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Лисянский Юрий Фёдорович - Voyage round the world..., Страница 10

Лисянский Юрий Фёдорович - Voyage round the world...

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a similar kind commenced on the beach, on the part of the gentlemen-ushers; which, though it lasted only a quarter of an hour, completely tired our patience.
   Our visitors were now brought on shore in their boats by our Aleutians, and I supposed the introductory ceremony to be ended; but I was mistaken; the embassy still remained in their boats, though ashore, admiring the contortions and singing of the Choohaches, which were renewed.
   At length, the ambassador, being lifted out of the boat, was placed on a carpet, and conveyed to the place appointed both for him and his followers, who were carried in the same manner, but on a less costly vehicle. When settled in their apartments, Mr. Baranoff gave orders that they should be treated with hospitality; but, as it was late, postponed seeing them to the next day.
   In the morning, previously to the interview, the ambassador paid me a visit, accompanied by the whole of his suite, in one of Mr Baranoff's boats. On leaving the shore, they sung and danced. One, who stood at the head of the boat, was employed in plucking out the feathers of a bird's skin, and blowing them in the air. When near the ship, they danced again, and when on board resumed this favourite exercise, and kept it up for at least half an hour. I then invited the ambassador and his wife, and a Cadiack toy on who was of the party, into the cabin, while the rest were entertained on deck. Having regaled them with tea and brandy, I desired the three hostages to be brought to me; one of whom was the ambassador's son. The old man, seeing his boy taller and stouter than when he had parted from him, expressed a degree of gratitude for my kind treatment of him: but there was no kindness shown by the father to the son, or by the son to the father, in this meeting; which gave me no favourable opinion of the esteem in which either parental or filial affection is held by these people. The destruction of our old settlement by his countrymen being mentioned, the ambassador assured me, that he had had no participation in their guilt: on the contrary, he had endeavoured to restrain their violence, and, when he found that he could not succeed, had retired to Chilchat, a settlement in Lynn Canal, that he might not be present at so nefarious a proceeding. As I knew he had always been well-disposed towards the Russians, I gave credit to what be said.
   My visitors having been upwards of two hours on board, at last proposed to depart. As soon as they were on the deck, they again began to dance, and returned on shore with the same ceremony, in this respect, as they had observed when they quitted it. These people are so fond of dancing, that I never saw three of them together without their feet being in motion. Before the departure of the ambassador, I allowed him to fire off one of our twelve-pounders, which he did with a firmness I little expected, exhibiting no surprise either at the report of the cannon or its motion.
   In the afternoon I went on shore, and was present at the interview between Mr. Baranoff and the Sitcans. Mr. Baranoff presented the ambassador with a handsome red cloak trimmed with ermine, and each of his companions with a common blue one. Pewter medals were then distributed amongst them, as tokens of peace and amity with their country. To give importance to this pacification, an entertainment had been prepared in Mr. Baranoff's house, to which the whole embassy were invited; and so much honour did they do to the feast, that in the evening they were carried to their apartments in a state of perfect inebriety. {Mr. Langsdorff represents the Colushes as not liking brandy or other spirituous liquors.}
   The dress of the Sitcan party, on this occasion, consisted merely of a square piece of European cloth thrown over the shoulders; while the face of each was painted of different colours, and their hair powdered, first with soot and then with down. This mode of ornamenting the head is considered as magnificent here, and is only practised on particular occasions. The appearance of the ambassador's wife was the most singular. Her face was besmeared with black paint, and her hair completely covered with soot only. She had a cut through her lower lip, into which a round piece of wood, two inches and a half long and an inch thick, was inserted; so that the lip, projecting horizontally from the countenance, greatly resembled a spoon. When it was necessary for her to drink, she was obliged to act with the greatest care, for fear of injuring this charming feature. She had a child with her, that was carried in a basket. Though it could not be more than three months old, it had the nose and lower lip pierced and hung with strings of beads.


   The next morning the Sitcan embassy left us to return home. They set off as they came, singing. On taking leave, Mr. Baranoff, as a last sign of friendship, presented the ambassador with the Russian arms made of copper, fixed to the top of a long pole, and ornamented with eagle's feathers and ribbands. This present was apparently received with the utmost respect, as well as delight. The ambassador also was permitted to exchange his eldest son, the hostage, for a younger one, whom he promised to send.


