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AMID the numerous books of voyages and travels continually presented to the public, it may be thought difficult for a new work of this kind to obtain attention. But the reader is requested to observe, that this work has many claims to notice quite peculiar to itself. It is not an account of nations which resemble ourselves in manners and civilization, or of countries which had been a hundred times before visited and described; on the contrary, in this voyage the reader is conducted amid the savage tribes of the South Seas, through tracts never before fully explored, and made acquainted with human nature under a new aspect, described from the personal observation of a living witness, who has had ample
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opportunities of studying their characters both in peace and war, and who had nearly fallen a victim to their cannibal propensities.
This voyage also possesses a peculiar interest, from its having solved a question which divided the opinion of the scientific world for a period of forty years. And the discoverer of the fate of La Perouse, after having effected this discovery, considered that to lay a narrative of the voyage before the public, was a duty he owed to the French as well as to the British nation, and more especially to the Government of British India, under whose auspices it was performed.
As his professional education, studies, and habits of life, have however been hitherto directed to action rather than to the description of the acts of himself or others, he has entered with diffidence on the task of authorship, only when thus imperatively called on to do so, in order
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that the world may be put in possession of a correct account of the important transactions and extraordinary scenes in which he has had the honour to take a part. He does not, therefore, attempt to engage attention by an eloquent style or flowery description, but rests his claim to notice on a simple statement of facts, set forth without ostentation in the unadorned language of a plain seaman. He trusts, therefore, that the reader will not expect from him the niceties of diction which may be justly required of a professed author, but will treat the work with indulgence, as the first essay of an unpractised pen.
In conclusion, the author hopes that these pages will meet with a favourable reception from his professional brethren, who are able from their own experience to judge of the difficulties he had to overcome. The successful result of his labours may teach the unfortunate naviga-
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tor, encountering danger in the cause of science, to bear up even amid the greatest calamites: for, on whatever remote island or sequestered shore he may have been thrown, unwearied public sympathy will at last find out the scene of his disasters; and if, unhappily, too late to restore him to his friends and country, it will erect a trophy to his memory and mourn over his untimely fate.
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Biographical sketch of la Perouse's life and services. His expedition, disasters at Port Francais, and massacre at the Navigator Islands. D'Entrecasteaux^ voyage in search of la Perouse. Discoveries and unsuccessful issue of that voyage.
Voyage in the South Seas, dreadful massacre at the Fejee Islands, and occurrences which led to the discovery of the fate of la Perouse......1
Voyage in the South Seas in 1812 and 1813, which led eventually to the discovery of la Perouse's shipwreck, Ship Hunter anchors at the Fejees. Friendly reception by the savages. Meet with European sailors on shore. Trade for sandal-wood. Hunter's crew join the savages. War expedition in company with the savages. Island of Nanpacab taken. Eleven savages killed on the occasion; their bodies dissected, baked, and devoured. Several towns burnt. Plantations destroyed. Return to the ship Hunter. The captain quarrels with his allies, makes eight prisoners. Ship's company and Bow natives go on shore to fight. Fourteen of the former killed, sixty-two of the latter. The whole party defeated, and obliged to fly. Three men escape to a rock, and see their companions cut up and devoured. They escape to the ship, which sails from the Fejees. The island of Tucopia sighted. Intercourse with the natives. Martin Bushart lands on the island, also a lascar and a Fejee woman. Tucopia revisited in 1826 by Capt. Dillon. Finds the people landed in 1813, residing on the island. Receives information of two ships
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having been lost on a neighbouring island. Procures some relics from those ships, which turn out to have belonged to la Perouse's expedition. Prevails on Martin Bushart to leave the island. Proceeds from Tucopia to Bengal.
Negociation with the Government of British India which led to the fitting-out of the expedition....37
Arrival at Bengal. Informs the government of British India of the accounts received at Tucopia. Addresses a letter to the government on the subject of la Perouse's shipwreck. The Asiatic Society solicit from government assistance to the supposed survivors of the French expedition. Government takes up the affair. Expedition ordered under Capt. Dillon's command. The surgeon appointed to the expedition pretends to be naturalist and botanist. He decyphers four stamps found on a silver sword-guard brought from Tucopia by Capt. Dillon. Supreme Council orders the ship Research to be equipped to proceed in search of the survivors of the French expedition. Treachery of the surgeon. His attempt to oust the commander of the expedition, and place himself at the head of it. His turbulent conduct on joining the ship.
