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supposed origin, and the peculiarities of the people by whom they are respectively inhabited.
The Marquesas were first visited in 1595 by a Spanish navigator, Alvaro Mendana de Neyra, who, in compliment to a man of rank, gave them the name which they continue to bear. They extend about two hundred miles in a north-west and south-east direction, and are situated between lat. 10° 30' and 7° 50' S., and long. 139° and 141° W. A wide channel divides them into two groups, of which the south-eastern contains five, and the south-western eight; the latter, having been seen by the Americans in 1797, are sometimes denominated Washington Islands. An elevated ridge of mountains pervades them all in the direction of their length, and in the larger ones rises to an elevation of 2000 or 3000 feet. These eminences have on both sides high offsets or branches, which extend to the shores of the ocean, and thus divide the low land into valleys, which have no communication with one another except across the intervening hills. The coast is rocky, steep, and beaten by a continual surf; there being no coral reef to protect it from the heavy surge which characterizes the Pacific. There
are, however, numerous harbours in both sections of the Marquesas, especially those of Anna Maria and Comptroller's Bay, to which may be added the one named Resolution, to commemorate the arrival of the celebrated Cook.
The climate, though somewhat hot, is considered very healthy. The thermometer ranges from 60° to 80° of Fahrenheit; and when the sun is northward of the equator, there is usually abundance of rain. Thunderstorms rarely occur. As might be anticipated, the prevailing wind is from the east, more especially during the autumnal months; but northern breezes are not uncommon in summer, while in winter they proceed generally from the south-west. The fruit-trees are chiefly the cocoa-nut, bread-fruit, and papaw, a species of fig, though the habit cultivate bananas, plantains, and sweet-potatoes. Their garments are derived from the bark of the mulberry-tree, in preference to cotton, which grows in abundance, and is greatly superior to that cultivated in other parts of the South Sea. Sugar and tobacco might also be produced in large quantities, as the plants are strong, and of an excellent quality.
There is no doubt that the natives are of the same lineage with the other tribes who occupy the neighbouring islands, as far westward at least as the Fijees; of which their language and bodily conformation supply the most undoubted proof. Their complexion resembles the colour of dark copper; the women presenting a tint considerably lighter than that of the men. Some of the earlier navigators speak highly of their figure, as being a perfect model of symmetry in the human frame; but later travellers do not confirm this opinion, while it is admitted that the difference of stature is greater among them than in any other part of the world. They excel in the art of tattooing the body, the persons of some of their chiefs being covered all over with regular figures of the most tasteful patterns. It is to be regretted, at the same time, that they still labour under the horrible imputation of being cannibals, both when they feel inclined to glut their revenge after a battle, and also on certain occasions when superstition may seem to warrant the gratification of their unnatural appetite,
It is much to be regretted that the first European visiters did not teach them by example either forbearance or self-denial. When the squadron under Mendana approached the coast of the island, which he afterwards called Santa Christina, the natives, in their canoes or by swimming, presented themselves to the number of seventy at the side of his ships. As their manners were gentle and unobtrusive, the admiral resolved to send a boat ashore for the purpose of examining the new country to which fortune had carried him; and intrusting this duty to Manriquez, one of his officers, he waited the issue with some degree of anxiety. The Spaniard advanced with military music, hoping thereby to attract a greater degree of attention ; but the inhabitants, alarmed,
perhaps, at this unwonted display of power, did not stir from their houses till they were called, when about three hundred, men and women, obeyed the summons in the quietest manner. Being desired to bring water, they produced a small quantity in cocoa-nut shells, and likewise fruit of various kinds. The soldiers requiring more water, put into the hands of the ignorant savages several jars or pitchers which they had brought with the intention of procuring a supply of this necessary of life; and the simple people, either imagining that they were allowed to keep them, or yielding to the thievish propensity which persons in their primitive condition have been always found to manifest, carried away the coveted vessels. Manriquez ordered his men to fire upon them; a cruel and injudicious resolution to inflict a severe punishment where there was no real crime.
