The behaviour of the Officers on this Occasion was dastardly beyond description none of them ever making the least attempt to rescue the ship which would have been effected had any attempt been made by one of them as some of those who were under arms did not know what they were about, and Robt. Lamb who I found Centry at the fore Hatchway when I first came on Deck went away in the Boat & Isaac Martin had laid his arms down & gone into the boat but had been Ordered out again.
Their passive obedience to Mr. Christians orders even surprized himself and he said immediately after the boat was gone that something more than fear had posessd them to suffer themselves to be sent away in such a manner without offering to make resistance. When the Boat Put off Mr. Stuart and Mr. Heywood who had been Confined in their birth came up and Mr. Christian related the Cause of this sad affair to the following effect—Finding himself much hurt by the treatment he had received from Mr. Bligh, he had determined to quit the ship the preceeding evening, and informed the Boatswain, Carpenter, Mr. Stuart and Mr. Hayward of his resolution who supplied Him with some Nails, Beads and part of a roasted pig with some other articles which He put into a bag which He got from Mr. Hayward (the bag was produced and I knew it to be the same which I had made for Mr. Hayward some time before), the bag was put into the Clue of Robt. Tinklers hammock, where he found it at Night; but the Matter was then Smothered, & passd off—he also made fast some staves to a stout Plank which lay on the larboard Gangway, with which he intended to make his escape; but finding he could not effect it in the first and Middle Watches, as the people were all a stirring, he went to sleep about half past three in the Morning.
When Mr. Stuart calld him to relieve the Watch he had not Slept long, and was much out of order, & Stuart begd him not to attempt swimming away, saying 'the People are ripe for any thing', this made a forcible impression on his mind & finding that Mr. Hayward the Mate of his Watch (with whom he refused to discourse) soon went to sleep on the Arm Chest which stood between the Guns, and Mr. Hallet not making his appearance, He at once resolved to seize the ship and disclosing his Intention to Quintrell and Martin, they Calld up Churchill, and Thompson who put the business in practice and with Smith, Williams & McCoy He went to Coleman and demanded the Keys of the Arm Chest (which Coleman the Armourer always kept) saying he wanted a Musquet to shoot a shark which happend to Come alongside; and finding Mr. Hallet asleep on the Arm Chest he roused him and sent him on Deck the keys were Instantly procured and His party armd, as were all the rest who stood in his way, without their knowing for what purpose. In the Mean time Norman had Waked Mr. Hayward to look after the shark, at which He was busy when Mr. Christian Came up the fore Hatchway with his party, he left [Th]ompson to take Care of the Arm Chest, arming Burket [an]d Lamb at the Hatch way and Commanding Mr. Hayward and Mr. Hallet to be silent He proceeded to Secure Lieut. Bligh, whom He brought on Deck placing two Centrys at the Masters Cabbin door to keep him in, and keep the Gunner & Mr. Nelson in the Cockpit and proceeded as before described.
About 9 o Clock a Breeze sprang up and sails were trimmd. When asking the Oppinion of His party, it was agreed to steer for Taheite & Stood to ye S.W. When Mr. Christian had related as above I then Recollected seeing him Make the staves fast to the Plank the night before, and hearing the Boatswain say to the Carpenter 'It wont do to night', and afterwards seeing Mr. Stuart and Mr. Christian several times up and down the Fore Cock pit where the Boatswains and Carpenters Cabbins were, and where Mr. C. seldom or ever went.
At Noon Toofoa bore N E 10 Leagues the Boat out of sight under the Land.
Mr. Christian having as beforesaid determined on his Rout Hauld to the Southward in order to proceed to Taheite toutching at Toobouai in his Way, and Having devided what men that remaind on board into two watches, he Appointed G. Stuart to the Charge of one, and kept the other himself, and ordered Me to take Charge of the Stores and Act as Boatswain, Thos. McIntosh as Carpenter and Jno. Mills as Gunner, however this is not to be considered as a point of authority and was for no other purpose but that of taking Care of the Stores and that He might have some person to Call on in these departments evry one doing their duty alike and obeying his orders—and Here it may not be Improper to explain the Affair more Clearly by giving a list of those who went in the Boat as well as what remained.
Those who went in the Boat were Those who remaind in the Ship were 1. Wm. Bligh - Lieut. & Commander 1. Fletcher Christian - Act. Lieut. Jno. Fryer - Master Geo. Stuart - Mid Wm. Elphinstone - Master's Mate Edward Young - Mid Wm. Cole - Boatswain Peter Heywood - Mid 5. Wm. Purcill - Carpenter 5. Jas. Morrison - Boatswains Mate Wm. Peckover - Gunner Thos. McIntosh - Carpenters Crew Thos. Hayward - Mid Jno. Mills - Gunners Mate Jno. Hallet - Mid Chas. Norman - Carpenters Mate Jno. Samuel - Clerk Isaac Martin - Ab 10. Thos. Ledward - Surgeons Mate 10. Chas. Churchill - Master at Arms Robt. Tinkler - Mid Josh. Coleman - Armourer Jno. Norton - Qr. Master Willm. Muspratt - Captains Steward Peter Linkletter - Qr. Master Jno. Sumner - Ab Geo. Simpson - do. Mate Jno. Williams - Ab 15. Lawce. Labogue - Sail Maker 15. Jno. Millward - Ab Jno. Smith - Captains Cook Wm. McCoy - Ab Thos. Hall - Ships Cook Mathw. Thompson - Ab Robt. Lamb - Butcher Mathw. Quintrell - Ab 19. David Nelson - Botanist Alexr. Smith - Ab in all 19 20. Thos. Burkett - Qr. Gunner Heny. Heildbrandt - Cooper Michl. Byrn (blind) - Ab Richd. Skinner - Masters Servant Thos. Ellison (a boy) - Ab 25. Wm. Brown - Botanists Assistant in all Twenty five
By this statement it appears that the party who remained on board was stronger than the one that went in the boat if however we consult Capt. Bligh's narrative we shall find by his own account, that several of those who continued in the ship were averse to it. and called to him after he was in the Launch to take notice that they had no hand in the Mutiny — several others, (some of whom in the hurry and confusion of the Business he might not have taken notice of) requested to accompany him but his answer was —for Gods sake my Lads don't any more of you come into the boat— and it was under the sanction of Capt. Bligh's promise to do them justice if he should reach England that many were induced to continue with Christian.