   Among the Aleutians who were present at yesterday's entertainment, were two from Cadiack, who, I was informed, had been last autumn on the top of Mount Edgecumbe. I had often wished to visit this place, but had been prevented from carrying my wishes into execution by not knowing the road, two-thirds of which lies through almost impenetrable woods. I therefore instantly engaged these people as guides; and taking lieutenant Powalishin with me, we set off on the 21st, at seven in the morning. About noon we landed in a small bay, opposite Cape Island; and, resolving to pass the night there, we pitched our tents on the beach, and made a large fire. With my lieutenant I took a survey of the environs, and found that the whole shore was formed of lava. We passed a clift about thirty feet high, which extended in length to more than the eighth part of a mile, and was composed of the same volcanic matter mixed with clay. Its summits were crowned with tall pines. On returning to the tents, one of the sailors gave me some wild pease and strawberries he had gathered, which, though not ripe, were pleasant enough to the taste.


   The next morning a thick fog reigned on the mountains. I determined, however, to commence my journey, trusting that the weather would clear up as the day advanced. Relying upon what our guide said, that we should be able to return to our tents by night, we only provided ourselves with a little bread. The road was bad, and, as we proceeded, became worse and worse. The obstruction from ditches, and fallen trees of an immense size, and the prickly bushes through which we were continually obliged to force our way, so completely tired us, that in two hours we found it necessary to rest. We now discovered our mistake in taking so scanty a supply of provision. In addition to this misfortune, the fog, instead of clearing, increased, and our guides wandered out of the road. Regardless of these difficulties, I was determined to go on; and, while we rested, I sent back one of the Cadiack men for provision and warm jackets. Towards noon we were so exhausted, that we could not walk a Step further; and we had no choice but to stop for the night on a small eminence near a brook of clear water. The weather in the mean time, as if taking compassion upon us, began to brighten; but it was only to show us, that for the attainment of the object of our enterprise, much time would be necessary. Though in so weary a state, we set to work as well as we could, and towards evening had succeeded in constructing two huts, or rather bowers, of the branches of the cedar tree. Having made a blazing fire before each, we passed the time till midnight, bewailing our situation; having craving appetites, and nothing to eat; exposed to cold and mist, and no suitable clothing to defend us. The night proved so keen, that the thermometer fell to 40°. It was to very little purpose that I attempted to sleep; and I rose so early as two o'clock, and found my companions in difficulty, turning from side to side, in the torment of half sleep, which is worse than wakefulness. They had covered themselves with the bark of trees, to screen them at once both from cold, and from the heat of the fire, close to which they had crept. At day-light, the fog still prevailing, I fired my gun; and, to my great joy, the report was answered by a cry from the Cadiack man, and some of my people from the boats, who had accompanied him, bringing an ample supply of every thing we wanted. A favourable change soon after taking place in the weather, our joy was complete; and having made a hearty meal, we proceeded on our way. The road was steep, but less disagreeable than that in which we had travelled yesterday. At noon we cleared the woods, and, after reposing a while, ascended the top of the mountain by a path lying between deep cavities filled with snow. In some places it was narrow, and strewed with small volcanic fragments: the ascent, however, was regular and easy, so that we finished our task between one and two o'clock. The first object that struck us on reaching the summit, was a bason, about two miles in circumference, and forty fathoms deep; the surface covered with snow. From the information of our guides, I expected to have found it full of water; instead of which it was perfectly dry. I have no doubt, when our guides visited it, that the heavy rains of autumn had filled the bason, and given it the appearance of a lake. I have no doubt also, that at the bottom of this bason are cavities, through which the water flows, when the bason contains any, and thus forms the rivulets and ditches which so much incommoded us in our ascent. Having made the tour of the summit, I wrote our names on a piece of paper, and enclosed it in a bottle, which was buried under a heap of stones, as a memorial of our having visited this spot.
   The views from this summit were the most beautiful in nature. Innumerable islands and straits, extending to the very entrance of Cross Sound, with the continent stretching itself far and wide towards the north, lay under our feet; while the mountains, on the other side of Sitca Sound, appeared as if reposing on clouds that hung motionless at their base. To add to the enchantment, the sun, after a shower of a few minutes, shone forth in all its lustre.