Three days afterwards, Mendana himself landed, having brought his squadron to anchor in the harbour. Mass was immediately celebrated on the shore ; a spectacle which, though it arrested the attention of the natives, called not forth any observation, nor led to any movement on their part. The commander next proceeded to take formal possession of their island, in the name of the king,—a ceremony seldom omitted at that period; and, being desirous of establishing a friendly intercourse with them, he sowed some Indian corn wherever the soil seemed most likely to yield a suitable return. But he had no sooner retired to his ship than Manriquez found himself again involved in a dispute with the inhabitants. He opened upon them a fire of musketry, by which many of them were killed, and drove the remainder, with their wives and children, into the woods. This severe chastisement compelled them to make submission; and a more confidential communication being renewed, they at length separated, with a better opinion of each other's motives, if not with an entirely amicable feeling.
Captain Cook was the next discoverer who touched those remote shores. On the 7th April 1774, he reached duced ;
Resolution Bay, or the Madre de Dios of Mendana, and was soon approached by a considerable number of canoes. Instinctive caution, or perhaps a traditionary fear of white men, kept them at some distance, notwithstanding the invitations of the English commander. At length the powerful eloquence of a valuable gift brought one of the skiffs under the quarter-gallery; the rest followed, and an active barter for provisions immediately commenced. It was remarked, however, that each canoe had in its bow a heap of stones, and every man a sling in his hand. Next day, their confidence was so well established, that a more ample supply of food was pro
but as they showed the usual disposition to cheat, a musket was fired over the head of an individual who seemed to encourage the others in their attempts at injustice. Unfortunately, upon an act of theft being detected, a shot was fired which proved fatal, and hence an immediate stop was put to all farther intercourse. The captain, desirous to remove the unfavourable impression produced by this accident, held an interview with the chiefs, who, receiving his explanation in good part, consented to the renewal of their traffic; but as the demand for trinkets and nails had been fully supplied, it became manifest to the foreigners that no beneficial trade could be carried on without a greater variety of commodities. They therefore left the Marquesas after a visit of only four days.
Passing over the brief visit of Le Marchand in 1784, we proceed to mention, that, in March 1792, the Dædalus store-ship, on her voyage from England to join Vancouver, arrived at Santa Christina, or, as it is not unusually denominated Ohittahoo. The commanding officer found the islanders as much addicted as before to appropriate whatever caught their fancy, and, in particular, every thing made of iron. They began by purloining the buoy of one of the anchors; but they considerately left a piece of wood in its stead, which enabled the crew to recover the anchor itself. The lieutenant went ashore, with four men, in search of water, on which occasion
the natives stole the buckets, and even snatched a fowling-piece from his hands. On returning to his boat, moreover, he found that they had cut away the
grapnel by which it was fastened. All this he endured with the greatest patience; and, on regaining his boat, he rowed close to the shore, and merely fired over their heads a volley of small arms, which so alarmed them, that they fled with the utmost precipitation to the woods, with the exception of one resolute individual, who, in defiance of their overwhelming strength, threw_stones at the crew. Instead of shooting this hero, the English sailors, admiring his courage, allowed him to retire unmolested. At length, however, the Dædalus discharged a few cannonshot over the village; upon which the terrified inhabitants filed in all directions to the hills, where they concealed themselves till night, when one of them swam off to the ship with a green bough wrapped in white cloth, which he threw on deck as a token of peace,-a consummation which was happily effected without the loss of a single life.
As a proof that the savages were in earnest, they joined the lieutenant next morning when he went to the watering-place, and, of their own accord, assisted him to fill the casks. The grapnel, the fowling-piece, and a theodolite which had been also stolen, were recovered after a little peaceful negotiation. It is true, at the same time, that a vigilant eye was necessary to prevent a repetition of similar freedoms, whenever a crowd was allowed to assemble on board ; for the chiefs, who witnessed numerous attempts to abstract valuable property, wanted either authority or inclination to repress the marauders. But the Dædalus in due time departed, leaving on the minds of the people a favourable impression of the British character.*
In the year 1798, the Duff proceeded from Tongata
Maritime Discovery and Christian Missions considered in their mutual Relations. By John Campbell (8vo, Lond. 1840), p. 112. See also “ Wilson's Voyage of the Dædalus," a work which contains many interesting details.