of Italy, Egypt, or ancient Greece; but it may perhaps be equally necessary to recur to the heroic times which preceded the siege of Troy, to find a hospitality equally affectionate with that which is exercised in this country, of itself so barbarous. At two o'clock in the afternoon of the 7th we entered the bay. The governor came in his canoe five leagues to meet us; though the care of the light-house had occupied his attention the whole night, he charged himself with the fault of not having succeeded in keeping the wick lighted. He informed us, that we had been a long time expected there, and he thought, that the governor general of the peninsula, who in the course of five

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days was expected at Saint Peter and Saint Paul, had letters for us.

Scarcely were we at anchor, when we saw the worthy vicar of Paratounka, with his wife and all his children, come on board. Thus we perceived, that we should find no difficulty in bringing upon the stage at least a part of the dramatis personæ who figured in the last Voyage of Cook.


Supplement to the preceding Chapters—New Details relative to the Eastern Coast of Tartary—Doubt as to the pretended Pearl Fishery spoken of by the Jesuits—Natural Differences between the Islanders of these Countries and the Inhabitants of Continents—Poverty of the Country—Impossibility of carrying on any useful Commerce there—Vocabulary of the Inhabitants of Tchoka or Segalien Island.

(SEPTEMBER, 1787.)

OUR voyage from Manilla as far as Quelpaert Island, upon the south coast of Corea, was new only to ourselves; for the Dutch a long time ago carried on commerce with Japan, and every year sent one or two vessels to Nangasaki; but I am ignorant whether they directed their course by the channel of Formosa, or passed to the eastward of that island. I have been assured that the captains, before their departure from Batavia, made oath to

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keep the particular of their voyage secret, and to permit nobody to take a copy of the manuscript charts which were sent them. Would such a precaution indicate, that other Europeans would be received at Japan, and might there carry on commerce in competition with them? or is the tendering of this oath only an ancient custom, which they have neglected to reform?

Be that as it may, we think that the moment is arrived, in which all the veils which cover particular navigations are about to be raised; in these latter times, the art of navigation has made sufficient progress to be no longer impeded by similar obstacles. Geography will very soon cease to be a problematical science, because the spirit of discussion and criticism will become useless, when all the principal points shall be fixed by precise determinations of latitude and longitude; and we are on the eve of the day, when all nations will understand the extent of the seas which surround them, and of the lands which they inhabit. Although the seas of Tartary, which we have explored, are the limits of the oldest inhabited continent, they were as unknown to Europeans, as the strait of Anian, or the archipelago of Saint Lazarus; and the Jesuits, whose narratives have made China so familiar to us, were never able to give any decisive information as to the eastern part of this vast empire. Those who travelled to Tartary were never allowed to come near the sea-shore; this precaution, and the

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prohibition of the emperor of Japan, at all times existing, against sailing to the north part of his dominions, were reasons for believing, that this part of Asia concealed riches, which the Japanese and Chinese policy was fearful of making known to Europeans. The details of the preceding chapters may serve to prove to their readers, that the coast of East Tartary is still less inhabited than that of North America. In some measure separated from the continent by Segalien River, the course of which is nearly parallel to its direction, and by inaccessible mountains, it has never been visited by the Chinese and Japanese, but towards the borders of the sea coast; the very small number of inhabitants, that are met with there, derive their origin from nations which inhabit the north of Asia, and have in that respect nothing in common with the Mantchou Tartars, and still less with the Islanders of Oku-Jesso, Jesso, and the Kuriles. It may easily be conceived, that such a country, backed by mountains at least twenty leagues distant from the borders of the sea, cannot have any considerable river; Segalien River, which is beyond it, receives all the waters of the part of it which is directed towards the west; those which run to the east are divided into rivulets in all the vallies, and there is not any country better watered, or that displays a more delightful freshness during the summer season. I do not estimate at three millions of inhabitants the total number of individuals composing the little

