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A Voyage Round the World, Vol. I (of ?) by James Holman

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Including Travels in Africa, Asia, Australasia, America, etc. etc.




"Man loves knowledge: and the beams of truth
More welcome touch his understanding's eye,
Than all the blandishments of sounds his ear,
Than all of taste his tongue."



It is necessary to observe that this Work is designed to extend to 4
vols., to be published in regular succession; each Volume to embrace a
distinct portion of the whole, and to be complete in itself. The entire
publication will form a consecutive series of the Author's Voyages and
Travels Round the World.

The present Volume contains:--Madeira--Teneriffe--St. Jago--Sierra
Leone--Cape Coast--Accra--Fernando Po--Bonny, Calabar, and other Rivers
in the Bight of Biafra--Prince's Island--Ascension--Rio Janeiro--and
Journey to the Gold Mines.

[Note: The beginning of this dedication was missing from the text.]

...that your Majesty may long be spared to a nation that is so sensible
of the influence of your Majesty's exalted character.

With the most profound feelings of gratitude and devotion,

I have the honor to subscribe myself,

Your Majesty's Most faithful Servant,




Passion for Travelling--Author's peculiar Situation--Motives for going
Abroad--Resources for the Blind--Embark in the Eden, Capt. Owen, for
Sierra Leone--Lord High Admiral at Plymouth--Cape Finisterre--Arrival
at Madeira--Town of Funchal--Wines of Madeira--Cultivation of the
Grape--Table of Exports--Seizure of Gin--Fruits and Vegetables--Climate
--Coffee, Tea, and Sugar Cultivation--Palanquin Travelling--Departure
from Madeira


Teneriffe--Town of Santa Cruz--Female Costume--Incident at a Ball--Bad
Roads--Climate--Productions--Population of the Canary Islands--Imports
and Exports--Various Qualities of the Wines--Fishery--Leave Santa
Cruz--Crossing the Tropic of Cancer--Shaving and Ducking--General
Remarks--Make St. Jago--Anchor at Porto Praya--Sickly Season--Death of
the Consul and his Wife--Consul's Sister--Governor's Garden and
Watering-place--Population of the Island--Produce--The Orchilla Weed,
its growth, uses, and varieties--Cause of Fever--Departure for Sierra


Arrival at Sierra Leone--Mr. Lewis--Black Washerwomen.--Visitors on
board--Capture of Leopards--Mortality--Funeral of Mr. Lewis--Education
of Native Children--Regimental Mess--Curious Trials at a Quarter
Sessions--Depredations of the Kroomen--Causes of Unhealthiness--The
Boollam Territory--Lieutenant George Maclean's Mission--Election
of a King--Regent's Speech--Macaulay Wilson--Ceremonies of the
Coronation--Character of the Boollams--Christian and Mahommedan
Missionaries--Aspect of the Country--Cession of Boollam to Great
Britain--Extraordinary Trial for Crim. Con.--News of the Death of Mr.


Auction at Sierra Leone--Timber Establishments in the River--Tombo,
Bance and Tasso Islands--Explosion of a Vessel at Sea--Liberated
Africans--Black Ostlers--Horses Imported--Slave Vessel--Colonial Steam
Vessel--Road and Street Repairs--Continued Rains--Suggestion for
preserving the Health of European Seamen--General Views of the
Colony--Population--Parishes--Supply of Provisions--Description
of Freetown--Curious Letter from Black Labourers--Original
Settlers--Present Inhabitants--Trade with the Interior--Strange Customs
of Native Merchants--Anecdote of Sailors--Injurious Example of the
Royal African Corps--Vaccination of Natives--Medical Opinion--Departure
from Sierra Leone


Cape St. Ann--Dangerous Shoals--Old Sailors--Liberia--Origin and
History of the Colony--Failure at Sherbro Island--Experiment at
Liberia--Difficulties Encountered by the Settlers--Differences with
the Natives--Final Adjustment--Improving State of the Colony--Laws and
Morals--Remarks on Colonization


The Kroo Country--Religion of the Kroo and Fish Men--Emigration of the
Natives--Sketch of their habits and customs--Purchase of Wives--The
Krooman's _ne plus ultra_--Migratory propensities--Rogueries
exposed--Adoption of English Names--Cape Palmas--Dexterity of the
Fishmen--Fish towns--The Fetish--Arrival at Cape Coast--Land with
the Governor--Captain Hutchison--Cape Coast mode of taking an airing--
Ashantee Chiefs--Diurnal occupations--School for Native Girls--
Domestication of Females--Colonel Lumley--Captain Ricketts--Neglect of
Portuguese Fortresses--A native Doctor


Recollections of the Ashantee War--Battle of Essamacow--Accession of
Osay Aquatoo to the Throne--Battle of Affatoo--Investment of Cape
Coast--Flight of the Ashantees--Martial Law proclaimed--Battle of
Dodowah--Ashantee Mode of Fighting--Death of Captain Hutchison


Embarkation--Departure for Accra--Land Route--Accra Roads--Visit to
Danish Accra--Dilapidations of the Fortresses at Dutch and English
Accra--Captive Queen--Mr. Thomas Park--Cause of his Death unknown--
Departure for Fernando Po--First view of the Island--Anchor in
Maidstone Bay--Early History of the Settlement--Capt. Owen's
Expedition--Visited by the Inhabitants--Site for the Settlement
determined--Author's Mission to the King of Baracouta--Visit of the
King--Native Costume--Ecstacy of the Natives--Distribution of
Presents--Second Visit to the King--His Majesty's evasive Conduct--
Renewed Interviews--A Native Thief--Intended Punishment--Cut-throat,
a Native Chief--Visit to King-Cove--Purchase of Land


