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Ocean will, I trust, plead my apology for addressing your Lordships at this time. In February, 1808, I touched at Pitcairn's Island, in lat. 25. 2. S. long. 130. W. from Greenwich. My principal object was to procure seal skins for the China market; and from the account given of the island, in Captain Carteret's voyage, I supposed that it was uninhabited; but, on approaching the shore in my boat, I was met by three young men in a double canoe, with a present, consisting of some fruit and a hog. They spoke to me in the English language, and informed me that they were born on the island, and their father was an Englishman, who had sailed with Captain Bligh.
"After discoursing with them for a short time, I landed with them, and found an Englishman of the name of Alexander Smith, who informed me, that he was one of the Bounty's crew, and that after putting Captain Bligh In the boat, with half the ship's company, they returned to Otaheite, where part of their crew chose to tarry, but Mr. Christian, with eight others, including himself, preferred going to a more remote place; and, after making a short stay at Otaheite, where they took wives and six men servants , they proceeded to Pitcairn's Island, where they destroyed the ship, after taking every thing out of her which they thought would be useful to them. About six years after they landed at this place, their servants attacked and killed all the English, excepting the informant, and he was severely wounded. The same night, the Otaheitan widows arose and murdered all their countrymen,
leaving Smith with the ivido-s and children, where be bad resided ever since without being resisted. "I remained but a short time on the island, and on leaving it Smith presented me a time-piece and an azimuth compass, which he told mc belonged to the Bounty. The time-keeper was taken from me by the Governor of the island of Juan Fernandez, after I had it in my possession about six weeks. The compass I put in repair en board my ship, and made use of it on my homeward-passage, since which a new card has been put to it by an instrument-maker, in Boston. I now forward it to your Lordships, thinking there will be a kind of satisfaction in recemns it, merely from the extraordinary circumstances attending it.
(Signed) Mayhew Folgss.''
Nearly about the same time, a further account of these interesting people was received from Vice Admiral Dixon, in a letter addressed to him by Sir Thomas Staines, of his Majesty's ship Briton, of which the following k » copy:— "Briton, Valparaiso, Oct. 18, 1814.
"Sir,—I have the honour to inform you, that on my passage from the Marquesas Islands t» this port, on the morning of the 17th September, I fell in with an island where none is laid down in the Admiralty or other charts according to the several chronometers of the Briton and Tagus. therefore hove-to, until day-light, and then closed to ascertain whether it was inhabited, which I soon discovered it to be, and, to my great astonishment, found that every individual on the Island (40 in number), spoke very good English. "English. They proved to be the descendants of the deluded crew of the Bounty, which, from Otaheite, proceeded to the above-mentioned island, where the ship was burnt. *' Christian appeared to have been the leader and the sole cause of the mutiny in that ship. A venerable old man, named John Adams, is the only surviving Englishman of those who last quitted Otaheite in her, and whose exemplary conduct, and fatherly ■care of the whole little colony, could not but command admiration. The pious manner in which all those born in the island have been reared, the correct sense of religion which has been instilled into their young minds by this old man, has given him the pre-eminence over the whole of them, to whom they look up as the father of the whole and one family.
"A son of Christian was the first born on the island, now about $5 years of age (named Thursday October Christian): the elder Christian fell a sacrifice to the jealousy of an Otaheitan man, ■within three or four years after their arrival on the island. They were accompanied thither by six Otaheitan men and 12 women; the former were all swept away by desperate contentions between them and the Englishmen, and five of the latter have died at different periods, leaving at present only one man and several women of the original settlers.
"The island must undoubtedly be that called Pitcairn's, although erroneously laid down in the charts. We had the meridian sun close to it, which gave us 25 deg. 4 min. S. latitude, and 130 deg. '25 min. W. longitude, by chronometers of the Briton and Tagus.
"It is abundant in yams, plantains, hogs, goats, and fowls, but affords no shelter for a ship or vessel of any description; neither could a ship water there without great difficulty.
'* I cannot refrain from offering my opinion that it is well worthy the attention of our laudable religious societies, particularly that for propagating the Christian Religion, the whole of the inhabitants speakingthe Otaheitan tongue as well as English.