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colonies of this country, from the point upon which we landed, in the 42d degree, as far as Baie de Castries, in the vicinity of the mouth of Segalien River. This river, which the Mantchou Tartars have descended in canoes as far as the sea, whence they have spread themselves over the coasts north and south, forms the only open passage to the commerce of the interior of the country; it is in fact at this time very much frequented; there is not, perhaps, on this part of the continent, and upon the islands of Jesso and Oku-Jesso, a single inhabitant who does not know Segalien River as well as the inhabitants of Judea and Egypt were acquainted with the Nile. But commerce is only carried on at the distance of eight or ten days journey up that river; it seems that its mouth, like that of the Ganges, is uninhabited on its banks, and it may without doubt be attributed to the sterility of the country, which is almost drowned and covered with marshes, where the principal riches of the Tartars, their flocks and herds, cannot find a wholesome subsistence. I have before mentioned, that the Jesuits had signified there was a pearl fishery upon this coast. We in fact found oysters that contained pearls; but I confess I do not know where to place this fishery; it is not, at least, on the borders of Corea, or at the mouth of the Segalien; I would then suppose, that it is not in any respect to be compared with those of Bassora or of the Gulph of

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Monaar, in which five or six thousand persons are employed. It is possible, that a few families of fishermen may there unite together for the purpose of fishing for pearls, which they afterwards exchange for nankeens, and other articles of commerce from China, of little value; I have however, by way of experiment, shewed the Bitchys, and the islanders of Oku-Jesso, false pearls remarkably well imitated, and I did not perceive, that they made a greater impression on them than common beads. The most mistaken idea may be formed of this country, if it be supposed, that a landing may be effected in the rivers which come from the interior, and that the Chinese carry on trade there. We ran along the coast very near, frequently within gun-shot, without seeing any village. We saw, in Baie de Ternai, bears, hinds, fawns, feeding like domestic animals, and raising their heads to look with surprise at the arrival of our ships in the bay. A tomb, and some burnt trees, were the only things which indicated, that this country contained other inhabitants. Baie de Suffren was equally deserted. Twenty-five or thirty persons seemed to be the whole of the population of Baie de Castries, which would very well maintain ten thousand.

Our naturalists found upon the sea-shore, and at the mouth of the rivers, neither pyrites, nor pebbles containing ore, nor gold dust mixed in the sand, nothing in short indicative of a country

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that has metals. We met with flint, calcedony, calcareous spar, zeolite, porpyhry, and a great many volcanic matters, which contain very few shorls, but several beautiful crystals, and those incrustations, which are often met with in the lavas of extinct volcanoes. The coast of Oku-Jesso, which forms the eastern part of the channel of Tartary, is still more fertile in plants than that of the opposite continent; it seems to me, that vegetation has there more strength; but the soil is not more disturbed by the islanders. The animal kingdom almost entirely furnishes their subsistence; for I reckon as nothing a few roots of saranne and garlick, which the women dry, and which they find on the skirts of the woods. I am even inclined to think, that to these people, hunting is rather an amusement than a matter of labour; fresh or dried fish, like corn in France, is the basis of their nourishment. Two dogs, which had been given to me at Baie de Castries, at first refused to eat flesh meat, and darted upon fish with a degree of voraciousness, which can only be compared with that of wolves which have long been famished. Necessity alone has by degrees accustomed them to a different kind of food.

Some elk and bears skins, with which these people were clothed, left no doubt on my mind, but that in winter they hunted those animals; but they are in general too feeble to venture on attacking

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them with their arrows; they by signs expressed to us, that they set snares for them, by fixing a bait to a bow strongly bent; the animal, in devouring this bait, pulls a trigger, which discharges an arrow directed towards the bait. The islanders, more generous, because they are stronger, seemed to pride themselves on many scars, which they were pleased to shew us, making us at the same time understand, that they had combated bears with stakes, after having wounded them with their arrows.