Native Simplicity--Resources of the Blind--Royal Village--Gathering
of Natives--Native Priests--Royal Feast--Inhospitable Treatment--
Uncomfortable Quarters--Vocabulary of the Native Language--Beauty of
the Female Character--Women of Fernando Po--Anecdotes--Aspect of the
Country--Productions--Preparations for the Settlement--Discovery of
a Theft--Mimic War Customs--Native Chiefs--Female on Board--Monkey for
Dinner--Flogging a Prisoner--Accident to a Sailor--A Voyage of Survey
round the Island--River named after the Author--Geographical and
Meteorological Observations--Insubordination--A Man Overboard--Deserter
taken--Death of the Interpreter--Method of Fishing--Visitors from St.
Thomas--Ceremony of taking Possession of Fernando Po--Interview with
a Native Chief--Celebration Dinner--Indirect Roguery--Chief and his
Wife--Hospital near Point William--The Guana--Mistake at Sea--
Suggestions on the Slave-Trade--Fishing Stakes--Schooner on a Mudflat


Slave Canoe--Duke's Pilot--Old Calabar Town--Consternation on Shore,
and disappearance of the Slave Vessels--Fruitless Pursuit of the
Slavers--Eyo Eyo, King Eyo's Brother--Old Calabar Festivals--Attempted
Assassination, and Duke Ephraim's Dilemma--Obesity of the King's
Wives--Ordeal for Regal Honours--Duke's English House--Coasting Voyage
to the Bonny--Author discovers Symptoms of Fever--The Rivers of St.
Nicholas, Sombrero, St. Bartholomew, and Sta. Barbara--"The
Smokes"--Capture of a Spanish Slave Vessel in the River St. John--Nun,
or First Brass River, discovered to be the Niger--Natural Inland
Navigation--New Calabar River--Pilot's Jhu Jhu--Foche Island--Author
Sleeps on Shore--Bonny Bath--Interview with King Peppel--Ceremony of
opening the Trade--Rashness of a Slave Dealer--Horrible
Fanaticism--Schooner at Sea--Return to Fernando Po


Reverence for Beards--Native Shields--Petty Thefts--Tornado Season--
Author departs for Calabar--Waterspout--Palm-oil Vessels--Visit to Duke
Ephraim--Escape of a Schooner with Slaves--Calabar Sunday--Funeral of
the Duke's Brother--Egbo Laws--Egbo Assembly--Extraordinary Mode of
recovering Debts--Superstition and Credulity--Cruelty of the Calabar
People to Slaves--Royal Slave Dealer--Royal Monopoly--Manner of Trading
with the Natives--Want of Missionaries--Capt. Owen's Arrival--Visit
Creek Town with King Eyo--The Royal Establishment--Savage Festivities--
Calabar Cookery--Old Calabar River


Captain Owen's Departure--Runaway Slave--Egbo again--Duke's Sunday--
Superstitious Abstinence--Anecdote of a Native Gentleman--Breaking
Trade--Author's Visit to Creek Town--Bullocks embarked--Departure from
Calabar--Chased by mistake--Dangerous Situation--Mortality at Fernando
Po--Detection of a Deserter--Frequency of Tornados--Horatio hove down--
Capture of a Slave Vessel--Loss of Mr. Morrison--Another Slave Vessel
taken--Landing a part of the Slaves--Author's Daily Routine--Garden of
Eden--Monstrous Fish--Continued Mortality--Market at Longfield


Scarcity of Provisions in Fernando Po--Diet of the Natives--Their
Timidity--Its probable Cause--The Recovery of a liberated African
Deserter--Departure from Fernando Po--Reflections on the Uses of
the Settlement--Causes of Failure--Insalubrity of the Climate--
Probabilities of Improvement--Arrival off the mouth of the Camaroon
River--Chase of a Brigantine--Her Capture--Her suspicious Appearance--
Slave Accommodations--Pirates of the North Atlantic Ocean--Prince's
Island--Visit to the Governor--Drunken Frolic of a Marine--Provisions--
Delicious Coffee--Account of the Town--Population--Varieties of
Colour in the Inhabitants--West-bay--Inhospitality of the Governor and
Merchants--Visit to a Brazilian Brigantine--Difficulty of obtaining
a Passage to Angola--Departure of the Emprendadora--The Eden leaves
Prince's Island--Crossing the Equinoctial Line--Dolphin and Flying-fish
--Trade-winds--Ascension Island at Daybreak--Landing--Description of
the Settlement--Turtle--Goats' Flesh--Abundant Poultry--Island Game--
Aboriginal Foes--Unfaithful Friends--Gladiatorial Sports--Privileges
of Settlers--Traffic--Roads--Water--Culture of Soil--Produce--
Vegetables--Live Stock--Population--Employments--Hours of Labour--
Recreations--Departure from the Island--Recollections of Ascension
on a former Voyage--Dampier, the Navigator--The Variables--An Affidavit
on Crossing the Line--Change of Weather--Dutch Galliot--Passage for
the Brazils--Parting of Friends


