* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This eBook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the eBook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the eBook. If either of these conditions applies, please contact a https://www.fadedpage.com administrator before proceeding. Thousands more FREE eBooks are available at https://www.fadedpage.com.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. IF THE BOOK IS UNDER COPYRIGHT IN YOUR COUNTRY, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR REDISTRIBUTE THIS FILE.

Title: A voyage of discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and round the world Vol. 5

Date of first publication: 1801

Author: George Vancouver (1757-1798)

Date first posted: Aug. 19, 2023

Date last updated: Dec. 29, 2023

Faded Page eBook #20230840

This eBook was produced by: Howard Ross & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net

This file was produced from images generously made available by Internet Archive/American Libraries.













In which the Coast of North-west America has been carefully examined and accurately surveyed






Principally with a View to ascertain the existence of any Navigable Communication between the


North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans;




1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795,









Dedicated, by Permission, to HIS MAJESTY.











T. Gillet, Printer, Salisbury Square.

Please see the
Transcriber’s Notes
for comments on spelling.


Leave the Coast of New Albion—Arrive off the East Point of Owhyhee—Examine Whyeatea Bay—Visited by Tamaahmaah—Proceed to Karakakooa Bay—Transactions there—Departure of the Dædalus for New South Wales1
Sequel of Transactions at Karakakooa—Cession of the Island of Owhyhee—Astronomical and nautical Observations34
Quit Karakakooa—Visit Tyahtatooa and Teoaigh Bays—Some Description of the Anchorage at those Places—Examine the northern Sides of Mowee, Woahoo, and Attowai—Observations on the Anchorage at Attowai and Onehow—Leave the Sandwich Islands99
Quit the Sandwich Islands—Part Company with the Chatham—Indications of Land—See Tscherikow Island—Pass Trinity Isles—Proceed along the Coast—Enter and proceed up Cook’s River140
Dangerous Situation of the Ship in Consequence of Ice—Examination of the upper Part of Cook’s River—Its final Termination proving it to be only an extensive Arm of the Sea, it obtains the Name of Cook’s Inlet—Joined by the Chatham—Mr. Puget’s Narrative during the Separation of the two Vessels—Visited by Russians—Quit Cook’s Inlet—Astronomical and nautical Observations186
Passage from Cook’s Inlet to Prince William’s Sound—Meet a large Fleet of Canoes—Spring the Bowsprit in a Gale of Wind—Carry away the Fore-yard—Arrive in Port Chalmers—Survey of Prince William’s Sound by the Boats—A violent Storm—Visited by a few Russians—Some Account of their Establishments in the Sound—Chatham dispatched to continue the Survey of the Coast eastward from Cape Hinchinbrook—Astronomical and nautical Observations255
Quit Prince William’s Sound—Geographical and other Observations respecting the adjacent Country and its Inhabitants—Proceed in the Examination of the exterior Coast—Pass Port Mulgrave—Intelligence received of the Survey having been completed to that Station by the Chatham—Arrive in Cross Sound—Joined by the Chatham there323
Mr. Puget’s Narrative of his Transactions and Survey of the Coast, between Prince William’s and Cross Sounds; during the Chatham’s Separation from the Discovery371
Transactions in Cross Sound—Proceed to Sea—Account of a Boat Excursion—Description of Port Althorp and Cross Sound—Astronomical and nautical Observations410


Crater on the Summit of Mount Worroray23
Port Dick255
Icy Bay, and Mount St. Elias349










Leave the Coast of New Albion—Arrive off the East Point of Owhyhee—Examine Whyeatea Bay—Visited by Tamaahmaah—Proceed to Karakakooa Bay—Transactions there—Departure of the Dædalus for New South Wales.

Our progress from the coast of New Albion, December 1793 still attended with light variable winds, was so slow, that at noon of Sunday the 15th of December, the shores were yet in sight, bearing from N. 17 E. to S. 69 E.; the former, being the nearest, was distant seven leagues; the observed latitude was 30° 14′, longitude 243° 57½′.

In the afternoon, the wind blew a moderate gale at W. N. W. which brought us by day-light the next morning, Monday the 16th, within sight of the island of Guadaloupe. This island is composed of high naked rocky mountains; is about thirteen miles long, nearly in a north and south direction, with two rocky islets; one lying W. S. W. at the distance of half a league; the other lying south, two miles from its south point, which is situated in latitude 28° 54′, longitude 241° 38′. The wind at N. W. continued to blow a pleasant gale with fair weather until midnight; but at this time it veered round, and settled in the north-east trade wind. Our distance was now about 75 leagues from the coast, and it is probable the north-west winds do not extend far beyond that limit, as the wind that succeeded continued without calms, or other interruptions, between the N. E. and E. N. E. blowing a steady, gentle, and pleasant gale.

On Sunday the 22d, in latitude 23° 23′, longitude 234° 37′, the variation of the compass was 7° eastwardly; here we had thirty hours calm, after which we had a gentle breeze from the N. E.; this, as we proceeded, was attended first by cloudy and gloomy weather, and afterwards with rain, and sudden gusts or flurries of wind. On Wednesday the 25th, a tropic bird was seen, and a common gull that appeared to be much fatigued, and inclined to alight on board.

This very unpleasant weather, similar to that which we had experienced in this neighbourhood about the conclusion of last January, still continued; and on Sunday the 29th, in latitude 19° 1′, longitude 231° 58′, the wind, after veering to the S. E. became light, and, like the weather, was very unsettled. We were now passing the spot assigned to los Majos isles, at the distance of a few miles only to the southward of our former track; but we perceived no one circumstance that indicated the vicinity of land.

On Tuesday the 31st, the wind seemed to be January 1794 fixed in the northern quarter, but the atmosphere was still very unpleasant, and the gloomy weather was now accompanied by much rain. On Friday the 3d of January, 1794, in latitude 18° 34′, longitude 213° 32′, a very heavy swell rolled from the N. W. and the wind in that direction was light, with alternate calms, attended by foggy or dark hazy weather, until Monday the 6th, when, in latitude 19° 19′, longitude 208° 48′, we had a few hours of fair and pleasant weather; this was again succeeded by the same gloomy atmosphere that we had experienced during the greater part of this passage, and the wind continued to be very variable between the N. W. and S. S. W. In the afternoon of the following day, Tuesday the 7th, the weather was more favorable, and the wind from the northward settled in the N. E.; to this we spread all our canvass in the expectation of seeing the island of Owhyhee at day-light the next morning. The wind however slackened during the night, and the weather being dark and gloomy, it was not until about nine o’clock in the forenoon of Wednesday the 8th, that Mowna Kaah was discovered shewing his hoary head above the clouds, bearing by compass W. ½ S.; but the haze and mist with which the district of Aheedoo was inveloped, prevented our discerning the shores. The observed latitude at noon was 19° 52′; at this time the east end of Owhyhee bore by compass S. 52 W. at the distance of ten leagues, by which it appeared that Arnold’s chronometer, No. 14, had erred in longitude since our departure from the coast of New Albion, 27′; his No. 176, 21′; Kendall’s, 52′; and the dead reckoning, 3° 40′; all being to the eastward of the truth. This error has however been corrected, in assigning the several situations during this passage.

We stood for the land until sun-set, when, being within two leagues of the shore, we employed the night in preserving our station off that part of the coast, where we expected to find the harbour or bay of Whyeatea; in quest of which I dispatched Mr. Whidbey in the cutter the next morning, Thursday the 9th, attended by a boat from the Chatham, and another from the Dædalus, all well armed. The appearance of the shores did not seem much in favor of our finding a more eligible situation here than at Karakakooa, for accomplishing our several purposes; notwithstanding the representation that had been made to us of its being very commodious.

The boats had scarcely departed, when some of the natives came off in their canoes, but owing to a very heavy swell from the northward, they could bring us but few refreshments. As soon as they understood who we were, they told us that Tamaahmaah, with several of the principal chiefs, were then on shore waiting in expectation of our arrival; and then immediately made the best of their way towards the shore, proclaiming our return to their country with shouts, apparently of great joy and gladness.

About ten in the forenoon we were honoured with the presence of the king, with his usual confidence and cheerful disposition. It was impossible to mistake the happiness he expressed on seeing us again, which seemed to be greatly increased by his meeting us at this, his most favorite part of the island; where he hoped we should be able to remain some time, to take the benefits arising from its fertility; which, from the appearance of the neighbouring shores, seemed to promise an abundant supply of the various refreshments these countries are known to produce.

Tamaahmaah had noticed the boats in their way to the shore, and trusted they would return with a favorable report; which he, as well as ourselves, anxiously waited for until five in the evening. Mr. Whidbey now informed me, that during the prevalence of the southerly winds, in the more advanced part of the spring season, Whyeatea might probably be found a tolerably secure and convenient place, as the land formed a deep bay, which was additionally sheltered by a reef lying off its south-east point, with soundings from twenty-five to six fathoms, clear sandy bottom; at least as far as his examination had extended. This had not been very minute, as the bay was intirely exposed to the northerly winds, which then blew very strong; and being attended with a heavy sea from that quarter, rendered any attempt to land from our boats impracticable. On this report I determined to proceed to Karakakooa, as that bay was indisputably at this time the most secure and convenient port for shipping of any in the Sandwich islands.

My intention was directly made known to Tamaahmaah, and I requested that he would give us the pleasure of his company thither; well knowing that his influence over the inferior chiefs and the people would be attended with the most desirable consequences, in preserving the harmony and good understanding that already so happily existed. He did not, however, seem much inclined to accept my invitation, or to give me a positive answer; but requested, that the vessels might remain some days in this neighbourhood, to avail ourselves of the ample supply of refreshments that might be procured here, before we proceeded to any other part of the island; adding, that he would remain with us to see this business properly performed.

I was by no means disposed to accede to the wishes of the king, nor was I satisfied with the arrangement he had proposed.

The vessels having been driven far to leeward on the morning of Friday the 10th, and the wind then blowing strong from the northward, attended with a very heavy sea, I pointed out and explained to Tamaahmaah the great improbability of our being able to comply with his desires, and the necessity of our proceeding without delay to some place of secure anchorage, for the purpose of refitting; renewing at the same time, and in the strongest terms, my solicitations for his company. I did not fail to enforce how important his presence would necessarily be, not only to us for whom he had repeatedly expressed the greatest respect and friendship, but also to the welfare of his own subjects. He readily acknowledged the propriety of my observations, and how much he was inclined to adopt the measure I had proposed; but he now avowed that he could not accompany us, as the taboo appertaining to the festival of the new year demanded his continuance for a certain period, within the limits of the district in which these ceremonies had commenced. The time of interdiction was not yet expired, and it was not possible he could absent himself without the particular sanction of the priests. To obtain this indulgence, he considered his presence to be indispensibly necessary on shore at the morai. Aware of the superior influence possessed by the priesthood, and of the strict adherence of all ranks to their superstitions, I suspected that if Tamaahmaah went on shore they would not allow him to return; for this reason I recommended, that one of the chiefs in his suite should repair thither, and make known the king’s pleasure. But as this proposal did not seem to meet his ideas, or to be consonant to his wishes, I resolved not to detain him contrary to his own free will and inclination, or by any other means than those of persuasion. Yet as I considered his attendance to be an object of too much importance to be readily relinquished, I had recourse to a sort of artifice, that I had reason to believe would answer my purpose by its operation on his feelings. I desisted from all importunities, and attributed his declining my invitation to a coolness and a relaxation in the friendship he had formerly shewn and pretended to entertain; and I stated, that I had no doubt of soon finding amongst the other islands some chief, whose assistance, protection, and authority, would on all occasions be readily afforded.

Tamaahmaah had always been accustomed to attend our meals, and breakfast in particular he was extremely fond of partaking with us; but under the reproach he had just received, of a want of friendship, no solicitation could prevail on him to accept of any thing at table; he sat in a silent thoughtful mood, his sensibility was probed to the quick, and his generous heart, which continued to entertain the warmest friendship and regard, not only for me but for every one in our little community, yielded to our wishes; though at the risk of incurring the displeasure of the priests by an unprecedented breach of their religious rites. At length he determined that his half brother Crymamahoo should be sent to the priests, to communicate his intentions of accompanying us. On my saying that this resolution made me very happy, and met my hearty concurrence, he replied, that I had treated him unkindly in suspecting that his friendship was abated, for that it remained unshaken, as his future conduct would demonstrate; but that he considered himself to be the last person in his dominions who ought to violate the established laws, and the regulations of the country which he governed.

Our little difference being thus amicably adjusted, he ate a hearty breakfast; and having given his brother the necessary instructions for governing this part of the island during his absence, in which business they were occupied an hour, Crymamahoo was dismissed, and directed to return with all convenient speed to communicate the answer of the priests.

Thoroughly convinced of the purity of Tamaahmaah’s friendly intentions, I had receded from my former determination with respect to him, or any other of the chiefs, sleeping on board the ship. Our party now consisted of seven chiefs, three of whom were accompanied by their favorite females; but Tahow-man-noo, the king’s consort, was not of the number. As she had never failed in her attendance on him, the cause of her absence became a subject of inquiry, and I had the mortification of understanding that a separation had taken place, in consequence of its having been reported that too great an intimacy had subsisted between her and Tianna.

I understood from the king’s attendants, that the infidelity of the queen was by no means certain; and as I well knew the reciprocal affection of this royal pair, and as she was then residing with her father at, or in the neighbourhood of, Karakakooa, I thought it a charitable office to make a tender of my endeavours for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation. In reply to this obtrusion of my services, Tamaahmaah expressed his thanks; and assured me, that he should be always happy to receive any advice on state affairs, or any public matters, especially where peace or war might be concerned; but that such differences as might occur in, or respect, his domestic happiness, he considered to be totally out of my province. This rebuff I silently sustained; cherishing the hope that the period would arrive when I should be able to prevail on him to entertain a different opinion.

The wind from the northward, attended with a very heavy sea, reduced us to our close-reefed topsails, and as we stood in shore in the afternoon a very strong current evidently pressed us to leeward. The appearance of the weather indicating no favorable or early change, there was little probability of our soon seeing Crymamahoo, or any of the inhabitants of Aheedoo; this induced the king to call his whole retinue together, both male and female, in order to take their advice as to his proceeding, without first receiving the religious assent he had dispatched Crymamahoo to obtain. The result of their deliberations was, a unanimous opinion that the priests would, on a certainty, accede to his wishes. This had been undoubtedly the previous sentiment of the king, or he would not have instructed his brother, in the manner he had done, how to conduct himself during his absence.

Although I earnestly wished to avoid being the cause of endangering his popularity, yet I was so anxiously desirous of his company, that I did not hesitate a moment in giving my hearty concurrence to this determination, in order that we might make the best of our way to Karakakooa.

Our course was now directed round the east point of the island, along its south-east side; we made a tolerably good progress; and as we passed the district of Opoona, on the morning of Saturday the 11th, the weather being very clear and pleasant, we had a most excellent view of Mowna Roa’s snowy summit, and the range of lower hills that extend towards the east end of Owhyhee. From the tops of these, about the middle of the descending ridge, several columns of smoke were seen to ascend, which Tamaahmaah and the rest of our friends said were occasioned by the subterraneous fires that frequently broke out in violent eruptions, causing amongst the natives such a multiplicity of superstitious notions as to give rise to a religious order of persons, who perform volcanic rites; consisting of various sacrifices of the different productions of the country, for the purpose of appeasing the wrath of the enraged demon.

On approaching the shores of the district of Kaoo, we were met by several of the inhabitants bringing in their canoes some refreshments and other productions of the country. Those who first approached us seemed to be much surprized, and many of them were not a little alarmed at seeing their king on board; inquiring with great earnestness, whether his being there, and having broken the taboo, was by his own choice, or by compulsion. On being assured by all present that Tamaahmaah and the rest of the chiefs were under no restraint whatever, but were accompanying us by their own free will, they became perfectly satisfied; and appeared to be equally so on understanding, that it was the king’s pleasure, that the hogs and vegetables they had brought off should be delivered on board, without their receiving any equivalent in return; nor could we, without giving Tamaahmaah serious offence, have infringed this order, which seemed to be very cheerfully complied with on the part of his subjects; and, in the course of the forenoon, the vessels procured a sufficient supply for their present consumption. Whether the king accounted with these people afterwards for the value of their property thus disposed of, or not, I could not rightly understand; but from the great good humour with which they complied with the royal order, and from some conversation with one of the king’s attendants, respecting the value of the refreshments so delivered, I had reason to believe that a compensation would be allowed to them.

Shortly after noon we were opposite the south point of the island; and, as a report had been circulated that close round, on its western side, good anchorage and excellent shelter had been found, (though it had escaped the notice of Captain Cook) Mr. Whidbey was dispatched in the cutter, in order to ascertain the truth of this assertion, which was soon proved to be void of foundation; for although a strong westerly gale prevented Mr. Whidbey from making a very minute examination, yet he clearly discovered that the shores were nearly straight, and exposed to a most tremendous surf, that broke with such fury as to render landing, if not impossible, highly dangerous, even to those of the inhabitants who are most expert in the management of their canoes.

The wind continued to blow very strong between W. and N. W. until the morning of Sunday the 12th; when it became variable, and allowed us to make but a very slow progress towards Karakakooa. Tamaahmaah being very anxious that we should gain the place of our destination, went on shore for the purpose of placing lights to conduct us in the evening to our former anchorage; where, about ten the following night, we anchored near an American brig, named the Lady Washington, commanded by Mr. John Kendrick.

As we worked into the bay many of the inhabitants were assembled on the shores, who announced their congratulations by shouts of joy, as, on our different tacks, we approached the shores of the neighbouring villages. At this late hour many of our former friends, particularly of the fair sex, lost no time in testifying the sincerity of the public sentiment in our favor. Young and Davis we had likewise the pleasure of finding in the exercise of those judicious principles they had so wisely adopted, and which by their example and advice had so uniformly been carried into effect. The great propriety with which they had conducted themselves, had tended in a high degree to the comfort and happiness of these people, to the gratification of their own feelings, and to a pre-eminence in the good opinion of the king, that had intitled them to his warmest affections. The same sort of esteem and regard, we understood, was shewn to them, if not by all, at least by the well-disposed inhabitants of the island.

The Discovery was secured nearly in her former station on the following morning; and the Chatham and Dædalus were disposed of in the most convenient manner for carrying into execution the respective services that each had to perform.

Mr. Kendrick had been here about six weeks, and it was with infinite pleasure we understood that during that time he had not only been liberally supplied by the inhabitants of the island with its several productions, but that the same orderly and civil behaviour had been observed towards him which we had experienced on our former visit; and which we had every reason to expect would be continued, from the assurances we received from the chiefs, and from the acclamations of the people, which had resounded from all quarters on our arrival.

Tamaahmaah understanding that it would be necessary that we should land parts of the cargoes of all the vessels, appointed proper places for their reception; and knowing we had no more men than we could constantly employ for the speedy accomplishment of this business, he undertook to be answerable for the safety and security of every thing we might have occasion to put on shore, without our having any guard there for its protection. He also gave orders that his people should fill our water casks; and as he considered that bartering with the several chiefs, and other individuals, for the valuable refreshments of the country, would not only be troublesome and unpleasant, but might give rise to disputes and misunderstandings between the parties; he desired we would daily, or as often as should suit our convenience, make our demands known to him, and he would take care that the three vessels were duly supplied with every necessary refreshment.

This considerate and very friendly arrangement I was happy to concur in, and at day-light on Wednesday morning the 15th, three large canoes, laden with forty very fine hogs, and thirty small ones, with a proportionate quantity of vegetables, were, by the directions of the king, distributed amongst our three vessels.

On this occasion it was impossible to avoid making a comparison between our reception and treatment here, by these untaught children of nature, and the ceremonious conditional offers of accommodation we experienced at St. Francisco and Monterrey, from the educated civilized governor of New Albion and California.

After the large canoes had delivered their acceptable cargoes, they received and took to the shore the live cattle, which I had been more successful in bringing from New Albion than on the former occasion. These consisted of a young bull nearly full grown, two fine cows, and two very fine bull calves, all in high condition; as likewise five rams, and five ewe sheep. Two of each of these, with most of the black cattle, were given to the king; and as those I had brought last year had thrived exceedingly well; the sheep having bred, and one of the cows having brought forth a cow calf; I had little doubt, by this second importation, of having at length effected the very desirable object of establishing in this island a breed of those valuable animals.

I learned from Tamaahmaah that he had issued the strictest orders so to regulate the conduct and behaviour of his people towards us, as he trusted would be the means of insuring a continuance of the harmony that had so happily subsisted on our former visits to his dominions; and he added, that he had many enemies, even amongst the chiefs of Owhyhee, who were not unlikely to use their endeavours for the purpose of frustrating his good intentions, and that it was very important that the designs of such ill-disposed persons should be watchfully guarded against. I thanked Tamaahmaah for his vigilant attention to preserve our tranquillity and comfort, and informed him, that I had also issued orders and directions similar to those given on my former visit. These having the same tendency, and operating to the same end, with those enjoined by himself, would, I hoped, be effectual in affording us the recreation and enjoyment of the country, and in securing to us a continuation of the then subsisting friendly intercourse.

These necessary precautions being taken on both sides, we immediately began upon the various services that demanded our attention. Those appertaining to the reception of the provisions and stores from the Dædalus, were the primary objects of our consideration; and by the orderly and docile behaviour of all classes of the inhabitants, this business was carried into execution with a degree of facility and confidence in our perfect security, equal to the accommodation that could possibly have been obtained in any port of Europe.

There were not at this time many of the principal chiefs in our neighbourhood. Our former friend Kahowmotoo paid us an early visit, with a present of twenty large hogs, and a proportionable quantity of vegetables. He was not, however, in his usually cheerful good spirits, but was much depressed, in consequence of a violent indisposition under which his favorite son Whokaa laboured from a wound he had received in the exercise of throwing the spear with a man of mean rank. After a long contention for superiority, their play, it seemed, terminated in earnest, and the young chief received his adversary’s spear, which was barbed, in the throat. Much difficulty had attended its being taken out, which had occasioned a wound that had baffled all their art to cure, and had reduced him to the last stage of his existence. His antagonist was soon seized, and the next day his eyes were pulled out, and, after remaining in that deplorable state two days, he was executed, by being strangled with a rope.

As some of the gentlemen intended to accompany Mr. Menzies on an excursion into the interior part of the country, they were, agreeably to our plan of regulations, on Thursday the 16th, attended by a chief of the village of Kakooa with several of the king’s people, who had directions to supply all their wants, and to afford them every assistance and service that they might require.

The harmony that had attended the execution of all our employments had so facilitated the equipment of the vessels, that, by the following Tuesday, the 21st, the business in the Discovery’s hold was in that state of forwardness as to permit our attending to other objects. The astronomical department claimed my first thoughts; and being of such material importance, I was anxious to lose no time in sending the tents, observatory, and instruments on shore, now that a party could be afforded for their protection. On this occasion I was surprized to find the king make some objections to their being erected in their former situation, near the morai, giving us as a reason, that he could not sanction our inhabiting the tabooed-lands, without previously obtaining the permission of an old woman, who, we understand, was the daughter of the venerable Kaoo, and wife to the treacherous Koah.[1] Being totally unacquainted before that the women ever possessed the least authority over their consecrated places, or religious ceremonies, this circumstance much surprized me, especially as the king seemed to be apprehensive of receiving a refusal from this old lady; and which, after waiting on shore for some time, proved to be the case. Tamaahmaah observing my disappointment, intreated me to fix upon some other part of the bay; but as it was easily made obvious to his understanding that no other spot would be equally convenient, he instantly assembled some of the principal priests in the morai, and after having a serious conference with them, he acquainted me, that we were at liberty to occupy the consecrated ground as formerly, which we accordingly took possession of the next morning, Wednesday the 22d.

Mr. Whidbey, who had charge of the encampment, attended it on shore under a guard of six marines; these were sent, however, more for the sake of form than for necessity; as Tamaahmaah had appointed one of his half brothers Trywhookee, a chief of some consequence, together with several of the priests, to protect, and render the party on shore every service their situation might demand. To this spot, as on our former visit, none were admitted but those of the society of priests, the principal chiefs, and some few of their male attendants; no women, on any pretence whatever, being ever admitted within the sacred limits of the morai.

The unfortunate son of Kahowmotoo had been brought by his father from one of his principal places of residence, about six miles north of the bay where the unfortunate accident happened, to the village of Kowrowa, in order to benefit by such medical or other assistance as we might be able to afford, but without effect; for in the afternoon he breathed his last.

The periodical taboo, that ought to have commenced the following evening, Thursday the 23d, was, on this occasion, suspended, to manifest that they were offended with their deity for the death of this young chief; whose loss seemed to be greatly deplored by all the family, but most particularly so by Kahowmotoo; of whom I took a proper opportunity of inquiring when the corpse would be interred, and if there would be any objection to my attending the funeral solemnities. To this he made answer, that the burial would take place the following day, and that he would come on board at any convenient hour, and accompany me on shore for that purpose.

W. Alexander del from a Sketch taken on the Spot by T. Heddington

B. T. Pouncy Sculpt.


The Crater on the Summit of Mount Worroray Owyhee.


London Published May 1st 1798 by R. Edwards New Bond Street J. Edwards Pall Mall & G. Robinson Paternoster Row.

I remained perfectly satisfied with the promise made by Kahowmotoo; and was the next morning, Friday the 24th, greatly disappointed on his informing me, that Kavaheeroo, the chief of the village at which his son had died, had, in the course of the night, unknown to him or any of his family, caused the body of the young chief to be interred in one of the sepulchral holes of the steep hill, forming the north side of the bay. This circumstance could not but be received as an additional proof of their aversion to our becoming acquainted with their religious rites, and their determination to prevent our attendance on any of their sacred formalities.

The party accompanying Mr. Menzies returned with him on Saturday the 25th, after having had a very pleasant excursion, though it had been somewhat fatiguing in consequence of the badness of the paths in the interior country, where in many places the ground broke in under their feet. Their object had been to gain the summit of Mowna Roa, which they had not been able to effect in the direction they had attempted it; but they had reached the top of another mountain, which though not so lofty as Mowna Roa, or Mowna Kaah, is yet very conspicuous, and is called by the natives Worroray. This mountain rises from the western extremity of the island, and on its summit was a volcanic crater that readily accounted for the formation of that part of the country over which they had found it so dangerous to travel. The good offices of their Indian guide and servants received a liberal reward, to which they were highly intitled by their friendly and orderly behaviour.

The whole of the retinue that had attended Tamaahmaah from Aheedoo, with the addition of some new visitors, lived intirely on board the ship, and felt themselves not only perfectly at home, but very advantageously situated, in being enabled to purchase such commodities of their own produce or manufacture which were brought to us for sale, as attracted their attention, with the presents which they received from time to time. Notwithstanding this indulgence, which I thought could not have failed to keep them honest, such is their irresistible propensity to thieving, that five of my table knives were missing. The whole party stoutly denied having any knowledge of the theft; but as it was evident the knives were stolen by some of them, I ordered them all, except the king, instantly to quit the ship, and gave positive directions that no one of them should be re-admitted. Besides this, I deemed it expedient to make a point with Tamaahmaah that the knives should be restored. He saw the propriety of my insisting on this demand, and before noon three of the knives were returned.

The taboo, which had been postponed in consequence of Whokaa’s death, was observed this evening, though not without holding out a sentiment of resentment to their deity for having suffered him to die; for instead of its continuing the usual time of two nights and one whole day, this was only to be in force from sun-set to the rising of the sun the following morning, Sunday the 26th, which the king having observed, returned to us as soon as the ceremonies were finished.

Being very much displeased with the ungrateful behaviour of his attendants, I demanded of Tamaahmaah, in a serious tone, the two knives that had not yet been restored. I expatiated on the disgrace that attached to every individual of the whole party, and the consequence of the example to all the subordinate classes of his people. He appeared to be much chagrined, and to suffer a high degree of mortification at the very unhandsome manner in which I had been treated; this was still further increased, by one of his most particular favorites having been charged, and on just grounds, as one of the delinquents.

About noon he went on shore, in a very sullen humour, and did not return until I had sent for him in the evening, which summons he very readily obeyed; and soon another knife was returned, which he declared was the only one he had been able to find, and that if any more were yet missing, they must have been lost by some other means. The truth, as we afterwards understood, was, that the knife had been given, by the purloiner, to a person of much consequence, over whom Tamaahmaah did not wish to enforce his authority.

These knives had not been stolen, as might be naturally imagined, for their value as iron instruments, but for the sake of their ivory handles. These were intended to have been converted into certain neck ornaments, that are considered as sacred and invaluable. The bones of some fish are, with great labour, appropriated to this purpose; but the colour and texture of the ivory surpassing, in so eminent a degree, the other ordinary material, the temptation was too great to be resisted.

Under the particular circumstances, which we understood attended the missing knife, I readily put up with its loss; because, in so doing, I was relieved of the inconvenience which a number of noisy and troublesome visitors had occasioned. These, however, paid dearly for their dishonesty, in being abridged of the great source of wealth which they had enjoyed on board, and which had enabled them to procure many valuable commodities of their own country, at the expence of asking only for such of our European articles as the seller demanded.

Our business in the hold being finished on Monday the 27th, the seamen were employed in a thorough examination of all the rigging; and although this was the first time, with respect to the lower rigging, that an examination had taken place since the ship was commissioned, we had the satisfaction of finding it in much better condition than, from the trials it had endured, we could reasonably have expected.

Since the death of Whokaa, Kahowmotoo had not paid the least attention to the Owhyhean taboos; but as similar interdictions were to take place on Tuesday the 28th, on the island of Mowee, these he punctually observed; and on the following day Tamaahmaah also was again thus religiously engaged; but as there were no prayers on this day, the people at large seemed to be under little restriction.

On Thursday the 30th, we were favored with the company of Terree-my-tee, Crymamahoo, Tianna, and some other chiefs, from the distant parts of the island.

Their arrival had been in consequence of a summons from the king, who had called the grand council of the island, on the subject of its cession to the crown of Great Britain, which was unanimously desired. This important business, however, for which their attendance had been demanded, appeared to be of secondary consideration to all of them; and the happiness they expressed on our return, together with their cordial behaviour, proved, beyond dispute, that our arrival at Owhyhee was the object most conducive to the pleasure of their journey. Even Tianna conducted himself with an unusual degree of good humour; but as neither he, nor his brother Nomatahah, from their turbulent, treacherous, and ungrateful dispositions, were favorites amongst us, his humility, on this occasion, obtained him only the reputation of possessing a very superior degree of art and duplicity. But as the principal object I had in view was to preserve the good understanding that had been established between us, and, if possible, to secure it on a permanent basis, for the benefit of those who might succeed us at these islands, I waved all retrospective considerations, and treated Tianna with every mark of attention, to which his rank, as one of the six provincial chiefs, intitled him, and with which, on all occasions, he appeared to be highly gratified.

These chiefs brought intelligence, that a quantity of timber which had been sent for at my request, was on its way hither; it had been cut down under the directions of an Englishman, whose name was Boid, formerly the mate of the sloop Washington, but who had relinquished that way of life, and had entered into the service of Tamaahmaah. He appeared in the character of a shipwright, and had undertaken to build, with these materials, a vessel for the king, after the European fashion; but not having been regularly brought up to this business, both himself and his comrades, Young and Davis, were fearful of encountering too many difficulties; especially as they were all much at a loss in the first outset, that of laying down the keel, and properly setting up the frame; but could they be rightly assisted in these primary operations, Boid (who had the appearance of being very industrious and ingenious) seemed to entertain no doubt of accomplishing the rest of their undertaking.

This afforded me an opportunity of conferring February 1794 on Tamaahmaah a favor that he valued far beyond every other obligation in my power to bestow, by permitting our carpenters to begin the vessel; from whose example, and the assistance of these three engineers, he was in hopes that his people would hereafter be able to build boats and small vessels for themselves.

An ambition so truly laudable, in one to whose hospitality and friendship we had been so highly indebted, and whose good offices were daily administering in some way or other to our comfort, it was a grateful task to cherish and promote; and as our carpenters had finished the re-equipment of the vessels, on Saturday, the 1st of February, they laid down the keel, and began to prepare the frame-work of his Owhyhean Majesty’s first man of war. The length of its keel was thirty-six feet, the extreme breadth of the vessel nine feet and a quarter, and the depth of her hold about five feet; her name was to be The Britannia, and was intended as a protection to the royal person of Tamaahmaah; and I believe few circumstances in his life ever afforded him more solid satisfaction.

It was not very likely that our stay would be so protracted, as to allow our artificers to finish the work they had begun, nor did the king seem to expect I should defer my departure hence for that purpose; but confided in the assertion of Boid, that, with the assistance we should afford him, he would be able to complete the vessel.

In the evening a very strict taboo commenced; it was called The taboo of the Hahcoo, and appertains to the taking of two particular kinds of fish; one of which, amongst these islanders, bears that name; these are not lawful to be taken at the same time, for during these months that the one is permitted to be caught the other is prohibited. They are very punctual in the observance of this anniversary, which is, exclusively of their days, months, and year, an additional means of dividing their time, or, perhaps, properly speaking, their seasons. The continuance of this interdiction ought to have extended to ten days; but as it is the prerogative of the king to shorten its duration in any one particular district, he directed on our account that in the district of Akona it should cease with the men on the morning of the 4th, and with the women on the day following.

Most of our essential business was nearly brought to a conclusion by Thursday the 6th, and our remaining here for the accomplishment of what yet remained to be done, was no longer an object of absolute necessity; yet I was induced to prolong our stay in this comfortable situation for two reasons; first, because the plan of operations I intended to pursue, in the prosecution of the remaining part of our survey on the coast of North-West America, did not require our repairing immediately to the northward; and secondly, because our former experience amongst the other islands had proved, that there was no prospect of obtaining that abundant supply of refreshments which Owhyhee afforded, even at the expence of arms and ammunition; articles that humanity and policy had uniformly induced me to withhold, not only from these islanders, but from every tribe of Indians with whom we had any concern.

The completion of our survey of these islands required still the examination of the north sides of Mowee, Woahoo, and Attowai; and reserving sufficient time for that purpose, I determined to spend here the rest I had to spare, before we should proceed to the American coast. This afforded an opportunity to Mr. Menzies and Mr. Baker, accompanied by some others of the gentlemen, to make another excursion into the country for the purpose of ascending Mowna Roa, which now appeared to be a task that was likely to be accomplished: as we had understood from the natives, that the attempt would be less difficult from the south point of the island than from any other direction. For this purpose the party, furnished by Tamaahmaah with a large double canoe, and a sufficient number of people, under the orders of a steady careful chief, sat out, in the confidence of receiving every assistance and attention that could be necessary to render the expedition interesting and agreeable.

The Dædalus being, in all respects, ready to depart for port Jackson, Lieutenant Hanson, on Saturday the 8th received his orders from me for that purpose, together with a copy of our survey of the coast of New Albion, southward from Monterrey; and such dispatches for government as I thought proper to transmit by this conveyance, to the care of the commanding officer at that port.

Some plants of the bread fruit were also put on board, in order that Mr. Hanson, in his way to New South Wales, should endeavour, in the event of his visiting Norfolk island, to introduce there that most valuable production of the vegetable kingdom.

Vide Captain King’s account of Cook’s death.


Sequel of Transactions at Karakakooa—Cession of the Island of Owhyhee—Astronomical and Nautical Observations.

Whilst the re-equipment of the vessels was going forward in this hospitable port, I had remained chiefly on board; but having now little to attend to there, on Sunday the 9th I took up my abode at the encampment, highly to the satisfaction of the king; who, for the purpose of obtaining such knowledge as might hereafter enable him to follow the example of our artificers, had paid the strictest attention to all their proceedings in the construction of the Britannia. This had latterly so much engaged him, that we had been favored with little of his company on board the vessels; yet I had the satisfaction of reflecting, that his having been occasionally with us, and constantly in our neighbourhood, had been the means of restraining the ill disposed, and of encouraging the very orderly and friendly behaviour that we had experienced from the inhabitants without the least interruption whatever. An uniform zeal directed the conduct of every Indian, in the performance of such offices of kindness as we appeared to stand in need of, or which they considered would be acceptable; these were executed with such promptitude and cheerfulness, as to indicate that they considered their labours amply repaid by our acceptance of their services; yet I trust they were better rewarded than if they had acted on more interested principles.

Our reception and entertainment here by these unlettered people, who in general have been distinguished by the appellation of savages, was such as, I believe, is seldom equalled by the most civilized nations of Europe, and made me no longer regret the inhospitality we had met with at St. Francisco and Monterrey. The temporary use that we wished to make of a few yards of the American shore, for our own convenience and for the promotion of science, was not here, as in New Albion, granted with restrictions that precluded our acceptance of the favor we solicited; on the contrary, immediately on our arrival an ample space, protected by the most sacred laws of the country, was appropriated to our service; whilst those of our small community whose inclinations led them into the interior parts of the island, either for recreation, or to examine its natural productions, found their desires met and encouraged by the kind assistance of Tamaahmaah, and their several pursuits rendered highly entertaining and agreeable, by the friendship and hospitality which was shewn them at every house in the course of their excursions.

A conduct so disinterestedly noble, and uniformly observed by so untutored a race, will not fail to excite a certain degree of regret, that the first social principles, teaching mutual support and universal benevolence, should so frequently, amongst civilized people, be sacrificed to suspicion, jealousy, and distrust. These sentiments had undoubtedly very strongly operated against us on a recent occasion; but had the gentleman, to whose assistance we appealed, but rightly considered our peculiar situation, he must have been convinced there could not have existed a necessity for the unkind treatment he was pleased to offer to our little squadron; and he would have spared me at this moment the unwelcome task of making this comparison, by which the world will perceive what I must have felt upon that occasion.

A very strict taboo was on this day, Wednesday the 12th, to be enforced over all the island, and required that the respective chiefs should retire to their own estates, for the purpose of rigidly observing the attendant solemnities; which were to continue two nights and one day. In the event of the omens proving favorable, the chiefs would be permitted to eat of such pork as they might think proper to consecrate on this occasion; and high poory, that is, grand prayers would be performed; but should the omens be otherwise, the rites were instantly to be suspended.

I had frequently expressed to Tamaahmaah a desire of being present on some of these occasions; and he now informed me, that he had obtained for me the consent of the priests, provided I would, during the continuance of the interdiction, attend to all the restrictions which their religion demanded.

Having readily promised to comply with this condition, I was with some degree of formality visited by several of the principals of their religious order, one of whom was distinguished by the appellation of Eakooa, no Tamaahmaah; meaning the god of Tamaahmaah. This priest had been one of our frequent attendants, notwithstanding which, he was, on this occasion, detected in stealing a knife; for which offence he was immediately dismissed from our party, and excluded from the precincts of our encampment.

The restraints imposed consisted chiefly in four particulars; first, a total seclusion from the company of the women; secondly, partaking of no food but such as was previously consecrated; thirdly, being confined to the land, and not being afloat or wet with sea water; and fourthly, not receiving, or even touching, the most trivial article from any one, who had not attended the ceremonies at the morai.

These restrictions were considered necessary to be observed by the whole of our party resident on shore; and about sun-set we attended the summons of the king at the morai, who was there officiating as high priest, attended by some of the principal residents of their religious orders, chanting an invocation to the setting sun. This was the commencement of these sacred rites; but as I propose to treat this subject more fully on a future occasion, I shall for the present postpone the detail of my observations, and briefly state, that their prayers seemed to have some regularity and form, and that they did not omit to pray for the welfare of his Britannic Majesty, and our safe and happy return to our native country. A certain degree of order was perceptible throughout these ceremonies, accompanied by many superstitious and mysterious formalities; amongst which, a very principal one was performed about the dawn of day. At this time the most profound silence was required of every creature within hearing of this sacred place. The king then repeated a prayer in a low tone of voice with the greatest solemnity, and in the middle of it took up a live pig tied by the legs, and with one effort dashed it to death against the ground; an operation which must be performed without the smallest interruption or cry from the victim, or without the prevailing silence being broken by any noise whatsoever, though of the most trivial kind. This part of the service is supposed to announce their being on terms of friendship with the gods, on which the further ceremonies were carried into execution. A number of hogs, plantations, and cocoa-nuts, were then consecrated for the principal chiefs and priests; the more common productions, such as fish, turtle, fowls, dogs, and the several esculent roots, that compose their food during the intervals between these more sacred taboo’s, were not now served up, but for the first time since our arrival, they fared sumptuously on those more delicious articles. The intermediate day, Thursday the 13th, and the second night, were passed in prayer, during which we found no difficulty in complying with the prescribed regulations; and soon after the sun rose on Friday the 14th, we were absolved from any further attention to their sacred injunctions.

Most of our Indian friends returned to our party the following day, Saturday the 15th; and as we all now fed alike on consecrated pork, they were enabled to be infinitely more sociable. Our mode of cookery was generally preferred, as far as related to the dressing of fish, flesh, or fowls; but with respect to roots and the bread fruit, they certainly preserved a superiority.

Tahowmotoo was amongst the most constant of our guests; but his daughter, the disgraced queen, seldom visited our side of the bay. I was however not ignorant of her anxious desire for a reconciliation with Tamaahmaah; nor was the same wish to be misunderstood in the conduct and behaviour of the king, in whose good opinion and confidence I had now acquired such a predominancy, that I became acquainted with his most secret inclinations and apprehensions.

His unshaken attachment and unaltered affection for Tahowmannoo, was confessed with a sort of internal self-conviction of her innocence. He acknowledged with great candour, that his own conduct had not been exactly such as warranted his having insisted upon a separation from his queen; that although it could not authorize, it in some measure pleaded in excuse for, her infidelity; and, for his own, he alledged, that his high rank and supreme authority was a sort of licence for such indulgences.

An accommodation, which I considered to be mutually wished by both parties, was urged in the strongest terms by the queen’s relations. To effect this desirable purpose, my interference was frequently solicited by them; and, as it concurred with my own inclination, I resolved on embracing the first favorable opportunity to use my best endeavours for bringing a reconciliation about. For although, on our former visit, Tahowmannoo had been regarded with the most favorable impressions, yet, whether from her distresses, or because she had really improved in her personal accomplishments, I will not take upon me to determine, but certain it is, that one, or both of these circumstances united, had so far prepossessed us all in her favor, and no one more so than myself, that it had been long the general wish to see her exalted again to her former dignities. This desire was probably not a little heightened by the regard we entertained for the happiness and repose of our noble and generous friend Tamaahmaah; who was likely to be materially affected not only in his domestic comforts, but in his political situation, by receiving again and reinstating his consort in her former rank and consequence.

I was convinced, beyond all doubt, that there were two or three of the most considerable chiefs of the island, whose ambitious views were inimical to the interests and authority of Tamaahmaah; and it was much to be apprehended, that if the earnest solicitations of the queen’s father (whose condition and importance was next in consequence to that of the king) should continue to be rejected, there could be little doubt of his adding great strength and influence to the discontented and turbulent chiefs, which would operate highly to the prejudice, if not totally to the destruction, of Tamaahmaah’s regal power; especially as the adverse party seemed to form a constant opposition, consisting of a minority by no means to be despised by the executive power, and which appeared to be a principal constituent part of the Owhyhean politics.

For these substantial reasons, whenever he was disposed to listen to such discourse, I did not cease to urge the importance and necessity of his adopting measures so highly essential to his happiness as a man, and to his power, interest, and authority as the supreme chief of the island. All this he candidly acknowledged; but his pride threw impediments in the way of a reconciliation which were hard to be removed. He would not of himself become the immediate agent; and although he considered it important that the negociation should be conducted by some one of the principal chiefs in his fullest confidence, yet, to solicit their good offices after having rejected their former overtures with disdain, was equally hard to reconcile to his feelings. I stood nearly in the same situation with his favorite friends; but being thoroughly convinced of the sincerity of his wishes, I spared him the mortification of soliciting the offices he had rejected, by again proffering my services. To this he instantly consented, and observed that no proposal could have met his mind so completely; since, by effecting a reconciliation through my friendship, no umbrage could be taken at his having declined the several offers of his countrymen, by any of the individuals; whereas, had this object been accomplished by any one of the chiefs, it would probably have occasioned jealousy and discontent in the minds of the others.

All, however, was not yet complete; the apprehension that some concession might be suggested or expected on his part, preponderated against every other consideration; and he would on no account consent that it should appear that he had been privy to the business, or that it had been by his desire that a negociation had been undertaken for this happy purpose, but that the whole should have the appearance of being purely the result of accident.

To this end it was determined, that I should invite the queen, with several of her relations and friends, on board the Discovery, for the purpose of presenting them with some trivial matters, as tokens of my friendship and regard; and that, whilst thus employed, our conversation should be directed to ascertain, whether an accommodation was still an object desired. That on this appearing to be the general wish, Tamaahmaah would instantly repair on board in a hasty manner, as if he had something extraordinary to communicate; that I should appear to rejoice at this accidental meeting, and by instantly uniting their hands, bring the reconciliation to pass without the least discussion or explanation on either side. But from his extreme solicitude lest he should in any degree be suspected of being concerned in this previous arrangement, a difficulty arose how to make him acquainted with the result of the proposed conversation on board, which could not be permitted by a verbal message; at length, after some thought, he took up two pieces of paper, and of his own accord made certain marks with a pencil on each of them, and then delivered them to me. The difference of these marks he could well recollect; the one was to indicate, that the result of my inquiries was agreeable to his wishes, and the other that it was the contrary. In the event of my making use of the former, he proposed that it should not be sent on shore secretly, but in an open and declared manner, and by way of a joke, as a present to his Owhyhean majesty. The natural gaiety of disposition which generally prevails amongst these islanders, would render this supposed disappointment of the king a subject for mirth, would in some degree prepare the company for his visit, and completely do away every idea of its being the effect of a preconcerted measure.

This plan was accordingly carried into execution on the following Monday, the 17th. Whilst the queen and her party, totally ignorant of the contrivance, were receiving the compliments I had intended them, their good humour and pleasantry were infinitely heightened by the jest I proposed to pass upon the king, in sending him a piece of paper only, carefully wrapped up in some cloth of their own manufacture, accompanied by a message; importing, that as I was then in the act of distributing favors to my Owhyhean friends, I had not been unmindful of his majesty.

Tamaahmaah no sooner received the summons, than he hastened on board, and with his usual vivacity exclaimed before he made his appearance, that he was come to thank me for the present I had sent him, and for my goodness in not having forgotten him on this occasion. This was heard by every one in the cabin before he entered: and all seemed to enjoy the joke except the poor queen, who appeared to be much agitated at the idea of being again in his presence. The instant that he saw her his countenance expressed great surprize, he became immediately silent, and attempted to retire; but having posted myself for the especial purpose of preventing his departure, I caught his hand, and joining it with the queen’s, their reconciliation was instantly completed. This was fully demonstrated, not only by the tears that involuntarily stole down the cheeks of both as they embraced each other, and mutually expressed the satisfaction they experienced; but by the behaviour of every individual present, whose feelings on the occasion were not to be repressed; whilst their sensibility testified the happiness which this apparently fortuitous event had produced.

A short pause produced by an event so unexpected, was succeeded by the sort of good humour that such a happy circumstance would naturally inspire; the conversation soon became general, cheerful, and lively, in which the artifice imagined to have been imposed upon the king bore no small share. A little refreshment from a few glasses of wine concluded the scene of this successful meeting.

After the queen had acknowledged in the most grateful terms the weighty obligations she felt for my services on this occasion, I was surprized by her saying, just as we were all preparing to go on shore, that she had still a very great favor to request; which was that I should obtain from Tamaahmaah a solemn promise, that on her return to his habitation he would not beat her. The great cordiality with which the reconciliation had taken place, and the happiness that each of them had continued to express in consequence of it, led me at first to consider this intreaty of the queen’s as a matter of jest only; but in this I was mistaken, for notwithstanding that Tamaahmaah readily complied with my solicitation, and assured me nothing of the kind should take place, yet Tahowmannoo would not be satisfied without my accompanying them home to the royal residence, where I had the pleasure of seeing her restored to all her former honours and privileges, highly to the satisfaction of all the king’s friends; but to the utter mortification of those, who, by their scandalous reports and misrepresentations, had been the cause of the unfortunate separation.

The domestic affairs of Tamaahmaah having thus taken so happy a turn, his mind was more at liberty for political considerations; and the cession of Owhyhee to His Britannic Majesty became now an object of his serious concern. On my former visit it had been frequently mentioned, but was at that time disapproved of by some of the leading chiefs, who contended, that they ought not voluntarily to surrender themselves, or acknowledge their subjection, to the government of a superior foreign power, without being completely convinced that such power would protect them against the ambitious views of remote or neighbouring enemies. During our absence this subject had been most seriously discussed by the chiefs in the island, and the result of their deliberations was, an unanimous opinion, that, in order to obtain the protection required, it was important that Tamaahmaah should make the surrender in question, formally to me, on the part of His Majesty; that he should acknowledge himself and people as subjects of the British crown; and that they should supplicate that power to guard them against any future molestation.

To this act they were greatly stimulated by the treatment they had received from various strangers, by whom they had been lately visited. Of some of these I was well persuaded they had had too just cause to complain; particularly in the fraudulent and deceitful manner in which the traffic with the natives had been conducted.

In many instances, no compensation whatever had been given by these civilized visitors, after having been fully supplied, on promise of making an ample return, with the several refreshments of the very best quality the country afforded. At other times they had imposed upon the inhabitants, by paying them in commodities of no service or value, though their defects could not be detected by the examination of the natives. This was more particularly the case in those articles which they were most eager to obtain, and most desirous to possess, namely, arms and ammunition; which chiefly composed the merchandize of the North-West American adventurers. Muskets and pistols were thus exchanged that burst on being discharged the first time, though with the proper loading. To augment the quantity of gunpowder which was sold, it was mixed with an equal, if not a larger, proportion of pounded sea or charcoal. Several of these fire-arms, and some of the powder, were produced for my inspection in this shameful state, and with the hope that I was able to afford them redress.

Many very bad accidents had happened by the bursting of these fire-arms; one instance in particular came within our knowledge a few days after our arrival. A very fine active young chief had lately purchased a musket, and on his trying its effect, with a common charge of powder, it burst; and he not only lost some of the joints of his fingers on the left hand, but his right arm below the elbow was otherways so dangerously wounded, that, had it not been for the timely assistance afforded him by some of our gentlemen of the faculty, his life would have been in imminent danger.

The putting fire-arms into the hands of uncivilized people, is at best very bad policy; but when they are given in an imperfect and insufficient condition for a valuable consideration, it is not only infamously fraudulent, but barbarous and inhuman. Notwithstanding which, should these inhabitants resort to measures of revenge for the injuries thus sustained, they would be immediately stigmatized with the epithets of savages and barbarians, by the very people who had been the original cause of the violence they might think themselves justified in committing.

Under a conviction of the importance of these islands to Great Britain, in the event of an extension of her commerce over the Pacific Ocean, and in return for the essential services we had derived from the excellent productions of the country, and the ready assistance of its inhabitants, I lost no opportunity for encouraging their friendly dispositions towards us; notwithstanding the disappointments they had met with from the traders, for whose conduct I could invent no apology; endeavouring to impress them with the idea, that, on submitting to the authority and protection of a superior power, they might reasonably expect they would in future be less liable to such abuses.

The long continued practice of all civilized nations, of claiming the sovereignty and territorial right of newly-discovered countries, had heretofore been assumed in consequence only of priority of seeing, or of visiting such parts of the earth as were unknown before; but in the case of Nootka a material alteration had taken place, and great stress had been laid on the cession that Maquinna was stated to have made of the village and friendly cove to Senr Martinez. Notwithstanding that on the principles of the usage above stated, no dispute could have arisen as to the priority of claim that England had to the Sandwich islands; yet I considered, that the voluntary resignation of these territories, by the formal surrender of the king and the people to the power and authority of Great Britain, might probably be the means of establishing an incontrovertible right, and of preventing any altercation with other states hereafter.

Under these impressions, and on a due consideration of all circumstances, I felt it to be an incumbent duty to accept, for the crown of Great Britain, the proffered cession; and I had therefore stipulated that it should be made in the most unequivocal and public manner.

For this purpose all the principal chiefs had been summoned from the different parts of the island, and most of them had long since arrived in our neighbourhood. They had all become extremely well satisfied with the treatment they had received from us; and were highly sensible of the advantages they derived from our introducing amongst them only such things as were instrumental to their comfort, instead of warlike stores and implements, which only contributed to strengthen the animosities that existed between one island and another, and enabled the turbulent and ambitious chiefs to become formidable to the ruling power. They seemed in a great measure to comprehend the nature of our employment, and made very proper distinctions between our little squadron, and the trading vessels by which they had been so frequently visited; that these were engaged in pursuits for the private emolument of the individuals concerned, whilst those under my command acted under the authority of a benevolent monarch, whose chief object in sending us amongst them was to render them more peaceable in their intercourse with each other; to furnish them with such things as could contribute to make them a happier people; and to afford them an opportunity of becoming more respectable in the eyes of foreign visitors.

These ideas at the same time naturally suggested to them the belief, that it might be in my power to leave the Chatham at Owhyhee for their future protection; but on being informed that no such measure could possibly be adopted on the present occasion, they seemed content to wait with patience, in the expectation that such attention and regard might hereafter be shewn unto them; and in the full confidence, that according to my promise, I would represent their situation and conduct in the most faithful manner, and in the true point of view that every circumstance had appeared to us.

These people had already become acquainted with four commercial nations of the civilized world; and had been given to understand, that several others similar in knowledge and in power existed in those distant regions from whence these had come. This information, as may reasonably be expected, suggested the apprehension, that the period was not very remote when they might be compelled to submit to the authority of some one of these superior powers; and under that impression, they did not hesitate to prefer the English, who had been their first and constant visitors.

The formal surrender of the island had been delayed in consequence of the absence of two principal chiefs. Commanow, the chief of Aheedoo, was not able to quit the government and protection of the northern and eastern parts of the country, though it had been supposed he might have delegated his authority to some one of less importance than himself; but after some messages had passed between this chief and Tamaahmaah, it appeared that it had not been possible to dispense with his presence in those parts of the island.

The other absentee was Tamaahmotoo, chief of Koarra, the person that had captured the Fair American schooner, and with whom I was not ambitious to have much acquaintance. Since that perfidious melancholy transaction, he had never ventured near any vessel that had visited these shores; this had been greatly to the prejudice of his interest, and had occasioned him inconceivable chagrin and mortification. Of this he repeatedly complained to Tamaahmaah on our former visit; and then, as now, solicited the king’s good offices with me to obtain an interview, and permission for his people to resort to the vessels, for the sake of sharing in the superior advantages which our traffic afforded. But, to shew my utter abhorrence of his treacherous character, and as a punishment for his unpardonable cruelty to Mr. Metcalf and his crew, I had hitherto indignantly refused every application that had been made in his favor. When, however, I came seriously to reflect on all the circumstances that had attended our reception and treatment at this island, on our former visit and on the present occasion; when I had reference to the situation and condition of those of our countrymen resident amongst them; and when I recollected that my own counsel and advice had always been directed so to operate on their hasty violent tempers, as to induce them to subdue their animosities, by exhorting them to a forgiveness of past injuries, and proving to them how much their real happiness depended upon a strict adherence to the rules of good fellowship towards each other, and the laws of hospitality towards all such strangers as might visit their shores, I was thoroughly convinced, that implacable resentment, or unrelenting anger, exhibited in my own practice, would ill accord with the precepts I had endeavoured to inculcate for the regulation of theirs; and that the adoption of conciliatory measures, after having evinced, by a discrimination of characters, my aversion to wicked or unworthy persons, was most consistent with my duty as a man, and with the station I then filled.

In order, therefore, to establish more firmly, if possible, the friendship that had so mutually taken place, and so uninterruptedly subsisted, between us, I determined, by an act of oblivion in my own mind, to efface all former injuries and offences. To this end, and to shew that my conduct was governed by the principles I professed, at the request of Tianna and some other chiefs, I admitted the man amongst us, who was reputed to be the first person who had stabbed Captain Cook, and gave leave to Pareea[2] to visit the vessels; who, during the late contests, had been reduced from his former rank and situation, and was at this time resident on an estate belonging to Kahowmotoo on the eastern part of the island, in a very low and abject condition.

