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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X by Robert Kerr

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but the two best companies had gone with the ships to Panama; and,
having just learnt the approach of the Dutch fleet, the viceroy had
summoned the whole military force of Peru, so that many thousand men
must soon be expected at Lima for its defence.

After several consultations, the vice-admiral made an attempt to land at
Calao with the soldiers on the morning of the 10th May, but finding it
impossible with any chance of success, was obliged to return to the
fleet. On the 12th about midnight, three of the Dutch captains, with
twelve armed boats, each provided with a small cannon and a considerable
quantity of fire-works, made an attack on the port, while a false attack
was made at the same time in another part, to draw off the attention of
the Spaniards. The twelve boats entered the port, and distributed their
fire-works plentifully among the Spanish merchant ships, by which thirty
or forty of them were set on fire and consumed, some of them very large.
In this hardy enterprise, the Dutch had seven men killed, and fifteen
wounded, mostly in the vice-admiral's boat, which had attempted to board
one of the _pataches_ and was beaten off. About the dawn of day, nine of
the flaming ships drifted towards the Dutch fleet, which was therefore
obliged to weigh and take shelter behind the island of Lima. On the 13th
this island was taken possession of, and a strong intrenchment thrown up
for its defence, under cover of which the Dutch laid their shallops on
shore to careen them.

On the 14th Cornelius Jacobson sailed with a division of the fleet, to
cruize off La Nasca, Pisco, and other towns to the south of Lima. A rich
prize was taken on the 23d, coming from Guayaquil; and that same day,
the rear-admiral was detached with two ships and two companies of
soldiers to attempt taking Guayaquil, but they found it too strongly
defended. On the 27th an attempt was made to destroy the Spanish
admiral's ship in the port of Calao, by means of a fire-ship containing
2000 pounds of gun-powder, besides fire-works and shells, confined by a
brick arch six feet thick; but after navigating her very near the
galleon, a bank was found on the outside of her which they could not
pass, and they were therefore obliged to retire.

Admiral Jaques Le Hermite, who had been in a declining state of health
from the time they left Sierra Leona, died on the 2d June, and was
buried next day in the island of Lima. The Spanish viceroy having
refused to ransom the prisoners made by the Dutch, and the ships being
straitened for provisions especially water, twenty-one Spaniards were
hung up at the mizen yard-arm of the Dutch admiral's ship on the 15th
June. That same evening, Cornelius Jacobson returned with his
detachment, having made an ineffectual attempt on Pisco, which he found
strongly fortified, and defended by 2000 men, besides a body of 200
horse which scoured the country. In this attempt he had five men killed
and sixteen wounded, and thirteen deserted to the enemy. At this time
the scurvy prevailed to a great height in the fleet, so that some of the
ships had not sufficient men in a sound state to man their boats; but
one day a Swiss, who was very ill of the scurvy, scrambled up to the top
of the highest hill in the island of Lima,[140] where he found plenty of
a kind of herb with which he had been well acquainted in his own
country, and by eating which he soon recovered his health. This becoming
public, his example was universally followed, by which the best part of
the men were saved from death, and in a short time recovered their
health and spirits. On the 5th August, the vice-admiral was installed as
admiral, the rear-admiral succeeding him as vice-admiral, and Cornelius
Jacobson was advanced to be rear-admiral.

[Footnote 140: The island of San Lorenzo, a little to the south of
Calao, is evidently here meant.--E.]

The new vice-admiral soon after returned from his expedition to the road
of Puna and Guayaquil, where he had burnt two ships and captured a
third. He had also taken Guayaquil after considerable loss, and finding
it untenable, and not having boats to carry away the booty, he had set
it on fire, burning a great quantity of rich goods in the warehouses,
after which he reimbarked his men. The Dutch fleet sailed from the
island of Lima on the 14th of August, and anchored that same evening in
a bay behind the Piscadores islands, about twenty-three miles north,
where they watered. Continuing their course on the 16th, they came in
sight of the island of Santa Clara, or Amortajado, on the 24th,
intending once more to visit Guayaquil. The fleet anchored on the 25th
in the road of the island of Puna, whence all the people had fled, both
Spanish and Indians, so that no intelligence could be procured of the
strength and dispositions of the enemy. On the 27th, the guns, ballast,
and stores of all kinds were removed from three of the largest ships,
which were laid ashore to be careened. On the 28th, news came of the
second attempt upon Guayaquil having miscarried, through the fault of
some of the officers, the troops being defeated and obliged to reimbark,
with the loss of twenty-eight men. On the 1st September, the three
largest ships being careened, they began to careen the rest.

It was resolved in a council of war not to prosecute the originally
intended expedition to Chili at this time, but to proceed for Acapulco,
in order to cruize for the Manilla ship; and afterwards, if the
condition of the fleet permitted, to return to the coast of Chili.
Accordingly, having set fire to the town of Puna, they sailed from
thence on the 12th September, and on the 20th October had sight of the
coast of New Spain. On the 28th at day-break they were within half a
league of an island which lies before the port of Acapulco and anchored
in the evening within sight of the fort, which had been rebuilt the year
before, on a point running out to sea, in order to protect the Manilla
ships, which might ride safely at anchor under the cannon of that
fortress. On the 1st November, a strong detachment of the fleet was sent
to anchor twenty leagues west from Acapulco, to look out for the
galleon, the admiral and the Orange remaining before the port, and the
other ships spread along the coast, that they might be sure of
intercepting the galleon. On the 29th, water becoming scarce, and no
appearance of the galleon, it was resolved to proceed with all diligence
for the East Indies.


_Voyage Home from the Western Coast of America_.

Proceeding therefore across the Great Pacific Ocean, they saw some very
low land towards the west on the 15th January, 1625, over which the sea
broke with great violence, and which they conjectured to be the island
of Galperico.[141] On the 23d the scurvy had made much progress, that
there were hardly men enough to work the ships. In the evening of the
25th, they were off the coast of Guam, one of the Ladrones or Mariane
islands, the inhabitants coming two leagues out to sea to meet them,
with all sorts of refreshments, which they exchanged for old iron, and
next morning 150 canoes came off with fruits and garden stuffs. On the
27th a good watering-place was found, where fifty soldiers were landed
to protect the seamen. In the beginning of February, the natives brought
them considerable quantities of rice, giving 70 or 80 pounds weight in
exchange for an old hatchet. On the 5th, by a general muster, 1260 men
were found to remain in the fleet, including 32 Spanish and Negro
prisoners, so that they had lost 409 since leaving Holland.

[Footnote 141: The relation of the voyage is too vague even to
conjecture what island is here meant, but from the direction of the
course towards Guam or Guaham it may possibly have been that now called
Dawson's island, about 600 leagues nearly east from Guam.--E.]

The island of Guam, Guaham, or Guaci, one of the group named by the
Spaniards _Islas de las Velas, Ladrones_, or _Mariane_ Islands, is in
lat 13 deg. 40' N.[142] The soil is tolerably fertile producing vast
quantities of cocoas, and the natives grow rice in several places. The
Dutch procured here about 2000 fowls, but the natives would not part
with their cattle for any price. The people of this island are larger
than other Indians' strong and well-proportioned, and are mostly painted
red, the men going entirely naked, and the women having a leaf to cover
their nakedness. Their arms are _assagaies_, or javelins and slings,
both of which they use with great dexterity. Their canoes are very
convenient, and go before the wind at a great rate; neither are these
islanders afraid of putting to sea even in a storm; as, in case of their
vessels being overset, they turn them up again immediately, and bale out
the water. They were also very expert in cheating; for when the Dutch
came to examine the bags of rice they had bought so cheap, they found
the insides full of stones and dirt; besides which, they stole every
thing they could lay hold of. Such persons also as land on this island
ought to be very cautious, as the Dutch had several of their people
slain here, through their own folly.

[Footnote 142: Lat. 13 deg. 20' N. long. 143 deg. 20' E. from Greenwich.]

Proceeding on the voyage, they saw an island on the 14th of February, in
the latitude of 10 deg. 30' N. which they took to be the island of
Saavedra.[143] Next day, about nine in the morning, they saw another
island, not laid down in the charts, in lat. 9 deg. 45' N.[144] the natives
of which came out to them in canoes with fruits and other refreshments,
but as the ships were sailing at a great rate, they were not able to get
on board. The people seemed much like those of Guam, and the island
seemed very populous and highly cultivated. It was now resolved to
continue their course to the island of Gilolo, and thence to Ternate.
The 2d March, they had sight of the high mountain of [illegible], on the
coast of Moco, at the west end of the great island of [illegible] or
_Gilolo_, on the west side of which the Molucca islands are situated.
They arrived at _Malaya_, the principal place in Ternate, on the 4th in
the evening. The 5th, or, according to the computation of the
inhabitants, the 6th, Jacob Le Feare, governor of the Moluccas, came to
visit the admiral, from _Taluco_, where he then resided. The fleet
proceeded on the 4th of April to Amboina, and on the 28th sailed for
Batavia, where they arrived on the 29th of August. Here the fleet was
separated, part being sent on an expedition against Malacca, and others
to other places, so that here the voyage of the Nassau fleet may be said
to end, without having completed the circumnavigation, at least in an
unbroken series.

[Footnote 143: The island of Saavedra is in 10 deg. 30'N. Not far from this
is the isle of [illegible] in Lat. 10 deg. 10' N. and Long. [illegible] E.
from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 144: This probably was the isle of [illegible], mentioned in
the previous note.--E.]

* * * * *

After this expedition, there occurs a wide chasm in the history of
circumnavigations, all that was attempted in this way, for many years
afterwards, being more the effect of chance than of design.--_Harris_.




In the Collection of Voyages and Travels by Harris, this voyage is made
two separate articles, as if two distinct voyages, one under the name of
Captain Cowley, and the other under that of Dampier; though both are
avowedly only separate relations of the same voyage, which was commanded
by Captain Cooke, and ought to have gone under his name. On the present
occasion both relations are retained, for reasons which will appear
sufficiently obvious in the sequel; but we have placed both in one
chapter, because only a single circumnavigation, though somewhat
branched out by the separation of the original adventures. This chapter
is divided into three sections: the _first_ of which contains the
narrative of the principal voyage, so far as related by Captain Cowley;
along with which the observations of Dampier upon many of the places,
visited during the voyage, are introduced. The _second_ continues the
adventures of Cowley on his return from India to Europe, after
separating from his first companions. The _third_ resumes the relation
of the voyage, as written by Dampier, and gives a continuation of the
enterprise, after the separation of Cowley.

[Footnote 145: Dampier's Voyage round the World, and Cowley's do. both
in a Coll. of Voyages in four vols. 8vo, published at London in 1729.
Also Harris, I. 77. and Callender, II. 528.]

In the remainder of this introduction, taken from the Collection by
Harris, an account is given of the origin of this voyage, together with
a sketch of the previous adventures of Dampier, before engaging in this
enterprise, in both of which are contained some notices of the lawless,
yet famous Buccaneers, respecting whom a more detailed account is
proposed to be inserted in a subsequent division of this work. Dampier
published an account of this voyage, to be found in a Collection of
Voyages, in four volumes 8vo, printed at London in 1729, for James and
John Knapton, and which have been used in preparing the present relation
of this voyage for the press.--E.

* * * * *

The adventures of the _Buccaneers of America_, however blameable, will
render these men ever famous by their wonderful exploits. They usually
fitted out small vessels in some of our colonies of America, and cruised
in these till they were able to make prize of some larger ships. As
their designs required the utmost secrecy, they very often took masters
and pilots on board under false pretences, and did not explain to them
the true nature of their expeditions till out to sea, when they were
absolute masters. This was the case with Captain Cowley on the present
occasion, a very intelligent man and able navigator, who happened to be
in Virginia in 1683, and was prevailed upon to go as master of a
privateer, said to be bound for _Petit Goave_, a French port in the
island of St Domingo, where these people used to take commissions. In
reality, however, their purpose was to take what prizes they could,
without the formality of a commission.

It is proper to state, that this voyage, at least in part, is the same
with the _first_ voyage of Captain Dampier round the world. Before
proceeding to the incidents of the voyage, we shall give a concise
account of the grounds on which it was undertaken, and the commanders
who were engaged in it; and this the rather, that the original journal
of Captain Cowley, published by Captain Hacke, gives very little
information on these subjects, probably because Cowley was ashamed of
having engaged in such an expedition.

Among the Buccaneers who did so much mischief in the Spanish West
Indies, was one John Cooke, a native of the island of St Christophers, a
brisk bold man, who so distinguished himself as to be promoted to the
rank of quarter-master in the ship commanded by Captain Yankey. On
taking a Spanish prize, which was converted into a privateer, Cooke
claimed the command of her, according to the custom, of the Buccaneers;
and being extremely popular, soon engaged a sufficient number of men to
serve under him. The great majority of the Buccaneers at this time being
French, and dissatisfied to see an Englishman invested with such a
command, merely by the choice of the crew, without any commission, they
plundered the English of their ships, goods, and arms, and turned them
ashore on the island of _Avache_, on the coast of St Domingo, usually
called _Ash_ by English seamen. On this occasion, an old Buccaneer,
named Captain _Tristian_, having more humanity than the rest, carried
Captain Davis, Captain Cooke, and eight other Englishmen to Petit Goave;
where, while Captain Tristian and many of his men were ashore, these
Englishmen made themselves masters of the ship, sending all the French
in their turn ashore, and sailed to Avache, where, by using Captain
Tristian's name to the governor, they procured all the rest of their
countrymen to be sent on board.