By these Lists it would appear that Mr. Christian had the strongest party, which however was not the Case as Lieut. Bligh himself must, and has already acknowledged, but the Fact was that none seemd Inclined to dispute the superiority and Mr. Christian at the Head of Eight or Nine Men was permitted to proceed as before described, and even after the Boat was gone some of them hardly knew what part they had acted in the Business. May 2, 1789 Mr. Christian now finding Himself Master of the Ship ordered the Plants to be thrown overboard to Clear the Cabbin which was finishd by the 1st or 2nd of May and the Effects of the Officers were Collected into it with the Taheite & Friendly Island Cloth & Curiositys, and Himself took possession of Mr. Blighs Cabbin.
May, 1789. As I had reason to beleive from the Countenance of Affairs that the Ship might yet be recovered if a party could be formd and as I knew that several on board were not at all pleased with their situation, I fixd on a Plan for that purpose and soon gaind several to back my oppinion, when We purposed to take the Opportunity of the Night the ship should anchor at Taheite when we could easily get rid of those we did not like by putting them on shore, and that in all probability our design might be favoured by an extra allowance of Grog.
These matters being settled I had no doubt but that evry one would stand to the test; and to prevent the others from knowing our design affected a shyness toward each other, but I soon found to my unspeakable surprize that Mr. Christian was acquainted with our Intentions, some of his party overhearing some part of the Business—but as he was not positive how many were Conserned he took no further Notice then threatning Coleman that he should be left on shore at Toobouai till the Ship returnd from Taheite and Got the Arm Chest into the Cabbin taking the Keys from Coleman who had always kept them; they were now given to Churchill who made his bed on the Chest and each of Mr. Christian's party were Armd with a Brace of Pistols, Mr. Christian himself never going without a Pistol in his pocket, the same which Lieut. Bligh formerly used, and a sharp look out was kept by his party one of which took care to make a third when they saw any two in Conversation.
On the 9th being in the Latitude of 30° South the wind shifted to the Westward in a heavy squall which split the Fore topsail; this was the first accident of the kind we experienced during the voyage, and was Chiefly owing to the sails being much worn, however it was soon replaced and the Wind continued fair till we made Toobouai which happend on the 28th May. Map
During this passage Mr. Christian Cut up the old Studding sails to make Uniforms for All hands, taking his own for edging, observing that nothing had more effect on the mind of the Indians as a uniformity of Dress, which by the by has its effect among Europeans as it always betokens disipline especially on board British Men of War.
When we got in with the Island the Small cutter was sent with Geo. Stuart to examine the reef, and find the Opening discribed by Captain Cook. While he was on this duty He was attack'd by a number of the Natives in a Canoe who boarded him and Carried off a Jacket and some other things, Having no Arms but a brace of Pistols one of which miss'd fire, and they were not Certain that the other did execution, the Natives were armd with long spears which became useless at Close quarters by which means the boats Crew escaped being hurt and the natives being frightend by the report of the Pistol May 29, 1789 made off—when the Cutter Came to a Grapnell to mark the Passage for the Ship which got in and anchord in the afternoon of the 29th and next morning weighd and warpd in to a sandy Bay, mooring with one Bower & the Kedge in 3 1/2 fathom two Cables length from the Shore.
The Natives now began to assemble on the Beach and numbers flockd round the Ship in their Canoes, but were at first very shy, paddling round and blowing their Conch shells, of which they had one or two in evry Canoe; after viewing the Ship they Paddled on shore to those on the Beach who appeard armd with Clubbs & Spears of a shining black wood with a number of Conchs blowing, their dress being red and white, gave them a formidable appearance. They kept off all day, and all we could say to perswade them (tho they seemd to speak the Taheite language) to come on board was of no use.
