1838 - Polack, J. S. New Zealand [Vol.I] [Capper reprint, 1974] - Chapter II

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  1838 - Polack, J. S. New Zealand [Vol.I] [Capper reprint, 1974] - Chapter II
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Cook's Second Visit in the Ships "Resolution" and "Adventure" -- Vessels separated by a Storm -- Discovery of the Insularity of Van Dieman's Land -- Death of Tupia -- Cook's Third Visit -- Ten Seamen murdered and devoured by the Natives -- Cook's Fourth Visit -- Discovery of Norfolk Island-- Cook's Fifth Visit in the "Resolution" and "Discovery" -- Vancouver's Voyage -- Discovery of the Chatham Group of Islands -- Voyage of the "Daedalus" -- European Sealers' Discovery of Stewart's Island -- and Banks' Peninsular -- Sealing Gangs captured by the Natives, murderer! and devoured -- An Englishman made a Chieftain -- Survey of the Coast by the "Astrolabe, " M. D'Urville -- Voyage of the "Co-quille," M. Duperney, "La Favorite," M. La Place -- Notices of the French Expedition of 1837 -- and the American Surveying and Exploring Expedition of 1838 -- Russian Navigators, &c.

THE next ship that visited New Zealand was "The Resolution," commanded by Cook, in his second voyage round the globe. He anchored in Dusky Bay, lying south-west in the district of Te Wai Poenamu, in the Island of Victoria. One family only were seen for some time, consisting of a man and his two wives, who were in great dread, until Cook presented them with some

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trifles. The youngest lady, we are told, possessed a volubility of tongue that exceeded anything our gallant countryman had ever met with; and, not being able to make a reply in this unknown language, the lady commanded the field, which gave occasion for a blunt seaman to remark, "that women did not want for tongue in any part of the world."

The researches of Cook during this second visit are of the most interesting nature, notwithstanding the few aborigines he met with. He staid some time visiting the surrounding country, which he describes with that shrewd method of observation for which this invaluable commander was peculiarly distinguished. He then quitted the bay, sailed up the west coast in a northerly direction, and in seven days arrived at his favourite anchorage in Queen Charlotte Sound, in the straits that bear his name; where he had the pleasure to find his consort-ship, the "Discovery," Captain Furneaux, who had arrived some weeks before the "Resolution," and had been separated from her nearly three months. This separation was so far fortunate, that Captain Furneaux discovered Van Dieman's Land to be an island, separated from New Holland by a strait.

Cook met with several natives in the Sound,

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who anxiously inquired after Tupia, and apparently felt concerned on hearing of his untimely death (at Batavia). The Tahitean had been a great favourite in New Zealand. On the 7th June the ships left the country in company, steering for the Society Islands. Within four months the "Resolution" again made New Zealand, the projecting land of Table Cape (Nukutaurua) being first visible. From this place they steered south to the Island of Victoria. On the 29th October a calm, that had continued for some time, was succeeded by a sudden gale. The ships parted company, and did not rejoin during the remaining part of the voyage. Cook soon after anchored in Queen Charlotte's Sound, and waited some time for his consort, but in vain; and, after three weeks thus spent, he bore away for Cape Tierrawiti. While at anchor in the Sound, the Englishmen had the most unquestionable proofs of the cannibal propensities of the natives.

Cook made use of every means to regain the company of the absent ship, and finally, for this voyage, departed the country, bearing away S. S. E. in search of a South Pacific continent.