Dutch Galliot--An Agreeable Companion--Melancholy Account of St. Jago--
Beauty in Tears--Manner of obtaining Salt and Water at Mayo--Pleasures
of a Galliot in a heavy Sea--Dutch Miscalculation--Distances--An
Oblation to Neptune and Amphitrite (new style)--Melange, Devotion and
_Gourmanderie_--Curious Flying-fish--Weather--Whales--Cape Pigeons--
Anchor off Rio Janeiro--Distant Scenery--Custom-house Duties--Hotel du
Nord--Rua Direito--Confusion thrice confounded--Fruit Girls, not fair,
but coquettish--Music unmusical, or Porterage, with an Obligato
Accompaniment--Landing-place--An Evening Walk--A bad Cold--Job's
Comforter--Shoals of Visitors--Captain Lyon's Visit, and Invitation
to the Author--Naval Friends--Packet for England--English Tailors--
Departure for Congo Soco--The Party--Thoughts on Self-Denial--
Uncomfortable Quarters--Changes of Atmosphere--Freedom by Halves;
or _left_-handed Charity--Serra Santa Anna--Valley of Botaes--The
Ferreirinho, or little Blacksmith--Dangerous Ascent of the Alto de
Serra--Pest, an Universal Disease--An English Settler--Rio Paraheiba--
Valencia--Curiosity of the People--Unceremonious Inquisitors--Comforts
of a Beard--Castor-Oil for burning--Rio Preta--Passports--Entrance to
the Mine Country--Examination of Baggage--Attention without Politeness
--The Green-eyed Monster, "An old Man would be wooing"


Advantages of Early Travelling--Funelle--"A Traveller stopped at a
Widow's Gate"--Bright Eyes and Breakfast--Smiles and Sighs--The Fish
River--Cold Lodgings--Fowl Massacre--Bad Ways--Gigantic Ant-hills--
The Campos--Insect Warriors--Insinuating Visitors (Tick)--The
Simpleton--Bertioga--A Drunkard--Cold Shoulders--Mud Church--Feasting
and Fasting; or, the Fate of Tantalus--Method in a Slow March--Gentlemen
Hungry and Angry--No "Accommodation for Man or Horse"--A Practical
Bull--Curtomi--Hospitable Treatment at Grandie--Horse Dealer--A "Chance"
Purchase--Bivouac--Mule Kneeling--Sagacious Animal--Quilos--A Mist--
Gold-washing--Ora Branca--Hazardous Ascent of the Serra D'Ora Branca--
Topaz District--A Colonel the Host--Capoa--Jigger-hunters--Mineralogical
Specimens--Mortality of Animals--Pasturage--Account of Ora Preta--Gold
Essayed--Halt--Journey resumed--Arrival at Congo Soco




Passion for Travelling--Author's peculiar situation--Motives for going
Abroad--Resources for the Blind--Embark in the Eden, Capt. Owen, for
Sierra Leone--Lord High Admiral at Plymouth--Cape Finisteire--Arrival
at Madeira--Town of Funchal--Wines of Madeira--Cultiwition of the
Grape--Table of Exports--Seizure of Gin--Fruits and Vegetables--Climate
--Coffee, Tea, and Sugar Cultivation--Palanquin Travelling--Departure
from Madeira

The passion for travelling is, I believe, instinctive in some natures.
We have seen men persevere in their enterprises against the most
formidable obstacles; and, without means or friends, and even ignorant
of the languages of the various countries through which they passed,
pursue their perilous journeys into remote places, until, like the
knight in the Arabian tale, they succeeded in snatching a memorial
from every shrine they visited. For my own part, I have been conscious
from my earliest youth of the existence of this desire to explore
distant regions, to trace the varieties exhibited by mankind under the
different influences of different climates, customs, and laws, and to
investigate with unwearied solicitude the moral and physical
distinctions that separate and diversify the various nations of the

I am bound to believe that this direction of my faculties and energies
has been ordained by a wise and benevolent Providence, as a source of
consolation under an affliction which closes upon me all the delights
and charms of the visible world. The constant occupation of the mind,
and the continual excitement of mental and bodily action, contribute
to diminish, if not to overcome, the sense of deprivation which must
otherwise have pressed upon me; while the gratification of this
passion scarcely leaves leisure for despondency, at the same time that
it supplies me with inexhaustible means of enjoyment. When I entered
the naval service I felt an irresistible impulse to become acquainted
with as many parts of the world as my professional avocations would
permit, and I was determined not to rest satisfied until I had
completed the circumnavigation of the globe. But at the early age of
twenty-five, while these resolves were strong, and the enthusiasm of
youth was fresh and sanguine, my present affliction came upon me. It
is impossible to describe the state of my mind at the prospect of
losing my sight, and of being, as I then supposed, deprived by that
misfortune of the power of indulging in my cherished project. Even the
suspense which I suffered, during the period when my medical friends
were uncertain of the issue, appeared to me a greater misery than the
final knowledge of the calamity itself. At last I entreated them to be
explicit, and to let me know the worst, as that could be more easily
endured than the agonies of doubt. Their answer, instead of increasing
my uneasiness, dispelled it. I felt a comparative relief in being no
longer deceived by false hopes; and the certainty that my case was
beyond remedy determined me to seek, in some pursuit adapted to my new
state of existence, a congenial field of employment and consolation.
At that time my health was so delicate, and my nerves so depressed by
previous anxiety, that I did not suffer myself to indulge in the
expectation that I should ever be able to travel out of my own country
alone; but the return of strength and vigour, and the concentration of
my views upon one object, gradually brought back my old passion, which
at length became as firmly established as it was before. The
elasticity of my original feelings being thus restored, I ventured,
alone and sightless, upon my dangerous and novel course; and I cannot
look back upon the scenes through which I have passed, the great
variety of circumstances by which I have been surrounded, and the
strange experiences with which I have become familiar, without an
intense aspiration of gratitude for the bounteous dispensation of the
Almighty, which enabled me to conquer the greatest of human evils by
the cultivation of what has been to me the greatest of human
enjoyments, and to supply the void of sight with countless objects of
intellectual gratification. To those who inquire what pleasures I can
derive from the invigorating spirit of travelling under the privation
I suffer, I may be permitted to reply in the words of the poet,

Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame,
Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame;
Their level life is but a smouldering fire,
Unquench'd by want, unfanned by strong desire.