Tamaahmotoo had already suffered very materially in his interest, and had sensibly felt the indignity offered to his pride, in being excluded from our society, debarred the gratification of his curiosity, and the high entertainment which his brethren had partaken at our tables, and in our company. I gave Tamaahmaah to understand, that these considerations, in conjunction with his repeated solicitations, had induced me no longer to regard Tamaahmotoo as undeserving forgiveness, and to allow of his paying us the compliments he had so repeatedly requested; provided that he would engage in the most solemn manner, that neither himself nor his people (for he generally moved with a numerous train of attendants) would behave in any manner so as to disturb the subsisting harmony of our present society, nor conduct themselves, in future, but with a due regard to honesty, and the principles of hospitality.

To these conditions I was given to understand, Tamaahmotoo would subscribe without a murmur; and, on their being imparted to him, I received in reply a most humble and submissive answer, that he would forfeit his own existence if any misdemeanor, either on the part of himself, or of any of his followers, should be committed. The district over which his authority regularly extended, was the next district immediately to the northward of us; but his apprehensions lest we should retaliate the injuries he had done to others, had induced him to retire to the eastern parts of Amakooa, as being the most remote from our station. His progress towards Karakakooa, since his visit had been permitted, had been very slow; and as he had advanced he had frequently sent forward messengers, to inquire if I still continued the same friendly disposition towards him; and to request that I would return a renewal of my promises, that he should be received in the same friendly manner as I had engaged myself he should to Tamaahmaah. Having no intention whatever to depart from this obligation, I felt no difficulty in repeating these assurances as often as they were demanded.

My promises, however, were not sufficient to remove his suspicions, or to fix his confidence; but on his way he stopped at every morai, there made sacrifices, and consulted the priests as to what was portended in his visit by the omens on these occasions. At first they had been very unfavorable, but as he advanced the prognosticks had become more agreeable to his wishes; and at length, in the morning of Wednesday the 19th, he appeared in great pomp, attended by a numerous fleet of large canoes that could not contain less than a thousand persons, all paddling with some order into the bay, round its northern point of entrance.

Tamaahmaah was at this time with me, and gave me to understand that Tamaahmotoo generally went from place to place in the style and manner he now displayed, and that he was the proudest man in the whole island.

After the fleet had entered the bay, its course was slowly directed towards the vessels; but on a message being sent from me, desiring that Tamaahmotoo and his party would take up their residence at Kowrowa, he instantly retired with his fleet, and soon afterwards, accompanied by Tamaahmaah, and several of the principal chiefs, he visited the encampment. At this time I happened to be absent, but on my return I found him seated in our marquee, with several of our intimate friends, and some strangers, who were all in the greatest good humour imaginable, and exhibiting a degree of composure that the savage designing countenance of Tamaahmotoo could not even affect. Not the least difficulty could arise in distinguishing this chief from the rest of the company, as his appearance and deportment were a complete contrast to the surrounding group, and confirmed in our opinions the unworthiness of his character, and every report to his disadvantage that had been circulated by his countrymen.

Our first salutation being over, he caught the earliest opportunity to offer an apology for the offence that had so justly kept us strangers to each other. He complained of having been very ill treated by the crews of some vessels that had visited Toeaigh bay, and particularly of his having been beaten by Mr. Metcalf, commanding the Eleonora, at the time when his son, who afterwards had the command of the Fair American, was on board the former vessel; and alledged, that the indignities he then received had stimulated him to have recourse to the savage barbarity, before recited, towards the younger Mr. Metcalf and his people, by a sentiment of resentment and revenge; but that he entertained no such wicked designs against any one else; and that his future behaviour, and that of his dependants, would confirm the truth of the protestations he then made. After calling upon the several chiefs to vouch for the sincerity of his intentions, and making every concession that could be expected of him for his late unpardonable conduct, his apprehensions seemed to subside, as his friends appeared to give him credit for his assertions, and came forward as sureties for the propriety of his future behaviour.

This subject having been fully discussed, I shook Tamaahmotoo by the hand as a token of my forgiveness and reconciliation; and on confirming this friendly disposition towards him by presenting him with a few useful articles, approbation and applause were evidently marked in the countenance of every one present.

By the time this conciliatory interview was at an end, the dinner was announced; and as our consecrated pork was exhausted, Tamaahmaah had taken care to provide such a repast, consisting of dogs, fish, fowls, and vegetables, as was suitable to the keen appetites of our numerous guests. The day was devoted to mirth and festivity; and the king, Terry-my-tee, Tahowmotoo, Tianna, and indeed, all our old acquaintances, took their wine and grog with great cheerfulness, and in their jokes did not spare our new visitor Tamaahmotoo, for his aukwardness and ungraceful manners at table.

The glass went freely round after dinner; and as this ceremony was completely within the reach of Tamaahmotoo’s imitation, he was anxious to excel in this accomplishment, by drinking with less reserve than any one at table. I thought it proper to remind him, that as he was not in the habit of drinking spirituous liquors like Tamaahmaah and the other chiefs present, it was necessary he should be upon his guard, lest the wine and grog should disagree with him; but as his spirits became exhilarated he became less attentive to these admonitions, until the operation of the liquors obliged him to retire. In this state it is not possible to imagine a countenance more expressive of indignation or of savage barbarity and resentment; his eyes were fixed on me as he was carried out of the marquee, whilst his tongue, no longer confined within his lips, indistinctly uttered attoou-anni, signifying that I had poisoned him; and some present, even of our old acquaintance, seemed to be a little concerned for his safety. The king, however, laughed at their apprehension, and explained to them the cause of Tamaahmotoo’s indisposition, which, by the assistance of a little warm water, was almost instantly recovered, and he rejoined our party, to the great entertainment, and diversion of his countrymen, who were still very pleasantly regaling themselves, and in the perfect enjoyment of each other’s society.

In the front of the marquee, seated on the ground, were two or three of Tamaahmotoo’s most confidential friends and constant attendants. The behaviour of these people, on their master being taken from table, suddenly changed, from the most unreserved vivacity to a suspicious silence; their eyes sparkled, and their countenances were expressive of distrust and resentment; one of them in particular, who I had not observed before to be armed, had with him a dagger, made out of the broad part of an iron spit, which he handled with great agitation, and seemed to be more than half inclined to make use of it, to gratify the revenge that was struggling within his breast. This man contended, in a short conversation with Tamaahmaah, that Tamaahmotoo had been given a different bottle to drink out of from the rest of the company; but on the king and other persons drinking some wine from the same bottle, he became pacified; and the recovery of the intoxicated chief completely did away his suspicions of our having entertained towards his master any unfavorable intentions.

On this occasion, however, I could not avoid reflecting, how indispensably necessary it is, that the greatest circumspection and caution should be observed in our intercourse with such strangers, unaccustomed to our manners and way of life; because it may frequently happen, that the most disastrous and fatal consequences may arise from causes the least to be apprehended, and in themselves of the most innocent nature. Notwithstanding that in the instance before us nothing uncomfortable took place, yet I was firmly persuaded that we were greatly indebted for our tranquillity, on this occasion, to the great respect and esteem which our conduct towards these people had previously insured us; but had it unfortunately so happened, that Tamaahmotoo had died under the effects of the liquor to which his constitution was unused, and of which he had drank inordinately, our having poisoned him would have been generally received as a fact; whence the natives, naturally concluding that we had been guilty of the most unwarrantable treachery, they would have been pardonable in seeking revenge; and under such impressions ought rather to have been considered as intitled to our pity for being mistaken; than to our resentment for any acts of injury which the misunderstanding might have occasioned.

The convocation of the principal chiefs of the island by the royal mandate, failed not to assemble at the same time most of the persons of consequence of both sexes, who took up their residence in our immediate neighbourhood; which became so populous, that there was scarcely a place where a temporary habitation could be erected that remained unoccupied, especially in the vicinity of the two principal villages of Kakooa and Kowrowa. Their numbers amounted now to several thousands, whose cheerful good humour, eagerness to oblige, and orderly behaviour, could not be surpassed by the inhabitants of the most civilized country. The days passed pleasantly to those who devoted them to innocent amusements, and profitably to others who were engaged in bartering away the merchandize they had brought, to exchange for our more valuable commodities; whilst those of our society who extended their recreation on shore, beyond the limits of the bay, were received with the greatest hospitality, and entertained with the general amusements of the country; which rendered these excursions not less interesting than contributory to health.

The evenings were generally closed with singing and dancing, and the nights were as quiet as the most orderly towns in Europe; though it was a late hour most commonly before they retired to rest. The space between sun-set and that time was employed by some parties in social conversation, and by others at various games of chance; and I did not observe a single instance in which these were conducted, even by the losers, but with the greatest temper and good humour.

Desirous of being constantly upon the spot, lest any untoward circumstance should arise to interrupt the happiness we enjoyed, my excursions were confined to a small distance from our encampment. This however did not preclude my attending some of their evening amusements in our neighbourhood. At one of which, in particular, I was very well entertained.

This was a performance by a single young woman of the name of Puckoo, whose person and manners were both very agreeable. Her dress, notwithstanding the heat of the weather, consisted of an immense quantity of thin cloth, which was wound round her waist, and extended as low as her knees. This was plaited in such a manner as to give a pretty effect to the variegated pattern of the cloth; and was otherwise disposed with great taste. Her head and neck were decorated with wreaths of black, red, and yellow feathers; but excepting these she wore no dress from the waist upwards. Her ancles, and nearly half way up her legs, were decorated with several folds of cloth, widening upwards, so that the upper parts extended from the leg at least four inches all round; this was encompassed by a piece of net work, wrought very close, from the meshes of which were hung the small teeth of dogs, giving this part of her dress the appearance of an ornamented funnel. On her wrists she wore bracelets made of the tusks from the largest hogs. These were highly polished and fixed close together in a ring, the concave sides of the tusks being outwards; and their ends reduced to an uniform length, curving naturally each way from the centre, were by no means destitute of ornamental effect.

Thus equipped, her appearance on the stage, before she uttered a single word, excited considerable applause from the numerous spectators, who observed the greatest good order and decorum. In her performance, which was in the open air, she was accompanied by two men, who were seated on the ground in the character of musicians. Their instruments were both alike, and were made of the outsides or shells of large gourds, open at the top; the lower ends ground; perfectly flat, and as thin as possible, without endangering their splitting. These were struck on the ground, covered with a small quantity of dried grass, and in the interval between each stroke, they beat with their hands and fingers on the sides of these instruments, to accompany their vocal exertions, which, with the various motions of their hands and body, and the vivacity of their countenances, plainly demonstrated the interest they had, not only in excelling in their own parts, but also in the applause which the lady acquired by her performance, advancing or retreating from the musicians a few short steps in various directions, as the nature of the subject, and the numerous gestures and motions of her person demanded. Her speech, or poem, was first began in a slow, and somewhat solemn manner, and gradually became energetic, probably as the subject matter became interesting; until at length, like a true actress, the liveliness of her imagination produced a vociferous oration, accompanied by violent emotions. These were received with shouts of great applause; and although we were not sufficiently acquainted with the language to comprehend the subject, yet we could not help being pleased in a high degree with the performance. The music and singing was by no means discordant or unpleasing; many of the actions seemed to be well adapted, and the attitudes exhibited both taste and elegance. The satisfaction we derived at this public entertainment, was greatly increased by the respectful reception we met from all parties, as well performers as spectators, who appeared to be infinitely more delighted by our plaudits, than by the liberal donations which we made on the occasion.

These amusements had hitherto been confined to such limited performances; but this afternoon was to be dedicated to one of a more splendid nature, in which some ladies of consequence, attendants on the court of Tamaahmaah, were to perform the principal parts. Great pains had been taken, and they had gone through many private rehearsals, in order that the exhibition this evening might be worthy of the public attention; on the conclusion of which I purposed by a display of fire-works, to make a return for the entertainment they had afforded us.

About four o’clock, we were informed it was time to attend the royal dames; their theatre, or rather place of exhibition, was about a mile to the southward of our tents, in a small square, surrounded by houses and sheltered by trees; a situation as well chosen for the performance, as for the accommodation of the spectators; who, on a moderate computation, could not be estimated at less than four thousand, of all ranks and descriptions of persons.

A difference in point of dress had been observed in the audience at the former entertainment, but on this occasion every one shone forth in the best apparel that could be procured; those who had been successful in their commercial transactions with us, did not fail to appear in the best attire they had procured; and such as were destitute of European articles, had exerted their genius to substitute the manufacture and productions of their own country in the most fashionable and advantageous manner. Feathered ruffs, and gartering tape in wreaths, adorned the ladies’ heads, and were also worn as necklaces; red cloth, printed linen, or that of their own manufacture, constituted the lower garment, which extended from the waist to the knees. The men likewise had put on their best maros; so that the whole presented a very gay and lively spectacle.

On our arrival, some of our friends were pleased to be a little jocular with our appearance at so unfashionable an hour, having come much too early for the representation; but as we were admitted into the green room amongst the performers, our time was not unpleasantly engaged. The dress of the actresses was something like that worn by Puckoo, though made of superior materials, and disposed with more taste and elegance. A very considerable quantity of their finest cloth was prepared for the occasion; of this their lower garment was formed, which extended from their waist half way down their legs, and was so plaited as to appear very much like a hoop petticoat. This seemed the most difficult part of their dress to adjust, for Tamaahmaah, who was considered to be a profound critic, was frequently appealed to by the women, and his directions were implicitly followed in many little alterations. Instead of the ornaments of cloth and net-work decorated with dogs’ teeth, these ladies had each a green wreath made of a kind of bind weed, twisted together in different parts like a rope, which was wound round from the ankle, nearly to the lower part of the petticoat. On their wrists they wore no bracelets nor other ornaments, but across their necks and shoulders were green sashes, very nicely made, with the broad leaves of the tree, a plant that produces a very luscious sweet root, the size of a yam[3]. This part of their dress was put on the last by each of the actresses; and the party being now fully attired, the king and queen, who had been present the whole time of their dressing, were obliged to withdraw, greatly to the mortification of the latter, who would gladly have taken her part as a performer, in which she was reputed to excel very highly. But the royal pair were compelled to retire, even from the exhibition, as they are prohibited by law from attending such amusements, excepting on the festival of the new year. Indeed, the performance of this day was contrary to the established rules of the island, but being intended as a compliment to us, the innovation was admitted.

As their majesties withdrew, the ladies of rank, and the principal chiefs, began to make their appearance. The reception of the former by the multitude was marked by a degree of respect that I had not before seen amongst any inhabitants of the countries in the Pacific Ocean. The audience assembled at this time were standing in rows, from fifteen to twenty feet deep, so close as to touch each other; but these ladies no sooner approached their rear, in any accidental direction, than a passage was instantly made for them and their attendants to pass through in the most commodious manner to their respective stations, where they seated themselves on the ground, which was covered with mats, in the most advantageous situation for seeing and hearing the performers. Most of these ladies were of a corpulent form, which, assisted by their stately gait, the dignity with which they moved, and the number of their pages, who followed with fans to court the refreshing breeze, or with fly-flaps to disperse the offending insects, announced their consequence as the wives, daughters, sisters, or other near relations of the principal chiefs, who however experienced no such marks of respect or attention themselves; being obliged to make their way through the spectators in the best manner they were able.

The time devoted to the decoration of the actresses extended beyond the limits of the quiet patience of the audience, who exclaimed two or three times, from all quarters, “Hoorah, hoorah, poaliealee,” signifying, that it would be dark and black night before the performance would begin. But the audience here, like similar ones in other countries, attending with a pre-disposition to be pleased, was in good humour, and was easily appeased, by the address of our faithful and devoted friend Trywhookee, who was the conductor of the ceremonies, and sole manager on this occasion. He came forward, and apologized by a speech that produced a general laugh, and causing the music to begin, we heard no further murmurs.

The band consisted of five men, all standing up, each with a highly-polished wooden spear in the left, and a small piece of the same material, equally well finished, in the right hand; with this they beat on the spear, as an accompaniment to their voices in songs, that varied both as to time and measure, especially the latter; yet their voices, and the sounds produced from their rude instruments, which differed according to the place on which the tapering spear was struck, appeared to accord very well. Having engaged us a short time in this vocal performance, the court ladies made their appearance, and were received with shouts of the greatest applause. The musicians retired a few paces, and the actresses took their station before them.

The heroine of the piece, which consisted of four parts or acts, had once shared the affections and embraces of Tamaahmaah, but was now married to an inferior chief, whose occupation in the household was that of the charge of the king’s apparel. This lady was distinguished by a green wreath round the crown of the head; next to her was the captive daughter of Titeeree; the third a younger sister to the queen, the wife of Crymamahoo, who being of the most exalted, rank stood in the middle. On each side of these were two of inferior quality, making in all seven actresses. They drew themselves up in a line fronting that side of the square that was occupied by the ladies of quality and the chiefs. These were completely detached from the populace, not by any partition, but, as it were, by the respectful consent of the lower orders of the assembly; not one of which trespassed or produced the least inconvenience.

This representation, like that before attempted to be described, was a compound of speaking and singing; the subject of which was enforced by appropriate gestures and actions. The piece was in honour of a captive princess, whose name was Crycowculleneaow; and on her name being pronounced, every one present, men as well as women, who wore any ornaments above their waist, were obliged to take them off, though the captive lady was at least sixty miles distant. This mark of respect was unobserved by the actresses whilst engaged in the performance; but the instant any one sat down, or at the close of the act, they were also obliged to comply with this mysterious ceremony.

The variety of attitudes into which these women threw themselves, with the rapidity of their action, resembled no amusement in any other part of the world within my knowledge, by a comparison with which I might be enabled to convey some idea of the stage effect this produced, particularly in the three first parts, in which there appeared much correspondence and harmony between the tone of their voices, and the display of their limbs. One or two of the performers being not quite so perfect as the rest, afforded us an opportunity of exercising our judgment by comparison; and it must be confessed, that the ladies who most excelled, exhibited a degree of graceful action, for the attainment of which it is difficult to account.

In each of these first parts the songs, attitudes, and actions, appeared to me of greater variety than I had before noticed amongst the people of the great South-Sea nation, on any former occasion. The whole, though I am unequal to its description, was supported with a wonderful degree of spirit and vivacity; so much indeed that some of their exertions were made with such a degree of agitating violence, as seemed to carry the performers beyond what their strength was able to sustain; and had the performance finished with the third act, we should have retired from their theatre with a much higher idea of the moral tendency of their drama, than was conveyed by the offensive, libidinous scene, exhibited by the ladies in the concluding part. The language of the song, no doubt, corresponded with the obscenity of their actions; which were carried to a degree of extravagance that was calculated to produce nothing but disgust even in the most licentious.

This hooarah occupied about an hour, and concluded with the descending sun, it being contrary to law that such representations should continue after that time of day. The spectators instantly retired in the most orderly manner, and dispersed in the greatest good humour; apparently highly delighted with the entertainment they had received. But as the gratification I had promised on this occasion required the absence of light, and could not be exhibited to advantage until a late hour, the multitude were permitted to re-assemble in our neighbourhood soon afterwards for this purpose.

Our exhibition commenced about seven in the evening, and as we still possessed a considerable variety of fire-works in a tolerably good state of preservation, an ample assortment was provided; and on being thrown off, they produced from the expecting multitude such acclamations of surprize and admiration from all quarters, as may be easily imagined to arise from the feelings of persons totally unacquainted with objects of such an extraordinary nature. Tamaahmaah fired the two first rockets; but there were only one or two of the chiefs who had courage sufficient to follow his example; and it was observed amongst those who were near us at the time, that in these apprehension was more predominant than pleasure. The whole concluded with some excellent Bengal lights, which illuminating the neighbourhood to a great distance, almost equal to the return of day, seemed to produce more general satisfaction than the preceding part of the exhibition; and on its being announced, that the light was shewn to conduct them safely to their respective habitations, the crowd retired; and in the space of half an hour the usual stillness of the night was so completely restored, that it would rather have been imagined there had not been a single stranger in our neighbourhood, than that thousands had so recently departed.

As the number of these strangers had increased, so a gradual augmentation of the king’s nightly guard had taken place; but on this evening the guards were at least doubled, and in number amounted to about forty, armed with pallaloos and iron daggers, and stationed in different places about the royal residence.

This having been the twelfth day’s absence of Mr. Menzies and his party, and having far exceeded the limits of time that I expected their proposed excursion could have required, I began to be anxious lest some accident or indisposition had detained them in the interior country (being perfectly satisfied that there was not the least danger to be apprehended from the natives) especially as I had received only one note from the party, and that on the commencement of their journey from the south point of the island; and although their excursion had not at that time been attended with the expedition I could have wished, yet I had reason before now to have expected their return.

The period of our departure being fast approaching, in order that we might be in readiness to sail on the arrival of the party, I directed that every thing should be prepared the next morning, Thursday the 20th, for embarking such matters as we had on shore. Most of the principal chiefs having, as usual, joined our party at breakfast, the highest satisfaction and admiration was expressed at the exhibition that closed the entertainments of the preceding day; whilst the preparations that were making for our departure occasioned a universal regret. It was well known that I had already exceeded the time of my intended stay, and that the hour would come when a separation must inevitably take place, and probably never to meet again. Such were the topics of our conversation round the breakfast table, when information was brought that a cartridge box, which the centinel had suffered to lie carelessly about, had been stolen from on board the Chatham. On this unpleasant circumstance being first reported, Tamaahmaah seemed to be indifferent as to its recovery; alledging that the centinel had been much in fault in not having taken proper care of his accoutrements. His reasoning was undoubtedly correct, and I would willingly have passed the transgression unnoticed, rather than have risked the chance of any interruption to our present harmony, had not the uniform negative that I had put upon every solicitation from these people, for arms or ammunition, and which was only to be supported by saying, that all such articles belonged to His Majesty King George, and that they were strictly tabooed, rendered it absolutely necessary that I should insist on the restitution of the thing stolen.

The conversation that this unlucky incident produced drew for a short time a veil of gloom over the cheerfulness which had generally prevailed; and although this was extremely unpleasant at so interesting a period, it was attended with the good effect of stimulating the king to send Kahowmotoo in quest of the cartridge box, who, in about half an hour brought it to us. It had been found in the house of Kavaheeroo, the chief of the district of Kaoo, and the principal person at the village Kowrowa; but of the thief, who was a woman, no tidings could be procured; as she had either made her escape, or was protected under the peculiar privileges with which that village is endowed, in giving protection to offenders of various descriptions, whilst they remain within its precincts.

The accoutrement, however, being restored, with its contents undiminished and in good order, all parties were instantly reconciled, and our society brought back to its former standard of harmony and good spirits; though it was apparent that the latter had received some little check, in consequence of the indications of the near approach of our departure, by the removal of our several matters from the shore to the vessels.

In the afternoon intelligence was brought that our travellers had reached the summit of Mowna Roa, and that they were on their way back; but, from the native who brought us this information, it appeared, that they would yet be some days before they arrived, as they intended to return by land, and the roads they had to pass were very indifferent.

Having resumed my residence on board the ship, I was on Friday the 21st complimented with a formal visit from all the great personages in the neighbourhood, except Kavaheeroo; who, having accepted the stolen cartridge box, I considered as an accessary in the theft, and on that account I would not permit him to enter the ship. This exception was no small mortification to his pride, nor disappointment to his interest, as none of his associates returned to the shore without a handsome token of my esteem. Tamaahmotoo, and his retinue, though less deserving of such marks of attention, and with little claim to any acknowledgment from me, were not omitted, but received such presents as their respective conditions and the occasion seemed to demand. With this party had come a daughter of Tamaahmaah, about nine years of age. She had not visited us when we were here before, nor had we ever seen her until the arrival of Tamaahmotoo, to whose charge she had some time since been entrusted for the purpose of being educated and brought up agreeably to the custom of these islands. She bore a striking likeness to her father, and though far from being handsome, had an expressive intelligent countenance, and was a very cheerful and engaging girl.

All the chiefs that were expected being now assembled, I inquired of the king when the proposed voluntary cession of the island was to be confirmed. A short conversation immediately took place between Tamaahmaah and some of his counsellors then present; the result of which was, that as a taboo poory was to commence on the evening of the ensuing Sunday, and would continue until Tuesday morning, they were unanimously of opinion, that it would be highly proper to embrace that opportunity of reconsulting the priests, that each might be fully satisfied with the propriety of the measure they were about to adopt. Tamaahmaah at the same time requested that I would attend him at the grand morai during the interdiction.

This was a reply that I did not altogether like, nor did I expect it, as they were all convinced how anxious I now was to take my departure. A final appeal to the priests, however, I was given to understand, could not be dispensed with; and as there was little probability of the party from Mowna Roa returning much before that time, I was induced to promise that I would comply with their wishes.

There appeared little reason to believe that the cession would not be made, although some previous ceremonies were still wanting, before they would be enabled to make the surrender in form, which at this time was fixed for the following Tuesday; immediately after which, I informed them, I should sail with the land wind for Tyahtatooa and Toeaigh, to the former, for the purpose of more particularly examining the anchorage, and to the latter for the purpose of procuring such a further stock of refreshments as we could conveniently take; well knowing that we ought to place little dependance on the precarious supply that Mowee, Woahoo, or the rest of the islands to leeward might afford. The whole of the party did me the favor to say, that they would remain on board until we quitted Owhyhee.

I was very much concerned to find that my earnest endeavours to bring about a reconciliation, and to establish peace amongst these islands, had proved unsuccessful. The mutual distrust that continued to exist amongst the people of the several islands, which I had foreseen to be the greatest difficulty there was to combat, and which I had apprehended would be an insurmountable obstacle, had proved fatal to the attainment of this desirable object. Immediately on my arrival here, I inquired if my letter from Mowee had been received, and received an answer in the negative. But I was given to understand, that a small party from that island had arrived on the western side of Owhyhee, whose object was suspected to be that of seizing on some of the inhabitants there, for the purpose of taking them away, and of sacrificing them in their religious rites at Mowee; and some reports went so far as to assert that this diabolical object had been effected. On further inquiry, however, this fact appeared to be by no means established; as it was positively insisted on by some, and by others as positively denied. One circumstance, however, both parties agreed in, that of the people from Mowee having been under the necessity of making a hasty retreat. I could not understand that any chief was in the neighbourhood of the place where they had landed; and Tamaahmaah himself, either from a conviction that they had been unfairly dealt with, or that I should disapprove of the suspicious narrow policy that had influenced the conduct of his people on this occasion, was unwilling to allow that he had been made duly acquainted with their arrival, and was always desirous of avoiding the subject in conversation.

After many attempts to fix his attention, I at length explained to him what was the result of my negociation with the chiefs at Mowee; and he then seemed to concur in opinion with me, that the party from Mowee who had landed on the western side of Owhyhee, could be no other than the embassy charged with my letter, and invested with powers to negociate for a general pacification.

It was some time before I was able to make myself thoroughly master of these circumstances; yet long before I had ascertained with any tolerable precision what was the state of the business, I was perfectly convinced that no overtures of this nature would be attended with success, and that nothing but by my passing backwards and forwards between the several islands in the manner before stated, would answer any good purpose; could I have done this, I entertained no doubt of accomplishing this desirable object; but neither our circumstances nor our time would admit of my engaging in this talk, particularly at the present season of the year, when very boisterous weather usually prevails amongst these islands, against which we should occasionally have been obliged to beat to windward. Our sails, rigging, and probably our masts, would necessarily have suffered in point of wear and tear, even should we have been so fortunate as to have avoided any material damage by accident; and as our stock of those essential articles, even with the supply we had received from port Jackson, which was very short of what I had requested, demanded the greatest œconomy and care to make them last, without subjecting us to unpleasant and even disastrous circumstances, during our progress in the unaccomplished part of our voyage; I was under the necessity of declining any further personal interference, notwithstanding that I was satisfied the happiness and tranquillity of many thousands might have been secured, at least for a time, could I have undertaken this important business.

This conviction did not fail to claim a great share of my attention; but the execution of the several important objects of our voyage that yet remained unfinished, and which were of an extensive nature, compelled me to give up all thoughts of secondary considerations, The completion of our business that appertained to the North Pacific Ocean, I had so far hopes of effecting in the course of the ensuing season, that I had not demanded the return of the Dædalus with a further supply of stores, nor indeed was it certain that such a supply could have been obtained from port Jackson; we had therefore to rely on the dispensations of Divine Providence, and our own care and frugality, for the accomplishment of the remaining part of our survey with the shores we had still remaining.

Tamaahmaah having become acquainted with our intended route from Karakakooa, and being watchful to embrace every opportunity by which he could continue his good offices, either for our present comfort, or our future welfare, ordered one of his principal domestics to depart immediately for Toeaigh; there to provide according to his directions such things as we stood in need of, and to have them in readiness for embarkation on our arrival.

After these, and other less important arrangements had been made relative to our departure, the king with his companions returned to the shore. About this time the gentlemen made their appearance from Mowna Roa, having descended from the mountains in a straight line to the sea shore, from whence they had returned by water; but had not this been their route, their journey hither would have occupied some few days more. At first sight of the travellers I regretted the delay I had so recently consented to; but it was now too late to retract, especially as, on the most trivial occasions, I had made it a point to perform all promises made to these people with scrupulous punctuality. Two or three days, therefore, were not of sufficient importance to us to induce my breaking in upon the arrangements I had just made with Tamaahmaah; who would easily have discovered, that no new cause had arisen from any alteration in our plan; and I therefore determined to remain contented until Tuesday, when the restrictions of the taboo were to cease. This afforded an opportunity to some of the officers, whose attention to their several duties had confined them hitherto to the sea shore, to make a short excursion into the adjacent country.

The building of Tamaahmaah’s vessel was now so far advanced, that I considered its completion an easy task for his people to perform under the direction of Boid, who most probably had, by his attention to our carpenters, added some information to his former knowledge in ship-building. Her frame was completely fixed, and all that remained to be done was some part of the planking, and fitting up her inside according to the taste and fancy of Tamaahmaah. Having no doubt but all this would be effected with little difficulty by themselves, on Saturday the 22d, our carpenters were ordered to repair on board with their tools. Besides the assistance I had afforded in building the hull of the vessel, I had furnished Tamaahmaah with all the iron work she would further require; oakum and pitch for caulking, proper masts, and a set of schooner sails, with canvass, needles, and twine to repair them hereafter. With respect to cordage, they had a sufficiency of their own manufacture for her rigging, schooner fashion, and every other necessary purpose.

Tamaahmaah was exceedingly well pleased, and thankful for our exertions; and it was extremely gratifying to my feelings to reflect, that such valuable opportunities should have offered for bestowing this gratification upon the king, and many essential benefits upon his people; all of whom were now well convinced, that these superior advantages were only to be obtained by the constant exercise of the same honesty and civility by which these had been secured to them on the present occasion.

Very little doubt can be entertained of the exalted pleasure Tamaahmaah would enjoy in the attainment, by honourable means, of so desirable an object as his new schooner; especially at those times, when his mind recurring to the virtuous causes that had given him so valuable a possession, he would naturally make a companion between them and the criminal measures pursued by Tamaahmotoo for a similar acquisition; which he had no sooner possessed by treachery and barbarity, than he was deprived of it with indelible marks of infamy, and the loss of his reputation and character.

On the evening of Sunday the 23d, agreeably to my promise, I accompanied Tamaahmaah to the morai, and submitted to all the forms, regulations, and restrictions of the taboo. The ceremonies were similar to those I had before observed, though they were more concise, less formal, and attended by fewer persons.

I was not on this, as on the former occasion, purely an idle spectator; but was in some degree one of the actors. Whilst in the morning the principal ceremonies and prayers were performing, I was called upon to give my opinion on several matters that were agitated at one time by the king, and at others by the principal priests. Amongst these was the propriety of their remaining at peace, or making war against the other islands? The cession of the island; and if, by that voluntary measure, they would be considered as the subjects of Great Britain? Under this impression, in what manner ought they to conduct themselves towards all strangers, as well those who might visit them from civilized nations, as the inhabitants of the neighbouring islands? With these, and some other questions of less importance, I was very seriously interrogated; and I made such answers to each as was consistent with my own situation, and, as I considered, were most likely to tend in future to their happiness and tranquillity.

I was not prohibited in my turn from offering my suggestions, or demanding their attention to my requisitions. Anxious lest the object I had so long had in view should hereafter be defeated; namely, that of establishing a breed of sheep, cattle, and other European animals in these islands, which with so much difficulty, trouble, and concern, I had at length succeeded so far as to import in good health, and in a thriving condition; I demanded, that they should be tabooed for ten years, with a discretionary power in the king alone to appropriate a certain number of the males of each species, in case that sex became predominant, to the use of his own table; but that in so doing the women should not be precluded partaking of them, as the intention of their being brought to the island was for the general use and benefit of every inhabitant of both sexes, as soon as their numbers should be sufficiently increased to allow of a general distribution amongst the people. This was unanimously approved of, and faithfully promised to be observed with one exception only; that with respect to the meat of these several animals, the women were to be put on the same footing as with their dogs and fowls; they were to be allowed to eat of them, but not of the identical animal that men had partaken, or of which they were to partake. Much conversation took place on these different subjects, when not otherwise engaged in functions of a religious nature; all these ceasing at sun-rise the next morning, I repaired on board, and found every thing in readiness for our departure.

In the forenoon of Tuesday the 25th, the king and queen, accompanied by Terry-my-tee, the king’s brother; Crymamahoo, half brother to the king, and chief of the district of Amakooa; Kahowmotoo, father to the queen, and chief of the district of Kona; Kavaheeroo, chief of the district of Kaow; Tianna, chief of the district of Poona; Tamaahmotoo, chief of the district of Koarra; Trywhookee, half brother to the king, and our most faithful protector and purveyor at the encampment; all assembled on board the Discovery, for the purpose of formally ceding and surrendering the island of Owhyhee to me for his Britannic Majesty, his heirs and successors; there were present on this occasion besides myself, Mr. Puget, and all the officers of the Discovery.

Tamaahmaah opened the business in a speech, which he delivered with great moderation and equal firmness. He explained the reasons (already stated) that had induced him to offer the island to the protection of Great Britain; and recounted the numerous advantages that himself, the chiefs, and the people, were likely to derive by the surrender they were about to make. He enumerated the several nations that since Captain Cook’s discovery of these islands had occasionally resorted hither, each of which was too powerful for them to resist; and as these visitors had come more frequently to their shores, and their numbers seemed to increase, he considered that the inhabitants would be liable to more ill treatment, and still greater impositions than they had yet endured, unless they could be protected against such wrongs by some one of the civilized powers with whose people they had become acquainted; that at present they were completely independent, under no sort of engagement whatever, and were free to make choice of that state which in their opinion was most likely by its attention to their security and interests, to answer the purpose for which the proposed surrender was intended. For his own part he did not hesitate to declare the preference he entertained for the king of Great Britain, to whom he was ready to acknowledge his submission; and demanded to know who had any objection to follow his example. This produced an harangue from each of the five chiefs, all of whom had some ideas to offer on this important subject.

The warlike spirit and ambitious views of Kahowmotoo had long taught him to indulge the flattering hope, that on some future day he should be enabled to acquire the sovereignty of Mowee. This prompted him to state in a spirited and manly speech, that on their becoming connected and attached to so powerful a nation, they ought no longer to suffer the indignities which had been offered to their island, Owhyhee, by the people of Mowee; he also candidly enumerated the offences that Mowee had justly to complain of in return; but as these bore no proportion to her aggressions, he contended that she ought to be chastized, and that when a force for their protection should be obtained from England, the first object of its employment ought to be the conquest of Mowee; after which the care of its government should be intrusted to some respectable chief, whose interest and inclination could be depended upon as being friendly towards Owhyhee.

Kavaheeroo, a chief of a very different disposition, content with the station he filled, and the comforts he enjoyed, looked forward with pleasure to the consequences that were likely to result from the adoption of the measure proposed; having no doubt of its tending to their future safety and protection, which had now become highly expedient in some way to effect, and of its being the means of producing a general pacification with their relations and friends, as he termed them, on the other islands.

Tianna, after agreeing with Kahowmotoo, that Mowee ought to be chastized; and with Kavaheeroo, in the necessity of Owhyhee being protected; proposed that some persons, duly authorized for that purpose, should reside on shore by way of guards, and stated that a vessel or two would be requisite to defend them by sea. He very judiciously observed further, that so great a similarity existed between the people of the four nations with whom they were already acquainted, but more particularly so between the English and the Americans, that in the event of their present surrender being accepted, and of a vessel being sent out for their protection, they should be doubtful as to the reality of such persons coming from England, unless some of the officers then present, or some of those board the vessels with whom they were acquainted, and who they were convinced did belong to King George, should return to Owhyhee with the succours required. This appeared to him a measure of so much consequence that it could not be dispensed with, for otherwise, any of the distant nations, knowing they had ceded the island to the English government, might send to them ships and men whom they had never before seen, and who, by asserting they had come from England and belonged to King George, would deceive them into the obedience of a people against whom they should afterwards most probably revolt.

These were the prominent features in the several speeches made on the occasion: in every one of which their religion, government, and domestic œconomy was noticed; and it was clearly understood, that no interference was to take place in either; that Tamaahmaah, the chiefs and priests, were to continue as usual to officiate with the same authority as before in their respective stations, and that no alteration in those particulars was in any degree thought of or intended.

These preliminaries being fully discussed, and thoroughly understood on both sides, the king repeated his former proposition, which was now unanimously approved of, and the whole party declared their consent by saying, that they were no longer Tanata no Owhyhee, (i. e.) the people of Owhyhee; but Tanata no Britannee, (i. e.) the people of Britain. This was instantly made known to the surrounding crowd in their numerous canoes about the vessels, and the same expressions were cheerfully repeated throughout the attending multitude.

Mr. Puget, accompanied by some of the officers, immediately went on shore; there displayed the British colours, and took possession of the island in his Majesty’s name, in conformity to the inclination and desire of Tamaahmaah and his subjects. On this ceremony being finished, a salute was fired from the vessels, after which the following inscription on copper was deposited in a very conspicuous place at the royal residence.

“On the 25th of February, 1794, Tamaahmaah king of Owhyhee, in council with the principal chiefs of the island, assembled on board his Britannic Majesty’s sloop Discovery in Karakakooa bay, and in the presence of George Vancouver, commander of the said sloop; Lieutenant Peter Puget, commander of his said Majesty’s armed tender the Chatham; and the other officers of the Discovery; after due consideration, unanimously ceded the said island of Owhyhee to his Britannic Majesty, and acknowledged themselves to be subjects of Great Britain.”

Such a distribution of useful or ornamental articles was now made to the principal chiefs, their favorite women, and other attendants, as Tamaahmaah and myself esteemed to be suitable to their respective ranks and stations on this memorable occasion.

Thus concluded the ceremonies of ceding the island of Owhyhee to the British crown; but whether this addition to the empire will ever be of any importance of Great Britain, or whether the surrender of the island will ever be attended with any additional happiness to its people, time alone must determine. It was however a matter of great satisfaction to me, that this concession had not only been voluntary but general; that it had not been suggested by a party, nor been the wish of a few, but the desire of every inhabitant with whom we had any conversation on the subject; most of these having attended the external ceremonies, without shewing any other signs than those of perfect approbation; and the whole business having been concluded by the king and his advisers with great steadiness, and in the most serious manner, left me no doubt of the sincerity of their intentions to abide strictly by their engagement.

This transaction must ever be considered, under all the attendant circumstances, as of a peculiar nature; and will serve to shew that man, even in his rude uncultivated state, will not, except from apprehension or the most pressing necessity, voluntarily deliver up to another his legitimate rights of territorial jurisdiction.

With respect to astronomical observations whilst at Karakakooa, our attention had been principally directed to the rates and errors of the chronometers; these on being landed the 21st of January, 1794, shewed the longitude by

Kendall’s to be205°845
Arnold’s No. 14,20426    
Ditto 176,2041    
The true longitude of Karakakooa being 204°, shews their respective errors; by which Kendall’s chronometer was at noon on the 19th of February, 1794, fast of mean time at Greenwich3h301759
And, by twenty-six days corresponding altitudes, was found to be gaining on mean time per day at the rate of1516
Arnold’s No. 14, fast of mean time at Greenwich, as above,3254959
And gaining on mean time per day at the rate of2112
Arnold’s No. 176, fast of mean time at Greenwich, as above,7383359
And gaining on mean time per day at the rate of4828
Arnold’s No. 82, on board the Chatham, fast of mean time at Greenwich, as above,8255359
And gaining on mean time per day at the rate of3525

The latitude, by twenty-one meridional altitudes of the sun, and three meridional altitudes of the stars, varying from 19° 27′ 27″ to 19° 28′ 27″; and differing 20″ from the mean result of the observations made in the month of March, 1793, shewed by the mean result of both years observations, the latitude to be 19° 28′ 2″.

Vide 3d Vol. Cook’s Voyage, Chap. I.

A Vide Cook’s last Voyage.


Quit Karakakooa—Visit Tyahtatooa and Toeaigh Bays—Some Description of the Anchorage at those Places—Examine the Northern Sides of Mowee, Woahoo, and Attowai—Observations on the Anchorage at Attowai and Onehow—Leave the Sandwich Islands.

Nothing now remained to detain us in Karakakooa bay, the memorable spot where Captain Cook unfortunately fell a sacrifice to his undaunted and enterprising spirit. Notwithstanding it had, in that melancholy instance, proved fatal to one of the most illustrious navigators that the world ever produced, yet to us it had proved an asylum, where the hospitable reception, and friendly treatment were such as could not have been surpassed by the most enlightened nation of the earth. The unremitted attention in the superior classes, to preserve good order, and insure the faithful discharge of every service undertaken by the subordinate description of the people, produced an uniform degree of respect in their deportment, a cheerful obedience to the commands they received, and a strict observance and conformity to fair and honest dealing in all their commercial intercourse. Excepting in the instances of the table knives, the centinel’s cartridge box, and a few others of little moment, occasioned, very probably, by our want of discretion in leaving irresistible temptations in their way, we had little to complain of; and such circumstances of this nature as did occur, ought only to be considered as reflections on the particular individuals concerned, and not as generally characteristic of the whole people.

All our friends were prepared to attend us; some were on board, and others were in their canoes, ready to follow the ship as soon as she got under sail. This was effected about three in the morning of Wednesday the 26th. Accompanied by the Chatham, we directed our course, with a light land breeze, close along the shore, toward Tyahtatooa bay; the morning was delightfully pleasant, and the surrounding objects, whilst they attracted our attention, excited also our admiration. The country which, as we passed, rose with a gradual ascent from the sea shore, seemed to be in a high state of cultivation, and was interspersed with a great number of extensive villages; whilst our numerous companions on the surface of a serene tranquil ocean, fanned by a gentle breeze, to which some spread their sails, and the rest kept up with us by leisurely paddling along, added considerable beauty to the interesting scene, and exhibited, by this numerous population, that wealth which the improved state of this part of the island so strongly indicated. About eight o’clock we anchored in Tyahtatooa bay, in 15 fathoms water, sand and rocky bottom.

According to Mr. Meares’s account of Mr. Douglas’s voyage, this place is represented as equal, if not superior, to Karakakooa, for secure anchorage; but to us it appeared in a very different point of view, as it is formed by a small bend only in the general direction of the coast, scarcely deserving the name of a bay. Its northernmost point from us bore by compass N. 69 W.; the village called Ane-oo-ooa, being the nearest shore, N. 30 E., about half a mile distant; and the point of Kowrowa S. 22 E. The station we had taken was as close to the land as we could with prudence lie, and the bottom, in all directions where we sounded, was a mixture of rocks and sand. A considerable swell rolled in from the westward, and by the beaten appearance of the rocks that chiefly composed the shore, this appeared to be in general the case; and for that reason not a very eligible resting place for shipping. It however possesses an advantage with respect to landing, superior to Karakakooa. This convenience is produced by the jutting out of two points; between these is a small cove, defended by some rocks lying before it, which break the violence of the surge, and render the communication with the shore very commodious. The landing is on a sandy beach, before a grove of cocoa-nut, bread fruit, and other trees, in the midst of which the village is situated. Towards the south part of this cove is a spring, which rose very rapidly from amongst some rocks that are generally covered with the sea water; but when this is low, which is sometimes the case, it is found to produce a stream of excellent fresh water; and there can be no doubt, by using proper means, that its current might be diverted, and made subservient to the domestic use of the neighbourhood, and to vessels refitting at Karakakooa, without their being under the necessity of submitting to the tardy process we were compelled to adopt; especially as the distance between the two places is only ten miles.

The southern base of mount Worroray forms these shores. This mountain, with Mowna Kaah, and Mowna Roa, form each a large mass of elevated land, of which the island chiefly consists, though mount Worroray is the smallest.

Accompanied by Tamaahmaah, some of the officers, and several of the chiefs, I visited the royal residence at this place; which consisted of three of the neatest constructed houses we had yet seen; but not having been constantly inhabited for some time past, they were not in good repair. This habitation of the king, like that at Karakakooa, was in the neighbourhood of a grand morai, close to the sea side. The morai was the most complete structure of the kind, and kept in the greatest order and repair, of any that had fallen under our observation. It was decorated with several statues, or idols, carved out of the trunks of large trees, and meant to imitate the human form; but they were the most gigantic and preposterous figures that can be imagined.

Having satisfied our curiosity, we returned on board to dinner, which was purposely ordered of beef and mutton, to give all the chiefs an idea of the value of the animals I had imported, as articles of food; our party was numerous, and they unanimously agreed that both were excellent. The beef, though salted, seemed to have the preference in their opinion; the mutton was by most considered to be very similar in its taste to the flesh of their dogs, which they very highly esteem. The general opinion was taken by vote on the superior excellence of mutton to dog’s flesh, and the preference was decided in favor of mutton, only by the casting voice of Tamaahmaah.

I was very anxious to quit this station, which is situated in latitude 19° 37½′, longitude 203° 54½′, lest the rocky bottom should damage our cables; but light breezes from the sea, succeeded by calms, prevented our moving until midnight, when, with a gentle breeze from the shore, we proceeded slowly along the coast to the northward.

In the forenoon of Thursday the 27th, we had a light breeze from the westward; with this we steered for the anchorage at Toeaigh, but a strong current setting to the south-westward, we approached it very slowly; the weather however was fair and pleasant, and the objects about us were cheerful and entertaining, notwithstanding the adjacent shores were uninteresting, being chiefly composed of volcanic matter, and producing only a few detached groves of cocoa-nut trees, with the appearance of little cultivation, and very few inhabitants. The deficiency of the population on shore was amply compensated by the number of our friends that accompanied us afloat in canoes of all descriptions; these still preserving the same orderly behaviour and cheerful good humour, our change of situation was scarcely perceivable, as the same sociability and friendly intercourse continued which had existed at Karakakooa.

As this evening was to be devoted to an appointed taboo that would continue until the morning of the 1st of March, the king and the rest of our friends went on shore for the purpose of attending their religious duties. The weather in the evening being squally, with variable winds and alternate calms, gave me reason to believe it very probable that we should not reach our destination before it was dark; on intimating this to Tamaahmaah, he promised to have a light placed in such a situation, as would conduct us to it with safety.

It was not however until near four the next morning, Friday the 28th, that we gained soundings, when we anchored in 30 fathoms water, sandy bottom. After it was day-light we removed to the best anchorage in this bay, whose north-west point bore by compass N. 36 W. and the morai, N. 68 E.; this is a conspicuous object, and a good leading mark to this anchorage; it is situated on a barren eminence to the southward of the village, and is to be kept in a line with a small saddle hill, on the eastern land descending from the higher parts, over the village of Toeaigh, on the north side of this spacious open bay. Its south point descending gradually from Worroray, and forming a low point, bore by compass S. 31 W.; within this point on the rising land are some elevated hummocks; the third of these, from the point forming a kind of saddle hill in a line with a low, projecting, black, rocky point, in the middle of the bay, bearing S. 22 W., is a further direction, and a cross mark for this anchorage; from whence the watering place lies S. 79 E., a mile and a half distant. The summit of Mowna Kaah also bore by compass S. 68 E.; Mowna Roa, S. 33 E.; and Worroray, S. 5 W. In this situation the depth of water was 25 fathoms, the bottom a stiff clay, and good holding ground; incommoded by the patch of rocky bottom, stated on our former visit to be at the depth of 10 fathoms only; but on a more minute search, this was now discovered to shoal suddenly, and the depth to decrease to 7, 4, and 3 fathoms, about the fourth of a mile to the south-westward of the station we had taken; and consequently to be a very great inconveniency to the roadstead, which at best, in my opinion, is but a very indifferent one; being intirely exposed to the north-west winds, and the western oceanic swell, which beats with great violence on the reefs that encompass the shores. These reefs stretch out a mile or upwards, leaving between them and the land a narrow channel, that affords comfortable and commodious landing for small boats and canoes; but the landing is at too great a distance from the place of anchorage to allow of protecting any debarkation from the ship.

The only circumstances that seem to render this a desirable stopping place, are the run of water, which however does not constantly flow; and the probability of procuring refreshments, from its contiguity to the fertile, and populous western part of the district of Koarra, and the plains of Whymea, lying behind the land that constitutes this part of the sea coast.

The country rises rather quickly from the sea side, and, so far as it could be seen on our approach, had no very promising aspect; it forms a kind of glacis, or inclined plane in front of the mountains, immediately behind which the plains of Whymea are stated to commence, which are reputed to be very rich and productive, occupying a space of several miles in extent, and winding at the foot of these three lofty mountains far into the country. In this valley is a great tract of luxuriant, natural pasture, whither all the cattle and sheep imported by me were to be driven, there to roam unrestrained, to “increase and multiply” far from the sight of strangers, and consequently less likely to tempt the inhabitants to violate the sacred promise they had made; the observance of which, for the time stipulated in their interdiction, cannot fail to render the extirpation of these animals a task not easily to be accomplished.

This day being devoted to their holy rites, the king, with all the provincial chiefs, remained in sacred retirement. The same cause operated to deprive us of the society of our other visitors, particularly the females, who are on no account permitted to be afloat on these occasions.

The next morning, Saturday, March the 1st, March 1794 the king, with all our friends, were again about the vessels. In the course of the day a further proof of the liberality of Tamaahmaah’s disposition was given, by his presenting us with near an hundred hogs of the largest size, and as great a quantity of vegetables as both vessels could well dispose of; with offers of a further supply if these were insufficient.

It was my intention to have sailed with the land wind in the evening, but Tamaahmaah pointing out that since Thursday his engagements on shore had totally deprived him of our society; first by his attendance on their religious ceremonies, and afterwards in procuring and sending us the supplies we required; and soliciting, at the same time, in the most earned manner, that the last day should be dedicated to the enjoyment of each other’s company, I was induced to remain the following day, to prove to him that there was no indulgence in my power, compatible with my duty, that I would not grant, in return for the friendship and regard he had on all occasions manifested towards us, and that in the most princely and unlimited manner.

The succeeding day, Sunday the 2d, was consequently passed in receiving farewell visits, and making farewell acknowledgments to our numerous friends; who all expressed the high satisfaction they had experienced during our residence amongst them, and the deep regret they felt at our departure from the island; after which they were seen to steal away gently and reluctantly from a scene that had afforded them many valuable acquirements, and so much pleasing entertainment. By sun-set nearly the whole group was dispersed in the several directions to which their inclinations or necessities led. The occurrences of this day did not pass over without producing some impressions on our sensibility, from the repeated ardent solicitations that we would come back to them again, and from the undisguised sincerity of the wishes and prayers that were offered up for our future happiness and prosperity.

As our departure was to take place with the first breeze from the land, Tamaahmaah and his queen, unwilling to take leave until the very last moment, remained on board until near midnight, when they departed, with hearts too full to express the sensations which the moment of separation produced in each; with them their honest and judicious counsellors Young and Davis returned to the shore. The good sense, moderation, and propriety of conduct in these men, daily increased their own respectability, and augmented the esteem and regard, not only of the king and all his friends, but even of those who were professedly adverse to the existing government, and who consequently were at first inimical to their interest.

As it was a great uncertainty whether we should or should not return again to these islands, I had given these two worthy characters their choice of taking their passage with me to their native country, or of remaining on the island in the same situation which they had so long filled with credit to themselves, and with so much satisfaction to the king and the rest of the principal people. After mature consideration, they preferred their present way of life, and were desirous of continuing at Owhyhee; observing, that being destitute of resources, on their return home, (which, however, they spoke of in a way that did honour to their hearts and understandings) they must be again exposed to the vicissitudes of a life of hard labour, for the purpose of merely acquiring a precarious supply of the most common necessaries of life; objects which, for some years past, had not occasioned them the least concern. Nor was it probable that they would be liable hereafter to any sort of inconvenience in those respects; for, besides the high reputation, and universal good opinion they had acquired amongst all classes of the inhabitants, they were now considered in the light of chiefs, and each of them possessed a considerable landed property. Here they lived happily, and in the greatest plenty; and, to their praise be it spoken, the principal object they seemed to have in view was, to correct, by gentle means, the vices, and encourage, by the most laudable endeavours, the virtues, of these islanders; in this meritorious undertaking they had evidently made some progress, and there are reasonable grounds to believe, that, by steadily pursuing the same line of conduct, it will in time have a due influence on the general character of these people. From us they received every attention that could serve to raise them in the estimation of the natives; and such an assortment of useful articles for promoting their comforts, as it was in our power to afford.

Our faithful ship-mate Terehooa, who, to the last moment, conducted himself with the greatest integrity and propriety, was also left very advantageously situated under the protection of the king and his old master Kahowmotoo, with a large assortment of useful implements, and ornamental articles; and being firmly attached to Young and Davis, to whom he could be very useful, and who had it in their power to serve him in return, his future prospects in life seemed to have been much improved by his excursions in the Discovery, of which he seemed very sensible, and which he gratefully acknowledged.

Thus concluded our transactions at Owhyhee, to which we bade adieu about three in the morning of Monday the 3d of March, very highly indebted for our reception, and the abundant refreshments we had procured. These essential comforts I should have entertained no doubt would, in future, have been administered to all visitors who should conduct themselves with common honesty and proper decorum, had we not left behind us a banditti of renegadoes, that had quitted different trading vessels in consequence of disputes with their respective commanders, who had resorted to this island since the preceding year, under American or Portuguese colours. Amongst them was one Portuguese, one Chinese, and one Genoese, but all the rest appeared to be the subjects of Great Britain, as seemed also the major part of the crew of the brig Washington, although they called themselves Americans. These latter persons, in the character of sailors, amounting to six or seven in number, had taken up their abode with different chiefs of some power and consequence, who esteemed these people as great acquisitions, from their knowledge of fire-arms; but as no one of them could produce any testimonials of their former good conduct, or even make out a plausible character for himself or his comrades, it is much to be apprehended they may be the means of creating intestine commotions, by inciting the jealousy, and furthering the ambitious views of the haughty chiefs, with whom they are resident. Their machinations to the prejudice of the existing government, however, will prove ineffectual, unless they should be able to elude the watchful attention of Young and Davis; who are both well aware of the danger they ought to be prepared to meet; and whose fidelity to Tamaahmaah, I had every reason to believe, was not of a nature to be shaken by the most flattering temptations.

That these apprehensions were well founded I could not entertain the least doubt; for soon after my arrival at Owhyhee, I received, by Young, a letter from Mr. William Brown, commanding the Butterworth of London, complaining heavily of a similar set of vagabonds, residing at Woahoo and at Attowai, who had, at the latter place, taken up arms in support of an inferior chief, against the authority of Taio and Titeeree, the sovereigns of that island; and had so far forgotten their allegiance, and the rules which humanity, justice, and common honesty prescribe, as to concert, with the natives of Attowai, a plan for the capturing of an American brig, called the Hancock. This was to have been effected by scuttling her under water, which would induce the crew to suppose she had sprung a very bad leak; when these renegadoes were to advise her being hauled on shore, for the purpose of saving from her as much as possible; and when in this situation she would be completely in the power, and at the disposal, of the natives. But, happily for those in the vessel, although she was near sinking, in consequence of a hole cut in her counter by some unknown hand, the rest of the diabolical scheme was detected before the contrivers had time or opportunity to carry it into execution, and by the exertions of the crew the vessel was saved.

