Billeder på siden

from Tahiti, in a small schooner; but, owing to contrary winds, they landed at Lord Hood's Island.

June 21.-John Buffett, and the others on Lord Hood's Island, embarked in the French frigate Bordeaux Packet, and on the 27th landed at Pitcairn's Island. During our absence our hogs have gone wild, and destroyed our crops. After we returned, we employed ourselves in destroying the hogs.

“1838, November 29.-Arrived, H. M. S. Fly, Captain Russell Elliott, with a present from Rev. Mr. Rowlandson and congregation at Valparaiso. Captain Elliott proposed electing a chief-magistrate, which was adopted; and Edward Quintal was chosen.

“ This island was taken possession of by Captain Elliott, on behalf of the Crown of Great Britain, on the 29th of November, 1838.

“1839, November 9.- Arrived, H. M. S. Sparrowhawk, Captain J. Shepherd. The captain, several officers, and Gen. Friere, ex-president of Chili, landed. In the af

[ocr errors]

ternoon the school-children were examined, and received the approbation of our respected visitors. Captain Shepherd afterward divided some valuable presents among them.

“10.-Captain Shepherd and his officers attended divine service twice. At 5 P. M. they went on board. They sailed on the 12th.

“1840, February 8.-Mrs. Nobbs received a severe contusion on the shoulder, by the falling of a cocoa-nut from the tree.

February 13.—Moses Young fell from a cocoa-nut tree, at least forty feet high, and was but slightly injured.

“1841, August 18.—Arrived, H. M. S. Curaçoa, Captain Jenkin Jones; and a most opportune arrival it was, for there were at least twenty cases of influenza among us.” The register goes on to describe the valuable services rendered by Captain Jones and the surgeon of the ship, Dr. Gunn. The Curaçoa sailed on the 20th.

September 19.—Died, Isabella, a native of Tahiti, relict of Fletcher Christian, of the Bounty. Her age was not known;

[ocr errors]

but she frequently said she remembered Captain Cook arriving at Tahiti.

“1843, March 4.-Eleven of the inhabitants sailed in the bark America, for the purpose of exploring Elizabeth Island.

“5.- Arrived, H.M.S. Talbot, Captain Sir T. Thompson, Bart. After remaining on shore, and adjusting some of the most pressing judicial cases presented to him, he went on board, and sailed for Valparaiso.

“11.-Bark America returned from Elizabeth Island, our people bringing a very unfavourable report of it.

“1844, July 28.- Arrived, H. M. S. Basilisk, Captain Henry Hunt, bringing presents from the British government.

“1845, January 19.—During the last week we have been employed in fishing up two of the Bounty's large guns. For fiftyfive years they have been deposited at the bottom of the sea, on a bed of coral, guiltless of blood during the time so many thousands of mankind became, in Europe, food for cannon. But on Saturday last, one of the guns resumed its natural vocation-at least the innoxious portion of it—to wit, pouring forth fire and smoke, and causing the island to reverberate with its bellowing; the other gun is condemned to silence, having been spiked by some one in the Bounty.

“1845, April 16.”—The diary of this date contains a striking description of a storm, which, bursting over the island, greatly alarmed the inhabitants. A considerable portion of the earth was detached from the side of the hill situate at the head of a ravine, and carried into the sea; about 300 cocoa-nut trees were torn up by the roots, and borne along with it; a yam-ground, containing 1000 yams, totally disappeared; several fishing-boats were destroyed, and large pieces of rock were found blocking up the harbour in several parts. In the interior, all the plantain patches were levelled, and about 4000 plantain-trees destroyed, one-half in full bearing, the other designed for the year 1846. “So that,” says the annalist, “this very valuable article of food we shall be without for a long time. The fact is, that from this date until August, we shall be pinched for food. But God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb; and we humbly trust that the late monitions of Providence, namely, drought, sickness, and storm, which severally have afflicted us this year, may be sanctified to us, and be the means of bringing us, one and all, into a closer communion with our God. May we remember the rod, and who hath appointed it. May we flee to the cross of Christ for safety and succour in every time of need, always bearing in mind that our heavenly Father doth not willingly afflict the children of men."

The details which follow, respecting a serious accident to the pastor's eldest son, Reuben E. Nobbs, which resulted in what appears to be confirmed lameness, are so characteristic of the kind and brotherly feeling subsisting in the island, that they must be quoted in full.

“1847, February 20.—This afternoon, as Reuben Nobbs was out in the mountain, shooting goats, his foot slipped, and he let fall his musket, which exploded and wounded him severely. The ball entered a little

« ForrigeFortsæt »