"During the whole of the time they have been on the island, only one ship has ever communicated with them, whicli took place about six years since by an American ship called the Topaz, of Boston, Mayhew Folger master.
"The island i3 completely ironbound with rocky shores, and landing in boats at all times difficult, although safe to approach within a short distance in a ship. (Signed)
We have been favoured with some further particulars of this singular society, which, we doubt not, will interest our readers as much as they have ourselves. As the real position of the island was ascertained to be so far distant from that in which it is usually laid down in the charts, and as the Captains of the Briton and Tagus seem to have still considered it as uninhabited, they were not a little surprised, on approaching its shores, to behold plantations regularly laid out, and huts or houses moreneatlyconstructed than those of the Marquessas islands. When about two miles from the shore, some natives were observed bringing down their canoes oa. their shoulders, dashing through a heavy surf, and paddling off to the ships ; but their astonishment .was unbounded on hearing one of them, on approaching the ship, call out in the English language, "Won't you heave us a rope, now?"
The first man who got on board the Briton soon proved who they were. His name, he said, was Thursday October Christian, the first born on the island. He was then about five-and-twenty years of age, and is described as a fine young man, about six feet high; his hair deep black; his countenance open and interesting; of a brownish cast, but free from all that mixture of a reddish tint which prevails on the Pacific islands ; his only dress was a piece of cloth round his loins, and a straw hat ornamented with the black feathers of the domestic fowl. 'With a great share of good humour," says Captain Pipon, 'we were glad to trace in his benevolent countenance all the features of an honest English face.'—' I must confess," he continues, 'I could not survey this interesting person without feelings of tenderness and compassion.' His companion was named George Young,- a fine youth, of 17 or 18 years of age.
If the astonishment of the Captains was great on hearing their first salutation in English, their surprize and interest were not a little increased on Sir Thomas Staines taking the youths below and setting before them something to eat, when one of them rose up, and placing his hands together in a posture of devotion, distinctly repeated, and in a pleasing tone and manner, 'For what
we are going to receive, "tbeLori1 make us truly thankful.'
They expressed great surpriz; on seeing a cow on board the Briton, and were in doubt whether she was a gTeat goat, or > horned sow.
The two Captains of his Majesty's ships accompanied tbe«? young men on shore. With sense difficulty, and a good wetting, toi with the assistance of their coeductors, they accomplished a linking through the surf, and»« soon after met by John Adams, i man between 50 and 6X> years of age, who conducted them to ki; house. His wife accompaiiin him, a very old lady blind wi'i age. He was at first alarmed, lest the visit was to apprebewi him j but on being told that thr> were perfectly ignorant of his existence, he was relieved from hi anxiety. Being once assured that this visit was of a peaceable nature, it is impossible to describe the joy these poor people manifested on seeing those whom theywert pleased to consider as their countrymen. Yams, cocoa nuts, td other fruits, with fine fresh egp. were laid before them,- and lie old man would have killed and dressed a hog for his visitors, bytime would not allow them to partake of his intended feast.
This interesting new cokmy, h seemed, now consisted of about 46 persons, mostly grown up young people, besides a number of infants. The young men, all born on the island, were very athletic and of the finest form*, their countenances open and pleasing, indicating much benevolenw and goodness of heart; but die young women were objects of particular admiration, tall, robust
mil beautifully formed, their faces lienming with smiles, and unruffled good humour, but wearing a degree of modesty and bashfulness, that would do honour to the most virtuous nation on earth: their teeth, like ivory, were regular and beautiful, without a single exception; and all of them, both male and female, had the most marked English features.— The clothing of the young females consisted of a piece of linen reaching from the waist to the knees, and generally a sort of mantle thrown loosely over the shoulders, and hanging as low as the ancles; but this covering appeared to be intended chiefly as a protection against the sun and the weather, as it was frequently laid aside—end then the upper part of the body was entirely exposed; and it is not possible to conceive more beautiful forms than they exhibited.— They sometimes wreath caps or bonnets for the head, in the most tasty manner, to protect the face from the rays of the sun; and though, as Capt. Pipon observes, they have only had the instruction of their Otaheitan mothers, 'our dress-makers in London would be delighted with the simplicity, and yet elegant taste, of these untaught females.'