Next morning we observed their numbers to be much Increased both in Men & Canoes, which had arrived in the Night and at last an Old Man whom we supposed was a Chief came on board—who appeard to view evry thing he saw with astonishment and appeard frightend at the Hogs Goats Dog &ca, starting back as any of them turnd towards him. Mr. Christian made him several presents, and He went on Shore seemingly satisfied promissing to return again, but we supposed that His Visit was not for the purpose of Friendship as he had been particular in Counting our number, and the arms were therefore Got to Hand that we might be in readyness to receive the promised visit, and their ferocious aspects gave us plainly to understand in what manner we might expect it. About noon we observed them making a stir upon the Beach and launching their Canoes which were filld with Men, and soon moved toward the Ship, amongst them was a double Canoe full of weomen neatly dressd and their heads & necks decorated with flowers & Pearl shells, as they approachd the ship they stood up & beat time to a song which was Given by one of them, which appear'd to be a person of some Consequence and who we after wards found was the daughter of a Chief, they were all young and handsom having fine long hair which reachd their Waists in waving ringlets.
They Came on board without Ceremony being in number 18 & the men who paddled the Canoe were 6, five of which followed. Meantime about 50 Canoes mannd with 15 or 20 men each paddled round on the other side, Closing in and blowing their Conchs; on this we supposed that the weomen had been sent as a Snare to Catch us with as they Came so readily on board but being on our Guard which they Observed & having Changed our dress they were disappointed and made no attempt.
The Weomen were treated with civility and presents made to each but the men who followd them began to steal evry thing they Could lay hands on, one of them took the Card off the Compass, the Glass being broke, but being observed by Mr. Christian while he was secreting it, he took it from Him, but not before it was torn, as he refused to part with it and being a stout fellow a Scuffel ensued; however he was worsted & Mr. Christian gave him two or three smart stripes with a ropes end and sent Him into the Canoe, the others who had not been Idle followed Him as did the Weomen which we did not think prudent to detain. When they put off those in the Canoes began to shew their Weapons which till now they Had kept conceald, brandishing them with many threatning Gestures and one of them Getting hold of the Buoy cut it away, and was paddling off with it, when he was observed by Mr. Christian who fired a Musket at Him, & a four pounder being fired with Grape, they all paddled to the Shore.
The Boats were now mand to follow them, but on Coming to the Beach the landing was vigourously disputed by them plying the Boats smartly with Stones, not seeming to pay any attention to the Musquets till they found some fall, when they took to the Wood and in a few Moments were all out of sight. As they Had left several Canoes on the Beach Mr. Christian ordered them to be towd off, and made fast astern of the Ship, thinking to make them Instrumental in making Peace, but the Wind Coming to the N W, and the Canoes filling, they broke adrift in the night and drove on shore and as the Natives made no further Appearance they were sufferd to remain there.
We found a number of Cords in the Canoes which we supposd were intended for to bind us with, had they succeeded in their plan, and this we afterwards found to be the purpose for which they were brought. This Bay lies on the N W part of the Island abreast of the Opening (the only one in the Reef) described by Captain Cook, and we Calld it from this time Bloody Bay.
On the Morning of the 30th the Natives not Appearing, the Boats were Mand and Arm'd and went round to the East end of the Island Carrying a White flag in the Bow of One and a Union Jack in the other. Mr. Christian landed in Several places leaving presents of hatchets &c. in their Houses, but Saw none of the Natives, tho He made diligent search, and was forced to return without seeing one.
Next Morning the 31st some of them came down, and hauld the Canoes up at which they were not disturbed; they retired before the Boat Could reach the Shore,—a Boat was sent to land a young Goat & two pigs which were sickly and returned without seeing any of ye Natives and the anchors being Weighd We put to Sea Steering to the N N E for Taheite.
Mr. Christian having formd a resolution of settling on this Island, determined to return again as soon as he could procure sufficient stock of Hogs Goats & Poultry of which we Saw None on the Island, tho Breadfruit Cocoa Nuts & Plantains were to appearance Plenty; to this he was the more Inclined as the Island was scarce 18 Miles in Circumference, and he supposed the Inhabitants to be but few which he had hopes of bringing into friendship either by perswasion or force: and as the Anchorage for Ships is not enticeing, he Judged that none would make Choise of this Island while they Could reach Taheite and that He would be permitted to live here in peace, which was all he Now desired knowing that he had taken such steps as had for ever debar'd him from returning to England or any Civilized Place, & dream't of nothing but Settling at Toobouai. However I cannot say that ever I agreed in Oppinion With Mr. Christian with respect to the plan he had formd nor did I ever form a favourable Idea of the Natives of Toobouai whose savage aspect & behaviour could not gain favour in the Eyes of any Man in his senses, but was fully capable of Creating a distaste in any one.
June, 1789. On the Passage Map He Gave orders that no man should tell the name of the Island, or mention It to the Natives and if any person was found to mention the real name he would punish Him severely and declared if any Man diserted he would shoot him as soon he was brought back, which promise evry one knew he had in his power to perform and having appointed his own Party to keep Constant Guard, he distributed the trade amongst all Hands disiring them to make the Best Market they Could, as it was to be the last they would ever have the Opportunity of making. He also made several distributions of the Cloaths &c which had been left by the Officers & Men who went in the Boat, these were made out in lotts by Churchill & were drawn for by ticketts, but it always happend that Mr. Christian's party Were always better served then these who were thought to be disaffected, however as they had different views No Notice was taken of it at present.