Mr. Brown stated further, that by the bad advice, and far worse example, of these people, the natives of most of the leeward islands had arrived at such a degree of daring insolence, as rendered any communication with them from small vessels, or even anchoring near the shores, highly dangerous; and that he trusted it might be within the limits of my authority to take from these islands such improper and dangerous associates.

I represented in the strongest terms to Tamaahmaah all the bad consequences that were likely to result from those people remaining on Owhyhee; but no arguments could prevail upon him or the chiefs, to deliver them up. Their knowledge in the use and management of fire-arms, made their services of such importance, that it was evident nothing but compulsion would have any effect; and to have resorted to such a measure, in which I was by no means certain how far I should be justifiable, would necessarily have produced a breach, and destroyed that harmony which we had taken so much pains to establish, and care to preserve. In addition to which, these people were stated to possess landed property in the island, and to have conformed to the laws, both civil and religious. Nor had any specific charge been exhibited against the seven sailors living on Owhyhee, like that produced by Mr. Brown against those at Attowai and Woahoo.

With Kavaheeroo also resided a person by the name of Howell, who had come to Owhyhee in the capacity of a clerk on board the Washington; he appeared to possess a good understanding, with the advantages of an university education, and had been once a clergyman in England, but had now secluded himself from European society: so that with Young, Davis, and Boid, there were now eleven white men on the island; but, excepting from these latter, I much fear that our Owhyhean friends will have little reason to rejoice in any advantages they will receive from their new civilized companions.

To Young and Davis I delivered such testimonials of their good conduct as I considered them fully intitled to, for the purpose of securing to them the respect and confidence of future visitors, who would be warned by them of the snares and dangers they were liable to, from the evil-disposed, civilized or savage inhabitants of the country.

The land wind blew faintly, and our progress from Owhyhee was so slow, that an opportunity was offered to a few small canoes from the shores of Koarra to visit us as we passed; but we did not recognize any of the chiefs, or our former acquaintances. Towards noon the sea breeze reached us, with which we stood to windward, in order to pass to the north of the east point of Mowee; this engaged our time until afternoon on the following day, Tuesday the 4th, when we bore away along the north side of that island.

In this route we fell in with the south-east side of Mowee, near to the station where our survey had commenced the preceding year; and in beating round the western part of the island, which does not terminate in a projecting point, but forms a large rounding promontory, we very anxiously looked out for the harbour mentioned by Captain King, as reported by the natives to exist in that neighbourhood; but nothing was seen that could warrant such a representation, excepting two small open coves, situated on each side of the eastern extremity of the island; these, answering all the purposes of the inhabitants with their canoes, probably induced them to suppose that such accommodations were all we required. Off this eastern extremity, which, according to our observations, is situated in latitude 20° 44½′, longitude 203° 58′, and bearing by compass from the north-west point of Owhyhee, N. 7 W. at the distance of nine leagues, lies a small islet, with some rocks between it and the shore. To the north of this islet is a remarkably elevated hummock, rising almost perpendicularly from the sea, but gradually descending in a slope in land; it was covered with a pleasing verdure, and occupied by several houses, but destitute of trees or shrubs. The adjacent country, which was moderately elevated, presented a fertile appearance, and seemed to be thickly inhabited, as far back as the foot of those mountains that compose the eastern part of the island. As we passed this rounding promontory, some detached rocks were noticed lying about half a mile from the shore, along which we sailed at a distance from two to four miles, and found it a little indented, and chiefly composed of steep rugged cliffs.

The wind being light, enabled a few of the natives to visit us during the afternoon, but they had little with them to dispose of; in the evening they returned home, and at dark we hauled off the shore in order to preserve our station for continuing our survey. The next morning, Wednesday the 5th, we again stood in for the land, passing the deep bay that bounds the northern side of the isthmus, which connects the two lofty ranges of mountains that form the island of Mowee. A very heavy surf beat on the low sandy shores of the bay, from whence a few of the natives, as ill appointed for barter as the former, paid us a visit.

From these people we understood that Titeeree was at Woahoo, and that Taio was at Morotoi; but that Namahanna, who in the absence of Titeeree had been left in charge of the government, accompanied by three or four other chiefs and some inferior people, were unfortunately in a house that contained the major part of the gunpowder Titeeree possessed, when it took fire and blew up. By this accident Namahanna, with two other chiefs and some of the people, had been killed, and all the rest had been very badly wounded. This house appeared, by their account, to have been appropriated by Titeeree as a magazine; that the accident had happened only a few days before our arrival, and that some of the persons who had been hurt had since died of their wounds.

A fine breeze from the N. E. with clear and pleasant weather, brought us by noon up to the north-west point of Mowee. The observed latitude at this time was 21° 7′, longitude 203° 23′. The point bore by compass S. 8 W. distant four miles; off this lay an islet and some rocks, at a small distance from the shore, which is steep and cliffy. Having thus completed our intended survey of Mowee, we stood over, and brought to within about half a league of the north-east point of Morotoi, in the expectation of seeing Taio; for whom, as well as for Titeeree, I had reserved some sheep, for establishing the breed in each of the islands. Taio, we had understood, resided somewhere hereabouts, and some of the natives who came off to us repeated this intelligence, but added that the day being taboo poory, it was impossible we should receive a visit from him.

We continued nearly stationary for three hours in the hope of obtaining some vegetables, but none were to be procured; at five we made sail, and as the Chatham the preceding year had examined the north side of this island, our course was directed for the north-east side of Woahoo; which, at day-light the succeeding morning, Thursday the 6th, bore by compass from W. to S. 27 W. and Morotoi, from S. 32 E. to S. 45 E. We continued our survey from what we had formerly examined on the southern part of this side of the island, and shortly after noon we passed its north point; which, according to our observations, is in latitude 21° 42½′, longitude 202° 1′; the former being three miles further south, and the latter fourteen miles further west, than the situation of that point as laid down by Captain King; our present survey, however, corresponded with our former observations, as to the position of the south-east point of Woahoo; and made this side of the island four miles longer than Captain King’s delineation, and agreed better with our estimated distance between Woahoo and Attowai. In every other respect our examination confirmed the remarks of Captain King; excepting, that in point of cultivation or fertility, the country did not appear in so flourishing a state, nor to be so numerously inhabited, as he represented it to have been at that time, occasioned most probably by the constant hostilities that had existed since that period.

My intentions were to have stopped near the run of water off which the Resolution and Discovery had anchored, called by the natives Whymea, and rendered memorable by the fatal catastrophe that had awaited the commander and the astronomer of the Dædalus. Here I was in expectation of procuring an interview with Titeeree, who we had been informed was then in this neighbourhood; but learning from a few of the inhabitants, who visited us in a small, shabby, single canoe, that he was gone to Whyteete, and there being at this time a very heavy north-west swell that broke incessantly, and with great violence, on all the adjacent shores, to which, from their greatly exposed situation, they seemed very liable; and having also finished our survey, we quitted Woahoo, and directed our course towards the north-east part of Attowai, which at day-light in the morning of Friday the 7th, bore by compass from N. 84 W. to S. 40 W. As we approached its shores, the same influence was felt from a northerly current, as we had before experienced; but the wind being to the southward, it did not prevent our passing to the north of the island, which, at noon, bore by compass from S. 75 W. to S. 25 E.; and the north-east extremity of the island, extending from the forked hill mentioned on our last visit hither, S. 13 E., distant three miles and a half. In this situation the observed latitude was 22° 15′, longitude 200° 36′. Here we rejoined the American brig Washington, which had sailed with us from Karakakooa, but had directed her course to the southward of the islands, for Whyteete in Woahoo, where she had remained five days. Amongst other articles that Mr. Kendrick had procured whilst there, was eighty pounds weight of very fine bees wax, that had drifted by the sea on to the shores of that island, and had very recently been picked up by the natives; and I now understood that some pieces had also been procured from the natives of the other islands by Mr. Kendrick, who in a great measure confirmed the account contained in Mr. Brown’s letter to me, of the very improper conduct of the merchant seamen who had deserted, or otherwise quitted the vessels to which they had belonged, for the purpose of residing amongst these islanders. In this number were some whom we had formerly left at Attowai, but he now seemed to be determined that they should no longer remain on that island.

The wind during the afternoon was light and variable, consequently we made little progress. In the course of the day we procured a small supply of hogs, yams, and vegetables. At sun-set a small islet lying near the shore, and situated from the north-east point of the island N. 55 W., six miles and a half distant, bore by compass S. 33 W., about two miles from us, and the shores of the island, which are alternately cliffs and beaches, bore from S. 50 E. to S. 71 W.

The night was passed as usual in preserving our station, and in the morning of Saturday the 8th, we again stood in for the land; about eight o’clock we were off a small deep bay; its east point lies from the above islet west, distant four miles; this bay is nearly half a league wide, and about the same depth; but being exposed to the violence of the north-westerly winds, and the oceanic swell, is ineligible for shipping, and therefore we did not examine it further; but continued our route with a fine breeze from the N. E. at the distance of about two miles from the shore, passing some rocks and breakers, that extend a small distance from the west point of the bay; where the coast of Attowai assumes a very rugged and romantic appearance, rising suddenly to lofty abrupt cliffs, that jet out into a variety of steep, rugged rocky points, apparently destitute of both soil and verdure, but terminating nearly in uniform even summits, on which, as well as in the vallies or chasms that were formed between the points, were small patches of lively green that produced a very singular effect. This sort of coast continued to the north-west point of the island. As we approached this point, the regular trade wind being intercepted by these lofty shores, we were retarded by light variable breezes, and were frequently becalmed. At noon the observed latitude was 22° 12′, longitude 200° 10½′. The island of Onehow bore by compass from S. 34 W. to S. 44 W.; Oreehooa, S. 51 W.; and Attowai, from N. 78 E. to S. 9 E.; its north-west point being the nearest shore, S. 37 E., distant three miles. From this point the country assumed a very different aspect; it descended suddenly from the mountains, and terminated in a low sandy shore, somewhat diversified by eminences, and a few scattered habitations, but wearing a steril and desolate appearance.

In the afternoon we were favored with a gentle northerly breeze, which by sun-set brought us to the west point of the island, situated, according to our observations, in latitude 22° 4′, longitude 200° 10′; off which extends a reef of rocks, about half a mile from the shore.

Having now completed the survey of Attowai, we met the regular trade wind, with which we stood to windward for Whymea bay, in that island; where, at nine in the morning of Saturday the 9th, we anchored in 23 fathoms, soft bottom, and moored with a cable each way; the points of the bay bore by compass from N. 77 W. to S. 65 E.; the river S. 35 E., distant half a league. Here we again met the Washington; Mr. Kendrick, having beaten round the east end of the island, had arrived two days before us.

Our arrival was soon known, and we were early visited by many of our former friends and acquaintances. Amongst the number were the two young women I had brought from Nootka and settled here; during our late absence they had been treated with great kindness and civility, yet they were both very apprehensive that, on our finally quitting these seas, the attentive behaviour they had hitherto experienced would be discontinued. I however embraced the first opportunity of obtaining from all the principal chiefs the most solemn assurances of the contrary.

We found Enemo, who had now changed his name to Wakea, still alive, and though in a somewhat better state of health than when we last left him, he was yet in a most deplorably emaciated condition.

Since our late departure, Enemo had attempted to acquire the supreme authority in the government of these islands, independent of Titeeree and Taio. To effect this object he had been assisted by Mr. Kendrick’s people, and the rest of the European and American renegadoes; on whose support and knowledge in the use of fire-arms he had placed the greatest reliance, and had been induced to declare and consider his independency as certain. These proceedings soon reached the ear of Titeeree, who sent a chief and a party of men to inquire the cause of so sudden an alteration, and to know if it were countenanced by the chiefs and people of the island, amongst whom the regent had not been considered as very popular. But the intentions of these unfortunate people being supposed to be hostile to the interests or views of Enemo, they were met as they approached the shore, and, without any previous inquiry into the nature of their errand, were opposed by a small party of Enemo’s adherents conducted by the renegadoes, who, with their muskets drove them with great slaughter from the island, and pursued them in their flight until they left very few to relate the unfortunate issue of their embassy to Titeeree; and the untimely fate of those who had fallen, to their inquiring relations and friends. This melancholy event would not, most probably, have happened, had not these strangers advised and assisted in the perpetration of this diabolical and unprovoked barbarity; in extenuation of which they plead, that they were compelled to act this savage part in order to preserve the good opinion of, and keep themselves in favor with, the chief.

The Butterworth arriving at Woahoo shortly after the return of this unfortunate expedition, Titeeree solicited Mr. Brown to take him to Attowai for the purpose of effecting, in an amicable way, an accommodation with this rebellious chief. With this Mr. Brown complied, and after an explanatory interview on board his ship, all matters were compromised to the mutual satisfaction of both parties; and since that period the island has enjoyed tranquillity, though it still remained under the government of Enemo as regent.

But to return. We received an early visit from Enemo and Tamooerrie, accompanied only by a few chiefs, but by a great number of women, who were, for the most part, of some consequence, and attendants on his court. From the regent and prince I received a present of a few indifferent hogs, though, according to their assertions, they were some of the best on the island. The stock of these animals, they said, by the great demand from the trading vessels for them for some time past, had been much reduced; and judging from the small number that were brought for sale, we had no reason to discredit their information. A supply of vegetables was what we had principally depended upon procuring here, and in this expectation it appeared we were likely to be more successful; though the yams, by far the best species for sea store, were also very scarce.

During the afternoon the trade wind blew a very strong gale; it moderated for a few hours in the evening, but in the night was attended by heavy gusts from the N. N. E. A continuance of this weather, although it did not prevent, much retarded the natives, in their passage from the shore to the ships with the supplies we required, until the afternoon of the 11th; when it becoming more moderate, I paid my respects to the regent at his residence on shore, in consequence of an invitation to an evening amusement, which, from the description of it by the natives, was very different from those I had before attended.

Having been disappointed in seeing Titeeree or Taio, I took this opportunity of depositing with Enemo the breeding sheep I had intended for those chiefs; giving him to understand, that in proportion as they multiplied they were to be distributed amongst the other islands; and the produce of them were put under the same restrictions as I had exacted at Owhyhee; with all which, himself, and the chiefs then present, very seriously promised to comply.

On our arrival at the place of exhibition, we found the performers assembled, consisting of a numerous throng, chiefly of women, who were dressed in their various coloured clothes, disposed with a good effect. The entertainment consisted of three parts, and was performed by three different parties consisting of about two hundred women in each, who ranged themselves in five or six rows, not standing up, nor kneeling, but rather sitting upon their haunches. One man only advanced a few feet before the centre of the front row of the ladies, who seemed to be the hero of the piece, and, like a flugal man, gave tone and action to the entertainment. In this situation and posture they exhibited a variety of gestures, almost incredible for the human body so circumstanced to perform. The whole of this numerous group was in perfect unison of voice and action, that it were impossible, even to the bend of a finger, to have discerned the least variation. Their voices were melodious, and their actions were as innumerable as, by me, they are undescribable; they exhibited great ease and much elegance, and the whole was executed with a degree of correctness not easily to be imagined. This was particularly striking in one part, where the performance instantly changed from a loud full chorus, and vast agitation in the countenances and gestures of the actors, to the most profound silence and composure; and instead of continuing in their previous erect attitude, all fell down as it were lifeless, and in their fall buried themselves under their garments; conveying, in some measure, the idea of a boisterous ocean becoming suddenly tranquillized by an instant calm. The great diversity of their figured dresses on this occasion had a particularly good effect; the several other parts were conducted with the same correctness and uniformity, but were less easy to describe. There appeared to be much variety and little repetition, not only in the acting of the respective sets, but in the whole of the three parts; the performers in which, could not amount to less than six hundred persons. This hoorah was completely free from the disgusting obscenity exhibited in the former entertainments, which I have before had occasion to notice. It was conducted through every part with great life and vivacity; and was, without exception, the most pleasing amusement of the kind we had seen performed in the course of the voyage.

The spectators, who were as numerous as at Owhyhee, were in their best apparel, and all retired very peaceably after the close of the performance, about the setting of the sun.

All our friends seemed to be much gratified with the applause we had bestowed, and the satisfaction we expressed at the great skill, dexterity, and taste of the performers. This entertainment was stated to be in compliment to the pregnancy of one of the regent’s wives, and that it would frequently be repeated until she was brought to bed; which event was expected to take place in about three months.

In return for the amusement we had derived, we entertained the multitude after it was dark in our way, by a display of fire-works, which as usual were received with great surprize and admiration.

The weather being more settled, on the following day, Wednesday the 12th, we completed our water; and having procured a few hogs, with a tolerable supply of vegetables, our intended departure was made known to the regent prince and the rest of the chiefs; who, on receiving such presents as their services had demanded or the occasion required, all took their leave (excepting one or two who proposed to accompany us to Onehow) with every expression of the most friendly regard and attachment, and with repeated solicitations for our speedy return.

For the purpose of procuring a sea stock of yams, which we were given to understand by the natives might be readily obtained at Onehow, we quitted Attowai in the morning of the 13th, and directed our course to that island.

By our several visits to Attowai, we had found that the roadstead of Whymea was much confined in respect of safe anchorage; for although the Discovery’s cables had not been injured by a foul bottom, yet the Chatham, in March 1792, when anchored in 30 fathoms water at only a convenient distance to the north-west of the Discovery, on a bottom of soft mud, had both her cables much fretted and damaged by the rocks at the bottom; and not far to the eastward of our easternmost anchor was found also a patch of rocky bottom, in some places not deeper than four fathoms, though surrounded by a depth of from 30 to 40 fathoms.

Although a situation more convenient to the shore, in a less depth of water and with a muddy bottom, might have been taken within the Discovery’s station, and is to be found by keeping the steep banks of the river not shut in, but just a little open; yet, from the lurking patches of rocks that have been found near the same sort of bottom, it is evident that great caution should be observed to avoid those hidden dangers; which may serve to account for the cables of former vessels having been cut through, without resorting to an operation which appears to me incredible, and I believe impossible to have been effected.

It had been positively asserted, and I doubt not as positively believed, that the natives were capable of diving to the depth of 40 fathoms, and there cutting through a twelve or fourteen inch cable; they have not only been suspected and accused of accomplishing this task, but have been fired upon by some whose cables have been supposed to be thus injured; an act not to be justified by common humanity, or common sense. These people are however very expert swimmers, and almost as dexterous as fish in the water, but their efforts are chiefly confined to the surface, though some of them dive exceedingly well, yet they are not capable of descending to such a depth, or of remaining under water a sufficient time to cut through a cable.

One of the best divers of the country in Tamaahmaah’s estimation, I saw endeavour at Karakakooa to recover a caulking iron that had been dropped in 12 fathoms water; and in order to induce his utmost exertion, a great reward was offered to him if he succeeded; but after two unsuccessful attempts he was so tired and exhausted, that he was unable to make a third trial then, though he promised to renew his exertions the next day; the same reward was then again offered to him, but he could not be prevailed upon to make another effort, and the caulking iron remained at the bottom.

About two in the afternoon we anchored off the west side of Onehow, in 18 fathoms water, soft sandy bottom; the north-west point of the island bearing by compass N. 25 E., half a league distant; the nearest shore E. S. E., about a mile and a quarter; its west point S. 15 E.; Tahoorowa S. 43 W.; and the outer part of the reef that extends from the north-west point of Onehow, N. 8 E.

In the evening, Mr. Puget, whom I had directed to examine the north-west side of this island in the Chatham, joined us, and acquainted me that the Chatham was very crank.

We had now accomplished our survey of the Sandwich islands; and as our expectations were disappointed in the promised supply of yams, in the evening of Friday the 14th we took our leave of Onehow.

In the situation where we had anchored, our cables had not received any damage; but the Chatham, at anchor near us, hooked a rock under water, which engaged them some time, and was with difficulty cleared; after great danger of losing the anchor, as the cable was nearly chafed through by the rocks. It is here necessary to remark, that although this station has been the general rendezvous of the several vessels that have resorted hither, for the yams and other refreshments that Onehow once afforded, it is in all respects greatly inferior to the place of our anchorage on our former visit; the bottom here being at a greater depth, and very rocky, and the situation open, and exposed to all the violence of the north and north-west winds, and the swell of the ocean. The other situation is protected from this inconvenience, with the additional advantages of a less depth of water, and a clear bottom of good holding ground. It is not, however, quite so central for the inhabitants to bring the produce of the island to market; but this is of little importance, for when they have any to dispose of, the distance is not regarded by them.

At the anchorage we had just quitted, we left the Washington and an American ship called the Nancy; the latter had arrived only a short time before our departure; and as it was natural to suppose that she must have recently quitted the civilized world, her approach produced no small degree of anxiety in the hope of obtaining some European intelligence. But we were disappointed in these hopes, as those on board of her were as totally ignorant of transactions there as ourselves, having been absent from New York twenty-two months; during which time they had been principally engaged at Falkland’s islands and Staten land, in collecting seal skins and oil. Not being satisfied with their endeavours to the southward, they had repaired hither to procure provisions and refreshments, with the intention of proceeding afterwards to the coast of North-West America, in order to collect furs, which they understood were to be had there; but, according to their own account, they neither knew what were the proper commodities, nor were they possessed of any articles of traffic for obtaining such a cargo from the inhabitants of the several countries.

On sailing from Onehow, I appointed cape Douglas in Cook’s river our next place of rendezvous with the Chatham, in case of separation. There I purposed to re-commence our survey of the coast of North-West America; and from thence to trace its boundary eastward to cape Decision, the point which is stated to have terminated the pretended ancient Spanish discoveries.

Having ascertained satisfactorily that there was not any extensive navigation eastwardly, between the 30th and 56th degrees of north latitude, on this side of the American continent, I was led to believe, that if any such did exist, it would most probably be found communicating with Cook’s river, up which I entertained no doubt of penetrating to a very considerable distance; and should we not be able to complete our researches in the course of the present season, we should at any rate, by this mode, reduce the unexplored part of the coast within very narrow limits. And as the examination of Cook’s river appeared to me to be the most important, and I did not doubt would prove the most laborious part of our task in the ensuing campaign, I was willing not to lose any portion of the approaching season, but to avail ourselves of the whole of it, for the sake of insuring, as far as was within our powers, a certainty in the accomplishment of that object. For this purpose I wished to be in readiness to commence the pursuit the instant the spring was sufficiently advanced to render our endeavours practicable, and which was now likely to be the case by the time we should reach that distance.

It was not much out of our way to ascertain the situation of a small island, discovered in 1788 by the commander of the Prince of Wales, and by him called Bird island, in consequence of its being the resort of vast stocks of the feathered tribe; and also to examine the neighbouring parts of the ocean, where Captain Cook in his passage from Oonalashka to the Sandwich islands in the year 1778 saw a shag, and other indications of the vicinity of land. For these purposes, our course was first directed N. W. by N. in quest of Bird island, under an easy sail, in order to allow the Chatham to come up with us, which she did about midnight.

At day-light on Saturday the 15th we made all sail, and stood more to the westward, surrounded by an immense number and considerable variety of oceanic birds, consisting of the small black and white albatrosses, tropic, and men of war birds; with boobies, noddies, and petrels of different kinds. In the forenoon the wind at E. N. E. blew a fresh gale, and in consequence of some of the back-stays giving way, we were obliged to reduce our sail; and as we had but little cordage to replace such rigging, these defects became a consideration of a very unpleasant nature in this early part of our summer’s expedition.

At noon the latitude observed was 23° 14′, longitude 198° 42′; the former was 14′ further north than was shewn by our reckoning, and was nearly the same distance to the north of the latitude assigned to Bird island; but as we expected to find it further to the westward, though by some accounts we had now passed its meridian, our course was directed to the south-west, and by two in the afternoon it was seen bearing by compass W. S. W. about seven leagues distant. About six in the evening we reached, and passed along the southern side of, this very remarkable solitary island, or more properly speaking, single rock, rising out of this immense ocean. Its greatest extent, which was in a direction S. 74 W. and N. 74 E., did not exceed one mile; the uncouth form of its northern, eastern, and western extremities, against which the sea broke with great violence, presented a most awful appearance, rising perpendicularly from the ocean in lofty rugged cliffs, inaccessible but to its winged inhabitants; on its southern side the ascent is not so steep and abrupt; and near its western extremity is a small sandy beach, where in fine weather, and with a smooth sea, a landing might probably be effected. At this place there was the appearance of a little verdure, though it was destitute of tree or shrub; every other part was apparently without soil, and consisted only of the naked rock. Its whole circumference does not exceed a league, and it is situated in latitude 23° 6′, longitude 198° 8′. When this rock was first discovered in 1788, there were on board the Prince of Wales some of the natives of Attowai, who expressed great surprize that there should be land so near to their islands (it lying from Onehow N. 51 W. at the distance of 39 leagues only) and of which not only themselves, but all their countrymen were totally ignorant.

This intelligence was communicated on their return in the autumn of that year; and it excited in the active mind of Taio a strong desire to pay it a visit, to establish a colony there, and to annex it to his dominions; but on his being made thoroughly acquainted with its extent and sterility by the officers of that vessel, his project was abandoned. Those people however recognize it under the appellation of Modoo Mannoō, that is, Bird island; and from its great distance from all other land, and its proximity to their islands, it seems to claim some distant pretensions to be ranked in the group of the Sandwich islands, of which we now took leave, pursuant to the determination already stated.


Quit the Sandwich Islands—Part Company with the Chatham—Indications of Land—See Tscherikow Island—Pass Trinity Isles—Proceed along the Coast—Enter and proceed up Cook’s River.

Having bid farewell to the Sandwich islands on Saturday the 15th of March, our course was directed to the northward, with a fresh breeze from the N. E. by E.; but as the Chatham was some distance a-stern, the topsails were double reefed, and in the course of the evening the jib and staysails were taken in, under the idea that with such reduced sail the Chatham would soon overtake us; but as she did not make her appearance by ten at night, nor answer a false fire then burnt, the mainsail was hauled up, and we continued under the foresail and double reefed topsails only, in the hope of seeing our consort at day-light; but in this we were disappointed, and I was much at a loss to account for the cause that had produced our separation. It was a matter of extreme uncertainty what course would prove most likely to effect our meeting again, as it was not improbable that by the low sail we had carried during the night, she might have passed us unobserved, and was then a-head; this was as likely to have happened, as that some accident had occasioned her shortening sail, and that she was yet a-stern. The latter would probably have been announced by signal; under this impression we made the best of our way towards the coast of America, with the hope of rejoining our consort at the appointed rendezvous.

The trade wind between N. E., E. N. E. and east, blowing a moderate gale, with squally and sometimes rainy weather, attended us until Friday the 21st, when towards midnight, having then advanced to the 35° of latitude, and in longitude 196½°, it veered round by the east to the south, and on the next day, Saturday the 22d, it seemed to be fixed in the western quarter, accompanied with dark gloomy weather, and a very heavy sea from the north and N. W. which had been frequently the case since our leaving the islands.

But few of the black and white albatrosses, petrels, or others of the feathered tribe had attended us. In the evening the wind shifted to the N. N. E., where it continued with gloomy weather until Monday the 24th, when it fixed in the S. E., and blew a fresh gale with the same dark gloomy weather. A few intervals of sunshine enabled us on the following day, Tuesday the 25th, to ascertain the latitude to be 39° 3′, longitude 198° 46′; and the variation of the compass 19° 42′, eastwardly. This was an increase in the variation far beyond our expectations; but as these were the first observations we had been enabled to make for this purpose since our departure from the Sandwich islands, it is probable the increase had been gradual to this station. Our climate was also greatly changed, the thermometer during the last week having fallen from 76 to 50; but the barometer having been unfortunately broken, I had no means of ascertaining the other properties of the air. The southerly gale produced a smooth sea, and as towards night we approached the parallel where Captain Cook had noticed some indications of the vicinity of land, we stood to and fro under an easy sail until the morning of Wednesday the 26th, when with a strong gale from the westward we passed about 15 leagues to the north-westward of the Resolution’s track in the year 1778. Throughout the day the weather was clear, which enabled us to gain a distant view in all directions, but nothing was seen to intercept the horizon. The latitude at noon was 40° 45′, which was extremely well ascertained by good observations. The longitude 200° 17′ was deduced from altitudes of the sun, and from the chronometers both before and after mid-day, when the variation was found to be 15° 43′ eastwardly. Few oceanic birds visited us in this situation. Two pieces of drift wood were passed this day, one piece appeared to have been a great length of time in the water, as it swam very deep, and was nearly covered with barnacles; the other was much more buoyant, and had on it but few of those shell fish. These were the only pieces of drift wood, and the only indications of the vicinity of land, seen by us between the Sandwich islands and the American coast. I was, however, afterwards informed by Mr. Puget, that in his passing these regions between the 37th and 39th degrees of latitude, about four degrees to the westward of our track, he saw, besides petrels and other oceanic birds, puffins, and a bird of the diver kind; and that for a few hours, in the latitude of about 39°, the surface of the sea was remarkably smooth. Messrs. Portlock and Dixon also in their voyage, in two similar passages about the same latitude, and in longitude 206°, saw seals, puffins, and other indications, that induced them to think some undiscovered land was not far remote; but the weather being then, as it was also at the time of the Chatham’s passing, very foggy, this fact could not be ascertained. As such indications are by no means common in the North Pacific, they favor the conjecture that some land, though possibly of no very great extent, still remains unknown to Europeans in this neighbourhood.

With a fresh gale mostly from the western quarter, we proceeded rapidly to the north, and by the following Sunday, the 30th, reached the latitude of 50° 10′, longitude 205° 9′; the variation on the preceding afternoon was 16° 29′ eastwardly. The wind had been attended by a very heavy swell from the south-westward; the intervals of clear weather were of short duration, and in general it was very gloomy, with showers of rain succeeded by a fall of snow. The thermometer sunk to 35. In the course of the day some sea weed and some divers were observed; about the ship were also some albatrosses and sheer-waters. Our climate now began to assume a degree of severity that was new to us; on the next day, Monday the 31st, the mercury stood at the freezing point, and for the first time during the voyage the scuttle cask on deck was frozen.

After a few hours calm the wind settled in the April 1794 N. E., attended with frost and snow until Wednesday, the 2d of April, when in latitude 55° 43′, longitude 204° 3′, it veered to the N. W., and blew so strong a gale that in the evening we were reduced to close-reefed topsails. The frost, with much snow and sleet, cased our rigging in ice; the thermometer stood at 26°. In the forenoon of Thursday the 3d a shag passed the ship, flying to the eastward, and about three in the afternoon, high land almost intirely covered with snow was discerned, bearing by compass N. by E. By seven in the evening this was plainly discovered to be an island, extending by compass from N. 2 W. to N. 32 W., at the distance of thirteen miles, with some detached rocks lying off its western extremity. In this situation the depth of water was 75 fathoms, sand and shelly bottom.

Although I did not consider this island as altogether a new discovery, yet as its situation had not hitherto been well ascertained, and as during the last three days our observations had been but indifferent, I thought it proper to pass the night in standing backward and forward, in order to gain a nearer view of it, and in the hope that the following day would be more favorable to our wishes for this purpose.

With the wind at N. W. blowing a moderate breeze, the mercury at 27, and extremely cold, we made all sail for the land the next morning, Friday the 4th, but in consequence of our having been set by a very strong current to the S. W., we were so far distant, that it was near noon before we had passed its southern point. We were fortunate in gaining excellent observations, which at noon determined our situation to be in latitude 55° 48′, longitude 205° 16′; this shewed a considerable error in our reckoning since the first day of the month, the latitude being 22′ further north, and the longitude 72′ further east, than had appeared by the log. The depth of water at this time was 23 fathoms, fine black sandy bottom. The north-east point of the island bore by compass N. 55 W. distant about two leagues; its eastern extremity, which is a low rocky point, and was our nearest shore, S. 66 W. two miles; and its south point, S. 30 W. about two leagues distant. In the point of view in which we saw the south-west, southern, and eastern sides of this island, it appeared to form a somewhat irregular four-sided figure, about ten leagues in circuit; having from its western part, which is low and flat, and which had the appearance of being insular, a remarkably high, flat, square rock, lying in a direction S. 66 W., at the distance of two miles, between which and the island is a ledge of smaller rocks. The centre of the island appeared by our observations to be in latitude 55° 49′, longitude 205° 4′.

The season of the year greatly contributed to increase the dreary and inhospitable aspect of the country; in addition to which it seemed to be intirely destitute of trees or shrubs, or they were hidden beneath its winter garment of snow, which appeared to be very deep about its south-eastern parts, consisting of high steep cliffs; but on its western side, which was considerably lower, this appearance was not so general. About its shores were some small whales, the first we had noticed during this passage to the north. From the relative situation of this island to the continent, I was inclined to believe it to be that which Beering called Foggy island; but as Captain Cook gave that name to another island not far distant to the westward, I have in honour of Beering’s companion Tscherikow, whose labors in the arduous task of discovery do not appear to have been thus commemorated, called this island after him Tscherikow’s Island.

In our route from the Sandwich islands to this station it may be seen, that whenever the winds would permit, our course was directed far to the westward of the entrance into Cook’s river, as delineated by that able navigator. My reason for so doing, in the event of circumstances permitting, was to fall in with those parts which Captain Cook was prevented from seeing between Foggy cape and cape Trinity; as I much wished to ascertain whether that space was occupied by land, or whether it communicated with Smoky bay, as has been represented in some late publications, though in a manner not easily to be understood. The winds and weather had, however, been adverse to this design; and although the latter presented now a more favorable prospect, yet the wind, at N. W., blew in the very direction I wished to steer for that purpose. But as it was favorable for continuing along the exterior coast, and as we had already been greatly retarded in our general operations, by adverse winds and other untoward circumstances, I was induced to forego the object I had in view, lest similar inconvenience should continue to attend us, and cause delays that we could ill afford in the prosecution of our survey. These considerations induced me to make all sail, steering with the wind at N. N. W. during the afternoon to the N. E.; and having at six in the evening made our course good from noon, N. 65 E., 40 miles, Trinity island was seen bearing by compass from N. 5 E. to N. 15 W., and another island from W. ½ N. to W. by S. The latter I took to be that which is laid down in Captain Cook’s chart to the south-west of Trinity island. This land, although not noticed in Captain Cook’s journal, was seen and passed on its southern side by the Discovery in that voyage, which proves that the Resolution and Discovery could not have gone far to the north of Tscherikow’s island, which was obscured at that time by thick foggy weather.

After sun-set, the wind veered more to the westward, and enabled us to stand nearly for Trinity island, under our double-reefed topsails; and at midnight, having soundings at the depth of fifty fathoms, soft sandy bottom, we plied until day-light under an easy sail, with soundings from 70 to 82 fathoms, fine sandy bottom. At day-light in the morning of Saturday the 5th, we made sail, steering towards Trinity island, which bore by compass from N. 6 W. to N. W., the main land beyond it stretching to the N. N. E.

With a moderate breeze, between N. W. and W. S. W., we drew in with the land, and the weather being clear permitted us to notice three or four mountains of considerable height, on the main land, behind those that bounded the sea coast, all of which at first appeared to be covered with snow; but as we approached the shores, the lower parts of the coast were found in general to be free from snow, and considerably more so than Tscherikow island. The frost which, since the 31st of March, had been very severe, now gave way, and the thermometer rose to 35. At noon the eastern extreme of Trinity island bore by compass S. 36 W., distant 13 miles; its north-west point S. 42 W.; cape Trinity S. 77 W.; the land of Two-headed point from N. 39 W. to N. 24 W.; and the northernmost land in sight N. 13 E. The observed latitude 56° 40′, longitude 207° 7½′. In the course of the morning, the variation, by the surveying compass, was found to be 23° 30′ eastwardly.

As we passed Trinity island, it appeared to be divided into two islands, with several others of inferior size lying to the north, between them and the land about cape Trinity. The east point of the easternmost is, according to our observations, situated in latitude 56° 33½′, longitude 206° 47′; and Two-headed point, composing a small island that terminates to the north-east by a low flat rocky point, in latitude 56° 54½′, longitude 207° 5′. Captain Cook, in assigning the longitude to Trinity isles, which occupy an extent of about six leagues in an east and west direction, does not designate any particular part, but says they lie in latitude 56° 36′, longitude 205°. The longitude of the east point of Trinity island, agreeably to the observations made that voyage on board the Discovery, was 205° 53′; neither of which will be found to agree with the longitude on this occasion, which was deduced from exceedingly good observations, both before and after noon, and corrected by subsequent observations.

South-westward from Two-headed island the coast is low, and appears to be compact; but immediately to the northward of it the shores descend abruptly into the sea, appear to be much broken, and form an extensive sound, of which the flat rocky point may be considered as its south-west point of entrance; from this its north-east point, being low projecting land, lies N. 58 E. at the distance of three leagues. The several branches that appeared to flow into the sound, seemed to wind toward the base of a connected range of high snowy mountains, which no doubt gave boundaries to their extent.

As we proceeded gently across the entrance of this sound with a light southerly breeze, we were visited in the afternoon by two of its inhabitants, a young man and a girl, in a small skin canoe, who shewed that they had been acquainted with some European nation, by their having adopted our mode of salutation in bowing as they approached the ship, and by their coming on board without the least hesitation. We entertained no doubt of their having been so instructed by the Russians; and, if we understood them rightly, there were six persons of that nation then residing on shore in the sound. The man took his dinner without the least ceremony, drank brandy, and accepted such presents as were made him, but seemed to prefer snuff and silk handkerchiefs to every thing else. Whilst he remained on board, which was about an hour, I endeavoured to learn from him the name which the natives give to this part of the coast, but could not gain any satisfactory information. He clearly and distinctly counted the numerals in the languages of Oonalashka and Prince William’s sound, though these do not bear the least affinity to each other. From his general appearance, I was more inclined to believe him to be a Kamtschadale than a native of America or its adjacent islands. After their departure we were visited by a single Indian in a canoe, but he was not so familiar as the others; he paddled at a distance round the ship, and then returned to the shore. At seven in the evening we were becalmed within about two miles of the north-east point of the sound; when the depth of water was 24 fathoms, fine sandy bottom.

The weather continued fair, with faint variable winds, until midnight; at which time the wind fixed in the north-east quarter, and brought with it sleet and dissolving snow; thus the flattering prospect that had been presented, of a favorable passage to our destined station, was again obscured, and that we might not lose ground, we were obliged to ply against a heavy sea and a strong N. E. gale, which, on the forenoon of Sunday the 6th, reduced us to close-reefed topsails.

The gale between N. N. E. and east, varied a little in force and direction, and permitted us to gain some advantage. On the morning of Tuesday the 8th we were within about a league of the coast, which appeared to be much broken; cape Barnabas bore by compass S. 30 W.; the north point of a sound, of which the land adjoining to cape Barnabas forms its southern side, S. 57 W.; the north point of another apparent sound, S. 69 W.; a tract of land much lower than the coast in its vicinity, free from snow, and seemingly detached from the main land, from S. 80 W. to N. 29 W.; its nearest part W. N. W., about a league distant; a low projecting point, being the easternmost part of that which appeared to be the main land in sight, N. 16 E.; and an island, from N. 26 E. to N. 32 E. In this neighbourhood the land was more free from snow than that further to the south, occasioned most probably by the alteration in the temperature of the weather, as the mercury now stood at 40½, and gave us hopes that the severity of the winter season was at an end; this made me extremely anxious to reach our destined station, from whence the labours of the summer were to commence.

Our observations at noon shewed our situation to be in latitude 56° 58′, longitude corrected as before stated by subsequent observations, 208° 19′. The island then bore by compass N. 23 W.; and cape Barnabas appearing to lie in latitude 57° 10′, longitude 207° 45′, N. 81 W.

The two following days being for the most part calm, though what little wind there was continued from the N. E. with thick misty weather, prevented our seeing much of the land until the evening of Thursday the 10th, when we tacked about a league from the north-east point of the above island, which appeared to be about two leagues in circuit, and its centre to be situated in latitude 57° 24′, longitude 208° 20′. This island renders this part of the coast very remarkable, being the only distinguishable detached land of any magnitude north-eastward from Trinity isles. Its north-west part projects in a low point towards the main land, from whence also a low flat point extends towards the island, forming a passage about half a league wide, to all appearance free from interruption. This island is not noticed in Captain Cook’s chart or his journal, probably owing to the very foggy weather which prevailed when the Resolution was in its neighbourhood; it was however seen in that voyage from on board the Discovery, and then placed by me 5′ to the south of its situation deduced from the result of our present observations, which I have reason to believe are not liable to any material error. The wind having fixed in the N. W. brought us clear weather, but we were obliged to stand from the coast, the northernmost part of which distinctly seen was cape Greville, bearing by compass N. 50 W.; some rocks extending from the cape N. 42 W., and the above-mentioned island, S. 20 W.

With the approach of the following day, Friday the 11th, the westerly breeze increased, and we passed rapidly to the north, though too far from the land to ascertain any thing with precision between cape Greville and cape St. Hermogenes; had we been able to have steered for point Banks, and from thence across Smoky bay, some conclusion might have been drawn whether the land we had thus coasted along was composed of islands, or whether it was as Captain Cook had considered it, a part of the continent. I much regretted that I had it not in my power to become satisfied in this respect, as the season had now put on a very favorable appearance, which rendered it important that not a moment should be lost in prosecuting the examination of this extensive opening. At noon cape Greville, the southernmost part of the coast in sight, bore by compass S. 28 W., the island of St. Hermogenes, from S. 56 W. to S. 89 W.; the westernmost mountain seen over cape Douglas, N. 81 W.; and the barren isles N. 55 W. In this situation the observed latitude was 58° 14′, and the longitude deduced from very satisfactory observations both before and after noon, 209° 25½′. From this authority cape Greville appeared to be in latitude 57° 34½′, longitude 208° 26′; and the south extreme of the island St. Hermogenes, in latitude 58° 10½′, longitude 208° 56′. The variation in the afternoon was 21° 37′ eastwardly.

These positions of longitude vary materially from those assigned by Captain Cook; but as similar differences occurred afterwards in other instances, I shall for the present decline making any comments on this subject.

With the wind chiefly at west, by Saturday the 12th at noon we were fast approaching the coast to the eastward of cape Elizabeth, which then bore by compass N. 84 W.; the barren isles, from S. 55 W. to S. 34 W.; the northernmost part of the coast in sight, N. 26 E., and the nearest shore, N. 6 W., five or six miles distant; here we had soundings in 70 fathoms water, sandy bottom, and by an indifferent observation the latitude was 59°, longitude 209° 20′. The top of high water appeared to be at noon, as at that time no effect was felt from a tide; but immediately afterwards we were driven at a considerable rate to the eastward, until half past one, when, on a breeze springing up from that quarter, we steered for cape Elizabeth, and passed that promontory, and entered Cook’s river about half past five. The coast is composed of high land, before which lie three small islands and some rocks; the cape is itself the largest, and the most western of these islands, which appeared to afford a navigable channel between them and the main land, nearly in an east and west direction; though between the cape and the middle island some low lurking rocks were discerned, which had the appearance of being connected with a cluster of rocks above the surface of the sea, lying from the cape S. 50 E., at the distance of three or four miles. To the south-west of the middle island is another cluster of rocks, both above and beneath the surface of the water.

The thermometer now varied between 40 and 45; and the snow, excepting in the deep chasms of the rocks, was melted to a considerable height on the sides of the hills, which being well wooded, assumed a far more cheerful aspect than the country to the southward. Spring seemed to be making so rapid a progress here, that we had every reason to indulge the hope of being able to carry our researches into execution, without any interruption from the severity of the season.

As I had determined to commence our survey on the western side of the river, as far up that side as the wind now at N. N. E. would permit us to fetch, we proceeded in quest of some convenient station for the ship, from whence two boat parties might be dispatched, the one to examine the shores southward to cape Douglas, the other to precede the ship in our route up the river.

For the first time this season we noticed some flocks of wild geese, and could not avoid remarking, that they all flew to the southward, contrary to what might have been expected from the advanced state and mildness of the season; which, however, on Sunday morning the 13th, suffered a very material alteration, as the wind came to the N. E. and was attended by a sharp frost and a very heavy fall of snow. On leaving the eastern shore the depth of water gradually increased from 25 to 35 fathoms, fine sandy bottom in mid-channel, and then decreased again as we approached the western shore, which about six was indistinctly perceived through the falling snow; and being then in 20 fathoms water, we anchored until the weather should prove more favorable to our pursuit. In this situation we remained, without being able to discern the adjacent shores, until the forenoon of Monday the 14th, when the western horizon became clear, and shewed us cape Douglas bearing by compass S. 9 E.; mount St. Augustin, S. 9 W.; the northernmost land in sight N. 9 W.; and a low point, S. 31 W.; from whence the shores to the southward fell so far back to the westward, that we could only distinguish the summits of a range of lofty disjointed mountains intirely covered with snow, that seemed principally to occupy the space between that low point and cape Douglas, but at the same time gave the country an appearance in this point of view of being greatly divided by water. From thence to the northward, excepting a small open bay abreast of us with two rocks lying before its entrance, the shores appeared to be compact, and the surface of the country descending rather abruptly at first, admitted near the water side a narrow border of low land; this was covered with wood, which continued to grow some distance up the sides of the mountains, which were very lofty and rugged, and above the line where vegetation ceased were wrapped in perpetual snow.

Whilst we had a clear and distinct view of every thing in the western quarter, the opposite side of the horizon was totally obscured from our sight by a dark misty haze. We had, however, by intervals of clearer weather, been enabled to form some idea of our situation, and of the coast to the south-westward, which I now considered as lying behind us; the broken and insular appearance of which gave me reason to expect the examination of it would be a laborious task, notwithstanding that the range of mountains that bounded our horizon, in that direction, admitted of a strong presumption that the whole might be closely connected by land, not sufficiently elevated to be visible at our remote distance.

As I concluded the Chatham could not be far behind, if she had not already preceded us; and as I had particularly directed that the survey should commence at cape Douglas, I had little doubt, on our meeting, that any thing would be left unexamined in that quarter; but should it so happen, that any further inquiry might be deemed necessary, and that we should be obliged to return by the same route, the summer season in that case would be more advanced and more favorable to our researches in that region, which is exposed to all the influence of the oceanic winds and waves, and in the present inclement weather would be a very hazardous undertaking in our open boats, the only means by which, from experience, I was confident this object could now be accomplished. To avoid, therefore, as much as possible, any delay, or misapplication of time, I determined to proceed up the river, keeping close along its western shore, and forthwith to pursue our investigation to its navigable extent.

Agreeably to this determination, being favored with the flood tide, although not a very rapid one, we steered to the northward until about three in the afternoon; when, on meeting the reflux, we anchored about a league from the western shore, in 20 fathoms water, soft sandy bottom. The latitude, by double altitudes, was 60° 1½′. The frost still continued; the wind was moderate, though variable, attended with a very heavy fall of snow, and an unpleasant swell from the S. E. These combined circumstances detained us at anchor until the next day, Tuesday the 15th, in the afternoon, when we took the advantage of the latter, part of the flood tide, but advanced only a few miles before the ebb obliged us again to anchor in 25 fathoms water, soft bottom. Here the western shore was bounded by lofty rugged mountains, between the bases of which and the water side was a margin of low or moderately elevated woodland country. Two small openings were observed, the northernmost, being the largest, appeared to be a sound, winding towards the foot of the volcano, which, from its apparently close connection with the neighbouring mountains, probably gave the limits to its extent. These openings we left for the examination of Mr. Puget, not considering them sufficiently important to retard our progress, especially as the appearance of the atmosphere indicated a favorable change in the weather. The snow had ceased to fall, and, excepting some dark clouds between the N. N. E. and N. W. the sky and horizon were perfectly clear, and gave us, for the first time since Saturday night, a distant view of the southern parts of the eastern shore; the night, however, was attended with the severest frost we had yet experienced, the mercury fell to 23, and although the weather was clear and cheerful the next morning, Wednesday the 16th, yet the air was so excessively keen, that the sun’s rays had no effect on the thermometer. We weighed about ten in the forenoon, with the flood tide, and a light breeze from the N. W. and proceeded up the river; the mercury at noon had risen to 26°, the observed latitude 60° 11′, longitude 208° 23½′, and the variation in the forenoon was observed to be 23° 46′ easterly, which I considered as too little, notwithstanding that the observations were very carefully made. Our course was directed between the western shore and the low island near it mentioned by Captain Cook.

Shortly after noon we were visited by three of the natives, each in a small skin canoe, who without the least hesitation, made their canoes sail alongside, and came on board with evident marks of being acquainted with European manners, by their bowing very respectfully on coming upon deck. They made signs for snuff and tobacco, which, with some other trivial articles they solicited, they seemed to be highly gratified by receiving, and expressed a degree of modest concern that they had not any thing to offer in return. At dinner they did not make the least scruple of partaking of our repast, with such wine and liquors as were offered to them; though of these they drank very sparingly, seeming to be well aware of their powerful effect. The weather was calm on their arrival; but towards the evening a light breeze sprang up from the southward, and as they had but slightly secured their canoes, the probability of their breaking adrift was pointed out to them. On this they made signs to know if we were going up the river, and on their being answered by the same means in the affirmative, they easily gave us to understand that they wished to accompany us, and that their canoes should be taken on board, with which I had no objection to comply.

With a boat a-head, sounding the depth of water from 13 to 17 fathoms, we continued our course until six in the evening, when the influence of the returning tide being stronger than that of the wind, we anchored in 15 fathoms water, sandy bottom. In this situation the mountains seen over cape Douglas bore by compass S. 5 E. distant 35 leagues; mount St. Augustin S. 6 W; the north-east point of the most northern opening or sound, S. 20 W. distant 19 miles; the Volcano, S. 28 W.; a remarkably lofty mountain on the west shore, S. 85 W.; the north extreme of the low island, in a line with another high distant mountain, N. 4 E.; its nearest shore east, distant two miles; its south point S. 75 E. a league distant; beyond which the eastern shore was seen stretching to S. 41 E.; and the nearest part of the western shore N. 87 W. about four miles distant: this is a steep cliff moderately high; the shore on either side is a low flat beach, particularly to the northward, where the margin of low land is of a greater extent than we had noticed further to the southward, from the base of the mountains, which, so far as we were able to discern, are a connected and undivided barrier along the western side of the river. Our latitude at this anchorage was 60° 23½′, longitude 208° 33′. The night tide not serving our purpose, we waited the return of the flood on the following day, Thursday the 17th, but as that would not take place until about noon, I employed the morning by making an excursion to the island.

We landed with tolerable ease on the south point of what at high water forms a shallow bay, but at low tide is a flat of sand and mud, on which were lying innumerable large fragments of rock not attached to the spot on which they rested, but evidently brought and deposited there by the violence of the tide, or by some other powerful agency. The globular form which most of them had acquired, with the smoothness of their surface, indicated their having been much subjected to a rolling motion. The island was in most parts covered with small pine and alder trees, but the snow that was lying very deep on the ground confined our walk to the beach, on which were lodged some small drift wood, and many large pieces of ice that seemed to have been there left by the tides that had flowed much higher than those which at that time prevailed; from hence we were induced to suppose that the frost had broken up, and that the severity of the then weather was a second visitation of winter. In the snow we saw the tracks of some small animals, and on the beach we found some pieces of coal resembling the cannel coal. The ship proceeded at slack tide with a light breeze from the north-east, stood to windward, and having advanced about four miles from her last station in a direction N. N. E., I repaired on board.

The depth of water had now (about one o’clock) decreased to eight fathoms; in the expectation of finding a deeper channel we again stood towards the island; the soundings however soon decreased to six fathoms, and, immediately after, the ship grounded in 15 feet water; here she rested for a short time, then swung round, and again floated with a jerk, conveying the idea of her having rested on a round stone, similar to those found on the beach at the island. The depth soon increased, as we proceeded towards the island, to 15 fathoms, where we anchored to wait for the ebb tide, in order that we might return by the way we had come, as little advantage could be derived by persisting in a route so intricate and unpleasant. The shoal on which the ship had grounded is of some extent, it stretches to the northward, lies between six and seven miles from the main land, and is near a league from the west side of the island; where also a flat extends some distance into the river.

The object I had in view being now fully accomplished, in having ascertained that the western shore behind the island was compact, I determined to proceed immediately to the furthest extent of Captain Cook’s researches, and from thence to carry my examination into execution as circumstances should direct. For this purpose, about seven in the evening, the weather being nearly calm, we weighed, and committed ourselves to the influence of the ebb tide, a measure that in regions so unknown cannot be defended as being the most prudent; yet in services of this nature a very considerable degree of risk must frequently be encountered, or the accomplishment of particular objects would necessarily be prolonged to a very distant and indefinite period. The truth of this observation was very soon exhibited. By the time we had passed about a league in a direction S. 38 W. from the anchorage that we had quitted in the forenoon, we again suddenly found ourselves in a very shallow water, and were under apprehensions of being aground every instant, which, with the falling tide, must have been attended with very unpleasant, if not serious, consequences. Whilst in this irksome state, and at the moment when our depth had decreased to three fathoms, a light breeze of wind providentially sprang up, which rendered the ship manageable, and permitted us to steer to the eastward; our depth then soon increased to 7, and afterwards gradually to 30 fathoms. Having kept a south-westerly course until midnight, and at that time reaching no bottom with 40 fathoms of line, I concluded we were far to the southward of the shoal laid down in Captain Cook’s chart, as extending from the south point of the island.

For the purpose of taking the advantage of the flood tide, to assist our progress up the river, although we considered the shoal to lie far to the north of us, yet that we might run no risk we hauled gradually to the south and S. S. E., in order to pass it at some distance; this precaution, however, availed us little, for we had not advanced far before the depth of water was again under nine fathoms; and instantly decreasing to four, the ship struck with some degree of violence, occasioned by a very heavy swell from the ocean, that for some days past had been attendant on the flood tide. About one o’clock, having a fine commanding breeze from the N. E., we steered to the westward and S. W., but to no purpose, the tide having more influence on the body of the ship than the wind on her sails; in this very unpleasant predicament we remained nearly stationary for about an hour and an half, the ship frequently striking, and sometime so heavily as to occasion constant apprehension lest the masts should come by the board, or some worse accident befall us. Every effort to get to the westward of the shoal proving ineffectual, we had no other alternative than to cross it if possible, by pursuing an opposite line of direction; this attempt however seemed to be full of danger, as its shallowest part appeared by the breakers to be at its eastern extremity, which had induced me to persevere so long in my endeavours to get to the westward. The attempt was made, and was happily crowned with a success far beyond my most sanguine expectations. After having got the ship’s head to the eastward she struck but once more (though that was the most violent and alarming shock we had sustained) in crossing the shoal; the water soon after deepened to 10 and 15 fathoms, and we had the further satisfaction of finding that the ship made no water, nor were we able to perceive that she had in any other respect received the least damage.

We arrived in deep water just as the dawning of day enabled us to procure some angles, which shewed that we had passed the shoal about a league to the south-west of the south point of the island, and (by the appearance of the broken water in our passage) nearly over its middle, as it seemed to extend full a league further in that direction. From the great variety in the soundings in passing over it, it should appear to be very uneven, as in several instances, when the ship struck violently, or when she rested on the ground, the depth by the lead line was frequently near four fathoms, and the rise and fall of the waves was by no means equal to this difference. It is not improbable that this shoal might have arrested some fragments of rocks similar to those before mentioned; and if so, it was infinitely more dangerous to contend with than a mere spit of sand, and renders our preservation a most providential event.

We continued to take advantage of the flood tide, and stood to windward until about seven the next morning, Friday the 18th, when on the ebb making, we anchored off the eastern side of the island, in 14 fathoms water, stony bottom, about a league from its shore; along which extends a continuation of the shoal about two miles from the island.

I should be wanting in justice to our Indian passengers, were I to omit stating their docility and respectful behaviour whilst they were on board; as also the anxiety they expressed for our safety, lest the vessel whilst striking should break to pieces; and the real satisfaction and happiness they exhibited on being given to understand that we were again in perfect security.