The canoes are made of a hollowed fir tree, and are capable of containing seven or eight persons. They work them with very light oars, and in these ticklish vessels, undertake voyages of two hundred leagues, from the southern extremity of Oku-Jesso and Jesso, in the 42d degree, as far as Segalien River in the 53d degree; but they never go more than a pistol-shot from the land, except when they cross the sea from one island to another, and for that they wait an absolute calm. The wind, which always follows the direction of the channel, never causes a surf upon the shore, so that it is as easy to land in all the creeks, as in the best sheltered roadsteads; they every evening run their canoes aground upon the beach. They carry along with them birch tree bark, with which, and some fir branches, they build a cabin in an instant. Rivulets filled with salmon afford them a certain

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subsistence; every master of a canoe has his kettle, his trivet, his steel to strike fire with, and his tinder. In whatever place they stop, the cabin is erected, the fish speared, and the victuals dressed within an hour after they land. This navigation is as safe as that of the canal of Languedoc; they perform their voyage in a stated number of days, and every evening stop at the same creeks, and near the same rivulets. They marked upon our chart the number of their resting places from Cape Crillon as far as Segalien River, by which it appears, that they make eleven leagues a day. Though their canoes have neither masts nor yards, they sometimes six a shirt to two oars placed across, and thus make way by sailing, with much less fatigue than by rowing. Near the villages, small canoes, for only one or two men, are frequently seen, they are of no use for long voyages, but intended to enter into the rivulets, in which they carry on their fishery. They are so very light, that when the water is only twelve or fifteen inches deep, they make use of small sticks, instead of poles, and keeping their seats, push against the bottom, and pass over the water with very great celerity: when the water is deeper, they make use of paddles. The difference between the manners and customs of these two nations is a mere shade: the same manner of living, the same naval and domestic architecture, the same respect for old men. But in this

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comparison, I am convinced, that the Tartars excel in morality, and the islanders in industry, and that decision of character arising from a consciousness of superior strength. We thought we observed in Oku-Jesso a distinction of condition, which does not exist in Tartary; there was in every canoe a man, with whom the others had not any communication; he did not eat with them, and seemed to be actually under their subjection: we suspected, that he might be a slave; this is indeed merely a conjecture, but he was at least of a very inferior rank to the rest.

The Jessonese and Oku-Jessonese enjoy a very considerable article of commerce, which the Bitchys and Orotchys are without; this is whale oil. This fish is very abundant on the eastern coast of their islands, where we saw as great a number of them as in the strait of le Maire, but we never saw one in the narrow sea of Tartary. The very direct communication of the islanders with Japan gives an appearance of opulence to the furniture of their cabins, which is not visible on the continent, except in the tombs, for which the Tartars reserve all their wealth; among the Segaliens we never met with any monument of this kind thus decorated. As in Baie de Castries, we observed images suspended from the ceilings of their cabins: the commander of one of the canoes of de Crillon Bay, to whom I had given a bottle of brandy, be-

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fore he went away threw some drops of it into the sea, giving us to understand, that this libation was an offering, which he addressed to the Supreme Being. It seems, that, in this place, the sky serves for the vault of his temple, and that the heads of a family are his ministers.

From this narrative, we may very naturally conclude, that no commercial motive will ever induce Europeans to frequent these seas; a small quantity of whale oil, and smoked or dried fish, together with a few elk and bear skins, are very trifling articles of exportation to cover the expences of so long a voyage. I ought even to add, as a general maxim, that it is impossible to carry on any considerable commerce except with a great nation; and even if these articles were of any importance, it would be impossible to complete the cargo of a ship of three hundred tons, upon these different coasts, which have an extent of more than a thousand leagues. Though the dried salmon of Baie de Castries seemed to me to be of a good quality, and I could eastly have purchased it, I confess I was scrupulous of so doing, for fear these unfortunate people should fell us their winter's provision, and might perish with hunger during that season of the year.