Being now sufficiently strong to set up for themselves, they resolved to
make prize of whatever came in their way, and accordingly took two
French ships, one laden with wine, and the other of considerable force,
in which they embarked, carrying her and their prize goods to Virginia,
where they arrived in April 1683. After selling their wines and other
goods, they purchased provisions, naval stores, and every thing else
that might be wanted during a long voyage, and fitted out their prize
ship as a privateer, naming her the Revenge. According to the narrative
of Cowley, she carried eight guns and 52 men, while Dampier gives her 18
guns and 70 men.[146]

[Footnote 146: This difference, at least in regard to the size and force
of the ship, will be found explained in the sequel, as they took a
larger ship on the coast of Africa, which they used during the voyage,
and named the Revenge after their own ship. The additional number of men
mentioned by Dampier is not accounted for.--E.]

Before proceeding to the narratives of this voyage, it is proper to give
a concise account of Captain William Dampier, extracted from his own
works, being an extraordinary character and an eminent navigator, whose
many discoveries ought to recommend his memory to posterity, as a man of
infinite industry, and of a most laudable public spirit. Captain William
Dampier was descended of a very respectable family in the county of
Somerset, where he was born in 1652. During the life of his father and
mother, he had such education as was thought requisite to fit him for
trade; but losing his parents while very young, and being of a roving
disposition, which strongly incited him to the sea, those who now had
the care of him resolved to comply with his humour, and bound him about
1669 to the master of a ship who lived at Weymouth, in Dorsetshire. With
this master he made a voyage to France that year, and in the next went
to Newfoundland; but was so pinched by the severity of that climate,
that on his return he went home to his friends, almost tired of the sea.
Soon after his return, however, hearing of a ship bound for the East
Indies from London, he went there in 1670, and entered before the mast
in the John and Martha, in which he made a voyage to Bantam.

He returned to England in January, 1672, and retired to the house of his
brother in Somersetshire, where he remained all the ensuing summer. In
1673, he entered on board the Prince Royal, commanded by the famous Sir
Edward Spragge, and was in two engagements that summer against the
Dutch. He afterwards returned to his brother's house, where he met with
one Colonel Hellier, who had a large estate in Jamaica, and who
persuaded him to go over to that island, where he was some time employed
in the management of that gentleman's plantation. Not liking the life of
a planter, which he continued somewhat more than a year, he engaged
among the logwood cutters, and embarked from Jamaica for Campeachy, in
August 1675, but returned to Jamaica in the end of that year. In
February 1676, he went again to Campeachy, where he acquainted himself
thoroughly with the business of logwood cutting, in which he proposed to
advance his fortune; for which purpose he returned to England in 1678.
While in Campeachy, he became acquainted with some Buccaneers, who gave
him an inclination for that kind of life, in which he was afterwards
engaged, but of which in the sequel he became much ashamed.

He returned from England to Jamaica in April 1679, intending to become a
complete logwood cutter and trader at the bay of Campeachy; but changed
his mind, and laid out most part of what he was worth in purchasing a
small estate in Dorsetshire. He then agreed with one Hobby to make a
trip to the continent, before returning to England. Soon after
commencing this voyage, coming to anchor in Negril bay at the west end
of Jamaica, they found there Captains Coxon, Sawkins, Sharpe, and other
privateers, with whom all Mr Hobby's men entered, leaving only Mr
Dampier, who also at length consented to go with them. This was about
the end of 1679, and their first expedition was against Portobello. This
being accomplished, they resolved to cross the isthmus of Darien, and to
pursue their predatory courses against the Spaniards in the South Sea.
On the 5th April, 1680, they landed near _Golden Island_, between three
and four hundred strong; and carrying with them sufficient provisions,
and some toys to gratify the Indians, through whose country they had to
pass, they arrived in nine days march at _Santa Maria_, which they
easily took, but found neither gold nor provisions, as they expected.

After staying three days at Santa Maria, they embarked in canoes and
other small craft for the South Sea. They came in sight of Panama on the
23d April, and in vain attempted to take _Puebla Nova_, where their
commander Captain Sawkins was slain. They then withdrew to the isles of
_Quibo_, whence they sailed on the 6th June for the coast of Peru; and
touching at the islands of _Gorgonia_ and _Plata_, they came in the
month of October to _Ylo_, which they took. About Christmas of that year
they arrived at the island of Juan Fernandez, where they deposed Captain
Sharpe, who had the chief command after the death of Sawkins, and
elected Captain Watling in his stead. Under his command they made an
attempt upon Arica, but were repulsed with the loss of twenty-eight men,
among whom was their new commander Watling. After this they sailed for
some time without any commander; and, arriving at the island of _Plata_,
they split into two factions about the choice of a new commander. Before
proceeding to the election, it was agreed that the majority, together
with the new commander, should keep the ship, and the minority should
content themselves with the canoes and other small craft. On the poll,
Captain Sharpe was restored, and Mr Dampier, who had voted against him,
prepared, together with his associates, to return over land to the Gulf
of Mexico.

Accordingly, on the 17th April, 1681, they quitted Captain Sharpe,
without electing any commander, and resolved to repass the Isthmus of
Darien, though only forty-seven men. This was one of the boldest
enterprises ever ventured upon by so small a number of men, yet they
succeeded without any considerable loss. Landing on the continent on the
1st of May, they repassed the isthmus in twenty-three days; and on the
24th embarked in a French privateer, commanded by Captain Tristian, with
whom they joined a fleet of nine buccaneers, on board of which were
nearly 600 men. With this great force they were in hopes of doing great
things against the Spaniards; but, owing to various accidents, and
especially to disagreement among the commanders, they had very little
success. Dampier and his companions, who had returned over land from the
South Sea, made themselves masters of a _tartan_, and, electing Captain
Wright to the command, they cruised along the Spanish coast with some
success, and went to the Dutch settlement of Curacoa, where they
endeavoured to sell a good quantity of sugar they had taken in a Spanish
ship. Not being able to effect this purpose, they continued their voyage
to the Tortugas islands, and thence to the Caraccas, where they captured
three barks, one laden with hides, another with European commodities,
and the third with earthenware and brandy.

With these prizes they sailed to the island of _Roca_, where they shared
them, and then resolved to separate, though only consisting of sixty
men. Twenty of these, among whom was Dampier, proceeded with their share
of the goods in one of these barks to Virginia, where they arrived in
July, 1682. After continuing there some time, a considerable part of
them made a voyage to Carolina, whence they returned to Virginia. Having
spent the best part of their wealth, they were now ready to proceed upon
any plan that might offer for procuring more. Soon after Captain Cooke,
of whom some account has been already given, came to Virginia with his
prize, and published his intention of going into the South Sea to cruise
against the Spaniards. Dampier, who was his old acquaintance, and knew
him to be an able commander, readily agreed to go with him, and induced
most of his companions to do the same, which was of much consequence to
Cooke, as it furnished him with a full third of his crew.


_Narrative of the Voyage by Captain Cowley, till he quitted the Revenge
on the Western Coast of America_.[147]

They sailed from Achamack in Virginia on the 23d August, 1683, taking
their departure from Cape Charles in the Revenge of eight guns and
fifty-two men, John Cooke commander, and bound for the South Sea; but
Captain Cowley, who had charge of the navigation of the Revenge as
master, not being then let into the secret object of the enterprise,
steered a course for Petit Goave in St Domingo, in which he was indulged
for the first day, but was then told that they were bound in the first
place for the coast of Guinea. He then steered E.S.E. for the Cape de
Verd islands, and arrived at _Isola de Sal_, or the Salt island, in the
month of September. They here found neither fruits nor water, but great
plenty of fish, and some goats, but the last were very small. At this
time the island, which is in the latitude of 16 deg. 50' N. and longitude
23 deg. W. from Greenwich, was very oddly inhabited, and as strangely
governed. Its whole inhabitants consisted of four men and a boy, and all
the men were dignified with titles. One, a mulatto, was governor, two
were captains, and the fourth lieutenant, the boy being their only
subject, servant, and soldier. They procured here about twenty bushels
of salt, the only commodity of the island, which they paid for in old
clothes, and a small quantity of powder and shot; and in return for
three or four goats, gave the governor a coat, of which he was in great
want, and an old hat. The salt in which this island abounds, and from
which it derives its name, is formed naturally by the heat of the sun
from the sea-water, which is let into great ponds about two English
miles in extent.

[Footnote 147: The original narrative of this voyage, written by Captain
Cowley, is contained in the fourth volume of the Collection of Voyages
published in 1729 by James and John Knapton, usually denominated
Dampier's Voyages, and has been used on the present occasion.--E]

This island is about nine leagues from N. to S. and about two leagues
from E. to W. and has abundance of salt ponds, whence it derives its
name, but produces no trees, and hardly even any grass, some few poor
goats feeding scantily upon shrubs near the sea. It is frequented by
wild fowl, especially a reddish bird named _Flamingo_, shaped like a
heron, but much larger, which lives in ponds and muddy places, building
their nests of mud in shallow pools of standing waters. Their nests are
raised like conical hillocks, two feet above the water, having holes on
the top, in which they lay their eggs, and hatch them while standing on
their long legs in the water, covering the nest and eggs only with their
rumps. The young ones do not acquire their true colour, neither can they
fly till ten or eleven months old, but run very fast. A dozen or more of
these birds were killed, though very shy, and their flesh was found lean
and black, though not ill tasted. Their tongues are large, and have near
the root a piece of fat, which is esteemed a dainty.

From hence they sailed to the island of St Nicholas, twenty-two leagues
W.S.W. from the island of Salt, and anchored on the S.W. side of the
island, which is of a triangular form, the longest side measuring thirty
leagues, and the two others twenty leagues each. They here found the
governor a white man, having three or four people about him, who were
decently cloathed, and armed with swords and pistols, but the rest of
his attendants were in a very pitiful condition. They dug some wells on
shore, and traded for goats, fruits, and wine, which last was none of
the best. The country near the coast is very indifferent, but there are
some fine valleys in the interior, pretty well inhabited, and abounding
in all the necessaries of life.

The principal town of this island is in a valley, fourteen miles from
the bay in which the Revenge came to anchor, and contains about 100
families, the inhabitants being of a swarthy complexion. The country on
the sea is rocky and barren, but in the interior there are several
vallies, having plenty of grass, and in which vines are cultivated. The
wine is of a pale colour, and tastes somewhat like Madeira, but is
rather thick.

From thence they went to Mayo, another of the Cape de Verd islands,
forty miles E.S.E. from St Nicholas, and anchored on its north side.
They wished to have procured some beef and goats at this island, but
were not permitted to land, because one Captain Bond of Bristol had not
long before, under the same pretence, carried away some of the principal
inhabitants. This island is small, and its shores are beset with shoals,
yet it has a considerable trade in salt and cattle. In May, June, July,
and August, a species of sea-tortoises lay their eggs here, but are not
nearly so good as those of the West Indies. The inhabitants cultivate
some potatoes, plantains, and corn, but live very poorly, like all the
others in the Cape de Verd islands.

After continuing here five or six days, they resolved to go to the
island of St Jago, in hopes of meeting some ship in the road, intending
to cut her cable and run away with her. They accordingly stood for the
east part of that island, where they saw from the top-mast head, over a
point of land, a ship at anchor in the road, which seemed fit for their
purpose: but, by the time they had got near her, her company clapped a
spring upon her cable, struck her ports, and run out her lower tier of
guns, on which Cooke bore away as fast as he could. This was a narrow
escape, as they afterwards learnt that this ship was a Dutch East
Indiaman of 50 guns and 400 men.

This is by far the best of the Cape de Verd islands, four or five
leagues west from Mayo; and, though mountainous, is the best peopled,
having a very good harbour on its east side, much frequented by ships
bound from Europe for the East Indies and the coast of Guinea, as also
by Portuguese ships bound to Brazil, which come here to provide
themselves with beef, pork, goats, fowls, eggs, plantains, and
cocoa-nuts, in exchange for shirts, drawers, handkerchiefs, hats,
waistcoats, breeches, and all sorts of linen, which are in great request
among the natives, who are much addicted to theft. There is here a fort
on the top of a hill, which commands the harbour. This island has two
towns of some size, and produces the same sort of wine with St Nicholas.

There are two other islands, Fogo and Brava, both small, and to the west
of St Jago. Fogo is remarkable, as being an entire burning mountain,
from the top of which issues a fire which may be seen a great way off at
sea in the night. This island has a few inhabitants, who live on the
sea-coast at the foot of the mountain, and subsist on goats, fowls,
plantains, and cocoa-nuts. The other islands of this group are St
Antonio, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Bona Vista.