On the 6th of June we anchord in Mataavye Bay when the Natives flockd on board in great Numbers; they were glad to see us and Enquired where the rest were, and what had brought us back so soon, where we had left the Plants as they knew our stay had been too Short to have reachd home from the account we had formerly given them of the distance. To all these Questions Mr. Christian answerd them that We had met Captain Cook who had taken Mr. Bligh and the others with the Plants & the Longboat and had sent us for Hogs Goats &c for a New Settlement which the King had sent him to make which he described to be on New Holland. This being made known to the People none dared to Contradict what he said, knowing if they said any thing Contrary it would soon reach his ears, as the Taheiteans are not remarkable for keeping secrets. But if this had not been the Case there were few who Could explain the Matter properly as they were not so well versed in the language.
While we lay here the Armourer was set to work to make trade, and Churchill & Myself were sent on Shore to purchace Hogs Goats &c. Meanwhile Mr. Christian entertaind the Chiefs on board plying them with Wine & Arrack of which they became very fond—and evry one on board was busey purchacing Stock and Provisions for them and altho the general oppinion when we saild before was that we had impovrishd the Island we were now Convinced that they Had not Missd what we got as we now found the Country full of Hogs and they which before had been kept out of sight & they appeard now better able to supply a Fleet then they seemd before to supply our single Ship and the demand for Iron Work increased so fast, that the Armourer Could not supply them tho Constantly employd and there was a tolerable good stock ready made found in the Ship which had not been expended during our former Stay.
On the 10th Willm. McCoy, being Centinal, fired upon a number of the natives who throngd the Gan[g]way and did not get so fast out of His way as he thought proper, but as no damage was done no notice was taken of it, and on the night of the 14th Churchill observing a Canoe ahead of the Ship haild her but getting no answer he fired at them and they paddled off.
It may here be observed that Mr. Christians account of Himself passd very well with the Natives, who had not yet been informd of Captain Cooks Death, Mr. Bligh having given orders that no person should mention his death, but tell the Natives that He was yet alive in England and that He would probably Come again to Taheite, and as Mr. Christian informd them that He would Come to Taheite as soon as he had settled the Country which he Calld Wytootacke, they were perfectly satisfied, and as they were more intent on trading then any thing else they made but few enquiries, and thought little about it.
The ship remained here till the 16th Map during which time we were plentifully supplyd with evry necessary by the Natives our old friends nor do I think they would have thought any worse of us had they known the truth of the Story or been any way shy of supplying us as Mr. Christian was beloved by the whole of them but on the Contrary none liked Mr. Bligh tho they flatterd him for His Riches, which is the Case among polishd Nations those in power being always Courted.
The grand object of these people is Iron and like us with Gold it matters not by what means they get it or where it comes from if they can but get it.
By the 16th we had Mustered about 460 Hogs, Mostly breeders, 50 Goats and a quantity of Fowles, a few dogs & Cats; and for a Few red feathers we got the Bull and Cow on which they set little store. With these and a quantity of Provisions for present Use we prepared for Sea Having on board 9 Men 8 Boys 10 Weomen & one female Child, some of which hid themselves below till we were at sea, when having shortend in the Cable the Ship drove and droping near the Dolphin Bank we were forced to Cut away the Anchor and Make sail. When we were out a number made their appearance, among which was Heteeheete & Several of our old friends, and Mr. Christian finding it too late to put them on Shore, at the request of some of His party he Consented to proceed to sea with them but told them they would Never See Taheite again— at which they seemd perfectly easey and satisfied never betraying the least sign of Sorrow for leaving their friends nor did I observe that they ever repined afterwards. Map
The Weather proving rough during the Passage the Bull who could not keep his feet and would not lay down received several falls which kill'd Him, we having no method of slinging Him and his weight being more than he Could support, and we were forced to heave him overboard, Jun 23, 1789 but altho the Hogs & Goats were trampling over each other for want of room, we lost but four hogs & one Goat during the passage, and arrived with the rest in Good Order, anchoring in Bloody Bay on the 23rd. Map
The Pidgeons were now let loose and a Pair of them went on shore but never returnd. We now found the Natives quite Friendly, and they appeard a different people, coming on board in a peaceable manner without Weapons or Conch Shells, or the least appearance of Hostility; which induced Mr. Christian to land the Cow and two Hundred hogs on the Island, at the Sight of which the Natives were more terrified then they had been before at the Fire Arms; the remainder of the Stock were landed on the Keys where we Could more Conveniently Visit them but those landed on the Island were Sufferd to take their Chance.
Landing the Stock took up several days and in the mean time our Taheiteans, Come fast into the Toobouai tongue, served us as Interpreters and they soon made friends with the Natives, who Informd us that Eleven Men and a Woman had been killd in the Affair at Bloody bay, who they said belongd to a Chief on the East part of the Island Calld Tinnarow; as we had only seen two fall we were forced to take their Words. They also shewd us some of the Musquet Balls which had struck the Toa trees and fell down which they wore round their Necks in a string.