The "Adventure" in the meanwhile had been detained in Tolaga Bay (Uwoua), and did not arrive in the Sound until eight days after

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Cook had departed. They found a bottle under a tree, left by that commander, containing instructions for Captain Furneaux's future guidance; and, refreshing until the 17th December, he then prepared for sea. A boat was sent on shore, under the command of Mr. Rowe, a midshipman, and ten of the best hands in the ship, for the purpose of collecting greens for the ship's company. A mutual misunderstanding arose between the seamen and the natives, originally occasioned by the indiscretion of a black servant attached to Captain Furneaux. They were set upon by the savages before they could defend themselves, instantly massacred, and partly devoured. Lieutenant Burney, 1 with an armed boat's crew, went in search of the missing boat and people. He landed among the natives, who received him with an unfriendly distrust, totally different to their usual manner. After some time spent in search of their absent companions, two bundles of celery were found on the beach, gathered for loading the cutter, which was not visible. Search was then made for this useful appendage to the ship; "but such a scene of shocking barbarity and carnage," says

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Mr. Burney, "as can never be thought on without horror; for the heads, hearts, and lungs, of several of our people were lying about the beach, and the dogs gnawing their entrails." A volley of musketry was discharged by the exasperated Europeans among the natives, which was subsequently found not to have wounded a single person; and, from the great quantity of people that had assembled on the beach, and were momentarily arriving, they were obliged to leave the spot without retaliating on the murderers of their countrymen for their barbarous conduct. The "Adventure" left the Sound within four days, and effected the passage from Cape Palliser (Koua Koua), to Cape Horn, 121 degrees of longitude, in about a month.

In the middle of October, 1774, the "Resolution" again cast anchor in Queen Charlotte's Sound; previously to which, an island about fifteen miles in circumference was discovered, situated in lat. 29 deg. 2' south, long. 168 deg. 18' east, which was named Norfolk, in honour of the noble family of the Howards. This island, which is a prolific garden, but barricaded by breakers, was afterwards colonised by a number of free settlers, but has since been made a principal penal appendage to the colony of New South Wales. Cook was somewhat surprised at finding the na-

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tives of the Sound keep aloof, which was in consequence of the untimely fate of the boat's crew of the "Adventure;" but the moment it was discovered that it was Cook who now visited them, an instant change took place. The natives who had approached, halloed to their friends, who had taken to the bush for fear. When the latter heard the glad tidings they instantly sallied forth, embracing the gentlemen over and over again, dancing and jumping for joy, and skipping about like madmen. Cook inquired repeatedly after the detention of the "Adventure;" and he began to feel great anxiety as to her ultimate fate, in consequence of the mysterious manner of the natives, some of whom stated that she had been wrecked, and all hands had perished. He gained a few particulars which inclined him to feel assured the vessel had not been wrecked; nor was he made acquainted with the truth, until in this voyage homeward-bound he touched at the Cape of Good Hope, where he received an account in a letter from Captain Furneaux, who had also touched at the Cape, detailing his proceedings subsequently to his separation from the "Resolution," including a loss of the cutter and her crew.

The fifth and last visit paid by this immortal navigator to the shores of New Zealand was in

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1777, in the "Resolution" and "Discovery," when he sighted the west coast of the island of Victoria, On the 10th February in that year, the ships were soon surrounded by canoes; but no one would venture on board, from apprehension of suffering punishment for the destruction of the crew of the "Adventure's" cutter. This feeling of the natives increased on beholding Omai, an interesting Tahitean, now on his passage to his own country, who had been taken to England by Captain Furneaux, and had been on board the "Adventure" at the time the unhappy transaction took place. The natives, after being assured that they should not be called to account for their former misconduct, flocked on board, and made Cook acquainted with the origin of the fracas, which was, it appeared, unpremeditated on their part. The principal actor in the transaction was a chief named Kahoora (Kahura), who had with his own hands killed Mr. Rowe, the commander of the party. He frequently placed himself and family in the power of Cook, who was often applied to by the natives to rid them of this chief, who was an obnoxious character among his countrymen; but that commander says, "If I had followed the advice of all my pretended friends, I might have extirpated the whole race; for the people

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of each village applied to me to destroy the other."

Within a fortnight after the arrival of the two ships, such was the despatch made, they put to sea, accompanied by two native lads, as friends to Omai. During the time the sea-sickness of those youths lasted, they gave themselves up to tears and despondency, spending their time in singing mournful songs, expressive of the praises of their country and its people, from whom they were about to be separated for ever. But by degrees these feelings subsided, and at last they appeared as firmly attached to their new associates as if they had been born among them.