The weather now, though extremely cold, (the mercury standing at 25) was very cheerful, and afforded us an excellent view of the surrounding region, composed, at a little distance from the river, of stupendous mountains, whose rugged and romantic forms, clothed in a perpetual sheet of ice and snow, presented a prospect, though magnificently grand, yet dreary, cold, and inhospitable. In the midst of these appeared the volcano near the summit of which, from two distinct craters on its south-eastern side, were emitted large columns of whitish smoke; unless, as was supposed by some on board, it was vapour arising from hot springs in that neighbourhood; but how far this conjecture was consistent with the severity of the climate at the top of that lofty mountain, is not within the limits of my judgment to determine.

About ten in the forenoon, we were surprized by a much earlier return of the flood tide than we had expected, with which, and a light variable breeze, we directed our course to the northward. In the afternoon the wind blew a steady breeze from the N. N. W., which enabled us to reach the narrows by seven in the evening. On the return of the ebb we became again stationary in 17 fathoms water. Here the shores of the river were comparatively low, or only moderately elevated, jutting out into three remarkable steep cliffy points. These I distinguished by the names of the West, North, and East Forelands; the two former are on the western, and the latter on the eastern, shore; which, from the station we had taken, bore by compass as follow: the west Foreland, forming the south-west point of the narrows, S. 28 W., about four miles distant; the north Foreland N. 4 E.; and the east Foreland, forming the north-east point of the narrows, N. 76 E.

Here we were visited by two of the natives. In a small skin canoe, who understanding what reception their countrymen had met with, solicited the same indulgence; their canoe was accordingly taken in, and they were permitted to remain on board. One of these, whose name was Sal-tart, possessing some apparent superiority over the rest, presented me with some martin skins, and received in return some iron, beads, a few other trinkets, and a small quantity of snuff and tobacco, all of which he seemed to value very highly. These people appeared to be acquainted with the Russians, of whose language they seemed to speak several words; but our very confined knowledge of that, as well as our total ignorance of their native tongue, prevented our acquiring the information which, from the intelligent appearance of these very civil and well-behaved strangers, we might otherwise have been enabled to obtain.

The ebb tide ran at the rate of five miles per hour; and at half past one on Saturday morning the 19th, the flood returned with equal rapidity; and having by three o’clock increased with a velocity that the best bower cable was unequal to resist, it broke, and the buoy sinking by the strength of the current, the anchor and cable were irrecoverably lost. This was an accident that gave me very serious concern, since our stock of these important stores was already very much reduced. As it was now becoming day-light we proceeded up the river, with the flood tide and a light variable breeze in the northern quarter, attended with very severe weather; the mercury being at 18. We kept near the western shore to avoid being entangled with the shoal on which the Resolution had grounded, and by that means lost much of the influence of the flood; so that on the ebb making about seven o’clock, we had not advanced more than two leagues. Here we again anchored in 13 fathoms water; the west Foreland by compass bearing S. 14 E., distant nine miles; the north Foreland N. 35 E. the east Foreland S. 61 E.; and the volcano S. 12 W. The observed latitude was 60° 51′, but we were not able to procure any observations for the variation.

Our Indian friends, who we had imagined were on their return from an excursion down the river at the time we met with them, now gave us to understand that their habitations were in this neighbourhood, on the western shore, and desired to take their leave; they departed, shewing a very high sense of gratitude for the kindness and attention with which they had been treated. Whilst on board they had behaved with a degree of modesty and decorum rarely found amongst men in a far more civilized state; and notwithstanding they had been constantly exposed to temptations, by articles lying in their way which were of the most valuable nature in their estimation, not the most trifling thing was missed, nor did their honesty in any respect suffer the least impeachment. They reposed the utmost confidence in our integrity, and considered themselves as much at home in our society, as if we had long been their most intimate friends. In short, if the conduct they exhibited during the time they passed with us, is to be received as their general national character, it indicates them to be a people unactuated by ambition, jealousy, or avarice; the passions which so strongly operate on the human species, to produce a constant dread and variance with each other, and stimulate to acts of oppression, violence and rapacity, as well on their nearest neighbours as the most distant strangers.

At low tide the shoal we purposed to avoid was seen from the mast-head to the north-eastward, between which and the western shore, on the return of the flood tide, about two o’clock our route was directed, with a fresh breeze from the N. N. W. which obliged us to ply, keeping nearer the shore than the shoal. The soundings from mid-channel towards the shoal were twenty fathoms and upwards, but towards the land the depth regularly decreased to 13 and 10 fathoms. The gale reduced us to double-reefed topsails and foresail, and was accompanied by so severe a frost, that the spray became instantly frozen and fell on the decks like sleet, or small particles of snow, and the water that was brought up with the lead line, although in constant motion, cased it intirely with ice. On meeting the ebb tide in the evening, we anchored in 15 fathoms water, about two leagues to the north-eastward of the north Foreland, and about a league from the western shore. During the night a quantity of loose ice passed the ship, and in the morning of Sunday the 20th the wind blew a gentle breeze from the N. W., with intensely cold weather, the mercury standing at 7½. Having both wind and tide in our favor, about three o’clock we proceeded towards the northern or main branch of the river, but were soon alarmed by the appearance of a dry shoal in the direction of our course. This appearance was very unexpected, as we were then nearly pursuing the former track of the Resolution and Discovery, which could scarcely have passed such a shoal unnoticed. Many large lumps, like rocks of considerable size, were lying upon it, which at length induced me to believe, that what we had taken for a shoal would be found to be only a body of dirty ice. We had however contended sufficiently with dangers of this sort, and having understood that a Spanish officer had found the navigation of this extensive river intirely closed by shoals and sand banks, extending from side to side some leagues lower down than where Captain Cook had anchored, I did not think it prudent to proceed until some examination should have taken place; especially as some of the crew were already frost-bitten, and in the event of our getting aground, the carrying out anchors, and other duties consequent upon such an accident, might expose others to the like inconvenience. For these reasons we again anchored, and after the sun had shone about three hours, I dispatched Mr. Whidbey in the cutter to ascertain the matter in doubt. About ten in the forenoon he returned, having gone several miles beyond where the shoal was supposed to have been seen, without meeting less than from 14 to 17 fathoms water. The appearance that had been mistaken for a shoal proved to be floating ice, which had been carried rapidly from the ship with the strength of the tide, and then disappeared, giving it, in the gray of the morning, the semblance of a shoal overflowed by the flood tide; this was manifested by the return of the next ebb, when, about noon, our horizon was encompassed in most directions with floating ice, of various shapes, magnitudes, and colours.

The weather was calm and serene, though intensely cold, and the ebb tide obliging us to remain stationary, afforded a good opportunity for making such observations as were become requisite; by these the latitude was found to be 61° 10′, longitude 210°; and the variation in six sets of azimuths, by two compasses, shewed the mean result to be 29° 48′ easterly, differing very materially from our last observations, notwithstanding that the two stations were not 30 leagues apart; the latter, however, I considered to be the most correct. In this situation the north Foreland bore by compass S. 28 W.; the nearest shore S. 74 W. about a league off; the island lying before the river Turnagain, N. 55 E.; the entrance of that river, N. 70 E.; point Possession, N. 87 E.; and the volcano, S. 15 W. distant 32 leagues. Favored with the flood tide, and a southerly breeze, about three o’clock we resumed our course as before mentioned, and had soundings from 13 to 17 fathoms until seven in the evening, when we suddenly came into six and four fathoms; but on hauling a little to the south the water again deepened to six fathoms, in which we anchored. The west point of entrance into the northern branch of the river, by compass bore N. 48 E. five leagues distant; its east point, N. 55 E.; Turnagain island, from N. 63 E. to east, and point Possession, S. 35 E. distant ten miles. Four large pieces of ice were aground to the north of us; and as we were about four miles to the north of Captain Cook’s track, and a league to the south of the shoal laid down by him as extending from the northern shore, I considered the shoal we had anchored near to have been one that had escaped his notice.

The wind blew a strong gale in the night from the N. N. W. the weather was intensely cold, attended with a heavy fall of very small hard frozen snow, that prevented our seeing very far about us until the afternoon of Monday the 21st, when the weather clearing up about the time of low water, our situation was discovered to be about a quarter of a mile from an extensive dry shoal, bearing by compass from S. 74 W. to N. 54 E.; evidently connected with, and lying along the northern shore of, the river, which was at the distance of about five miles, and had the appearance, by the direction it took, of joining on to the west point of its northern branch. This left no doubt of its being the same shoal as that delineated in Captain Cook’s chart, although by our observations both the shoal and its adjoining shore seem to lie some miles further to the south than is there represented.

The weather continuing to be fair, and having a commanding breeze from the N. N. W. we proceeded to the north-east along the edge of the shoal in soundings from 13 to 19 fathoms water, until about four o’clock, when the depth again decreased to six fathoms and a half. We stood towards Turnagain island, but not finding a deeper channel, we anchored, in order to examine the passage before we should proceed further. On this service Mr. Whidbey was dispatched at day-light the next morning, Tuesday the 22d, with two boats, and he returned about noon, having found in the channel a depth of water from seven to seventeen fathoms, the deepest water being on the island side.

At four in the afternoon we weighed anchor, with the flood and a light westerly breeze; but our sails had not sufficient influence to act against the strength of the tide, which, in spite of every endeavour to the contrary, pressed us toward the shoals, forming the northern side of the channel; here the ship grounded for a short space of time, and again floated without occasioning us the least trouble; the wind from the westward becoming at this juncture somewhat more powerful, we hauled across the channel into seven fathoms water, where we again anchored, having now advanced as far as the passage had been examined.

A favorable change had this day taken place in our climate; the mercury in the thermometer had risen to 30, the weather was serene, the air comparatively mild, and we again flattered ourselves that a more temperate season was at length approaching.

The next morning, Wednesday the 23d, we discovered on the surface of the water innumerable large pieces of floating ice, which were drifted by the rapidity of the tide with great violence against the ship’s bows, but fortunately they were not of sufficient magnitude to do us any injury. They however prevented the boats being hoisted out until eight o’clock, when Mr. Whidbey again proceeded in quest of a convenient station for the ship, within the entrance of the northern branch; this service engaged him until two in the afternoon, when he returned, and reported that from the ship’s anchorage the depth of water had gradually increased to 10 and 15 fathoms, until he had reached the points of entrance, between which he had found 20 fathoms, and within them from 26 to 10 fathoms, but this depth was by no means regular. He had then directed his researches some distance further up the branch than the boats from the Resolution and the Discovery had penetrated in the year 1778, and found all the shores round to the northward composed of compact low land; and unless the branch took a very sharp turn to the east or S. E. it had every appearance of terminating not many miles beyond the extent of his examination, in a spacious bason or harbour.

This account disappointed my expectations, as it was not easily reconcileable with the idea we had formed of the interior distance to which we should be led by the waters of this extensive opening. The presumption that our progress would speedily be stopped, became by this information very strong; but as that point remained yet to be proved, I was determined to persevere in my former intention, and weighing with the flood about five in the evening, we steered for the bason or harbour described by Mr. Whidbey; and which, although by his account capable of affording us protection and shelter against the winds or the sea, did not promise any very agreeable communication with the shore. Our progress was uninterrupted, and having about nine at night reached the limits of Mr. Whidbey’s examination, we anchored near the eastern side of the harbour, in seven fathoms water, black sandy bottom.

The weather was fair the next morning, Thursday the 24th, and at low tide a dry shoal was seen stretching from a high cliffy point to the northward on the eastern shore, where the river took an eastwardly direction. This shoal seemed to be connected with the cliffy point, and to be some feet above water, forming as it were a ridge that extended towards the north-west or opposite shore, and was apparently united to that side also; at any rate, it was evident that if a channel did exist it could only be a very narrow one, and our curiosity became greatly excited by the appearances before us. For our satisfaction in this particular, and for the purpose of finding a more convenient station for the ship, and a supply of fresh water, I made an excursion after breakfast, accompanied by some of the officers.

We had not long quitted the ship, before we found a stream of excellent water on the eastern shore, which, with little labour in clearing away the ice, could be very conveniently obtained. Our attention was now principally directed to a bay or cove, that seemed to be situated to the southward of the cliffy point before mentioned, where I entertained hopes of finding a commodious resting place for the ship, free from the inconvenience of the drifting ice, which seemed likely to occasion us much annoyance. On reaching the south point of this bay, we observed near the edge of the steep cliffs that form it, some houses; these we visited, but found them scarcely more than the skeletons of habitations, that had apparently been some time deserted. The large ones were four in number, of a different shape and construction to any of the houses of the North-West American Indians we had yet seen. One of these was twenty-four feet long, and about fourteen feet wide, built with upright and cross spars, had been covered in with the bark of the birch tree, and when in good repair must have been a very tolerably comfortable dwelling. Their shape resembled that of a barn, the sides perpendicular about nine feet high, and the top of the roof about four feet higher, which inclined uniformly from the sides until it met in the middle. Beside these there were two or three smaller tenements or hovels half under ground, and built more after the prevailing fashion of the native inhabitants of these regions. This circumstance, in addition to the spars of which the larger houses were formed, having all been cut down by axes, and evidently by persons accustomed to such tools, induced us to suppose that this village had been the residence of a party of Russians, or some other European visitors, not only from the construction of the larger houses, but from the circumstance of these Indians not having yet been induced to make the least use of the axe, but universally preferring and using iron tools in the form of the knife or chisel.

From hence we proceeded to the examination of the bay. On sounding from point to point, the deepest water was not found to exceed from four to five fathoms, and this nearly at the top of the flood. And as the rise and fall of the tide according to our mensuration was not less than four fathoms, this part of the bay must necessarily be nearly dry at low water. After passing to the north of the high cliffy point to which at low tide the shoal had appeared to be united, we had for the space of a quarter of a mile nine and ten fathoms water, but on steering over towards the opposite or north-west shore the depth instantly decreased to four and three fathoms, and by keeping as nearly as we could judge on the shoal ridge seen from the ship, the depth was found to be from twenty to fourteen feet water, until within a little distance of the north-west side, when we had a few casts of seven and a half fathoms. At this time it was the top of high water neap tides.

Being unprovided for a more comprehensive survey, we left for future examination the width of these small spaces of deep water; as likewise the ascertaining whether this shoal constituted only a bar, and whether the extensive sheet of water to the E. N. E. became again navigable for shipping, and stretched to any remote distance in that direction. The general appearance of the country indicated the contrary, as the shores, in every direction in which we had seen them, had uniformly appeared to descend gradually, from the mountains to their termination at the water side, in low flat land, apparently firm and compact; should these waters therefore penetrate beyond the limits of our view, their course must have been between interlocking points at no great distance from each other.

Our curiosity so far satisfied, we returned to the ship; not very well able to reconcile with each other the several circumstances that had thus fallen under our observation; namely, the rapidity and regularity of the tide forming equal intervals of flood and ebb, both of equal strength, and setting at the rate of three miles an hour; with the water, even at dead low tide, little, if at all, fresher than that of the ocean, although at the distance of near 70 leagues from the sea. These several circumstances could not be considered, notwithstanding the appearance of the shores, as indications of an early termination of this extensive opening on the coast.

The watering place to which I intended to resort lying to the south of our anchorage, we weighed with the latter part of the ebb, in order to place the ship as conveniently to it as the shores would admit; but in attempting this, the ship ran aground on a shoal that had escaped our observation, lying between our last anchorage and the shore. An anchor was immediately carried out, and on the return of the flood the vessel was hove off, without having received any apparent injury.

The next morning, Friday the 25th, Mr. Swaine was sent with a party to clear away the ice before the run of water, and prepare a convenient spot for the reception of the casks; whilst another boat was employed in search of the most convenient anchorage for the ship. This being found about a mile to the southward of the run of water, we proceeded in the evening, took our station there, and moored with a cable each way in five fathoms depth at low water, soft bottom, composed of small loose stones, and fine black sand.


Dangerous Situation of the Ship in Consequence of Ice—Examination of the upper Part of Cook’s River—Its final Termination proving it to be only an extensive Arm of the Sea, it obtains the Name of Cook’s Inlet—Joined by the Chatham—Mr. Puget’s Narrative during the Separation of the two Vessels—Visited by Russians—Quit Cook’s Inlet—Astronomical and nautical Observations.

Having taken a station as conveniently to the shore as circumstances would permit, on the morning of Saturday the 26th, we sat ourselves earnestly about the several necessary duties we had to perform, amongst which was the procuring of wood and water from the shore. This service was greatly interrupted by the floating ice, which by the rapidity of the tides was rendered very dangerous to our boats, the utmost caution being required to prevent their being crushed, not only when they were along the side of the ship, but in their communication with the land, by the ice which was in motion, and by that lodged on the shore; against which the more buoyant masses, though of considerable size, were driven with great violence and dashed to pieces. Some anxiety was likewise felt for the safety of our cables, though every precaution in our power was taken for their protection.

In the afternoon we were visited by twenty-three of the natives in a large skin canoe. These people were destitute of any weapons, and were conducted by a young chief, named Chatidooltz, who seemed to possess great authority, and to be treated with much respect by every individual of the party; whose humble demeanor manifested the inferiority of them all, excepting one named Kanistooch, who appeared to be somewhat younger than the chief, and to whom also the rest shewed much attention. This man attended the chief on all occasions, and was the only one who was permitted to sit on the same seat with him, the others squatting themselves down on the deck. At first half a dozen only were admitted on board, but towards the evening the chief earnestly solicited that they might all be allowed to enter the ship, and that their canoe might be taken on board. Apprehensive that some pilfering acts might be committed, I made the chief acquainted with my suspicions, and the consequent objection I had to their sleeping on board. This, though we were totally unacquainted with each others language, was communicated by signs too expressive of our meanings to be mistaken, as were the assurances of the chief that I might rely on their honesty; at the same time expressing much apprehension for the safety of his people and their canoe, who were in a dangerous predicament, from the large masses of ice that were now passing the ship. These arguments, together with the extremely good behaviour of those few of their countrymen who had visited us, not many leagues from our then station, induced me to comply with the earned desire of Chatidooltz, and on their coming on board each presented me with one or two martin skins. They seemed to be highly gratified with the indulgence granted them, scrupulously exact in every particular, and behaved with a degree of modesty and caution lest they should give offence, that was beyond example, and extremely engaging.

Some of our gentlemen in quest of game on shore, had fallen in with a family of about 18 Indians, from whom they received the kindest attention and civility; and they had in return invited four or five of them on board, which invitation they readily accepted. The latter party were evidently of a different tribe or society from those with Chatidooltz; but they nevertheless were upon amicable and friendly terms, and passed a most cheerful evening together, and seemingly much to their mutual satisfaction. After eating a hearty supper of salt meat and biscuit, they rested very quietly until the next morning, when each of the party received from me presents of snuff and tobacco, ear shells, iron chisels, beads, hawk’s bells, buttons and needles, all of which seemed to be highly valued, and were accepted with expressions of the most grateful acknowledgment.

On Sunday the 27th, as the drift ice did not seem to be in such abundance as on the preceding day, the chief and his party took their leave, and evinced their approbation of the treatment they had received by singing as they paddled round the ship; on which occasion Chatidooltz, being the only one standing up in the canoe, performed many antic tricks that were very ludicrous. The behaviour of these people whilst on board was perfectly correspondent with the assurances given by their chief, and was in every respect, not only free from the least censure, but deserving the highest commendation. They were permitted without any restraint to go where they pleased, and to satisfy their curiosity in examining whatever attracted their attention, and without incurring the least disapprobation. The chief promised to repeat his visit in the course of a few days; and I endeavoured to make him understand that game or fish would be very acceptable to us, but the signs he made in return did not encourage us to hope for a supply of these refreshments; on the contrary, he requested and procured some bread and meat to take home with him, which evinced that food at this season of the year with them, was not in abundance.

Monday the 28th.—Since the 21st, the weather had been very serene, and the intensity of the cold had greatly abated; the thermometer in the day time now stood at 40, and the nights were attended with little frost.

Anxious to avoid every possible delay, Mr. Whidbey, with two boats equipped for ten days, was dispatched with directions to examine the river Turnagain, so long as his stores and provisions should last; but should that river be soon found to terminate, then to prosecute the examination of the eastern shore to the east Foreland, from thence across the river to the west Foreland, and to continue his survey along the western shore back to the station of the ship; having supposed from the appearance of the land that an opening, which might prove extensive, did exist a few leagues to the north-eastward of the north Foreland. In the mean time I should endeavour, as soon as our business on board was tolerably forward, to satisfy myself with respect to the termination or further extent of these waters.

The drift ice already mentioned as excessively troublesome, and greatly obstructing our operations with the shore, had latterly been considered in a diminishing state; but contrary to our expectations, it was much augmented by the flood tide, and large masses, forming almost complete fields of ice, were driven by the increased rapidity of the spring tides (that now moved at the rate of nearly five miles an hour) against the bows of the ship with alarming violence, and made me regret too late having dispatched the boats; not only on account of their safety, for which I became very apprehensive; but also, lest we should be driven from our station by this powerful opponent, without being able to leave on shore any instructions for their direction.

The following day, Tuesday 29th, brought no favorable alteration; the quantity of ice and the rapidity of the tide, particularly on the flood, were greatly increased and were truly alarming. One large body of ice hooked the small bower cable, and with the violence of the tide broke it about 15 fathoms from the bows; at the same time the cable of the best bower, by which alone the ship now rode, was constantly pressed with such immense weights, that we should have had no hope of its being able to sustain them, had it not been a new sixteen-inch cable, nearly three inches in girth more than those of our establishment, which had been procured at the Cape of Good Hope, and to all appearance was very strong and well made.

Notwithstanding however the confidence we had in this, our situation was very irksome and extremely uncomfortable, from the apprehension lest the cable should be unable to resist the violent shocks it repeatedly received; for in the event of its breaking, we should then be reduced to only one anchor and a thirteen inch cable for our preservation.

All communication with the shore was at an end, and our apprehensions for the ship’s safety were now increased by the violence with which the ice, nearly as hard and ponderous as the solid rock, was frequently driven against the ship’s bows, occasioning such shocks as to awaken our fears, lest the hull of the vessel should sustain some material injury. In addition to these very unpleasant circumstances, on heaving in the slack of the cable at high water we discovered it to be chafed, by its having rubbed against some rocks at the bottom. This accident was as unexpected as it was ungrateful to our feelings. To have quitted a station so precarious, and so pregnant with disasters of the most alarming nature, would have been a most happy relief; yet, had we been ever so much inclined, we were denied this resource, for not a breath of air had been in motion during the last twenty-four hours. Had we attempted to move, we must have resigned ourselves to the immediate influence and impetuosity of the stream, encumbered with huge masses of ice, through a very narrow and intricate channel, without being able to leave behind us the least intimation for the guidance of the absent part of our little community in the boats. Our small bower anchor and cable were not considered to be irretrievably lost, and were of too much importance to be willingly abandoned. Thus circumstanced, we had no alternative but to remain, and encounter, as long as we might be able, such a massive body of ice, as I believe no commander of a Greenland ship, though such vessels are strengthened and protected for this especial purpose, would have attempted to have resisted, unless obliged so to do by the most urgent necessity.

Towards slack water, particularly on the reflux, we had some short intermissions of these threatening dangers: in one of which, about noon of Wednesday the 30th, by means of creeping we fortunately hooked the broken cable; but the rapid return of the ice with the flood afforded but sufficient time to affix a buoy to it, for the purpose of recovering it with more facility at the next favorable opportunity.

Just about the time of high water we were visited by ten Russians, and about twice that number of Indians, in a large open rowing boat; who with great difficulty and much circumspection got to the ship through the drift ice, which had now almost formed one connected field from side to side. On their arrival the ship was tolerably quiet, but on the return of the ebb we were so incommoded by the ice, that our visitors expressed great concern for our safety. They frequently asked if the ship did not make much water, and whether we were duly attentive to that particular. This was perhaps suggested to them by their not seeing the pumps at work, for whose services very fortunately we had little occasion. If I rightly understood them, they had come with an intention of passing the night with us; but after remaining on board three very unpleasant hours, they took the advantage of an extensive open space between the fields of ice and departed.

Being ignorant of the Russian language, and our minds being filled with the greatest anxiety, we were ill calculated for the reception and entertainment of strangers, and consequently not likely to benefit by their conversation, or by any information they might have been able to have communicated. They however very clearly gave me to understand, that our anchorage was not in a river, but in an arm of the sea, which finally closed about fifteen versts beyond the station we had taken. This intelligence appeared to correspond with what had been seen from the boats on the 24th, which had given us reason to believe, that beyond the extent of our excursion on that day it was scarcely navigable for boats. We also understood, that the river Turnagain terminated not far within its entrance, where they had walked over a hill or mountain that occupied the space of fifteen or sixteen versts, and that they had there descended into an arm of the sea that had communication with Prince William’s sound; across which isthmus is the route, by which they stated that all their intercourse between the Russian settlements, in this and that extensive inlet, was now carried on. One of these establishments I understood was about eight miles to the south-east of the east Foreland, where a Russian two-masted vessel was then lying; and that they had another near the north Foreland, from whence the party had come; and a third on the island of St. Hermogenes. In Prince William’s sound I understood the Russians had an establishment in port Etches, and another near Kaye’s island. Throughout the whole of this conversation, they seemed to use every endeavour to impress us with an idea, that the American continent and adjacent islands, as far to the eastward as the meridian of Kaye’s island, belonged exclusively to the Russian empire.

Whilst we were thus annoyed by the ice, and May 1794 kept in a continued state of impatience and solicitude, the weather, though cold, was delightfully serene and pleasant, and on Thursday, the 1st of May, we had the satisfaction of seeing a less quantity of ice brought up by the flood tide, and at low water we had the good fortune to recover our anchor and cable. The next day, however, we were again much inconvenienced by the ice, and in the hope of a clearer bottom, we shifted our station a little to the south-eastward, but by no means improved our condition; for at low water the cable was found to have hooked to a rock, and whilst we were endeavouring to clear it, the ship on suddenly swinging in shore grounded, and so remained until she was floated off by the return of the flood tide. On sounding, much more water than the vessel drew was found close around her; and from hence it is reasonable to suppose, that the ship had rested on one of those apparently moveable fabricks of rock before described, which lie in great numbers over all the shallow flats, extending from these shores as far down as the low water of the spring tides enabled us to discern.

At the slack of the flood tide, with a light breeze from the south, we weighed, stood more into mid-channel, and anchored in 12 fathoms, sandy bottom. The weather altered, and a material change took place on Saturday the 3d. The sky was obscured by thick misty rain and fog, that continued until the forenoon of Sunday the 4th, when the weather became again fair and pleasant, and we had the satisfaction of seeing the surface of the water nearly free from ice, and of re-commencing our business with the shore.

In the evening we had the happiness of receiving Mr. Whidbey and his party on board, after having accomplished the service he had been sent to perform.

His course had been directed from the ship’s station along the larboard or eastern shore, to the south-west point of entrance into this branch, which, after His Excellency the Russian ambassador at the British court, I call Point Woronzow, situated in latitude 60° 8′, longitude 210° 36′; and its north-east point of entrance lying from point Woronzow, N. 37 E. distant two miles, I call Point Mackenzie, after the Right Honourable James Stuart Mackenzie. From point Woronzow the eastern shore takes a direction S. 19 W. for four miles, to a point which I call Point Campbell, and which, with point Possession, may be considered as the outer north-east and south-west points of Turnagain river.

Mr. Whidbey proceeded close along that shore, but he was soon interrupted by a shoal that extends from it to the north-east point of Turnagain island, and obliged us to pass along the north side of the island, which in a direction E. N. E. and W. S. W. is three miles and a half long, and half a league broad. Near its west point a shoal stretches about half a league in a north-west direction, from the west point of the island, where the latitude was observed to be 61° 8′. Endeavours were made to get in with the larboard or north-east shore without success, being again repulsed by the shoals that extend from three to four miles from it. The examination was continued up this arm in five, six, and seven fathoms water, favored by a strong flood tide, but attended with so fresh a gale from the eastward, that a very, heavy and irregular swell was produced, which in two instances nearly filled the large cutter, broke off the head of the rudder, and required the utmost efforts and exertions of the party to preserve the boat from sinking. The shores in their vicinity were inaccessible, and, under circumstances so discouraging, they had no other probable means of bettering their condition, than by inclining as near to the southern shore as the shoals that extended from it would permit; this was effected, and when the range of the arm was shut in, the water became smoother. About five in the evening they reached a small islet lying close to the southern shore, in a direction from the west point of Turnagain island, S. 45 E. distant fourteen miles. The flood at this time being nearly expended, and this seeming likely to prove an eligible resting place for the night, no time was lost in endeavouring to obtain some relief from the uncomfortable situation to which they had been reduced by the seas that had broken into the boats, and had wetted most of their arms and apparel. Their repose during the night was greatly disturbed by large quantities of ice that were brought down by the ebb tide, and occasioned them great labour and difficulty to prevent the boats being broken adrift.

The strong easterly gale continuing, and the tide being adverse to their pursuit, the party was detained until noon the next day on the islet, which lies about a league to the south-west of what may be considered as the inner south-west point of entrance into Turnagain river, whose inner north-east point lies from it N. 42 E. at the distance of three miles and three quarters. The latitude on the islet was observed to be 60° 57¾′, its longitude 210° 43′; low water afforded a good opportunity for viewing the surrounding region. The shores between the outer and inner points appeared to be from three to four leagues asunder; each side formed a bay at high water, but the shores of these bays could not be approached, on account of the shallow flat that extends from the land on the northern side from three to five miles, and from the opposite shore about half that distance, between which is a channel about a league and a half wide, which is also interrupted by a shoal that appeared in many places to be dry, and situated about midway between the islet and Turnagain island; lying in a direction N. E. and S. W. about a league and a half long, and half a league broad, leaving between its south point and the shoals extending from the southern share, a channel not more than half a league in width.

With the first of the flood the party proceeded in soundings from seven to eleven fathoms, until they had passed the inner points of entrance, when the depth of water suddenly decreased to four fathoms, and shortly after to two and three feet, even in mid-channel, from whence the direction of the river extended about S. 70 E.; this was pursued for about four leagues from the place where the water had first become shoal; the shores were compact, and the width was now contracted from a league to half that distance. Mr. Whidbey several times crossed from side to side, without finding more than thirty feet water, nearly at the conclusion of the flood tide, and in a channel not more than an hundred yards wide. From hence this arm, (for it was now proved to be no longer intitled to the name of a river) appeared still to extend in the above direction for about seven miles further, where, in latitude 60° 54′, longitude 211° 30′, it seemed finally to terminate in a circular manner, surrounded by high steep barren mountains, covered with perpetual snow. This termination, though scarcely admitting of a doubt, Mr. Whidbey was very anxious to ascertain more positively than by the distant view that had been afforded of it; but as they had now advanced as far up as a very rapid flood tide would carry them, they could not attempt to contend with the ebb, which returns at the rate of five or six miles an hour; and the shores on either side within their reach did not afford the least shelter where they could have waited for the succeeding flood, and have been protected, during the ebb, from the dangers to which they must of necessity have been exposed, from the immense masses of ice in all directions, some lying aground, others floating or rolling by the force of the stream over the soft mud that composes the bottom. For these reasons they were obliged to return with the ebb, and did not find any shelter until they had arrived within a league of the islet before mentioned, where, about nine in the evening, they reached a small cove, that admitted of their boats being hauled up clear of the ice during the night.

The country bordering upon the bays between the outer and inner points of Turnagain arm is low, well wooded, and rises with a gradual ascent, until at the inner point of entrance, where the shores suddenly rise to lofty eminences in nearly perpendicular cliffs, and compose stupendous mountains that are broken into chasms and deep gullies. Down these rushed immense torrents of water, rendering the naked sides of these precipices awfully grand; on their tops grew a few stunted pine trees, but they were nearly destitute of every other vegetable production. The tide in this situation rose thirty feet perpendicularly, so that at low water this arm must be dry or nearly so; and as Mr. Whidbey considered it unsafe to be navigated, and undeserving any further examination, he proceeded in the morning of the 30th in the execution of his further orders, towards point Possession, which by our observations is situated in latitude, 61° 3′, longitude 210° 18′. The bottle left there by Captain King was searched for without effect; and as the party proceeded to the south-west, they met the Russian boat on its way to the ship; but as they were bound in different directions, the interview was short, and without acquiring any information in addition to that which had been already detailed. On the commencement of the flood the party was obliged to stop at a point lying from point Possession, S. 65 W. at the distance of seven miles. Here a distant view was obtained of the shores before them to the south-west. The whole space, so far as they were able to discern any objects, was encumbered with an immense number of conical rocks, detached from each other on a bank of sand and small stones, that extended a league and upwards from the shore. These rocks are of different elevations, and as few of them are of sufficient height to appear above the surface at high water, the navigating of this shore with such rapid tides required to be undertaken with the greatest caution. The ebb tide in the night being ill calculated for this purpose, their tents were pitched on the upper part of the beach, clear of the snow, with which the ground was as yet in most places covered.

In the evening, on the discharge of some muskets that had become damp, fifteen Indians came from the woods, and with great cheerfulness and affability welcomed their new visitors, by presenting them with some dried salmon; which very friendly behaviour Mr. Whidbey amply requited, and accompanied them to their habitations, which were about a mile from the boats, consisting of two huts that had been recently built, each containing a family of about fifteen persons, of different ages and both sexes; whose behaviour was in every respect marked with the same honest and orderly decorum exhibited by those of their countrymen who had visited the ship.

The next morning their survey was continued through this rocky labyrinth, extending along the shore about seven leagues, to a point lying from the east Foreland N. 35 E. distant two leagues. The utmost circumspection was required to conduct the boats clear of these dangerous pyramidical rocks, rising perpendicularly from a base at the depth of four to nine fathoms, and perfectly steep on every side within the distance of a boat’s length. Had our boats grounded on any of them with the rapidity of the falling tide, nothing less than instant destruction could have been expected. This very extraordinary rugged region appeared to join the southern side of the shoal, on which the Resolution had grounded in the year 1778; and hence it must be considered as a most fortunate circumstance that neither Captain Cook nor ourselves had attempted to pass on the south side of that shoal.

Between the point where this shoal terminates and the east Foreland is a shallow bay, with soundings of seven and eight fathoms, within a convenient distance from the shore, sheltered from the east, south, and south-west winds, and not much exposed to those which blow from the opposite quarters. Mr. Whidbey’s examination of this place, however, was not very minute, being anxious to accomplish the more important objects of his expedition. On reaching the east Foreland he observed the latitude to be 60° 43′, longitude 209° 19′. This comprehended the extent of the survey on the eastern shore. After crossing over to the west Foreland, a distance of eight miles and an half in a west direction between these points, they hauled up their boats, to prevent their being injured by the ice, which descended in vast bodies down the river, and rested here for the night; where they were visited by our Indian passengers, who expressed much pleasure on seeing them again, and presented them with the only eatables they had to offer, a few dried salmon. The next morning (May the 2d) the weather was hazy, a heavy swell rolled from the south, and broke with much violence on the shore, along which they had continued their survey to the north Foreland, situated in latitude 61° 4′, longitude 209° 37′. The space between this point and the west Foreland forms a spacious open bay. Shallow water extends from the latter to within about five leagues of the former point, from whence a depth of five fathoms was found close to the main land. Many of the natives were seen about their habitations as our party passed along the bay; and, where they had occasion to land, some of these good people observing that the boats were prevented by the shoals from reaching the shore, they rushed into the water, notwithstanding the weather was very cold and unpleasant, and offered their friendly assistance to land our gentlemen, by carrying them through the water; which acceptable service they not only performed with the greatest care and attention, but made their new visitors some trivial presents; which were recompenced by returns highly satisfactory to them. The ebb tide having commenced by the time they had reached the north Foreland, our party stopped for the night close in the vicinity of the Russian establishment, mentioned by those who had visited the ship in the large open boat, to which our gentlemen received a most friendly invitation.

At this station there was only one large house, about fifty feet long, twenty-four wide, and about ten feet high; this was appropriated to the residence of nineteen Russians, under the directions of an elderly man, who conducted our party into the house by a small door, that was its only entrance, and seated them at a table near the upper or further end of the habitation, where a repast, consisting of dried fish and cranberries, was produced; but the offensive smell of the house prevented any relish for these dainties, and on their host perceiving a reluctance to partake of the refreshments he had set before them, he ordered the cranberries to be taken away, and after they had been beaten up with some train oil, they were re-produced, with the hope of their being rendered in this state more palatable. These hospitable endeavours to entertain their visitors proving unsuccessful, and our gentlemen having sacrificed as much to politeness as their stomachs would bear, felt great relief in once more breathing the pure though cold air, and returned to their tents; where the badness of the weather detained them the following day, and afforded them an opportunity of repaying the intended hospitality of their Russian friends, who very heartily partook of such cheer as the party had to offer.

By the assistance of a very indifferent interpreter, Mr. Whidbey understood that the Russians had been at this station nearly four years, yet there was not the least appearance of cultivation, although in the summer season the soil most probably was capable of producing many useful articles of food. This, however, seemed to be of little moment to the European residents, as they appeared to be perfectly content to live after the manner of the native Indians of the country; partaking with equal relish and appetite their gross and nauseous food, adopting the same fashion, and using the same materials for their apparel, and differing from them in their exterior appearance only by the want of paint on their faces, and by their not wearing any of the Indian ornaments. So far as any conclusion could be drawn from this short interview, the Russians seemed to live upon the most intimate terms of friendship with the Indians of all descriptions, who appeared to be perfectly satisfied in being subjected to the Russian authority.

The weather proving more favorable, on the 4th the party again proceeded early in the morning, and continued their survey from the north Foreland along the western shore; where, for the space of about two leagues to the north of this point, tolerably good anchorage was found, and commodious communication with the shore, abounding with wood close to the water side, and affording several streams of excellent water. But this space was greatly exposed to the east and south-east winds, which are evidently the most prevailing and violent in this country; as Mr. Whidbey remarked, in every place where he had landed, that all the trees that had fallen were lying with their heads toward the W. and N. W, and that all the perennial vegetables also were lodged with their tops in the same directions. From this extent the shoals gradually stretched to the distance of five miles from the shore, until they joined on to point Mackenzie; the land between this point and the north Foreland was composed of a low and perfectly compact shore, without the smallest discernible object, so near as the shoals allowed them to approach; and having now fully accomplished the object of their expedition, they returned to the ship.

It now only remained to determine the extent of the place we were in; and notwithstanding that the low water at spring tides had sufficiently shewn that we were already advanced nearly to its utmost navigable boundary, yet so extraordinary and unexpected a termination of this extensive inlet demanded a more minute investigation.

Whilst our wood and water were completing, which the ice had prevented our accomplishing, on Tuesday morning the 6th, accompanied by Mr. Baker, Mr. Menzies, and some other gentlemen, I departed with the yawl and small cutter, provided with supplies for four days. Our examination was directed along the western shore; and we were not long in determining that, at a little distance from the place where we had formerly sounded, the shoals, which were dry at low water, connected the two shores together; and from an eminence that we ascended, we saw the space beyond, which at high tide becomes an extensive sheet of water, now occupied by numberless banks of sand one behind the other, with small pools of water between them. Notwithstanding these indications that any further examination was unnecessary, I resolved to continue our researches as far as it might be found navigable for the boats; and for that purpose we kept on the western shore, although we could not approach very near it, on account of the shoals that extended from it, on which were lodged a very large quantity of ice. The depth of water was generally one, two, and three fathoms, very irregular, and now and then four fathoms at about half flood.

As we advanced to the north-east, the western shore gradually inclined towards the eastern shore, until they were not more than half a mile asunder, forming still a small continuation of the branch, in which we found from eight to twelve feet water, nearly at high tide; this we followed about two miles, when our curiosity became satisfied by seeing its eastern banks unite with those on the western side, and terminate in a circular form, the most distant part being about half a league from us, in which space was some banks of dry sand.

The shores we had passed were compact; two or three small streams of fresh water flowed into the branch between low steep banks; above these the surface was nearly flat, and formed a sort of plain, on which there was no snow, and but very few trees. This plain stretched to the foot of a connected body of mountains, which, excepting between the west and north-west, were not very remote; and even in that quarter the country might be considered as moderately elevated, bounded by distant stupendous mountains covered with snow, and apparently detached from each other; though possibly they might be connected by land of insufficient height to intercept our horizon. This we had found to be the case with the connected ridges on the coast of North-West America, whose lofty summits formed in many instances the bases only of the still more stupendous detached mountains. To the northward round by the east, and towards the south-east, the nearer mountains, though of a height inferior to those in the opposite region, were capped with snow, and appeared to form an uninterrupted barrier; the descending plains from which seemed, by their apparent uniformity, to indicate no probability of their being any where intersected by water. That which flowed between the banks of the river still retained a very considerable degree of saltness, and clearly proved that neither by falls, flats, marshes, or fens, any large body of fresh water found its way to the ocean by this communication, and that consequently, according to the general acceptation of geographical terms, this can be no longer considered as a river; I shall therefore distinguish it henceforth as an inlet.

Thus terminated this very extensive opening on the coast of North-West America, to which, had the great and first discoverer of it, whose name it bears, dedicated one day more to its further examination, he would have spared the theoretical navigators, who have followed him in their closets, the talk of ingeniously ascribing to this arm of the ocean a channel, through which a north-west passage existing according to their doctrines, might ultimately be discovered.

Whilst we were engaged in making the necessary observations for ascertaining the final termination of Cook’s Inlet, the northern extent of which was found to be in latitude 61° 29′, longitude 211° 17′, we were attended by a party of the natives, who conducted themselves in the same orderly manner as those we had before seen; they invited us with great earnestness to their habitation, which was found on the plain about a mile from the water side; it consisted of a house similar to those we had seen on the 24th of April, and, like them, appeared to have been constructed by the Russians; but as it was greatly out of repair, we supposed it was now only appropriated as a temporary resting place for travellers. Our visit, I believe, was very acceptable, if a judgment might be formed by our reception and the cheerful and affable behaviour of the whole party, who, on finding that our intentions were to depart, solicited us to prolong our stay; and, as an inducement for doing so, gave us to understand, that our friendly young chief Chatidooltz was at no great distance, and would soon arrive at their dwelling. But our curiosity being satisfied, and having no business to detain us longer, we took our leave, and directed our way back to the ship with the first of the ebb tide; and found but just sufficient depth of water for the boats over the shallow flat we had to pass, extending about five leagues. About four o’clock in the afternoon we arrived on board, where every thing was in readiness to return down the inlet the next morning.

Although, by the information we had thus acquired, the prospect of concluding our survey of the coast during the present season was greatly improved, yet it was not possible to avoid a certain degree of mortification from the reflection, that our opinions respecting the extent to which these waters were likely to lead, had been so extremely erroneous. This evidently proved the fallacy of analogous reasoning, which the human mind is too apt to render subservient to some favorite hypothesis, and too frequently to adopt, even under the appearance of manifest contradictions.

In the evening two guns were heard in the offing, and on the next morning, Wednesday the 7th, a brig was seen at anchor before the entrance into this place, which proved to be the Chatham. Mr. Baker was immediately sent to advise the commanding officer that we should return by the earliest opportunity.

About noon Mr. Puget came on board, from whom I learned, that on the evening of our separation he had carried a press of sail in order to keep up with us, which, together with a very heavy, irregular sea, occasioned the vessel to labour extremely, and yet she made so little progress, that their distance from us was gradually increased until the Discovery was no longer visible. The next morning (March 16th) upwards of four feet water was found in the Chatham’s hold; this in a great measure accounted for the pressure and uneasiness under which the vessel had laboured the preceding evening. To disengage themselves from this inconvenience both pumps were employed until eight o’clock. Mr. Puget stated likewise, that during their passage from the Sandwich islands the Chatham had proved rather crank, and that her upper works had been found very leaky.

Agreeably to the appointed rendezvous, Mr. Puget had commenced and continued his examination of the western side of this inlet from cape Douglas to our present station; it was found to be a compact shore, without any collateral branches, or navigable openings; but as some further observations were necessary for adjusting our survey of that coast, which in all probability would be procured in our passage down the inlet, the delivery of his documents was postponed until we should arrive in port Chalmers; nevertheless, as the principal occurrences appertain to his researches in this inlet, I shall here insert the particulars of the information so acquired.

Few circumstances worthy of remark seemed to have taken place during the Chatham’s passage to the coast of America, which was seen at day-light on the 10th of April; and at noon, in latitude 56° 56′, cape Greville bore by compass N. 50 W. and the southernmost land in sight S. 74 W. Her course was now directed at the distance of 7 to 15 leagues from the land, which, by the 12th at noon, brought them to the latitude of 58° 22′, cape St. Hermogenes by compass bearing S. 55 W. and the coast in sight from S. 85 W. to S. 35 W. Favored with a fresh breeze from the S. S. E. they steered towards cape Douglas, between the barren isles and point Banks, for the purpose of acquiring some information respecting Smoky bay. Between cape St. Hermogenes and point Banks many detached rocks were seen, lying at some distance from the main land, but the shores in their immediate neighbourhood appeared to be bold, and free from any visible danger. The S. E. wind increased in the evening, attended with some snow. In passing point Banks they were visited by two Russians, who, by the help of an indifferent interpreter, informed them that no vessel had gone up the inlet this season; and from hence they concluded that they should precede the Discovery in its examination. By the most intelligent of the two, whose name was George Portoff, they were also informed, that to the south-east of point Banks they had passed a very fine harbour, where the Russians had an establishment, and where a sloop, mounting eight carriage guns was then lying, under the command of Alexander Berrenoff; which gentleman he said would be happy to visit the Chatham in the morning, could he be informed where she was likely to be found; but this was so intirely dependant upon circumstances that no appointment could possibly he made, Portoff stated, that this establishment consisted of forty Russians, that they had another of equal consequence in Prince William’s sound, and some smaller ones up the inlet. Mr. Puget endeavoured to procure some information relative to Mr. Billings’s voyage of discovery, under the Russian authority, in these regions, and also concerning the navigable extent of the inlet; but all his inquiries proved unsuccessful, as the Russians either could not, or would not, comprehend any of those questions. On their departure they very obligingly took charge of a letter which Mr. Puget had addressed to me, communicating the information of the Chatham’s arrival, and the plan of operations he intended to pursue.

The wind, which had veered in the night to the N. E., fell calm early in the morning of the 13th, and was attended by a very heavy fall of snow; which continued, notwithstanding a fine breeze sprang up about noon from the N. W. with which their course was still directed towards the western shore, in the hope, that some interval of clear weather would enable them to find shelter in the vicinity of the place where their survey was intended to commence. But as a strong ebb tide sat out from that shore, and as the wind had shifted more to the westward, with an appearance of very unsettled weather, Mr. Puget was induced to stand over towards cape Elizabeth; as the shores there were known to afford both shelter and anchorage, to which it was highly important to resort, until the season should be more propitious to the arduous task of discovery.

The obscurity produced by the falling snow, rendered their situation very irksome and unpleasant as they approached the eastern side of the inlet, especially as at this time they were threatened with a storm. At length they discovered that they had entered a bay to the north of cape Elizabeth, with the appearance of a harbour to the east, and a cove before them on the northern side, that promised to afford secure anchorage. For this they immediately steered, and passed some sunken rocks that lie about a quarter of a mile from the shore. Here they felt the influence of a very strong flood tide from the eastward, through the channel formed by the islands lying off that shore, which, having met with some opposing current, appeared like breakers, extending nearly half way across the entrance into the cove; and although the depth was not less than 14 fathoms, yet so violent was the agitation, that the cabin windows were obliged to be secured by the dead lights. The cove having the appearance of being an eligible resting place until the weather should permit them to become better acquainted with the adjacent shores, they worked in, and anchored in five fathoms water, sandy bottom. The south-west point of the cove, in a line with cape Elizabeth, bore by compass S. 5 W.; a narrow channel leading to sea between the islands and the main land, S. 48 E.; the bottom of the cove, N. 67 W.; and the nearest shore S. 57 W. a quarter of a mile distant.

The very menacing appearance of the weather in the afternoon, directed them to lose no time in searching for a place of greater safety; and about four o’clock a boat, that had been sent on this service to the north-eastward, returned with the very pleasant intelligence, that at not more than half a league from the cove there was a harbour, affording every shelter and protection that could be required. During the absence of the boat the gale, as well as the fall of snow, had greatly increased, and both were still increasing; the wind however was favorable to their proceeding to this retreat, at which they soon arrived. It proved to be a perfect bason, and they anchored in it at a convenient distance from the southern shore. To having thus providentially gained this protested situation, they probably owed their preservation; for during the night they had a very heavy fall of snow, attended by a most violent storm from the southward, and an intense frost, the thermometer being at 20. To the fury of this storm they would have been very dangerously exposed at their former anchorage, for notwithstanding that the very snug station they had now taken was not more than three hundred yards from the weather shore; yet so violent was the gale, that they were obliged to let go a second anchor to prevent the vessel from driving.

The wind in the morning had much abated of its fury, but the fall of snow and the severity of the frost still continued. This inclemency of the weather did not prevent the visits of the natives. About twenty-six of these good people, in small skin canoes, approached the Chatham with some little caution. All the party, excepting one canoe, stopped at the entrance of the harbour until this one had reconnoitred, who meeting with an agreeable reception, the appointed signal was made, and the others without further hesitation instantly repaired alongside, and were admitted on board.

Their conduct was exactly similar to that of their more northern neighbours who had visited the Discovery, all their actions were directed by the strictest honesty; the most implicit confidence was reposed in all their dealings, and in no one instance did they abuse the indulgences that were shewn to them. They were very eager, expert, and clever in all their commercial dealings. They bartered away their garments, weapons, fishing-tackle, and ornaments in great variety, but neither offered, nor appeared to have any furs for sale. Their various articles of dress, &c. were exchanged principally for spoons and beads, as these people placed but little value on iron or copper. Many of them spoke the Russian language, and from what could be inferred from their conversation and signs, it should appear that they are much attached to the people of that nation.

The wind at N. W. bringing more favorable weather in the evening, the Chatham proceeded about half a league along the southern shore, in order to take a station near an excellent run of water, and which in other respects was more commodious for transacting their business with the shore. When moored the watering place bore by compass S. 17 E., at the distance of a cable and a half; the points of entrance into the harbour, S. 81 W., and N. 70 W.; some detached rocks above water, from N. 66 E. to N. 77 E.; the opposite side of the harbour being about a mile distant.

Owing to the extreme inclemency of the weather, their operations of refitting were greatly retarded; storms succeeded storms, blowing from all quarters with great violence, and attended with very heavy falls of snow. In one of these, on the 19th, the mercury in the thermometer fell to 15, which was the greatest degree of cold they experienced.

The wind between east and S. E. blew on the 22d with more than its former fury, and during the night obliged them to ride with two anchors a-head until the next morning; when, after some very heavy rain, the wind moderated, the clouds dispersed, and by noon the weather had become serene and pleasant, the mercury having risen to 42. This favorable change enabled them to accomplish all their necessary business with the shore, and on the following morning they sailed out of the harbour, for the purpose of proceeding towards cape Douglas; but calm weather about noon obliged them to anchor in the cove before mentioned, immediately on the outside of the harbour, where a single Russian took up his residence amongst a small party of the natives. This man, with another of the name of Mallacha, who said he commanded a sloop mounting eight guns, had, during the boisterous weather, visited the Chatham. On much anxiety being at that time expressed to procure some tidings of the Discovery, and as some intelligence seemed likely to be gained by sending over to cape Douglas, Mallacha took charge of a letter from Mr. Puget, which he promised should be safely delivered, and an answer returned in case the Discovery had arrived in the inlet. Mr. Puget presented him with an assortment of useful commodities, and added to these some provisions and rum. This transaction took place on the 23d, and he promised to be back, or to meet the Chatham on her way towards cape Douglas, in the course of a few days; but on their arrival in this cove, they were greatly surprized by receiving a visit from the resident Russian in a state of intoxication, who delivered a request from Mallacha for an additional supply of rum, and who, from this man’s account, appeared to have been in this cove ever since he had quitted the Chatham, and in a constant state of inebriety. Mr. Puget, justly incensed at Mallacha’s unpardonable conduct, refused his request; and considered the following information given by the other as deserving of little credit. He stated, that about 12 or 14 days before some Indians had seen a three-masted vessel pass to the north of the barren islands on her way up the inlet, and that an English vessel had anchored off the Kodiak for about four hours, and then was driven to sea by a south-east gale, and had been no more seen.

On this occasion I cannot help observing, that the discrediting of these reports was probably more owing to incorrect interpreters than any intention on the part of the Russians to deceive, and it shews the great uncertainty of any information obtained, when a competent knowledge of the language made use of is not mutually possessed by the parties conversing. This cannot probably be more fully exemplified than in the present instance, in which it is fair to presume, that the intelligence conveyed was founded on facts; for the Discovery had unquestionably passed to the north of the barren islands, and had directed her course up the inlet about the time alluded to: we had likewise been becalmed on the evening of the 5th of April, with most of our sails clewed up, within four or five miles of the eastern coast of Kodiak, where we remained stationary in good soundings nearly four hours, and might easily have been considered at anchor; from whence, with the wind in the eastern quarter, we were driven to sea, and contended with much boisterous weather. The Indians also, who visited the Discovery whilst becalmed, clearly understood she was an English vessel; thus the reports made to Mr. Puget seem to have corresponded with our motions, and admit a presumption, that a judgment rather too hasty was formed of the veracity of these Russians.

But to resume Mr. Puget’s narrative, it appeared that on shore, in the cove near the Indian village, a cross was erected, on which were several inscriptions in the Russian character.

A strong gale from the S. E., attended with very thick misty weather, continued, and detained the Chatham until the evening of the 28th, when the wind becoming less violent, preparations were made for sailing the next morning. About midnight, a party, in a dozen canoes, arrived, conducted by Portoff the Russian, who had visited them when off point Banks, and presented them with a supply of cod and halibut, being the first they had caught this season. Portoff was questioned concerning the letter intrusted to his care off point Banks, by Mr. Puget; in reply to which he stated, that it had been sent to a ship they had received intelligence of being in the inlet, but the Indians who had been dispatched after her had returned unsuccessful, without obtaining any certain information where the vessel was to be found.

In the low grounds, at the head of the cove, the officers of the Chatham had been so fortunate as to kill some wild geese and ducks. The weather on the 29th being fair, with a pleasant breeze from the northward, they finally quitted this place, which obtained the name of Port Chatham; it is situated behind the island which forms cape Elizabeth, and from that promontory extends to a point in a direction N. 45 E. five miles and a half, and from thence it terminates in an excellent harbour, about two miles long from west to east, and one mile broad from north to south, affording secure and convenient anchorage. The passage into it passing to the north-west of cape Elizabeth, is free from all obstructions, but such as are sufficiently conspicuous, or easily avoided; these consist principally of shoals, that extend a little distance from each point of the cove, and an islet, about which are some rocks that lie to the south-west of the south-east point of entrance into the harbour. A narrow channel exists between the rocks and the main land, from seven to 12 fathoms deep. The soundings in general in port Chatham are tolerably regular from five to twenty-five fathoms, the bottom a stiff clay, the shores in most places are a low border, very well wooded with pine trees and some shrubs. This border occupies a small space between the water side and the foot of the mountains that compose the neighbouring country, up which, to a certain height, trees and other vegetables were produced; but their more elevated parts appeared to be barren, and their summits were covered with snow, in all probability perpetual. The Chatham’s anchorage, off the run of water, was found to be in latitude 59° 14′, longitude 209° 4′, variation 24° easterly. The rise and fall of the tide, near the change of the moon, was 14, but during the neap tides not more than 10 or 11 feet. High water about an hour after the moon had passed the meridian; but this and other circumstances relative to the tides were found to be greatly influenced by the force and direction of the winds. The situation of the harbour, in respect of its vicinity to the ocean, its free access, egress, and very convenient communication with the shore, are considered by Mr. Puget to be at least equal, if not superior, to the generality of the ports that we had visited in these regions.

After quitting port Chatham, owing to faint variable winds it was near noon on the 30th before they had reached within a few miles of cape Douglas, where the coast is composed of a low tract of country, stretching into the sea from the base of very lofty mountains wrapped in snow, which also covered the surface of the land quite down to the water’s edge. This was likewise the case with that which appeared to be the extremity of the cape, situated in latitude 58° 52′, longitude 207° 21′; off which, a few miles to the northward, lies a very low flat island; and to the northward of the mountains that form the promontory of cape Douglas is a lofty rugged ridge, that at a distance seemed to be detached, and to give an appearance of many openings in the coast; but on a nearer approach it was found to be firmly connected by land less elevated, and forming a deep bay between the cape and the lower borders of mount St. Augustin. This became the first object of their examination.