Or perhaps, with more propriety, I may ask, who could endure life
without a purpose, without the pursuit of some object, in the
attainment of which his moral energies should be called into healthful
activity? I can confidently assert that the effort of travelling has
been beneficial to me in every way; and I know not what might have
been the consequence, if the excitement with which I looked forward to
it had been disappointed, or how much my health might have suffered
but for its refreshing influence.

I am constantly asked, and I may as well answer the question here once
for all, what is the use of travelling to one who cannot see? I
answer, Does every traveller see all that he describes?--and is not
every traveller obliged to depend upon others for a great proportion
of the information he collects? Even Humboldt himself was not exempt
from this necessity.

The picturesque in nature, it is true, is shut out from me, and works
of art are to me mere outlines of beauty, accessible only to one sense;
but perhaps this very circumstance affords a stronger zest to
curiosity, which is thus impelled to a more close and searching
examination of details than would be considered necessary to a
traveller who might satisfy himself by the superficial view, and rest
content with the first impressions conveyed through the eye. Deprived
of that organ of information, I am compelled to adopt a more rigid and
less suspicious course of inquiry, and to investigate analytically, by
a train of patient examination, suggestions, and deductions, which
other travellers dismiss at first sight; so that, freed from the hazard
of being misled by appearances, I am the less likely to adopt hasty and
erroneous conclusions. I believe that, notwithstanding my want of
vision, I do not fail to visit as many interesting points in the course
of my travels as the majority of my contemporaries: and by having
things described to me _on the spot_, I think it is possible for me to
form as correct a judgment as my own sight would enable me to do: and
to confirm my accuracy, I could bring many living witnesses to bear
testimony to my endless inquiries, and insatiable thirst for collecting
information. Indeed this is the secret of the delight I derive from
travelling, affording me as it does a constant source of mental
occupation, and stimulating me so powerfully to physical exertion, that
I can bear a greater degree of bodily fatigue, than any one could
suppose my frame to be capable of supporting.

I am frequently asked how I take my notes. It is simply thus: I keep a
sort of rough diary, which I fill up from time to time as opportunities
offer, but not from day to day, for I am frequently many days in
arrear, sometimes, indeed, a fortnight together: but I always vividly
remember the daily occurrences which I wish to retain, so that it is
not possible that any circumstances can escape my attention. I also
collect distinct notes on various subjects, as well as particular
descriptions of interesting objects, and when I cannot meet with a
friend to act as my amanuensis, I have still a resource in my own
writing apparatus, of which, however, I but seldom avail myself, as the
process is much more tedious to me than that of dictation. But these
are merely rough notes of the heads of subjects, which I reserve to
expatiate upon at leisure on my return to old England.

The invention of the apparatus to which I allude is invaluable to those
who are afflicted with blindness. It opens not only an agreeable source
of amusement and occupation in the hours of loneliness and retirement,
but it affords a means of communicating our secret thoughts to a
friend, without the interposition of a third party; so that the
intercourse and confidence of private correspondence, excluded by a
natural calamity, are thus preserved to us by an artificial substitute.
By the aid of this process, too, we may desire our correspondent to
reply to our inquiries in a way which would be quite unintelligible to
those to whom the perusal of the answer might be submitted. This
apparatus, which is called the "Nocto via Polygraph," by Mr. Wedgwood,
the inventor, is not only useful to the blind, but is equally capable
of being rendered available to all persons suffering under diseases of
the eyes; for, although it does not assist you to commit your thoughts
to paper with the same facility that is attained by the use of pen and
ink, it enables you to write very clearly and legibly, while you have
the satisfaction of knowing that you are spared all risk of hurting
your sight. It is but an act of justice to refer such of my readers as
may feel any curiosity on this subject, to Mr. Wedgwood, for full
particulars respecting his various inventions for the use of the blind.

Having given these personal explanations--rendered necessary by the
peculiarity of my situation, and the very general curiosity which
appears to exist on the subject, if I may judge by the frequency of the
interrogatories that are put to me--will now conclude my preliminary