CHAPTER III. Occurrences from Calcutta to Van Diemen's Land....79
Sail from Bengal. Progress of the vessel on her voyage. Renewed attempt of the surgeon to be placed at the head of the expedition. He attempts to excite mutiny on board, and writes to the first officer. New Zealanders on hoard threaten to kill and eat the surgeon, when he lands in their country. The surgeon and second officer quarrel. Officers quarrel among themselves. Commander being informed of the surgeon's design, he is arrested. Van Diemen's Land sighted. Ship encounters a dreadful gale, and arrives in the river Derwent,
CHAPTER IV. Occurrences at Van Diemen's Land.... 123
Intepriew with the Lieutenant-Governor, who promises to facilitate the necessary supplies to enable the expedition to proceed. At the instigation of Dr. Tytler withholds the assistance promised. Dr. Tytler prosecutes his commander for arresting him. The trial. New South Wales jury and judge. Extraordinary statements of the prosecutor. Commander found guilty of assaulting his surgeon. Sentence passed on him by the judge, which detained the expedition two months, at a considerable expense to the East-India Company. Respectable inhabitants petition the Lieutenant-Governor. Consequent
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partial remission of the sentence. Mutinous conduct of the crew. First officer dismissed from the ship, and a new officer appointed. Desertion of the surgeon and captain's clerk.
Occurrences from Van Diemen's Land to Port Jackson..........168
Part of the crew mutiny and desert the ship. Adieu to Van Diemen's Land. Occurrences at sea. Arrival at Port Jackson. Ecclesiastical promotion of a merchant contrasted with that of the venerable apostle of the South Seas. Provisions and seamen being procured, the ship prepares to sail.
CHAPTER VI. Occurrences from Port Jackson to New Zealand.....176
Progress of the ship on the voyage. Foul winds and bad weather. Officer in charge of the watch found sleeping. Precautions against a similar occurrence. Discovery of a deficiency of water. Obliged to go to the Bay of Islands, in New Zealand, to procure water. A shark caught. Arrival at New Zealand.
CHAPTER VII. Occurrences at New Zealand.......184
Hearty welcome from the islanders. Their wars and cannibalism. One of the chiefs demands the two New Zealanders on board to be delivered up to him, his tribe being at war with theirs. Expostulation against this request. Partial reconciliation of the chief to his countrymen in the ship. Best modes of conciliating the savages, and securing the safety of boats' crews when employed on shore from attack by the natives. Europeans settled in and about the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands. A New Zealand chief's account of his visit to the British Court, and reception by the King. Massacre of Capt. Marion, a French navigator, and part of his crew. Several of the Research's crew very insubordinate, and the cause. Second officer asleep on his watch. Strange ceremonies of the New Zealanders. Arrival of the Emily whaler. Some of her crew murdered by the natives of Simpson's Island. Account of Prince George, a New Zealand chief. His dreadful revenge, with the capture of the ship Boyd, and massacre of her crew and passengers. Singular account of Vancathai, a New Zealand priestess. The New Zealander's great faith in dreams. Some of the islanders propose to sail away in the ship. A poor American idiot found greatly distressed, and taken on board the Research. La Perouse's last letter to the French Minister of Marine from Botany Bay. A cannibal's present of human flesh to his friends.