Light baffling winds rendering the progress of the vessel extremely slow, a boat was dispatched to facilitate the operations of their survey. By noon the weather had materially changed; a swell rolled in from the eastward, and as this was attended by other indications of a return of the south-east and easterly storms, the boat was recalled, and the Chatham stood to the northward, in the hope of finding some place of shelter; but the wind being unsteady, and the tide setting fast towards the low shores of cape Douglas, they anchored in 21 fathoms water, soft bottom. Mount St. Augustin bore by compass N. 24 W.; an appearance like a harbour, S. 83 W.; the above low flat island from S. 39 E. to S. 77 E., distant about a mile; and a ledge of rocks stretching from its north-east point, N. 82 E. At low water the extent of this reef was very materially increased. A very uncomfortable night was passed in this exposed situation, which however they had no means of quitting, because it fell calm, and continued so most part of the night; yet the atmosphere bore a very tempestuous appearance, and they had a very heavy and irregular swell from the eastward, which with the ebb tide detained them at anchor until ten in the forenoon of the 1st of May. In the act of weighing the cable parted, by which unfortunate accident the anchor was irrecoverably lost.

With a gentle breeze from the N. E. they stood to the westward in order to examine the bay, and found the depth of water to decrease from seventeen to nine fathoms. At this time a long reef was discovered, on which the sea broke with great violence, extending from a low rocky islet lying before the apparent harbour above-mentioned. The shores of the bay in most directions seemed to be compact, but encumbered with large rocks and stones; this appearance induced Mr. Puget to retire from such dangers, and to direct his course to the northward for mount St. Augustin. The depth of water was 10, 11, and 12 fathoms, on passing at the distance of about four leagues from the bottom of the bay, which is formed by an extensive low country, lying between the base of the rugged range of mountains before mentioned, and the water side. The termination of this bay not appearing to have the least navigable opening in it, a more minute examination was deemed unnecessary.

As they approached mount St. Augustin it was found to constitute a very remarkable island, rising with an uniform ascent from the shores to its lofty summit, which is nearly perpendicular to the centre of the island, inclining somewhat to its eastern side. The width of the passage between it and the main land is about six miles, through which they sailed within about half a league of the western shore of the island in seven, five, and nine fathoms water, and after passing its western extremity, anchored on the north side in twelve fathoms water, muddy bottom; the shores of the island bearing by compass from N. 65 E. to S. 4 W., the nearest shore S. 10 E., about two miles distant, and its most elevated part situated S. 73 E. in latitude 59° 22′, longitude 207° 10′. This island is stated by Mr. Puget to be about nine leagues in circuit; towards the sea side it is very low, from whence it rises, though regular, with rather a steep ascent, and forms a lofty, uniform, conical mountain, presenting nearly the same appearance from every point of view, and clothed down to the water’s edge with snow and ice, through which neither tree nor shrub were seen to protrude; so that if it did produce any, they must either have been very small, or the snow must have been sufficiently deep to have concealed them. The landing upon this island was effected with some difficulty on the ebbing tide, in consequence of the shore being bounded at the distance of a quarter of a mile by innumerable large detached rocks, through which a passage was found with much labour for the boat. Fragments of rock similar to those which have been already described, appeared to lie off most parts of the island, but no where at so great a distance as from its northern shore.

In the evening Mr. Puget states that they were visited by two Russians, accompanied by a small party of the natives, whose residence was toward the north-east point of the island; their visit was not of a very interesting nature, as they brought with them nothing to dispose of, nor could they give any account whether any vessel had passed up the inlet in the course of the season. On this subject the gentlemen in the Chatham began to be very anxious, but as they entertained not the least doubt that they had preceded the Discovery in their survey, a letter communicating such intelligence was entrusted to their Russian visitors.

Early in the morning of the 3d of May they proceeded to the northward with a light air from the S. S. W., attended with fair and pleasant weather; and as they advanced along the western shore of the inlet, it was observed to be indented and broken into coves and small bays, that appeared likely to afford convenient anchorage. The points of these bays were in general steep and rocky, behind which rose a compact mountainous country to a considerable height, being a continuation of the range extending from cape Douglas, clad in perpetual snow; and seemingly destitute of any vegetable productions except on a narrow flat margin commencing at the foot of those mountains, and forming the sea shore, which was tolerably well wooded. At noon their observed latitude was 59° 34′; the northernmost land then in sight, a low point covered with trees, bore by compass N. 25 E.; cape Elizabeth, N. 81 E.; the island of St. Augustin, from S. 40 E. to south, distant three leagues; the nearest shore distant three miles; and to the north-west there were three islets, behind which was the appearance of anchorage and shelter. The southerly breeze increasing in the afternoon enabled them to make great progress, observing as they passed a few small bays or coves on the compact western shore. In the evening they were met by one hundred and fifty skin canoes, which were estimated to contain about three hundred of the natives; some carried three persons, others two, and a few only one person. They spoke the Russian language, pulled off their hats or caps, and bowed as they passed; several attempted to reach the vessel, but were prevented by the favorable breeze which was too valuable at this time to be sacrificed to the curiosity of the Indians. The Chatham continued her route along the shores, similar to those already described, until ten o’clock, when she hauled her wind, and plied under an easy sail during the night.

At this time they had reached that part of the western shore which had undergone our previous examination. By Mr. Puget’s journal it appears, that a compact, connected body of very high mountainous land binds the western shore of this inlet, at no great distance from the water side, all the way from cape Douglas to the volcano; from whence the same lofty range continues until it branches off to the north-west, towards those mountains that, from the upper part of the inlet bore the appearance of being detached. The sound, whose waters appeared to us on the 15th of April to wash the base of the volcano mountain, was approached by them much nearer than by us, and is described by Mr. Puget as having been seen quite round; in its south-west part is a small opening formed by two low points covered with wood; the entrance is very narrow, and at low water a flat, interspersed with large detached stones, appeared to extend from the commencement of that low land to its termination, including the passage into the opening or rivulet. Under these circumstances it was considered as unworthy of any further examination, and with the assistance of the flood tide their route was pursued to the northward, between the low island and the main land, in soundings from 30 to 13 fathoms; keeping near the former, in the expectation of seeing some of the Russians from the establishment that Mallacha had stated to be on the island. This was passed within about half a league of its western side, and a signal gun was fired, but to no effect. About eight o’clock they anchored for the night in 12 fathoms water, coarse gravelly bottom. The north-west point of the island bore by compass N. 33 E., distant four miles, and the south point S. 30 W., distant three leagues. Early in the morning of the 5th of May they proceeded towards the west Foreland, with soundings from 13 to 25 fathoms, until within about four miles and a half of the shores of the main land, north of the island, when the depth decreased, and as the flood tide was then over, they anchored in ten fathoms water, rocky bottom. The west Foreland bore by compass N. 42 E., four or five miles distant; the north-west point of the island, S. 34 E.; the bottom of a very open bay, formed by the land retiring a little to the westward of the west Foreland, N. 17 W.; at low water the shoal noticed by Messrs. Portlock and Dixon was distinctly seen from the mast-head, from S. 80 E. to S. 74 E.; and a detached rock lying off the north-east point of the island, S. 45 E.

Mr. Puget represents the country from the above supposed sound as descending from the base of the mountains, and gradually forming an inclined plane, terminating at the water side in a compact beach, or low cliffs well wooded; the mountains rise very perpendicularly, and, like the others that encompass this region, are lofty, apparently barren, and always covered with snow; from the shores of this open bay a shoal extends some distance into the inlet. Whilst they were waiting for the return of flood, some of the natives gave them to understand, that a three-masted vessel had passed up the inlet not many days before, and to confirm the truth of their report, produced the beads and other articles they had procured from the ship, which they described to be at anchor at no great distance.

Notwithstanding the behaviour of these people was as orderly and civil as can possibly be imagined, nothing could prevail with them to carry a letter to the vessel they spoke of; not from the labour or danger that might attend their expedition, but from an objection that they had to the letter itself; which they could not be induced even to touch. A similar instance of this nature occurred to Mr. Whidbey, who wished to intrust to the care of our Indian passengers a letter to be delivered to the Chatham on her arrival in their neighbourhood, but they also declined having any thing to do with it. This cautious conduct proceeds in all probability, from their being instructed to behave in this manner towards strangers by their Russian masters, who seemed on all occasions to possess great influence and authority over them.

On the first of the flood tide the Chatham sailed round the west Foreland, at the distance of about a mile from the shore, with soundings from 7 to 12 fathoms. A rock was observed that is visible only at half tide, about the fourth of a mile from the extremity of the point, from whence they were visited by two Indians, who confirmed the intelligence respecting the Discovery, and put the matter beyond all doubt, by distinctly pronouncing my name, and pointing out the direction where the vessel would be found. Mr. Puget immediately so directed his course, and we had the pleasure of meeting as already related.

Every thing being in readiness to depart from a situation that had produced us such a continual anxiety, and had in other respects been extremely uncomfortable, we weighed with the first of the ebb about one o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday the 7th, and with a light breeze from the southward turned down the channel to the Chatham, and anchored for the night off the north-west point of Turnagain island in 15 fathoms water, having found the soundings, as on our passage up the inlet, very irregular. Here we were visited by two Russians, who came in a large canoe or boat paddled by ten Indians; one of the Russians was the principal person of the party with whom Mr. Whidbey had met near the north Foreland, the other a clerk, or person of some such description belonging to the establishment on the eastern shore to the southward of the east Foreland; their errand was intended as a visit to us, and as we were bound towards their places of abode, they readily accepted an invitation to proceed with us, instead of returning in their open boat. On the making ebb tide, about two o’clock on the morning of Thursday the 8th, we again proceeded with a light breeze from the northward. Our course was directed a little nearer to the island than before, by which means we now passed over in 3½ fathoms water the north part of the shoal that extends from the west end of Turnagain island. In consequence of this spit, and the shoals from the northern shore, which also project in a point towards the island, the navigable channel is reduced to scarcely a mile in width; the deepest water, which does not exceed six and seven fathoms at half tide, is nearest to the northern side. From this shoal as we steered to the south-west, the depth of water soon increased to 12 fathoms. Our route to the westward was now directed about half a league or two miles to the south of our former track, in which we considered ourselves clear of shoals or other interruptions; but we had not proceeded more than six miles in a west direction from the island, when the depth of water again decreased to 7, 5, and 4 fathoms, and on the boat that was sounding a-head coming into 3½ fathoms, we steered more to the northward; and on the depth increasing we resumed our westerly course, with regular soundings from 7 to 16 fathoms, in which latter depth the flood tide obliged us to anchor, until with the assistance of the ebb tide, by five in the afternoon we had nearly approached the north Foreland, when the Russian commandant took his leave, with a promise of returning in the evening. We anchored again on the return of the flood, about a league to the southward of his residence, but saw nothing of him; the other Russian however remained on board, in order to conduct us to their settlement on the eastern shore, whither we did not arrive, owing to faint variable winds, until Saturday morning the 10th, when we anchored before a small creek in 10 fathoms water, sandy bottom. The east Foreland by compass bore N. 34 W., the west Foreland, N. 74 W.; the volcano, S. 30 W.; the southernmost part of the eastern shore in sight, S. 25 E.; and the creek, N. 70 E., about a league distant. In this situation the observed latitude was 60° 35′, longitude 209° 21′.

Soon after we had anchored, the commanding officer at the place sent a very civil message, requesting we would visit their habitation, with which after breakfast, accompanied by Mr. Menzies and our Russian passenger, I complied. As we drew near to the shore the depth of water gradually decreased, until in the entrance of the creek we found but one fathom from side to side. On our arrival here we were saluted by two guns from a kind of balcony, above which the Russian flag was displayed on the top of a house situated on the cliffs, which in most places compose the shores of the upper part of the inlet, rising perpendicularly from a beach, which generally commences at high water mark. The compliment of two guns was repeated on our landing, where we met some Russians, who came to welcome and conduct us to their dwelling by a very indifferent path, which was rendered more disagreeable by a most intolerable stench, the worst, excepting that of the skunk, I had ever the inconvenience of experiencing; occasioned I believe by a deposit made during the winter of an immense collection of all kinds of filth, offal, &c. that had now become a fluid mass of putrid matter, just without the railing that inclosed the Russian factory, over which these noxious exhalations spread, and seemed to become a greater nuisance by their combination with the effluvia arising from the houses. We were however constrained to pass some time in this establishment, which occupied a space of about an hundred and twenty yards square, fenced in by a very stout paling of small spars of pine and birch, placed close together about twelve feet high. These were fixed firm in the ground, yet they appeared to be a very defenceless barricade against any hostile attempts, even of the Indians, as the whole might easily be reduced to ashes by fire on the outside, as could also their houses within the fence, those being built with wood and covered in with thatch. The largest of these, resembling in its shape a barn, was about thirty-five yards long, about as many feet in breadth, and about ten or twelve feet high; this was appropriated to the residence of thirty-six Russians, who, with their commander Mr. Stephen Zikoff, then on an excursion to prince William’s sound, comprehended the total number of Russians at this station; all of whom excepting the commander reside in this house, which principally consists of one common room, answering all the purposes of shelter, feeding, and sleeping in. For their better accommodation when at rest, two platforms, each about eight feet wide, were raised about eight or nine inches from the ground or floor, and extended from end to end on each side of the room; these were divided into eighteen open partitions or stalls, one of which was allotted to each person, as his particular apartment, the middle of the room being common to them all. The stalls were divided like those in the stables of public inns, by posts only, on which hung their spare apparel, with their arms and accoutrements. The room though unglazed was tolerably light, as in the windows a substitute for glass was made use of, which we supposed to be a thin membrane from the intestines of the whale; this admitted a sufficient quantity of light for all their purposes, and excluded the wind and inclemency of the weather. The largest of these windows was at the furthest or upper end, near which stood an humble wooden table very rudely wrought, and surrounded by forms of the same material. To these we were conducted by two of the party who seemed to have some superiority over the rest, one of whom appeared to be the principal person in the absence of Mr. Zikoff, the other a kind of steward or person charged with the moveable property belonging to the factory. If we understood them right this settlement had been thus established twelve years, notwithstanding which we did not perceive that any attempt had been made either to cultivate the land, or to supply themselves more comfortably by the introduction of domestic animals. The only refreshment they had to offer, was some cold boiled halibut, and raw dried salmon intended to be eaten with it by way of bread. This very homely fare produced us no disappointment; for had it been otherways, and consisting of the greatest niceties, we should not have been inclined to have partaken of the repast, in a place, where the atmosphere we inhaled was so extremely offensive, that every sensation that is unpleasant was excited, excepting that of hunger. This occasioned the shortening of our visit as much as common civility would allow, and as we prepared to seek the relief of a purer air, we were attended by our two leaders in taking a view of the rest of the settlement. We found it to consist of a smaller house situated at the west end of the large one, in which Mr. Zikoff the commander resided, and two or three and twenty others of different dimensions all huddled together without any kind of regularity, appropriated to the depositing of stores, and to the educating of Indian children in the Russian language and religious persuasion; they were also the residence of such of the natives as were the companions, or the immediate attendants on the Russians composing the establishment. Our attention was next directed to the vessel we had been informed belonged to this place. She was found hauled up just above the general line of high water mark, close under the cliffs on which their houses were erected. Her burthen I estimated at about sixty or seventy tons; she was very clumsily rigged with two masts, and her hull had the oakum dropping out of the seams, and was in other respects much out of repair. In this situation she had been for two years, and was still to remain there two years longer, when this party would be relieved, and the vessel repaired, in which they would return to Kampschatka.

The place where the vessel was laid up was hardly within sight of their habitation, she could therefore in the event of any misunderstanding with the natives have been easily set on fire, or otherwise destroyed, which could not have been so easily accomplished had she remained in the creek, where the water seemed to be of sufficient depth to keep her constantly afloat, and by that means to afford the Russians a retreat that might prove very desirable in the event of any insurrection. Their apprehensions however on this score did not seem very great, for they were very ill provided to defend themselves against any attack. The whole of their armoury, consisted of two small brass swivel guns, each carrying about a pound shot, mounted on the balcony at the top of the large house, which is sufficiently high to overlook all the inclosed premises; a similar piece of ordnance at the door of the entrance, about a dozen muskets hanging apparently in constant readiness near the upper end of the great room, with two or three pistols, and a few short daggers.

Our curiosity and inquiries thus satisfied, I invited these two gentlemen to accompany us on board, with which they readily complied. They presented me with a few skins of the land animals found in the neighbourhood, and a very fine halibut, which was highly acceptable, as it was the first fresh fish we had procured this season. A brisk northerly breeze prevailed on our reaching the ship; this temptation to proceed was too great to allow of our remaining at anchor, though it necessarily shortened the stay of our visitors. On their departure I gave them a small assortment of such things as were most likely to prove serviceable in their retirement, which they very thankfully accepted.

We now directed our course along the eastern shore, towards the entrance of the inlet; but the northerly breeze being soon succeeded by light variable airs, our progress became so slow, that it was ten at night on Monday the 12th before we had arrived within about eight miles of point Bede, bearing by compass S. 44 E. Here we anchored in 30 fathoms water, and were visited by three of the natives, who brought the letter Mr. Puget had given in charge to some of the Russians, and who presented us with four halibuts, which they said were sent by Mr. Berrenoff; this gentleman they said was on shore, and that he had directed them to say, that if we should remain at anchor until the next morning, he would pay us a visit.

As I much wished for the pleasure of seeing Mr. Berrenoff, who we had been given to understand was the commandant of all the Russian establishments on the Kodiak, and about the entrance into this inlet, I did not depart as I had purposed in the morning of Tuesday the 13th; but hearing nothing further of him, with the first of the ebb in the afternoon, and a light breeze from the N. W. we proceeded to the southward. In the morning we had been visited by several of the natives, all of whom conducted themselves like their neighbours with the utmost propriety. As we approached point Bede, Portoff, to whom Mr. Puget had intrusted a letter addressed to me off cape Douglas, came with it on board, accompanied by two of his countrymen. From him we understood that Berrenoff, who was then on his way, would be with us in the course of the afternoon or evening; that he was very anxious for an interview with us, and that he requested we would not proceed to sea. On their departure one of them promised to provide us with a large supply of fish by the next morning, the 14th. About day-light he met the ship off the Barren isles, and punctually performed his promise, by affording us halibut sufficient to serve the whole of the crew two or three days. Hearing no tidings of the commandant, and having a steady breeze from the eastward, we plied towards the ocean until noon, when the weather assuming a very unfavorable appearance, attended with a heavy swell from the eastward, we anchored off the north part of point Bede in 31 fathoms water, having the southernmost part of that point and cape Elizabeth in a line, bearing by compass S. 54 E.; the nearest shore, being a detached rock with some smaller ones about it, N. 51 E. three fourths of a mile distant; land we supposed to be the points of entrance into Graham’s harbour, from N. 35 E. to N. 12 E. the former at the distance of two, the latter at about three leagues; the volcano, N. 64 W. and the Barren isles from S. 8 E. to S. 18 E. In this situation our observations on the following day, Thursday the 15th, shewed the latitude to be 59° 19½′, longitude 208° 41′; and the variation of the compass by three sets of azimuths, differing from 26° 16′ to 27° 35′, gave the mean result 26° 53′ eastwardly.

The friendly Russian, who had so amply supplied us with halibut, again appeared, and stated, that Mr. Berrenoff would on a certainty be with us in the course of the afternoon; and, as I now understood he would bring an English interpreter with him, an interview became infinitely more desirable, from the prospect we had of acquiring some interesting intelligence respecting these regions; yet, as I had been twice disappointed in similar assurances, the third engagement by no means warranted any further delay, especially as the cause which had produced our detention no longer existed. For these reasons, with the assistance of the ebb tide, and a westerly wind, we proceeded about two o’clock, but it was so slowly, that it was eight o’clock in the evening before we had passed cape Elizabeth; which, from the result of our observations, appeared to be situated in latitude 59° 9′, longitude 208° 53′; which position, like that of the rest of the coast visited by us this season, is considerably to the eastward of the longitude as stated by Captain Cook, the difference being from 1° 8′ to 1° 12′, or 1° 14′. The delineation of the shores of this inlet and its soundings will likewise assume, in a few instances, a trivial difference from the representation of that able and illustrious navigator, in consequence of our having been able to appropriate a greater length of time to the examination of it than it was in Captain Cook’s power to bestow; yet the disagreement of the two surveys is so inconsiderable, that it will require the eye of a critical observer to discover the particulars in which they vary.

Thus we took our leave of Cook’s inlet, where, from our different interviews with the Russians settled on its shores, it might have been reasonably expected that much information would have been derived concerning the objects and advantages in contemplation, from the extension of that empire to such remote regions. Ignorance of each other’s language, that insurmountable obstacle to the attainment of such kind of knowledge, attended on all our inquiries, and in most instances rendered them extremely inconclusive, and often very contradictory to what we had at first understood. This difficulty was not a little increased by the want of information in most of our Russian visitors, with regard to every thing that appertained to the science of geography. Our repeated conversations with the person who conducted us to the settlement on the eastern shore, led us to imagine that a navigable branch of this inlet extended from the eastern side, and communicated with an immense lake to the north-east, in which were whales, seals, sea otters, and a variety of salt water fish; that the shores of it were too distant to be visible from each other; and that he knew not in what direction it united with the ocean; but that Mr. Zikoff was gone thither, on an exploring expedition. All this we supposed we had perfectly comprehended, until our arrival at the factory, when in order to become better acquainted with circumstances of so much importance to us, I sought for a confirmation of what we had thus been told; but, to my great surprize, when I had ascended the balcony at the top of the house, I was made to perceive in the most unequivocal manner, that it was the inlet itself that had been meant, and that the eastern navigable branch was no other than Turnagain arm, (which nearly communicates with Prince William’s sound) in which Mr. Zikoff was gone to a Mr. Colomenee, who commanded a Russian establishment near cape Hinchinbrook.

This incident will afford sufficient proof how little dependance is to be placed on information assumed from persons but ill qualified to answer our questions if understood, and with whom, for want of language, our communication was necessarily very uncertain and imperfect; it will also shew, on how slight foundation the theories of mediterranean seas, and of a north-west passage, may often rest.

Intelligence procured from such authority, under such circumstances, and unsupported by other corroborative evidence, or that does not carry with it the strongest presumptive proof of its being correct, ought always to be received with the utmost caution. By this rule I had uniformly governed my conduct; and in the instance of the communication of, this inlet with Prince William’s sound, I did not consider myself warranted to credit the information we had received to that effect, until it had been stated, without the least deviation or contradiction, as well on board the Chatham as the Discovery, that a branch of that sound extended within a few miles of the upper end of Turnagain arm.

Hence these two extensive inlets appeared to be separated from each other only by a narrow isthmus of compact mountainous land, that precluded all possibility of any navigable interior water-course through it from any part of the shores of the intervening peninsula; and rendered a minute examination of the coast of this peninsula of little importance, as it would have occupied a large portion of time, and could not have furthered the attainment of the great object we had in view, any more than a complete survey of the numerous islands, that in the course of the two preceding summers we had discovered lying before the continental boundaries. For this reason I determined to make the best of our way towards Prince William’s sound, and to examine the shores of the peninsula, so far only as could be done from the ship in passing along its coast. This would greatly tend to facilitate our operations this season, which, notwithstanding they had commenced at a very early period, had yet accomplished little in comparison to the extent of coast we had yet to survey in the course of this summer. Trusting that our examination of Prince William’s sound, though commencing only from its south-west point of entrance, would justify this proceeding, our course was directed thither.

I had it in contemplation, during this pursuit, should circumstances concur, to stop short of Prince William’s sound at port Andrews; so named by Mr. Portlock, but called by the Russians Blying sound; where we had been informed by our visitors, (particularly by Portoff, who was by far the most intelligent) that they had an arsenal, and that one or two Englishmen, assisted by some Russian artificers, were building with the timber of the country a ship as large as the Discovery. This intelligence had been obtained in consequence of my having repeatedly inquired, where there was a convenient situation for laying the Discovery on shore; being apprehensive that her bottom might have received some injury, from the numerous accidents to which she had been lately exposed.

Blying sound was strongly recommended by Portoff, who assured me that the rise and fall of the tide on a very convenient beach, was fully sufficient to answer all our purposes, and that his countrymen not only possessed the means, but would be happy in rendering us every assistance we might require; and that on Mr. Berrenoff being made acquainted with our arrival there, he would immediately repair thither, that nothing in their power might be wanting to relieve our necessities. But as our availing ourselves of these services would greatly depend on the existing circumstances at the time of our arrival in that neighbourhood, and particularly as Blying sound was not so central for carrying into execution our survey of Prince William’s sound as I could have wished, I made no arrangements for benefiting by these very kind and friendly offers.

Having accomplished by our joint labours the examination of the shores of Cook’s inlet from cape Douglas to its utmost extremity, and from thence to the east Foreland, I shall conclude this chapter by remarking, that although circumstances did not permit us to make such astronomical observations on the spot as I considered to be necessary for determining the longitude of our station at the head of Cook’s inlet, yet we were fortunate in obtaining those that very satisfactorily shewed the rates of our chronometers, from which authority we were enabled to ascertain the longitudinal mensuration of our survey, and to deduce from subsequent observations what I considered as its true longitude.

The observations for obtaining the latitude, the rates of the chronometers, and the variation of the compass, were made on shore, at the watering place near the ship’s station at the head of Cook’s inlet; (they were as follow)

Kendall’s chronometer shewed the longitude according to the Karakakooa rate to be208°935  
Arnold’s No. 14, according to the same rate2093125
Arnold’s No. 176, according to the same rate2095040  
True longitude deduced from subsequent observations as before stated2105315   
By this authority, and twelve sets of altitudes taken between the 26th of April and 6th of May, both days inclusive, Arnold’s No. 176 was found to be fast of mean time at Greenwich on the 6th of May at noon8h444630
And to be gaining on mean time per day at the rate of5237
Arnold’s No. 14, fast of mean time at Greenwich3581830
Ditto No. 14, gaining as above229
Kendall’s fast of mean time at Greenwich422230
Ditto, gaining as before2622
The latitude61°17    
The variation of the compass in twenty sets of azimuths by three different compasses, differing from 27° 27′ to 31° 18′, shewed the mean result to be2930easterly. 

Our situation at this station did not admit of any opportunity for measuring the rise and fall of the tides, but in a very rough way; by which it appeared, that on spring tides it amounted to about twenty-seven feet, and that it was high water six hours after the moon had passed the meridian.

W. Alexander del: from a Sketch taken on the Spot by H. Humphries.

B. T. Pouncy Sculp.


Port Dick, now Cook’s Inlet


London Published May 1st 1798, by J. Edwards Pall Mall & G. Robinson Paternoster Row


Passage from Cook’s Inlet to Prince William’s Sound—Meet a large Fleet of Canoes—Spring the Bowsprit in a Gale of Wind—Carry away the Fore-yard—Arrive in Port Chalmers—Survey of Prince William’s Sound by the Boats—A violent Storm—Visited by a few Russians—Some Account of their Establishments in the Sound—Chatham dispatched to continue the Survey of the Coast eastward from cape Hinchinbrook—Astronomical and nautical Observations.

The weather was delightfully serene and pleasant, and the morning of Friday the 16th was ushered in by a sight we little expected in these seas. A numerous fleet of skin canoes, each carrying two men only, were about the Discovery, and, with those that at the same time visited the Chatham, it was computed there could not be less than four hundred Indians present. They were almost all men grown, so that the tribe to which they belonged must consequently be a very considerable one. They instantly and very willingly entered into trade, and bartered away their hunting and fishing implements, lines and thread, extremely neat and well made from the sinews of animals; with bags ingeniously decorated with needle-work, wrought on the thin membrane of the whales intestines; these articles, with some fish, and some well executed models of canoes with all their appendages, constituted the articles of commerce with these people, as well as with our Indian friends in Cook’s inlet; for excepting those furs given to me by Chatidooltz’s party, not an article of this description had been offered for sale, or even seen in the possession of the natives, as forming a part of their apparel, as was the case in my former visit to this country. The clothing of these Americans now chiefly consisted of garments made from the skins of birds or quadrupeds, of not the least value. This humble fashion had most likely been introduced by their Russian friends, for the sake of increasing the number of the skins of the sea otter, foxes, martin, ermine, and of such other animals as come under the denomination of furs, which they find to be worth the trouble of exporting.

These good people, like all the others we had lately seen, conducted themselves with great propriety; and as the wind was very light, they continued with us until near noon, when they all retired to a bay or harbour we were then abreast of. Our progress from Cook’s inlet had been so slow that the Barren isles were yet in sight, bearing by compass from S. 34 W. to S. 48 W.; and the easternmost of the islands near cape Elizabeth, from S. 46 W. to S. 55 W., distant about five leagues. On the inside of this island a low flat point projected towards the main land, and gave us reason to doubt, whether between those islands and the main land a safe navigable channel would be found; this however, could be of little importance, as port Chatham is very accessible by passing round cape Elizabeth, which at this time was hidden from our sight. The west point of the above bay or harbour bore by compass S. 72 W., five miles distant; the land forming its eastern point, which is a projecting promontory, appearing at a distance like an island, from N. 42 W. to N. 2 E., about half a league from us. Towards the sea it terminates in an abrupt cliff moderately elevated, and is connected to the main land by a low peninsula covered with trees. Its north-west side presented every appearance of affording sheltered anchorage, and to that part of the bay most of the canoes repaired. We now steered towards the northernmost part of the coast in sight, bearing by compass N. 29 E.; the observed latitude in this situation was 59° 9½′, longitude 209° 48′, placing the southernmost part of the above promontory, which we supposed to be the same that Mr. Portlock calls point Gore, in latitude 59° 11′, longitude 209° 49′; the bay or harbour on its west side we supposed to be port Dick. At first however, this supposition admitted of doubt, for instead of point Gore lying 14 leagues to the eastward of cape Elizabeth, our survey made these promontories scarcely 10 leagues apart.

On reference to our position on the coast, the land seen before us forming the north extreme could be no other than the southernmost of Pies islands; towards which with a pleasant breeze from the S. W. we made great progress, at the distance of three or four miles from the shore. Two openings were passed, and we observed along the coast several low detached parcels of rocks, at a greater distance from the main land than we had generally remarked along the exterior coasts of this country. One group in particular lying S. 75 W., distant near four miles from the southernmost of Pies islands, must be very dangerous in thick weather, especially as at high water during the spring tides it is probably overflown. The coast we sailed along this day is in most parts very mountainous, and descends rather quickly into the ocean, excepting in those places where it is broken into vallies, some of which are extensive, and gradually incline to the water side. These in some instances were still buried in ice and snow, within a few yards of the wash of the sea; whilst here and there some of the loftiest of the pine trees just shewed their heads through this frigid surface.

We could not avoid remarking, that the whole of this exterior coast seemed to wear a much more wintry aspect than the countries bordering on those more northern inland waters we had so recently quitted.

The southernmost of Pies islands in several points of view forms a very conspicuous peak, and although not remarkable for its great height, yet from its singular appearance it is not easily to be mistaken in this neighbourhood, as it descends with great regularity from its summit to the water’s edge; its south extremity by our observations, is situated in latitude 59° 19′, longitude 210° 21′. To the north-eastward of this island the coast still presented a broken appearance, and our north-eastern point of view in the evening exhibited a cluster of islands and rocks, extending some distance from the main land; these we supposed were those named by Mr. Portlock Chiswell’s isles, lying before port Andrews, that is to say, Blying’s sound, for which we continued our course until ten at night, when we hauled to the wind under an easy sail, in order to keep our station for continuing our examination of the coast in the morning. The depth of water was 75 fathoms, about five miles from the shore. The fine weather with which we had been indulged was of short duration. The wind by one in the morning of Saturday the 17th had veered round to the east and N. E., and in a few hours reduced us to close-reefed topsails; and finding in the forenoon that the bowsprit was dangerously sprung in a slanting direction, from the cap nearly to the collar of the forestay, we lay to about an hour for the purpose of giving it such securities as our situation permitted us to apply, and then again stood to windward, under the courses and close-reefed topsails. Notwithstanding that it rained very heavily, the gale continued to increase, attended with a great sea from the eastward, which reduced us to our foresail and storm staysails, until four in the afternoon, when the mainsail and close-reefed topsails were again set. This press of sail I was induced to carry to prevent as much as possible our falling to leeward during the gale, which on Sunday morning the 18th moderated, but the rain continued.

We now made sail, and stood towards the land; the wind veered to the southward of east in the forenoon, which enabled us to steer for the Chiswell isles; and on the rain ceasing, in the afternoon we got sight of them, bearing by compass N. N. W.; but the wind returning again from the N. E., the night was passed in making short trips, with the hope that the weather would prove more favorable to our wishes; but in this we were disappointed, the wind continued to be unsettled between east and N. E., accompanied by misty rainy weather, with some short intervals of sunshine, which afforded an opportunity of ascertaining the latitude to be 59° 16′, longitude 211° 13′. The haziness of the atmosphere to the northward prevented our seeing the coast; in the afternoon we passed Chiswell’s isles, and found the centre of the southernmost group to be in latitude 59° 31′, longitude 211° 10′; from this the easternmost, which is a single detached rock, lies N. 54 E., about a league distant; and the northernmost, which the hazy weather permitted our seeing, having several less islets and rocks about it, lies N. 15 E., five miles distant. These were all we saw of the Chiswell isles, which are a group of naked rugged rocks, seemingly destitute of soil and any kind of vegetation. The badness of the weather precluded our ascertaining their distance from the shores of the peninsula, and prevented my carrying into execution the design I had meditated of visiting the Russian establishment, stated to be in the vicinity of this part of the coast; which continuing to be obscured by a very dense haze or fog, would have required far more authentic and accurate documents than were in our possession, to direct us with safety to that station, and would have occupied more time than I was now willing to devote to this purpose.

As the ship had been subject to very great motion, in consequence of the heavy sea that had attended the last gale, without complaining in any respect, I concluded that she had not sustained any material damage in her bottom, and therefore I determined to make the best of our way to Prince William’s sound. The wind continuing to blow from nearly the direction we wished to steer, we plied to windward, but only increased our distance from the point we wished to gain, until the evening of Tuesday the 20th; when, with a light southerly breeze, our course was directed for the south part of Montagu island, which was seen on the morning of Wednesday the 21st; but the rain and thick weather prevented any distinct view of it until the forenoon, when the atmosphere becoming clear we were enabled to procure the necessary observations for shewing the latitude at noon to be 59° 38′, longitude 212° 52½′. The southernmost land in sight at that time bore by compass S. 88 W., the south point of Montagu island N. 64 W., distant ten miles,; hence that point appears to be situated in latitude 59° 46′, longitude 212° 41′; the northernmost part of Montagu island in sight, apparently a low projecting point, covered with wood, N. 1 W., distant seventeen miles; and the outermost of a cluster of six rocky islets stretching from it, N. 7 E. These islets were not seen by Captain Cook, nor do they appear to have been noticed by those who have followed that able and indefatigable navigator in this hemisphere. These islets seemed to be chiefly composed of steep cliffs nearly level on their tops, and may serve as a direction in thick or gloomy weather to the south point of Montagu island, lying from it, according to our estimation, about N. 62 E., distant seventeen miles. They are tolerably well wooded, and are not liable to be mistaken, particularly for the Chiswell isles, because those appear to be intirely barren.

My intention was to have passed along the south-east side of Montagu island, but the wind veering again to the eastward, and the weather being again overcast, we bore up, and in the evening we anchored within the south point of this island, in 21 fathoms water. Its shores bore by compass from S. 30 E. to N. 11 E.; the former at the distance of three miles, and its nearest shore S. 53 E., one mile distant; the islands forming the west side of this channel into Prince William’s sound from N. 12 W. to S. 89 W., and the southernmost part of the main land in sight S. 69 W. During the night we had a light breeze from the land, with some rain, and a very heavy swell that rolled round the south point of Montagu island, up the channel, giving us reason to suppose that in all probability we had escaped a boisterous and very unpleasant gale from the eastward, having been screened, by the lofty mountains that compose the island, from the violence of its fury. The same weather continued, with a breeze from the N. E., and a stream that we considered to be the ebb tide setting to the eastward, until ten in the forenoon of Thursday the 22d, when on the current taking an opposite line of direction we weighed, but were so little assisted by the tide that we proceeded very slowly.

Whilst we were at anchor we were visited by four of the natives, in two small skin canoes, one of whom was an elderly man, who seemed to know we were from England, as he frequently made use of the words “English, Portlock, and Nootka;” by the two former there could be no doubt of his meaning, and by the latter we supposed he meant the vessel in which Mr. Meares had passed a winter in this sound. These people brought nothing to dispose of, nor could any intreaty prevail on them to venture on board, though they readily accepted such trivial presents as were made to them, expressing their thankfulness in the Russian language, and giving us to understand, that there were some people of that nation residing up the sound.

In the afternoon the wind blew fresh from the N. E., and towards evening increased to a hard gale, attended with heavy squalls and showers of rain. In one of these squalls the head of the bowsprit broke short off; but as we still continued to make some progress by turning to windward, I was willing to keep under weigh as long as the day-light lasted, especially as we found tolerably good soundings on the Montagu island side of the channel, to the north of a point which I have called Point Bazil, in latitude 60° 1′; but south of that point towards the anchorage we had quitted, no bottom could be reached with 60 to 80 fathoms of line, within a mile of the shore. Having it thus in our power to anchor when and where we pleased under a weather shore, we remained under sail until about ten o’clock, when a sudden flurry of wind, through a vein occupying scarcely a greater space in width than the length of the ship, vented its whole fury upon us with such immense violence, that although the topsails were down before it was at its height, we expected all the masts would have gone over the side; but fortunately we escaped with the loss of the fore-yard only, and the splitting of most of our sails then set; and being at this time not far from the shore of Montagu island, we anchored in 15 fathoms water, struck the top-gallant masts, and replaced our damaged sails. During the night the wind blew very hard from the E. N. E. attended with squalls, hail, and rain; but in the morning of Friday the 23d, the weather in some measure becoming more moderate, Lieutenant Swaine with the carpenters and a party of men were sent on shore in quest of a spar for a fore-yard, which was procured almost as soon as they had landed; this they had my directions only to rough square in such a way as to allow of its being used for the present to carry us to Chalmers harbour, where I purposed the ship should remain, whilst the boats were employed in exploring the navigable extent of this opening. And as Mr. Portlock found the rise and fall of the tide in that harbour sufficient for laying the vessels under his directions aground, I was in hopes of being enabled also to examine the Discovery’s bottom there; and although we had no reason to be apprehensive that she had sustained any material damage by the several accidents of getting on shore, yet such an examination, when a convenient opportunity might offer that did not interfere with the other operations of the voyage, could not fail being very desirable and satisfactory.

The carpenters having done every thing then needful to the fore-yard, it was got off and rigged; and in the forenoon of the following day, the gale being succeeded by a light breeze from the north, though still attended with rain, we weighed and plied to windward, but made little progress. The wind died away about nine in the evening, when we anchored for the night in 20 fathoms water, soft bottom. On Sunday morning the 25th a light breeze sprang up from the N. N. E. nearly in the direction of our course to Chalmers harbour; with this we plied, and about six in the evening reached our destined port. Our progress had been materially retarded by the unsteadiness of the wind, and by two shoals, situated nearly in mid-channel, between the south point of the harbour, and a rugged rock that lies about a mile from the east side of the largest of Green islands. We suddenly came upon the most southern of these shoals, in a depth from 19 to 6 fathoms, without there being any weeds, or other indications of shallow water; but on the other, which shoaled equally quick, was a small patch of weeds growing in three fathoms water, with five and seven fathoms close around it. Each of these appeared to occupy no greater extent than the ship’s length in any direction; between these shoals and the Green islands we found a channel, in which we turned to windward until we could sail into the harbour. The Chatham did the same between them and Montagu island, without noticing these shoals; and had we pursued the same route, they would in all probability have still remained undiscovered. As we approached the entrance of the harbour, a strong tide or current sat us so fast to the southward, that we had nearly been driven past the entrance; and although the tide was now rising, this stream had not the least perceptible indraft into the harbour, nor did its influence seem to extend within what we called the South Passage Rock, lying from the north point of the harbour west, something more than a mile distant; and from a small woody islet, lying before the entrance of the harbour, N. 15 W., about three quarters of a mile. We passed on the north side of this rock, and to the north of us was another, that obtained the name of North Passage Rock, lying in a direction from the north point of the harbour, N. 26 W. distant 2½ miles, and W. S. W. three quarters of a mile from the south point of what Mr. Portlock calls Stockdale’s harbour. These rocks are stated to have been seen by Mr. Portlock in his journal, but no notice is taken of them in his sketch of this part of Montagu island; yet they required to be particularly pointed out, since they are not always visible, but are covered at high tide, with scarcely any weeds or other indications of their existence. Towards the upper part of the harbour we took a convenient station, and when moored, the north point of the harbour bore by compass S. 58 W.; the woody islet S. 45 W.; a detached rock S. 38 W.; the south-west point of the harbour S. 36 W.; and the watering place at the distance of about half a cable’s length N. 85 W. The weather throughout the day having been serene and pleasant, afforded a good opportunity for drying all the sails, which were unbent and stowed away.

On Monday morning the 26th the fore-yard was sent on shore to be properly finished, the empty casks to be filled with water, and whilst the other parts of the ship’s company were employed in unrigging the broken bowsprit, and in various other repairs about the vessel, the crews of the boats were preparing for a surveying expedition.

Two boat parties were equipped; one under the directions of Mr. Whidbey, the other of Mr. Johnstone; the former with the yawl and large cutter provided for a fortnight, received my instructions to proceed to the south-west point of entrance into the sound, and there to commence the examination of the western shore of this inlet as far as possible, and thence round to the south point of Snug-corner cove; where I purposed that Mr. Johnstone, with the Chatham’s and our smaller cutter, should begin the survey of its shores southward, as also the exterior coast to cape Suckling; on which services they respectively departed early in the morning of Tuesday the 27th.

The weather, now serene and pleasant, was favorable to these excursions, and to our several employments, amongst which we attempted to take some fish with the seine, but without success. The shores did not afford any convenient situation for erecting the observatory; this gave me concern, as I much wished to have had the instruments on shore, although I had not any doubt of obtaining all the necessary observations we required by the means I otherways possessed. The next day, Wednesday the 28th, the weather became gloomy and overcast in all directions; the fore-yard being finished was brought on board in the evening and rigged, and on the following morning, Thursday the 29th, the broken bowsprit was taken out, and found to be excessively rotten, and defective from end to end. Whilst the carpenters were engaged on shore with the fore-yard, they had found a spar, or rather a tree, that promised fair to replace the bowsprit, but the lowering weather, which towards noon produced a very strong gale from the E. N. E., attended with violent squalls and a heavy rain, put a stop to all our operations on shore for this day and until the evening of Friday the 30th, when the wind moderated, and the rain which had descended in torrents abated. In the course of the night it became calm, and we had hopes that a favorable alteration had taken place, but in this we were disappointed, for about five in the morning of Saturday the 31st the wind resumed its easterly direction with increased violence. The stream cable gave way, and broke near the anchor, and on examination it was found to be stranded in three different places. By this accident we were obliged to remain unmoored during the storm, and at low water the ship took the ground for a short space of time, but on the returning flood tide she soon floated again. This very unpleasant weather, which occasioned no small degree of anxiety for the welfare of our parties in the boats, continued most of the following day, Sunday, June the 1st, but in the June 1794 morning of Monday the 2d the weather became more tranquil, the ship was remoored, the stream anchor recovered, and our several necessary concerns were again in a train of execution. We were a little surprized in the forenoon by the appearance of Mr. Whidbey’s party returning to the ship, being apprehensive that some untoward accident had befallen them, as it was not probable that they could already have accomplished the service they had been sent to perform. Their return proved to have been occasioned by one of the seamen having received an injury which had disabled him; and as the very boisterous weather they had encountered rendered the progress of their survey very slow, this opportunity was embraced of recruiting their stores and provisions to a fortnight’s supply, with which in the afternoon the party proceeded again.

The weather was again cloudy on Tuesday the 3d, with some light rain. In the evening I had the mortification to understand, that just as the carpenters employed on the bowsprit were about leaving off work, they had found it rotten nearly in the middle, so that their time and labour had been applied to no effect. There was, however, another tree in the neighbourhood likely to answer our purpose, though it was considerably larger than was necessary, and consequently would require more labour and time than was altogether convenient; as two of our best carpenters were now much indisposed, owing, I believed, to their having been too much exposed during the late inclement weather, whilst in the execution of their duty.

The next day, Wednesday the 4th, being the anniversary of His Majesty’s nativity, no work was done, excepting that of hauling the seine, in the hope of procuring some fish for the people’s dinner. In this we were again disappointed; as good a dinner was however served as the ship’s provisions afforded, and a double allowance of grog, with which the day was cheerfully celebrated.

Early in the morning of Thursday the 5th, we were again busily employed, and in the forenoon, for the first time since our arrival here, we were visited by some strangers who landed from their canoes, at the brewing tent; and as they did not seem to shew any disposition for visiting the vessels, I paid my compliments to them on shore, and found that their party consisted of eight Indians and a Russian. I took some pains to invite the latter on board, and requested he would in the mean time send the Indians to procure us some fish, for which they should be handsomely rewarded. My invitation he positively declined, and said, by way of excusing himself, that he would go and fish for us; on this the canoes were launched, and the whole party set off.

The wind was now light, in the south-west quarter, but the weather still continued to be unsettled, with some showers of rain. In the evening two of the canoes, with four of the Indian visitors, returned, but the Russian was not of the party, nor did these bring any fish or other article for sale. I made them some presents that seemed to give them much pleasure, and I then endeavoured to make them understand, that I had an abundance of such things, which I would gladly exchange with them for fish, wild fowl, &c. As it had plainly appeared by the behaviour of the Russian, that he was under considerable apprehension for his personal safety in the idea of visiting the ship, I sent him, by these Indians, some bread, beef, pork, and rum, in hopes that such friendly testimonies would dissipate his fears, and give him such confidence in our pacific disposition as to encourage him to pay us another visit.

The atmosphere presented a serene and pleasant aspect, with every appearance, on Friday morning the 6th, of settled summer weather. This enabled us to procure some good lunar distances, and to add other astronomical observations to those we had already made for ascertaining the rate of the chronometers. I did not now much regret that a proper place had not been found on shore for the reception of the observatory, as the inclemency of the weather hitherto would have rendered it an useless object of our attention, and the instruments might have received some damage had they been landed.

The four Indians again returned, and brought with them two wild geese and two divers as a present from the Russian, who, if we understood the messengers correctly, was still afraid to venture amongst us; though he was evidently desirous of being benefited by such things as we had to give away; for the Indians appeared to have been instructed by him to ask for several articles, that we knew would be highly acceptable to him. These accordingly were intrusted to their charge, together with a repetition of the strongest assurances of our friendship, and of our desire of seeing him on board. With this the Russian complied the next day, Saturday the 7th, and we were informed by him that the Indians had faithfully discharged their commission. Two other Russians had joined his party, and the three paid us an early visit; but came empty-handed, which I did not altogether expect, as those who had visited us off point Bede scrupulously performed their promise, by bringing us an ample supply of fish. He who had been so unwilling to visit the ship we now found was named Ammus Niconnervitch Ballusian. This person appeared to have more acquaintance with geography and sea charts than the rest of his companions. He seemed also in other respects to be an intelligent man, and soon comprehended the object of our visit and inquiries in this part of the world, and that I much wished to see a Russian chart of their modern discoveries in this ocean. This wish he said could be easily gratified, as he had such a chart at port Etches, which had been recently constructed, and sent from Kampschatka; this he very civilly offered to fetch, and after taking some refreshment, he departed for this purpose, leaving his companions behind.

A continuation of the fair weather greatly promoted all our operations, and amongst others afforded us an opportunity of airing and sifting the little gunpowder we had now remaining.

On Sunday the 8th, the wind blew fresh from the northward, with bright glaring weather. In the forenoon Mr. Johnstone and his party returned, after having completed the examination of all that had fallen within the limits of his directions, on the inside of the sound; but the extremely bad weather had so retarded the progress of the party, that they had been prevented from carrying into execution the proposed survey along the exterior coast, without obtaining a further supply of provisions, having been absent three days longer than the period for which they had been provided. The following is the manner in which they had been employed during their absence from the ship.

On the evening of the day they departed, they reached the north-west point of a small island, situated about two miles to the south-west of the south point of Snug-corner cove. Here Mr. Johnstone was to commence his survey; but not having a sketch of that part of the sound with him, nor recollecting any island so situated, he was at a loss to determine whether a point lying N. 49 E. about half a league distant, or a point at the distance of two leagues in a north direction, was the point from which he was to take his departure; but as an extensive opening led to the north-eastward between these points, in order to avoid the chance of its escaping unexamined by himself or Mr. Whidbey, Mr. Johnstone rowed over to the latter, where the party rested for the night, which was extremely gloomy and attended with some rain.

At four o’clock in the morning of the 28th of May, their survey commenced from the land on which they had rested; this proved to be an island, and it received the name of Bligh’s Island. They now steered for a point lying from its south point N. 30 E. distant four miles and a half. This point Mr. Johnstone supposed, as it was afterwards proved, to be on the continent; between it and Bligh’s island were some small islets and rocks. From this point, situated in latitude 60° 50′, longitude 213° 51′, forming the west point of a small bay about two miles deep, in a N. N. E. direction, in which there are two small islets and a cove near its east point, lying from the west point S. 80 E. two miles distant, they continued along the larboard or northern shore of the opening noticed the preceding evening as extending to the north-eastward. This was found to wind in that direction about 5½ leagues, and then to terminate in a direction S. 65 E. 2½ leagues further, in latitude 60° 55′, longitude 214° 35′; its width in general being upwards of two miles. Towards its upper part were some islands, and had the weather been fair instead of extremely gloomy and rainy, the adjacent country would probably have afforded a very pleasant prospect, as the shores were in general low, and bounded by a pebbly beach, from whence the ground rose with a gradual ascent, was free from snow, and had a verdant appearance; it was pleasingly diversified with trees, chiefly of the alder kind, which grew with considerable luxuriance. These occupied extensive plains along the borders of the sea, beyond which rose a chain of lofty mountains buried in perpetual frost and snow. Their researches in this arm engaged most of the day, and the next morning they returned along its southern shore.

This spacious inlet, and particularly its north-eastern part, had been visited by Senr Fidalgo in the year 1790, for the purpose of inquiring into the nature, extent, and situation of the Russian establishments in these regions. This gentleman paid much attention to geographical objects, and gave names to several places. His inquiry having been made prior to our survey, I have continued the names so given; but as his own does not appear amongst the number, I have, in order that his labours may be commemorated, distinguished this branch by the name of Port Fidalgo.

The weather became extremely unpleasant as the day advanced, and a very hard gale of wind blew from the eastward, attended with heavy rain. About noon Snug-corner cove was reached, and there were great inducements to have sought the shelter it afforded from the then inclement weather; but Mr. Johnstone, anxious to prosecute his survey, and trusting that some other secure retreat would be met with before night, pursued his route between the south point of the cove, and the island lying off it, in a passage about a mile wide, scattered over with many rocks. The easterly gale continued increasing, and as they passed to the south of this land they met a most heavy sea in that direction. Against this they laboured, with great fatigue and little effect, until the evening, when the violence of the storm obliged them to retire to the island just mentioned, where they hauled the boats on shore to preserve them from the wind and sea, to which they were greatly exposed from their situation before the beach.

The party had not been landed long before they were accosted from the woods by the words, “lawlee, lawlee,” signifying friendship; and four Indians soon appeared, uttering the same words, with their arms extended, and making use of every sign and gesture to announce their pacific disposition; which being returned, with the addition of some trivial presents from the party, friendship and a good understanding was established on both sides. The Indians’ canoe had been just hauled up within the skirts of the woods, but it appeared that their residence was to the north-west, and that the violence of the storm had obliged them to seek this place for shelter; which fortunately afforded a comfortable situation for the tents of our fatigued party, who now stood in need of some rest and refreshment, having had neither throughout the day. Here they remained during the night, in the expectation that the storm having been so violent, would be of short duration; but instead of abating, it increased with incredible fury, and was attended with heavy torrents of rain. The Indians, however, had stolen away unnoticed; this led to an examination into the cause of their abrupt departure; and it was soon discovered, that an axe that had been used the preceding evening was missing, and which could not have been purloined without the inexcusable negligence of those who were upon watch; a fault not easily to be overlooked in such situations, and which was properly noticed by Mr. Johnstone, who took such measures as produced a very different conduct in the persons who had been thus inattentive to their duty, during the remainder of his excursion.

In the morning of the 31st the wind and sea had greatly subsided, but the rain still continued to be very heavy; this however did not prevent the party from proceeding to the examination of the continental shore, which, from the west point of Snug-corner cove, situated according to our observations in latitude 60° 45′, longitude 213° 48′, takes first a direction S. 17 E. four miles, and then east about five miles further; where, with great difficulty and much hard labour, they arrived late in the afternoon. In consequence of the wind blowing again with extreme violence from the eastward, the sea broke heavily upon the shore, and it was not without much difficulty that they effected a landing on a small pebbly beach, between two projecting rocks, where they again hauled up their boats on the shore.

During the night Mr. Johnstone remarked that this storm blew with equal, if not greater, fury than he had ever before experienced, and the succeeding day was not much less tempestuous; but on the 2d of June the wind in a great degree abated, though the rain still continued with heavy and gloomy weather. Their survey was resumed along the continental shore, which took a direction nearly parallel to port Fidalgo, reducing the intervening land to a narrow strip not more than three or four miles across. As the day advanced the weather became serene and pleasant, and they were enabled to ascertain the latitude, on a point in the direction N. 72 E. eight or nine miles from the point on which they had passed the last storm, to be 60° 45′; having now passed some distance up another branch of the sound, named by Senr Fidalgo, Puerto Gravina. Its north-west shore continued about four miles further in the same line of direction, and afforded some small coves, with rocks and rocky islets lying off it. It then suddenly trended to the N. N. E. for about four miles and an half, where port Gravina terminated, and from whence they returned along its east and southern shores, which are encumbered with islets and rocks. Early in the evening they reached the south-east point of this branch in latitude 60° 41′, longitude 214° 11½′, to the south-west of which lies an island and also some rocks. Here the party rested for the night, and took the advantage of the fineness of the evening to dry their clothes and put their arms in order. In the morning of the 3d they proceeded along the continental shore which, from the place where they had last rested, took a direction S. 30 E. two miles, and then stretched nearly east thirteen miles further. Within these limits are a bay, and a small branch, in which are several rocks and rocky islets; the shores are in general low, ending in pebbly beaches, where shoal water extends some distance, and renders landing at low tide very unpleasant.

The shores which they had just traversed from port Gravina formed the northern side of an arm from four to six miles wide; but having reached the above extent, its width decreased to less than two miles, where it took a N. N. E. direction for six miles, and then terminated with a shallow flat at the head, in latitude 60° 44′, longitude 214° 45′. This distance was not accomplished until breakfast time on the 4th, nor had the party been able to see much about them in their passage up this arm, owing to the dark, gloomy, and rainy weather that had prevailed. The shores on either side were more steep and rocky than in the other arms they had examined on this excursion, but the low ground at its head extended to a greater distance before it reached the base of the mountains; these were greatly elevated, rose rather abruptly, and were covered with perpetual snow. The productions of the lower country were observed to be similar to those that had been so repeatedly mentioned to the north-westward of New Georgia. On their landing an old bear was discovered nearly at the top of a pine tree, with two cubs; the former immediately descended, and made its escape, but the young ones were shot, and afforded them an excellent dinner. The party, however, had fared tolerably well on this expedition, having shot many wild fowl; and on most of the rocks where they had landed, eggs had been procured in great abundance. As they returned, a channel or opening was found to the eastward of that by which they had advanced; this was pursued in a direction S. 25 W. under the impression that the intermediate land, forming the southern side of the other arm, was an island; and that, from the line which the continental shore then took, it would lead to a passage which, on Mr. Johnstone’s former visit to this sound in the Prince of Wales of London, had been discovered to separate cape Hinchinbrook from the main land by a channel, which, although only navigable for boats, was sufficient to answer all our purposes in tracing the limits of the continental boundary. This having always been a primary consideration with us, Mr. Johnstone entertained hopes of being able to prosecute his survey to the fullest extent I had pointed out, to which he was greatly encouraged by the favorable change the weather had assumed by the advanced state of the season, and by the long continuance of the very boisterous weather with which they had so recently contended. But before they had advanced a league, after passing some islets that lie in the channel, their flattering prospect vanished, the atmosphere resumed its threatening aspect, and by noon the easterly wind, attended by a heavy rain, burst suddenly upon them, and blew very violently; yet, under the cover of the eastern shore, they continued their route. Here they met twenty Indians in twelve small skin canoes, a few of whom only visited the boats; the others, who were busily employed in fishing, did not visit our party, and those who did, though they behaved in a very civil and orderly manner, were very unwilling to part with any fish; a single halibut being all that could be obtained.