July, 1789. The Chief of this part of the Island Calld Tummotoa made Mr. Christian his Friend after the Manner of the Island. Mr. Christian going on Shore to his house when he was taken to the Morai and seated on a large parcel of Cloth placed there for the purpose, and surrounded by all the Chiefs relations and the Heads of Familys subject to him or belonging to his District—the Chief first made a long speech presenting him with a young Plantain tree (which here is the Emblem of Peace) and a root of Yava Saluting him by the Name of Tummotoa, it being the Custom to exchange Names on making friends; his relations came next in rotation, each performing the like Ceremony, but with this difference, that each of them presented him with a piece of Cloth besides the plantain & Yava—after them Came the landed men each attended by a Man (to the Number of 50) loaded with two basketts of Provisions, and a piece of Cloth, the Provisions Consisted of Fish raw & dressd, Breadfruit, Tarro, Plantains, Cocoa Nuts &c—all which were placed before him, the Weomen of the Chiefs family Came Next followed in like Manner, and when all was finish'd the Men took the Cloth, Provisions & Yava and Carried them to the Boats, the Chief coming on board with Mr. Christian Where he remaind all night most part of which he spent in prayer at Mr. Christian's bed side. In the morning Mr. Christian made him several presents Consisting of Hatchets, red feathers, Taheite Cloth, & Matting, with which he seemd highly pleased but seemd to value the Red feathers more then all the rest.
Mr. Christian now went on shore with him, in order to pitch upon a place to fix his residence in but finding none to please him in Tummotoas district he went to the Next to the Eastward, which belongd to a Chief Calld Taroatihoa who was not in alliance with Tummotoa, but received Mr. Christian in a Friendly manner and invited him to Come to his land when he knew his Intention, desiring him to bring the Ship up and make Choice of any part of His district which offer Mr. Christian accepted as he had observed a Spot which he thought would answer his purpose, and exchanged Names accordingly.
This made Tummotoa Jealous, and he did all he Could to perswade Mr. Christian not to go; but finding he could not he grew angry —Mr. Christian promised him that he would still be his friend, which however did not satisfy him, and He and Tinnarow combined together against the new alliance prohibiting their Subjects from coming to the Ship, or having any intercourse with Mr. Christian who endeavoured to win them with presents but without any effect, but as he was bent on pursuing his own plan He took no notice of their proceedings at present, tho by their prohibiting their people from Coming to the Ship, the Supplys of Provisions were much reduced, and Taroatihoas district being small, Could not supply us with as much as we wanted. Mr. Christian went several times to Tinnarows but Could never obtain an interview, as both him & his dependants always fled on his approach—and he now determined to fix himself on shore before he attempted any thing further and gave the necessary orders respecting the frugal expence of Sea provisions, and the Care of the Stock.
He Now thought of nothing but getting on Shore to live and having fix'd on a place about 4 miles to the Easward of the Opening, prepared to warp the Ship up to it as fast as possible but this prov'd a laborious task, the Water being shoal, and the passage so beset by patches of Coral Rock that it was impossible to proceed in a direct line and the Sea Breeze which sets in about 10 or 11 in the fore Noon and blows till Near 4 in the After Noon frequently stopd us. Nor were our boats by any means calculated to Carry long warps and anchors, the largest being only a light Cutter of 20 feet. After we had got about halfway, it became necessary to lighten the Ship, by starting the Water; but that not being sufficient the Booms & Spars were got out and Moord at a Grapnel, but it Coming on to blow fresh they went adrift and we saw them no more which however Mr. Christian though[t] no great loss as he never intended to go to Sea any More.
On the 8th of July we reachd the place appointed & Moord the Ship with both bowers (head & stem) in 3 fathoms, the Eastermost point of the Island in Sight bearing E S E and the Westermost Key N b E, offshore half a Cables length, unbent the sails and Struck the Top Gallant Yards & Masts.
On the 10th Mr. Christian went on Shore to make Choice of His Ground to build a Fort on, and pitchd on the Spot abreast of the ship and received permission from the Chief Taroatihoa (Who Met him there) to make what use of it he thought proper. On his return on board he found that Jno. Sumner and Mathew Quintrell were gone on shore without leave and did not return till next morning; when He Calld them aft and enquired how they come to go on shore without his leave they answerd 'the Ship is Moord and we are now our own Masters,' upon which he Clap'd a Pistol to one of their heads (which he always kept in his pocket) and said 'I will let you know who is Master', and ordered them both legs in Irons.
This resolute behaviour convinced them that He was not to be playd with, and when they were brought up next day, they beg'd Pardon and promised to behave better for the future on which they were released. However to prevent the like happening again he gave liberty for two hands to sleep on shore each night and as many as pleased to go on shore evry Sunday. He also made a distribution of red feathers to all hands, but some of them being Missd out of His Cabbin, Thos. Ellison who waited on him and was frequently there, was charged with having taken them, on which he was brought to the Gan[g]way stripd and tied up but as he persisted in his Innocence and no person having seen him with any, he was Cast off. Having ordered that of the Liberty men one boats Crew should go evry Sunday to the Keys, to see the Stock, things were settled for the Present, and the forge got up, the Armourer being set to work to make Iron rammers for the Musquets, the wooden ones being mostly broken, and when these were Compleated He set to work to alter the Junk Axes and make them fit for Cutting Wood & felling trees.
As soon as the Axes were ready, the following regulations were made, —W Brown & one Taheitean to Clear a piece of Ground and plant Yams, Josh. Coleman & Willm. McCoy to work at the Forge, making Spades, hoes & Mattocks, Heny. Heildbrandt to Cook the provisions, Michl. Byrn & Thos. Ellison with some of the Taheite Boys to take Care of the Boats, and the rest to go on shore Armd to Work, the arms to be left under the Care of a Centinal in a Convenient place while the others Clear'd the Ground, one boat to return to the Ship and the other to be kept at a Grapnell near the Beach.