Nor will I thee detain
With poet's fictions, nor oppress thine ear
With circumstance, and long exordiums here;

but place myself at once on board H.M.S. Eden, at Woolwich, on the 1st
of July, 1827, having been previously invited to take a passage to the
coast of Africa, by her captain, W.F.W. Owen, Esq., who was appointed
superintendent of a new settlement about to be established on the
island of Fernando Po. The commission with which this gentleman was
charged, afforded him peculiar advantages, as he was to retain the
command of his ship, independently of the Commodore on the African
station, for the purpose of facilitating his operations in the island.
I had resolved to visit Sierra Leone, and other places on the western
coast of Africa, principally from an early anxiety I felt to explore
that part of the world, and also, strange and paradoxical as it may
appear, for the benefit of my health. That a man should visit Sierra
Leone for the benefit of his health, seems to be as unreasonable as if
he were to seek for the vernal airs of the south in the inclement
region of Siberia. But, I am strongly inclined to believe, that the
apprehensions of European travellers on this subject are often as fatal
as the climate that produces them. In my own case, I was not only free
from any apprehensions concerning fevers and those diseases which are
incidental to a tropical climate, but, having been recommended to try
the effects of a warm region, I anticipated an improvement in my
general health from a short residence at a spot, which incautious modes
of living, in addition to the insalubrity of the climate, have rendered
fatal to so many of my countrymen. At the same time, I am not
insensible to the fact, that all Europeans are more or less susceptible
of those disorders which are prevalent within the Tropics; especially
on the western coast of Africa, in Batavia, Trincomalee, and different
parts of the West Indies; but it is equally certain that fear is a
great predisposing cause of disease, and that the despondency to which
most persons give way while they are under the influence of its
effects, increases the mortality to a considerable extent. It has been
generally observed, that those persons who happen to be so actively
engaged in any engrossing pursuit, as to have no leisure for the
imagination to work upon their fears, are less liable to the fever,
and, if attacked, are better able to encounter its virulence, than the
timid and cautious. In the event of an attack, if the patient keeps up
his spirits, and prevents desponding thoughts from occupying his mind,
there is every reason to hope for a favourable result--

The sons of hope are Heaven's peculiar care,
Whilst life remains 'tis impious to despair.

There are, of course, some constitutions more susceptible of the
disease than others; and it may also be observed, that young people are
more exposed to danger, than those who have passed the meridian of

We left Woolwich on the following day, July the 2nd, for Northfleet,
where we remained a week, for the purpose of making observations,
regulating the chronometers, &c. We also took in our guns, 26 in
number, of the following calibre--18 32-pound carronades, 6 18-pound
ditto, and 2 long 9-pounders, with a full proportion of shot. This
quantity of metal alone (for the carriages had been previously taken on
board and fixed at Woolwich) brought the ship bodily down in the water
four inches, drawing, when on board, 15 feet 2 inches forward, and 15
feet 6 inches abaft. We also received, on the day after, as much powder
as could be put in the magazines. On Monday, the 9th, we left our
moorings, and proceeded down the Thames, anchoring for the night. On
the following day we arrived in the Downs, where we remained for about
six-and-forty hours, and from thence proceeded down Channel, and
anchored in Plymouth Sound, on Saturday the 14th of July, immediately
after which I accompanied my brother, Lieutenant Robert Holman, R.N.,
who came on board for me, to his house at Plymouth, where I spent a
very agreeable time, amongst my old shipmates, relatives, and friends.
For the last few days, indeed, my enjoyment was marred by illness, but
that was merely the bitter, which a wise Providence mingles in the cup
of life.

The period of my stay at Plymouth happened to be one of general
congratulation and excitement, owing to the arrival of his present
Majesty, then Lord High Admiral; who came there on a visit of
inspection. His Royal Highness held regular levees, which were
numerously attended. The opportunity to wait upon his Royal Highness
was to me a source of sincere gratification, of which I gladly availed
myself. But I must acknowledge that a faint hope arose in my mind, that
the peculiar circumstances in which I was placed might interest his
Royal Highness on my behalf, and lead to some change in my situation
favourable to the objects I had so long cherished. I ventured to
indulge in the thought, which, perhaps, I scarcely suffered myself
altogether to define, that I might be relieved from the obligations of
my appointment at Windsor, by which I am under restrictions, both as to
time and space; and be permitted to enjoy some equivalent consideration,
which would leave me free to prosecute the plans to which I had devoted
the whole energies of my mind. As it was, I had only obtained
permission to go abroad for the benefit of my health; but the remedy
was in itself an incitement to further travel, so that I should no
sooner have reaped the advantage of my leave of absence, and with
renewed health, acquired an increased desire for exploring distant
countries, than I should be compelled to relinquish my undertaking,
and the apprehension of a sudden recall constantly presenting itself
to my mind, checked in a great measure the enjoyment of my pursuit.
But my sanguine wishes, and unconfessed hopes, faded like a dream; and
I turned again to the sea, to contemplate the bounds that were placed
to my ambitious projects. Had it been otherwise--could I have followed
unchecked the course of my own impulses, I should not have
circumscribed my plan to any precise limits, but would have pursued my
travels, wherever the slightest point of interest encouraged me to

Possibly it is better as it is. I have much reason to be grateful for
the protecting hand of Providence that preserved me throughout my
wanderings; and, had I been less restrained by the force of
circumstances, I might not now, perhaps, possess the power of recording
the results of my researches.

In consequence of having been confined to my bed by severe indisposition,
I was unable to walk to the boat when the Eden was ready to sail, and
had nearly lost my passage; but my anxiety to proceed overcame all my
difficulties, and ill as I was I saved my distance by hastening in a
coach to the waterside, where Captain Owen had kindly provided a boat
for my reception.

On the 29th we got under weigh at 9 A.M., with a fresh breeze from the

Gallant before the wind she goes, her prow
High bearing and disparting the blue tide
That foams and flashes in its rage below.
Meantime the helmsman feels a conscious pride,
And while far onward the long billows swell,
Looks to the lessening land, which seems to say, 'farewell!'