   On this spot we spent three delightful hours, contemplating the great works of the Creator, as displayed in the scene; and towards evening returned to our new-built huts, where we passed the night in more comfort than before; the weather being warmer, and ourselves provided with food and clothing. Early the next morning we set off for our tents, where we arrived after a walk of about five hours.
   The perpendicular height of Mount Edgecumbe I estimated at about eight thousand feet. The side towards the sea is steep, and was covered with snow; that towards the bay, smooth and of gradual ascent, and overgrown with woods to within a mile and half of the top. This upper space exhibits a few patches of verdure, but is in general covered with stones of different colours. To judge from the appearance of the top of this volcanic mountain, it may he concluded that it was formerly much higher, but, the eruptions having ceased, that time has crumbled to pieces the highest points, and filled up the abyss out of which the materials forming the exterior mountain were vomited. Many years must have elapsed since this volcano was in action, as several sorts of the ejected lava are turning to earth. The hardest lava is of a dark colour: it was originally a gray stone, but is now glass, having been vitrified by the volcanic heat. I have a piece in my collection, half of which is glass, and the other half, the gray stone in its natural state: this vitrified lava, when struck against steel, produces a spark. The gray lava is also firm and hard: the shore where we landed was composed of nothing else. The other sorts, for instance, the red, resembling brick, and the white, were light and brittle.


   On the 25th, at two in the afternoon, we returned to the ship. We came just in time to see a party of Aleutians preparing for the hunt of the sea-otter. Three hundred bidarkas were ready to take them on board. The hunters were dressed in their best apparel; but their faces were so besmeared with paint of different colours, that they looked more like monsters than men. Having taken leave of Mr. Baranoff, they all set off together.


   On the 28th, two small armed vessels were dispatched to join the party, with whom they were to remain, as a guard, till the hunting season was over. In the afternoon a Sitcan toyon, whose name was Kotlean, arrived at the fort This man had always been a declared enemy to the Russian company, and was the principal agent in the destruction of their former settlement He was accompanied by eleven of his countrymen. Previous to his landing, he sent a present to Mr. Baranoff, of a coverlet made of the skin of the silver-gray fox, with a request, that he might be received with the same honours as had been paid to his predecessor; to which Mr. Baranoff returned for answer, that as all his Aleutians were absent, no ceremony could be observed. He however sent some men to draw his boat on shore, and take him out of it on their shoulders. On the arrival of this self-important personage, I went with Mr. Baranoff to see him. In the course of the interview the governor spoke to him freely of the unprovoked injuries his family had done the Russians: upon which the toyon, with apparent sincerity, acknowledged himself to blame, and promised to be in future a faithful friend. Mr. Baranoff then gave him a blue cloak trimmed with ermine, and some tobacco. I also distributed this favourite plant amongst the party, and was presented in return with otter skins, roots called gingam, and cakes made of the rind of the larch-tree. On our taking leave, Kotlean expressed great mortification at the absence of the Aleutians, as he and his companions, he said, excelled all their countrymen in dancing. To display his skill in this accomplishment, I have no doubt, was one motive of this visit. A still stronger motive was ambition: the preceding toyon had boasted of our treatment of him; and this man could not rest till he had made an attempt to be received with the same honours.
   This second party were painted and powdered in the same manner as the first, but were better clothed. Kotlean himself was dressed in a cuaca, or loose gown, resembling a little a smock-frock, but of blue cloth, over which was a great-coat of English baize. He had a black fox-skin cap on his head, the tail of the animal hanging over from the top of it. He was of a middling stature, and of an agreeable countenance, with a scanty beard, and a pair of whiskers. He is reckoned an excellent marksman, and has an armoury of no less than twenty of the best muskets. Notwithstanding the cold reception he met with, he staid at the fort till the 2d of August, dancing with his company nearly the whole of every day.

August 7th.

   On the 7th of August I repaired with some of my sick people to the hot baths, where we remained till the 15th. The weather was beautiful; and we should have passed our time agreeably, but for the gnats and a small species of flies, with which the woods swarmed, and especially with the last, the head, body, and wings of which are black, and the legs white. They alight imperceptibly, and occasion a swelling where they bite. There is a still smaller sort of these flies, which always attack the part immediately under the eyes, and produce a blue swelling.
   The hot baths proved serviceable to our invalids. The spring that supplies them, flows from a hill about three hundred yards from the shore, into a large bason dug purposely in the ground: the heat of the water at its head is a hundred and fifty-one degrees, and in the bason, on an average, about a hundred. It is chiefly impregnated with sulphur, but has a mixture of salt and magnesia. The Sitcan people often resort to these baths, and are benefited by them, especially such as are afflicted with scurvy and ulcers. The baths are situated on the east side of Sitca Sound, beyond what are called the South Islands, and are about twelve miles from the harbour of New Archangel.