Their native modesty, assisted by a proper sense of religion and morality instilled into their youthful minds by John Adams, has hitherto preserved these interesting people perfectly chaste and free from all kinds of debauchery. Adams assured the visitors that since Christian's death there had not been a single instance of any young woman proving unchaste; nor any attempt at seduction on the part of the men. They all la
bour while young in the cultivation of the ground; and when possessed of a sufficient quantity of cleared land, and of stock to maintain a family, they are allowed to marry, but always with the consent of Adams, who unites them by a sort of marriage ceremony of his own.
The greatest harmony prevailed in this little society; their only quarrels, and these rarely happened, being, according to their own expression, quarrels of the mouth: they are honest in their dealings, which consist of bartering different articles for mutual accommodation.
Their habitations are extremely neat. The little village of Pitcairn forms a pretty square, the houses at the upper end of which are occupied by the patriarch John Adams and his family, consisting of his old blind wife and three daughters from fifteen to eighteen years of age, and a boy of eleven; a daughter of his wife by a former husband, and a son in law. On the opposite side is the dwelling of Thursday October Christian; and in the centre is a smooth verdant lawn, on which the poultry are let loose, fenced in so as to prevent the intrusion of the domestic quadrupeds. All that was done was obviously undertaken on a settled plan, unlike to any thing to be met with on the other islands. In their houses too they had a good deal of decent furniture, consisting of beds laid upon bedsteads, with neat covering; they had also tables, and large chests to contain their valuables and clothing, which is made from the bark of a certain tree, prepared chiefly by the elder. Otaheitan females.— Adams's house consisted of two rooms, rooms, and the windows had shutters to pull to at night. The younger part of the sex are, as before stated, employed with their brothers, under the direction of their common father Adams, in the culture of the ground, which produced cocoa-nuts, bananas, the bread-fruit tree, yams, sweet potatoes, and turnips. They have also plenty of hogs and goats; the woods abound with a species of wild hog, and the coasts of the island with several kinds of good fish.
Their agricultural implements pre made by themselves from the iron supplied by the Bounty, which, with great labour, they beat out into 6pades, hatchets, &c. This was not all. The good old man kept a regular journal, in which was entered the nature and quantity of work performed by each family, what each had received, and what was due on account. There was, it seems, besides private property, a sort of general stock, out of which articles were issued on account to the several members of the community; and for mutual accommodation, exchanges of one kind of provision for another were very frequent, as salt for fresh provisions, vegetables and fiuit for poultry, fish, &c; also, when the stores of one family were low, or wholly expended, a fresh supply was raised from another, or out of the general stock, to be repaid .when circumstances were more favourable;—all of which were carefully noted down in John Adams's journal.
SHAWL MANUFACTORY AT
(From FJphhiStan's AccouitfofCaubul.)
The most remarkable produc
tion of Cashmeer is its shawl*, which supply the whole work!, and which are said to be manufactured at sixteen thousand looms, each of which gives employment to three men.
The following is an extract from the report drawn up by Mr. Strschey, who made many inquiries on this subject, and who had some shawl stuffs made under his own inspection, of wool procured it Umritsir. The manufacturer, were pioneers belonging to the embassy, and they worked in i common tent; yet they appeared to find no difficulty in their employment. "A shop may be occupied with one shawl, provided it be a remarkably fine one, above* year, while other shops make sixer eight in the course of that period. Of the best and most worked kinds, not so much as a quarter of an inch is completed in oat day, by three people, wliich is the usual number employed at meet of the shops. Shawls containing much work are made in separate pieces at different shops, and it may be observed that it very rarely happens that the pieces, when completed, correspond in size.
The shops consist of a frame work, at which the persons employed sit on a bench; their number is from two to four. On plain shawls, two people alone are employed, and a long narrow, but heavy shuttle is used; those of which the pattern is variegated, are worked with wooden needles, there being a separate needle for the thread of each colour; for the latter, no shuttle is required. The operation of their manufacture is of course slow, proportionate to the quantity of work which thenpatterns may require.