On the 18th we went on Shore where we were met by the Chief and some of the friends who presented Mr. Christian with two young Plantain trees, and two roots of Yava by way of a Peace Offering, & the Ground being Measured out for the Fort posession was taken by turning a Turf and hoisting the Union Jack on a Staff in the Place. On this occasion an extra Allowance of Grog was drank and the Place Calld Fort George, and finding the Place overrun with rats several Cats were brought on shore and let loose among them. Map
While we were Employd in this business we were alarmed by a Great Noise of hedious shrieks & yells which we supposed at first to be a War Cry and took to our Arms sending some of the Taheitians to enquire what it was, who soon returned and informed us that it proceeded from a Funeral Ceremony, it being the Custom in this Island when a Man of any rank dies for all his friends & relations and all who wish him well to attend his funeral, when the Body is put into the Grave, a Priest makes a long Prayer and the bystanders rend the Air with horrid Cries, Cutting their Heads and breasts with Shells, and smearing their body with the Blood; after which the Grave is filld up and they depart leaving the near relations of the deceased to enjoy their Mourning in private—having had this information we returned to our work.
The Ground being Cleared the Fort was laid out in a quader-angular form, Measuring 100 yards on each square outside of the ditch, width of the Ditch 18 feet, depth 20 feet from the top of the Works, thickness of the wall at the base 18 feet, on the top 12, with a Drawbridge on the North side fronting the Beach; on this the Ships ordnance was to be Mounted in the following Manner, one four Pounder on each Corner & on each face two Swivels with two for reserve to be shifted as occasion might require by which means two four Pounders & four Swivels Could be brought to bear in any direction and in Some three four Pounders & Six Swivels. Evrything being settled, we proceeded to Work tho not a man knew any thing of Fortification; some Cut stakes others made Battins some Cut Sods & brought to hand, some built and others Wrought in the ditch, the Carpenters made barrows & Cut timber for the Gates & Drawbridge, & the work began to rise apace. Nor was Mr. Christian an Idle Spectator for He always took a part in the Most laborious part of the Work, and half a Pint of Porter was served twice a day extra.
August, 1789. We Continued at work without any interruption from the Natives who visited us in numbers evry day bringing provisions nor did they now seem so much inclined to thieving as at first, the only thing they fancied was red feathers—and the Cocks with red Heckles became a valuable article being esteemd far superior to the Black or Grey ones, the Natives seeming to view them with particular attention, but Iron Work or our Cloaths they held in no esteem, and altho they saw us using our axes, & other Iron tools, they set no value on them and never seemd inclined to have them in their possession, for which we were no way sorry, and as their Cloth is Glazed so as to turn rain they preferd it to ours, and would sooner have a Piece of fine Taheite Cloth then the Best article of Clothing we had; however our Taheiteans were not so ignorant, for they knew which was best, Aug 20, 1789 and tho these people preferd their Stone Adzes, to our Axes, they would not tho they never attempted to alter their Oppinion. On the 20th of August Mr. Christian & some others saild round the Island in the large Cutter, he landed on South side and was well received by a Chief Call'd Heterere and was invited on Shore at several places which the foulness of the Shore prevented him from accepting.
When they got off the East end, Tinnarow sent a Man off with a peace offering of a Young Plantain tree & a root of Yava, and an invitation to land. He received the offering but the Shore being rocky he could not come within 3/4ths of a Mile of the Beach with the boat, and was forced to decline the invitation and return to the Ship.
On the 25th the Taheite Men & boys were sent in quest of some Cocoa Nuts, but were set upon by some of the Natives, who drove them off, and nearly Killd one of the Men with a Stone. This News being brought to the Fort by the Boys, Mr. Christian ordered the Party to Arms, and Marchd to the place where a Number of the Natives were in arms—but two Musquets being fired amongst them they fled, and we returned to the Fort—Next day we learnt that one Man was killd as they had Carried him off we saw nothing of Him.
After this We remaind quiet some days, but as the people were fond of sleeping on shore, some of them were decoyd by the Weomen into Tinnarows district where they were Strip'd; and Alexr. Smith was kept prisoner at Tinnarows house, as soon as Mr. Christian was informd of it, he resolved to punnish the Offenders, and Marchd the Party into Tinnarows district, but Tinnarow fled at his Approach.
When he arrived at Tinnarows house the Woman with whom Smith had been, Conducted him to the Place without any Cloaths but his Shirt, The rest being taken away by Tinnarows Men— Mr. Christian then sent several Messingers to Tinnarow desiring him to return the things, and make friends both of which He refused, and after waiting some Hours, & sending repeated Messengers, who all returnd with the same answer, He resolved to burn the House which was done accordingly, but before it was set on fire we took out some Clubs and Spears, & two Curious Carved Images of their Houshold Gods, which were decorated with Pearl Shells, Human Hair teeth & Nails cut in a very Curious Manner, and round them was placed a kind of Grove of red feathers from the tail of the Tropic birds. As Mr. Christian supposed these Images to be of Value to the Owner, he ordered them to be secured; hoping that the return of them might help to make the peace & the House being now in Flames He returned to the Ship.