Having returned in the above direction from the head of the arm about eight miles, the party landed on an islet lying close to the eastern shore, where they saw land appearing like two small islands, and seeming to be situated at the south-west entrance of the channel they were then pursuing; but between the station they had taken and those islands, (it being low tide) a dry sand seemed to extend from side to side of the passage. Not doubting that their survey had hitherto been along the continental shore, Mr. Johnstone was unwilling to abandon his object, without more positive conviction of the passage before them being closed and impassable. For this purpose they steered over to the western or opposite shore, and on approaching within about half a mile of it, (the shores being about half a league asunder) the depth of water suddenly increased to three, five, and ten fathoms; these soundings were regular, close to the western, or island side, and in a navigable channel lying S. 60 W., about half a mile in width; the shoal bank from the eastern or continental shore terminating there. This fact was ascertained by one of the boats, whilst Mr. Johnstone in the other kept along the edge of the shoal bank until he reached the easternmost of the two islands, which from the islet they had quitted is about nine miles distant, and lies in a S. 54 W. direction. To this place they had been conducted by two Russians, with whom they had met in their way; and on landing were received by eight others with every expression of pleasure, indicative of their friendly and hospitable inclinations, though their poverty seemed to preclude the exercise of their good intentions. Their residence at this island appeared to be of a temporary nature, since the only shelter they had was under a large skin boat, resting with one of its gunwales on the ground, whilst the other was propped up by sticks at a sufficient height to admit their creeping under it. In this situation did these ten Russians abide, close in the vicinage of a large village, containing not less than two hundred Indians; a party by much too numerous for our people to have ventured taking up their night’s abode so near, had it not been for the confidence which the Russians reposed in them, and which proved not to be ill placed.

Whilst our party was preparing for their night’s rest, the twelve canoes which were seen in the morning arrived, and delivered to the Russians the produce of their day’s labour, consisting of about two dozen halibut, some small fish, and one very fine salmon. The Russians immediately presented the salmon to Mr. Johnstone, and desired that his people would take such of the halibut and small fish as they had occasion for; these very friendly offers were thankfully accepted, and they afforded the party a most excellent repast, in which they were joined by their Russian friends. As the party were about to retire to rest, two large skin canoes arrived, and paddled leisurely backwards and forwards in front of the village, singing a song in slow time, which was accompanied by actions similar to those practised by most of the North-West American Indians on their visiting strangers. This party consisted of about twenty in each canoe, which circumstance at that time of night Mr. Johnstone considered as by no means pleasant, and induced him to inquire which was the officer, or who was the principal person, of the Russian party; but he found there was no such person amongst them, they being all either matrosses or common sailors, sent from their settlement at Noocheek, that is to say, port Etches, for the purpose of collecting furs.

The new comers, although making a very considerable addition to the Indian party, produced no alteration in the conduct of the Russians; this was very satisfactory to Mr. Johnstone, and the suspicions that had before been entertained intirely subsided. One of these Indians, who appeared to be a chief, delivered to the Russians a paper folded up in the form of a letter, with ten skins, nine of which appeared to be beaver, and one a sea otter skin.

Although a want of knowledge in the Russian language necessarily rendered most of their inquiries inconclusive, yet they clearly understood that the strangers had come immediately from Groosgincloose, or Cook’s inlet, and that they, with their canoes, had crossed the isthmus overland that separates this sound from Turnagain arm; but whether these Indians were the natives of this or that branch of the ocean could not be ascertained.

The night was boisterous from the S. E., with very heavy rain. In the morning of the 5th the weather was more moderate, but unfortunately the grapnel of one of the boats being foul at the bottom, the boat grounded whilst they were endeavouring to weigh it; and it being ebb tide they could not pass over the shoal, so that she was under the necessity of remaining there until the returning flood. As their situation was now before the channel leading in an easterly direction to the ocean, Mr. Johnstone proceeded with the other boat, in order to gain such information as might tend to facilitate their progress on the next tide; and having advanced as far as the shoal and the falling tide would permit, he observed, that between the point to which they had traced the continental shore, situated in latitude 60° 29½′, longitude 214° 29′, (and which, after Captain Whitshed, of the navy, obtained the name of Point Whitshed) and Hinchinbrook island, the space was occupied by a low uninterrupted barren sand as far as the eye could reach, being the continuation of the shoal bank that they had traced ever since quitting the islet on the preceding afternoon. This bank seemed to be impassable, but as these observations were made at low water, a few feet only above the surface of an extensive and nearly level tract of sands, Mr. Johnstone thought it not improbable that a channel for the boats might be found winding through it into the ocean. He was confirmed in this opinion by the Russians on his return to the island; where, finding the other boat in readiness to depart, they took leave of their Russian friends, with many thankful expressions for the kindnesses they had bestowed. These Mr. Johnstone endeavoured to requite by a few trifling articles of traffic, which he conceived might be acceptable, and which were received with great pleasure by the Russians.

The wind still blew very strong from the S. E. attended with thick rainy weather, but the hopes of being yet able to prosecute their researches along the continental shore to the eastward, induced them to continue in that pursuit towards the north-east point of Hinchinbrook island (which obtained the name of Point Bentinck) as the most probable means for finding the expected boat passage; but on their reaching that point Mr. Johnstone perceived, as he had done in the morning, the continuation of the sand bank, connecting the land he was then upon with the continent; with the only difference of its being partly dry, the tide not being quite so low as before. To the eastward the ocean seemed to be very tempestuous, and the space between point Bentinck and point Whitshed was occupied by a tremendous surf that rendered any passage at that time impracticable, though in more favorable weather it might probably be effected.

The party had now been absent ten days from the ship, which was the period for which they had been supplied, as the only means of carrying on the survey of the exterior coast was round by cape Hinchinbrook, a navigation far too extensive for them to attempt with the remaining stock of their provisions, and exposed to the ocean on an intirely open coast, they were obliged, though with great reluctance, to abandon that object, and direct their way towards home. In doing this they passed along the shores of Hinchinbrook island, nearly in a west direction, still doubtful whether the land, forming the north-western side of the channel they had thus pursued, was an island, or only a peninsula. Should however the former conjecture prove correct, their passage to the vessels would be shortened many leagues; and to ascertain this fact they rowed until near midnight, when, having advanced about eight miles from point Bentinck, their labours were rewarded by reaching the western side of the expected passage leading into the sound, by a channel about half a league wide and about two miles long, in which were some islets and rocks, with a shoal lying before its northern entrance. The land in question was now proved to be an island; from one to four miles wide, and about twenty miles long, in a north-east and south-west direction. This island obtained the name of Hawkins’s Island.

After resting a few hours, early in the morning of the 6th they again sat off, but their progress was slow in consequence of a strong westerly wind, almost as adverse to their returning as the easterly storms had been to their advancing, but with the alleviation of more pleasant weather. They passed along the north-west part of Hinchinbrook island, which in a westerly direction is formed into coves, and small open bays; in one of these they stopped to breakfast. Here they found a cross erected, on which was inscribed, “Carolus IV. Hispan. Rex. An. 1790. Pr Dn Salvador Fidalgo.” The north-west extremity of this island was reached about noon, when the latitude was observed to be 60° 30′, its longitude 213° 54′, about 7½ miles nearly in a west direction from the passage they had passed through the preceding night. This was only the second observation that had been obtained for the latitude during this expedition, but this fortunately happened to be at a conspicuous station, from whence they were able to correct the mensuration of the whole of their survey, which otherwise must have been liable to material error from the very inclement weather they had experienced.

From this point the shores, which were indented into small coves, took a S. S. W. direction, about eight miles to the north-west point of entrance into port Etches; which Mr. Johnstone had my directions to visit if circumstances would permit him so to do, in the hope of his being able to acquire some geographical information from the Russians established in that place, whose habitation in the morning of the 7th they found situated in the north-west part of that port. Here they were received by the principal person, Mr. Peter Colomenee, with every mark of polite cordiality that might have been expected from a person in his situation, and intrusted with the direction of an extensive commercial establishment. Mr. Colomenee instantly conducted the party to the Russian residence, which in most respects resembled that which I had visited in Cook’s inlet, though on a smaller scale. This however was better defended, as a galliot of about seventy tons burthen was hauled on shore, placed erect, and formed nearly one side of the square, within which their houses were built; the whole of which it overlooked, and commanded the adjacent country, which is a low narrow peninsula, to a considerable distance round. On board this vessel some Russians well armed constantly resided, and on her decks some swivel and carriage guns were mounted; and three of the latter were also seen at the entrance of the large common dwelling-house. Here they were seated to breakfast, consisting of boiled seals’ flesh, train oil, and a few boiled eggs, served up with a degree of neatness correspondent to the delicacy of the articles of which the repast was composed. The skin and most of the hair were still adhering to the flesh of the seal, and the other articles not being very inviting to persons accustomed to a different diet, Mr. Johnstone begged leave to add their portion of chocolate, beef and bread, to the breakfast, which was readily admitted, and to which their Russian host did ample justice.

Mr. Johnstone observed, that there were only a few Indians in the neighbourhood of this settlement, but is of opinion that they have a considerable village at the head of the port. The Russians were said to amount to an hundred, who, with those established in the upper parts of Cook’s inlet, under Mr. Zikoff, were in the interest of one particular company of merchants, distinct from those under the direction of Mr. Berrenoff, who they now understood resided chiefly at the Kodiak; that his party extended their traffic principally along the exterior coast of the peninsula, towards Montagu island; that the accounts of the establishment under the authority of Mr. Berrenoff in Blying sound were correct; and that the Englishman’s name who was employed there in building a ship, was Shields.

From the result of Mr. Johnstone’s inquiries, it did not appear that the Russians had formed any establishment to the eastward of this station, but that their boats make excursions along the exterior coast as far as cape Suckling, and their galliots much further. In one of these expeditions a serious dispute had lately arisen with the natives of Admiralty bay; but the particulars could not be learned. On Mr. Johnstone’s inquiring for the chart of the Russian discoveries in these regions, he found that Mr. Colomenee had no such thing in his possession; but he understood that Mr. Smyloff, who commanded the galliot, was well informed, and Mr. Colomenee believed that he possessed some documents that would have afforded Mr. Johnstone much satisfaction, had not that gentleman been absent on an excursion, by which means little interesting information could be obtained by this visit; not however resulting from an improper mode of directing the inquiries on the one part, or a disinclination to communicate on the other; but from the insurmountable impediment which had so constantly attended on all our inquiries, from the want of a common language, by which we might have been enabled to comprehend each other’s meaning.

During the day the weather was fair, but as the wind blew a strong gale from the westward, against which the boats could have made very little if any progress, Mr. Johnstone was induced to prolong his stay until the evening, at which time these winds generally subside. After dinner, to shew the sense he entertained of Mr. Colomenee’s cordial and attentive reception, and in return for the services our party had received from the Russians at the India village, Mr. Johnstone presented their hospitable host with the few articles of traffic, and the small stock of provisions they had remaining, amongst which was about half a gallon of rum. This appeared to be by far the most acceptable part of the whole; and Mr. Colomenee said, it was a great length of time since he had possessed such a quantity of spirituous liquor; indeed, the immediate and intemperate use he made of it, soon proved it to be a fortunate circumstance that his situation precluded him the indulgence of such luxuries. The inordinate desire in the lower classes of these people for spirituous liquors is a notorious fact, and had been often exhibited in our short intercourse with those whom we had met with in this country; but our gentlemen could not avoid being greatly hurt that a foreigner, capable of conducting himself in a manner that bespoke him worthy of a superior station, should have so little esteem for himself, as to fall into the general error; especially as he was a man advanced in years, and whose previous deportment had very justly intitled him to their respect: he became in an instant an object of their pity, and they were under the necessity of taking their leave, whilst he was so intoxicated as to be nearly in a state of insensibility.

The wind, as had been expected, subsided about eight in the evening, and the night was employed in rowing across the sound; in the morning the calm was succeeded by a northerly wind with pleasant weather, which brought them back to the vessels, as has been already stated.

On the afternoon of Sunday the 8th, a party of about twenty Russians visited the ships from port Etches, in one of their large skin canoes, conducted by the same person who had been the leader of the party that had visited us amongst the ice in the upper part of Cook’s inlet. I understood from him, that on his quitting the ship they had proceeded up Turnagain arm, and from thence had crossed the isthmus by land and gone to port Etches, where he had remained ever since. He also gave me to understand, that Mr. Colomenee would be with us in the morning, which took place agreeably to his information; and with him came Mr. Ballusian, who brought the chart he had gone in quest of, and very politely allowed me to copy it.

By the superscription of this chart, it appeared to have been executed in the years 1789 and 1790, but we were unable to understand any thing further of what was contained in its title, which was rather diffuse, and appeared to be as unintelligible to the Russians as to ourselves; for they either could not, or would not read it over, nor did they inform us under what authority the chart had been constructed. The extent which it comprehended was, on the Asiatic shore, including the sea of Ochotsk, from 50 to 63 degrees of north latitude; the American coast and islands eastward on the north Pacific to Cross sound, and northward to shoal Ness. On comparing this chart with such parts of the American coast as had been surveyed by Captain Cook, or seen by ourselves, though it had not any great apparent pretensions to accuracy, yet it was satisfactory in certain particulars, with respect to which we had entertained some doubts; especially with regard to the coast lying between cape Trinity and point Banks, which was represented in this chart as an extensive group of islands under the denomination of Kodiak. The largest of these extends from cape Trinity to cape Greville, where a separation takes place between it and the land to the westward of St. Hermogenes island, which land the Russians call Fogniak; and forms with the land to the southward what Captain Cook called Whitsuntide bay, but which is a passage leading westward into those straits that separate the Kodiak from the continent, to the south-westward of cape Douglas. These straits are delineated as being in general upwards of ten leagues wide, free from interruption; the land about cape Trinity forming their south-west point of entrance. The parts thus described, that had not been seen by us, I have incorporated into our charts, but I cannot take upon me to be answerable in any respect for their accuracy. This survey in many particulars varies very materially from that published by Mr. Meares.

The inclemency of the weather having prevented Mr. Johnstone from examining the exterior coast, and having greatly delayed our business, especially in the carpenters’ department, Mr. Puget received my orders to proceed with the Chatham, and to continue the survey of the continental shore to port Mulgrave, where I directed him to remain until the 1st of July; but in the event of my not having arrived there before that time, he was then to proceed to Cross sound, with further instructions for his government. On this service the Chatham departed the next morning, Wednesday the 11th, as did our Russian friends, to whom I presented an assortment of such articles as in their estimation was most valuable and useful, consisting of culinary utensils, iron, steel, copper, axes, &c. with some salted provisions, bread flour, rum, and tobacco, all of which were accepted with testimonies of the most grateful satisfaction.

The cutter that had attended Mr. Johnstone being now at leisure, I employed the three following days in taking a sketch of the harbour, and its adjacent shores. During this interval the bowsprit was got in, and the ship in all other respects made ready for sea the instant the other boat party should return.

About noon on Sunday the 15th, Mr. Whidbey arrived, having completed the task allotted to his labours, so that by the joint exertions of the two parties, the survey of this spacious inlet had been fully accomplished.

In his passage towards the south-west point of the sound, Mr. Whidbey visited two bays on the shores of Montagu island, one named by Mr. Portlock Hunnings’s bay, the other M’Leod’s harbour. The anchorage in these he represents as being very much exposed, and constituting nothing more than stopping places in navigating this channel. The points of both ought not to be approached too near, as lurking rocks are situated at some distance from them. In crossing from Montagu island to the south-west point of the sound, much broken land was passed, and considered to be a cluster of high rugged islands. This conjecture was afterwards found to be well formed, as also that the point to which I have given the name of Cape Puget, was on the main land of the peninsula. This cape is situated in latitude 59° 55′, longitude 212° 9½′, and forms the west point of a branch of the sound leading to the northward; which I named Port Bainbridge. Its opposite point, which I call Point Elrington, is the south-westernmost part of the above high rugged cluster of islands, lying from it east, five miles distant. This is a high, steep, barren promontory of small extent, connected to the island near it by a narrow isthmus, which at that time was covered with different kinds of sea fowl. On the same side of the port, in a N. N. W. direction, about five miles from point Elrington, is Point Pyke, rendered remarkable by its sugar-loaf form. Between these points are some bays, and a large opening leading to the north-east, with many rocks about the shores just above water; but the opposite or western side of the port is compact, although somewhat indented with small bays and coves. To the north of point Pyke is a tolerably well sheltered bay, surrounded on all sides by lofty abrupt snowy mountains; and to the north of this was a second bay, and a narrow opening leading to the north-east. The survey was continued on the western shore, in a channel in a northerly direction, and between two and three miles wide. On the 28th of May the party rested in a small cove; the night as well as the day was extremely unpleasant, the wind having constantly blown a strong gale from the N. N. E. with cold rainy weather. The next morning a great swell rolled from the ocean up the port, which terminated six miles from their last sleeping place in the latitude of 60° 13½′, longitude 212° 12½′, by a small tract of low land; off which, as well as its western shore, lie some rocks and rocky islets. On these, although at the distance of eighteen miles from the entrance of the port, and the wind blowing nearly in a direct line down the channel, the sea broke with such violence as rendered landing dangerous. Here they were met by a solitary Indian, who accompanied them back along the eastern side of port Bainbridge. This shore was found to be compact, until they reached the north point of the narrow opening before noticed, which I have called Point Waters, lying in a direction from the head of the port S. 15 E. distant eight miles, having some rocks and breakers before it. These they passed, and continued their researches up the opening which took a direction N. 50 E.; where, having advanced about five miles, the turbulency of the weather obliged them to seek some secure retreat, and on reaching a small indifferent cove on the northern side, the party stopped, and were with difficulty able to erect one small tent, and make a fire. The violence of the storm here was equal to what was experienced by Mr. Johnstone and his party. It detained Mr. Whidbey until the 1st of June, but its greatest force during his excursion was about noon on the preceding day, when a very heavy gust brought down from a considerable height on the side of the mountains, which are steep to the water’s edge, an immense mass of earth, trees, and frozen snow. This was attended by a most tremendous noise, and took place at a distance not exceeding an hundred yards from the spot where the whole party was assembled. It was whilst they were detained here that the accident had happened, which in a great measure had occasioned Mr. Whidbey’s former return.

Conceiving, from the direction of this opening, that it separated the broken land before mentioned from the main land, and that it communicated with the sound to the north-eastward, Mr. Whidbey continued his course in that direction, accompanied by the Indian who had been their guest during the stormy weather; and having proceeded about six miles further, nearly in the line before described, they arrived in the sound. The channel through which they had thus passed, was in most parts something less than a mile wide; it is about 11 miles in length, there are several sunken rocks in it; and its shores are composed of steep rocky mountains.

In the evening of the 3d, the party again reached the north-west point of this passage, which, after Captain Countess of the navy, obtained the name of Point Countess; it is situated in latitude 60° 13′, longitude 212° 30½′; this forms also the south-east point of an arm leading to the north-westward, up which their course was directed along the larboard or continental shore, passing many large pieces of floating ice, which were in great abundance in this part of the sound. Two miles to the north-west of this point they reached the entrance of a small opening about a mile in width, that took a southerly direction, where they rested for the night. Early the next morning they again proceeded with thick rainy weather, and found this opening to be composed of two bays, that terminated about a league within its entrance. From hence they steered to the N. N. W. passing a bay on the western shore about a league wide, and about four miles and a half deep, terminated by a compact body of ice that descended from high perpendicular cliffs to the water side, and surrounded by a country composed of stupendous lofty mountains covered with snow. By this time Mr. Whidbey had advanced as far on the western side of the sound as to be opposite to the anchorage of the vessels, about nine leagues distant in nearly an east and west direction. This space is occupied by land much broken, through which, besides an opening then before them leading to the north-east, there were two others that they had passed by leading to the northward. From the north of this icy bay the continental shore stretched N. 30 W. about six miles up a small branch, which there turned short to the southward, and terminated about a league further in a circular bason, full of rocks, some above and others beneath the surface of the water. From this bason the party returned along the northern shore, which led them to a point, in the opening last mentioned, extending to the north-east, in latitude 60° 20′, longitude 212° 26′. This passage, which may be considered as commencing at the north point of Icy bay, is there about two miles wide, and was found to extend in a direction N. 42 E. for nine miles and a half, where it communicated with the most western of the other two openings before alluded to, making the land on the eastern side of this passage (which from the great number of rocks in it is navigable only for boats and canoes) an island about three leagues and a half long. On the western side of this are two small branches, each about a mile wide, and four miles long, lying in a north-west direction, in which were also an immense number of rocks. The shores of the main land continued in the direction of the passage, about a league and a half beyond the most northern of these branches, to a point from whence the continental shore took a direction N. 27 W.; this point obtained the name of Point Nowell, and is situated in latitude 60° 27′, longitude 212° 42½′. They quitted this about noon on the 5th; and after having advanced about eleven miles along a very rocky coast, with some islets lying off from it, the party arrived at the south point of entrance into an opening on the main land; its opposite point lying in the above direction about two miles further: the shores that were thus traversed broke into small bays, lined by innumerable rocks, and exposed to the whole range of the north-east swell in the sound, from which quarter a very heavy sea broke with great violence, and rendered its navigation, even for boats, highly dangerous.

This opening consisted of three small branches, two of them taking a southerly, and the third a north-westerly course. Having ascertained the extent of this opening, the coast was found to stretch from it nearly north, rounding a little to the eastward, to a point that has received the name of Point Culross, situated in latitude 60° 45′, and longitude 212° 32′, and passing an island about a league from the shore, about four miles long, in a north-west direction. This point formed the south-west point of an opening about two miles and a half wide, taking a direction N. 30 W.; but as they advanced between these points of entrance, the opening divided into two very extensive branches, one taking nearly a northerly, the other a westerly course; the latter first claimed the attention of the party. Along its southern shore, about four miles and a half from point Culross, they came to a bay about a league and a half wide, and about three miles deep, in a south direction, where it was terminated by a similar boundary of ice and frozen snow as before described, reaching from a compact body of lofty frozen mountains to the water’s edge. Here it was singular that the shores between these icy bays were mostly composed of a border of very low land, well wooded with trees of the pine and alder tribes, stretching from the base of stupendous mountains into the sea. At the west point of this bay, which I have called Point Cochrane, they took up their night’s abode, and found it to form the south point of a branch leading to the westward, and lying in a direction from point Culross N. 77 W. at the distance of eight miles; the opposite, or north point of entrance, lying N. N. E. half a league distant. This branch, on the morning of the 7th, was found divided into two; the first about two miles wide, took a direction from point Cochrane, S. 68 W. two leagues and a half; the other extended from the same station west 13 miles, and then terminated in a direction S. 33 W. about four miles further; its general width from half a league to two miles and an half. Although Mr. Whidbey had every reason to presume that his examination, had hitherto been directed along the continental shore, yet from the very extraordinary manner in which we had found the coast of North-West America divided, he could not help entertaining some doubts, until he arrived at the north-west extremity of this branch, situated in latitude 60° 48′, longitude 211° 52′. Here they had approached within twelve miles in a direction S. 60 W. of the spot where Mr. Whidbey had ended his examination of Turnagain arm. The intermediate space was the isthmus so frequently alluded to before, on either side of which the country was composed of what appeared to him to be lofty, barren, impassable mountains, enveloped in perpetual snow; but the isthmus itself was a valley of some breadth, which, though it contained elevated land, was very free from snow, and appeared to be perfectly easy of access; a little to the eastward of this valley, a rapid stream of fresh water rushed down a gully in the lofty mountains, and found its way to the sea through a margin of low land extending from the base of the mountains, and producing pine trees, cranberries, and a few other shrubs. On the western point of entrance into this brook was a small house, about five feet high, and eight feet square, covered in with bark, not built after the Indian, but evidently constructed after the Russian manner; formed by logs of timber, and made tight by the vacancies being filled up with moss and clay; the bottom was strewed over with clean dried grass, and appeared not only to have been recently inhabited, but to be a place of frequent resort.

This house, and the general appearance of the country, removed every doubt of their situation being then on the eastern side of that pass, by which the Russians maintain a communication between their settlements in these two extensive inlets. Mr. Whidbey, however, for his further satisfaction, was very desirous of finding the road or path by which the intercourse was carried on; and although he was unsuccessful in ascertaining this, yet it did not appear to him that any particular track was necessary, as the valley has a tolerably even surface, was nearly destitute of any vegetable productions, and was equally passable in all directions. Its situation and character corresponded also with the description of it given by the Russians, and Mr. Whidbey’s mensuration agreed nearly with the distance across as stated by them, namely, about sixteen versts. Coincidences so conclusive were considered by him as sufficiently satisfactory, without crossing the isthmus for more fully determining the point in question, which was now placed beyond all doubt; nor could it be necessary for attaining the principal object of our voyage, that a more minute examination should be made of this isthmus, or of the shores of the intervening peninsula between Cook’s inlet and Prince William’s sound.

This branch received the name of Passage Channel; and the party having finished their necessary observations, dined by the side of the above brook. Part of their repast consisted of two porcupines, which were represented to resemble rabbits in taste. Here they also shot a third, but its effluvia was so intolerably offensive that no use could be made of it; the largest of the three weighed about 25lb.; such of their quills as were hard, and in a perfect state, did not exceed six inches in length, although they had others much longer, but these were soft and of no strength.

In their way up Passage channel, the progress of the party had been much retarded by a strong westerly wind, and they had no sooner sat out on their return than the wind shifted, and blew equally strong from the eastward, which obliged them to be continually rowing until ten at night before they reached the entrance; here they rested for the night in a small bay, about half a league to the north of the north point of entrance into the channel, which I have called Point Pigot, after one of the young gentlemen who generally attended Mr. Whidbey on these excursions; it is situated in latitude 60° 47½′, longitude 212° 16½′. Early in the morning of the 8th the examination of the continental shore was resumed; it forms the western side of the northern branch of this arm before alluded to, and which in a direction N. 30 E. is about four miles wide. The continental side of this branch is composed of a stupendous range of snowy mountains, from whose base low projecting land extends, jutting out into points, and forming the shores, which were thinly wooded with dwarf pines and stunted alders.

At one of the points where the party had occasion to land, a sepulchre was discovered; Mr. Whidbey, in the course of this excursion had observed similar monuments before, but they were all so old, decayed, and mutilated, that it was not an easy matter to determine exactly for what specific purpose they had been originally intended; but it was now proved that their conjectures had been rightly formed. This tomb being of more recent date, Mr. Whidbey had it examined; a hole was found dug about a foot deep, five feet long, and four feet wide; at the bottom were some thin planks, and across them, nearly in the middle of the grave, two pieces of wood were placed about a foot asunder, and about nine inches thick, between which were deposited the remains of a dead body, rolled up in a seal skin, and carefully tied with thongs of the same material. These remains consisted of some ashes and calcined bones, which were concluded to be human; and as all the parts of the grave shewed evident signs of the action of fire, it is natural to infer, that consuming their dead by fire is the practice of the inhabitants. The relicts thus deposited were covered over with another plank, over which were strewed stones, moss, and some old broken paddles. The direction of the grave was nearly north and south, with a small pole about eight feet long erected at its south end. The curiosity of the party having been thus satisfied, every thing was restored to its former state, and they proceeded towards another low projecting point still on the larboard or continental shore, in a direction N. 63 E. from this spot, and at the distance of three miles. Between these points a bay is formed, about a league and a half deep towards the N. N. W., in which were seen several shoals and much ice; the termination of this bay is bounded by a continuation of the above range of lofty mountains. On this second low projecting point, which Mr. Whidbey called Point Pakenham, the latitude was observed to be 60° 59½′, its longitude 212° 29′. The width of the arm at this station was reduced to two miles, in which were several half concealed rocks, and much floating ice, through which they pursued their examination, to a point at the distance of three miles along the western shore, which still continued to be compact, extending N. 30 E; in this direction they met such innumerable huge bodies of ice, some afloat, others lying on the ground near the shore in ten or twelve fathoms water, as rendered their further progress up the branch rash, and highly dangerous. This was however, very fortunately, an object of no moment, since before their return they had obtained a distinct view of its termination about two leagues further in the same direction, by a firm and compact body of ice reaching from side to side, and greatly above the level of the sea; behind which extended the continuation of the same range of lofty mountains, whose summits seemed to be higher than any that had yet been seen on the coast.

Whilst at dinner in this situation they frequently heard a very loud rumbling noise, not unlike loud, but distant thunder; similar sounds had often been heard when the party was in the neighbourhood of large bodies of ice, but they had not before been able to trace the cause. They now found the noise to originate from immense ponderous fragments of ice, breaking off from the higher parts of the main body, and falling from a very considerable height, which in one instance produced so violent a shock, that it was sensibly felt by the whole party, although the ground on which they were was at least two leagues from the spot where the fall of ice had taken place. Mr. Whidbey observed, that a large portion of the few trees that this desolate and dreary region produced, had been much shattered by the late stormy weather; some were torn up by the roots, others bent to the ground, and some had their heads intirely broken off. After dinner they returned down this branch along its eastern side, which like the opposite shore is firm and compact, until they reached a narrow opening lying south, four miles distant from the second low projecting point. This opening led them through a narrow passage, in some places a mile in others not a quarter of a mile wide, and in an irregular direction about S. 39 E., and about three leagues long, to a point on the continent communicating with the sound, and making the land on the west side of this passage an island about ten miles long, and four miles broad; its south point being the north-east point of entrance into the arm leading to Passage channel. Here they rested for the night, and in the morning of the 9th continued their inquiry along the shores of the continent, which took, though irregularly, about an E. N. E. direction, ten miles to the south-west point of an arm, which I called Point Pellew, leading to the northward, where the observed latitude was 60° 51′, longitude 212° 57′. The shores that compose this extent of coast are formed by a low border of land, extending from the base of the mountains, much indented with small bays, and at high tide greatly intersected by water; it produces a few dwarf trees, and other insignificant vegetable productions; and like the other parts of the continent bordering upon the sound, is bounded by small islands, islets, and rocks, extending into the sound as far as they were able to discern, and which rendered the progress of the boats tedious and intricate. Here they were visited by a small party of the native Indians, who conducted themselves with great friendliness, and very civilly invited our gentlemen to their habitations, which they pointed out to be not far off; but Mr. Whidbey’s object leading him another way, they mutually bade each other farewell, and as our party proceeded, this arm was found to take a north direction, in general about a league wide, and to terminate at the distance of about four leagues, at the foot of a continuation of the range of lofty mountains before mentioned. Its upper parts were much encumbered with ice, as were both the eastern and western sides with innumerable rocks, and some islets. In the evening they reached a point, which lies N. 83 E., at the distance of eight miles from the above south-west point of the arm they had quitted; here the party rested for the night. About two the next morning (the 10th) their repose was disturbed by four Indians, who had struck a large halibut, that occasioned them some trouble to secure, very near the place of their lodging; this was at length very dexterously effected, and the interruption experienced was amply compensated by the fish which they purchased of the Indians, and which afforded the party several good and acceptable meals.

At four o’clock, the usual time of moving, Mr. Whidbey proceeded along the continental shore, through a passage half a league wide, formed by the shores of the main and an island lying along it, about a league broad and seven miles long, in a direction N. E. by E. Nearly in the middle of this passage is a bay about two miles wide, and of the same depth. This bay, which has its northern point situated in latitude 60° 56½′, longitude 213° 25′, is the western extent of Senr Fidalgo’s researches in this sound, and was named by him Puerto Revilla Gigedo. To the eastward of this is another bay of rather larger dimensions, with an island in its north-east corner. It is a circumstance not unworthy of remark in these bays, so near as they are to each other, the former presenting a south-east, the latter a southern aspect; and that the westernmost should be nearly free from ice, whilst the easternmost, with a full south exposure, should be terminated by a solid body of compact elevated ice, similar to that which has been before described, both being equally bounded at no great distance by a continuation of the high ridge of snowy mountains; as they passed the eastern bay they again heard the thunder-like noise, and found that it had been produced by the falling of the large pieces of ice that appeared to have been very recently separated from the mass extending in vast abundance across the passage towards the north-east point of the island, insomuch that it was with great difficulty the boats could effect a passage. By noon Mr. Whidbey reached the west point (called by me Point Freemantle) of the entrance into Puerto de Valdes, so named by Senr Fidalgo, where the latitude was observed to be 60° 57′, longitude 213° 34′; from this point the arm or port abounding with rocks took a direction N. 33 E. for 12 miles, where a small brook, supplied by the dissolving of the ice and snow on the mountains, flowed into the arm, which about five miles from thence terminated in an easterly direction, in latitude 61° 7′, longitude 213° 56′. The head of this branch of the sound is under the same parallel, and is exposed exactly to the same southerly aspect, as that in which the party had beheld the great fall of ice; and although these constitute the northern limits of the sound, yet in this branch no ice had been seen, notwithstanding it is terminated by shallow water at its head, and is surrounded by similar steep frozen mountains. The first icy bay they met with was open to the east and S. E., nearly a degree to the south of the head of this branch, and the second in the arm leading to Passage channel was exposed to the north; but in the bays on the southern side of that channel no ice was seen, so that it was not an easy matter to account for its partial appearance.

Early in the morning of the 11th they returned along the eastern side of Puerto de Valdes, which is from half a league to a league in width; the shores are indented by some small bays, and lined with rocky islets and rocks. In this route they arrived at a point on the continent, lying from the west point of entrance into the port S. 85 E., distant 4½ miles; where they found an opening about a mile wide that stretched S. 33 E., and formed a passage about seven or eight miles long, between the continent and an island lying N. 19 W. and S. 19 E. seven miles in length, and about two miles in breadth. These shores, like those which the party had lately navigated, abounded with rocks and rocky islets; and on reaching the southern part of this passage, it evidently appeared to be the same mentioned by Captain Cook on the 17th of May 1778, which the master of the Resolution had been sent to examine, and that Puerto de Valdes was the arm that had occasioned at that time a difference of opinion between Lieutenant Gore and Mr. Roberts.

The south point of this, which is Bligh’s island, being the station from whence Mr. Johnstone had commenced his survey, completed the examination of the whole of Prince William’s sound, as it respected the boundary of the continent; but the numerous islands, islets, rocks, and shoals, which are contained within this space, being considered as secondary objects, did not fall within the limits of our service for accurately ascertaining or delineating; yet these have been noticed with every degree of circumspection, that circumstances, and the nature of our researches would allow, without swerving from our principal object, viz. the survey of the shore of the continent. For this reason I shall here conclude the report of Mr. Whidbey’s excursion, notwithstanding that he examined port Fidalgo; but as no new matter occurred to him, it is unnecessary to recapitulate the former observations; and as we had no further business to detain us any longer in this situation, we prepared to take our departure, having during our stay made the following astronomical and nautical observations.

By the rate of the chronometers as ascertained at the head of Cook’s inlet, the longitude of port Chalmers was shewn to be, on the 26th of May,

by Kendall’s chronometer,213°3020
By Arnold’s No. 14,2132250 
Ditto 176,2132120 

On the 9th of June, Kendall’s chronometer stopped, but on applying a gentle horizontal motion, it was again put into action.

From the 26th of May to the 10th of June, No. 14, and N. 176, were found to be going nearly at the same rate as ascertained in Cook’s inlet; hence the longitudinal distance between Cook’s inlet, and port Chalmers, may be considered as pretty correctly ascertained; but as an alteration was observed to have taken place in their rate of going after that time, the several rates of the chronometers were ascertained by repeated good observations, made from the 10th to the 16th of June, both days inclusive; and as the true longitude of port Chalmers was found by subsequent observations to be 213° 22′, No. 14 was on the 16th of June,

found to be fast of mean time at Greenwich,4h13470
And to be gaining on mean time per day, at the rate of,23  
No. 176 was fast of mean time at Greenwich,92046  
And to be gaining on mean time per day, at the rate of,5140
Kendall’s was fast of mean time at Greenwich,84141  
And gaining on mean time per day, at the rate of,2650
The latitude of port Chalmers was found to be60°16    
The variation by four compasses, and thirty sets of observations; differing from 26° 50′, to 30° 9′; shewed the mean result, to be28°30easterly.
The vertical inclination of the magnetic needle,     
Marked end,North FaceEast7730 
DittoSouth FaceEast,76   
The mean inclination of the marine dipping needle,77  

At port Chalmers a considerable difference had been observed between the night and day tides; the former during the springs rose thirteen feet, four inches; whereas the latter did not rise more than twelve feet one inch; and it was also found to be high water about an hour after the moon had passed the meridian.


Quit Prince William’s Sound—Geographical and other Observations respecting the adjacent Country and its Inhabitants—Proceed in the Examination of the exterior Coast—Pass Port Mulgrave—Intelligence received of the Survey having been completed to that Station by the Chatham—Arrive in Cross Sound—Joined by the Chatham there.

I had fully intended laying the Discovery on shore in this harbour, for the purpose of examining, and is necessary, of repairing her bottom; but the rise and fall of the tide was too inconsiderable for that purpose, without very materially lightening the ship; an operation that would have taken up more time than could conveniently be spared; and, without much labour in clearing a place in the woods, a situation could not be procured fit for the reception of such articles, as it would have been necessary to have landed: in addition to these circumstances, the intemperate weather on our first arrival greatly militated against such operations; and this being succeeded by the neap tides, induced me wholly to give up the design, which I now began to consider more as a matter of curiosity than as an object of real necessity.

On Monday the 16th the wind blowing a moderate breeze right into the harbour from the S. W. attempts were made to warp out against it to the entrance, where this wind would have been favorable to our pursuit; but our ropes for this service were too much worn to sustain the weight of the ship, and they broke on our first trial. The S. W. wind continuing, detained us until three in the morning of Tuesday the 17th, when, on a calm succeeding, the ship was towed to the entrance of the port; where about seven o’clock we were met by a gentle breeze from the S. W. to which we spread all our canvas, and directed our course for mid-channel, between Green and Montagu islands; but in our route a sunken rock soon stopped our progress by the ship striking upon it, and having at that time a falling tide, she remained fast. We had come very suddenly and unexpectedly into this unpleasant situation, as the man at the lead had scarcely announced his last soundings, which were at ten fathoms, when the ship struck; I had also sounded myself, and had found not less than from nine to ten fathoms, in every direction round this rock, but had unluckily missed the spot on which the ship now lodged, which had neither weeds nor any other indication of its existence; nor does it occupy a greater extent than a six or eight oared boat in any direction. The ship rested nearly on its highest part, and at low water, the depth close to her bow was only twelve feet; whilst we had five fathoms under the main chains, and seven fathoms depth of water under her stern. The water quitting the ship’s bows afforded us an opportunity of replacing much of the copper that had been torn off by the ice. About eleven o’clock the return of the flood tide relieved us from this embarrassment, without our having, apparently, received any damage.

The wind being faint and baffling from the western quarter, with a slight current setting on the shores of Montagu island, prevented our sailing; but we employed the afternoon in warping further into mid-channel, clear of this line of sunken rocks. Here we anchored in twenty-one fathoms water, muddy bottom; about a mile and three quarters from the shores of Montagu island. The south point of port Chalmers bore by compass S. 80 E.; the north-west point of Montagu island, N. 11 W.; and the north point of Green island N. 76 W. In this situation a few cod and halibut were taken during the night, and on the morning of Wednesday the 18th calm rainy weather prevented our moving until late in the forenoon; when with a light breeze from the E. N. E. we proceeded, and having passed to the northward of the north Passage rock, no soundings were gained with the handline; but about half a league from the north-west point of Montagu island the depth was sixty-five fathoms, muddy bottom: from this point a ledge of rocks extends about half a mile. As we sailed along the north-east side of the island, it seemed to be divided into bays or sounds; two of which appeared to be capacious, but from each of their points of entrance, rocks were seen to extend a considerable distance; some of which were level with, and others just shewed their heads above the surface of the sea. In these openings similar obstructions were noticed; and as this side of Montagu island is greatly exposed to the influence of the prevailing winds, great caution ought to be observed in navigating near its shores, until a more minute examination may point out the situation of the latent dangers, of which we were unable to procure any further information, than that of barely seeing that such did exist; for as the wind veered to the southward, it led us from these rocky shores, whilst it enabled us to fetch well over towards cape Hinchinbrook: in this route were observed many riplings and agitations of the sea, as if it were slowing over shallow places; but we gained no bottom with the handline in passing through several of them.

As the night approached, the wind became light and variable, with alternate calms, these together with the flood tide, about three in the morning of Thursday the 19th, sat the ship directly towards the north point of entrance into port Etches; where, with 100 fathoms of line no bottom could be reached within about a quarter of a mile of the shore, on which the sea broke with considerable violence. Fortunately however, whilst in this very unpleasant predicament from which we possessed no resources of extrication, a breeze sprang up from the N. E. just sufficient to enable us to stem the current, and relieved us from all apprehensions of danger. This breeze was soon succeeded by calms and light southerly airs, which towards noon, with the assistance of the flood tide, drove us into the entrance of port Etches, without our being able to resist their influence; and as I knew the flood would continue until near five o’clock; we bore away for anchorage, but gained no bottom until we had passed the rocky islets that lie on the north-west side within the entrance, and were nearly abreast of the lagoon within which the Russians have their establishment. We anchored in 31 fathoms water, the lagoon bearing by compass N. 20 W. at the distance of half a mile; the head of the harbour N. 29 E., and the points of entrance S. 3 W. and S. 25 W.

After dinner I went on shore, accompanied by some of the officers, and was received by Mr. Colomenee and Mr. Ballusian, with all the friendliness and hospitality which the poverty of their situation permitted them to exhibit. Here we were introduced to another gentleman named Smyloff, who presided over the maritime part of this mercantile company, and who had under his directions the galliot mentioned by Mr. Johnstone as forming the side of the inclosure, in which their habitations are built close to the landing place at the Russian factory; with two others of similar burthen.

This gentleman having heard of our arrival in Cook’s inlet, he had gone thither for the purpose of paying us a visit, but had been disappointed of his object by our departure from thence, and he had been returned only a few days. His route had been over the isthmus, and he described Passage channel to be the very place we had supposed it to be. He stated, that the Chatham had sailed out of the sound on the 12th of the month with a favorable breeze, and that since her departure a brig had passed up the sound steering towards Snug-corner cove. We spent a short time in viewing these premises, which afforded little worthy of attention besides what has already been described. On our return, we were accompanied on board by Mr. Ballusian and Mr. Smyloff; the former after supper returned to the shore, but Mr. Smyloff remained with us until we were clear of the port; which from light and variable winds we did not effect until near noon on Friday the 20th; when an excellent observation was procured, which shewed the latitude by three observers to be 60° 18½′. Cape Hinchinbrook at this time bore by compass S. 36 E., distant two miles. This promontory, according to the result of our calculations, is situated in latitude 60° 16½′, longitude 213° 56′.

Mr. Puget having received instructions to examine the coast minutely from hence to port Mulgrave, my attention was only directed to fixing the line of the intermediate external head lands, until any navigable branches of the sea should be found between those limits. For this purpose we embraced the advantage of the favorable western breeze then prevailing, and steered towards the south point of Kaye’s island. Our time being thus uninterestingly employed, I shall fill the vacant page by making a few remarks on such circumstances as had recently occurred, but had not found a place in the narrative of our transactions.

I cannot avoid making some observations on the difference in the delineation of Prince William’s sound, as represented in Captain Cook’s last voyage, and the result of our late examination, particularly with respect to Montagu island, which is therein described to be seven miles longer, and to be placed ten miles more to the southward, than we found to be its situation and extent.

The west point of Snug-corner cove is also placed five miles to the south of the observations of Mr. Whidbey and Mr. Johnstone, which agreed very accurately together. In a direction S. 50 W., distant seven miles from cape Hinchinbrook, and nearly at the same distance from the shores of Montagu island, is a barren, flat, rocky islet, with several rocks lying at a small distance from it. Of this islet no notice is taken either in the chart or history of that voyage, notwithstanding it was then seen, and its situation ascertained to be nearly as we now found it, by those who were at that time on board the Discovery. The observations also that were made by them for ascertaining the latitude of the west point of Snug-corner cove and Montagu island, corresponded very nearly with our present calculations. Besides these, I have in other instances detected same errors which are evidently of the press; but it is a circumstance not easily to be reconciled with such high geographical authority, that the above-mentioned errors should have taken place in the construction of the chart; and notwithstanding that I entertain the highest respect and veneration for the Right Reverend and learned editor of those volumes, yet I am of opinion, that had Captain Cook survived to have superintended the publication of his own labours, these errors would have been rectified; and I am led to believe, that they must have arisen from some writing, or authentic document, relative to this particular part of his researches, having been lost or mislaid. This opinion is founded on the great deficiency of nautical information in the history of that voyage, respecting the space between the south point of Kaye’s island and cape Elizabeth; which, by passing through Prince William’s sound, may be said to comprehend a line of sea coast upwards of 90 leagues in extent, and which employed Captain Cook ten days to traverse, namely, from the 11th to the 2lst of May, 1778; a week of which was spent in passing through this inlet, almost from its most northern to its most southern extremity; in which time, sufficient opportunities occurred for making the necessary observations for the latitude, for the longitude by the chronometer, and for the variation of the compass; yet none of these (excepting the situation of the ship on the 12th at noon,) nor the position of any one point or station on the coast, nor the islands within those limits, are any where noticed; nor is there any thing relative to the tides, excepting that of the flood coming from the southward, to be met with; nor any topographical description of the coast, nor of the rocks and islands that lie off from it, south-westward from Montagu island to cape Elizabeth, notwithstanding that coast was passed at no great distance, and was found to take a direction very contrary to what was at that time expected. In addition to this circumstance, the nearly central situation of this capacious inlet in the space in question, and its broken and insular appearance, rendered such an extent of coast the more likely to have been noticed in a particular manner, and would argue an inattention to nautical occurrences, which I believe is no where to be met with in the works of that justly renowned and most celebrated navigator; and which probably will only be discovered by those whose situations may render it expedient for them to resort for information to the result of his unequalled labours.

The minute examination we were empowered to make of Prince William’s sound, not only brought us acquainted with its utmost limits in every direction, but proved it to be a branch of the ocean that requires the greatest circumspection to navigate; and although it diverges into many extensive arms, yet none of them can be considered as commodious harbours, on account of the rocks and shoals that obstruct the approach to them, or of the very great depth of water at or about their entrances. Of the former, innumerable have been discovered, and there is great reason to suppose that many others may have existence, of which we gained no knowledge. By what may be collected from our inquiries, Snug-corner cove, and the passage to it from the ocean, seem to be the least liable to these objections of all places of shelter which the sound affords. The place of our anchorage in port Chalmers, can only be considered as a small cove in a rugged rocky coast; so very difficult of access or egress, that our utmost vigilance in sounding was unequal to warn us of the rock on which the ship grounded, and which is situated N. 72 W. from the north point of the harbour, distant one mile; and N. 6 E. from the woody islet, at about the same distance, having between it and the islet the south passage rock, with two shoals; on sounding, (whilst the ship was aground) towards the north passage rock, another shoal was discovered in that direction about half a mile off, shoaling suddenly from about twelve to four fathoms, at about two thirds flood. At the moment the ship struck, I thought she had been on the bed of kelp laid down in Mr. Portlock’s sketch, which I had searched for in vain; but on comparing the situations, I found that where we had been stopped in our progress appeared to be considerably to the south-west; hence it is very probable that there may be more of these latent dangers existing in this neighbourhood, whose situation require the most attentive vigilance to discover and avoid; of these it had been our lot to fall in with four in the space of as many miles, which had remained unnoticed not only by former visitors, but by our companion also; and since accident alone brought them to our knowledge, the presumption is greatly in favor of the above opinion, and renders the navigating this southern passage into Prince William’s sound, infinitely more intricate and unpleasant than had before been imagined. For the particulars of such information as we were able to collect, I beg leave to refer to the annexed sketch, where it will also be found, that what is called Stockdale’s harbour is only a bay full of rocks, and of course was not worthy of any particular examination.

In the neighbourhood of port Chalmers, the country as high up the sides of the mountains as vegetation extended, was in most places free from snow before we quitted that anchorage, and afforded us an opportunity of forming some judgment on the nature of the soil; which, from the diversity of surface in plains, and spaces clear of trees, presented a pleasing verdant appearance to the eye; but on a more attentive examination it proved to be in most places a perfect morass, composed of a very poor black moorish earth, formed apparently of decayed vegetables, not sufficiently decomposed to produce any thing but a variety of coarse mosses, a short spiry grass, a few cranberry, and some other plants of a dwarfish stunted growth; some of these morasses compose the sides of the hills, and although these had considerable inclination, yet they had the property of retaining the water to a very deceitful and unpleasant degree; exhibiting an apparently dry, verdant surface, which when walked upon sunk to nearly half leg deep in water. The soil from whence the forests have sprung is of similar materials, and not reduced to a more perfect mould; but this generally covers a rocky foundation, from whence pine trees seem to derive great nourishment, as very large ones had frequently been found growing from out of the naked rock. Those about this harbour did not grow with the same luxuriance as at the place from whence our fore-yard had been procured, about five leagues to the south-west, but composed rather a dwarfish forest; which, although producing many of the common berry bushes, cannot be considered as much interrupted with underwood. The shores are in general low, and as has been already observed, very swampy in many places, on which the sea appears to be making more rapid encroachments than I ever before saw or heard of. Many trees had been cut down since these regions had been first visited by Europeans; this was evident by the visible effects of the axe and saw; which we concluded had been produced whilst Messrs. Portlock and Dixon were here, seven years before our arrival; as the stumps of the trees were still remaining on the earth where they had originally grown, but were now many feet below the high water mark, even of neap tides. A narrow low projecting point of land behind which we rode, had not long since afforded support to some of the largest pine trees in the neighbourhood, but it was now overflowed by every tide; and excepting two of the trees, which still put forth a few leaves, the whole were reduced to naked, dead white stumps, by the encroachment of the sea water to their roots; and some stumps of trees, with their roots still fast in the ground, were also found in no very advanced state of decay nearly as low down as the low water of spring tides.

The only fish we obtained in this port was a few indifferent crabs from the shores. About the outskirts of the woods we procured a little wild celery, and the spruce beer that was here brewed far exceeded in excellence any we had before made upon the coast. Our sportsmen procured a few geese, ducks, goosanders, and other aquatic birds, which proved very acceptable; to these were added an old black bear, but although we were living on salted provisions, its flesh did not seem to be much relished.

Our situation did not permit us to become much acquainted with the native inhabitants of the country; for excepting those who had visited us near the south point of Montagu island, none of them approached the ship; nor did Mr. Whidbey, although he coasted near four hundred and twenty miles of the shores of the peninsula and continent, meet with more than thirteen of the Indians; he did not see any of their habitations, nor any of those deserted villages that we had been accustomed to find in every other part of the coast. From whence it is evident, that the population of this large sound is very inconsiderable when compared with its extent; for if we admit, that all those seen by both the surveying parties, and the four that visited the ship, were all different persons, the total number of people amounted only to two hundred and eighty-one of all descriptions, exclusive of the few we saw amongst the Russians at port Etches, who most probably belonged to the village that Mr. Johnstone had visited. This number appears to be infinitely short of the computation made by Mr. Meares and other visitors; and hence it might possibly be inferred, that since the period of their visits the number of the inhabitants had greatly diminished, and that the cause of this depopulation was to be ascribed to the Russian progress; an inference which would derive some support from the circumstance of our having found several old graves, but only one that appeared to have been recently constructed. This idea, however, may be easily combated, as I am well persuaded that the present state of population in these regions differs but little from what had been found to be the case on their being first discovered by Captain Cook, who spent eight days in and passing through this sound; during which time the number of inhabitants who visited the vessels under his command, did not exceed one hundred different persons of all ages, and of both sexes. Since those were probably the first European vessels that had ever entered the sound, as none of the natives were afraid to approach the vessels, it is natural to suppose that objects so singular and unaccountable would attract the attention of every individual, who could find either an opportunity to gratify his curiosity, or to traffic for those commodities which were esteemed amongst them as articles of valuable acquisition, little doubt can exist that a large proportion of the inhabitants at that time made their appearance. Our not having seen any deserted habitations strongly supports this opinion, and the circumstance of the antiquity of all the graves met with on the western side of the inlet may have been occasioned by the natives of late years having been more confined to the eastern parts of the sound, for the convenience of transacting their commercial business with their European visitors, who have uniformly made those parts their rendezvous. I would not however wish to be understood to mean, that the Russian establishments in this country had not cost some blood, because I have been informed by themselves, that both Russians and Indians have fallen in effecting their purpose, though neither in any considerable numbers; but my reason for alluding to this subject is, to point out that the population of this country appears to have been greatly over rated by those gentlemen who have visited it since Captain Cook’s time; since, according to their estimation, it would now appear to be reduced to one half its former number of inhabitants.

Mr. Meares observes, that these people have no towns, villages, or fixed places of abode; in this respect he was certainly not well informed, and may possibly have lain under the same disadvantage with regard to the numerous and powerful nations which he considers as being in their neighbourhood. The general appearance of the adjacent countries gave us every reason to believe that these regions were very thinly inhabited.

It was remarked, that during the surveying excursions not a single sea otter, and but very few whales or seals had been seen; and that the wild fowl were not met with in that plenty during Mr. Whidbey’s, as in Mr. Johnstone’s, expedition.

This being the amount of what had principally occurred respecting the natural state of prince William’s sound, I have to regret very much our want of knowledge of the Russian language, because the results of all our inquiries concerning the object of that power, in extending its immense empire to these distant and inhospitable shores, became from that cause in a great measure nugatory, vague, or contradictory. We however clearly understood, that the Russian government had little to do with these settlements; that they were solely under the direction and support of independent mercantile companies; and that port Etches, which had been established in the course of the preceding summer, was then their most eastern settlement on the American coast; but I was not able to learn the number of different stations they had, though I understood from Mr. Smyloff, that the total of Russians employed between this port and Oonalashka, both inclusive, were about four hundred. This number, it should seem, is amply sufficient for the accomplishment of the purpose they have in view; as not the least attention whatever is paid to the cultivation of the land, or to any other object but that of collecting furs, which is principally done by the Indians, whose services they have completely secured, and whose implicit confidence they have intirely gained; particularly those of Cook’s inlet, and the islands of and to the south-west of the Kodiak; the adjacent continent they represent as a steril and uninhabited country. Although we could not gratify our curiosity to the extent I could have wished respecting the situation of the Russians, yet I could not avoid feeling a degree of satisfaction in observing the comfortable manner in which they seem to live amongst these untutored children of nature; having gained them over to be obedient to their wishes, they appear to maintain their influence not by fear, as their conquerors, but by having found the way to their hearts, and by securing an affectionate regard. This was manifested in all their transactions, though more especially in their intercourse with the people of Cook’s inlet and the Kodiak; many of whom, the women as well as the men, are retained in the service of the Russians, who speak of their attachment and fidelity in the highest terms of praise and approbation, and indiscriminately employ them with their own parties on business of the most confidential importance. The natives of Prince William’s sound, however, do not appear to share the good opinion of the Russians in an equal degree; but whether this may arise from a difference in their dispositions, or whether it be owing to the Russians having come more recently amongst them, and that a sufficient intercourse had not yet induced them to submit to a docile and confidential subordination, we could not correctly determine. Although, from the conversation of the Russians, the former would appear to be the case, yet the Russians seemed to repose the greatest confidence in the party Mr. Johnstone met with at the large Indian village, and to resign themselves completely to their power. This measure might probably be indispensably requisite for carrying into effect their commercial pursuits, which cannot fail of being highly advantageous to the Russian adventurers, who, it is reasonable to expect, may be enabled to dispose of the furs thus collected at a much better market in the northern parts of China; and this after having procured them at a much more reasonable rate than either the European or American traders could possibly have done; first because they are competitors, and secondly because they have only one place in the most southern parts of China to resort to as a market; where the Canton merchants purchase the furs nearly at their own price, and most probably infinitely under their real value.