We did not long enjoy our easterly breeze, for in the evening the wind
became variable, the rain fell in torrents, accompanied with lightning
and thunder, and the night was dark and dismal, with an irregular sea,
which made the ship very uneasy; then followed one of those scenes of
confusion which can be witnessed only on shipboard; the creaking of
timbers as they were strained by the conflict of the elements, the
uproar of a multitude of voices, the ludicrous accidents arising from
the pitching and rolling of the vessel, things breaking loose in all
directions, chests flying from side to side, crockery smashing, people
hallooing, others moaning and groaning, accompanied with frequent
evomitions, and occasionally a general scream, from some extraordinary
crash. With tumultuous noises of this kind I was entertained as I lay
on my bed, not from sea-sickness, but from previous indisposition.
Towards morning the wind settled in the N.W., blowing very strong, and
the Eden continued rolling a great deal the whole day. This breeze
fortunately kept up the two following days, when the weather became
very fine, and the wind light and variable. The whole of this day
(Thursday, August 2nd) we were in sight of Cape Finisterre. On Sunday
the 5th the weather was very fine and warm, with a moderate breeze; we
had eleven sail of vessels in sight, the greater part of which, from
their regular order of sailing, were supposed to be the experimental
squadron under the command of Sir Thomas Hardy. Divine service was
performed by the Rev. Mr. Davy, a Church Missionary, who, with his
wife, was bound to Sierra Leone, to perform the duties of a missionary
and teacher to the liberated Africans; his wife taking upon herself to
instruct the female part of that community. The following day, in
36-1/2 deg. N. lat., we saw several flying fish, which I mention merely
because it was thought to be very unusual to see them so far to the

On Wednesday, the 8th of August, we came in sight of Porto Santo. The
first appearance of land always produces a degree of interest in the
ship even to sailors, but to passengers it is generally the cause of
great excitement. In the afternoon we saw Madeira,[1] and on the
following day we rounded the west end of the island, and stood for
Funchal Roads, having passed along the north side in order that
Captain Owen might ascertain its length, which he found to be
thirty-four miles; this was precisely the same distance that he had
calculated it to be on a former measurement. He had taken this trouble
a second time, in consequence of some navigator having expressed a
different opinion on the subject. In the evening we anchored in
thirty-six fathoms water, the Loo Rock bearing N. by E. We found a
Portuguese sloop of war and several small merchant vessels lying here.
The next morning I went on shore with the surgeon and purser of the
Eden, both of whom have since died of fever on board the same ship.

The general landing place for ships' boats is at the Loo Rock on the
west side of the bay, which is at the extremity of the town on that
side, and you have more than a mile to walk over a very badly paved
road before you arrive at the centre of the town; you may, however,
land on the beach near the custom-house, from whence you immediately
enter the best part of the town, but the surf is sometimes so rough
that you cannot attempt this point without risking a ducking, or the
upsetting of your boat, which you must immediately haul up on the
beach or keep outside the surf.

Notwithstanding we had left England in the height of summer we found a
great difference in the climate, the weather being exceedingly hot. On
the following day I was invited to dine and take up my residence at
Mr. Shortridge's during our stay at Madeira. We met a large party at
dinner, consisting of Captain Owen, with some of his officers, the
Rev. Mr. Deacon, and a number of the most respectable English
residents. Madeira is so frequently visited by ships from different
parts of Europe, and has been so fully described, that it may,
perhaps, appear superfluous to attempt any further account of a place
already so well known; but as all men are supposed to possess a
certain portion of vanity, and as travellers are proverbially accused
of laying claim to the discovery of some facts which had escaped the
observation of their predecessors, I venture to throw together, into
as brief a compass as possible, the result of my inquiries, in the
hope that I may add something to that which is already known, and, at
all events, with a strong confidence in the accuracy of my remarks.

The wine, being of vital importance to the prosperity of the island,
presents the first claim to the attention of a stranger. A sort of
controversy, with better reasons on the one side than the other,
prevails, respecting the relative qualities of the wines produced at
the north and the south sides of the island; in which the vineyards at
the north side have suffered what appears to be an indiscriminate and
injudicious censure. The grape chiefly grown there is the Virdelho,
which the most experienced planters allow to be productive of the
strongest and most esteemed of their wines; and when it is of the
growth of the southern vineyards it is held in the highest estimation.
It must, however, be admitted that the northern aspect is unfavourable
to the grape, and that the greater proportion of the wines from that
side are only fit for the still. The cause of this may be referred to
a variety of circumstances; such as the marked difference in the soil
and aspect and the mode of cultivation, the vines being trained upon
trees; whilst on the south side the more approved system is practised
of training them upon horizontal trellis work, raised two or three
feet from the ground, by which the plant is supported and the fruit
exposed to the full influence of the sun. A great superiority of
flavour is, no doubt, thus obtained: on the north side, the grapes are
entirely of the white kind, whilst on the south there is a great
variety, but chiefly of the red, from which it is said the finest wine
is made. The famed vineyards of the Malmsey and Sercial wines, are
towards the west end of the south side. There is but a very small
quantity of either grown on this spot of the first rate quality, or
indeed of any value as a characteristic wine, for on the easternmost
part of this situation there is a constant flow of water rushing from
the summits of the rocks, that greatly deteriorates the value of the
growths over which its influence extends. The practice of plucking the
leaves of the vines to admit the genial heat of the sun to the fruit,
as well as a free circulation of air, has been found most beneficial
in bringing the fruit to perfection. This process is also a source of
emolument to the planter, as the leaves form an excellent food for
fattening cattle destined for the shambles, giving also to the meat a
fine and delicious flavour.