   On my return to the fort on the 16th, I found our old ambassador there. He had come to announce to us his elevation to the dignity of chief toyon of the Sitcan nation, in the place of Kotlean. This new dignity had so elated him with pride, that he made no use of his legs for walking, but was invariably carried on the shoulders of his attendants, even on the most trifling occasions. He had no objection however to dance, or distort himself, with any of his people. It would seem as if some superstition mixed itself with his fondness for this amusement; for the place in which he was most in the habit of enjoying it, while with us, was near a monument erected over the grave of a favourite brother. This was the only monument which had not been destroyed by us: it was preserved out of respect to the deceased, who had always been a friend to our countrymen. Mr. Baranoff considered the visit of this toyon as a great compliment; and, knowing him, like his deceased brother, to be attached to the Russians, he presented him with a Russian coat of arms made of brass, and gave him the privilege of wearing it on his breast. About noon this great personage was borne in state from the fort.


   The Company's brig Elizabeth arrived in the harbour the following day, from the island of Oonalashca, and two ships from the United States, one of which, commanded by captain Wolff, came in for repairs. Whilst off Cape Horn she had struck, in the night, against another vessel in company with her; both at the time were under storm stay-sails, in consequence of a heavy gale of wind, and both were greatly damaged. The other ship that arrived was commanded by captain Trescot; whose object was to dispose of such articles as he had left of his cargo, and then to proceed to Canton.
   The settlement of New Archangel will always be a place of resort for ships trading on the coast; as the Russian company are ready to purchase flour, brandy, woollen cloth, and every necessary, at a profit of at least fifty per cent to the trader; which is more than he would obtain at Canton, besides the chance of his being obliged to sell there at a loss.


   On the 17th and 18th I took forty-five lunar distances; and, upon comparing them with thirty others, which I had taken on the 2d and 3d, I found the longitude of New Archangel, calculating by the mean rate of these distances, to be 135° 7' 49" west; from which it follows, that Cape Edgecumbe must be 135° 33'.


   Though the weather for several days had been very bad, we had been so busily employed, that on the 22d the vessel was ready to sail with the first fair wind.
   In the further prosecution of my voyage, I resolved not to go near the Sandwich Islands, but, on reaching the latitude of 45° 30' and the longitude of 145°, to steer west, as far as l65°and 42° north. Thence I intended to proceed to 36° 30', and to keep in that parallel till I arrived at 180° west, and then to take a direct course for the Ladrone or Marian Islands. By this plan, I should have an opportunity of examining the places where captain Portiock met with a seal in 1786, and where we ourselves saw an otter. Besides, as this course would lead the ship as far as the tropics, through a tract of sea never yet explored by any navigator, I might not unreasonably expect to make discoveries. The idea of passing as far as 180° to the westward in the latitude of 36° 30' north, was suggested by the instructions of count Roomantzoff, which say, that formerly a large and rich island, inhabited by white people, was found in the latitude of 37° 30', and at the distance of about three hundred and forty Dutch miles from Japan, or between the longitude of 160° and 180°.


   The weather was fine on the 24th, the thermometer stood at 72°; and, but for a fresh breeze of wind that prevailed, the mercury, I have no doubt, would have risen to eighty.
   Since my arrival at Sitca, I had never neglected my chronometers, and I now finished the task of regulating them. No. 156 was losing 54" 3, No. 50, 5" 3, and No, 1841, 1' 11" per day.
   Having made acquaintance with the commander of the brig Elizabeth, lieutenant Sookin, I embraced the opportunity of inquiring again about the new island that had appeared in the neighbourhood of Oonalashca. From what this gentleman told me, it is not so high as I had been led to believe. It has three summits, from which smoke is seen to issue. It is about five miles in circumference, had twenty-five distant from the island of Oonalashca. This account is more entitled to credit than what I received at Cadiack, as Mr. Sookin had passed near the island, and taken a drawing of it.



   Reason of this Group of Islands being so denominated. Advantageous Situation of the new Russian Settlement. Productions of these Islands. Climate. People. Dress. Character. Food. Houses. Canoes. Custom of burning the dead. Arts. Tribes or Casts. Religion. Power of the Toyons. Custom respecting Females of cutting the lip when they arrive at Womanhood.