It is very possible that no other people will hereafter be so well able to carry on this valuable traffic as the Russians, who, being natives of a frigid region and naturally a hardy race, and little acquainted with the luxuries of their more southern neighbours, have in these respects greatly the advantage over all other civilized nations. Without deviating much from the habits and practices continued from their earliest infancy, the Russians can readily adopt many of the Indian customs, by which means the manners of the two people become much assimilated. This is greatly furthered by their partaking of the same sort of food, and wearing the same sort of clothing. Their external appearance differs little from the natives; and with respect to the principal occupations of the Indians, such as hunting and fishing, the Russian, who has no better means of passing away his time, for we scarcely saw a book of any description amongst them, is most likely able, from his superior knowledge, to afford them in these pursuits some instruction that may tend to render those exercises more interesting and advantageous. These, together with some useful utensils, and a few articles of ornament or luxury now and then given to the Indians, secure to the Russian at least the character of a desirable companion; and who from his superior weapons and knowledge in the art of war, when once a good understanding shall be thoroughly established amongst them, will be enabled to protect them against any neighbouring foe; and the reward he will demand for such important services will be no more than the skins (of little or no value to the natives) of those animals, which they have most probably been accustomed to take rather for the sake of their flesh than for any other purpose. The habits and general conduct of the Russians are not very likely to be adopted by any other maritime nation, there being few I believe who could retire to these frigid regions, and completely submit to a life so very foreign to the manners and customs of the civilized world. The interest that the Indians seem to take in the success and welfare of the Russians, originates in principles of attachment and regard which do not appear likely to be easily removed by the influence of strangers to the prejudice of the Russian commercial interest, and which from the practice of the present day may probably be strengthened in the succeeding generations; for although the Russians did not appear to us either studious or learned, yet it was understood, that in all their establishments the children of the natives are taken at an early age to apartments provided on purpose, where they are maintained and educated in the Russian language, and no doubt instructed in such principles as are most likely hereafter to be advantageously directed to the interests of that nation.

These circumstances, with a few others that will appear under the head of general observations, are the result of the information procured during our intercourse with the native or foreign inhabitants of these regions; but as our situation and means of communication, allowed of but few opportunities for acquiring satisfactory intelligence, the whole I trust will be received with indulgence, as an humble endeavour to transmit all the light I received on a subject, which in a commercial point of view may be interesting to persons concerned in similar occupations.

The favorable breeze with which we had sailed out of Prince William’s sound, on Friday the 20th, did us but little service, as it was soon succeeded by a calm, which in a few hours was followed by a S. W. wind, with rainy unpleasant weather. In the afternoon of Saturday the 21st we were within about four leagues of Kaye’s island; the wind then veered round and fixed in the eastern quarter, attended with some variety both as to its force and direction, against which we plied to so little purpose, that although every advantage that offered was embraced in the morning of Thursday the 26th, yet the south point of Kaye’s island, which after Sir Andrew Snape Hamond, I have distinguished by the name of Cape Hamond, bore by compass N. 16 E., ten leagues distant. After about five hours calm, a light breeze sprang up from the westward, attended by fair pleasant weather; the variation of the surveying compass was at this time observed to be 29° 23′ eastwardly; to this favorable gale we spread all our canvass, and directed our course towards cape Suckling. At noon the observed latitude was 59° 33′, longitude 215° 26′; in this situation the high land of cape Suckling bore by compass N. 23 E. and cape Hamond, N. 13 E. This cape, according to several observations made whilst beating off it, and all agreeing extremely well, is situated in latitude 59° 48½′, longitude 215° 51′. In Captain Cook’s last voyage, vol. ii. page 350, this very conspicuous cape is stated to be in longitude 216° 58′, but in the chart it is placed in 215° 3′; from Captain Cook’s situation on the preceding day in longitude 215° 56′, he describes Kaye’s island to be five or six leagues to the westward, hence the latter, or longitude 215° 3′, is to be taken as the longitude then assigned to it; and this made our observations for the longitude vary less from Captain Cook’s, than on the coast further to the westward.

The difference in longitude between Captain Cook’s calculations and ours, appeared to decrease as we advanced to the eastward; for at cape Elizabeth it was 1° 8′, at cape Hinchinbrook it was 54′, but at cape Hamond it was only 48′. In the evening we passed cape Suckling, which was found to be situated in latitude 60° 1′, longitude 216° 19′; and as it was my intention to recommence our survey of the coast from that point, we proceeded along it within about two leagues of the shore; which shot out in small projecting points, with alternate low cliffy, or white sandy beaches, being the termination of a border of low woodland country, extending some distance within, until it joins the foot of a close-connected chain of lofty frozen mountains, which is a continuation of the same range that had been constantly observed to extend from the head of Cook’s inlet, along the northern boundary of Prince William’s sound. From these low projecting points, some shoals stretch into the ocean; one of these we passed about two in the morning of Friday the 27th, at the distance of about four miles, without gaining soundings, with 35 fathoms of line; it extends in a southerly direction, two miles from a low point of land that forms the west point of a bay apparently very shoal, and from the quantity of white muddy water, that flowed from it into the sea, we concluded it to be the outlet of the floods formed on the low land, by the dissolving ice and snow on the sides of the neighbouring mountains; which at this season of the year must be copious, as our thermometers were generally between 50 and 65, and the elevated parts of the coast were still covered with snow, as low down as where the pine trees began to grow. From the west point of this bay, in latitude 60° 3½′, longitude 216° 57′, the shore, towards cape Suckling, makes a small bend to the north-westward, but the general direction of the coast is nearly east and west, and appeared to us to be firm and compact.

At six in the morning the westerly wind died away, and the weather remained calm, or nearly so, until noon, during which time we drifted a few miles to the eastward, and shoaled our water from 60 to 42 fathoms, without appearing to approach the shore; our observations shewed the latitude to be 59° 57′, longitude 217° 46′; at this time westernmost land in sight bore by compass S. 60 W.; a small opening in the beach, which, from the muddy water flowing from it, was evidently the entrance into a lagoon or shallow rivulet, N. 66 W. distant nine miles; the nearest shore, which is an abrupt cliff at the extremity of a range of hills that stretch as it were perpendicularly to the base of the mountains, intercepting the low border, and terminating at the sea side N. 9 W., distant five or six miles; and the easternmost land in sight, which is low, and apparently a projecting point, N. 54 E.

W. Alexander del: from a Sketch taken on the Spot by F. Heddington

J. Fittler Sculpt.


Icy Bay and Mount St. Elias.


London Published May 1st 1798 by R. Edwards New Bond Street, J. Edwards Pall Mall & G. Robinson Paternoster Row.

Our fair and pleasant weather ceased with the westerly wind; this was succeeded in the afternoon by a heavy and gloomy atmosphere, particularly over the land, which, excepting on the border and lower hills, was enveloped in a dreary obscurity; the wind was light in the southern board, and enabled us to make some little progress along the coast, and though we increased our distance from it, yet the depth of water decreased to 35 fathoms; the night was mostly calm, or attended with light variable winds, and the depth of water from 35 to 49 fathoms. By noon the next day, Saturday the 28th, the wind blew a fresh gale from the N. E., accompanied with squalls and passing showers of rain. The observed latitude 59° 51′, the longitude 218° 17′, the depth of water was about 30 fathoms; in this situation the land, though but indistinctly seen, bore by compass as follows; the westernmost part W. by N.; the above low projecting point, being the nearest shore, N. 25 W., eight miles distant; a high abrupt cliffy point forming the west point of a bay, bounded by a solid body of ice or frozen snow, N. 21 E. From the eastern side of this icy bay, the coast, formed of low, or rather moderately-elevated land, extended to N. 64 E.; beyond which, high distant snowy mountains were seen N. 67 E.

Against these adverse winds, which almost constantly attended us, we were obliged to ply; but as at times they varied their direction a little, we gained some small advantage, so that by ten o’clock on Sunday forenoon we tacked in 23 fathoms, within a league of the east point of the above icy bay, which I named Point Riou. It is low, well wooded, with a small islet detached at a little distance to the westward of it. Eastward from the steep cliffs that terminate this bay, and from whence the ice descends into the sea, the coast is again composed of a spacious margin of low land, rising with a gradual and uniform ascent to the foot of the still connected chain of lofty mountains, whose summits are but the base from whence mount St. Elias towers, majestically conspicuous in regions of perpetual frost. The observed latitude at noon was 59° 45′, longitude 219° 0′; in this situation the westernmost land in sight by compass bore N. 85 W.; point Riou, N. 23 W.; distant 9 miles, from whence low land extended to N. 55 E. The wind still continued in the eastern board, but was no longer favorable to our progress; for in turning to windward from this station we lost ground until the July 1794 morning of Tuesday, July the 1st, when a light breeze, attended by serene pleasant weather, sprang up from the westward, with which our course was directed for the low land to the eastward of point Riou. At noon, the observed latitude was 59° 39′, longitude 219° 15′, and the variation of the compass was in the morning 30° 20′ easterly. The most western land in sight at this time bore by compass west; point Riou, N. 54 W.; the nearest shore, N. 21 W., distant seven miles. This is a low projecting point of land, situated according to our observations in latitude 59° 47′, and longitude 219° 17′; a point which I named Point Manby, and which I took to be the west point of what in Mr. Dixon’s chart is called Admiralty bay, bore N. 39 E., distant seven leagues; beyond which, high distant snowy mountains were seen stretching to N. 80 E. As we advanced along the coast from point Riou the country became less woody, and beyond the low projecting point it seemed only to produce a brownish vegetation, which further to the eastward intirely disappeared, and presented a naked barren country, composed apparently of loose unconnected stones of different magnitudes.

The weather was fine, and the wind being favorable we made a pleasant progress along the coast, which continued to be a low compact border of plain land; this, towards point Manby, gradually put on a more verdant and fertile appearance, and to the eastward of that point the country was again well wooded. In the evening we passed point Manby, and saw to the E. N. E. the islands that form port Mulgrave, for which we steered in quest of the Chatham, but made little progress, as the favorable breeze again deserted us, and was succeeded by a calm. At ten at night we heard the report of a gun in the direction of port Mulgrave, which was immediately answered, concluding it to be fired from our consort; this conjecture proved to be correct, as by four in the morning of Wednesday the 2d we were visited by Mr. Manby, the master of the Chatham, in one of the Kodiak Indian canoes, attended by two others. The Indians had reported that a ship was near the coast, and our having answered their gun the preceding evening, left little doubt on board the Chatham of our being arrived; and under a supposition that it might be my intention to enter port Mulgrave, Mr. Manby had come off for the purpose of conducting us thither. By a letter from Mr. Puget I became informed that the Chatham had reached port Mulgrave on the 29th of June, having completed the examination of the continental shore from cape Hinchinbrook to that station, where he had found George Portoff (the Russian mentioned in Cook’s inlet,) with nine of his countrymen, and nine hundred Kodiak and Cook’s inlet Indians, under his directions, having extended their excursions in their small skin canoes thus far, in quest of sea otter and other skins.

The pleasantness of the weather was much interrupted by the decline of the westerly wind; and we had now faint variable breezes between north and S. E., attended with drizzling rain and thick misty weather, that almost obscured the land from our view. Whilst we were in this situation, the canoes that had come with Mr. Manby contrived to get unobserved at a distance from the ship; and when called back, instead of returning made the best of their way to the shore. This unpleasant weather, with alternate calms, continued until two in the afternoon, when a gentle breeze sprang up from the N. W.; but as by this time we had drifted too far to the eastward of cape Phipps to fetch into port Mulgrave, and as I had no inducement from Mr. Puget’s communication to give up the advantage of the then favorable breeze for proceeding along the coast, we hauled as near to cape Phipps as the wind would allow, and after firing some guns to announce our situation to the Chatham, we bore away along the coast, which from port Mulgrave is composed of a low border, well wooded, extending from the base of the mountains into the sea. The season of the year not requiring that we should lie to, to wait the return of the day for carrying our survey into execution, we continued under an easy sail, in expectation of the Chatham overtaking us; but this was not the case, nor was our favorable gale of long duration. On the morning of Thursday the 3d the wind was again variable in the eastern quarter, against which, as usual, we plied, but to little purpose. At ten in the forenoon a strange sail was descried to the eastward, and at noon the observed latitude was 59° 6′, longitude 221° 10′. In this situation the coast was seen extending by compass from N. W. to S. 82 E.; its nearest part N. E., about three leagues distant; the shores still continued to be covered with wood, were low, and appeared to be much inundated, and the waters found their way to the sea in shallow rivulets, through two or three breaks in the beach.

The strange sail came up, and joined us in the afternoon. She proved to be the Jackall, commanded by Mr. Brown. This vessel had visited these parts of the coast the two preceding summers, as a tender belonging to the Butterworth, then under the command of this gentleman, but at the conclusion of the season in 1793, she had been dispatched towards England, with directions to fish for whales and seals in passing through the Pacific Ocean, and at Staten Land, where Mr. Brown had formed a temporary establishment. With this vessel, and the Prince le Boo his other tender, Mr. Brown had gone to Canton, from whence he had departed on the 24th of February; and after having a very tedious passage, he had reached this coast on the 30th of the preceding month, with the intention of proceeding to Cross sound; but not having been able to procure an observation for several days, he was steering to the north-west for that place; this mistake was now corrected, and as there was not much prospect of our stopping before we should reach Cross sound, Mr. Brown offered to accompany us thither. From him we received the latest accounts of the state of Europe that had appeared in China before his sailing. These contained not only the melancholy intelligence of the death of Louis XVI. and of the anarchy which existed in France, but likewise her declaration of war against England, and of the attempts which the discontented were making in Great Britain, by the promulgation of French doctrines, to subvert our inestimable constitution. The operation of such unwelcome and unexpected tidings, breaking as it were from a cloud upon the minds of persons so little prepared to receive them, will be infinitely easier for the reader to conceive than for me to describe, and I shall therefore only say, that they became the subjects of our most serious and painful reflection.

Both wind and weather was very unpleasant; the former settled on Friday the 4th in a south-easterly gale, attended by a heavy swell, with squalls, and dark rainy weather, which reduced us to close-reefed topsails. We separated from the Jackall, and attempted to beat to windward, but lost ground until the 6th; when, after some hours calm, we were favored in the morning with a gentle breeze from the N. W., and a return of pleasant weather. We had now an extensive view of the sea coast, stretching by compass S. 77 W. to N. 86 E., within which limits mount St. Elias, and mount Fairweather rose magnificently conspicuous, from the still-continued range of lofty snowy mountains. This favorable gale soon enabled us to recover the ground we had lost, and by noon we reached the latitude of 59° 3′, longitude 221° 41′, and the variation in the afternoon was 31° 26′ eastwardly. In this situation mount St. Elias, being the westernmost land in sight, bore by compass N. 73 W.; mount Fairweather was at this time obscured by clouds; the nearest shore, which was near a narrow shallow opening into a lagoon, E. N. E. distant seven miles; and the easternmost land in sight S. 85 E. The part of the coast off which we had been thus cruising since the preceding Thursday appeared from its latitude, and relative situation with these two very conspicuous mountains, to be that part where Captain Cook supposed that Beering had anchored, and to which he gave the name of Beering, supposing it to be a bay, with an island covered with wood lying off its southern point. But in this neighbourhood no such bay or island exists, and Captain Cook must have been led into the mistake by the great distance at which he saw this coast; in consequence of which he was prevented noticing the extensive border of low land that stretches from the foot of the vast range of lofty mountains, and forms the sea shore. The irregularity of the base of these mountains, which retire in some places to a considerable distance, and especially in the part now alluded to, would, on a more remote view than we had taken, lead the most cautious observer to consider the appearances in the coast, as indicating deep bays, or openings likely to afford tolerable, and even good shelter; and had it not been for the information we had previously received from Mr. Brown, who had been close in with these shores, we should have still supposed, until thus far advanced, that we had Beering’s bay in view, with the island lying near its south-eastern point. This deception is occasioned by a ramification of the mountains stretching towards the ocean, and terminating in a perpendicular cliff, as if at the sea side; having a more elevated part of the low border, covered with wood, lying to the south-west of it; the former, at a distance appears to form the east point of an extensive bay, and the latter, an island lying off from it; but both these are at the distance of some miles from the sea shore, which from port Mulgrave to this station takes a general direction about S. 65 E. and is chiefly composed of a very low tract of land, terminating in sandy beaches; over which, from the mast-head, were seen considerable pools, or lagoons of water, communicating with the ocean by shallow breaks in the beach; across all of which, the sea broke with much violence. Where this low country was not intersected by the inland waters, it was tolerably well wooded; but as we advanced to the eastward, this border became less extensive, was more elevated, and much less covered with wood, and for a few miles totally destitute of either wood or verdure; and like that part before noticed between point Riou and point Manby, was composed of naked rugged fragments of rocks of various magnitudes, lying as it were in the front of mount Fairweather, like those on the shore before mount St. Elias.

The base of this lofty range of mountains now gradually approached the sea side; and to the southward of cape Fairweather, it may be said to be washed by the ocean; the interruption in the summit of these very elevated mountains mentioned by Captain Cook, was likewise conspicuously evident to us as we sailed along the coast this day, and looked like a plain composed of a solid mass of ice or frozen snow, inclining gradually towards the low border; which, from the smoothness, uniformity, and clean appearance of its surface, conveyed the idea of extensive waters having once existed beyond the then limits of our view, which had passed over this depressed part of the mountains, until their progress had been stopped by the severity of the climate, and that by the accumulation of succeeding snow, freezing on this body of ice, a barrier had become formed, that had prevented such waters from flowing into the sea. This is not the only place where we had noticed the like appearances; since passing the icy bay mentioned on the 28th of June, other valleys had been seen strongly resembling this, but none were so extensive, nor was the surface of any of them so clean, most of them appearing to be very dirty. I do not however mean to assert, that these inclined planes of ice must have been formed by the passing of inland waters thus into the ocean, as the elevation of them, which must be many hundred yards above the level of the sea, and their having been doomed for ages to perpetual frost, operate much against this reasoning; but one is naturally led, on contemplating any phænomenon out of the ordinary course of nature, to form some conjecture, and to hazard some opinion as to its origin, which on the present occasion is rather offered for the purpose of describing its appearance, than accounting for the cause of its existence. About six in the evening, we passed within about half a league of cape Fairweather, situated according to our observations in latitude 58° 50½′, longitude 222° 20′. This cape cannot be considered as a very conspicuous promontory; it is most distinguishable when seen from the southward, as the land to the west of it retires a few miles back to the north, and there forms a bend in the coast, which is the most conspicuous point we noticed, eastward from cape Phipps. It is terminated by a low bluff cliff, on a sandy beach; near which are a few detached rocks. At eight in the evening mount St. Elias bore by compass N. 73½ W. and mount Fairweather N. 10 E.; the length of time we had been in sight of these very remarkable lofty mountains afforded us many observations for ascertaining their situation; whence the former appeared to be in latitude 60° 22½′, longitude 219° 21′, and 25 miles from the nearest sea shore, which is that of Icy bay; the latter in latitude 58° 57′, longitude 222° 47′, and nine miles from the sea shore.

The favorable breeze continuing with delightfully pleasant weather, and having the advantage of day-light, nearly the whole of the twenty-four hours, we were enabled to keep within five miles of the coast, which was now again well wooded, and from cape Fairweather took a direction S. 43 E.; it is steep and intire, with the exception of one small opening, that had the appearance of being likely to afford shelter for shipping; but it is completely bounded at a little distance by steep compact mountains, which are a continuation of the same undivided range stretching to the eastward. Until past eleven at night mount St. Elias was yet within our visible horizon, appearing like a lofty mountain, although at this time it was at the distance of one hundred and fifty geographical miles; it was, however, soon obscured by a thick haze gathering on the coast, which, by four o’clock on Monday morning the 7th, became a low thick fog; above which, the summits of the nearer mountains were not only visible, but perfectly clear, whilst the shores were intirely hidden from our sight. This circumstance obliged us to haul our wind, and to wait for a more favorable opportunity to proceed in our examination; this by seven o’clock was again resumed, directing our course for a more conspicuous high bluff promontory, which, as we supposed, proved to be the west point of entrance into Cross sound, named by me in honour of Lord Spencer, Cape Spencer. The wind being faint, our progress was slow along the coast, composed of a steep woody shore, much indented with coves or bays, of a hilly and uneven surface, with some rocks and rocky islets, scattered about it at the distance of about a mile. The observed latitude at noon was 58° 14′, longitude 223° 21′; the westernmost part of the coast then bearing by compass N. 47 W.; the outermost of the above rocky islets N. 6 E. distant two miles; cape Spencer N. 59 E. off which lie some rocks that extend about half a league; and the easternmost part of the coast in sight, S. 85 E.

Shortly after noon, we were visited by a few of the inhabitants in a canoe, who, without much hesitation, came alongside, but none of them would venture on board, without a hostage being sent into their canoe as a security for their safe return. As these people were likely to become our frequent visitors, during the time we might find occasion to remain in this neighbourhood, their request was complied with; and on one of our seamen going into their canoe an Indian came on board, to whom I gave such things as were likely to be acceptable, and to encourage them in friendly offices. This treatment seemed to operate agreeably to my wishes, for the Indian remained on board some time to all appearance perfectly easy and reconciled, until a breeze from the S. W. sprang up, and being favorable to our proceeding into Cross sound, I desired our man to come on board, and made signs to the Indian that he should return into his canoe; but his countrymen seemed to be very desirous of detaining their new companion, making signs that they wished to take him on shore; and it was not until some threatening signs were made use of, muskets produced, and preparations made for hoisting out a boat, that he was permitted to quit the canoe, into which the Indian on board immediately returned.

It is not easy to determine on what were the intentions of these people, whether they were friendly, or whether otherways inclined; but judging from appearances, the former would seem to have been the case, as their behaviour was civil and orderly, and they were also very good humoured. No sooner had our man got on board the ship, than he was presented with a sea otter skin, and some other trifles, by a person who appeared to be the principal or chief of the party, and to whom I made a very ample return. After this they departed singing songs, and we proceeded up Cross sound, which is a very spacious opening in the coast; and as Captain Cook very correctly observes, branches into several arms, the largest appearing to take a northerly direction. On the surface of the water in the sound were a great number of small, though hard pieces of loose ice; some of which, at first sight, occasioned considerable alarm, from their strong resemblance to sea-beaten rocks, just level with the surface of the water, which had the appearance of breaking over them with great violence, and presented the navigating of this inlet as an extremely intricate and difficult task; especially, as no bottom could be reached with 80 and 90 fathoms of line, close to these apparent dangers. A little time, however, soon discovered them to be nothing more than dark-coloured and dirty pieces of ice, which left me without any apprehensions for our safety, and I had afterwards every reason to believe that this sound is free to navigate, and is not incommoded with either rocks or shoals, that are not sufficiently conspicuous to be easily avoided.

The south-west wind was too faint to admit of our reaching a place of anchorage on either shore, and as in the evening it was succeeded by a calm, accompanied by thick foggy weather, we were obliged to submit during the night to the influence of the existing tides or currents; not being able to gain bottom with 140 fathoms of line, until about eight in the morning of Tuesday the 8th; when the roaring of the surf on the rocks in an eastern direction, announced we were fast approaching them; and at that time we gained soundings at 46 fathoms; but as the next cast decreased the depth to 40 fathoms, we immediately anchored on a bottom of sand and mud.

About ten o’clock in the forenoon the fog dispersed, and we discovered that our situation was on the eastern side of the sound, nearly midway between two rocks about a mile asunder, and each lying about half a mile to the westward of two points of land, the one forming the north, and the other the south point of a spacious harbour, without any visible danger or obstruction to our entering; and as it appeared to be an eligible station for the vessels, whilst the boats should be employed in the examination of this spacious inlet, Mr. Whidbey was sent to examine and fix upon a convenient situation.

About noon the Chatham arrived off the entrance of the sound, on which Mr. Manby was dispatched to conduct her to our station. Mr. Whidbey returned about three o’clock in the afternoon, after having found a tolerably convenient cove behind the land that forms the northern point of the harbour, which is a small island. This place being sufficient to answer all our immediate purposes, we lost no time in proceeding thither, and just as the anchor was up, the depth of water suddenly decreased from 40 to 11 fathoms. The channel was afterwards sounded but no danger was discovered, the shallowest water being nine fathoms close to our former soundings of 11 fathoms, which was found to be upon a small patch of rocky bottom, with 30 to 40 fathoms all around it. We soon reached the cove, and moored in 14 fathoms water, stiff clayey bottom, within about a cable’s length of the shore; where, in the evening, the Chatham moored likewise.

In the course of the day we had been visited by some of the natives in a very civil and friendly manner; they sold us a few fish, and some indifferent sea otter skins, for our various articles of traffic; but for the skins they preferred old clothes of any description, to cloth in the piece.

As the view we had hitherto obtained of Cross sound had been very imperfect, the next morning, Wednesday the 9th, we rowed about the sound, in order to determine on the best mode of carrying the examination of it into effect. Having left nothing behind us unascertained without the sound, it appeared to me very evident, that only one boat party could be advantageously employed, and that the survey would be a very irksome and tedious task, in consequence of the immense numbers of large pieces of ice that were floating in the sound in every direction. To guard as much as possible against accidents, I directed that instead of two boats as heretofore, three should be equipped for this service, with a fortnight’s supply of provisions, under the directions of Mr. Whidbey, who had my orders to go back to cape Spencer, as we had now traced the continental boundary eastward from Cook’s inlet to that place; and there to commence and prosecute its examination, so long as their provisions would hold out. On this service he accordingly departed early on the morning of Thursday the 10th, accompanied by Mr. Menzies, in the pursuit of botanical researches. Those on board were now fully employed in the various services the vessels required: these principally consisted in caulking the decks and top sides of the Discovery, brewing spruce beer, which here proved to be extremely good, and in repairing our sails and rigging; this latter had now become an object of our most serious attention, and called forth all our management and ingenuity, as we had little rope left to replace those that were by this time worn down to the very last stage of being serviceable.

The plan of our operations thus arranged; and having received from Mr. Puget his journal and chart of the coast, eastward from Prince William’s sound; I shall proceed in the following chapter to state such information as was procured during the separation of the vessels, in which it will appear that I have adopted the name of Beering’s bay, instead of that of Admiralty bay, so named by Mr. Dixon; this I have done from a conviction of its being the place that Beering had visited, and in conformity with Captain Cook’s intentions, that the bay in which Beering had anchored should bear his name, and for the following reasons also.

On reference to the chart of Mr. Dixon, who first named that place Admiralty bay, another spacious bay is therein described to the eastward of it, having an island lying off its south-east point, and called Beering’s bay; this has evidently been done in conformity to Captain Cook’s chart, for the distance at which Messrs. Portlock and Dixon passed the coast, gave them the same sort of view of it, and precluded their detesting the error into which Captain Cook had fallen from similar circumstances. Captain Cook also represents an extensive bay to the westward of Beering’s bay, and hence the two charts exactly correspond. I had considered Mr. Dixon’s to have been the first European vessel that had ever entered that bay; but our late minute examination has shewn, that between cape Suckling and cape Fairweather only one such bay exists; and consequently it must be that in which Beering had anchored, and from whence at that time he sent Chitrow the master of the fleet to reconnoitre the bay. “Chitrow found between some islands a convenient anchoring place, secure from all winds, but there was no occasion to make use of it.”[4] Now since port Mulgrave is formed by islands, and since it is the only place on the coast between cape Hinchinbrook and cape Fairweather, that affords “a convenient anchoring place secure from all winds;” and since that situation will be found to correspond with the latitude assigned to Beering’s anchorage, as stated by Mr. Smyloff to Captain Cook at Oonalashka in October 1788; it is hardly probable that Beering could have anchored any where else, or that Controller’s bay and Kaye’s island could have been the places alluded to in Muller’s account of Beering’s voyage, because that bay is rendered inaccessible by shoals, and is incapable of affording any shelter to shipping. This bay then, since no other exists within the limits in question, must be the same which Captain Cook meant to distinguish by the name of Beering’s bay, in honour of its first discoverer; although it is not found to be situated in the identical spot on the coast that Captain Cook at that time did suppose, but further to the north and west. Had circumstances permitted Captain Cook to have approached nearer to these shores on passing by them, there cannot remain a doubt but that this mistake would not have taken place; and in all probability he would not have been so much at a loss to have reconciled the accounts of the Russian discoveries on this part of America. For these reasons the bay in our chart bears Beering’s name, but port Mulgrave, and other places in the bay noticed by Mr. Dixon, remain unaltered.

Vide Muller’s account of Beering’s voyage.


Mr. Puget’s Narrative of his Transactions and Survey of the Coast, between Prince William’s and Cross Sounds; during the Chatham’s Separation from the Discovery.

The Chatham on the 12th of June got clear of Prince William’s sound, and her course was directed round cape Hinchinbrook along the eastern side of that island, at the distance of about a league from its shores; these were somewhat irregularly indented with small bays, taking a direction N. 53 E. about seventeen miles to point Bentinck. About two miles to the south of that point, commences the shoal noticed by Mr. Johnstone, as extending across to the opposite continental shore of the passage, that he attempted to pass. This shoal, not only formed a barrier to that passage, but stretched, in an eastwardly direction along the exterior continental shore, at the distance of about five miles, without having either break or opening in it. Mr. Puget proceeded along this shoal at the distance of about two miles from the breakers, the depth from seven to nine fathoms; and having now advanced about ten or eleven miles from point Bentinck, the shoal, which was chiefly composed of a dry barren land, though in some places producing a little verdure, took a more southerly turn, and increased its distance from the high land, which extended in a more northerly line: that of the shoal was about S. 41 E., along which, Mr. Puget steered at the distance of about a league; the depth of water varying from 4½ to nine fathoms. By nine in the evening, he had advanced seven or eight leagues along the shoal, when the favorable breeze being succeeded by light baffling winds, and thick hazy weather, he was obliged to haul off under an easy sail, with intention of renewing the examination the next morning. This shoal was observed to shoot out into ridges of high sand, stretching from three to six or seven miles from the main land, which in some places is composed of a low shore, in others of steep abrupt cliffs; the whole apparently was well wooded, and in two places it had the appearance of having small inlets at the back of the shoal; but the close-connected range of lofty snowy mountains, running nearly parallel to the coast at no great distance, plainly shewed the limits of their extent, beside which there was no channel through the shoal, by which they could have been approached. Towards midnight, the wind and weather became more unsettled, and at last produced a strong gale from the eastward; this induced Mr. Puget to stand to the southward, lest it should have proved the forerunner of one of those very unpleasant easterly storms we so frequently contended with, and which had so much retarded the progress of our researches in these regions; but in the forenoon of the 13th, the wind became steady, and the weather being tolerably well settled, the Chatham again stood to the northward, and by four in the afternoon was again in sight of the continent, presenting a low shore, which by compass bore from N. W. to N. E. In about an hour soundings were had at the depth of twenty fathoms, and shortly after the shoal was again seen extending along the coast, of which the Chatham was within about two miles at seven o’clock, and being at this time in six fathoms water she tacked. The shoal here formed one connected barrier along the coast, extending by compass from N. 66 E. to S. 76 W., as far as could be discerned in either point of view; and as the vessel was now, not more than two or three leagues to the south-eastward of the place from whence she had hauled off the preceding evening, there could not be the least doubt of this being a continuation of the same shoal bank.

The weather being fair, afforded a good opportunity of seeing the adjacent shores. At the time Mr. Puget tacked, the island lying to the north-west of Kaye’s island, which he named Wingham Island, bore by compass from N. 87 E. to N. 81 E. two rocky islets lying off the north-west point of Controller’s bay, which after Sir Henry Martin, I called Point Martin, and is situated in latitude 60° 13½′, longitude 215° 36′; bore, the one N. 59 E., the other N. 52 E., and a small apparent opening in the main land, N. 3 E. The shoal in this point of view, appeared to unite with point Martin, and to admit of a passage between them and Kaye’s island towards cape Suckling. To ascertain this fact Mr. Puget stood towards Kaye’s island, purposing to pass between it and Wingham island; but as the wind then blew fresh from the N. E. he plied during the night, and the next morning tacked within about a league of point Martin, bearing by compass N. 10 W., having the cliffy islets between the vessel and that point, with a continuation of the shoal, which had now been traced from Hinchinbrook island to this station; where the depth of water was ten fathoms; yet its termination could not be discerned, as it was seen extending towards the south-east, completely preventing any communication with the shore, and rendering the expected passage to cape Suckling a very doubtful matter. In order to gain some information on this head, Mr. Le Mesurier, one of the midshipmen, was sent in the cutter to examine, whilst the Chatham stood over to Kaye’s island in quest of anchorage, and of a passage between it and Wingham island; the latter in a north and south direction is about a league long, and about a mile broad, forming with the north-west point of Kaye’s island a passage apparently navigable about a league in width, with regular soundings from 20 to 6 fathoms, until its eastern extent was reached; when the depth suddenly decreased to 3 and 2¼ fathoms. This circumstance compelled Mr. Puget to desist from proceeding until he should be better acquainted with the passage; and on dispatching a boat for that purpose, the depth from island to island was found not to exceed from two to three fathoms. In consequence of this report, Mr. Puget waited for the return of the cutter near the north-west part of Kaye’s island in seven fathoms water, its shores bearing by compass from S. 14 W. to N. 38 E.; Wingham island from N. 15 E. to N. 17 W.; the westernmost part of the main land in sight, N. 47 W. and the nearest shore, being a steep green point on Kaye’s island, S. 11 W. one mile distant.

Towards midnight Mr. Le Mesurier returned, and reported that he first proceeded round the north and east sides of Wingham island, where, close to its shores, he found from 15 to 10 fathoms water, in a narrow channel formed by a continuation of the above shoals, at the distance of about half a mile to the north and east of Wingham island, from whence he steered for the northern side of Kaye’s island, with three to five fathoms water; at no great distance to the north of his course, was the edge of the shoal, interspersed with dry sand banks appearing to unite with the main land, which at a considerable distance rose to lofty mountains, and formed the boundary of Controller’s bay. From the north-east point of Kaye’s island he proceeded to two small islets, that lie in an eastern direction from it, towards cape Suckling. Not far from these depth of water was from 4 to 4½ fathoms. He then proceeded about two miles in a northerly direction, having from three to six fathoms water near the edge of the shoal, which now appeared to continue to cape Suckling; this was the extent of his researches eastward, from whence he returned by the passage between Wingham island and Kaye’s island, with soundings from four to six fathoms, until he reached the shallow part that had stopped the progress of the Chatham, over which was not found more than from two to three fathoms. So far as Mr. Le Mesurier had gone, there had not appeared any impediment to the Chatham’s making a passage between these islands and cape Suckling, which would not only greatly expedite her progress along the coast, but it might prove to future visitors a desirable circumstance to be informed that such a passage was navigable, in case of their being caught in a south-east gale, between Kaye’s island and cape Suckling, in which case they might be enabled to elude those storms and their attendant dangers.

With this intent the Chatham proceeded the next morning (15th June) round the north side of Wingham island, that being the safest channel, and keeping close to its shores had 15 and 17 fathoms water; but on the wind failing, the flood tide drifted her to the eastward, and on to the shoal: a small anchor was immediately carried out, and at eleven she floated off, and came to an anchor in 13 fathoms water, near the east side of Wingham island, without having received the least injury by this accident. It was now nearly high water, and a favorable breeze prevailed from the westward; but as it was not considered prudent to venture through so intricate a channel, and of which so little knowledge had been obtained, on a falling tide; Mr. Puget determined to remain at anchor until near low water, and in the interim to dispatch Mr. Le Mesurier again, for the purpose of acquiring some further information relative to this passage. At five in the evening, the Chatham was again under sail with a light westerly wind, but on its being succeeded by a calm, the vessel was by the influence of the tide again sat upon the shoal; a light breeze of wind from the north very opportunely springing up, the sails soon backed her off, and she again anchored near Wingham island in nine fathoms water, about a fourth of a mile from its eastern shore.

Mr. Le Mesurier did not return before midnight, having from the before mentioned rocky islets followed a small intricate channel leading into the ocean, where the depth of water had gradually increased from 4 to 16 fathoms. In this channel he had found a very heavy swell from the southward, and that the bottom was a bed of rocks. He also ascertained that the shoal, over which the sea broke with great violence, continued quite to cape Suckling.

The principal object having been thus accomplished by the tracing of the continental boundary to cape Suckling, and by finding that the sea coast from Hinchinbrook island to that cape, is rendered inaccessible by a connected shoal bank of sand, extending several miles from the main land, and particularly from Controller’s bay, the whole of which it occupies to the distance of six leagues from the shore or elevated land; Mr. Puget did not consider the delay that would most probably attend his navigating this channel, consistent with the important object still in view, which would fully employ the remainder of the season. For this reason he gave up his intention of passing by this channel to cape Suckling, and in the morning of the 17th, though not without some difficulty, owing to the want of wind, and the irregular set of the tide; he passed round to the west side of Wingham island, and with a light north-easterly breeze, directed his course for cape Hamond, with gloomy and unsettled weather.

On quitting this station Mr. Puget remarks, that according to the information he had obtained from the Spaniards, the channel through which the cutter had passed, and found navigable for shipping, was stated to be totally closed, and impassable even for boats; but in Mr. Dixon’s delineation of the coast, the shoal extends to the south-west part of Kaye’s island, including Wingham island, several miles within it. Over a large portion of the space thus allotted to this shoal the Chatham passed, without being able to reach bottom with 70 fathoms of line. Such an error in this publication is hard to account for, and may have a bad tendency; as the misrepresentation in this instance would necessarily have the effect of deterring strangers from seeking the excellent shelter which these islands afford against the south-east winds, which are the most prevailing storms, and are most to be dreaded. Wingham island Mr. Puget represents as forming on its east side a tolerably well sheltered roadstead even against the eastwardly winds, where good anchorage will be found to the southward of the first small beach from its north point, at a commodious distance from the shore; here the north-east point of Kaye’s island bore by compass east, and cape Suckling, N. 76 E.; this is the only space open to the ocean, and even this is intercepted by the rocky islets, bearing N. 83 E., and the intermediate shoal, which completely prevents any very heavy sea from rising in that direction; good anchorage will also be found on the north and west sides of this island. The place where the Chatham anchored off Kaye’s island, is also well protected from the most prevailing winds. Repeated trials were made to take some fish with hooks and lines, but to no effect; some refreshments were however procured, as the western side of Wingham island afforded a supply of upwards of sixty dozen of eggs, which proved excellent, although taken from the nests of sea fowl; consisting chiefly of two sorts of gulls, sea parrots, shags, and curlews; no ducks were here seen, and only two geese were observed. The eggs were taken from steep, rugged, rocky cliffs, constituting in many places the shores of this island, which is moderately elevated, well wooded, and has on its eastern side two small streams of fresh water. It did not appear to be much the resort of the natives; but near the north-east point of Kaye’s island, Mr. Le Mesurier found a village that had been recently deserted. He describes the north side of that island as a low tract of land well wooded, and that its shores are indented in small bays or coves: behind Controller’s bay, and the shoal coast that lies to the north-west of it, extended a continuation of the same lofty frozen mountains that had bounded the northern branches of Prince William’s sound, and what had been noticed as appearing like two small openings, were, from the hills of Wingham island, seen to be intirely closed. Whilst the Chatham was at anchor off it, the variation was observed to be 27°, the latitude of its north point 60° 5½′, its longitude 215° 46′.

This is the substance of the information derived by the examination of that part of the coast comprehended between cape Hinchinbrook and cape Suckling; and as the survey of the continental shore eastward to Beering’s bay, was carried on by the Chatham, at a much greater distance from the land, than had been the case in the Discovery, and from which nothing illustrative of our researches could be obtained, I shall pass on to the transactions of the brig after her arrival in Beering’s bay.

On the evening of the 26th of June, the Chatham arrived off point Manby; the water was found to be much discoloured at the distance of four miles from the shore, where bottom could not be gained with the handline, nor were any riplings, or other indications of shallow water, or hidden dangers noticed. The same appearances had been observed by us on board the Discovery in several instances, to the eastward of cape Suckling, which I concluded were occasioned by the vast quantity of fresh water produced by the dissolving ice and snow on the sides of the mountains at this season of the year; this draining through the low border of land becomes impregnated with the soil, and being specifically lighter than the sea water on which it floats, produces the effects noticed by Mr. Puget. At this time a favorable westerly breeze and fair weather prevailed, with which, as the vessel was passing along the north-west shores of Beering’s bay about eight in the evening, the report of a gun was heard from the land; this was soon accounted for by the appearance of five Kodiak Indians in two skin canoes, who repaired on board the Chatham, and acquainted Mr. Puget that there was a party of nine Russians on shore, from whom they brought a letter addressed in English to the commander of either the Discovery or Chatham. This letter dated the 13th of June, was from Mr. Shields the English ship-builder before mentioned, in the service of the Russians at Blying sound.

Mr. Shields had been informed, that our vessels had met with several accidents, and that I much wished to find a convenient situation for laying the Discovery on shore; this service he stated could no where be better performed than in Blying sound, and offered in the frankest and handsomest manner, to afford us every assistance in the power of himself or his people, that the stores of the company could furnish. Mr. Shields regretted very much that he had not known the Discovery was in his neighbourhood until after our departure. He remarks in his letter that he had not written four English words in the course of the preceding four years, yet his letter did great credit not only to his abilities and understanding, but to the goodness of his heart; which manifested in the highest degree, those ever living inherent principles of attachment to their native country, government, and laws, which the generality of mankind, however far removed, are found to possess. Whether such generous notions are more to be ascribed to the British, than to any other nation, I will not pretend to determine; but that they existed in their fullest extent not only in the mind of Mr. Shields, but in the minds of four other Englishmen who were with him, was unquestionably evident, as these also by the same conveyance sent notes, requesting in the most earnest and serious manner to be informed as to the health and welfare of his Majesty, and the prosperity of old England, from whence they had all been absent some years, at nearly the remotest habitable extent of the globe, cut off from all connection with their country, families, and friends.

On my perusing this letter I concurred with Mr. Puget in lamenting our not having been so fortunate as to meet Mr. Shields, as his letter indicated him to be an intelligent person, from whom in all probability some valuable information might have been procured.

Mr. Puget sent an invitation to the Russians by the Indians, and pursued his course along the shore, which from point Manby took a direction first N. 85 E., two leagues, and then N. 63 E., eight miles further; here the land falling back formed a small bay, with a low island about two miles long to the N. N. E. of it, from whence, the coast extended more easterly towards an opening formed by two bluff points, lying nearly east and west of each other half a league asunder; the easternmost of these points named by Mr. Puget Point Latouche, is situated in latitude 59° 51′, longitude 220° 44½′; the shores were composed of a continuation of the low border, extending from the foot of the mountains to the sea side, they were nearly straight and compact, and were bounded by ice or frozen snow, which also greatly abounded in the above opening, which obtained the name of Digges’s Sound. In the morning of the 27th the wind being unfavorable to the vessel’s proceeding in its examination, a boat was dispatched for that purpose, and shortly after her departure a number of canoes made their appearance to the southward, which occasioned some little concern, as the inhabitants of the bay are reputed to be a treacherous, unfriendly, and barbarous tribe. These apprehensions were however soon done away by a visit from Mr. Puget’s old Russian acquaintance Portoff, who informed him, that the canoes which had occasioned his anxiety belonged to him, and were then fishing for his English friends. This was soon confirmed by their carrying on board a plentiful supply of halibut, which proved to be extremely good, and was very acceptable. These canoes contained a numerous party of the Kodiak, and Cook’s inlet Indians; many of them were old acquaintances, but not a single native inhabitant of the bay was in the party. From Portoff was understood, that he had quitted Cook’s inlet about a month or five weeks before, with seven hundred skin canoes, carrying about fourteen hundred Kodiak and Cook’s inlet Indians, with nine Russians, all under his directions, on an expedition to procure sea otter and other furs; and that the whole party were now assembled in this bay. Their route had been close along the coast, and in a shallow bay about eight leagues to the eastward of cape Suckling, (mentioned by me early in the morning of the 27th of June) they stopped at a small river which empties itself into that bay, and is called by them Rica, malo, unala. Its entrance is obstructed by a bar, on which with easterly winds the sea breaks with great violence, and in the finest weather is only navigable for boats; but within the bar the depth increases for a little distance, and then it stretches towards the mountains; from this river they had gone to another a few leagues further to the eastward, (probably the same opening noticed by me at noon on the 27th of June) this was obstructed by a similar bar, and a less depth of water within it, and is called by them Riko bolshe unala. Here Portoff had met between fifty and sixty of the native Indians, who treacherously murdered one of the Russians whilst asleep at a little distance from the main body; on discovering which a skirmish had ensued, in which six of the native Indians were killed, and their chief taken prisoner; after this they quitted their station, and stopped at another small rivulet on the eastern side of Icy bay, from whence the whole party had come hither about fourteen days before the arrival of the Chatham. In addition to this information, Portoff said, that a very dangerous rocky shoal, about fifteen miles in length, lies by compass in a direction S. by W., 63 miles from a place called by them Leda unala. This Mr. Puget conceived to be near the point that I had called point Riou. Portoff himself had been on this shoal, taking sea otters, and stated that the first discovery of it was owing to a Russian galliot having had the misfortune some years before to be wrecked upon it; two of the crew were drowned, but the rest escaped in their boats. Since that period an annual visit had been made to it for the purpose of killing sea otters, which are there met with; and as it generally proves advantageous, Portoff meant to stop there on his return.

From the Spaniards also I afterwards became acquainted, that a very dangerous rock existed in this neighbourhood, the situation of which they had taken great pains to ascertain, and had found it to lie S. 41 E. from cape Suckling, at the distance of 20 leagues, and which was called by them Roca Pamplona; when this was delineated on our charts it appeared to lie in a direction S. 77 E., distant eight miles from the rocky shoal described by Portoff; hence it may be inferred, that Portoff and the Spaniards intend the same shoal, though it is not stated by the latter to be so extensive as by the former.

It is without doubt dangerously situated for the navigation of this coast, and it may possibly have proved fatal to Mr. Meares’s consort, Mr. Tipping, who with his vessel was never heard of after leaving Prince William’s sound in 1786.

The Russians, it seems, in navigating this coast make but little use of the compass, even in steering for the above shoal; on such occasions they depart from some particular point on the coast, shape a course by the land, and never fail to hit upon some part of the shoal; and hence arises the probability of its being extensive, as has been already mentioned.

Portoff also stated, that in the north-west part of Controller’s bay, a river like Riko malo unala, emptied itself over those shoals. This I had likewise understood to be the case from Mr. Smyloff, but I left that circumstance to be decided by the Chatham.

The weather in the forenoon fell calm with showers of rain, attended with a rolling swell from the S. W.; at noon, point Latouche bore by compass N. 34 W., a league and a half distant; the nearest shore N. 45 E., two miles distant; and an opening in a low shore, which commenced about a league from point Latouche, taking a direction S. 14 E. bore by compass S. 78 E. Shortly after noon the boat that had been sent to explore Digges’s sound returned, and Mr. Puget became informed, that it was closed from side to side by a firm and compact body of ice, beyond which at the back of the ice a small inlet appeared to extend N. 55 E. about a league. The depth of water at the entrance of the opening is great, and on its north-east side is a bay which afforded good anchorage, but had a most dreary aspect from its vicinity to the ice; notwithstanding which, vegetation was in an advanced state of forwardness.

From the time of the Chatham’s arrival off point Manby to this station, the soundings were at first from 60 to 40 fathoms, and then 35 to 20, 13 and 30 fathoms. Digges’s sound was the only place in the bay that presented the least prospect of any interior navigation, and this was necessarily very limited, by the close-connected range of lofty snowy mountains that stretched along the coast at no great distance from the sea side. Mr. Puget’s attention was next directed to the opening in the low land, but as the wind was variable and adverse to the progress of the vessel, a boat was again dispatched to continue the investigation of these shores, which are compact from point Latouche, and were then free from ice. This opening was found to be formed by an island about two miles long, in a direction S. 50 E. and N. 50 W. and about a mile broad, lying at the distance of about half a mile from the main land. Opposite to the south part of this, named by Mr. Puget Knight’s Island, is Eleanor’s cove, which is the eastern extremity of Beering’s bay, in latitude 59° 44′, longitude 220° 51′. Knight’s island admits of a navigable passage all round it, but there are some rocks that lie about half a mile from its west point, and there is an islet situated between it and the main land on its north-east side. From Eleanor’s cove the coast takes a direction S. 30 W. about six miles to the east point of a channel leading to the south-west, between the continent and some islands that lie off it; this was considered to lead along the shores of the main land to point Mulgrave; and in the event of its proving navigable, the examination of the bay would have been complete, and the vessel brought to our appointed place of meeting, which was now supposed to be at no very great distance. At this time about fifty canoes of Portoff’s party were about the boat, the Indians in which carried on an advantageous commerce in purchasing white shirts, stockings, cravats, and other parts of the officers’ apparel, (which comforts were readily parted with) for such things as were deemed curiosities, consisting of bows, arrows, darts, spears, fish-gigs, whale-gut shirts, and specimens of their very neat and curious needle-work; articles with which these people, though at so great a distance from home, were well provided, in expectation of finding a profitable market before they returned. In all their dealings they manifested great keenness, and seemed to know very well what they were about; yet they dealt with the strictest honesty, and with the most implicit confidence of being fairly treated.

During this intercourse, two of the native inhabitants of the bay paid the Chatham a visit; and after the usual ceremonious song was ended, they repaired on board without the least hesitation. A few presents of iron, looking glasses, and other trinkets, seemed to have the effect of making them feel perfectly easy and at home; not a moveable escaped attention, but underwent a most minute examination.

In the evening, the Kodiak and Cook’s inlet party, having finished their commercial business very satisfactorily, Portoff, after distributing a few pinches of snuff to some, and filling the boxes of others, formed them into three divisions, and dispatched them all in quest of sea otters: on this service they departed with the greatest cheerfulness, whilst Portoff remained on board the Chatham, where he was soon joined by the rest of his countrymen and the other squadron of their Indian party.

In the morning of the 28th the Chatham entered the channel before mentioned (a boat having been sent forward to carry on the examination of the continental shore); here the depth of water was thirty fathoms. After having advanced a short distance, the channel was found to unite with a passage that took a winding course through the islands to the westward, and was incommoded with many rocks and huge stones, similar to those noticed in Cook’s inlet.

The channel leading along the continent was found on examination to be not more than fifty yards wide, though nearly at high water; for a small space the depth was only fifteen feet, but it quickly increased to ten fathoms. This narrow shallow part was carefully examined as it was passed over; the depth soon increased to seventeen fathoms, when port Mulgrave was seen; point Turner bearing S. 33 W. The number of native visitors now amounted to ten, who seemed on the most friendly terms with the Kodiak party; one of the former by signs and words, used all his eloquence to point out the impossibility of the vessel’s passing through this narrow passage, and that ultimately she would return by the same way she was going; in this, however, he was mistaken, for by keeping in mid-channel the depth was no where found to be less than three fathoms. This passage is about 600 yards long, lying from the entrance of the channel S. 60 W. two miles, in which space the continental shore forms a small bay, and to the southward of the narrow part it takes a more southerly direction; along it are some islets and rocks, and the western side of the channel is much broken. About a league from the narrow part the depth continued to be from 17 to 12 fathoms, until a shoal was reached that lies across the passage; with this Mr. Johnstone had been acquainted on a former visit, and he now entertained hopes of finding a sufficient depth for the Chatham to pass over it, for which purpose a boat was dispatched to search for its deepest part. The boat had scarcely put off when the depth of water suddenly decreased to five fathoms, and the vessel instantly grounded. The cutter which was in shore amongst the islands was immediately recalled, and attempts were made to heave the Chatham off, but it being then falling tide, they proved ineffectual; and as it was near the top of the springs, a bower anchor was carried out, and a strong purchase prepared, lest the vessel should be pinched in floating the next tide.

The native Indians here made their appearance again, and brought with them a supply of excellent salmon; they seemed to exult in the correctness of their information, and persisted that no passage for the vessel would be gained by that route to port Mulgrave. Mr. Puget, however, conceiving that they had now proceeded too far to abandon this design without making further attempts, determined to give it another trial.

It was low water about eight in the evening, the tide not having fallen more than six feet perpendicularly since the vessel had grounded. At this time the boats were sounding for the deepest water, when the tide flowed so much faster than was expected, that before eleven o’clock the vessel floated, and she was hove off into 13 fathoms water, without having received the least apparent damage. Here the Chatham remained during the night, which was dark and gloomy, attended with rain and a fresh easterly gale of wind. The ebb tide on the morning of the 29th fell five feet lower than it had done on the preceding evening; this afforded a perfect view of the surrounding shoals, which were in most places dry, with two large rocks. Between these the Chatham had grounded, and had she been steered a few yards only to the right or left, it is most probable she would have rested on one of them, which would have endangered her oversetting. About the conclusion of the ebb a boat was sent to examine two places on the bar that were not dry, one of these, though narrow, was found to be sufficiently deep and free from danger, provided its line of direction was marked with buoys; this was immediately done, and at half flood the Chatham passed through it, having not less than three fathoms water, which soon after deepened to fifteen fathoms. As the shoals were approached that are laid down by Mr. Dixon to the north-east of point Turner, which is a low narrow strip of land forming the south-east point of the island that protects port Mulgrave from the ocean, the depth again decreased to four and three fathoms and a half; but by passing to the westward of the most southern of these shoals, a good channel was found, through which the vessel passed, and about noon anchored in port Mulgrave, in twelve fathoms water, tough clayey bottom; point Turner bearing by compass S. 32 E.; the above shoals, S. 65 to S. 80 E.; mount St. Elias, N. 69 W.; the nearest shore south, three cables length; and the shoals about the same distance.

Thus, by persevering, Mr. Puget made his way through a channel, which, though he found practicable, he does not recommend to be followed; especially as the communication between port Mulgrave and the ocean is easy and commodious, by the passage to the south and westward of point Turner.

The continental shore from these narrows having been partly examined by the boat, she was again sent to finish the survey of it to cape Phipps, the eastern point of Beering’s bay. In the evening she returned, having accomplished this service; by which it appeared, that from the narrows the continental shore takes a course S. 28 W. for about a league, and is indented with small bays or coves, and that there are many islets lying near the land. At a little distance from a point, lying from point Turner N. 86 E. about a league distant, the main land takes first a southerly, then a westerly and north-west direction; forming a rounding bay about four miles across to cape Phipps; which, according to our observations is situated in latitude 59° 33′, longitude 220° 29′, point Turner lying from it S. 77 E. distant two miles. About the same distance within cape Phipps is a small opening in the low land accessible only for boats, near which was found an Indian village, that had the appearance of having been very recently deserted; not one of its former inhabitants was to be seen, excepting about fifty dogs that were making a most dreadful howling. This circumstance gave rise to an opinion, that the arrival of Portoff’s party in this neighbourhood had induced the native Indians to quit their habitations, and retire to the woods, or further along the coast to the eastward; and Mr. Puget thinks that this idea was supported by the description that Portoff first gave of these people, as being a treacherous, cruel tribe, by whom his numerous party were kept in a state of constant anxiety for their general safety. It also led to a supposition, that at some earlier period the Russians had made use of harsh and coercive measures to bring the inhabitants of this bay to a friendly intercourse; this, however, had been positively denied by Portoff, who asserted, that no skirmish whatever had hitherto taken place between these people and their modern Russian visitors; though according to his own statement, he had at that time met with only thirty of the natives, notwithstanding that Mr. Dixon, in the year 1787, computes their number to be seventy; and Mr. Johnstone, who visited this bay in the year following, is of opinion that they amounted at that time to one hundred and fifty of both sexes, and all ages. This apparent difference may however be owing to the wandering life which the North-West Americans are found to lead, particularly in the summer season, for the purpose of procuring a supply of fish, and other articles of food, for their maintenance during the winter; and as it was afterwards proved that these shores were not so thinly inhabited as had been imagined, the statement made by Portoff is likely to be correct.