They sailed thence for the coast of Guinea, and, being near Cape Sierra
Leona, they fell in with a new-built ship of forty guns, well furnished
with water, all kinds of provisions, and brandy, which they boarded and
carried away.[148]

[Footnote 148: They appear to have named this ship the Revenge, and to
have destroyed their original vessel.--E.]

From thence they went to Sherbro river, also on the coast of Guinea,
where they trimmed all their empty casks and filled them with water, not
intending to stop any where again for water till their arrival at Juan
Fernandez in the South Sea. There was at this time an English factory in
the Sherbro river, having a considerable trade in _Cam-wood_, which is
used in dying red; but the adventurers do not appear to have had any
intercourse with their countrymen at this place. They were well
received, however, by the negro inhabitants of a considerable village
on the sea-shore, near the mouth of this river, who entertained Cowley
and his companions with palm-wine, in a large hut in the middle of the
town, all the rest of the habitations being small low huts. These
negroes also brought off considerable supplies to the ship, of rice,
fowls, honey, and sugar canes, which they sold to the buccaneers for
goods found in the vessel they had seized at Sierra Leona.

Going from thence in the month of December, along the coast of Guinea,
to the latitude of 12 deg. S. they crossed the Atlantic to the opposite
coast of Brazil, where they came to soundings on a sandy bottom at
eighty fathoms deep. Sailing down the coast of Brazil, when in lat. 4 deg.
S. they observed the sea to be as red as blood, occasioned by a
prodigious shoal of red shrimps, which lay upon the water in great
patches for many leagues together. They likewise saw vast numbers of
seals, and a great many whales. Holding on their course to lat. 47 deg. S.
they discovered an island not known before, which Cowley named _Pepy's
Island_,[149] in honour of Samuel Pepys, secretary to the Duke of York
when Lord High Admiral of England, a great patron of seamen. This island
has a very good harbour, in which 1000 ships might ride at anchor, and
is a very commodious place for procuring both wood and water. It
abounded in sea-fowl, and the shore, being either rocks or sand,
promised fair for fish.

[Footnote 149: An island in the southern Atlantic, in lat. 46 deg. 34' S.
called _Isle Grande_, is supposed to be the discovery of Cowley.
According to Dalrymple, it is in long. 46 deg. 40' W. while the map
published along with Cook's Voyages places it in long. 35 deg. 40' W. from

In January 1684 they bore away for the Straits of Magellan, and on the
28th of that month fell in with the _Sebaldine_ or Falkland islands, in
lat. 51 deg. 25' S. Then steering S.W. by W. to the lat. of 53 deg. S. they made
the Terra del Fuego. Finding great ripplings near the Straits of Le
Maire, they resolved to go round the east end of States Land, as had
been done by Captain Sharp in 1681, who first discovered it to be an
island, naming it _Albemarle_ island. A prodigious storm came on upon
the 14th February, which lasted between a fortnight and three weeks, and
drove them into lat. 63 deg. 30' S. This storm was attended by such torrents
of rain, that they saved twenty-three barrels of water, besides dressing
their victuals all that time in rain water.[150] The weather also was so
excessively cold, that they could bear to drink three quarts of burnt
brandy a man in twenty-four hours, without being intoxicated.

[Footnote 150: It was discovered by the great navigator Captain Cook,
who at one time penetrated to lat. 71 deg. 10' S. that the solid ice found
at sea in high southern latitudes affords perfectly fresh water, when
the first meltings are thrown away.--E.]

When the storm abated, they steered N.E. being then considerably to the
west of Cape Horn, and got again into warm weather. In lat. 40 deg. S. they
fell in with an English ship, the Nicholas of London, of 26 guns,
commanded by Captain John Eaton, with whom they joined company. They
sailed together to the island of Juan Fernandez, where they arrived on
the 23d March, and anchored in a bay at the south end of the island in
twenty-five fathoms. Captain Watling, who succeeded Captain Sharp, was
there in 1680, and named it _Queen Catharine's_ island. At his
departure, he accidentally left a Moskito Indian, who still remained,
having a gun, a knife, a small flask of powder, and some shot. In this
desolate condition, he found it equally hard to provide for his
subsistence, and to conceal himself from the Spaniards, who had notice
of his being left there, and came several times to take him. He had
chosen a pleasant valley for his residence, about half a mile from the
coast, where he had erected a very convenient hut, well lined with
seal-skins, and had a bed of the same, raised about two feet above the
ground. By the help of a flint, he had converted his knife into a saw,
with which he had cut the barrel of his gun to pieces, which he
fashioned into harpoons, lances, fishing-hooks, and a long knife, by
heating them in a fire. All this cost him much labour, but enabled him
to live in sufficient comfort. On seeing the ships at sea, he guessed
them to be English, and immediately dressed two goats, and a large
quantity of cabbage, to entertain them on landing. He was also much
pleased, when they landed on the island, to see two of his old
acquaintances, Captains Cooke and Dampier, who had belonged to the ship
by which he was left on the island.

The island of Juan Fernandez is in lat. 34 deg. 15' S. [33 deg. 42'] about 420
English miles from the coast of Chili. The whole island is a pleasant
mixture of hills and vallies, the sides of the hills partly covered with
wood, and partly savannas, or places naturally clear of wood, bearing
fine grass. Among the woods are what are called cabbage-trees, but not
so large as in other parts of the world. The goats which feed on the
west end of the island are much fatter and better than those at the east
end, though the latter has better and greater plenty of grass, with
abundance of excellent water in the vallies, while the west end is a dry
plain, the grass scanty and parched, and has hardly any wood or fresh
water. Though fertile, this island has no inhabitants, who might live
here in plenty, as the plain is able to maintain a great number of
cattle, and the sea affords vast quantities of seals, sea-lions,
snappers, and rock-fish. The sea-lions are not much unlike seals, but
much larger, being twelve or fourteen feet long, and as thick as a large
ox. They have no hair, and are of a dun colour, with large eyes, their
teeth being three inches long. One of these animals will yield a
considerable quantity of oil, which is sweet and answers well for
frying. They feed on fish, yet their flesh is tolerably good. The
snapper is a fish having a large head, mouth, and gills, the back red,
the belly ash-coloured, and its general appearance resembling a roach,
but much larger, its scales being as broad as a shilling. The rock-fish,
called _baccalao_ by the Spaniards, because resembling the cod, is
rounder than the former, and of a dark-brown colour, with small scales,
and is very good food, being found in vast abundance on the coasts of
Peru and Chili. This island has only two bays fit for anchorage, with a
rivulet of fresh water in each, and both at the east end, and so
conveniently situated that they might easily be fortified, and defended
by a slender force against a powerful army, being inaccessible from the
west, by reason of the high mountains. Five Englishmen, left by Captain
Davies, secured themselves here against a great number of Spaniards.

After remaining fourteen days at this island, they left it on the 8th
April, 1684, steering N.N.E. till off the bay of Arica, whence they
sailed to Cape Blanco, in hopes of meeting the Spanish Plate fleet from
Panama; but if they had gone into the bay of Arica, they must have taken
a Spanish ship which lay there, having 300 tons of silver on board. In
lat. 10 deg. S. on the 3d May, they were forced to capture a ship laden with
timber, much against their inclination, lest they should be known
through her means to be on the coast. They then sailed to the southern
island of _Lobos_, in lat. 70 deg. S. about forty-three English miles from
the coast of Peru, where they landed their sick for refreshment, heeled
their ships, and scraped their bottoms, to render them fitter for

This island is named _Lobos del Mar_, to distinguish it from another
which is nearer the continent, and called therefore _Lobos de la Tierra.
Lobos del Mar_ is properly a double island, each a mile in circuit,
separated by a small channel which will not admit ships of burden. A
little way from shore, on the north side, there are several scattered
rocks in the sea, and at the west end of the eastermost isle is a small
sandy creek, in which ships are secure from the winds, all the rest of
the shore being rocky cliffs. The whole of both islands is rocky and
sandy, having neither wood, water, nor land animals; but it has many
fowls, such as boobies, and above all penguins, about the size of a
duck, and with similar feet; but their bills are pointed, their wings
are mere stumps, which serve them as fins when in the water, and their
bodies are covered with down instead of feathers. As they feed on fish,
they are but indifferent eating, but their eggs are very good. Penguins
are found all over the South Sea, and at the Cape of Good Hope. The road
for ships is between the before-mentioned rock and the eastmost island.

They were now very eager to make some capture, as their provisions,
especially water, were very scanty, so that the subsistence of their
prisoners, as well as themselves, gave them much anxiety. By information
of their prisoners, they were also convinced that their being in these
seas was known to the Spaniards, who consequently would keep all their
richest ships in port. After much consultation, therefore, it was
resolved to make an attempt on Truxillo, in lat. 8 deg. 4' S. a populous
city about six miles from the port of _Guanehagno_, though the
landing-place was of difficult access, as at that place there was a
strong probability of making a considerable booty. They sailed therefore
with this design on the 18th May, their whole number of men fit for duty
being one hundred and eight. Soon after weighing anchor, three ships
were descried under sail, which they chased and captured, being laden
with flour from Guanehagno to Panama. In one of them was found a letter
from the viceroy of Peru to the president of Panama, intimating that
there were enemies on the coast, and that he had sent these three ships
to supply their wants. It was also learnt from the prisoners, that the
Spaniards were erecting a fort near their harbour of Guanehagno, in
consequence of which the design on Traxillo was abandoned. Besides a
large loading of flour, the three captured ships had a good quantity of
fruits and sweetmeats, which made them agreeable prizes to the English,
who were now very short of provisions; but they had landed no less than
800,000 dollars, on hearing that there were enemies in these seas.

It was now resolved to carry their prizes to some secure place, where
the best part of the provisions they had now procured might be laid up
in safety, for which purpose they steered for the _Gallapagos_ or
_Enchanted Islands_,[151] which they got sight of on the 31st May, and
anchored at night on the east side of one of the easternmost of these
islands, a mile from shore, in sixteen fathoms, on clear white hard
sand. To this Cowley gave the name of _King Charles's Island_. He
likewise named more of them, as the Duke of Norfolk's Island immediately
under the line, Dessington's, Eares, Bindley's, Earl of Abington's, King
James's, Duke of Albemarles, and others. They afterwards anchored in a
very good bay being named York Bay. Here they found abundance of
excellent provisions, particularly guanoes and sea and land tortoises,
some of the latter weighing two hundred pounds, which is much beyond
their usual weight. There were also great numbers of birds, especially
turtle-doves, with plenty of wood and excellent water; but none of
either of these was in any of the other islands.[152]

[Footnote 151: These islands, so named by the Spaniards from being the
resort of tortoises, are on both sides of the line, from about the Lat.
of 2 deg. N. to 1 deg. 50' S,. and from about 88 deg. 40' to 95 deg. 20' both W. from

[Footnote 152: Cowley mentions having found here a [illegible] thing of
its nature of quantity.--E.]

These Gallapagos are a considerable number of large islands, situated
under and on both sides of the line, and destitute of inhabitants. The
Spaniards, who first discovered them, describe them as extending from
the equator N.W. as high as 5 deg. N. The adventurers in this voyage saw
fourteen or fifteen, some of which were seven or eight leagues in
length, and three or four leagues broad, pretty high yet flat. Four or
five of the most easterly were barren and rocky, without either trees,
herbs, or grass, except very near the shore. They produced also a sort
of shrub, called dildo-tree, about the bigness of a man's leg, and ten
or twelve feet high, without either fruit or leaves, but covered with
prickles from top to bottom. The only water in these barren isles, was
in ponds and holes in the rocks. Some of the isles are low and more
fertile, producing some of the trees that are known in Europe. A few of
the westermost isles are larger than the rest, being nine or ten leagues
long, and six or seven broad, producing many trees, especially Mammee
figs, and they have also some pretty large fresh-water streams, and many
rivulets. The air is continually refreshed, by the sea-breeze by day and
the land-winds at night, so that they are not troubled with such
excessive heats, neither are they so unwholesome as most places so near
the equator. During the rainy season, in November, December, and
January, they are infested with violent tempests of thunder and
lightning; but before and after these months have only refreshing
showers, and in their summer, which is in May, June, July, and August,
they are without any rains.

They anchored near several of these islands, and frequently found sea
tortoises basking in the sun at noon. On a former occasion, Captain
Davies came to anchor on the west side of these islands, where he and
his men subsisted on land-tortoises for three months, and saved from
them sixty jars of oil. He also found several good channels on that
side, with anchorage between the isles, and several rivulets of fresh
water, with plenty of trees for fuel. The sea also round these islands
is well stored with good fish of a large size, and abounds in sharks.
These islands are better stored with guanoes and land-tortoises than any
other part of the world. The guanoes are very tame, of extraordinary
size, and very fat. The land-tortoises are likewise very fat, and so
numerous that several hundred men might subsist upon them for a
considerable time. They are as pleasant food as a pullet, and so large
that some of them weighed 150 and even 200 pounds, being two feet to two
feet and a half across the belly; whereas in other places they are
seldom met with above 30 pounds weight. There are several kinds of
land-tortoises in the West Indies, one of which, called _Hackatee_ by
the Spaniards, keeps mostly in fresh-water ponds, having long necks,
small legs, and flat feet, and is usually between ten and fifteen pounds
weight. A second, and much smaller kind, which they call _Tenopen_,[153]
is somewhat rounder, but not unlike in other respects, except that their
back shells are naturally covered with curious carved work. The
tortoises in the Gallapagos isles resembles the _Hackatee_, having long
necks and small heads, but are much larger.

