« FöregåendeFortsätt »
these it appears that the pirates proceeded in the first instance to the island of Toobouai, in lat. 20° 13′ S., long. 149° 35′ W., where they anchored on the 25th May, 1789. They had thrown overboard the greater part of the bread-fruit plants, and divided among themselves the property of the officers and men who had been so inhumanly turned adrift. At this island they intended to form a settlement, but the opposition of the natives, the want of many necessary materials, and quarrels among themselves, determined them to go to Otaheite to procure what might be required to effect their purpose, provided they should agree to prosecute their original intention. They accordingly sailed from Toobouai about the latter end of the month, and arrived at Otaheite on the 6th June. The otoo, or reigning sovereign, and other principal natives, were very inquisitive and anxious to know what had become of Lieutenant Bligh and the rest of the crew, and also what had been done with the bread-fruit plants. They were told they had most unexpectedly fallen in with Captain Cook, at an island he had just discovered, called Whytootakee, where he intended to form a settlement, and where the plants had been landed; and that Lieutenant Bligh and the others were stopping there to assist Captain Cook in the business he had in hand, and that he had appointed Mr. Christian commander of the Bounty; and that he was now come by his orders for an additional supply of hogs, goats, fowls, bread-fruit, and various other articles which Otaheite could supply.
This artful story was quite sufficient to impose on the credulity of these humane and simple-minded islanders; and so overcome with joy were they to hear that their old friend Captain Cook was alive, and about to settle so near them, that every possible means were forthwith made use of to procure the things that were wanted; so that in the course of a very few days the Bounty received on board three
hundred and twelve hogs, thirty-eight goats, eight dozen of fowls, a bull and a cow, and a large quan tity of bread-fruit, plantains, bananas, and other fruits. They also took with them eight men, nine women, and seven boys. With these supplies they left Otaheite on the 19th June, and arrived a second time at Toobouai on the 26th. They warped the ship up the harbour, landed the live stock, and set about building a fort of fifty yards square.
While this work was carrying on, quarrels and disagreements were daily happening among them, and continual disputes and skirmishes were taking place with the natives, generally brought on by the violent conduct of the invaders, and by depredations committed on their property. Retaliations were attempted by the natives without success, numbers of whom, being pursued with firearms, were put to death. Still the situation of the mutineers became so disagreeable and unsafe, the work went on so slowly and reluctantly, that the building of the fort was agreed to be discontinued. Christian, in fact, had very soon perceived that his authority was on the wane, and that no peaceful establishment was likely to be accomplished at Toobouai; he therefore held a consultation as to what would be the most advisable step to take. After much angry discussion, it was at length determined that Toobouai should be abandoned; that the ship should once more be taken to Otaheite; and that those who might choose to go on shore there might do so, and those who preferred to remain in the ship might proceed in her to whatever place they should agree upon among themselves.
In consequence of this determination, they sailed from Toobouai on the 15th, and arrived at Matavai Bay on the 20th September, 1789. Here sixteen of the mutineers were put on shore, at their own request, fourteen of whom were received on board the Pandora, and two of them, as before mentioned
were murdered on the island. The remaining nine agreed to continue in the Bounty. The small arms, powder, canvass, and the small stores belonging to the ship were equally divided among the whole crew. The Bounty sailed finally from Otaheite on the night of the 21st September, and was last seen the following morning to the north-west of Point Venus. They took with them seven Otaheitan men and twelve women. It was not even conjectured whither they meant to go; but Christian had frequently been heard to say, that his object was to discover some unknown or uninhabited island, in which there was no harbour for shipping; that he would run the Bounty on shore, and make use of her materials to form a settlement; but this was the only account, vague as it was, that could be procured to direct Captain Edwards in his intended search.
It appears that when the schooner, of which we have spoken, had been finished, six of the fourteen mutineers that were left on Otaheite embarked in her, with the intention of proceeding to the East Indies, and actually put to sea; but meeting with bad weather, and suspecting the nautical abilities of Morrison, whom they had elected as commanding officer, to conduct her in safety, they resolved on returning to Otaheite. Morrison, it seems, first undertook the construction of this schooner, being himself a tolerable mechanic, in which he was assisted by the two carpenters, the cooper, and some others. To this little band of architects, we are told, Morrison acted both as director and chaplain, distinguishing the Sabbath-day by reading to them the church liturgy, and hoisting the British colours on a flag-staff erected near the scene of their operations. Conscious of his innocence, his object is stated to have been that of reaching Batavia in time to secure a passage home in the next fleet bound to Holland; but that their return was occasioned, not by any distrust of Morrison's talents. but by a
refusal on the part of the natives to give them a sufficient quantity of matting and other necessaries for so long a voyage, being, in fact, desirous of retaining them on the island. Stewart and young Heywood took no part in this transaction, having made up their minds to remain at Otaheite, and there to await the arrival of a king's ship, it being morally certain that ere long one would be sent out thither to search for them, whatever might have been the fate of Bligh and his companions; and that this was really their intention is evident by the alacrity they displayed in getting on board the Pandora the moment of her arrival.
On the 8th of May, this frigate left Otaheite, accompanied by the little schooner which the mutineers had built, and the history of which is somewhat remarkable. In point of size she was not a great deal larger than Lieutenant Bligh's launch, her dimensions being thirty feet length of keel, thirtyfive feet length on deck, nine feet and a half extreme breadth, five feet depth of the hold. She parted from the Pandora near the Palmerston Islands, when searching for the Bounty, and was not heard of till the arrival of the Pandora's crew at Samarang, in Java, where they found her lying at anchor, the crew having suffered so dreadfully from famine and the want of water, that one of the young gentlemen belonging to her became delirious. She was a remarkably swift sailer, and being afterward employed in the sea-otter trade, is stated to have made one of the quickest passages ever known from China to the Sandwich Islands. This memorable little vessel was purchased at Canton by the late Captain Broughton, to assist him in surveying the coast of Tartary, and became the means of preserving the crew of his majesty's ship Providence amounting to one hundred and twelve men, when wrecked to the eastward of Formosa, in the year 17:37. The Pandora called at numerous islands with.c
success, but on Lieutenant Corner having landed on one of the Palmerston's group, he found a yard and some spars with the broad arrow upon them, and marked "Bounty." This induced the captain to cause a very minute search to be made in all these islands, in the course of which the Pandora, being driven out to sea by blowing weather, and very thick and hazy, lost sight of the little tender and a jolly boat, the latter of which was never more heard of. This gives occasion to a little splenetic effusion from a writer in a periodical journal,* which was hardly called for. "When this boat," says the writer, "with a midshipman and several men (four), hai been inhumanly ordered from alongside, it was known that there was nothing in her but one piece of salt-beef, compassionately thrown in by a seaman; and horrid as must have been their fate, the flippant surgeon, after detailing the disgraceful fact, adds, 'that this is the way the world was peopled, or words to that effect, for we quote only from meinory." The following is quoted from the book:"It may be difficult to surmise," says the surgeon, "what has been the fate of those unfortunate men. They had a piece of salt beef thrown into the boat to them on leaving the ship; and it rained a good deal that night and the following day, which might satiate their thirst. It is by these accidents the Divine Ruler of the universe has peopled the southern hemisphere." This is no more than asserting an acknowledged fact that can hardly admit of a dispute, and there appears nothing in the paragraph which at all affects the character of Captain Edwards, against whom it is levelled.
After a fruitless search of three months, the Pandora arrived on the 29th August on the coast of New-Holland, and close to that extraordinary reef of coral rocks called the "Barrier Reef," which
* United Service Journal.