The young Woman who had been Smiths Companion came with him on board of Her own Accord saying that Her Country men would use Her ill for her friendship towards him, if She stayed on Shore among them, and when She found some Companions on board, She was perfectly satisfied and pleased.
September, 1789. We returned to Work again and tho it did not seem to go on as well as at first, it still Continued to get forward, & by the 1st of September the Gate posts were fixed & 3/4ths of the Walls Compleated and on the 2nd Came Tinnarow with a great number of attendants, loaded with baskets of Provisions, which he presented to Mr. Christian with a peace offering, begging at the same time that His Houshold Gods might be restored, which Mr. Christian promised to do on Condition that he restored the things his Men had taken away, and that He would promise, not to use any of His Men ill when they came into his district, all which he readily agreed to, and ordered some Yava to be prepared of which he desired Mr. Christian to partake which he refused, upon which He got up in a passion and departed abruptly and was followed by His attendants the reason of which was that he found Mr. Christian aware of His treachery, his party having come Armed till within a small distance of the Works where they hid their Spears, but one of the Taheite boys having seen them, informd Mr. Christian, who Ordered the party to arms, which Tinnarow perceiving thought fit to depart without taking his leave as he saw that Mr. Christian had ordered his Men on the top of the Works Where they were in Good order to receive him—the boy being sent privately off to the Ship with orders to Coleman, as soon as he saw them Appear on the Beach armed, He fired a four Pounder Shotted among them, at which they Fled. The Shot did no other damage then passing through a house where it Cut away a rafter to which a Man was hanging a Gourd of Water, and at which he was so terrified that He left the House, as did all who saw it being alike surprised, the Shot being lost and the House not in sight of the Ship, they Could hardly be perswaded that it came from her, but readily believed it to be something supernatural, and could not be perswaded to return to the house to live Judging it unsafe.
On the 3rd Came Old Tahoohooatumma with His Son Taroatihoa Mr. Christians friend, & Daughters, one of which was the young woman who had Come on board at our first anchoring and was Calld Wyakka, with a number of attendants loaded with provisions which were presented to Mr. Christian and at the request of the Old Man the young weomen performed a dance beating time and singing and went through the performance with much regularity after which the Taheite Weomen entertaind them with a dance in turn; when they took their leave Mr. Christian invited them to see a Heiva Next day, which they readily accepted and before they arrived in the Morning two of the Weomen were Neatly dressd, and two Men in Pari's or the Mourning dress of Taheite and when the Company were arrived they were entertaind with a Heiva after the Manner of the Society Isles at which they seemd Highly pleased; they were quite taken with the Dress of the Weomen, & appeard astonishd at the Pari's; this was conducted by the Taheiteans during which time the party were under arms.
Mr. Christian now began to talk of taking the Masts out and dismanteling the Ship when he intended to erect houses and live on shore, and as I had some hopes that I Could reach Taheite in the large Cutter, I spoke to G. Stuart on the Affair, who told me that He and P. Heywood had formed the same plan; and as I knew that after the Masts were out I could put it out their power to get them in again by destroying the purchace Blocks & fall, and if we reachd Taheite were in no danger of being pursued I then advised him to get the Cutter repaired but He said Mr. Christian had said he would not Have the Boats repaird till he was on Shore; and to prevent any suspicion, we had better say nothing about it and was determined to take her as she was; and as We had some Reason to suppose that others were of the same way of thinking with ourselves we resolved to take the first Opportunity and provided accordingly, but Providence ordered things better and We had no need to make this rash attempt, tho the passage was short and it might perhaps be made with safety in 5 or 6 days, yet had we the Chance to Meet with bad weather our Crazey boat would certainly have made us a Coffin which we did not now foresee.
Mr. Christians party finding that the Natives still kept their weomen from amongst us tho they had no objection to their Sleeping with them at their own houses, began to Murmur, and Insisted that Mr. Christian would head them, and bring the Weomen in to live with them by force and refused to do any more work till evry man had a Wife, and as Mr. Christians desire was to perswade rather then force them, He positively refused to have any thing to do with such an absurd demand. Three Days were Spent in debate, and having nothing to employ themselves in, they demanded more Grog this he also refused, when they broke the lock of the Spirit room and took it by force.
Mr. Christian to keep them in temper ordered double allowance to be served evry day, but all to No purpose; and finding all His endeavours in vain he on the 10th Calld all Hands aft to ask their oppinion of what was the best plan to proceed on. When it was soon Moved that we should go to Taheite and there Seperate, where they might get Weomen without force. This proposal was at first overruled but was Carried the next day, on a Call for a Shew of Hands, Sixteen appeard for Taheite; When it was agreed that those went on Shore should have Arms Amunition and part of evry thing on the Ship, the Ship to be left in Charge of Mr. Christian in a proper Condition to go to Sea, with Her Sails Tackle & furniture; and evry thing being settled We began to get ready for Sea filling the Water and bending the Sails &ca.
A party were now sent to get Stock sufficient and search for the Cow which we had not seen since she was landed, but they were set upon by the Natives who beat and plundered them, and sent them to tell Mr. Christian that they would serve him the same way —this happend on the 12th when we found that the Toobouai Woman had returned to her friends without giving any previous Notice.