We did not observe any sea otters; we shewed them some samples of our skins, and it seemed to us, that these furs were not known to them; they

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did not appear to set any more value on them, than on those of the seal, of which they make their boots. It is probable, that this amphibious animal is only found in the eastern part of the northern Kuriles; which shews, that its true country is the eastern part of Asia, towards the American coasts, where, as I have already mentioned, it is found in great numbers, from Oonolashka Point as far as San Diego, upon the west coast of California. In reading the different narratives, which have given a great many false ideas of the vast and extensive country we have just been reconnoitring, there will be found a great many truths scattered here and there, but which would be very difficult to unravel. Father des Anges had undoubtedly a knowledge of these people; and the description he has given of this country is certainly very precise; but situate at the southern extremity of Jesso, opposite to Japan, he could neither comprehend, nor venture to suppose so great an extent of country; and the strait of Tessoy, of which he speaks, and which he was informed by the islanders was obstructed by sea-weeds, and so near to the continent, that a single horse might be seen with the naked eye feeding on the other side, was no other than the gulph, into which we penetrated, and from which we saw Point Boutin, upon the island of Oku-Jesso, jut out towards the continent, and terminate towards the sea like a sand

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bank, a toise or two high. The narratives of Kæmpfer, the letters of father Gaubil, also contain some truths*; but they both related what they had been told by the Japanese or Tartars, and they discoursed with men too ignorant, to permit their narratives to be exact. At last, the Russians denied the existence of these two islands, which are more considerable than those of Britain; they confounded them with the Kuriles, not supposing there was any intermediate land between these islands and the continent of Asia†. On this sup-

* "It is for the Russians (says father Gaubil) to instruct us whether large ships can pass through the strait, which divides Jesso from Tartary." This enlightened Jesuit could not foresee, that this problem would be solved by French navigators.—(Fr. Ed.)

† Though we cannot suppose, that they will one day endeavour to take away from our French navigaters the honour of the important discovery of the land of Jesso or Chicha Island, situate to the north of Japan, I will in this place shew the ignorance of the Russians at this moment, as to the existence of that island. I will deduce the proof of it from the translation of a passage of the Russian narrative of Kracheninikoff, on his return from a voyage to Kamtschatka, page 34 of the first volume, in quarto.
"The Kamtschadales were in possession of iron utensils, even before the arrival of the Russians in this peninsula, and they obtained them through the Japanese, who made voyages into the Kurile Islands, though they seldom extended so far as the river Bolchaia-Reka." In support of his affection he adds: "the Kamtschadales give the Japanese the name of Chicha-mann, because in their language needles are called chisch, and the Japanese were the first who gave them a knowledge of iron or steel needles."
If the Russian author had, like la Pérouse, been able to visit the islands situate to the north of Japan, he would have found one of them which bore the name of Chicha; and instead of seeking out so ridiculous an etymology, he would have been limited to that which naturally presents itself, that is to say, he would have added to chicha the syllable mann, used in the dialect of several nations to personify the name of their country; which would signify in that sense man of Chicha, and not needle-man.
From this observation the inference is, that the Russians, for a long time having inhabited Kamtschatka, and very near neighbours of there islands, though they made frequent voyages to the Kurile Islands, have no positive notion of the existence of those situate to the north of Japan; from which there can be no question but the Russians, from this explanation, take these islanders for Japanese.
I am indebted for the translation of the passage of Kracheninikoff to Leffeps, the Russian interpreter on the expedition of la Pérouse.—(Fr. Ed.)