The voyages of this celebrated man cannot be dismissed without remarking the general correctness of his observations on the inhabitants and country of this interesting portion of Australasia. Had Cook resided for some years among the people, instead of the transient visits he paid them, his conclusions on their character would have been similar to those given to us in his voyages. His name, at this distance of time (for such it is to a nation whose traditions depend on the memory only), is regarded with reverence in those parts to the southward where he was best known.

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Cook labours under a mistake respecting the identity of Teratu, whose name was continually repeated to him in his first voyage. He says, respecting the east coast of the north island, "This part of the coast was much the most populous, and possibly their apparent peace and plenty might arise from their being under one chief, or king; for the inhabitants of all this part of the country told us that they were the subjects of Teratu. When they pointed to the residence of this prince, it was in a direction which we thought inland, but which, when we knew the country better, was found to be the Bay of Plenty. It is much to be regretted we were obliged to leave this country without knowing any thing better of Teratu but his name. As an Indian monarch, his territory is certainly extensive; he was acknowledged from Cape Kidnappers to the north and west as far as the Bay of Plenty, up-wards of 240 miles, and we do not know how far west his dominions may extend: possibly the fortified towns in the Bay of Plenty may be his barrier, especially as at Mercury bay he was not acknowledged, nor, indeed, any other single chief," &c. This was a strange mistake, especially when it was well known to Cook that every small district, of almost a mile in extent, was usually under the authority of one or more prin-

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cipal chiefs, who were invariably seeking to annihilate each other. On inquiring of the chiefs in Poverty Bay and Uwoua who Teratu could have been, mentioning his name as having belonged to a great chief, they laughed at what I said, and told me that Te Kuki (Cook) knew nothing of the language at the time, or he would have early discovered his mistake; that Teratu was only Te Ratu, who was the first chief that was killed in Poverty Bay by Cook's people, on his first attempt to establish an intercourse with the natives; the murdered warrior was well known in the country for his deeds of valour, and, being at the head of his tribe, the account of the death of such a man would quickly spread on every part of the coast, from a continual intercourse among the tribes. When Cook was speaking to various natives on different parts of the coast, they would twit him with being the cause of the death of that chief, and tell him, as he had unscrupulously deprived that renowned chieftain of existence, he might also be guilty of the same act towards them. When the "Endeavour" was lying to the northward of the Bay of Plenty, they would naturally point to that part of the coast in directing the navigators' attention towards Poverty Bay; as the coast after passing the east cape trends westerly,

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and the river Kopututea, in the latter bay, is nearly in the longitude of Te Kaha, or Cape Runaway, in the Bay of Plenty.

The next discovery-ship that touched at New Zealand was the sloop "Discovery," under the command of Captain George Vancouver, who had formerly accompanied Cook, and the "Chatham," Lieutenant Broughton, engaged on an expedition to survey and explore the northwest coast of America. In September, 1791, King George the Third's Sound was discovered on the south-west coast of New Holland; and on the 2d November following they anchored in Dusky Bay. This was Vancouver's fifth personal visit to New Zealand. In this bay they encountered a terrific gale, accompanied by a heavy snow-storm, that entirely changed the appearance of the surrounding country. The "Discovery" drove from her moorings, and was in danger of being lost: the "Chatham" was more fortunate. Vancouver explored this capacious sound, which has two channels, having a large island, called Resolution, in the entrance. An arm of this harbour Cook had no time to explore; he called it "Nobody-knows-what;" but Vancouver surveyed it, and, in conformity with the title given by his precursor, named it "Some-body-knows-what." On the 22d the ships quitted

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the station, and encountered a gale similar to the one they had already experienced, which caused the separation of the vessels.