The wines of Madeira generally may be divided into three
denominations, and may be thus described.

_Tinto_ is a red wine, the produce of the Burgundy grape, transplanted
to Madeira. It is drank in perfection in the second and third years,
before it has deposited its extractive matter, after which it becomes a
full bodied Madeira wine, of the usual colour and flavour.

_Sercial_ is the produce of the Hock grape: a pale, lively, and very
high-flavoured wine. It ought not to be drank in less than seven years,
and it requires a much greater age to reach perfection.

_Malmsey_, when genuine, is a rich and highly cordial wine. There is a
variety of it called _green Malmsey_, bearing some resemblance to

The first quality of the Madeira wine is certainly equal to the finest
production of the grape in any part of the world, for its aromatic
flavour and beneficial effects: therefore it is much to be lamented
that so small a quantity of it, in its pure state, should find its way
to foreign markets: and that its character should be sacrificed to the
sordid speculations of any unprincipled traders. Wine drinkers in
England are very commonly deceived into the idea that a voyage to the
East or West Indies is sufficient to ensure the excellence of the
wine; but this is an obvious fallacy, for if the wine were not of a
good quality when shipped from the island, a thousand voyages could
not make it what it never had been. It is well known to every merchant
in Madeira, that a great proportion of the wines so shipped are of an
inferior quality, and are purchased in barter by persons who are
commonly known by the name of truckers.

I may here observe, as a general remark, that fine Madeira wines are
equally improved by the extremes of heat and cold, and that damp is
always hurtful to them.

Burgundy vines have lately been introduced into Madeira. The generally
received opinion that the wines of Teneriffe and the Azores are
brought here for the purpose of giving them the Madeira flavour, and
sending them to foreign markets as the produce of the island, is very
erroneous. Although smuggling is openly carried on, and to an extent
that ought to set at rest so fallacious an opinion, any one acquainted
with this island must be aware of the utter impossibility of
introducing foreign wines with a view to exporting them again as
native produce; for, in the first place, the whole of the inhabitants
would be likely to resist such an attempt, from a conviction that the
introduction would militate against their own interests, and from the
obvious apprehension that the increased quantity as well as the
inferior quality of the adulterated wines, would injure the character
and reduce the price of their own.

The great increase too, which it would occasion in the amount sent out
of the island, would render it very difficult for the speculators in
the spurious wines, to avoid detection. It is, therefore, much more
reasonable to suppose, that these mixtures take place in the markets
to which the wines are sent: the great demand for them tempting the
persons engaged in the traffic, to embark in an imposition which has
had the effect of deteriorating the wines so materially, that at last
they began to lose their previous character, to get out of fashion,
and, consequently, to fall off in demand as well as in price. This
system of intermixing different wines, to swell the quantity of some
favourite wine, is known to prevail to a great extent in those of
France and Portugal. The Clarets of the London market, are principally
prepared for the purpose, and, in the transit, lose much of the pure
nature of the original production: and the quantity of adulterated
Port that is sold in England is almost incredible. It is also a well
known fact, that there is more Tokay[2] sold on the Continent and in
England, in one year, than the limited space where it is grown, on the
mountains of Hungary, could produce in twenty years.

But there is also, independently of this vitiation to which the wines
are liable, another cause for the inferior quality of those wines
which are really the produce of the islands. A few Englishmen, and
other foreigners, of a grade very different from that of the
respectable English merchants who have been long established here, hit
upon the expedient of exporting wines instead of attending to the
business which they had originally established on the island. They
thought it would turn out profitable to buy up cheap, and, of course,
inferior wines, for the purpose of sending them to the European
markets, under the impression that any thing would sell that was known
to be the genuine production of Madeira. By this method of enlarging
their business, the worst description of the native produce got
abroad, and was substituted in place of the best. There are, of
course, a great variety of qualities; but there is not a greater
quantity of the first quality than is required to flavour their
inferior wines; and it is only by appropriating it to that purpose,
that they could be enabled to furnish a sufficient quantity for the
immense demand in the various markets which they have to supply.

It will be seen from the following account of the exportation of wine
from Madeira, that the demand was rapidly decreasing in 1825, 6, and
7, owing to the causes above mentioned.

Pipes of Hds. Q.C. 1/2 Q.C.
110 Gall. of 55 of 27-1/2 of 15
January, 1367 1 0 0
Feb. 751 1 0 1
March, 1915 1 0 0
April, 2463 0 1 0
May, 1252 1 1 0
June, 1112 1 1 0
July, 1329 1 1 1
August, 677 1 0 0
Sept. 741 0 0 1
Oct. 1338 1 1 0
Nov. 881 1 1 0
Dec. 599 0 0 1
14425 9 7 4

Pipes, old
Measure Hds. Q.C. 1/2 Q.C.
January, 1092 1 1 1
Feb. 420 1 1 1
March, 905 1 1 1
April, 777 1 1 1
May, 1826 1 1 1
June, 866 0 0 1
July, 488 1 0 1
August, 978 1 0 0
Sept. 317 0 0 1
Oct. 730 1 1 1
Nov. 703 1 0 1
Dec. 289 1 0 0
9391 10 6 9

Pipes Hds. Q.C. 1/4 Q.C.
January, 371 1 0 1
Feb. 573 0 0 0
March, 252 0 1 1
April, 958 1 1 1
May, 1539 0 1 0
June, 535 0 1 1
July, 567 1 1 0
August, 279 0 1 1
5274 2 6 5

I am informed, that smuggling is so common a practice in this island,
that there is no difficulty in procuring any prohibited article you
may desire: among the most abundant are French brandy and Dutch gin.
The former of these articles continued to be smuggled, in large
quantities, for some time after the prohibition, from an idea that it
was the best spirit they could use, and under an apprehension that the
wines could not maintain their character without it:--experience,
however, has shewn them, that they can not only do without French
brandy, but that the spirit which is made on the island, is much
better adapted to their purpose.