1805. August

   Though this part of the coast of America has been known to us since the period of captain Cheericoff's voyage, in the year 1741, we still were not sure whether it formed part of the continent or belonged to an island, till captain Vancouver's expedition, when Chatham's Strait was discovered, and other points of consequence ascertained, as may be seen in the narrative of that navigator. By our survey it appears, that amongst the group of islands, which in my chart I have denominated the. Sitca Islands, from the inhabitants, who call themselves Sitca-hans, or Sitca people, are four principal ones, viz. Jacobi, Crooze, Baranoff, and Chichagoff. As the passage which separates the island of Jacobi from that of Chichagoff was not explored by us, I can only state, that a vessel belonging to the Company is said to have once passed through it, and to have found there a sufficient depth of water. The channel, to which I gave the name of Neva, and that called Pagoobnoy, or Pernicious, are both deep. The first joins Sitca Sound, and the second Chatham's Strait. The Pernicious derives its name from a party of Aleutians having been poisoned there some years ago, by eating muscles.
   Our first settlement here was formed in the year 1800 by Mr. Baranoff, with the consent of the natives, who afterwards, as I have already stated, treacherously destroyed it.
   Our present settlement is more advantageously situated than the former one. It is surrounded by woods, that never felt the stroke of the axe, and is well supplied with fresh water. In my opinion it will soon become the chief establishment of the Russians. Besides other advantages, it is in the neighbourhood of the best places for hunting the sea-otter, of which eight thousand might be procured annually, if the ships of the United States .did not interfere with the trade: at present, the yearly amount does not exceed three thousand. The woods will also yield a handsome, revenue, when the Russian commerce with China shall be established.
   The Sitca Islands are all, indeed, plentifully supplied with wood, consisting chiefly of pine, larch, and cedar, called by the Russians the smelling-tree. There are also fir, alder, and a few others to be found, but in no great quantity. The apple-tree deserves notice. Its leaves resemble those of the European apple-tree, but it bears a small fruit like the white cherry, and has the taste of a sourish apple. The islands abound in wild berries. Exclusive of the sorts found on the island of Cadiack, there are blackberries, strawberries, black currants, a particular kind of raspberry, and what is commonly called the red berry, which grows on large bushes, and has a very pleasant taste.