On the 24th the "Discovery" came in sight of the Snare's Islets, in lat. 48 deg. 3' south, long. 166 deg. 20'. Cook had not been within ten leagues of these barren islets. The "Chatham" discovered a group of islands in lat. 45 deg. 54' south, long. 176 deg. 13', which Lieutenant Broughton named after the celebrated Pitt, Earl of Chatham. A quarrel that ensued with the natives, caused the death of one of the latter. They appeared to the Englishmen to be a cheerful race of people, and burst into fits of laughing when spoken to by the former. The ongi, or native salute of touching noses -- the war implements, and general manners of the people -- immediately proved they were of New Zealand origin. The islands, though small, are much diversified with hill and dale; and at the present day, some European residents have established themselves on the principal island.

From the period of Vancouver's visit to the present day, an uninterrupted intercourse has been kept up with New Zealand --- some thousands of vessels, of every description, having touched on every part of the coast, from the North Cape to the land furthest south. Flax,

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the vegetable Phormium Tenax (see Appendix, No. 4), was the principal, if not sole, object of barter among the European visitors and the natives. This article was in such demand at one period, that a number of shipping were employed trading from Port Jackson, whose tonnage, exports, and imports, formed important items in the statistics of that colony. The "Daedalus," storeship to Vancouver's expedition, touched at New Zealand, after the murder of her unfortunate commander, Lieutenant Hergest, at the Sandwich Islands. This vessel was put in requisition to convey the free settlers from Port Jackson to Norfolk Island. She was also directed to touch off the coast of New Zealand, to procure some natives to dress the flax, a similar plant to that of the latter country being found to abound in that beautiful island. But the plan failed, as the dressing of this article is confined to the females and slaves, or men of low condition. The two men that accompanied the vessel on her return were respectable chiefs of the Napui tribe, named Tamawe and Tui, whose accomplishments consisted in carving, planting, and the military tactics of their country.

It appears they rendered themselves useful by drawing a chart, on a large scale, for the

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colonial governor (King), and there are very few persons of the superior class who are unable to draw a tolerably correct chart of the island, principally from personal travel and descriptions received from their friends.

Many whaling-ships also touched on various parts of the coasts; but the Bay of Islands was principally preferred on account of its locality and excellent harbour; and, from continual intercourse with Europeans, the manners of its inhabitants became civilised, who, after the revenge taken by the French for the treacherous massacre of Marion and his people, perceived that the superiority of their numbers, did not screen them from chastisement.

During the first twenty years of the nineteenth century, the southern parts of the country was overrun by sealers in every direction, who caught many thousands of those amphibious animals every season; their skins were subsequently sent to the China market. On one of these sealing expeditions in a vessel called the "Pegasus," about the year 1816, the land at the southern extremity was found to be divided by a dangerous strait from the district of Te Wai Poenamu; the newly discovered island was called after the discoverer, Stewart's Island. The hardy adventurers did not follow their

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dangerous pursuits without molestation from the natives. Many parties of sealers were cut off by the savages. In 1821, a vessel, called the "General Gates," left Boston, in the United States of America, on a sealing voyage. On the 10th of August following, five men, and a leader, named Price, were landed near the south-west cape of the district of Te Wai Poenamu, for the purpose of catching seals. Within six weeks, the success of the men amounted to 3563 skins, which had been salted and made ready for shipment. One night, about eleven o'clock, their cabin was surrounded by a horde of natives, who broke open the place, and made the Americans prisoners. The flour, salt provisions, and salt for curing skins, were all destroyed, as their use and value was unknown to the savages. After setting fire to the cabin, and every thing else that was thought unserviceable, they forced the sealers to march with them for some days to a place known by the name of Looking-Glass Bay, from a remarkable perforation in a rock, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles from whence they set out. The only food they had was roasted fish. After resting a day at this place, they were made to travel a further distance of two hundred miles in a northerly direction, until they came to a large sandy bay. The natives then