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Occurrences from New Zealand to Tonga, usually called Tongataboo, with remarks on what happened at that place.........257
Sail from the Bay of Islands. Unsuccessful attempt to enter the river Thames, occasioned by contrary winds. Obliged to bear away without landing the New Zealand prince and his suite. Their excessive grief. Steer for the Friendly Islands. A shark caught, containing several young ones. Sight the island of Eoaa. Bad character of the inhabitants. Barter with them for provisions and curiosities. An American seaman joins the Research. His account of the island, his wife, and his father-in-law, and of a battle between a ship of war and the islanders. Sail from Eoaa, and arrive at Tonga. Visited by the islanders, an Englishman, and one of the crew of the Astrolabe, commanded by Capt. Dumont D'Urville. Account of that ship's encounter with the islanders. Barter with the islanders for curiosities and provisions, which are abundant. Officer asleep on watch. Narrow escape of the Research from being surprised at night by native canoes. Visited by several chiefs of rank. Christianity introduced here by the natives of Otaheita. Visited by the adopted mother of Mr. Mariner. Tradition of the visit of Capt. Cook and Lowagee (supposed to be la Perouse). Account of D'Entrecasteaux's voyage to this port. One native of Rothuma and three of Tonga joined the ship. Sail from Tonga, and pass by some other of the Friendly Islands.
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Manners and customs of the Friendly Islands......1
Different grades of rank. Priests, king, nobles, and professional classes. Religion. Tradition regarding the creation. Morals of the Tongese. Their generosity and courage. Respect to females. Conjugal fidelity of the latter. Religious ceremonies. Drinking of cava. Sacrifices of human beings. Funeral ceremonies. Omens. Maledictions. Great skill in medicine and surgery. Surprising cure of tetanus, or locked jaw. Self-castration. Circumcision. Tattooing. Manufactories of Cloth. Canoe-building. Cookery. Rope making, &c. &c.
Occurrences from Tonga to the island of Rothuma, and thence to Tucopia and Mannicola.......88
Unsuccessful search for the islands of Onooafow, or Probey Island, and for Forlorn-hope Island. Sight the island of Rothuma. Interview with the islanders. Description of the coast. Produce of the island. Wars, manners, and customs. Dishonesty. European mutineers and pirates residing on the island. Observations on the north-west monsoon. Mutiny in an American whaler, and murder of the captain and officers: the ship rescued by four boys. Sail from Rothuma. Sight Mitre Island. Arrival at Tucopia. Interview with the inhabitants. Five pirates from Van Diemen's Land on the island. Procure from the islanders various relics belonging to the ships wrecked at Mannicolo. Engage a pilot and interpreter for Mannicolo. His account of la Perouse's shipwreck. Strangulation of male children at Tucopia. Plurality of wives. Spirit houses. Re-
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ligious notions, manners, customs, &c. of the Tucopians. Sail from Tucopia for Mannicolo. Sight it. Send boats to explore the coast for a harbour. Interview with the savages. War dance. Prepare to defend their island, supposing boats' crews to be invaders. Interpreter well received, and confidence established. Harbour discovered. Islanders visit the ship. Their account of the shipwreck. Receive presents, and return home. Intercourse between Tucopia and Mannicolo. Account of a Tucopian chief. Anchor at Mannicola.
CHAPTER III. Occurrences at Mannicola......172
The ship visited by several canoes. Interview with a chief; he answers questions put to him. Articles procured from, the wrecks by the islanders. Boat expedition to Denimah procures articles of French manufacture. Intelligence respecting the survivors from the wrecks who resided on the island. Boat expedition round the island procure articles bearing inscriptions and royal arms of France. Expedition to the spot where a small vessel was built by the men of the wreck. Visit to the reef where the ships were wrecked, and articles fished out of the water from the remains of the wreck. Narrow escape of two boats being lost. Safe return to the ship. New Zealand doctor wounded. More relics procured near the anchorage. Third boat expedition round the island, and to the wreck. Additional relics procured. Good understanding with the islanders. Remarks on them, the country, and its produce. Islands undiscovered by Europeans. Intelligent native passengers from Mannicolo to Otoboa. Sail through Dillon's Passage. Prepare to leave Mannicolo.