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position, the seas of Japan and Corea were open to their ships from Ochotsk; but this would destroy the authenticity of the Dutch voyage in 1634; and we dare venture to affirm, that captain Uries's method of navigation is the most precise that ever was practised, at a period when the modes of taking observations were very defective. The Dutch, it seems, endeavoured to make up for this disadvantage, by the most minute care in keeping

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their reckoning, and their exactness in taking bearings. If the strait, discovered by us, escaped their researches, seamen, who are acquaired with foggy seas, will be little surprised at it. The latitude and longitude of this strait have, during our voyage, been determined in so exact a manner, that there will no longer remain any difficulty in penetrating through this passage into the seas of Corea. Peak de Langle, the elevation of which is more than twelve hundred toises above the level of the sea, and which, in clear weather, may be seen at sorty leagues distance, is an excellent landmark for the southern coast of this channel, which it is more advisable to run along, than that of the north, because the currents there are much more moderate. The exact knowledge of the geography of this part of the continent, which the fatigues of our voyage have procured for France and the other nations of Europe, may become more immediately useful to the Russians, who will one day, perhaps, enjoy a great navigation to Ochotík, and will cause the arts and sciences of Europe to flourish in those countries, inhabited at present by a few hordes of wandering Tartars; and more particularly by bears, and other animals of the forests.

I will not attempt to explain how Jesso, Oku-Jesso, and all the Kuriles, are become peopled by a race of men, different from the Japanese, Chi-

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nese, Kamtschadales, and Tartars, from whom the Oku-Jessonese are only divided, to the northward, by an inconsiderable channel of no great depth of water. In my capacity of voyager, I relate facts, and point out differences; others will reduce these premises into a system. Though I did not land on the Kuriles, I am positive, from the narratives of the Russians, and the identity of the language of the Kuriliens with that which is contained in the vocabulary following this chapter, that the inhabitants of the Kuriles, and those of Jesso and Oku-Jesso, have one common origin. Their mode of living, and their manners, differ but very little also from the continentals: but Nature has stampt so remarkable a difference between the natural strength of these two nations, that it constitutes, much more forcibly than a medal, or any other monument, an indisputable proof, that these islands have not been peopled from this part of the continent, and that their inhabitants are a colony perhaps even strangers to Asia. Though Oku-Jesso is more than five hundred leagues to the westward of the Kuriles, and it is impossible to make that run with such ticklish vessels as their fir canoes, they may easily communicate together notwithstanding, because all these islands, separated from each other by channels more or less wide, form a kind of circle, and none of these channels contain an extent of fifteen leagues: it would there-


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fore be possible to go in a canoe from Kamtschatka to the mouth of Segalien River, by following the chain of these islands as far as Mareckan Island, and from that passing to those of the Four Brothers, the Company's, Staten, Jesso, and finally to Oku-Jesso, and thus to attain the limits of Russian Tartary. But it would be useless to pronounce among these islanders the names of Jesso and Oku-Jesso, which in all probability are Japanese; neither the Tartars, nor the pretended Jessonese, or Oku-Jessonese, have the least knowledge of them; the latter, to their own island, give the name of Tchoka, and to Jesso, that of Chicha. This confusion of names greatly impedes the progress of geography, or at least fatigues the memory to no purpose. I am of opinion, that when the names of countries are known, they ought to be scrupulously adhered to, or in default of that, those which have been given to them by the oldest navigators; this plan, which I have always laid down as a rule, has been faithfully followed in the charts which have been constructed during this voyage; and if it have in any instance been departed from, it has been only from ignorance, and never from the vain and ridiculous glory of imposing a new name.

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Vocabulary of the Inhabitants of Tchoka Island, formed at Baie de Langle.

Some words, in the language of the inhabitants of Tchoka, are pronounced in the throat, but the pronunciation ought to be soft, and resemble that of persons who speak rather thick. I have expressed this by eh; the qs, which is found at the beginning of some words, serves to express a certain whistling, which it is necessary to emit before articulating the following syllables.

Names of the principal Parts of the Human Body.

Chy, eye, the eyes.
Tara, the eyebrows.
Quechetau, the forehead.
Etou, the nose.
Notamekann, the cheeks.
Tsara, the mouth.
Yma, the teeth.
Aon, the tongue.
Mochtchiri, the chin.
Téhé, the beard.
Qs-chara, the ears.
Chapa, the hair.
Ochetourou, the nape of the neck.
Saitourou, the back.