   The rivers, during the summer, are full of excellent fish. Herrings swarm in the Sound every spring; fine cod-fish also may be caught, and hallibut of great weight, with the hook and line only. There are few land animals; but a great quantity of almost every species of amphibious ones, such as the sea^ and river-otter, the sea-lion, the sea-bear, and the common seal. The birds, too, are not so numerous as on the island of Cadiack: the few that we saw were nearly of the same species as in that island; one however excepted, which was a magpie of a blueish colour, with a tuft, or crown on its head.
   The climate of these islands is such as, in my opinion, would favour the cultivation of barley, oats, and all sorts of European fruit and vegetables. The summer is warm, and extends to the end of August; the winter differs from our autumn in this only, that there are frequent falls of snow. The population here is estimated at eight hundred males; the females amount probably to a greater number: of the males, about a hundred reside in the isle of Jacobi, and the rest on that of Chichagoff, in Chatham's Strait. They are of a middling stature, have a youthful appearance, and are active and clever. Their hair is lank, strong, and of a jet black; the face round, the lips thick, and the complexion dark, or copper-colour: some of them, and especially the women, if they did not daub themselves with different paints, which injure the skin, would be much fairer. Painting the face, and powdering the hair with eagle's down, are considered as the necessary appendages of beauty. The men cover their body with square pieces of woollen cloth, or bock-skin: some dress themselves in a kind of short pantaloon, and a garment resembling a shirt, but not so large. Their war habit is a buck-skin, doubled and fastened round the neck, or a woollen cuaca, to the upper part of which, in front; iron plates are attached, to defend the breast from a musket-ball. Formerly a sort of coat of arms was worn, made of thin pieces of wood nicely wrought together with the sinews of sea animals, as represented in Plate L Fig. a. The cuacas are not made by the natives, but are furnished by traders from the United States in exchange for sea-otter skins. In the cold season they occasionally wear fur dresses; though woollen cloth is mostly in use. The rich wrap themselves up sometimes in white blankets, manufactured in the country, from the wool of the wild sheep, which is as soft and fine as the Spanish merino. These blankets are embroidered with square figures, and fringed with black and yellow tassels. Some of them are so Curiously worked on one sidie with the fur of the sea-otter, that they appear as if lined with it, and are very handsome.
   Though the Si tea people are brave, they are extremely: cruel to their prisoners; whom they torture to death, or consign to hard labour for life. Their cruelty is chiefly exercised against Europeans. If a European is so unfortunate as to fall into their hands, he will, in general, receive no mercy. On these occasions, men, women, and children, fall upon the poor wretch at once. Some make gashes in his flesh, others pinch or burn him, others cut off an arm or a leg, and others again scalp the head. This last cruelty is also practised upon an enemy, when killed and left on the field of battle. It is performed by the shamans, who first cut the skin round the head, and then pull away the scalp, by the hair. The head is then cut off and thrown away, or stock up any where as a mark. They have fire-arms, as I have already stated, and small cannon, which they obtain from the traders of the United States. Their former instruments of war, such as spears and arrows, are almost wholly out of use.
   The common food of these islanders consists, during the summer, of different sorts of berries, fresh fish, and the flesh of amphibious animals. During the winter they live on dried salmon, train oil, and the spawn of fish, especially that of herrings, of which they always lay in a good stock. On the first appearance of these fish in the springy the people assemble on the coast, and are active in catching them. For taking the spawn, they use the branches of the pine-tree, to which it easily adheres, and on which it is afterwards dried. It is then put into baskets, or holes purposely dug in the ground, till wanted. To this list we may add a particular sort of sea weed, and cakes made of the rind of the larch-tree, which are about a foot square and an inch thick. They roast their meat on sticks, after the Cadiack manner; or boil it in iron, tin, and copper kettles, which they purchase of the Russian settlers, or of chance traders. The rich have European stone-ware, such as dishes, plates, basons, &c.: the poor, wooden basons only, of their own manufacturings and large spoons, made either of wood, or of the horns of the wild sheep (Plate III. Fig. e and f).
   The barabaras of the Sitcan people are of a square form, and spacious. The sides are of planks; and the roof resembles that of a Russian house, except that it has an opening all along the top, of the breadth of about two feet, to let out the smoke. They have no windows; and the doors are so small, that a person must stoop very low to enter. In the middle of the building is a large square hole, in which fire is made. In the houses of the wealthy, this fire-place is fenced round with boards; and the space between the fire-place and the walls partitioned by curtains for the different families of relations, who live together in the same house. Broad shelves are likewise fixed to the sides of the room, for domestic purposes.
   The canoes of these people are made of a light wood, called chaha, which grows to the southward. A canoe is formed out of a single trunk, and is, in some instances, large enough to carry sixty men. I saw several that were forty-five feet long; but the common ones do not exceed thirty feet. When paddled, they go fast in smooth water. The largest are used for war, or for transporting whole families from place to place. The smallest serve for fishing, or other purposes that require but few hands. They are ingeniously constructed.
   The manners and customs of the Sitca people, in general, so nearly resemble those of the island of Cadiack, that a description would be a repetition. The Sitcans appear, however, to be fonder of amusements; for they sing and dance continually. There is also a great difference in their treatment of the dead. The bodies here are burned, and the ashes, together with the bones that remain unconsumed, deposited in wooden boxes, which are placed on pillars, that have different figures painted and carved on them, according to the wealth of the deceased.
   On taking possession of our new settlement, we destroyed a hundred at least of these, and I examined many of the boxes. On the death of a toyon, or other distinguished person, one of his slaves is deprived of life, and burned with him. The same inhuman ceremony is observed when a person of consequence builds a new house; with this difference, that on this occasion the unfortunate victim is simply buried, without being burned. The bodies of those who lose their lives in war are also burned, except the head, which is preserved in a separate wooden box from that in which the ashes and bones are placed. This mode of destroying dead bodies originated, I was informed, in the ridiculous idea, that a piece of the flesh gave to the person who possessed it, the power of doing what mischief he pleased. The body of a shaman is interred only; from another absurd notion, that, being full of the evil spirit, it is not possible to consume it by fire.
   But few arts are to be found amongst these people. They have, however, some skill both in sculpture and painting. On seeing their masks, their different domestic utensils, which are painted, and carved with various figures, and their boxes, the tops of which are curiously inlaid with a shell resembling human teeth, one might suppose these productions the work of a people greatly advanced in civilisation. The custom of painting the face every day, contributes, I have no doubt, to their skill in painting other things. Black, light green, and dark red, are the colours generally preferred. The use of the needle is said to be but little understood by the women. I have seen, however, some of their dresses that were neatly sewed, and extremely well made.
   The Sitca people are not so expert in hunting as the Aleutians. Their principal mode is that of shooting the sea animals as they lie asleep. As they cannot destroy many in this way, the sea-otter abounds in their neighbourhood. The Aleutians, on the contrary, from their skill, are sure to commit dreadful depredations wherever they go. As an example of this, along the coast, from the Bay of Kenay to Cross Sound, where the sea-otter was formerly very common, there is hardly a trace of this valuable animal to be found.
   What I have said of the Sitcans, applies alike to all the inhabitants residing between Jacootat, or Behring's Bay, to the fifty-seventh degree of north latitude, who call themselves Colloshes or Collushes. These people live in different settlements, independent of one another; though they speak. the same language, and are almost all related. They amount to about ten thousand, and are divided into tribes; the principal of which assume to themselves titles of distinction, from the names of the animals they prefer; as, the tribe of the bear, of the eagle, the crow, the porpoise, and the wolf. The tribe of the wolf, are called Coquontans, and have many privileges over the other tribes. They are considered as the best warriors, and are said to be scarcely sensible to pain, {We had an instance of the indifference to pain of this tribe, in a Coquontan lad, of the age of nine or ten years, who was one of our hostages. He was so addicted to theft, that nothing was safe from him. Having tried remonstrances in vain, we at length threatened him with the whip, when, deriding our threats, be bared his bosom to show the many lacerations that had been made in his flesh to harden his feeling: and when under the whip, he continued his derision, without once exhibiting the slightest appearance of suffering.} and to have no fear of death. If in war a person of this, tribe is taken prisoner be is always treated well, and in general is set at liberty. These tribes so greatly intermix, that families of each are found in the, same settlement. These families, however, always live apart; and, to distinguish the cast to which they belong, they place on the top of their houses, carved in wood or painted, the bird or beast that represents it. The different tribes seldom go to war with one another, and are always ready to make common cause, in case of an attack from any strange tribe.
   The Colloshes believe there is a creator of all things in heaven, who, when angry, sends down diseases amongst them. They also believe in a wicked spirit, or devil, whom they suppose to be cruel, and to inflict them with evils through his shamans.
   The right of succession is from uncle to nephew, the dignity of chief toy on excepted, which passes to him who is the most powerful, or has the greatest number of relations. Though the toyons have power over their subjects, it is a very limited power, unless when an individual of extraordinary abilities starts up, who is sure to rule despotically, and, as elsewhere, to do much mischief. These toyons are numerous: even in small settlements there are often four or five.
   A strange custom prevails in this country respecting the female sex. When the event takes place that implies womanhood, they are obliged to submit to have the lower lip cut, and to have a piece of wood, scooped out like a spoon, fixed in the incision. As the young woman grows up the incision is gradually enlarged, by larger pieces of wood being put into it, so that the lip at last projects at least four inches, and extends from side to side to six inches. Though this disfiguring of the face rendered, to our eyes, the handsomest woman frightful, it is considered here as a mark of the highest dignity, and held in such esteem, that the women of consequence strive to bring their lips to as large a size as possible. The piece of wood is so inconveniently placed, that the wearer can neither eat nor drink without extreme difficulty, and she is obliged to be constantly on the watch, lest it should fall out, which would cover her with confusion.



