Sidor som bilder

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 as sisted 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 tiil 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 year1797. The Pandora called at numerous islands without


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, 6 with a midshipman and several men (four), had 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 me. mory.” 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 dèal 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.

runs along the greater part of the eastern coast, but at a considerable distance from it. The boat had been sent out to look for an opening, which was soon discovered, but in the course of the night the ship had drifted past it. “On getting soundings,” says Captain Edwards, in his narrative laid before the court-martial, “ the topsails were filled; but before the tacks were hauled on board and other sail made and trimmed, the ship struck upon a reef; we had a quarter less two fathoms on the larboard side, and three fathoms on the starboard side; the sails were braced about different ways to endeavour to get her off, but to no purpose; they were then clewed up and afterward fürled, the top-gallant yards got down and the top-gallant masts struck. Boats were hoisted out with a view to carry out an anchor, but before that could be effected the ship struck so violently on the reef, that the carpenter reported she made eighteen inches of water in five minutes; and in five minutes after this, that there were four feet of water in the hold. Finding the leak increasing so fast, it was thought necessary to turn the hands to the pumps, and to bail at the different hatchways; but she still continued to gain upon us so fast, that in little more than an hour and a half after she struck, there were eight feet and a half of water in the hold. About ten we perceived that the ship had beaten over the reef, and was in ten fathoms water; we therefore let go the small bower anchor, cleared away a cable, and let go the best bower anchor in fifteen and a half fathoms water under foot, to steady the ship. Some of her guns were thrown overboard, and the water gained upon us only in a small degree, and we flattered ourselves that by the assistance of a thrummed topsail, which we were preparing to haul under the ship’s bottom, we might be able to lessen the leak, and to free her of water: but these flattering hopes did not continue long; for, as she settled in the

water the leak increased again, and in so great a degree that there was reason to apprehend she would sink before daylight. During the night two of the pumps were unfortunately for some time rendered useless; one of them, however, was repaired, and we continued bailing and pumping the remainder of the night; and every effort that was thought of was made to keep afloat and preserve the ship. Daylight fortunately appeared, and gave us the opportunity of seeing our situation and the surrounding danger, and it was evident the ship had been carried to the northward by a tide or current.

“ The officers, whom I had consulted on the subject of our situation, gave it as their opinion that nothing more could be done for the preservation of the ship; it then became necessary to endeavour to provide and to find means for the preservation of the people. Our four boats, which consisted of one launch, one eight-oared pinnace, and two six-oared yawls, with careful hands in them, were kept astern of the ship; a small quantity of bread, water, and other necessary articles were put into them; two canoes which we had on board were lashed together and put into the water; rafts were made, and all floating things upon deck were unlashed.

About half-past six in the morning of the 29th the hold was full, and the water was between decks, and it also washed in at the upper deck ports, and there were strong indications that the ship was on the very point of sinking, and we began to leap overboard and take to the boats, and before everybody could get out of her she actually sunk. The boats continued astern of the ship in the direction of the drist of the tide from her, and took up the people that had hold of rafts and other floating things that had been cast loose, for the purpose of supporting them on the water. The double canoe, that was able to support a considerable number of men, broke adrift with only one man, and was

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