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Tapinn ehim, the shoulder.
Tacts sonk, the arms.
Tay, the sore arm.
Tay-ha, the wrist.
Tay pompé, the hand, and the fingers in general.
Tchouai pompé, the thumb.
Khouaime pompé, the fore finger.
Kmoche kia pompé, the middle finger.
Otsta pompé, the fourth finger.
Para pompé, the little finger.
Tchamc, the fore part, and top of the breast.
Tobo, the nipples.
Honc, the belly.
Tsiga, the private parts of the man.
Chipouille, the private parts of the woman.
Assoroka, the buttocks.
Ambe, the thighs.
Aouchi, the knees.
Tcheai, the ham or bend of the knee.
Aimaitsi, the legs.
Oatchika, the calf of the leg.
Acouponé, the ankles.
Paraouré, the upper part of the foot.

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Otccoukaïon, the heel.
Ouraipo, the sole of the foot.
Kama pompéam, the great toe.
Tassou pompéam, the second toe.
Tassou ha pompéam, the middle toe.
Tasscuam, for the fourth, and little toe.

Names of various Objects

Tchoka, name of the great island which they inhabit.
Tanina, another name which they give to that land, but the greatest number name it Tchoka.
Chicha, name of an island or people, which they point out in the south of the land of Tchoka.
Mantchous, people of Tartary, neighbours of Amur or Segalien River, and of the island of Tchoka. According to the istanders, these people live towards the north-west, and ships may pass in the channel which separates them.

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Tchoiza, the sea.
Kaïani, or Kahani, a ship, or vessel.
Hocatoûrou, a canoe.
Tacôme, a thole of a canoe.
Oukannessi, oars, or paddles.
Koch-koûm, a small square vessel of the bark of birch-tree, and furnished with a handle; they use it to drink out of as well as to bale the water out of the canoes.
Ouachekakai, a fort of wooden shovel, which serves to bale the water out of the canoes.
Turatte, a very long and strong leather strap six or eight lines in breadth; it chiefly serves to make fast the canoes.
Soitta, the bench of the canoe.
Moncara, an iron hatchet*. (M.)
Ho, a great lance of tempered iron. (M.)

* The letter (M.) shews the articles with which they are furnished by the Mantchou Tartars, with whom they traffic.

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Couhou, a bow.
Haï, common arrows tipped with iron, some barbed, others smooth. (M.)
Tassehaï, sorked arrows, also tipped with iron. (M.)
Etanto, blunt wooden arrows.
Tassiro, a large cutlass. (M.)
Matsirainitsi and Makiri, a small knife in a sheath: it is hung to a girdle of leather, which serves to keep close their upper garments. (M.)
Matsiré, a name which they give to our knife in a sheath.
Hakame, a large ring of iron, lead, wood, or tooth of sea-cow: an instrument worn upon the thumb of the left hand. (M.)
Kaine, a sewing needle.
Techicotampé, our cravats, or handkerchiefs.
Achka, a hat or bonnet.
Tobéka, skin of a sea-cals in the form of a long loose great coat.

[page] 493

Achtoussa, a loose great coat, woven of the bark of the birch-tree, very skilfully prepared.
Sétarouss, a large great coat or surtout of dog's skin.
Tetarapé, a kind of coarse stuff shirt ornamented with a border of blue nankeen round the bottom, as well as at the neck.
Otoumouchi, small waistcoat buttons of brafs, with a round head (M.)
Ochss, stockings or buskins of skin sewed to the shoes.
Tchirau, shoes of the Chinese shape, terminated by a point very much curved upward.
Mirauhau, a small leather bag with four twisted horns, it ferves them instead of a pocket, and is hung to the leathern girdle.
Tcharompé, ear-rings, commonly consisting of six or eight blue beads (M.)