Occurrences after leaving Mannicolo, with arrival and departure from Santa Cruz.....281
Sail from Mannicolo. Fortunate escape from shipwreck. Unsuccessful search for the shipwrecked Frenchman who escaped from Mannicolo. Bear away for Indenny, or Santa Cruz Island, and enter La Graciosa Bay. Island of Tinnacurov, or Volcano Island, emits large quantities of burning lava throughout the night. Attack by the islanders, who are repelled, and one islander wounded. Re-establish a friendly intercourse. Anchor at the head of the bay, near to an old Spanish settlement. Parson. Adventure with a native priest, and his enormous tooth. Counsel of officers. The ship's company in an exceeding sickly state, the cause of abandoning further research or inquiry for the surviving Frenchman from Mannicolo. Friendly intercourse with the chief of Mamboo. Produce of the island: its houses, temples, fresh water, anchorage. Leave an English seaman, at his own request, with the chief, to acquire further knowledge regarding the shipwrecks at Mannicolo.
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Occurrences from Queen Charlotte's Island to New Zealand, and at that place.......316
Proceed from Indenny to land the interpreters at Tucopia. The malady increases on board. Commander and all the officers sick and confined, excepting one. The surgeon recommends proceeding to a temperate climate, to get clear of the disease. Abandon the idea of proceeding to Tucopia. Return to New-Zealand. Arrival at the Bay of Islands. Selfish conduct of missionaries. The sick landed. The New Zealanders quit the expedition. Account of the New Zealand chief who visited England. Impolicy of the present missionaries. Engage a brig to land the interpreters at their respective homes, and the reasons for so doing. Death of Rathea, the interpreter. Departure of Martin Bushart and the other interpreters. Piratical acts of the five men seen at Tucopia. Adventures of a New Zealand princess.
Occurrences from New Zealand to Port Jackson, and at the latter place........356
Arrival at Port Jackson. Unhealthy state of the crew. Mode of cajoling sailors. Master. attendant in danger of losing his fee. Precautions against smuggling. Wait several days for the arrival of the French ship Astrolabe. The respectable inhabitants of New South Wales visit the ship, to view the relics procured at Mannicolo. Sailed from Port Jackson. Encounter a gale off Bass's Straits: pass through it. Proceed towards India, cross the Equator a second time, and arrive at Calcutta.
CHAPTER VII. Arrival at Calcutta, and occurrences there......372
Friendly reception by the members of Government, and visit to the Government-House. Supreme Council authorizes Capt. Dillon to proceed to England with relics.
Voyage to Europe. Remarks on the trade winds..........379
Sail from Bengal. Observations on the monsoons in the Bay of Bengal. Remarks on the quickest mode of performing the passage out of the Bay during the south-west monsoon. Cross the line. Sight the island of Rodrigues, coast of Africa. Cape of Good Hope. Arrival at St. Helena, and visit to the tomb of Napoleon. Expense of living. Continue the voyage. Sight the Western Islands. Arrive in England. Transfer of the relics
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to the French government. Favourable reception at the French court. Reward and honours conferred by his Most Christian Majesty. Viscount Lessepes, the only known survivor of la Perouse's expedition, inspects the relics from Mannicolo. His opinion on them. Extract from the Literary Gazette respecting the armorial bearings on the bottom of a candlestick procured at Mannicolo. Return to England. Account received of the interpreters' safe arrival home. Capt. D' Urville, of the Astrolabe, visits Mannicolo, and procures additional relics. Confirmation by that officer of Capt. Dillon's statements.
Public Opinion in the East on the subject or Captain Dillon's voyage, and the opposition and ill-treatment he experienced at Van Diemen's Land, consisting of:
Extract from the Tasmanian, 3d May 1827......408
Report of a trial in the Supreme Court, the King on the prosecution of Dr. Tytler against Capt. Dillon......409
Extracts from the Tasmanian, 16th and 17th May 1827.......414
Extract from the Australian, 4th Jan. 1828.......416
Extracts from the Sydney Gazette, 4th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 23d, and 25th Jan. 1828........417-425
Extracts from the New South Wales Monitor, 21st and 28th Jan. 1828.........425-428
Testimonies of Approbation as to the successful result of Captain Dillon's voyage.
Extracts from the Calcutta Government Gazette and the Bengal Hurkaru, 10th and 11th April, and 8th May 1828.........428--434
Letter from the Secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bengal to Captain Dillon.........434
Report of the Committee of the Asiatic Society of Bengal on the relics procured at Mannicolo.......435