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took John Rawton, and, having fastened him to a tree, they beat in his skull with a club. The head of the unfortunate man was cut off, and buried in the ground; the remaining part of the body was cooked and eaten. Some of this nauseous food was offered to the sealers, who had been without sustenance for some time, and they also partook of the cooked body of their late comrade. The five survivors were made fast to trees, well guarded by hostile natives, and each day one of the men was killed by the ferocious cannibals, and afterwards devoured; viz. James White and William Rawson, of New London, in Connecticut, and Wm. Smith, of New York. James West, of the same place, was doomed to die also; but the night previously a dreadful storm, accompanied by thunder and lightning, frightened the natives away, and the two remaining Americans found means to unfasten the flax cords that bound them. At daybreak next morning they launched a small canoe that was within reach, and put to sea, without any provisions or water, preferring death in this way to the horrid fate of their comrades. They had scarcely proceeded a few yards, when a number of natives came in sight, who rushed into the water to catch their prey; but the Americans

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eventually eluded their grasp, despair lending them strength to paddle beyond their reach. They remained in this exhausted state three days, and were then taken up by the "Margery," a flax trader and sealer of Sydney.

In 1823, a young Englishman, named James Caddell, visited Sydney, after residing nearly twenty years among the natives on the southwest coast of New Zealand. He stated that, in 1806, or thereabouts, a sealing ship, called the "Sydney Cove," left Port Jackson for the sealing ground on the coast of this country. On the ship arriving there, a boat landed Caddell, who was then a lad of thirteen years, and a crew of men, in pursuit of skins in the vicinity of the South Cape. All the men were immediately murdered and eaten; and such would have been Caddell's fate, had he not ran up to a chief, named Tako, who happened accidentally to be tapued at the time, and, catching hold of his garment, was saved in consequence; his life was further granted him. After remaining some few years with the people, he married the daughter of the principal chief, and was himself raised to that dignity, and tattooed in the face. He visited Sydney, as above stated, in the colonial schooner "Snapper," accompanied by his wife; and after-

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wards returned, with renewed pleasure, to the precarious life of savage hordes. He had nearly forgotten the English language, and had often accompanied the natives in their wars.

The next discovery ship that visited the coast of New Zealand was the French corvette, "La Coquille," commanded by M. Duperrey, in 1824, during his circumnavigation of the globe. His charts, afterwards published by the French government, have added to the geographical knowledge of the country. (See Note 5, Appendix.)

Further knowledge of the coast was obtained by the visit of the French discovery ship, "Astrolabe," Captain Dumont D'Urville. On the 10th of January, 1827, this celebrated navigator came in sight of Cape Foulwind, on the west coast of the Island of Victoria, in lat. 41 deg. 46' south. To the southward of this cape, he remarks that he had seen an immense ravine, from which issued a river or mountain-torrent, whose effluence was so rapid as to discolour the water for many miles around; the ship being surrounded with limbs of trees and decayed vegetable matter. This torrent was in lat. 42 deg. 2' S. They hove the lead with some trepidation; but were soon relieved of their fears by perceiving they had full fifty fathoms soundings. The ship rounded Cape Farewell, the north-west corner of Cook's Strait, the south side

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of which was carefully examined. They also kept close in shore from Cape Palliser, in lat. 41 deg. 17' S., to the Bay of Plenty, from thence to the Frith of Thames, examining the islands and the outer Barrier Isles. These places were minutely surveyed, and the observations of Captain D'Urville will be found very useful to navigators. From the river Thames, the "Astrolabe" kept close in shore, up to the Cape Maria Van Dieman, and thence back south, to the Bay of Islands. On Captain D'Urville's return to France, his observations, maps, charts, &c., were published by order of Admiral de Rigny, minister of marine, in a style worthy of the subject and the government by whom the voyage was patronised.

The French discovery-ship, "La Favorite," Captain La Place, also touched at New Zealand in 1831. The west coast of the north island was made on the 10th of September in that year, and the ship was anchored off the village of Kororarika, in the Bay of Islands. At this time it unfortunately happened that a malicious and unfounded report was published in Port Jackson, stating that Captain La Place intended to take possession of New Zealand, in the name of his royal master: an intention totally foreign to the purposes of that able officer. This caused an irritable feeling on the part of the individuals comprising either

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nation that met in the Bay of Islands. Captain La Place notices it, in the narrative of his voyage, with much bitterness. He says, "that Rewa, a chief, and many other natives, were told that the corvette had arrived to take revenge for the death of Marion, committed in this bay in a former century."