[Footnote 153: This word in the text is probably a misprint for
_Terrapin_, a trivial name for a species of land or fresh-water
tortoise, found also in the warmer parts of North America--E.]

In these islands there are also some green snakes, and great numbers of
remarkably tame turtle-doves, very fat, and excellent eating. There are
large channels between some of these islands, capable of receiving ships
of moderate burden. On the shoals there grows great abundance of
sea-weed, called _turtle-grass_, owing to which these channels abound in
_green turtles_ or sea-tortoises. There are several kinds of turtles or
sea-tortoises, as the _Trunk, Loggerhead, Hawksbill_, and _Green_
turtles. The first is larger than the rest, and has a rounder and higher
back shell, but is neither so wholesome nor so well tasted; and the same
may be said of the Loggerhead, which feeds on moss from the rocks, and
has its name from its large head. The Hawksbill, so named from having a
long small mouth, like the beak of a hawk, is the smallest species, and
is that which produces the so-much-admired tortoise-shell, of which
cabinets, boxes, combs, and other things are made in Europe, and of this
shell each has from three to four pounds, though some have less. The
flesh of this kind is but indifferent, yet better than that of the
Loggerheads; though these, which are taken between the _Sambellos_ and
_Portobello_, make those who eat the flesh purge and vomit excessively,
and the same is observed of some other fish in the West Indies.

The laying time of the sea-tortoises is about May, June, and July, a
little sooner or later, and they lay three times each season, eighty or
ninety eggs each time, which are round and as large as an hen's egg, but
covered only with a thin white skin, having no shell. When a tortoise
goes on shore to lay, she is usually an hour before she returns, as she
always chuses her place above high-water mark, where she makes a large
hole with her fins in the sand, in which she lays her eggs, and then
covers them two feet deep with the sand she had raked out. Sometimes
they go on shore the day before, to take a look of the place, and are
sure to return to the same spot next day. People take the tortoises on
this occasion, while on shore in the night, turning them over on their
backs, above high-water mark, and then return to fetch them off next
morning; but a large Green tortoise will give work enough to two stout
men to turn her over. The Green tortoise gets its name from the colour
of the shell, having a small round head, and weighs from 200 to 300
pounds. Its flesh is accounted the best of any, but there are none of
this kind in the South Sea. The sea-tortoises found at the Gallapagos
being a bastard kind of Green tortoises, having thicker shells than
those of the West Indies, and their flesh not so good. They are also
much larger, being frequently two or three feet thick, and their bellies
five feet broad.

They remained twelve or fourteen days at the Gallapagos, during which
time Captain Cooke lived on shore in a very poor state of health. They
also landed 1500 bags of flour, with a large quantity of sweetmeats and
other provisions, on York Island, which they might have recourse to on
any emergency. From one of their prisoners, an Indian of _Realejo_, they
had a flattering account of the riches of that place, which he alleged
might be easily taken, and for which enterprise he offered to serve them
as a guide. Setting sail therefore from the Gallapagos on the 12th June,
they shaped their course in lat 4 deg. 40' N. with the intention of touching
at the _Island of Cocos_, [in lat. 5 deg. 27' N. and long. 87 deg. 27' W. from
Greenwich.] This island is seven or eight leagues in circuit, but
uninhabited, and produces a pleasant herb near the sea coast, called
_Geamadael_ by the Spaniards. It is so environed with steep rocks as to
be inaccessible, except on the N.E. where ships may safely ride in a
small bay.

Missing this island, they continued their course towards the continent
of America, and reached Cape _Blanco_, or _Trespuntas_, on the coast of
Mexico, in lat. 9 deg. 56' N. in the beginning of July. This cape gets the
name of _Blanco_, or the White Cape, from two high steep taper white
rocks, like high towers, about half a mile distant. The cape itself is
about the same height with Beachy-head, on the coast of Sussex, being a
full broad point jutting out to sea, and terminated with steep rocks,
while both sides have easy descents to the sea from the flat top, which
is covered with tall trees, and affords a pleasant prospect. On the N.W.
side of the cape the land runs in to the N.E. for four leagues, making a
small bay, called _Caldera Bay_, at the entrance to which, at the N.W.
side of the cape, a rivulet of fresh water discharges itself into the
sea through very rich low lands abounding in lofty trees. This rich
wooded vale extends a mile N.E. beyond the rivulet, when a savanna
begins, running several leagues into the country, here and there
beautifully interspersed with groves of trees, and covered with
excellent long grass. Deeper into the bay, the low lands are cloathed
with mangroves; but farther into the country the land is higher, partly
covered with woods, and partly consisting of hilly savannas, not so good
as the former, and here the woods consist of short small trees. From the
bottom of this bay one may travel to the lake of Nicaragua over hilly
savannas, a distance of fourteen, or fifteen leagues.[154]

[Footnote 154: The bay of Caldera in the text is evidently the gulf of
Nicoya, from the bottom of which the lake of Nicaragua is distant about
fifty English miles due north. The latitude of Cape Blanco in the text,
9 deg. 56' N. is considerably erroneous, its true latitude being only 9 deg. 27'

Captain Cooke had been very ill ever since their departure from Juan
Fernandez, and died as soon as they came within two or three leagues of
Cape Blanco, which indeed is a frequent incident at sea, as people who
have been long ill often die on coming in sight of land. Coming to
anchor a few hours after a league within the cape, near the mouth of the
before-mentioned rivulet, in 14 fathoms on clear hard sand, his body was
immediately carried on shore for interment, under a guard of twelve
armed men. While the people were digging his grave, they were joined by
three Spanish Indians, who asked many questions, and were at length
seized, though one of them afterwards escaped. The other two were
carried aboard, and confessed that they were sent as spies from Nicoya,
a small Mulatto town twelve or fourteen leagues from the cape, and
seated on the banks of a river of the same name,[155] being a convenient
place for building and refitting ships. The president of Panama had sent
intelligence to this place of the English being in these seas, in
consequence of which the inhabitants, who mostly subsist by cultivating
corn, and by slaughtering great numbers of cattle which feed on their
extensive savannas, had sent their ox hides to the North Sea by way of
the lake of Nicaragua, as also a certain red wood, called in Jamaica
_Blood wood_, or Nicaragua wood, which is used in dying. These
commodities are exchanged for linen and woollen manufactures, and other
European goods.

[Footnote 155: There is no river at Niceya, but it is seated on a bay or
harbour within the gulf of the same name.--E.]

Learning from their prisoners that there was a large cattle pen at no
great distance, where cows and bulls could be had in abundance, and
being very desirous of having some fresh beef which had long been very
rare among them, twenty-four of the English went ashore in two boats,
under the guidance of one of the Indians, and landed about a league from
the ships, hauling their boats upon the dry sand. Their guide conducted
them to the pen, in a large savanna two miles from the boats, where they
found abundance of bulls and cows feeding. Some of the English were for
killing three or four immediately, but the rest insisted to wait till
morning, and then to kill as many as they needed. On this difference of
opinion, Dampier and eleven more thought proper to return aboard that
night, expecting to be followed by the rest next day. Hearing nothing of
them next day at four p.m. ten men were sent in a canoe to look for
them; when they found their comrades on a small rock half a mile from
the shore, up to their middles in water, having fled there to escape
from forty or fifty Spaniards, well armed with guns and lances, who had
burnt their boat. They had taken shelter on this rock at low water, and
must have perished in an hour, as it was then flowing tide, if they had
not been relieved by the canoe, which brought them safe on board.

On the 19th July, Edward Davis, quarter-master of the Revenge, was
elected captain, in the room of Captain Cooke. They sailed next day from
Cape Blanco towards Realejo, with a moderate breeze at N. which brought
them in three days over against that port, in lat. 12 deg. 26' N. This place
is easily discovered from sea, by means of a high-peaked burning
mountain about ten miles inland, called by the Spaniards _Volcano vejo_,
or the old volcano, which is so high that it may be seen twenty leagues
out at sea, besides which there is no other similar mountain on all that
coast. To make this harbour, the mountain must bear N.E. and keeping this
coarse will bring a ship directly into the harbour, the entrance of
which may be seen at three leagues off. This harbour is inclosed by a
low isle, a mile in length, a quarter of a mile broad, and a mile and a
half from the main land. It has a channel or entrance at each end of the
island, that on the east, being narrow and having a strong tide, is
seldom used, but that on the west is much larger and more commodious. In
taking this entry, however, ships must beware of a certain sandy shoal
on the N.W. point of the isle, and when past this must keep close to the
isle, as a sand-bank runs half way over from the continental shore. This
port is able to contain 200 ships.

About two leagues from the port, the town of Realejo stands in a fenny
country, full of red mangrove trees, between two arms of the sea, the
westermost of which reaches up to the town, and the eastermost comes
near it, but no shipping can get so far up.[156] On entering the bay in
their canoes, they found the country apprized of their approach, and
fully prepared for their reception, wherefore the enterprise against
Realejo was laid aside. Pursuant to a consultation between the two
commanders, Eaton and Davis, they sailed on the 27th July for the gulf
of Amapalla or Fonseca.

[Footnote 156: The account in the text appears applicable to what is now
called _El Viejo_, or the old town, nearly 12 miles from the port, but
modern Realejo stands almost close to the entrance of the bay or

This is a large gulf or branch of the sea, running eight or ten leagues
into the country, and nearly of the same breadth. The S.E. extreme point
is called Cape _Casurina_, or _Casiquina_, in lat. 12 deg. 53' N. and long.
87 deg. 36' W. and the N.W. point is Cape Candadillo, in lat. 18 deg. 6' N. and
long. 87 deg. 57' W. Within this bay are several islands, the principal of
these being named _Mangeru_ and _Amapaila_. Mangera is a high round
island, two leagues in circuit, inclosed on all sides by rocks, except
on its N.E. side, where there is a small sandy creek. The soil is black
and shallow, full of stones, and produces very lofty trees. It has a
small town or village in the middle inhabited by Indians, and a handsome
Spanish church. The inhabitants cultivate a small quantity of maize and
plantains, having also a few cocks and hens, but no beasts except dogs
and cats. From the creek to the town there is a steep rocky path.
_Amapalla_ resembles the other isle in soil, but is much larger, and has
two towns about two miles asunder, one on its northern end, and the
other on the east. The latter is on a plain on the summit of a hill, and
has a handsome church. The other town is smaller, but has also a fine
church. In most of the Indian towns under the Spanish dominion, the
images of the saints in their churches are represented of the Indian
complexion, and dressed like Indians; while in the towns inhabited by
Spaniards, the images have the European complexion and dress. There are
many other islands in the bay, but uninhabited.

Captain Davis went into the gulf with two canoes to procure some
prisoners for intelligence, and coming to Mangera, the inhabitants all
ran away into the woods, so that only the priest and two boys were
taken. Captain Davis went thence to the isle of Amapalla, where the
inhabitants were prevented from retiring into the woods by the
secretary, who was an enemy to the Spaniards, and persuaded them the
English were friends; but by the misconduct of one of the Buccaneers,
all the Indians run away, on which Davis made his men fire at them, and
the secretary was slain. After this the casique of the island was
reconciled to the English, and afterwards guided them wherever they had
occasion to go, especially to places on the continent where they could
procure beef.

A company of English and French Buccaneers landed some time afterwards
on this island, whence they went over to the continent, and marched by
land to the _Cape River_, otherwise called _Yare_, or _Vanquez_ river,
which falls into the gulf of Mexico, near _Cape Gracias a Dios_, on the
Mosquito shore. On reaching that river near its source, they constructed
bark canoes, in which they descended the stream into the gulf of Mexico.
They were not, however, the first discoverers of this passage, as about
thirty years before, some English went up that same river to near its
source, from the gulf of Mexico, and marched thence inland to a town
called New Segovia, near the head of Bluefield's river.

While in this bay of Amapalla, some difference arose between the two
captains, Davis who had succeeded to Cooke in command of the Revenge,
and Eaton of the Nicholas, when they resolved to separate: But they
first deemed it proper to careen their ships, for which this place
afforded every convenience, and to take in a supply of fresh water. Both
ships being in condition for sea, Captain Eaton took 400 sacks of flour
on board his ship, and agreed with Captain Cowley to take the charge of
the Nicholas as master. From this period therefore, which was in the end
of September, the voyages of Cowley and Dampier cease to be the same,
and require to be separately narrated.


_Continuation of the Narrative of Cowley, from leaving the Revenge, to
his Return to England_.

