Captain Wallis

IN 1766, Capt. Wallis, of London, having been appointed to command the ship Dolphin, destined for a voyage round the world received orders to take under his command the Swallow sloop, and Prince Frederick store ship. They sailed on the 22d of August, and, on the 7th of September, came to anchor in the road of Maderia.

On the 12th, they sailed thence; and by the 12th of November, were in 30 degrees of south latitude, when they found the weather so cold as to have recourse to their thick jackets. On the 16th of December, being very near Cape Virgin Mary, they saw several men riding on the shore. The captain went ashore, and gave them combs, buttons, knives, scissors, beads, etc., and pleased the women greatly by the distribution of some ribbons. The tallest among these people was six feet seven inches; but the general height was from five feet ten to six feet. They were muscular and well made, but their hands and feet very small, in proportion to the rest of their bodies. The captain took eight of them into the boats: when they came into the ship, they expressed no surprise at the novelties which they beheld, till a looking-glass being observed, they acted many antic gestures before it. The marines being exercised before them, they were terrified at the firing of the muskets, and one of them falling down, shut his eyes, and lay without motion, as if to intimate that he knew the destructive nature of these weapons.

On the 21st, they turned into the Strait of Magellan, and on the 26th, anchored in Port Famine Bay; and the sick were sent on shore. On the 28th, the empty water-casks were landed. When they arrived here, many of the people were very sick with the scurvy; but, by the plentiful use of vegetables, , and bathing in the sea, they all recovered, in a short time.

They sailed on the 18th, and on the 3d of February came to anchor in York Road. The next day, Captain Wallis, with a party, went on shore near Bachelor's River. There is a cataract near this river, the noise of which is tremendous, as it falls more than four hundred yards, partly over a very steep descent, and partly in a perpendicular line. In the 1st of March sailed again, and anchored in a place called Swallow harbor, whence they sailed the next morning; and, on the following day, the Swallow, being driven among breakers, made signals of distress; but was happily relieved by a breeze from the shore. On the 10th of April the two ships sailed in company; and, on the 11th, lost sight of each other, and did not meet again during the whole voyage.

This day the Dolphin cleared the Strait of Magellan, in which she had `labored with innumerable difficulties, and escaped most imminent dangers, in a passage of almost four months, viz: from December the 17th, 1776, to the 11th of April following. The Spaniards, it seems, built a town here in 1581, which they named Phillipville, and left in it a colony of four hundred persons. They were all starved to death except twenty-four; and the place was called Port Famine, from the melancholy fate of these unfortunate men.

The long wished for relief was now fast approaching, for on Saturday, the 6th, the man at the mast-head cried, 'Land in the west-north-west.' As no anchorage was to be found, the captain steered for the other island, giving the name of Whitsun Island to this, because it was discovered on the eve of Whitsunday. Having approached the second, the lieutenant was sent on shore, with two boats, to take possession of the island and to call it Queen Charlotte's Island. The boats returned loaded with cocoanuts and scurvy-grass, after having found two wells of excellent water. Provisions for a week were now allotted for an officer and twenty men, who were left on shore to take in water; the sick were landed for the benefit of the air; and a number of hands were appointed to climb the cocoa-trees, and gather the nuts.

An adjoining island, lying in nineteen degrees twenty minutes south latitude, and one hundred thirty-eight degrees thirty minutes west longitude, received the name of Egmont Island. On the 11th, they observed about sixteen persons on an island, which was called Gloucester Island. This day they likewise discovered another, which was called Cumberland Island; and on the day following, a third, which received the name of Prince William Henry's Island. On the 17th, again discovered land, but could find no place in which the ship might anchor. This was named Osnaburgh Island, and having soon discovered high land, they came to anchor because the weather was foggy; but it no sooner cleared away, than they found the ship encompassed by hundreds of people. They sailed along the shore, while the canoes made towards the land. On the 21st, the ship came to anchor.

The boats having been sent to sound along the coast, were followed by large double canoes, three of which ran at the cutter, staved in her quarter, and otherwise damaged her; the Indians, at the same time, armed with clubs, endeavoring to board her. The crew now fired; and wounding one man dangerously, and killing another, they both fell into the sea. The ship made sail the following day, and was piloted round a reef, into a harbor, where she was moored. On the 24th, she sailed further up the harbor, followed by many canoes. In the evening, a number of very large canoes advanced, laden with stones; on which the captain ordered the strictest watch to be kept. Soon after a large canoe advanced, in which was an awning, on the top of which sat one of the natives, holding some yellow and red feathers in his hand. He delivered the feathers; and, while a present was preparing, he put back from the ship, and threw the branch of a cocoa-nut tree in the air. This appeared the signal for an onset, for the canoes, approaching the ship, threw volleys of stones into every part of her. On this two guns, loaded with small shot, were fired, and the people on guard discharged their muskets. The number of Indians now round the ships was full two thousand; and though they were at first disconcerted, they soon recovered their spirits, and renewed the attack. Thousands were observed on shore, embarking as fast as the canoes could bring them off; orders were therefore given for firing the cannon, some of which were brought to bear upon the shore. The scattered canoes soon got together again, and threw stones of two pounds weight from slings by which a number of seamen were wounded. At this time several canoes approached the bow of the ship, in one of which was an Indian, who appeared to have an authority over the rest; a gun was therefore leveled at his canoe, the shot of which split it in two pieces, which put an end to the contest; the canoes rowed off with the utmost speed, and the people on shore ran and concealed themselves behind the hills. Next day a lieutenant was despatched, with all the boats manned and armed, and having hoisted a pennant on a staff, he took possession of the place by the name of King George the Third's Island.