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Tama, single blue beads; all the natives have a decided preference for the colour blue.
Hiératchtchinam, a large and strong mat, on which they sit, and lie down to sleep.
Achkakaroupé, a small umbrella, or screen in the shape of a fan, which defends the eyes of the old men against the sun.
Hounechi, the fire.
Tamoui, a dog.
Taipo, a musket.
Nintou, a bucket to draw up water, of the bark of birchtree, the same shape as ours, with its handle.
Ouachka, fresh water.
Chichepo, sea water.
Abtka, small cord.
Sorompé, a large wooden spoon.
Chouhou, a copper kettle. (M.)
Nissy, a rod or pole.
Pouhau, a cabin or house.
Nioupouri, the houses, or the village.

[page] 495

Oho, the plain on which the village stands.
Naye, a river which runs in the same plain.
Tsouhou, the sun.
Hourara, the firmament.
Hourara haûne, the clouds.
Tébaira, the wind.
Oroa, the cold.
Tebairouha, winter, or the snow season.
Choumau, stone, generic term.
Ni, a trunk of a tree, wood in general.
Qs-sieheché, fir plank.
Toche, bark of rough birch tree in large pieces.
Choulaki, moss, plant.
Otoroutchina, pastures in general, or meadows.
Tsiboko, smallage; or wild celery.
Mahouni, the wild rose-tree.
Taroho, the blossom of the rose-tree, commonly called dog-rose.
Mahatsi, a kind of tulip.
Pech koutou, angelica plant.
Tsita, a bird in general, or singing of a bird.

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Qs-lari, a bird's feather.
Etouchka, the jack-daw, a species of crow.
Tsikaha, a small common swallow.
Mâchi, a gull, a web-footed bird of the sea-shore.
Omoch, a common fly.
Mocomaie, the common kima cockle.
Pipa, large mother-of-pearl oyster.
Otassi, harp fish.
Toukochich, salmon.
Emoé, fish in general, or the particular name of a species of barbel.
Chauboûn, a species of carp, or fish of the genus carp.
Pauni, a fish bone, or the back bone of fishes, which they broil and preserve in heaps.
Chidarapé, The soft roes, eggs, and air bladder of fishes, which they preserve in the same manner.

Some common Words.

He and hi, yes.
Hya, no.

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Houaka, no, that can't be; I cannot, or will not.
Ta-sa, who? what? what is it? an interrogative pronoun.
Tap, or Tapé, this, that, this here, that there; a demonstrative pronoun.
Coukaha, come hither.
Ajbé, to eat.
Cbuka, to drink.
Mouaro, to lie down, or to snore.
Etaro, to sleep.

Names of Numbers.

Tchiné, one.
Tou, two.
Tché, three.
Yné, four.
Aschné, five.
Yhampé, six.
Araouampé, seven.
Toubi schampé, eight.
Tchincbi schampé, nine.
Houampé, ten.
Tchinebi kassima, eleven.
Toubi kassma, twelve.
Tchébi kassma, thirteen.
Ynébi kassma, fourteen.
Aschnébi kassma, fifteen.

VOL. II. K k

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Yhambi kassma, sixteen.
Arouombi kassma, seventeen.
Toubi schampi kassma, eighteen.
Tchinebi schampi kassma, nineteen.
Houampébi kassma, twenty.
Houampébi kassma tchiné-ho, thirty.
Yné houampé touch-ho, forty.
Aschné houampé taich-ho, fifty.
Tou aschné houampé taich-ho, a hundred.

If there be any difference in this language between the singular and plural, it is not expressed in the pronunciation.

I have neither seen these islanders dance, nor heard them sing; but they have all a way of producing agreeable sounds from the principal stalk of a large kind of celery, or species of euphorbium, open at both extremities. They blow it at the small end, and the founds nearly resemble the foster notes of the trumpet. The tune they play is indeterminate, consisting of a series of high and low tones, which may amount in all to an octave and a half, or two octaves; in other words, to twelve or sixteen notes. We did not perceive that they had any other musical instrument.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 21 March, 2014