On leaving the gulf of Amapalla, the Nicholas steered for Cape
Francisco, in lat. 0 deg. 50' N. near which they encountered dreadful
storms, attended by prodigious thunder and lightning. From thence they
proceeded to the latitude of 7 deg. S. but found the country every where
alarmed. They went next to Payta, in lat. 4 deg. 55' S. where they took two
ships at anchor, which they set on fire, because the Spaniards refused
to ransom them. Leaving the coast, they went to the island of _Gorgona_,
in lat. 2 deg. 50' N. about four leagues from the main, which the privateers
usually called _Sharp's Island_. This is about two leagues long by one
league broad, having a good harbour on its west side, and affording
plenty of wood and water. It is a common saying in Spanish South
America, that it rains often in Chili, seldom in Peru, and always at
Gorgona, where they allege there never was a day fair to an end. Though
this be not strictly true, it is certain that this island has rain more
or less at all seasons, on which account, perhaps, it has always
remained uninhabited. They sailed from Gorgona W.N.W. till in lat. 30 deg.
N. when they steered W. by N. to lat. 15 deg. N. till they considered
themselves beyond danger from the rocks of _St Bartholomew_; after which
they returned into the lat. of 13 deg. N. in which parallel they continued
their voyage for the East Indies.

They had a regular trade-wind, and a reasonably quick passage across the
Pacific Ocean, except that their men were mostly ill of the scurvy; and
on the 14th of March, 1685, being in lat. 13 deg. 2' N. they came in sight
of the island of Guam. By Captain Cowley's calculation, this run across
the Pacific Ocean extended to 7646 miles, from the island of Gorgona to
Guam.[157] They came next day to anchor in a bay on the west side of the
island, and sent their boat on shore with a flag of truce. The
inhabitants of a village at that place set fire to their houses, and ran
away into the interior, on which the boat's crew cut down some cocoa
trees to gather the fruit, and on going again on board were threatened
by a party of the natives, who sallied out from some bushes on purpose
to attack them. A friendly intercourse was however established between
the English and the natives, and trade took place with them till the
17th, when the natives attacked the English suddenly, but were beat off
with heavy loss, while none of the English were hurt.

[Footnote 157: Gorgona is in long. 78 deg. 33' Guam in 216 deg. 40', both W.
from Greenwich. The difference of longitude is 138 deg. 07', which gives
9530 statute miles, or 2762 marine leagues, so that the computation in
the text is considerably too short.--E.]

On the 19th the Spanish governor of the island came to a point of land
not far from the ship, whence he sent his boat on board with three
copies of the same letter, in Spanish, French, and Dutch, desiring to
know who they were, whence they came, and whither they were bound.
Captain Eaton answered in French, saying that they had been fitted out
by some gentlemen in France to make discoveries, and were come in quest
of provisions. In reply the governor invited Captain Eaton on shore, who
landed with a guard of twenty men doubly armed, and was politely
received. On the 18th the governor sent ten hogs on board, together with
a prodigious quantity of potatoes, plantains, oranges, papaws, and red
pepper, in return for which Captain Eaton sent a diamond ring to the
governor worth twenty pounds, and gave swords to several Spanish
gentlemen who came off with the provisions. Next day the governor sent
to procure some powder, of which he was in want, as the natives were in
rebellion, and Captain Eaton gave him two barrels, for which to the
value of 1400 dollars were offered in gold and silver, but Eaton refused
to accept the money, in consequence of which the governor sent him a
diamond ring, worth fifty pounds. Every day after this the governor sent
them some kind of provisions, and about the end of March, when about to
sail, the governor sent them thirty hogs for sea store, with a large
supply of rice and potatoes.

On one occasion the Indians attacked a party of the English, who were on
shore to draw the sein, but were beaten off with much loss; yet they
afterwards endeavoured to prevail on Captain Eaton to join them in
driving out the Spaniards, which he positively refused. On the 1st
April, leaving the bay in which they had hitherto remained, the Nicholas
anchored before the Spanish fort; and after several civilities on both
sides, set sail in the afternoon of the 3d April with a fair wind.

This island of Guam is about fourteen leagues long by six broad, and
contains several very pleasant vallies, interspersed with fine fertile
meadows, watered by many rivulets from the hills. The soil in these
vallies is black and very rich, producing plenty of cocoas, potatoes,
yams, papaws, plantains, _monanoes_, sour-sops, oranges, and lemons,
together with some honey. The climate is naturally very hot, yet is
wholesome, as constantly refreshed by the trade-wind. The Indian
natives are large made, well proportioned, active and vigorous, some
being seven feet and a half high, and go mostly naked, both men and
women. They never bury their dead, but lay them in the sun to putrefy.
Their only arms are slings and lances, the heads of these being made of
human bones; and on the decease of any one his bones make eight lances,
four from his legs and thighs, and as many from his arms. These lance
heads are formed like a scoop, and jagged at the edges like a saw or
eel-spear; so that a person wounded by them dies, if not cured in seven

The great annual ship between Manilla and Acapulco touches here for
refreshments, and the Spaniards said there were sometimes eight ships in
one year at this place from the East Indies. They said also, that they
had built a ship here, in 1684, of 160 tons, to trade with Manilla, and
pretended to have a garrison here of 600 men, most of the Indians being
in rebellion.

The Nicholas sailed from Guam W. by S. and on computing that they were
206 leagues from that island, they changed to due W. The 23d, when they
reckoned themselves 560 leagues west of Guam, they met with a very
strong current, resembling the race of Portland, and fell in with a
cluster of islands in lat. 20 deg. 30' N. to the north of Luconia, [the
_Bashee Islands_.] They sent their boat ashore on the northermost of
these islands, in order to get some fish, and to examine the island, on
which they found vast quantities of nutmegs growing, but saw no people,
and as night was drawing on they did not venture to go any distance from
the shore. To this island they gave the name of _Nutmeg Island_, and
called the bay in which they anchored _English Bay_. They observed many
rocks, shoals, and foul ground near the shore, and saw a great many
goats on the island, but brought off very few.

On the 26th of April they were off Cape Bojadore, the N.W. point of
Luconia, and came soon after to Cipe _Mindato_, where they met the S.W.
monsoon, on which they bore away for Canton in China, where they arrived
in safety and refitted their ship. They had here an opportunity of
making themselves as rich as they could desire, but would not embrace
it; as there came into the port thirteen sail of Tartar vessels, laden
with Chinese plunder, consisting of the richest productions of the East.
The men, however, would have nothing to do with any thing but gold and
silver, and Captain Eaton could not prevail upon them to fight for
silks, as they alleged that would degrade them into pedlars. The Tartars
therefore quietly pursued their affairs at Canton, unconscious of their

Having repaired the ship, Captain Easton sailed for Manilla, intending
to wait for a Tartar ship of which they had information, bound from that
port, and half laden with silver. They even got sight of her, and chased
her a whole day to no purpose, as she was quite clean, and the Nicholas
was as foul as could well be. They then stood for a small island, to the
north of Luconia, to wait for a fair wind to carry them to Bantam.
Instead of one island, they found several, where they procured
refreshments.[158] Learning from an Indian that in one of these islands
there were plenty of beeves, they sent a boat thither with thirty men,
who took what they wanted by force, though the island was well

[Footnote 158: The indications in the text are too vague to point out
the particular islands at which the Nicholas refreshed. Immediately
north from Luconia are the Babuvanes Isles, in lat 19 deg. 30', and still
farther, the Bashee Islands, in 20 deg. 30', both N.]

Leaving these islands about the middle of September, 1685, they were for
three days in great danger on the banks of _Peragoa_, in lat. 10 deg. N.
after which they came to a convenient bay in an island not far from the
northern coast of Borneo, where they set up a tent on shore and landed
every thing from the ship, fortifying themselves with ten small guns, in
case of being attacked by the natives, and hauled their ship on shore to
clean her bottom. At first the natives of the island avoided all
intercourse with the English; but one day the boat of the Nicholas came
up with a canoe in which was the queen of the country with her retinue,
who all leaped into the sea to get away from the English. They took up
these people with much difficulty, and entertained them with so much
kindness that they became good friends during two months which they
continued afterwards at this island. At this time the Spaniards were at
peace with the sovereign of Borneo, and carried on an advantageous trade
there from Manilla; of which circumstance Captain Eaton and his people
got intimation, and passed themselves for Spaniards during their

This great island is plentifully stored with provisions of all kinds,
and many rich commodities, as diamonds, pepper, camphor, &c. and several
kinds of fine woods, as specklewood and ebony. Cloves also were there to
be had at a reasonable price, being brought there from the neighbouring
islands by stealth. The animals of Borneo, as reported by Cowley, are
elephants, tigers, panthers, leopards, antelopes, and wild swine. The
king of Borneo being in league with the Spanish governor of the
Philippines, the English passed themselves here as Spaniards, and were
amply supplied by the natives during their stay with fish, oranges,
lemons, mangoes, plantains, and pine-apples.

The Nicholas sailed from this place in December, 1685, proceeding to a
chain of islands in lat. 4 deg. N. called the _Naturah_ islands,[159] whence
they went to Timor, where the crew became exceedingly mutinous; on which
Captain Cowley and others resolved to quit the Nicholas, in order to
endeavour to get a passage home from Batavia. Accordingly, Cowley and
one Mr Hill, with eighteen more of the men, purchased a large boat, in
which they meant to have gone to Batavia, but, owing to contrary winds,
were obliged to put in at Cheribon, another factory belonging to the
Dutch in Java, where they found they had lost a day in their reckoning
during their voyage by the west. They here learnt the death of Charles
II. and that the Dutch had driven the English from Bantam, which was
then the second place of trade we possessed in India. The Dutch were
forming other schemes to the prejudice of our trade, wherefore Cowley,
with Hill and another of the Englishmen, resolved to make all the haste
they could to Batavia, to avoid being involved in the subsisting
disputes. They were kindly received by the governor of Batavia, who
promised them a passage to Holland.

[Footnote 159: The Natuna Islands, in long. 108 deg. E. from Greenwich.--E.]

Cowley and his remaining companions embarked at Batavia in a Dutch ship
in March, 1686. They arrived in Table bay at the Cape of Good Hope on
the 1st June, where they landed next day, and of which settlement, as it
then existed in 1686, Cowley gives the following account:--

"Cape Town does not contain above an hundred houses, which are all built
low, because exposed to violent gales of wind in the months of December,
January, and February. The castle is very strong, having about eighty
large cannon for its defence. There is also a very spacious garden,
maintained by the Dutch East India Company, planted with all kinds of
fruit-trees, and many excellent herbs, and laid out in numerous pleasant
walks. This garden is near a mile in length and a furlong wide, being
the greatest rarity at the Cape, and far exceeding the public garden at
Batavia. This country had abundance of very good sheep, but cattle and
fowls are rather scarce. We walked out of town to a village inhabited by
the _Hodmandods_, or Hottentots. Their houses are round, having the
fire-places in the middle, almost like the huts of the wild Irish, and
the people lay upon the ashes, having nothing under them but
sheep-skins. The men seemed all to be _Monorchides_, and the whole of
these people were so nasty that we could hardly endure the stench of
their bodies and habitations. Their women are singularly conformed,
having a natural skin apron, and are all so ignorant and brutish that
they do not hesitate to prostitute themselves publicly for the smallest
imaginable recompense, of which I was an eye witness. Their apparel is a
sheep-skin flung over their shoulders, with a leather cap on their
heads, as full of grease as it can hold. Their legs are wound about,
from the ankle to the knees, with the guts of beasts well greased.

"These people, called _Hodmandods_ by the Dutch, are born white, but
they make themselves black by smearing their bodies all over with soot
and grease, so that by frequent repetition they become as black as
negroes. Their children, when young, are of a comely form, but their
noses are like those of the negroes. When they marry, the woman cuts off
one joint of her finger; and, if her husband die and she remarry again,
she cuts off another joint, and so on however often she may marry.

"They are a most filthy race, and will feed upon any thing, however
foul. When the Hollanders kill a beast, these people get the guts, and
having squeezed out the excrements, without washing or scraping, they
lay them upon the coals, and eat them before they are well heated
through. If even a slave of the Hollanders wish to have one of their
women, he has only to give her husband a piece of tobacco. Yet will they
beat their wives if unfaithful with one of their own nation, though they
care not how they act with the men of other nations. They are worshipers
of the moon, and thousands of them may be seen dancing and singing by
the sea-side, when they expect to see that luminary; but if it happen
to be dark weather, so that the moon does not appear, they say their god
is angry with them. While we were at the Cape, one of the _Hodmandods_
drank himself dead in the fort, on which the others came and put oil and
milk into his mouth, but finding he was dead, they began to prepare for
his burial in the following manner:--Having shaved or scraped his body,
arms, and legs, with their knives, they dug a great hole, in which they
placed him on his breech in a sitting posture, heaping stones about him
to keep him upright. Then came the women, making a most horrible noise
round the hole which was afterwards filled up with earth."