As the Party returned without their errand Mr. Christian ordered 20 Men to be armed on the 13th to go in quest of stock and to Chastise the Offenders, taking the Nine Taheite Men and four Boys, one of which always carried the Jack; the party had not proceeded above a mile from the landing before they were surrounded by about 700 of the Natives, who had formd an ambush into which we got before we perceived them. They were All armed with Clubbs Spears & Stones, and fought with more fury then Judgement, otherwise the whole party must have fallen into their hands; however the case was Otherwise and after many Obstinate and furious efforts, they Gave Ground and retired with great loss; and the Stock was Collected without farther trouble. As we had some reason to think that they would be troublesome, each man was provided accordingly with 24 Rounds of Amunition six of which contained one Musquet and two pistol balls, and Heteehetee being an excellent Shot was Armed with a Musquet, the rest of the Taheiteans were unarmed.
When we landed at the Fort we were Met by Tahoohooatumma, Taroatihoa & Taroamiva, his younger Brother, with Several others, their friends, who informed Mr. Christian that Tinnarow had armed a Number of Men and was determined to dispute his right to the Stock. Mr. Christian then desired his friends to remain at the Fort least any of them should suffer by Mistake; he drew up the party, placing one Taheitean (Who Now Armd themselves with Clubbs from our friends) between two of us and having given the Necessary precautions to all, Marchd in Silence and good order through the Wood to Tinnarows district. We had scarce got a Mile from the Fort when we Got into a Hollow path beset with thick bushes on each side, and orders were given to keep a good look out, and Burkett, thinking that He heard something stir in the Bush, stepd to look, and receivd a wound in the left side with a Spear. The Taheitean who was next to Burkett instantly leveled the Man, and Seized His Spear; and before Burkett Could either Speak or fire his piece, they started up in a Swarm all round us, rushing on us with great fury & horrid yells, on which we instantly halted and facing different ways, gave a smart fire, which we repeated several times with good effect. Notwithstanding which they kept pouring in from all quarters, seeming not to regard death or Danger.
We now found it Necessary to retreat, to a rising ground at a Small distance in our rear, and by this time the Taheiteans were all Armed with the Enemies long Spears and behaved Manfully—when we gaind the rising ground they follow'd up with redoubled fury dispising us as only a handful to them, tho many fell as they approachd, by our Constant fire; however, the Bush being thick above us, they plyed us smartly from thence and Several of the Taheiteans being wounded and Mr. Christian having in his hurry hurt his hand on his own bayonet we thought it prudent to retreat to a Tarro Ground at the distance of about 200 yards which we effected in good order, keeping up a Constant fire to Cover our retreat, retreating and firing alternately till we gaind the Clear ground, and having posted ourselves on the Banks which intersected the Tarro Ground at right Angles, we halted to receive them. They followed Close till we were out of the thicket plying us with vollies of stones, but did not like to quit the Bush, however some of the Most daring attempted to rally their Men, and lead them on to renew the attack, one in particular (appearing to be a Chief) came out inviting his Men to follow, and making many menacing gestures he was singled out and Shot tho at a Good distance, as were several others who attempted to follow him, this proved a Check on the others who observed that all who Came in Sight were either killd or wounded and they gave ground and retreated to some distance—in the mean time Burket growing faint, & Skinner having disabled his Musquet by putting the Cartridge in Whole, was ordered to take Burketts and Convoy him to the Boat. We staid some time on the Ground but finding that they were not inclined to try us again, we gave them three Cheers, on which they fled and left us Masters of the Field, leaving their dead at our disposal when our Taheiteans loaded themselves with such spoils as they thought proper, Chiefly their Clubs & Spears, of which they were very fond.
And here it may not be improper to observe that before we quitted the Field one of the Taheite boys desired leave to Cut out the Jaw bones of the killd to hang round the quarters of the Ship as Trophies, which he said would strike others with Terrour, and was much displeased when his request was denied; and it was only the fear of being put to death that prevented him from setting about it, begging at least that he might be suffered to take one for himself. None of the Others seemd inclined that way as they were perhaps better pleased with the plunder and saw that it was Contrary to our inclination.
When we returned to the Fort we were met by the Old Chief and his freinds who expressd much Joy at our Success; and here also Skinner Joind us, having sent Burkett on board—a Party were now sent to Gether in What Stock we wanted, and the Cow was brought to the Fort without Opposisition.
When we Came on board we found that Burkett had got his wound dressd which was in a fair way of doing well, the Spear having struck against one of his ribbs but wanted force to break it and in a short time it got heald—however this affair gave us a very mean oppinion of our bayonets tho Several had fallen by them who always broke the Neck of the Bayonet & left us the Socket on our Musquet while the Blade remaind in their Bodys—our Amunition being all we had to depend on, without which they would have been an Over match for us man for man their Spears being so long that our bayonets could be of little or no use, Sep 14, 1789 —we observed that tho their Onset was furious and without order, yet evry party of 18 or 20 men had a leading man who appeard to have some authority and to whose orders they paid some regard. On the 14th we killd the Cow which proved excellent meat. —This Evening Came on board the young Chief Taroamiva and two of His Friends, who informd us that 60 Men had been killd; & 6 Weomen, who were supplying them with Spears & Stones, and a great Number Wounded among the killd, were several of Note, and Tinnarows brother, who had been killd by Mr. Christian himself; he said he had been so much Mr. Christian's friend that if He staid on shore, he should be killd.