   State of the Weather on leaving Sitca. Number of Sick from Fatigue. Precaution for future Health. Ill Effect from the Use of Bread. Curious Shells. Clouds mistaken for Land. New Disappointments as to the Discovery of Land. Danger of the Ship from grounding on a coral Bank. Discover a new Island. Particulars relating to it. Discover a new Bank. Limit the Crew in their Allowance of Bread. Advice respecting the westerly Winds in the Southern Ocean. Make the Islands of Saypan and Tinian. Encounter a Hurricane. Putrid State of the Ship's Cargo. Loss sustained by it. Enter the Chinese Seas. Arrive at Macao, and meet Captain Krusenstern. Pirates. Macao described. Proceed to Whampoa to dispose of the Neva's Cargo. Chinese Customs relative to Commerce. Repair of the Neva. The Nadejda and Neva detained by Order of the Chinese Government. Services rendered by Mr. Drummond in this Business. The Ships released.

1805. Sept. 1st.

   We sailed out of the harbour of New Archangel, on the 1st of September. At four o'clock in the afternoon we had a light northerly breeze, which however died away, and a thick fog coming on in the night, we dropped anchor when we had passed the Middle Islands, in forty fathoms of water. At six the next morning we again weighed, having a similar breeze from the north; but this also being shortly succeeded by a dead calm, we were obliged to employ all the boats in towing a-head till midnight, when, getting a fresh wind from the north-west, we proceeded in a south-westerly course. I had before taken leave of Mr. Baranoff; but, during the detention of the vessel, he kindly made me another visit. I shall enter into no laboured panegyric of this gentleman, greatly as I admire his character:- but I must observe, in justice to his talents and patriotism, that the Russian company could not have selected a person better qualified for the superintendence of their affairs.