On the 15th June. 1686, Cowley sailed from the Cape, the homeward-bound
Dutch fleet consisting of three ships, when at the same time other three
sailed for Bolivia. On the 22d of June they passed the line, when Cowley
computed that he had sailed quite round the globe, having formerly
crossed the line nearly at the same place, when outward-bound from
Virginia in 1683. On the 4th August they judged themselves to be within
thirty leagues of the dangerous shoal called the _Abrolhos_, laid down
in lat. 15 deg. N. in the map: but Cowley was very doubtful if any such
shoal exist, having never met with any one who had fallen in with it,
and he was assured by a pilot, who had made sixteen voyages to Brazil,
that there was no such sand. The 19th September, Cowley saw land which
he believed to be Shetland. They were off the Maes on the 28th
September, and on the 30th Cowley landed at Helvoetsluys. He travelled
by land to Rotterdam, whence he sailed in the Ann for England, and
arrived safe in London on the 12th October, 1686, after a tedious and
troublesome voyage of three years and nearly two months.


_Sequel of the Voyage, so far as Dampier is concerned, after the
Separation of the Nicholas from the Revenge._[160]

This is usually denominated Captain William Dampier's _first_ Voyage
round the World, and is given at large by Harris, but on the present
occasion has been limited, in this section, to the narrative of Dampier
after the separation of Captain Cowley in the Nicholas; the observations
of Dampier in the earlier part of the voyage, having been already
interwoven in the first section of this chapter.

[Footnote 160: Dampier's Voyages, Lond. 1729, vol. I. and II. Harris,
II. 84.]

This voyage is peculiarly valuable, by its minute and apparently
accurate account of the harbours and anchorages on the western coast of
South America, and has, therefore, been given here at considerable
length, as it may become of singular utility to our trade, in case the
navigation to the South Sea may be thrown open, which is at present
within the exclusive privileges of the East India Company, yet entirely
unused by that chartered body.--E.

* * * * *

Captain Eaton in the Nicholas having separated from the Revenge, left
the Gulf of Amapalla on the 2d September, 1684, as formerly mentioned,
which place we also left next day, directing our course for the coast of
Peru. Tornadoes, with thunder, lightning, and rain, are very frequent on
these coasts from June to November, mostly from the S.E. of which we had
our share. The wind afterwards veered to W. and so continued till we
came in sight of Cape St Francisco, where we met with fair weather and
the wind at S.

Cape St Francisco, in lat. 0 deg. 50' N. is a high full point of land,
covered with lofty trees. In passing from the N. a low point may be
easily mistaken for the cape, but soon after passing this point the cape
is seen with three distinct points. The land in its neighbourhood is
high, and the mountains appear black. The 20th September we came to
anchor in sixteen fathoms near the island of _Plata_, in lat. 1 deg. 15' S.
This island is about four miles long and a mile and half broad, being of
some considerable height, and environed with rocky cliffs, except in one
place at the east end, where the only fresh-water torrent of the isle
falls down from the rocks into the sea. The top of the island is nearly
flat, with a sandy soil, which produces three or four kinds of low small
trees, not known in Europe, and these trees are much overgrown with
moss. Among these trees the surface is covered with pretty good grass,
especially in the beginning of the year, but there are no land animals
to feed upon it, the great number of goats that used to be found here
formerly being all destroyed. Is has, however, a great number of the
birds named Boobies and Man-of-war birds. Some say that this island got
the name _Isola de Plata_ from the Spaniards, from the circumstance of
Sir Francis Drake having carried to this place their ship the Cacafoga,
richly laden with silver, which they name _Plata_.

The anchorage is on the east side, about the middle of the island, close
to the shore, within two cables length of the sandy bay, in eighteen or
twenty fathoms, fast ooze, and smooth water, the S.E. point of the
island keeping off the force of the south wind which usually blows here.
In this sandy bay there is good landing, and indeed it is the only place
which leads into the island. A small shoal runs out about a quarter of a
mile from the east point of the island, on which shoal there is a great
rippling of the sea when the tide flows. The tide here has a strong
current, setting to the south with the flood, and to the north when it
ebbs. At this east point also there are three small high rocks, about a
cable's length from the shore; and three much larger rocks at the N.E.
point. All round the isle the water is very deep, except at the
before-mentioned anchorage. Near the shoal there are great numbers of
small sea-tortoises, or turtle, formerly mentioned as found at the
Gallapagos. This island of _Plata_ is four or five leagues W.S.W. from
Cape _San Lorenzo_.

After remaining one day at this isle, we continued our voyage to Cape
_Santa Helena_, in lat. 2 deg. 8' S. This cape appears high and flat,
resembling an island, covered on the top with thistles, and surrounded
by low grounds, but without any trees. As it jets far out to sea, it
forms a good bay on its north side, a mile within which is a wretched
Indian village on the shore, called also Santa Helena; but the ground in
its neighbourhood, though low, is sandy and barren, producing neither
trees, grass, corn, nor fruit, except excellent water-melons; and the
inhabitants are forced to fetch their fresh water from the river
_Calanche_, four leagues distant, at the bottom of the bay. They live
chiefly on fish, and are supplied with maize from other parts, in
exchange for _Algatrane_, which is a bituminous substance issuing from
the earth near this village, about five paces above high-water mark.
This substance, by means of long boiling, becomes hard like pitch, and
is employed as such by the Spaniards. To leeward of the point, directly
opposite the village, there is good anchorage, but on the west side the
water is very deep. Some of our men were sent under night in canoes to
take the village, in which they succeeded, and made some prisoners; but
the natives set fire to a small bark in the road, alleging the positive
orders of the viceroy.

We returned from thence to the island of Plata, where we anchored on the
26th September, and sent some of our men that evening to _Manta_, a
small Indian village on the continent, seven or eight leagues from
Plata, and two or three leagues east from Cape Lorenzo. Its buildings
are mean and scattered, but standing on an easy ascent, it has a fine
prospect towards the sea-side. Having formerly been inhabited by the
Spaniards, it has a fine church, adorned with carved work; but as the
ground in the neighbourhood is very dry and sandy, it produces neither
corn nor roots, and only a few shrubs are to be found. The inhabitants
are supplied with provisions by sea, this being the first place at which
ships refresh, when bound from Panama to Lima and other parts of Peru.
They have an excellent spring of fresh water between the village and the
sea. Opposite to this village, and a mile and a half from the shore,
there is a very dangerous rock, being always covered by the sea; but
about a mile within this rock there is safe anchorage, in six, eight,
and ten fathoms, on hard clear sand; and a mile west from this, a shoal
runs a mile out to sea. Behind the town, and directly to the south, a
good way inland, there is a very high mountain rising up into the
clouds, like a sugar-loaf; which serves as an excellent sea-mark, there
being no other like it on all this coast. [161]

[Footnote 161: The great Chimborazo is probably here meant, about 135
English miles inland from Manta, and almost due east, instead of south,
as in the test.--E]

Our men landed about day-break, a mile and a half from the village, but
the inhabitants took the alarm, and got all away, except two old women,
from whom we learnt that the viceroy, on receiving intelligence of
enemies having come across the isthmus of Darien into the South Sea, had
ordered all their ships to be set on fire, all the goats in the isle of
Plata to be destroyed, and that the inhabitants on the coast should keep
no more provisions than were necessary for their present use.

We returned to our ship at Plata, where we remained for some time
unresolved what course to pursue. On the 2d of October, the Cygnet of
London, Captain Swan, came to anchor in the same road. This was a
richly-loaded ship, designed for trading on this coast, but being
disappointed in his hopes of trade, his men had forced Captain Swan to
take on board a company of buccaneers he fell in with at Nicoya, being
those we heard of at Manta, who had come by land to the South Sea under
the command of Captain Peter Harris, nephew to the Captain Harris who
was slain before Panama. As the Cygnet was unfit for service, by reason
of her cargo, Captain Swan sold most of his goods on credit, and threw
the rest overboard, reserving only the fine commodities, and some iron
for ballast. Captains Davis and Swan now joined company; and Harris was
placed in command of a small bark. Our bark, which had been sent to
cruise three days before the arrival of the Cygnet, now returned with a
prize laden with timber, which they had taken in the Gulf of Guayaquil.
The commander of this prize informed us, that it was reported at
Guayaquil, that the viceroy was fitting out ten frigates to chase us
from these seas. This intelligence made us wish for Captain Eaton, and
we resolved to send out a small bark towards Lima, to invite him to
rejoin us. We also fitted up another small bark for a fire-ship, and set
sail for the island of _Lobos_ on the 20th October.

Being about six leagues off Payta on the 2d of November, we sent 110 men
in several canoes to attack that place. _Payta_ is a small sea-port town
belonging to the Spaniards, in lat. 5 deg. 15' S. built on a sandy rock near
the sea-side, under a high hill. Although not containing more than
seventy-five or eighty low mean houses, like most of the other buildings
along the coast of Peru, it has two churches. The walls of these houses
are chiefly built of a kind of bricks, made of earth and straw, only
dried in the sun. These bricks are three feet long, two broad, and a
foot and a half thick. In some places, instead of roofs, they only lay a
few poles across the tops of the walls, covered with mats, though in
other places they have regularly-constructed roofs. The cause of this
mean kind of building is partly from the want of stones and timber, and
partly because it never rains on this coast, so that they are only
solicitious to keep out the sun; and these walls, notwithstanding the
slight nature of their materials, continue good a long time, as they are
never injured by rain. The timber used by the better sort of people has
to be brought by sea from other places. The walls of the churches and of
the best houses are neatly whitened, both within and without, and the
beams, posts, and doors are all adorned with carved work. Within they
are ornamented with good pictures, and rich hangings of tapestry or
painted calico, brought from Spain. The houses of Payta, however, were
not of this description, though their two churches were large and
handsome. Close by the sea there was a small fort, armed only with
muskets, to command the harbour, as also another fort on the top of a
hill, which commanded both the harbour and lower fort. The inhabitants
of Payta are obliged to bring their fresh-water from Colon, a town two
leagues to the N.N.E. where a fresh-water river falls into the sea; and
have also to procure fowls, hogs, plantains, maize, and other provisions
from that and other places, owing to the barrenness of the soil in its
own neighbourhood. The dry and barren tract of this western coast of
America begins at Cape Blanco in the north, and reaches to Coquimbo in
30 deg. S. in all of which vast extent of coast I never saw or heard of any
rain falling, nor of any thing growing whatever either in the mountains
or vallies, except in such places as are constantly watered, in
consequence of being on the banks of rivers and streams.

The inhabitants of Colon are much given to fishing, for which purpose
they venture out to sea in _bark-logs_.[162] These are constructed of
several round logs of wood, forming a raft, but different according to
the uses they are intended for, or the customs of those that make them.
Those meant for fishing consist only of three or five logs of wood about
eight feet long, the middle one longer than the rest, especially
forewards, and the others gradually shorter, forming a kind of stem or
prow to cut the waves. The logs are joined to each other's sides by
wooden pegs and _withes_, or twisted branches of trees. Such as are
intended for carrying merchandise are made in the same manner and shape,
but the raft consists of twenty or thirty great trunks of trees, thirty
or forty feet long, joined together as before. On these another row of
shorter trees are laid across, and fastened down by wooden pegs. From,
this double raft or bottom they raise a raft of ten feet high, by means
of upright posts, which support two layers of thick trees laid across
each other, like our piles of wood, but not so close as in the bottom of
the float; these being formed only at the ends and sides, the inner part
being left hollow. In this hollow, at the height of four feet from the
floor of the raft, they lay a deck or floor of small poles close
together, serving as the floor or deck of another room; and above this,
at the same height, they lay just such another sparred deck. The lower
room serves for the hold, in which they stow ballast, and water casks or
jars. The second room serves for the seamen and what belongs to them.
Above all the goods are stowed, as high as they deem fit, but seldom
exceeding the height of ten feet. Some space is left vacant behind for
the steersman, and before for the kitchen, especially in long voyages,
for in these strange vessels they will venture to make voyages of five
or six hundred leagues.

[Footnote 162: I suspect this to be a mistaken translation of
_barco-longo_, long barks, or rafts rather, as the subsequent
description indicates.--E]

In navigating these vessels, they use a very large rudder, with one mast
in the middle of the machine, on which they have a large sail, like our
west country barges on the river Thames. As these machines can only sail
before the wind, they are only fit for these seas, where the wind blows
constantly one way, seldom varying above a point or two in the whole
voyage from Lima to Panama. If, when near Panama, they happen to meet a
north-west wind, as sometimes happens, they must drive before it till it
changes, merely using their best endeavours to avoid the shore, for they
will never sink at sea. Such vessels carry sixty or seventy tons of
merchandise, as wine, oil, flour, sugar, Quito cloth, soap, dressed
goats skins, &c. They are navigated by three or four men only; who, on
their arrival at Panama, sell both the goods and vessel at that place,
as they cannot go back again with them against the trade-wind. The
smaller fishing barks of this construction are much easier managed.
These go out to sea at night with the land-wind, and return to the shore
in the day with the sea-breeze; and such small _barco longos_ are used
in many parts of America, and in some places in the East Indies. On the
coast of Coromandel they use only one log, or sometimes two, made of
light wood, managed by one man, without sail or rudder, who steers the
log with a paddle, sitting with his legs in the water.[163]

[Footnote 163: On the coast of Coromandel these small rafts are named
_Catamarans_, and are employed for carrying letters or messages between
the shore and the ships, through the tremendous surf which continually
breaks on that coast.--E.]