Many pertinent remarks are made by both the above navigators on the naturels du pays, or natives, the country, clime, &c.; but the cause of geography was not advanced by the latter officer, as far as New Zealand was concerned. Captain D'Urville met with Captain Jas. Herd, who commanded a ship, the "Rosanna," in the service of a society of gentlemen, who had fitted out two ships for the ostensible purposes of colonising the country; but from causes, an explanation of which would be irrelevant to this work, the plan failed. Captain Herd collected much data of nautical service, especially in a collection of correct latitudes of various headlands.

At the present moment (1838) an expedition, under the immediate sanction of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, whose patronage has ever been readily extended in the cause of scientific research, is surveying the coast of New Zealand. In the prospectus of the details of this voyage, this portion of the intended labours of

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the expedition forms a primary object. Naturalists of distinguished talent accompany the vessels, who are invariably attached to discovery-ships in the French service.

Another expedition, on a scale of magnificence hitherto unattempted by the parent nations of Europe, has just sailed (1838), under the auspices of the government of the United States, consisting of the "Macedonian," 44-gun frigate, a large ship, a brig, one crack schooner, with an eight-horse steam-engine to fit into the cutter of the frigate, to ply up the various rivers whose powerful efflux or lofty headlands often cause baffling winds at the most needful moments, or sand-bars whose shallowness admit not of larger craft. This expedition is principally to survey places already known, and to explore such regions as have been only hastily noticed hitherto by discoverers. The prosecution of discoveries towards the South Pole is also intended.

This peaceable armament is under the command of Commodore Catesby-ap-Jones. To an American, this name is a sufficient guarantee for the efficient performance of the many arduous duties that have devolved on this well-tried officer: to an Englishman, who will be less acquainted with the name, from a continual

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accession of candidates, in both the naval and military services of his country, who are daily fast filling the vacancies in the immortal roll of fame, it is perhaps sufficient to state, that this gentleman has already protected the interests of British individuals in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, against the aggressions of even his own countrymen.

Several men of known scientific abilities, natives of the States, professors in various branches of science and natural history, are also employed; so that our transatlantic brethren are determined to shew, that, as early as the fledged eagle can expand her wings, she will leave her eyrie, animated with the same inquiring spirit as her lion-like relative.

The dollar and cent policy of the government, as Brother Jonathan has thought proper to designate his own pecuniary conduct hitherto, has been entirely repudiated in the fitting out of the present expedition; as, up to December last, the expenses incurred amounted to near 700,000 dollars, or 140,000l. sterling. The survey of the country of New Zealand, interior as well as exterior, forms a prominent feature in the labours of this expedition. The mineralogy of the country will be particularly attended to. Reynolds, the able historian of the voyage of the "Potomac"

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to Qualla Battoo, on the coast of Sumatra, has the same appointment in this expedition, to whose unwearied exertions for the last ten years the world is greatly indebted. Professor Silli-man, whose name (lucus a non lucendo) is a sufficient testimony, has enriched the scientific corps with his invaluable advice.

The civilised world is not only indebted for its geographical knowledge of the South Seas to our own gallant countrymen, whose names, blazoned by hardy achievements, form a host of themselves; but to our scientific neighbours, also distinguished for ability and perseverance, and well known among us: viz. Bougainville, Perouse, D'Entrecasteaux, Baudin, Freycinet, Duperrey, D'Urville, and La Place; and, among the Russians, Krusenstern, in 1804 and 1805; Kotzebue, in 1816; Billinghausen, in 1818 and 1822; Lutke, from 1826 to 1828, &c.

1   Afterwards Admiral Burney, author of "a Chronological History of Discoveries in the South Seas," 3 vols. 4to.

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