   In the morning of the 5th, the wind shifted to the south-west, but soon returned to its former point. At noon we reached the latitude of 52° 33' north, and the longitude of 139° west. When we quitted the port of New Archangel, we had ten men on the sick list, whereas there were now only two who could not perform duty. So great a number of invalids was occasioned, I have no doubt, by the badness of the weather, and the hard labour my crew had been obliged to perform during the last week, and especially while working the. vessel out of the sound, which occupied more than twenty-four hours, during which no one on board had taken the slightest rest.
   As my people were now habituated to different climates, I was persuaded their health would be good to the end of the voyage; yet, resolving to be on the right side, I laid in, while, at New Archangel, a large stook of sorrel, two casks of which were prepared in the manner of sour crout, as well as an ample supply both of the juice of the hurtle-berry and of the berry itself, which being put into small casks, and the casks filled with water, will keep a long time. There had hitherto been no appearance of scurvy on board, and with these antiscorbutics I had little fear of the disease. Considering, however, the length of the run to Canton, I put the distribution of the provisions for ray crew, under a sort of preventive regulation; and I ordered for their dinner, five days in the week, soup made of salt beef and sorrel, with a requisite allowance of vinegar and mustard, and on the other two days portable and pea-soup mixed; and with their breakfast, on Sunday and Monday, a pint of beer made of essence of malt or of spruce, on Wednesday tea, and on Thursday the hurtle-berry or its juice.
   While at Cadiack, I added to my ship's company two men of that island, and four boys, the offspring of Aleutian mothers by Russian fathers: the first I wanted for managing the bidarka, and the boys I meant to bring up as sailors. For a day or two past the two Cadiack men had complained of a pain in their bowels. Believing this to proceed from the use of bread, to which they were not accustomed, I requested that in future a smaller portion of it might be given them. I understand, that the Russians themselves suffer greatly from this complaint, when, after having lived long upon fish, they return suddenly to bread, though accustomed to the use of it from their infancy.
   On reaching the latitude of 48° if north, and the longitude of 139° 29' west, which was on the 8th, we saw a great number of 8th. sea-bears, and I immediately ordered the cleverest of my people aloft to look out: nothing however was seen, though the weather was fine, and they were on the watch till night


   The sea-bears made their appearance again the next day, though not in so great a number. Judging that we could not be far from their place of concealment, for this species of seal is said never to venture out to sea to any distance, I resolved to discover it if possible; but, towards noon, the wind shifting to the westward, blew so hard, that I was obliged to relinquish my enterprise, and bear southerly.


   On the 14th, when we were in 44° 24' north, and 147° 32' west, we found the whole surface of the sea covered with small triangular shells, not unlike a muscle, but less strong, that were stuck together in bunches, and looked like flowers swimming on the water. Our Cadiack men told me, that these shells were the chief food of the sea-otters, and that they grew on the branches) of inundated trees. Be this as it may, I am firmly persuaded, that during the whole period of time from the 8th instant we were not far from some unknown land.


   On the 16th we had a light breeze from the north-west, and fine weather. At sun-rise a number of small birds were seen flying about the ship. They were white, with patches of black on the back and wings. We had seen several of them the day before, but at a very great distance. At seven in the morning, a man from the fore-top-gallant-mast-head, called out that he saw land to the southward. I immediately sent my ship's master aloft to examine, and he also thought there was land a-head; but a fog coming on, prevented him from ascertaining it. For my part, knowing that we were near the place where captain Portlock caught a sea-calf, I could not help flattering myself that I should make some discovery, and I therefore shaped my course south-south-west till sun-set, when, as the day disappeared, my hopes vanished with it. In reality, we had been, in pursuit of clouds only, which, from their singular appearance at the horizon, had been mistaken for land. The latitude, by observation at noon> was 44° 12' north, and the longitude 151° 4'. west


   In the evening of the 27th we reached the proposed longitude of 165°; and the next day, as no sign of land appeared, where we had most reason to expect it, from having seen an otter in our former passage, I took a more southerly course, deeming it useless to proceed further westward.

October. 2d.

   In the morning of the 2d of October, the north-west wind, which had prevailed for forty-eight hours, died away, and the weather, which had hitherto been pleasant and refreshing, became rather sultry. At four in the afternoon we had lunar observations, by which the longitude was found to be 166° 6' west. The ship being now in the latitude of 36° SO', I steered westerly again, and purposed to continue in that course till we reached the longitude of 180°.


   On the 4th at noon, we observed in latitude 36° 35' north, and longitude 167^ 45' west: shortly after a gale of wind sprung up from the west, and obliged us to bear southward. Knowing from experience, that the westerly winds, when they once set in, continue for a long time, I gave up the idea of reaching the longitude of 180° west, and steered for the Ladrone, or Marianne Islands; in doing which, I took a different track from that of former navigators. In my preceding track, so far from discovering any thing like land, I can safely affirm, that between the latitudes of 42° and 36° 25', and the longitudes of 165° and 168°, we did not see a bird or animal of any kind, though the weather was fine the whole time.
   We had now light airs and calms, which, from the prospect of; their continuance, almost disheartened us. Fro

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