The next town to Payta of any consequence is _Piura_, thirty miles from
Payta, seated in a valley on a river of the same name, which discharges
its waters into the bay of _Chirapee_ [or Sechura.] in lat. 5 deg. 32' S.
This bay is seldom visited by ships of burden, being full of shoals; but
the harbour of Payta is one of the best on the coast of Peru, being
sheltered on the S.W. by a point of land, which renders the bay smooth
and the anchorage safe, in from six to twenty fathoms on clear sand.
Most ships navigating this coast, whether bound north or south, touch at
this port for fresh water, which is brought to them from _Colon_ at a
reasonable rate.

Early in the morning of the 3d November, our men landed about four
miles south of Payta, where they took some prisoners who were set there
to watch. Though informed that the governor of Piura had come to the
defence of Payta with a reinforcement of an hundred men, they
immediately pushed to the fort on the hill, which they took with little
resistance, on which the governor and all the inhabitants evacuated
Payta, but which we found empty of money, goods, and provisions. That
same evening we brought our ships to anchor near the town, in ten
fathoms a mile from shore, and remained six days in hopes of getting a
ransom for the town; but seeing we were not likely to have any, we set
it on fire, and set sail at night with the land-breeze for the island of
Lobos. The 14th we came in sight of _Lobos de Tierra_, the inner or
northern island of Lobos, which is of moderate height, and appears at a
distance like _Lobos del Mare_, the southern island of the same name, at
which other island we arrived on the 19th. The evening of the 29th we
set sail for the bay of Guayaquil, which lies between Cape _Blanco_ in
lat. 4 deg. 18', and the point of _Chanday_, or _Carnera_, in 2 deg. 18' both S.
In the bottom of this bay is a small isle, called _Santa Clara_,
extending E. and W. and having many shoals, which make ships that intend
for Guayaquil to pass on the south side of this island.

From the isles of Santa Clara to _Punta arena_, the N.W. point of the
island of Puna, is seven leagues [thirty statute miles] N.N.E. Here
ships bound for Guayaquil take in pilots, who live in a town in Puna of
the same name, at its N.E. extremity, seven leagues [twenty-five miles]
from Punta arena. The island of Puna is low, stretching fourteen leagues
E. and W. and five leagues from N. to S.[164] It has a strong tide
running along its shores, which are full of little creeks and harbours.
The interior of this island consists of good pasture land, intermixed
with some woodlands, producing various kinds of trees to us unknown.
Among these are abundance of _Palmitoes_, a tree about the thickness of
an ordinary ash, and thirty feet high, having a straight trunk without
branches or leaf, except at the very top, which spreads out into many
small branches three or four feet long. At the extremity of each of
these is a single leaf, which at first resembles a fan plaited together,
and then opens out like a large unfolded fan. The houses in the town of
Puna are built on posts ten or twelve feet high, and are thatched with
palmito leaves, the inhabitants having to go up to them by means of
ladders. The best place for anchorage is directly opposite the town, in
five fathoms, a cable's length from shore.

[Footnote 164: Puna is nearly forty English miles from N.E. to S.W. and
about sixteen miles from N.W. to S.E.]

From Puna to Guayaquil is seven leagues, the entrance into the river of
that name being two miles across, and it afterwards runs up into the
country with a pretty straight course, the ground on both sides being
marshy and full of red mangrove trees. About four miles below the town
of Guayaquil, the river is divided into two channels by a small low
island, that on the west being broadest, though the other is as deep.
From the upper end of this island to the town is about a league, and the
river about the same in breadth, in which a ship of large burden may
ride safely, especially on the side nearest the town. The town of
Guayaquil stands close to the river, being partly built on an ascent,
and partly at the foot of a small hill, having a steep descent to the
river. It is defended by two forts on the low grounds, and a third on
the hill, and is one of the best ports belonging to the Spaniards in the
South Sea. It is under the command of a governor, and is beautified by
several fine churches and other good buildings. From this place they
export cocoas, hides, tallow, sarsaparilla, drugs, and a kind of woollen
cloth called Quito-cloth. The cocoas grow on both sides of the river
above the town, having a smaller nut than those of Campeachy.[165]
Sarsaparilla delights in watery places, near the side of the river.

[Footnote 165: The _cacao_, or chocolate-nut is probably here meant, not
the cocoanut.--E.]

Quito is a populous place in the interior of the country, almost under
the line, being in lat. 0 deg. 12' S. and long. 78 deg. 22' W. from Greenwich.
It is inclosed by a ridge of high mountains, abounding in gold, being
inhabited by a few Spaniards, and by many Indians under the Spanish
dominion. The rivers or streams which descend from the surrounding
mountains carry great abundance of gold dust in their course into the
low grounds, especially after violent rains, and this gold is collected
out of the sand by washing. Quito is reckoned the richest place for gold
in all Peru,[166] but it is unwholesome, the inhabitants being subject
to headaches, fevers, diarrhaes, and dysenteries; but Guayaquil is
greatly more healthy. At Quito is made a considerable quantity of
coarse woollen cloth, worn only by the lower class all over the kingdom
of Peru.

[Footnote 166: Quito was annexed to the empire of Peru, not long before
the Spanish conquest, but is now in the viceroyalty of New Granada.--E.]

Leaving our ships at Cape Blanco, we went in a bark and several canoes
to make an attempt on Guayaquil, but were discovered, and returned
therefore to our ships, in which we sailed for the island of Plata, in
lat. 1 deg. 15' S. where we arrived on the 16th December. Having provided
ourselves with water on the opposite coast of the continent, we set sail
on the 23d with a brisk gale at S.S.W. directing our course for a town
called _Lovalia_, in the bay of Panama. Next morning we passed in sight
of Cape _Passado_, in lat. 0 deg. 28' S. being a very high round point,
divided in the middle, bare towards the sea, but covered on the land
side with fruit-trees, the land thereabout being hilly and covered with
wood. Between this and Cape San Francisco there are many small points,
inclosing as many sandy creeks full of trees of various kinds. Meaning
to look out for canoes, we were indifferent what river we came to, so we
endeavoured to make for the river of St Jago, by reason of its nearness
to the island of _Gallo_, in which there is much gold, and where was
good anchorage for our ships. We passed Cape St Francisco, whence to the
north the land along the sea is full of trees of vast height and

Between this cape and the island of Gallo there are several large
rivers, all of which we passed in our way to that of St Jago, a large
navigable river in lat. 2 deg. N.[167] About seven leagues before it reaches
the sea, this river divides into two branches, which inclose an island
four leagues in circuit. Both branches are very deep, but the S.W.
channel is the broadest, and the other has sand-banks at its mouth,
which cannot be passed at low-water. Above the island the river is a
league broad, having a straight channel and swift current, and is
navigable three leagues up, but how much farther I know not. It runs
through a very rich soil, producing all kinds of the tallest trees that
are usually met with in this country, but especially red and white
cotton-trees, and cabbage-trees of large size. The _white cotton-tree_
grows not unlike an oak, but much bigger and taller, having a straight
trunk, without branches to the top, where it sends out strong branches.
The bark is very smooth, the leaves of the size of a plum-tree leaf,
dark green, oval, smooth, and jagged at the ends. These trees are not
always biggest near the roots, but often swell out to a great size in
the middle of their trunks. They bear _silk-cotton_, which falls to the
ground in November and December, but is not so substantial as that of
the cotton-shrub, being rather like the down of thistles. Hence they do
not think it worth being gathered in America; but in the East Indies it
is used for stuffing pillows. The old leaves of this tree fall off in
April, and are succeeded by fresh leaves in the course of a week. The
_red cotton-tree_ is somewhat less in size, but in other respects
resembles the other, except that it produces _no cotton_. The wood is
hard, though that of both kinds is somewhat spongy. Both are found in
fat soils, both in the East and West Indies.

[Footnote 167: Nearly in the indicated latitude is the river of Patia,
in the province of Barbacoas. The river St Jago of modern maps on this
coast is in lat. 1 deg. 18' N. in the province of Atacames, or

The _cabbage-tree_ is the tallest that is found in these woods, some
exceeding 120 feet in height. It likewise is without boughs or branches
to the top, where its branches are the thickness of a man's arm, and
twelve or fourteen feet long. Two feet from the stem come forth many
small long leaves of an inch broad, so thick and regular on both sides
that they cover the whole branch. In the midst of these high branches is
what is called the cabbage, which, when taken out of the outer leaves,
is a foot in length, and as thick as the small of a man's leg, as white
as milk, and both sweet and wholesome. Between the cabbages and the
large branches many small twigs sprout out, two feet long and very close
together, at the extremities of which grow hard round berries, about the
size of cherries, which fall once a year on the ground, and are
excellent food for hogs. The trunk has projecting rings half a foot
asunder, the bark being thin and brittle, the wood hard and black, and
the pith white. As the tree dies when deprived of its head, which is the
cabbage, it is usually cut down before gathering the fruit.

As the coast and country of Lima has continual dry weather, so this
northern part of Peru is seldom without rain, which is perhaps one
reason why this part of the coast is so little known. Besides, in going
from Panama to Lima, they seldom pass along the coast, but sail to the
west as far as the Cobaya Islands, to meet the west winds, and thence
stand over for Cape St Francisco. In returning to Panama, they keep
along the coast, but being deeply laden, their ships are not fit to
enter the rivers, the banks of which, and the seacoast, are covered with
trees and bushes, and are therefore convenient for the natives to lie in
ambush. The Indians have some plantations of maize and plantains, and
also breed fowls and hogs. On the 27th December, 1684, we entered the
river of St Jago [_Patia_] with four canoes by the lesser branch, and
met with no inhabitants till six leagues from its mouth, where we
observed two small huts thatched with palmito leaves. We saw at the same
time several Indians, with their families and household goods, paddling
up the river much faster than we could row, as they kept near the banks.
On the opposite, or west side, we saw many other huts, about a league
off but did not venture to cross the river, as the current was very
rapid. In the two huts on the east side we only found a few plantains,
some fowls, and one hog, which seemed to be of the European kind, such
as the Spaniards brought formerly to America, and chiefly to Jamaica,
Hispaniola, and Cuba, where, being previously marked, they feed in the
woods all day, and are recalled to their pens at night by the sound of
conch shells.

We returned next morning to the mouth of the river, intending to proceed
to the isle of _Gallo_, where we had directed the ships to meet us. This
small uninhabited island, in lat. 3 deg. N.[168] is situated in a spacious
bay, three leagues from the river _Tomaco_, and four and a half from an
Indian village of the same name. It is moderately high, and well stored
with timber, having a good sandy bay at its N.E. end, near which is a
fine stream of fresh water; and over against the bay there is good
anchorage in six or seven fathoms. There is only one channel by which to
approach this island, in which are four fathoms, and into which it is
necessary to enter with the flood, and to come out with the ebb. The
river _Tomaco_ is supposed to have its origin in the rich mountains of
Quito, and takes its name from that of a village on its banks.[169] The
country on this river is well peopled by Indians, among whom are a few
Spaniards, who traffic for gold with the natives. This river is so
shallow at the mouth, that it can only be entered by barks. The town of
_Tomaco_ is small, and situated near the mouth of the river, being
chiefly occupied by the Spaniards, who trade in this neighbourhood. From
this place to that branch of the river St Jago where we were then at
anchor is five leagues.

[Footnote 168: The lat. of Gallo is only 1 deg. 57' N. That assigned in the
text would lead to the isle of Gorgona, in 2 deg. 54' N. but the description
of our author suits much better with Gallo.--E.]

[Footnote 169: The island and point of Tomaco are placed in modern maps
at the mouth of the Mira, off which are many islands, in lat. 1 deg. 40'N.]

As the land here is low and full of creeks, we left the river on the
21st December, and crossed these small bays in our canoes. In our way we
saw an Indian hut, whence we took the master and all his family, and
rowing forwards, we came to Tomaco at midnight. We here seized all the
inhabitants, among whom was one Don Diego de Pinas, a Spanish knight,
whose ship was at anchor not far off to load with timber, and in which
we found thirteen jars of good wine, but no other loading. An Indian
canoe came to us, in which were three natives, who were straight and
well-limbed, but of low stature, having black hair, long visages, small
eyes and noses, and dark complexions. Several of our men, who had gone
seven or eight leagues up the river, returned on the 31st, bringing with
them several ounces of gold, which they had found in a Spanish house,
whence the inhabitants had fled.