Three days after this, the gunner conducted to the ship a lady of a portly figure and agreeable face, whose age seemed to be upwards of forty. Her whole behavior indicated the woman of superior rank. The captain presented her with a looking-glass and some toys, and gave her a hand some blue mantle, which he tied round her with ribbands. Having intimated that she would be glad to see the Captain on shore, on Sunday, the 12th, he landed, and was met by his fair friend, who was attended by a numerous retinue. As they advanced, great numbers of Indians crowded to meet them. Many advanced to meet her, whom she caused to kiss the captain's hand, while she signified that they were related to her. Her house was above three hundred and twenty feet in length, and about forty in breadth. The captain, lieutenant, and purser, who had been ill, being seated, the lady helped four of her female attendants to pull of their coats, shoes and stockings; which being performed, the girls smoothed down the skin, and rubbed it lightly with their hands for more than half an hour; and the gentleman received great benefit from the operation. Orders had been given that the captain should be carried; but as he chose to walk, she took hold of his arm, and when they came near any wet or dirty place, she lifted him over, with as much ease as a man would a child. On the 15th, a large party in all the boats rowed round the island. The island was found to be every where very pleasant, and to abound with various necessaries of life. On the 17th, Captain Wallis received another visit from the lady whom he called his queen. On the 21st, she repeated the visit, and presented him with some hogs. The captain having sent a party on shore on the 25th, to examine the country minutely, caused a tent to be erected to observe an eclipse of the sun, and when it was ended, took his telescope to the queen's house to show her the use of it; and her surprise is not to be expressed, on beholding several objects which she was very familiar with, but which were too distant to be seen by the naked eye. She made signs to be informed if he held his resolution as to the time of his departure, and being answered in the affirmative, her tears witnessed the agitation of her mind. The captain presented her with several articles of use and ornament, which she received in silent sorrow. After some time a breeze springing up, the queen and her attendants took their final leave, with many tears.

The place where the ship had lain was called Port Royal Harbor, and is situated in 17 degrees 30 minutes south latitude, and 150 degrees west longitude. The Dolphin sailed from Otaheite on the 27th of July, 1767, and passed the Duke of York's Island. On the 28th, they discovered land, which was called Sir Charles Saunder's Island. On the 30th again made land, which received the name of Lord How's Island, on which smoke was seen, but no inhabitants. Their next discovery was some dangerous shoals, to which Captain Wallis gave the name of the Scilla Islands. They now steered westward till the 13th of August, when they saw two small islands, one of which was named Keppel's Isle, and the other Boscawen's Island. On the 16th they a g ain discovered land, to which the officers gave the name of Wallis' Island.

On the 18th of September they discovered the island of Saypan, and soon afterwards that of Tinian, off which they anchored on the day following. Tents were erected for the sick, who were sent on shore with all expedition. By the 15th of October the fruit and water were carried on board, and all the sick being recovered, on the next day they left the bay, and sailed to the west.

On the 3d of November they discovered three islands, which were named Sandy Isle, Small Key, and Long Island; which islands are in 19 degrees 20 minutes north latitude, and 247 degrees 20 minutes west longitude. They now altered their course, and, on the 13th, saw the island of Timoun, Aros, and Pesang. On the 16th, they crossed the equinoctial line, and came again into south latitude. The next day they saw the islands of Pulo Tote, and Pulo Weste, and the Seven Islands. On the 22d saw the coast of Sumatra; and came to an anchor in the road of Batavia, on the 30th of November, 1767. From this place they sailed on the 8th of December, without losing a single man, and having only two on the sick list.

On the 24th of January they encountered a dreadful storm, which tore the sails to pieces, broke a rudder-chain, and carried several of the booms overboard yet during this Storm they observed a number of birds and butterflies. On the 30th they saw land; and came to anchor in Table Bay, at the Cape of Good Hope, on the 4th of February. Sailed on the 17th of March, anchored in the bay of St. Helena. On the 28th crossed the equinoctial line, and on the 24th of next month saw the Cape of Pico.

No material incident happened from this time to the end of the voyage, and on the 20th of May, 1768, the Dolphin came to anchor in the Downs.