Portoff was not at this time on board the Chatham, and Mr. Puget was a little surprized at receiving a message from him by one of the Russians, inquiring if a gold watch-chain, and seals, were missing from the vessel, as the captive Indian chief, who had been permitted to sleep in the cabin the night Portoff remained on board, had produced these valuables, and had alledged that he had received them as a present from Mr. Puget, who, until that instant, was unconscious of his loss. On the messenger being made acquainted with the theft, he replied, that Portoff would deliver them up the next morning, which on the 30th he accordingly performed. On this occasion Portoff expressed great indignation at the robbery, and considered himself as being very fortunate that he had been able to obtain the chain and seals uninjured, and to have an opportunity of restoring them whilst he had the power of so doing. Portoff embraced this occasion to inform Mr. Puget, that on the evening of the 28th, whilst he and his whole party were on one of the small islands in port Mulgrave, they were surprized by a visit of about fifty of the natives; and notwithstanding the superior numbers of his party, he had so little confidence in the courage of the Kodiak and Cook’s inlet Indians, that he was extremely anxious to be quit of such dangerous visitors, and had determined on returning to the Kodiak as soon as the Chatham should leave the bay; in the mean time he purposed to remove his whole squadron from its then station to point Turner. For this purpose he departed, and on the morning of the 1st of July, he returned with his numerous little fleet, and pitched his encampment on that point.

In the evening the Chatham was in readiness for sea agreeably to my directions; but as the weather during the day had been pleasant with a fine westerly breeze, Mr. Puget was in constant expectation of seeing the Discovery, and deemed it most prudent to remain stationary until the next morning, rather than risk a longer separation by proceeding to sea. His conjectures of the Discovery being nigh at hand, were in a great measure confirmed late in the evening; and Mr. Manby was dispatched as before related. The next morning however brought no tidings to the Chatham either of Mr. Manby or the vessel; but as it had been previously settled, that Mr. Manby’s not returning should denote the arrival of the Discovery, Mr. Puget concluded she was coming into port Mulgrave, and remained at anchor in that expectation.

In the afternoon Mr. Puget visited the Russian encampment on point Turner, and found the whole party comfortably situated. Portoff had an excellent small tent made of Russian sail cloth, which seemed to be appropriated to his sole use, and as a deposit for their fire-arms, ammunition, and other articles of value; near which, an Indian hut was erected for the residence of the other Russians; the captive chief and his family, and the rest of the party, were so situated, that no surprize could be well apprehended; their spears, formed at the point like a spontoon, were placed near each habitation, in readiness to act on the defensive; and their daggers and other weapons were equally well disposed. Their temporary habitations were each formed by two canoes placed edgeways, about four feet asunder, and their paddles constituted a kind of roof, over which were laid thick skins of land animals, which effectually protected them from the inclemency of the weather; and formed, though a small and low, yet a comfortable resting place; the bottom being first covered by a mat, strewed over with clean dry grass. Many sea otters that were just brought on shore by some of the Kodiak Indians, gave Mr. Puget an opportunity of seeing their manner of preparing those skins, which differed materially from that practised by the other inhabitants of the coast, in whose possession we have found that species of fur. These people drew the skin over the body of the animal, without making any incision either in the back or the belly, and in that state the skins were hung up to dry; but whether they underwent any other process prior to their being sent to market was not understood. The flesh of these animals is esteemed to be a very great dainty; and whilst some were employed in skinning, the surrounding company were busily engaged, with their knives, in scraping the blubber or fat from the carcase, and in that raw state eating it with the greatest relish. The rest of the animal was boiled, with the wild vegetables procured in great abundance, in and about the woods, and afforded the party an excellent repast. The bones of the sea otter, with those of all other amphibious animals, are preserved with the greatest care by these Indians, but for what purpose Mr. Puget was unable to learn. Those of the party who were not thus engaged, seemed to be industriously employed in making such articles of curiosity as found the most ready market amongst their English friends.

In the evening the canoes that had been sent with Mr. Manby returned without him, and as they brought neither letter nor message, it served to confirm Mr. Puget in his former opinion, that the Discovery was coming into port; especially as the wind and weather were extremely unsettled, and consequently very unfavorable to the examination of the coast to the eastward. The arrival of a large party of native Indians the next morning, on the southern shore of the main land opposite to point Turner, threw the whole Russian encampment into a state of confusion, and caused every preparation to be made for acting on the defensive; in the mean time the captive chief was dispatched in a Kodiak canoe, for the purpose of using his endeavours to bring about a friendly intercourse, and to establish a good understanding. On this occasion several messages passed, but no interview took place between the two parties during the day, which was very unpleasant, the wind being very boisterous from the eastward. Early in the morning of the 4th, a large wooden canoe, with twelve of these strangers, visited the Russian encampment, and were welcomed to the shore by a song from the Kodiak Indians; this compliment being returned in the same way, a conference took place; in which the native chief exerted his utmost eloquence to point out the extent of their territories, and the injustice of the Russians in killing and taking away their sea otters, without making them the smallest recompence. After these grievances had been enumerated with great energetic force, the chief sent a sea otter skin to Portoff, and on his accepting this present, a loud shout was given by both parties: this was followed by a song, which concluded these introductory ceremonies. The visitors now landed, and were conducted to the encampment, where the friendly reception they met with, induced the chief to dispatch his canoe, with such information to the rest of his tribe, that they soon repaired to point Turner; and after similar ceremonies of songs and dancing, these likewise landed, amounting to about fifty, in whose possession were six excellent muskets, kept in the highest order, and each had a large iron dagger that hung from his neck in readiness for immediate service.

But as no confidence could be placed in their professions of friendship, so large a party excited in Portoff the most serious apprehensions for the safety of his people, especially as the native Indians took up their abode in the vicinity of his encampment; and although at that time it contained nearly nine hundred, whilst the number of the natives did not amount to more than seventy persons, amongst whom were some women and boys, yet he greatly dreaded an attack; being conscious that the major part of his people would be unequal to resist the impetuosity of so daring and desperate an adversary.

Mr. Puget relieved Portoff of his distressing solicitude by the strongest assurances, that so long as the Chatham remained in his neighbourhood, he might, in the event of an attack, depend on every assistance in his power to afford, as also in the exertion of his best endeavours to gain these strangers more over to the interest of the Russian party. These offers were received by Portoff with marks of the most lively gratitude, as he had considered his situation as being extremely critical, but was now, from Mr. Puget’s assurances of protection, made perfectly easy; and for the purpose of preserving the good understanding that appeared to have taken place, he distributed amongst his visitors some large and small blue beads, with sheet copper, and bracelets made of that metal. This measure appeared to have its desired effect, as the chief and his party seemed to be well pleased, and soon after they all retired from the encampment, apparently well satisfied with their reception. The trivial articles given by Portoff, were the only species of merchandize the Russians had with them; even these, had been brought in very small quantities; and it would appear that they were very inadequate to the purchase of furs from the tribes or nations, in the more south-eastern parts of this coast; but a commercial intercourse with the native inhabitants of North-West America to the eastward from Prince William’s sound did not appear to be an object of the Russian pursuit.

Late in the evening, Portoff acquainted Mr. Puget, that the Discovery was coming round the point; a gun was immediately fired, and Mr. Johnstone dispatched in the cutter; but the vessel under sail soon appeared like a galliot, and was supposed to be a Russian, until the return of Mr. Johnstone about four in the morning, who had found the vessel to be the Jackall, which anchored near point Turner. Here Mr. Johnstone learned, that she had parted from the Discovery the preceding afternoon, and that she had after that time been driven some leagues to the eastward.

As Mr. Puget did not receive by this vessel any letter or message, he still supposed that I should return to port Mulgrave, to wait a more favorable opportunity for prosecuting the survey of the coast. The weather still continued in the same unsettled state until the evening, when the clearing of the western sky strongly indicated a favorable change. In the morning of the 5th the whole party of native Indians quitted port Mulgrave, and left the Russians in quiet possession of point Turner. Before their departure, their number had gradually increased to an hundred and upwards. The several chiefs had occasionally visited Mr. Puget, who made them all presents of such articles as were by them considered valuable, and were well accepted. Mr. Puget mentions also, that after an amicable intercourse had been established between the two parties, they entertained each other with songs and dances, according to the different customs of each particular tribe.

A fine breeze having sprung up about noon from the N. W. the Chatham quitted port Mulgrave. Here Mr. Puget states, that they were enabled to procure some tolerable refreshments; the shores produced an abundance of very good wild celery, which had been daily boiled with portable soup in their peas, and had been eaten also as sallad; but to the bounty of their Russian friend Portoff, they had been more considerably indebted, for a constant and ample supply of fish, chiefly halibut, with some few cod and salmon. These were all he had to bestow, but he furnished them in so handsome and so disinterested a manner, as plainly indicated, that he possessed a mind and disposition, not only capable of great acts of generosity, but highly intitled to a more respectable post in civil society, than the lot of his fortune seemed to admit. His behaviour from his first visit, had been marked by a steady, uniform line of conduct, that manifested a just sense of those obligations, which although demanded by the rights of hospitality, are, when so very pleasantly conferred, deserving the highest commendations and acknowledgments; beside which, Mr. Puget had little in his power to offer. Some few trivial articles were however most thankfully accepted by Portoff, who took charge of some books likely to be serviceable as a present for Mr. Shields, to whom, and likewise to Mr. Berrenoff, the conductor of the Company’s affairs at the Kodiak, Mr. Puget wrote in such terms of the conduct of this honest sailor, as he had most richly deserved.

Mr. Puget concludes the account of his transactions at this place by noticing, that in sailing into port Mulgrave it is necessary to give a good birth to point Phipps, in order to avoid a small reef that stretches from it into the sea. From the inner or north point of this cape, point Turner lies S. 83 E. distant two miles and three quarters; this point is bold, and must be kept close on board, for the purpose of avoiding the shoals that lie at a little distance to the eastward of it; between these shoals and the point, good anchorage is found in 8 to 14 fathoms, clear good holding ground; the variation by the Chatham’s compass was 26° eastwardly; the rise and fall of the tide perpendicularly was about nine feet, and it was high water 30′ after the moon had passed the meridian.

The dangers in Beering’s bay, particularly between point Manby and the islands forming port Mulgrave, are considered to be numerous, since several rocks were seen, just shewing their heads above water; but Mr. Puget had not leisure to undertake a minute examination of these latent dangers, or of the islands just mentioned forming the port, which, by its south-eastern entrance, is free from any danger or interruption, and affords ample space to turn in, between the main land and the island.

Here the Chatham was employed in reaching the ocean with a westerly wind until six in the evening, when her course was directed for Cross sound. On approaching cape Spencer, a dozen of the natives in one canoe visited the brig, all of whom expressed the same want of confidence that had been exhibited to us, and not one of them would venture on board, without a hostage being sent into the canoe. As this ceremony had not been before observed by any of our North-West American visitors, it was not at first comprehended, but on the demand being understood, Mr. Puget ordered one of his people into the canoe; upon which the chief immediately repaired on board, and a large supply of halibut was soon purchased with iron. Whilst this traffic was going on, and the hostage remained in the canoe, the chief seemed perfectly satisfied, and reconciled to his situation; but the instant the man was desired to come from out of the canoe on board, the chief returned. This excessive suspicion and distrust, which had been by no means the general character of the North-West Americans, is not easily to be accounted for; unless it be supposed, which is too much to be apprehended, that some of their civilized visitors had given them cause for adopting this precaution.

Mr. Puget and the gentlemen on board the Chatham had been equally deceived with ourselves by the appearance of the ice, and had tacked to avoid approaching too near some pieces which they had supposed to be rocks; but after discovering the mistake they soon joined us, as already mentioned, without noticing either rocks, shoals, or other interruption in sailing up the sound, excepting the ice before mentioned.


Transactions in Cross Sound—Proceed to Sea—Account of a Boat Excursion—Description of Port Althorp and Cross Sound—Astronomical and nautical Observations.

Although the weather during the night, and morning of Thursday the 10th, had been very rainy, yet it did not prevent our being visited by the natives in seven or eight canoes, containing men, women, and children; who, from this early visit, we had great reason to suppose had their residence at no great distance. It appeared that they had taken up a temporary abode on one of the two small branches in this cove, for the purpose it should seem, of being our near neighbours. Their numbers were afterwards so augmented that we had frequently near an hundred about the vessels, who, notwithstanding the weather was foggy, rainy, and very unpleasant, furnished us with a tolerable supply of halibut and salmon; the latter was of a very inferior sort, and possessed little or no taste; in addition to these essentials, they disposed of a few indifferent sea otter skins: in this traffic they dealt very honestly, and in the other parts of their conduct they seemed to shew an open, cheerful, and lively disposition; yet no one was inclined to trust himself in our power on board, although on shore they were affable and familiar.

Since our arrival on the coast this season, the state of my health had been too indifferent to allow of my taking any share in the several distant boat excursions; but as it seemed to be highly probable, from the extremely broken appearance of this extensive opening in the coast, that Mr. Whidbey might be led to a great distance, in land, by pursuing the continental shore, and by that means be precluded from examining the various islands that appear to lie before it, and to form the external boundaries of this sound; and considering myself now sufficiently recruited to be equal to that task, early in the morning of the 14th I sat out for that purpose, but by noon I was obliged to return, in consequence of being seized with a most violent indisposition, which terminated in a bilious cholic, that confined me for several days to my apartments.

During my absence a sail had been descried in the offing, which had been supposed to be the Jackall, and on my return a boat was sent to afford her every assistance in our power. At three the next morning, Tuesday the 15th, the boat returned from the vessel, which was found to be a brig named the Arthur, commanded by a Mr. Barber, belonging to Bengal, but last from port Jackson. At noon she anchored in this port, off the island forming its western side, to the south of the station we had taken. The Indians were as usual about our vessels, busily employed in commercial dealings; but on the arrival of this vessel, I thought it proper to prohibit the purchase of furs, by any of our people.

The same very unpleasant weather continued with little variation; the wind blowing a strong gale from the eastward. On Friday the 18th, in the afternoon, our amicable intercourse with the inhabitants of the country was in some measure interrupted, by one of them having been detected in the act of stealing some of the lower part of the rudder chains. Some muskets had been fired to induce those in the canoe to return their prize to no effect; the launch was therefore sent in pursuit of the canoe, and just as the Indians were about to land the canoe overset, by which accident the stolen goods were lost, with such other valuables as they had collected during the day; and the party, consisting of two women and a man, were made prisoners, and with their canoe, brought on board. The three delinquents were ordered into irons; but they had not been long so circumstanced, before I received a very humble petition from the two ladies, who on promising they would not again be found so offending were liberated. The man remained in confinement until the morning of Saturday the 19th, when I understood that some similar acts had been committed on board the Chatham; this information induced me to consider, that making an example of the thief in our possession, might be attended with the desirable effect of preventing further misdemeanors; and for this reason he was punished with four dozen lashes, after which his canoe was returned to him, and he with his ladies were dismissed.

On this correction being inflicted, the rest of the canoes quitted the cove, and no one came near us until Tuesday the 22d, when one only came alongside. On the Indian meeting a friendly reception, his neighbours were induced to follow his example, and our former intercourse was perfectly re-established. Among the number who now visited us, was one of the women who had been overset in the canoe, and who in that scuffle had hurt the separated part of the lower lip; but on receiving the necessary surgical assistance for healing the wound, for which purpose she came regularly on board every morning, it was soon perfectly healed.

The Arthur sailed on Wednesday the 23d, and on the Saturday following, the 26th, the Jackal arrived, and anchored near us; on this occasion the former restrictions as to the purchase of furs were again enforced.

Mr. Brown stated, that he had quitted port Mulgrave the morning after the Chatham had sailed, and had left Portoff and his party at point Turner; but on his meeting with a hard gale from the eastward, he was obliged to return thither, with the loss of some spars, and with material damage to his sails. The Russian party he found still at their encampment, but understood that six of the Kodiak Indians had been captured by the native inhabitants. Portoff requested Mr. Brown would afford him some assistance to regain his people; for which purpose, with a numerous fleet of canoes, and one of the Jackall’s boats, Portoff directed his course up the bay, and soon met with the hostile Indians, who, after a long discussion delivered up five of their prisoners, and in return received five of their comrades, being part of a number which in retaliation the Russians had captured, but the remainder of the party amounting to twelve men and women, were detained by Portoff, until the other Kodiak Indian should be restored. Mr. Brown’s second visit to port Mulgrave was of short duration, and Portoff with his numerous fleet quitted it a few hours before his departure.

We were now in hourly expectation of the party’s return under the command of Mr. Whidbey, for the comfort and even safety of whom, it was not possible for us to avoid having the most anxious solicitude, as the weather that had generally prevailed since our arrival in this place, had been of an extremely unpleasant nature. In the afternoon, however, we were very agreeably relieved from our anxiety for their welfare, by their returning all in good health and spirits; after having traversed the continental shore so far as to be within about 20 leagues of cape Decision, from whence a clear channel had been seen into the ocean. To this station a good inland navigation had been found, excepting that in an easterly direction from the anchorage of the vessels at the distance of about 10 leagues, the passage though sufficiently spacious, was at that time greatly incommoded, and, in some places, nearly closed by large fragments of floating ice. This inconvenience having already occasioned us much annoyance, and moments of the most anxious concern, I did not choose to combat again such difficulties, especially as by pursuing our route by the ocean, it would afford us an opportunity of delineating the exterior coast; and as Mr. Johnstone had accomplished the service which want of health had prevented my effecting, I directed every thing to be taken from the shore, and the vessels prepared for sailing the next morning; but it was not until the afternoon of Monday the 28th that the wind permitted us to move, when, with a light air from the north, and with the assistance of all our boats, we were enabled to get out of the port, which I have named Port Althorp. We had no sooner arrived in the sound than the breeze died away, and the flood tide obliged us to anchor until one o’clock. At this time a breeze again sprang up, but being from the S. W., we were employed until midnight in turning out of the sound. We stood to and fro off cape Cross to wait the return of day, in order to carry on the examination of the external coast southward towards cape Decision, which was now discovered to be either the coast of a long island, or an archipelago extending to the latitude of 56° 15′, and probably further south. Near its south-eastern extremity, I intended to take the first convenient situation that might offer for the vessels, whilst the boats were employed in completing the survey of the small portion of the continental shore that now remained for our examination.

Previously however, to my proceeding in this part of my journal, I shall state the services performed by Mr. Whidbey during his late excursion, which according to the directions he received commenced on the forenoon of the 10th from cape Spencer, with very thick foggy unpleasant weather; this inconvenience, in addition to the immense numbers of huge pieces of floating ice, very much retarded his progress across the sound. Having at length effected this object, the continental shore from the cape above-mentioned was found to take nearly a north direction for about three leagues to a low pebbly point; N. N. W. from which, five miles further, a small brook flowed into the sound, and on its northern side stood the ruins of a deserted Indian village. To reach this station, the party had advanced up an arm about six miles wide at its entrance, but which had decreased to about half that width, and their further progress was now stopped by an immense body of compact perpendicular ice, extending from shore to shore, and connected with a range of lofty mountains that formed the head of the arm, and as it were, gave support to this body of ice on each side. Their course was now directed across the arm, and on its eastern side, compelled by the inclemency of the weather, the party stopped until it should prove more favorable to their purpose. These shores are composed of a border of low land, which on high tides is overflown, and becomes broken into islands. Here were erected two pillars sixteen feet high, and four feet in circumference, painted white; on the top of each was placed a large square box; on examining one of them it was found to contain many ashes, and pieces of burnt bones, which were considered to be human; these relicts were carefully wrapped up in skins, and old mats, and at the base of the pillars was placed an old canoe in which were some paddles.

The weather in the night was dark with constant rain, and on the following morning it improved but little; yet as it permitted the party to see from point to point, Mr. Whidbey prosecuted his researches, and found the shores of the icy barrier taking a direction S. 53 E. four leagues and an half, to a point, which I have called Point Wimbledon, lying from cape Spencer N. 53 E., distant eleven miles. In passing this space, they were obliged to make their way through a great quantity of floating ice, and between three small rocky islands lying at a little distance from the main land, which opposite to these islands terminates in steep, rugged, rocky cliffs. This point forms the north-west point of entrance into an extensive branch of the sound extending to the eastward; its opposite point of entrance, which I named Point Lavinia, is the north-east point of port Althorp, and lies from it S. 12 E., at the distance of six miles. Between these points is a group consisting of one low, and two high rocky islands, with some rocks and islets about them; from hence the shore took a circular direction to the N. N. E. for about a league, and formed the western entrance of a smaller branch about two miles wide, extending to the north and north-westward; at the entrance of which, in mid-channel was only found 18 fathoms water; a circumstance we had been little accustomed to meet with in our examination of the several branches of this very extraordinary country; as in almost every other instance their depth had been far greater than we had been provided to reach. Up this opening the party advanced nearly in a north-west direction about two leagues, where their further progress was nearly stopped by shoals, rocky islets, and rocks, extending across the branch, which decreased to about a mile in width, and for the space of about two miles, was occupied by these islets and rocks; beyond them on the western shore was a small shallow opening, that appeared to communicate with one of a similar description, and which had been noticed in the other arm a few miles below the icy barrier, but was too shallow to be approached by the boats. About four miles from hence in a northerly direction this branch finally closed, being in most places greatly encumbered with ice. On the return of the boats, they were much incommoded by the shoals that extend from the north-east side of the arm, to within half a mile of its south-west side. About its entrance the soundings were regular, of a moderate depth, and afforded good and secure anchorage; but at this season vessels would be much inconvenienced, by the immense quantities of floating ice; this impediment, in addition to the weather being again very foggy, stopped the progress of their researches early in the afternoon, and obliged them to retire about a league within the entrance on the eastern shore. About ten of the natives in two canoes had been met with, who had conducted themselves in a very civil and friendly manner. Toward the evening and in the night, the ice accumulated so much as to threaten destruction to the boats, which under the circumstances of their situation, could not without inconvenience and delay be hauled on shore: the utmost vigilance of the party became requisite to prevent their being damaged, which was happily effected, though with the loss of a grapnel, as the Chatham’s cutter had by the ice been unavoidably forced adrift. This, though an important loss, (none of the boats having a spare grapnel) was soon compensated by the ingenuity of Mr. Le Mesurier, who had the command of the cutter, and who immediately constructed one of wood, that answered the purpose of an iron one extremely well, during the rest of the excursion.

The morning of the 12th, though unpleasant, was rather more favorable to their pursuit, which was still greatly impeded by the ice. From the east point of this branch, which I have called Point Dundas, situated in latitude 58° 21′, longitude 224° 1′, the coast takes an irregular E. N. E. direction about seven miles to a point, from whence this branch of the sound appeared to be very extensive in an E. S. E. point of view, and was upwards of three leagues across. The party proceeded from point Dundas to this station, through a channel from two to three miles in width, between the continental shore, and an island about seven miles long and three miles broad, lying in a N. E. and S. W. direction. This spacious inlet presented to our party an arduous task, as the space between the shores on the northern and southern sides seemed to be intirely occupied by one compact sheet of ice as far as the eye could distinguish. Whilst the boats remained at this point they were visited by the natives in several canoes, that had come out from a small shallow brook a little to the westward of the point. Excepting a few indifferent sea otter skins, these people brought with them no articles for traffic. To the north and east of this point, the shores of the continent form two large open bays, which were terminated by compact solid mountains of ice, rising perpendicularly from the water’s edge, and bounded to the north by a continuation of the united lofty frozen mountains that extend eastward from mount Fairweather. In these bays also were great quantities of broken ice, which having been put in motion by the springing up of a northerly wind, was drifted to the southward, and forcing the boats from the northern shore, obliged them to take shelter round the north-east point of the above island. This made Mr. Whidbey apprehensive, that the still apparent connected body of ice from side to side, would at length oblige him to abandon his researches by this route, unless he should find it possible to force a passage through this formidable obstruction.

In attempting this, the party succeeded far beyond their expectations, for they gained an open navigation, and by four in the afternoon arrived at a low and nearly round island about two leagues in circuit, lying from the former island N. 83 E., distant three leagues. This island is moderately elevated, its shores pleasant and easy of access, and well stocked with timber, mostly of the pine tribe. It presented a much more inviting appearance than they had been accustomed to behold, and the wind and weather being more favorable than for some time past, they continued along the continental shore, passing within some islets that lie about a league to the eastward of the round island, until nine in the evening, when it became calm, and the party rested for the night at the entrance of a brook, in a bay on the northern or continental shore, which from the round island lies S. 82 E., distant ten miles. Here in the morning of the 13th they were visited by fifteen Indians, men, women, and children, who conducted themselves in the most civil and affable manner, and took much pains to explain, that they had recently been engaged in a war with the inhabitants of the southern side of the branch, in which they had been beaten, and pointed to a deserted village, where those of their comrades who had fallen had been buried. These people appeared to be a part of a very poor tribe, and had scarcely any thing to dispose of; for which reason Mr. Whidbey made them presents of some few trivial articles, which were very thankfully received, and then he resumed his examination, and found the continent from the last mentioned open bay compact, and taking a course somewhat irregularly, S. 50 E. seven leagues, to a point, which I called after the seat of my ancestors, Point Couverden, where the observed latitude was 58° 12′, longitude 225° 7′. At the distance of two miles to the north-west of this point, the party passed a small cove with an island lying before it, and half a league south of the point, a high barren rocky islet.

The branch that had been thus navigated, was here about five or six miles wide, and at this station was united with a very extensive arm, taking a S. S. E. and N. N. W. direction. The latter becoming the first object of attention, the boats proceeded to the northward, along the western or continental shore, which in this neighbourhood constituted a narrow border of low land, well wooded and with stately trees, mostly of the pine tribe, behind which still extended a continuation of the lofty snowy mountains. About two miles to the north of point Couverden were passed one small island and three rocky islets; one of which lies nearly in mid-channel, and having advanced about four or five leagues up this arm, the opposite shore that had appeared to be compact now seemed to be broken. The progress of the party in this pursuit was greatly retarded by a fresh northerly wind, and a constant stream setting against them, so that it was noon on the 14th before they reached a point lying N. 10 W. from point Couverden; where Mr. Whidbey observed the latitude to be 58° 35′. From this point the eastern shore of the arm still presented the same broken appearance, but that along which they had passed was firm and compact, indented with a few coves, and some islets and rocks lying near it. Both sides of this arm were bounded by lofty stupendous mountains, covered with perpetual ice and snow, whilst the shores in this neighbourhood appeared to be composed of cliffs of very fine slate, interspersed with beaches of excellent paving stone. This point forms a projecting promontory, about a league long, in a northerly direction, from which the continental shore still continued in the above line about nine miles, where, near a small brook, the party rested for the night. Most of the preceding day had been foggy and rainy, the latter increased greatly during the night, and detained them until nine in the forenoon of the 15th; when, having a gentle breeze in their favor, they proceeded along a straight and compact shore, and by noon reached a small islet, where the observed latitude was 58° 54′, longitude 224° 47′. This islet is about two miles from the western shore of the main channel, which still continues to be five miles wide. Another islet lies to the north, between it, and the south point of an island about five miles long and a mile broad, lying along the western shore, and forming a channel that is about a mile wide, having at its southern entrance shoals that extend nearly from side to side. Up this channel the boats passed, and found the continental shore now take a direction N. 22 W. nine miles from the above islet, to a point where the arm narrowed to two miles across; from whence it extended ten miles further in a direction N. 30 W. where its navigable extent terminated in latitude 59° 12′, longitude 224° 33′. This station was reached in the morning of the 16th, after passing some islets and some rocks, nearly in mid-channel. Above the northernmost of these (which lies four miles below the shoal, that extends across the upper part of the arm, there about a mile in width) the water was found to be perfectly fresh. Along the edge of this shoal the boats passed from side to side in six feet water, and beyond it, the head of the arm extended about half a league, where a small opening in the land was seen, about the fourth of a mile wide, leading to the north-westward, from whence a rapid stream of fresh water rushed over the shoal; but this, to all appearance, was bounded at no great distance by a continuation of the same lofty ridge of snowy mountains so repeatedly mentioned, as stretching eastwardly from mount Fairweather, and which, in every point of view they had hitherto been seen, appeared to be a firm and close-connected range of stupendous mountains, for ever doomed to support a burthen of undissolving ice and snow. It was here remarked, that notwithstanding the quantity of fresh water which flowed into this arm from the brook just mentioned, the shores were perfectly free from snow or ice, although they were three fourths of a degree to the north of those parts that had undergone the examination of the party in the early part of their present expedition, where they had been much annoyed by ice, and it became another instance of the local existence of these substances.

It may reasonably be presumed that this stream is alone indebted for its existence to the dissolution of the snow and ice in its vicinity at this season of the year; as it seemed to be too inconsiderable, and the adjacent mountains appeared to be too compact, to admit of its deriving its source from any other cause.

Up this brook, the Indian party, which had now accumulated to upwards of an hundred, gave our gentlemen to understand, that eight chiefs of great consequence resided, and they solicited the party, with much earnestness, that they would remain in that neighbourhood some days, to give the chiefs an opportunity of paying them a visit. Inquiries were made for the chief of the tribe then present, but no one of the Indians assumed that character. Their behaviour was peaceable, civil, and friendly; but our party having a more important object to pursue than that of receiving new visitors, declined the proposed civility, and returned down the arm, along the eastern shore, which was low, indented into small bays and coves, and appeared to be a border that extended from the base of the mountains that lie behind it, and which took a direction S. 40 E., 4½ leagues to a point that obtained the name of Point Seduction, in consequence of the artful character of the Indians who are said to reside in its neighbourhood.

From this point lies a range of small islands about four miles in a south direction. The southernmost is a flat barren rock, but on the others, trees were produced. From hence the opposite shore forming the eastern side of the arm was about two miles distant, and at this point a branch of it extended N. 18 W. about eleven miles; and shewed that what had been taken for a low border uniting with the mountains, was a narrow strip of land from one to two miles across. This branch after winding in a westerly direction about three miles further, terminated this extensive arm in its north-westerly direction, by low land formed immediately at the foot of high stupendous mountains, broken into deep gullies, and loaded with perpetual ice and snow.

Through the low land uniting with the narrow strip, flows another brook, much smaller than the former, but originating apparently from a similar cause, the dissolving ice and snow. On this low spit, as also on the border, several very large pine trees were seen, with some birch and small alder trees. The examination to this extent occupied the party until the afternoon of the 16th; when they returned along the eastern shore, which, as they advanced to the south, became high, steep, and craggy.

On this occasion it may not be improper to remark, that the upper part of this arm, which after the place of my nativity, the town of Lynn in Norfolk, obtained the name of Lynn Channel, approaches nearer to those interior waters of the continent, which are said to be known to the traders and travellers from the opposite side of America, than we had found the waters of the North Pacific penetrate in any former instance. This approximation is towards the south-west side of the Arathapescow lake, as laid down in Captain Cook’s chart, from which its distance is about three hundred and twenty geographical miles; but from the close connection and continuation of the lofty snowy barrier, so frequently before adverted to, trending south-eastward, and nearly parallel to the direction of the continental shore, little probability can remain of there being any navigable communication, even for canoes between such waters and the North Pacific Ocean, without the interruption of falls, cataracts, and various other impediments.

The boats were shortly joined in their way down the channel by a large canoe, in which there were about twenty Indians, with a chief who affirmed the character of king or principal chief over all the people residing up the brook. He introduced himself in a friendly and courteous manner, made Mr. Whidbey a present of a sea otter skin, and cheerfully received a suitable return; but like the Indians who had visited the vessels, he did not care to venture himself in the power of our party, and nothing could induce him to get into the yawl, but Mr. Whidbey himself going as a hostage into his canoe, and there remaining so long as he might think proper to stay in the boat. With this request Mr. Whidbey did not think proper to comply, yet they accompanied our party down the channel, who in the evening rested for the night on the eastern shore, about five miles to the southward of point Seduction; on their landing, the chief shewed much civil attention, and, as he had before done on all occasions, used his utmost endeavours to impress our gentlemen with a good opinion of his sincerity.

This chief Mr. Whidbey represented as a tall thin elderly man. He was dressed in a much more superb style than any chief we had hitherto seen on this coast, and he supported a degree of state consequence, and personal dignity, unusual to be found amongst the chiefs of North-West America. His external robe was a very fine large garment, that reached from his neck down to his heels, made of wool from the mountain sheep, neatly variegated with several colours, and edged and otherwise decorated with little tufts, or frogs of woollen yarn, dyed of various colours. His head-dress was made of wood, much resembling in its shape a crown, adorned with bright copper and brass plates, from whence hung a number of tails or streamers, composed of wool and fur wrought together, dyed of various colours, and each terminating by a whole ermine skin. The whole exhibited a magnificent appearance, and indicated a taste for dress and ornament that we had not supposed the natives of these regions to possess.

The very cordial behaviour of these new acquaintances did not, however, prevent Mr. Whidbey from being on his guard, and knowing that there were many others in the neighbourhood, he caused every one of his party to sleep in the boats at their grapnels, a little distance from the shore, and gave particular direction that the watch should be vigilantly attentive, as he had reason to expect more of the natives would arrive in the course of the night. In this conjecture he was not mistaken, for at the next dawn of day it was discovered, that another large canoe, with three smaller ones, had found their way into the cove unperceived by those who were on watch, and at the same time two other large canoes, attended by several smaller ones, all full of Indians, were advancing at no great distance, and those already in the cove, were in motion towards the boats. On this suspicious appearance, for they were all armed, and prepared for hostilities, Mr. Whidbey took such instant precautions as were most likely to repel any attempt that might be in contemplation; and by the time our party had increased their distance a little from the shore, and were prepared to act on the defensive; the chief, who had shewn such marks of friendly attention during the preceding day and evening, was, with his followers, alongside of the yawl, pursuing a mode of behaviour very different to that which he had before observed. He now waited for no invitation, but on his coming alongside, with an empty box in his hand, he jumped into the yawl, seemingly with no other intent than that of plundering the boat: fortunately, however, the awning being spread much impeded his progress, and prevented the rest of his companions from following his example, before he was obliged to retire, and put off with his canoe. By this time the other canoes had divided their forces, and had gone against the other two boats, where they experienced a similar repulse. Notwithstanding that their numbers had now increased to at least two hundred; yet seeing our boats were so well prepared, and ready to act on their defence, they declined making any further attempt, and seemed to content themselves with vaunting only. One chief in particular became very valiant, he was of the last party that had arrived, and was in a large canoe full of Indians, who were well provided not only with spears, but with seven muskets, and some brass blunderbusses, all in most excellent order. He advanced, and hailed the yawl with a speaking trumpet, which he held in one hand, and had a spying glass in the other; a powder horn was slung across his shoulders, and a clean bright brass blunderbuss was lying near him, which he frequently took up and pointed at Mr. Whidbey, in such a manner as evidently shewed he was no stranger to the use and management of such weapons; and by his adroitness in the use of the trumpet and telescope, it would seem that he had not been unsuccessful in copying this part of maritime education. Little doubt remained with our party as to the hostile intentions of these people, and it was probably a very happy circumstance that they had not been more active in carrying their designs into effect; for, beside the arms already mentioned, each man was provided with a short handy dagger, very conveniently tied round his wrist. Had they with these weapons assailed our boats, and got possession of them in the night by surprize, which was evidently what had been meditated, their project might possibly have been attended with serious consequences, if they had possessed sufficient courage to have maintained a contest; this however seemed to be very doubtful, as our boats remained for a short time nearly stationary, waiting their assault, but this they all thought proper to decline.

Some chastizement for so unprovoked and treacherous breach of hospitality and good faith, might probably have been attended with the desirable effect of preventing similar aggressions in future; but as our party had received no injury from their evil intentions, Mr. Whidbey very humanely desisted from taking any revenge; and notwithstanding he had them much in his power, and could not have fired upon them without making great slaughter, he nevertheless did not avail himself of his situation, but left it at their option to retire, or to become more active aggressors. By his having directed his course toward mid-channel, the canoes were drawn from the shore into the middle of the channel, where they were less liable to be troublesome, as it had appeared that on all such occasions they were desirous of securing a retreat, by being near to the rocks or woods. The whole Indian party followed the boats for about three miles, when they gave up their pursuit, and retired, making a great noise; and holding up sea otter skins, which they seemed to possess in great abundance.

With this party three chiefs only had appeared, although, according to their own account, the tribe residing up the brook had belonging to it, eight chiefs. The whole of this party, which had been collected at a very short notice, seemed to be fighting men, or persons of that description, there being neither striplings nor women amongst them, excepting five principal ladies, each of whom, agreeably to the fashion of the nations of this part of America, steered and conducted one of the five large canoes, the station allotted to them on all warlike enterprises, as has been described on a former occasion. By this strength it will appear, that if, as it is presumed, these were three only of the eight chiefs of the brook, and that the other five were equally powerful, this must be amongst the most numerous tribes we had yet become acquainted with on the coast of North-West America.

The party being at length relieved from these very troublesome visitors, with the pleasing reflection of not having been driven to the necessity of depriving any one of life, pursued their route quickly along the eastern shore. The weather was dark and gloomy, and as the day advanced the wind blew strong from the southward, attended with much rain. At breakfast time a point, called by me Point St. Mary’s, was reached in latitude 58° 43½′, longitude 225° 2′, forming the north point of a bay, which I named Berner’s Bay, about four miles across, in a direction S. 20 E. about five miles deep to the N. N. E. From the south point of this bay, which I called Point Bridget, the continental shore took a direction S. 26 E. and having advanced about ten miles passing a small island, with some rocks and islets about it, the severity of the weather obliged them to take shelter amongst a group of small islets, where, during the night, they experienced a hard gale from the southward, attended with a heavy rain, which detained them until eight in the forenoon of the 18th, when the party resumed their examination in a channel difficult to navigate, even for boats: it being much incommoded with numberless rocks between this group of islets and the continent, which still continued in the direction before mentioned. Beyond these islets to the westward lies a larger island, and from the shores of the main land, a shallow bank extends nearly half a league, commencing about a league from the place at which the party had slept the night preceding. In passing through this intricate navigation, smokes were seen in various directions, and many Indians were observed about the shores, along which the party having now advanced about five miles, they came to the north point of a small bay where the shoal terminated. Here they stopped to dine in excessively cold rainy weather, with a strong gale of wind from the southward. From this station the south point of the large island, which in a N. W. and S. E. direction is about six miles long, and about two miles broad, lies N. 77 W. distant two miles and a half, and forms the north point of a channel into the main arm, about a mile and three quarters wide; the south point of this channel being also the west point of a narrow branch leading to the south-east. After dinner, accompanied by a canoe and twelve Indians, the route of the party was directed up this south-eastern branch, but their progress, in consequence of the very bad weather, was rendered extremely slow, and towards the evening they had the further mortification of being joined by another large canoe full of Indians.

As the day declined with every prospect of a dismal boisterous night, the party anxiously looked out for some place of shelter, and endeavoured to get rid of the Indians by firing some muskets over their heads; but instead of this measure having, the desired effect, it seemed only to make them more daring, and encouraged them to advance nearer to the boats. Thus unpleasantly circumstanced, they continued at their oars until ten at night, without having gained more than four miles from the place where they had dined, and without the most distant probability of the Indians taking their leave. Although this branch had every appearance of being closed not far a-head, yet as Mr. Whidbey wished to ascertain that fact positively, the party steered for the shore with an intent of there passing the night; this the Indians perceived, made the best of their way thither, and got possession of the beach before them, where they drew up in battle array, with their spears couched ready to receive our people on landing. There was now no alternative but either to force a landing by firing upon them, or to remain at their oars all night. The latter Mr. Whidbey considered to be not only the most humane, but the most prudent measure to adopt, concluding that their habitations were not far distant, and believing them, from the number of smokes that had been seen during the day, to be a very numerous tribe. So far as the branch had been discernible before dark, which was not more than a mile wide, there was every reason to think its termination had been seen; but should the party have been deceived, it was here infinitely too rocky and dangerous to be considered as navigable for shipping, and for that reason unworthy any further examination, at the risk of a serious dispute with these troublesome people. These considerations determined Mr. Whidbey to return through the channel above-mentioned into the main channel, where, about the dawn of day on the 19th, the boats arrived at a point which obtained the name of Point Retreat, situated in latitude 58° 24′, longitude 225° 12′. Here they stopped to take some rest, and having breakfasted, Mr. Whidbey, although in some measure departing from the scrupulous exactness with which our survey had been hitherto conducted, became satisfied that the branch he had thus quitted was but barely navigable for boats, and therefore pursued his researches about sixteen miles, to a point called by me Point Marsden, along the eastern shore of the channel, concluding it to be the continent, taking a direction S. 9 E.; it is composed of land, very moderately elevated, covered with fine timber, chiefly of the pine kind, and terminating at the water side with alternate steep rocky cliffs and small sandy bays, with a few detached rocks and islets lying near it. The wind was still boisterous, with thick, rainy, unpleasant weather, so that they could seldom see a mile before them; they were, however, sometimes favored by a light northerly wind, with which, on the 20th, they advanced about ten leagues further, still finding the eastern shore compact, and the country of a similar description to that they had passed the preceding day. Here, at a point in latitude 57° 37′, longitude 205° 29′, which I called Point Parker, the party took up their abode for the night, which was very rainy; but in the morning of the 2lst the weather became fair, and gave them a distinct view of the surrounding region. It was seen that they were advancing in a very spacious strait or channel, to all appearance free from interruption; its western shore, distant seven miles, appeared to consist of an extensive tract of land, or a large group of islands, that seemed to form channels, which took a westerly direction towards the ocean; the latter appearing the most probable, I have honoured this country with the name of King George the Third’s Archipelago.

The flood tide, although of short duration, not running more than two hours, had, since their passing to the south of the spacious branch, communicating with Cross sound, been regularly observed to come from the southward, and strongly indicated that this channel likewise communicated with the ocean in a southerly direction. As the weather was now favorable to that pursuit, they lost no time, but still kept along the eastern shore, which, from point Parker, took a general direction S. 7 E. indented into several small bays; the shores are low, and at high tide are much divided by the water. A league to the S. E. of point Parker, in one of these bays, is an opening about the eighth part of a mile wide, where many of the natives in their canoes were assembled, and from the treatment our party had lately received, it was necessary that their fire-arms should be in readiness, but as some of them had been loaded many days, Mr. Whidbey ordered them to be discharged into the air; this soon after produced a return of nearly an equal number from the Indians on shore; but as the boats approached the opening, the canoes were all hastily paddled off by the natives, and soon disappeared.

In the entrance five fathoms water was found, and after advancing about half a mile it proved to be only a shallow rocky place, having a small part of its southern side an island at high water. On each side of the entrance some new habitations were constructing, and for the first time during our intercourse with the North-West American Indians, in the vicinity of these habitations were found some square patches of ground in a state of cultivation, producing a plant that appeared to be a species of tobacco; and which, we understood, is by no means uncommon amongst the inhabitants of Queen’s Charlotte’s islands, who cultivate much of this plant. On the return of the boats the Indians again made their appearance in a large body, headed by a chief who manifested a friendly disposition, by frequently taking up and laying down his musket, and making signs that those in the boats should do the same. On this being complied with, he sent a young man dressed in a scarlet coat and blue trowsers to invite our party on shore; but Mr. Whidbey thought proper to decline the intended civility, but gave the messenger to understand he wanted some fish; on which the young man, though not without some hesitation, got into the yawl, and dispatched his canoe for the purpose of obtaining a supply. It was not long before the canoe returned with some small herrings, for which they were well rewarded; and no sooner was this intelligence known on shore, than the whole tribe were in motion, and in the course of a few minutes the boats were surrounded by upwards of five hundred Indians, of all ages and both sexes, seemingly with no other intent than that of carrying on a fair and brisk traffic. This crowd, however, became very unpleasant, and on Mr. Whidbey pointing out to the chief that the throng was inconvenient to our party, he made a short harangue to the surrounding multitude, and they all returned to the shore; the chief followed his people, and sent an abundant supply of fish to the boats, for which kindness a handsome reward was sent back, and Mr. Whidbey pursued his researches.

About ten miles from point Parker, a projecting point was passed, which I called Point Samuel, this forms the north point of Hood’s bay, which is about a league and a half across, having some islands nearly in its centre. On the south point of this bay the party stopped to breakfast, and were visited by fourteen canoes from the Indian tribe they had last seen, in none of which were more than four persons. Their errand seemed purely for the purpose of trading, in which they conducted themselves with the greatest good humour, and the strictest honesty; and seemed to be infinitely more inclined to dispose of their sea otter skins than of their fish. Of the former they had great abundance, and many were thrown into the boats, for which they thankfully received any trifling article of wearing apparel in return. Mr. Whidbey described their canoes as not materially differing from the general fashion of those of Nootka, and the parts to the north-west of that place, although they were better contrived, far more serviceable, and infinitely neater than any of that sort which he had seen on this coast. From these people he understood, that the western coast was composed of several islands which they had lately passed through, and had traded with vessels in some port on the exterior coast, from whence they procured most of the European commodities they had about them, consisting chiefly of wearing apparel; of which, coats and cloth trowsers seemed by them to be preferred to every other article, excepting arms and ammunition: copper and iron being reduced to a very inferior value.

Quitting this station, Mr. Whidbey continued his survey along the eastern shore, still in the direction of S. 7 E.; two smaller bays were now passed, and off the points of each of them islets and rocks were seen lying at a little distance. In the evening a point was reached in latitude 57° 13′, near which the party rested for the night in a small cove. Soon after dark they were visited by some Indians, who, on being given to understand that their company was not desired, quietly departed. Here they evidently experienced the oceanic swell rolling from the southward; and after proceeding the next morning 13 miles, S. 10 E., they arrived at a point, from whence a clear and distinct view of the sea was gained, between the high land of cape Decision, lying S. 9 E. and the south extremity of the land, forming the western side of these straits lying south. Here Mr. Whidbey observed the latitude to be 57° 1′, longitude 225° 39′. The shores of the eastern side, along which they had passed since the morning of the 19th, were considered in general to be not more than moderately high, and terminating uniformly in a bold shore, free from shoals or other interruptions to navigation; excepting, that the flood tide is of short duration, the stream having been generally found to set downwards. The surface of the country is composed of rugged rocks, but in their chasms was a tolerably good soil, which produced an abundance of very fine timber of the pine tribe in great variety, some of which trees measured twenty-three feet in girt; but the opposite shore seemed to be composed of rugged mountains less fertile, and rising by a more steep ascent from the water side. From this point, which obtained the name of Point Gardner, in a direction S. 23 E., lie some rocks and a small island, the former at the distance of three quarters of a mile, and the latter at that of three miles. It forms also the south-west point of entrance into another very spacious arm of the sea, that takes a direction toward the N. E. where, after continuing their examination for about ten miles along its larboard or north-western shore, off which lie many detached rocks; the party rested for the night near a point which I called Point Townsend.

In the morning of the 23d the weather was again dark and gloomy; it however permitted them to see, that the surrounding regions were too much divided by water, to admit of the most distant probability of their being able to complete their survey up to cape Decision, during this expedition; the party having already been absent the length of time for which they had been provided, and being now distant upwards of an hundred and twenty miles from the vessels. Mr. Whidbey was therefore obliged to decline any further prosecution of his researches, and to make the best of his way back to Cross sound. They had now a strong gale from the eastward, which after they had passed point Gardner veered to the S. E. greatly increased, and was attended with heavy rain; but as it was fair, and just permitted the boats to carry their close-reefed foresails, they made great progress until the yawl’s mast was carried away, which compelled them to stop in a small cove to repair the damage. Here they embraced an opportunity of taking some refreshment, of which they stood in great need, as they were all extremely wet and very cold. Soon after quitting this place, they passed close by the village of friendly Indians, but not one of them was seen, and it is most probable that the badness of the weather had confined them to their habitations. At the time of starting from the cove, Mr. Whidbey had intended to avail himself of the favorable gale, by running all night; but by eleven o’clock the atmosphere became so thick, and the night so dark, that he was obliged to abandon that design, and take shelter in a small cove on the eastern shore, 21 leagues from point Gardner. On the following morning the weather was calm, fair, and pleasant; but the preceding gale had left behind it a short irregular swell, which rendered their passage across the straits so extremely tedious and slow, that they did not reach the south-east point of the branch leading into Cross sound until near noon; when from this point, which obtained the name of Point Augusta, and is situated in latitude 58° 3½′, longitude 225° 10′, their course was directed along the south-west shore; but the continued agitation of the water, so obstructed their rowing, that they had not advanced more than two leagues, before it was time to halt for the night.

The weather continued to be calm and pleasant, and as they again proceeded on the morning of the 25th, this side of the branch was found to be composed chiefly of rocky cliffs, with islets and detached rocks, lying at some distance from the shore, which was compact, not very high, but well covered with wood, taking a direction N. 60 W. 17 miles to a point which I called Point Sophia; forming the north-east point of entrance into a deep sound, which I named Port Frederick, about a league wide, in an east and west direction, winding to the southward, and apparently much divided by water. From the west side of this sound the shore took a more northerly direction, with some islets lying near it, to a point, which is the northern extremity of this supposed archipelago, and which obtained the name of Point Adolphus, situated in latitude 58° 18′, longitude 224° 28½′. This point the party reached in the evening, and about a league to the south-west of it they rested for the night in a small cove under a high hill, where a box was found about four feet square, placed upon wooden pillars about six feet from the ground. This box contained the remains of a human body very carefully wrapped up, and by its side was erected a pole about twenty feet high, painted in horizontal streaks red and white; the colours were fresh and lively, and from the general neatness of the whole, it was supposed to be the sepulchre of some chief. The next morning in making the best of their way towards the vessels, the southern shore was found from point Adolphus, to contain many open bays, and to take an irregular course about S. 77 W. seventeen miles and a half to point Lavinia. In this route they passed to the south of the group of rocky islands, noticed on the 11th at point Wimbledon. These islands form a kind of termination to Cross sound, and almost separate it from the passage to the ocean which had now been discovered; but between these islands and the shores that form the northern and southern sides of entrance into this spacious branch, there are two narrow channels; the northernmost being the widest is near a mile across, the southernmost is about half that width, both of which are free from rocks, shoals, or any other impediments, excepting the large masses of floating ice, which at that time rendered each of these channels very dangerous to navigate, although in the summer season; and in the winter, they are most probably intirely closed, or impassable. The shores of that branch had the appearance of affording some good harbours, but these must necessarily be greatly inconvenienced by the ice, which did not appear to Mr. Whidbey and his party, to have been much diminished in the course of the fortnight they had been absent, although they had not experienced quite so much difficulty in passing through it on their return, as on their outset, which was accomplished as before stated, having, notwithstanding the extremely severe and boisterous weather that had generally prevailed, completed in about sixteen days a traverse of upwards of five hundred miles.

Such being the result of Mr. Whidbey’s researches, I shall now proceed to notice such circumstances respecting the port in which the vessels had taken their station, and the neighbouring shores of Cross sound, as fell under my observation.

Although the existence of this spacious arm of the ocean has been publicly denied by some visitors subsequent to its original discovery by Captain Cook, yet in common justice to the abilities of that able navigator, it must be observed, that he has given a much more accurate description of it, than from the transitory distant view he had of it, might have been reasonably expected. The recent examination it has now undergone has however shewn, that cape Cross is not precisely its south-eastern point of entrance, as from that cape a tract of low rocky land extends in a north direction about seven miles to a point, from whence the southern shore of the sound takes a sharp turn about N. 40 E. and constitutes that as the south-east point of entrance, to which I have given the name of Point Bingham; it lies from cape Spencer S. 17 E. distant ten miles, and affords a bold entrance into the sound, without rock, shoal, or any permanent obstacle. This appears to be the case also in every other part of the sound, and if it do possess any navigable objection, it is the unfathomable depth of it, which every where exists, excepting very near the shores, along which, in many places are detached rocks; these however lie out of the way of its navigation, and are sufficiently conspicuous to be avoided.

The northern shores of this sound from cape Spencer to point Wimbledon, which I consider as its boundary in that quarter, have been already noticed in the account of Mr. Whidbey’s excursion; and as I consider point Lavinia to be its eastern boundary, there yet remains to state of what its south-eastern part is composed.

Between the above-mentioned eastern boundary and point Bingham, on that side, there are two openings; the first lying from point Bingham N. 60 E. distant four miles, appeared to be about a mile and a quarter wide, and to take a direction S. 30 E. for some distance. This was not examined by us, but will most likely be found to afford anchorage and secure shelter; the other is the port Althorp which we had last quitted. This has its south point of entrance, which has obtained the name of Point Lucan, situated in the same line of direction, ten miles from point Bingham. From point Lucan, in a direction about N. W. lies a narrow high island, about two miles and a quarter in length; and between its south-east point and point Lucan there are two small islets, which render that passage not so commodious for sailing in and out of the port, as that by which we had entered, being to the north of that island, between it, and the western part of a cluster of three small islands, which extend about two miles from the eastern side of the port. This channel is clear, free from danger, and is about a mile and a quarter in width, with a tolerably snug cove, just within its north-west point of entrance, where we anchored, and remained during our stay. The high narrow island affords great protection to the northern part of this port, which, opposite to that island, is about two miles and an half wide; but nearly in the middle of the harbour, and opposite the south point of the island are some detached rocks; and at point Lucan, which is situated from the ship’s cove S. 23 E. four miles and an half distant, the width of the harbour is two miles, from whence it extends S. 36 E., about two leagues, and terminates in a bason, that affords good and secure anchorage, the best passage into which is on the eastern shore. The cove in which the ships were stationed afforded good anchorage also, but it was not so well sheltered as the bason, nor was there any fresh water in it that could easily be procured; a disadvantage that can be readily done away by resorting to a stream of excellent water close at hand, on the eastern shore, where our casks were filled in the boat. The surrounding country is chiefly composed of a rugged rocky substance, covered with a forest, consisting in general of pine trees; and where the steep acclivities do not forbid their growth, they were seen down to the water’s edge.

The weather, for the most part, during our continuance in port was boisterous, rainy, and unpleasant, which allowed but few opportunities for making astronomical observations. The results, however, of such as we were enabled to procure, are as follow: (viz.)

On the 12th of July, in Cross sound, the chronometers shewed the following longitude; (viz.) Arnold’s No. 14, 223° 55′; Arnold’s No. 176, 224° 4½′; and Kendall’s 224° 4½′. The true longitude being 223° 55′, it appeared that No. 14 was correct, and that No. 176 and Kendall’s were each of them 9′ 30″ to the eastward of the true longitude.

By twenty sets of observations, taken between the 12th and 26th of July, Arnold’s No. 14 was found to be fast of mean time at Greenwich at noon on the 26th,4h297  
And gaining, per day, at the rate of23  
Arnold’s No. 176 fast of mean time, on the same day,95425  
And gaining, per day, at the rate of514
Kendall’s fast of mean time, on do.85824  
And gaining, per day, at the rate of258
The latitude of the place of observation, by three meridional altitudes,58°12    
The mean variation, by four compasses and forty-four sets of observations, differing from 27° 32′ to 32° 42′, shewed the variation to be30°   
The vertical inclination of the magnetic needle.     
Marked end,North FaceEast,79°2820″
DittoSouth FaceEast,7715 
Mean inclination of the magnetic needle,785835


T. Gillet, Printer, Salisbury Square.

Transcriber’s Notes

It is not surprising that spelling was variable across the six volumes of this work. The spelling of variable words, including the names of sails, was changed to match that which predominated, even though that spelling may not have been the preferred spelling at the time of writing or may now be obsolete. Other obvious typographic errors were corrected. All other words are as in the original.

The table of contents for all six volumes was originally published only in the first volume. The part of the table of contents relating to each subsequent volume is reproduced in that volume.

Clicking on the images will bring up a higher resolution image.

[The end of A voyage of discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and round the world Vol. 5 by George Vancouver]