On the 1st January, 1685, while going in our canoes from Tomaco to
Gallo, we took a packet of letters in a Spanish boat bound from Panama
to Lima, by which the president of Panama wrote to hasten the Plate
fleet from Lima, as the armada from Spain had arrived in Porto Bello.
This intelligence made us change our intention of proceeding to Lavelia,
instead of which we now proposed to make for the _Pearl Islands_, not
far from Panama, past which all ships bound from the south for Panama
must necessarily pass. We accordingly sailed on the 7th, and next day
took a vessel of ninety tons, laden with flour; and continuing our
voyage with a gentle wind at S. we anchored on the 9th at the island of
_Gorgona_, on its west side, in thirty-eight fathoms clean ground, two
cables length from shore, in a sandy bay, the land round which is very

_Gorgona_ is in lat. 2 deg. 54' N. twenty-five leagues from Gallo, and is
remarkable for two high risings or hills called the Saddles. This island
is two leagues long by one league broad, and is about four from the
continent, having another small isle at its west end. It is full of tall
trees, and is watered by many rivulets, having no animals except
monkies, rabbits, and snakes. It is very subject to heavy rains, and the
only observable difference in the seasons here is, that the rains are
more moderate in summer. The sea around is so deep that there is no
anchorage except at the west end, where the tide flows eight feet.
Muscles and periwinkles are here in great plenty, and the monkies open
the shells at low water. There are also abundance of pearl oysters,
fixed to loose rocks by their beards, four, five, and six fathoms under
water. These resemble our oysters, but are somewhat flatter and thinner
in the shell, their flesh being slimy and not eatable, unless dried
beforehand and afterwards boiled. Some shells contain twenty or thirty
seed pearls, and others have one or two pearls of some size, lying at
the head of the oyster, between the fish and the shell; but the inside
of the shells have a brighter lustre than even the pearls.

The 13th January we pursued our voyage for _Isla del Rey_, being two men
of war, two tenders a fire-ship, and a prize vessel. With the trade-wind
at S. we sailed along the continent, having low land near the sea but
seeing high mountains up the country. On the 16th we passed Cape
_Corientes_, in lat. 5 deg. 32' N. being a high point with four small
hillocks on the top, and at this place found a current setting to the
north. The 21st we came in sight of Point _Garachina_, in lat. 7 deg. 20'
N.[170] The land here being high and rocky, and without trees near the
shore. Within the point there is plenty of oysters and muscles. About
twelve leagues from this point are the islands called _Islas del Rey_,
or the Pearl Islands.[171] Between these and the Point of Garachina
there is a small flat barren island, called _Galleria_, near which we
came to anchor.

[Footnote 170: Carachina Point is in lat. 8 deg. 10' N.]

[Footnote 171: The Isla del Rey is a considerable island in the bay of
Panama, and the Archipelago de las Perlas are a multitude of [illegible]
islets N. by W. from that island.--E.]

The _King's_ or _Pearl_ Islands, are a considerable number of low woody
isles, seven leagues from the nearest continent, and twelve leagues from
Panama, stretching fourteen leagues from N.W. by N. to S.E. by S. Though
named Pearl Islands in the maps, I could never see any pearls about
them. The northermost of these isles, called _Pachea_ or _Pacheque_,
which is very small, is eleven or twelve leagues from Panama; the most
southerly is called St Paul's Island, and the rest, though larger, have
no names. Some of them are planted with bananas, plantains, and rice by
negroes belonging to the inhabitants of Panama. The channel between
these islands and the continent is seven or eight leagues broad, of a
moderate depth, and has good anchorage all the way. These isles lie very
close together, yet have channels between them fit for boats.

At one end of _St Paul's_ Island, there is a good careening place, in a
deep channel inclosed by the land, into which the entrance is on the
north side, where the tide rises ten feet. We brought our ships in on
the 25th, being spring tide, and having first cleaned our barks, we sent
them on the 27th to cruise towards Panama. The fourth day after, they
brought us in a prize coming from Lavelia, laden with maize or Indian
corn, salted beef and fowls. _Lavelia_ is a large town on the bank of a
river which runs into the north side of the bay of Panama, and is seven
leagues from the sea; and _Nata_ is another town situated in a plain on
a branch of the same river.[172] These two places supply Panama with
beef, hogs, fowls, and maize. In the harbour where we careened, we found
abundance of oysters, muscles, limpits, and clams, which last are a kind
of oysters, which stick so close to the rocks that they must be opened
where they grow, by those who would come at their meat. We also found
here some pigeons and turtle-doves.

[Footnote 172: From the circumstances in the text Lavelia seems to be
the town now named San Francisco, near the head of the river Salado,
which runs into the gulf Parita, on the _west_ side of the bay of

Having well careened our ships by the 14th February, and provided a
stock of wood and water, we sailed on the 18th, and came to anchor in
the great channel between the isles and the continent, in fifteen
fathoms, on soft ooze, and cruised next day towards Panama, about which
the shore seemed very beautiful, interspersed with a variety of hills
and many small thickets. About a league from the continent there are
several small isles, partly ornamented with scattered trees, and the
_King's Isles_ on the opposite side of the channel give a delightful
prospect, from their various shapes and situations. The 18th we went
towards Panama, and anchored directly opposite Old Panama, once a place
of note, but mostly laid in ashes by Sir Henry Morgan, and not since
rebuilt. New Panama is about four leagues from the old town, near the
side of a river, being a very handsome city, on a spacious bay of the
same name, into which many long navigable rivers discharge their waters,
some of which have gold in their sands. The country about Panama affords
a delightful prospect from the sea, having a great diversity of hills,
vallies, groves, and plains. The houses are mostly of brick, and pretty
lofty, some being handsomely built, especially that inhabited by the
president; the churches, monasteries, and other public edifices, making
the finest appearance of any place I have seen in the Spanish West
Indies. It is fortified by a high stone wall, mounted by a considerable
number of guns, which were formerly only on the land side, but have now
been added to the side next the sea. The city has vast trade, being the
staple or emporium for all goods to and from Peru and Chili; besides
that, every three years, when the Spanish _armada_ comes to Porto Bello,
the _Plate fleet_ comes here with the treasure belonging to the king and
the merchants, whence it is carried on mules by land to Porto Bello, at
which time, from the vast concourse of people, everything here is
enormously dear.

The Spanish armada, which comes every three years to the West Indies,
arrives first at Carthagena, whence an express is dispatched by land to
the viceroy at Lima, and two packets are also sent by sea, one for Lima,
and the other for Mexico, which last I suppose goes by way of _Vera
Cruz_. That for Lima goes first by land to Panama, and thence by sea to
Lima. After remaining sixty days at Carthagena, the armada sails to
Porto Bello, where it only remains thirty days to take in the royal
treasure brought here from Panama, said to amount to twenty-four
millions of dollars, besides treasure and goods belonging to the
merchants. From Porto Bello the armada weighs always on the thirtieth
day, but the admiral will sometimes stay a week longer at the mouth of
the river, to oblige the merchants. It then returns to Carthagena, where
it meets the king's money from that part of the country, as also a large
Spanish galleon or patache, which, on the first arrival of the armada at
Carthagena, had been dispatched along the coast to collect the royal
treasure. The armada, after a set stay at Carthagena, sails for the
Havannah, where a small squadron called the _flota_ meets it from Vera
Cruz, bringing the riches of Mexico, and the rich goods brought by the
annual ship from Manilla. When all the ships are joined, they sail for
Spain through the gulf of Florida.

Porto Bello is a very unhealthy place, on which account the merchants of
Lima stay there as short time as possible. Panama is seated in a much
better air, enjoying the sea-breeze every day from ten or eleven in the
forenoon till eight or nine at night, when the land-breeze begins, and
blows till next morning. Besides, on the land side Panama has an open
champaign country, and is seldom troubled with fogs; neither is the
rainy season, which continues from May till November, nearly so
excessive as at Porto Bello, though severe enough in June, July, and
August, in which season the merchants of Peru, who are accustomed to a
constant serene air, without rains or fogs, are obliged to cut off their
hair, to preserve them from fevers during their stay.

The 21st February, near the Perico islands opposite to Panama, we took
another prize from Lavelia, laden with beeves, hogs, fowls, and salt.
The 24th we went to the isle of Taboga, six leagues south of Panama.
This island is three miles long and two broad, being very rocky and
steep all round, except on the north side, where the shore has an easy
dope. In the middle of the isle the soil is black and rich, where
abundance of plantains and bananas are produced, and near the sea there
are cocoa and _mammee_ trees. These are large and straight in their
stems, without knots, boughs, or branches, and sixty or seventy feet
high. At the top there are many small branches set close together,
bearing round fruit about the size of a large quince, covered with a
grey rind, which is brittle before the fruit is ripe, but grows yellow
when the fruit comes to maturity, and is then easily peeled off. The
ripe fruit is also yellow, resembling a carrot in its flesh, and both
smells and tastes well, having two rough flat kernels in the middle,
about the size of large almonds. The S.W. side of this isle is covered
with trees, affording abundant fuel, and the N. side has a fine stream
of good water, which falls from the mountains into the sea. Near this
there was formerly a pretty town with a handsome church, but it has been
mostly destroyed by the privateers. There is good anchorage opposite
this town a mile from the shore, in sixteen to eighteen fathoms on soft
ooze. At the N.N.W. end is a small town called _Tabogilla_, and on the
N.E. of this another small town or village without a name.

While at anchor near _Tabogilla_, we were in great danger from a
pretended merchant, who brought a bark to us in the night, under
pretence of being laden with merchandise to trade with us privately, but
which was in reality a fire-ship fitted out for our destruction. But on
her approach, some of our men hailed her to come to anchor, and even
fired upon her, which so terrified the men that they got into their
canoes, having first set her on fire, on which we cut our cables and got
out of her way. This fire-ship was constructed and managed by one Bond,
who formerly deserted from us to the Spaniards. While busied next
morning in recovering our anchors, we discovered a whole fleet of canoes
full of men, passing between Tabogilla and another isle. These proved to
be French and English buccaneers, lately come from the North Sea across
the isthmus of Darien, 200 of them being French and 80 English. These
last were divides between our two ships, under Captains Davis and Swan;
and the Frenchmen were put into our prize, named the Flower, under the
command of Captain Gronet, their countryman, in return for which he
offered commissions to Captains Davis and Swan, from the governor of
Petite Goave, as it is the custom of the French privateers to carry with
them blank commissions. Captain Davis accepted one, but Captain Swan had
one already from the Duke of York.

Learning from these men that Captain Townley was coming across the
isthmus of Darien with 180 Englishmen, we set sail on the 2d March for
the gulf of _San Miguel_ to meet Townley. This gulf is on the east side
of the great Bay of Panama, in lat. 8 deg. 15' N. long. 79 deg. 10' W. thirty
leagues S.E. from Panama; from whence the passage lies between Isola del
Rey and the main. In this gulf many rivers discharge their waters. Its
southern point is Cape _Carachina_, in lat. 8 deg. 6' N. and the northern,
named Cape _Gardo_, is in lat. 8 deg. 18' N. The most noted rivers which
discharge themselves into this gulf, are named _Santa Maria, Sambo_, and
_Congo_. This last rises far within the country, and after being joined
by many small streams on both sides of its course, falls into the north
side of the gulf a league from Cape Gardo. It is deep and navigable for
several leagues into the country, but not broad, and is neglected by the
Spaniards owing to its nearness to the river of Santa Maria, where they
have gold mines. _Santa Maria_ is the largest of the rivers in this
gulf, being navigable for eight or nine leagues, as far as the tide
flows, above which it divides into several branches fit only for canoes.
In this river the tide of flood rises eighteen feet. About the year
1665, the Spaniards built the town of Santa Maria, near six leagues up
this river,[173] to be near the gold mines. I have been told, that,
besides the gold usually procured out of the ore and sand, they
sometimes find lumps wedged between the fissures of rocks as large as
hens eggs or larger. One of these was got by Mr Harris, who got here 120
pounds weight of gold, and in his lump there were several crevices full
of earth and dust.

[Footnote 173: In modern maps the river which seems to agree with this
description of the Santa Maria, is called _Tlace_, one of the principal
branches of which is named Chuchunque. The gold mines of Cana and Balsa
are placed on some of its branches, on which likewise there are several
towns, as Nisperal, Fichichi, Pungana, Praya, and Balsa.--E.]

The Spaniards employ their slaves to dig these mines in the dry season;
but when the rivers overflow, as the mines cannot be then worked, the
Indians wash the gold out of the sands that are forced down from the
mountains, and which gold they sell to the Spaniards, who gain as much
in that way as they do by their mines. During the wet season, the
Spaniards retire with their slaves to Panama. Near the mouth of the
Santa Maria, the Spaniards have lately built another town, called
_Scuchadores_,[174] in a more airy situation than Santa Maria. The land
all about the gulf of San Miguel is low and fertile, and is covered with
great numbers of large trees.

[Footnote 174: This probably is that named Nisperal in modern geography,
the appellation in the text being the Spanish name, and the other the
name given by the Indians.--E.]

While crossing the isthmus, Gronet had seen Captain Townley and his crew
at the town of Santa Maria, busied in making causes in which to embark
on the South Sea, the town being at that time abandoned by the
Spaniards; and on the 3d March, when we were steering for the gulf of
San Miguel, we met Captain Townley and his crew in two barks which they
had takes, one laden with brandy, wine, and sugar, and the other with
flour. As he wanted room for his men, he distributed the jars among our
ships, in which the Spaniards transport their brandy, wine, and oil.
These jars hold seven or eight gallons each. Being now at anchor among
the King's islands, but our water growing scarce, we sailed for Cape
Carachina, in hopes of providing ourselves with that necessary article,
and anchored within that cape, in four fathoms on the 22d. We here found
the tide to rise nine feet, and the flood to set N.N.E. the ebb running
S.S.W. The natives brought us some refreshments, but as they did not in

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