An extensive seizure of gin was made during our short stay at Madeira,
under the following circumstances: A boat went off to a Dutch vessel,
on the same evening that she left the port, which, no doubt, had been
previously arranged, and took 300 cases of gin, which she landed at
the N.E. side of the island. She remained there that day, and
proceeded, under the obscurity of the following night, towards the
town of Funchal; but on her way she struck, and must have been wrecked
but for the assistance of a fishing-smack that happened to be near at
the moment. The fishermen were, as a matter of course, easily bribed
to assist the smugglers in landing and depositing the illicit store in
a cavern at Prior Bay, a little to the westward of Funchal. The next
day, however, a most unfortunate accident revealed the whole
proceeding. Two lovers had formed an arrangement to make an excursion
from Funchal to Kama de Loba, and leaving the former place in a small
boat, were in due time landed at Prior Bay. They had not proceeded
far, before they discovered the cave, and tempted, by its coolness and
its solitary situation, they entered it, when, to their surprise, they
saw a man lying in a remote part of the interior. As he appeared to be
sleeping very soundly, they ventured to look farther in, when they
perceived a great number of cases deposited in an obscure corner; and,
suspecting that they were placed there to elude the vigilance of the
revenue officers, they immediately communicated the fact to some
persons in the Custom-house, in the hope of being rewarded for their
zeal. The Custom-house people, who were probably already aware of the
circumstance, did not appear to be very anxious to interfere, and told
the disappointed informers that they might take a few cases for
themselves, and say nothing more about the matter. Shortly afterwards,
however, the affair reached the ears of the Governor, who immediately
sent a military party to seize upon the illicit deposit, the contents
of which were demonstrated by the potent effects which they had upon
the soldiers.

The stone fruits of Madeira are in general of a very inferior quality,
arising from mere want of attention to their cultivation; for where the
trees have been planted in a favourable situation, and otherwise
attended to, the produce is excellent; but they are generally scattered
about the vineyards, and treated with the utmost carelessness, being
very rarely pruned or dressed. It is supposed that they are permitted to
grow in this irregular way for the purpose of attracting the lizards,
insects, and grubs from the vines, as it was found that they always
preferred the more solid nutriment of the stone fruit, especially the
peach. These grubs are so numerous, that they will scarcely allow a
single apricot or peach to ripen unperforated, consequently, the
planters are obliged to pluck, in a green state, what they would
otherwise desire to see expanding to full maturity.

_Query_.--Why do the insects prefer the peach tree to the vine? Is it
from the resinous quality of the former?

There is also an abundance of apples and pears, but of a bad quality,
occasioned by the same causes. The mulberry, fig, and guava, succeed
better; they are both abundant and good, but there are not any
plantains or bananas. On the higher lands, that is, above the general
height of the vineyards, the walnut and chesnut grow most luxuriantly,
and are both ornamental and useful. The chesnuts are so plentiful
that, in the fruit season, they form a considerable article of food
amongst the lower orders of the people. The fine old forest trees, the
original occupiers of the soil, are disappearing rapidly, even from
the deepest ravines; in situations easy of access they have been long
since destroyed by the lawless and thoughtless despoiler.

I must not omit some reference to the vegetables of Madeira, and in
particular the potatoe, which grows as fine here as in any part of the
world. The cultivation of this edible has of late so much increased,
as in some districts to constitute the chief food of the natives. The
apparently unfavourable situation on which it is principally planted,
affords a convincing proof of the superiority, in habits of active
industry, of the peasantry of this island over the Portuguese peasants
in general. Instead of being indolent and supine, and indisposed to
embrace the means of ameliorating and improving their condition, they
are, on the contrary, enterprising, hardy, and persevering. The
potatoe is chiefly reared on the ascent of Pico Rueva, at an elevation
of 6,000 feet above the level of the sea, and many of the beds are
within 300 feet of the summit.[3] The ground above a certain height
belongs to Government, and the people have only a trifling tax to pay
for any portion that they choose to cultivate. Onions, pumpkins,
melons, cucumbers, &c. &c. are in the greatest abundance. Beef,
mutton, and poultry, of good quality, are to be obtained at moderate
prices, and fish in the greatest abundance.

Madeira may be said to be in general very healthy; but in the autumn
diarrhoea is a common complaint amongst the lower orders, caused by
eating bad and unripe fruits, and drinking the washings of the
wine-press, a beverage made by throwing water on the husks of the
grapes, after the operation of pressing out the wine has been
performed, and then submitting them to a second pressure.

It is not an infrequent occurrence, that parts of the crews of ships
that touch at the Island, suffer from eating unripe fruits, which are
often incautiously allowed to be brought on board, particularly the
peaches, which the commanding officers of vessels would do well to
prohibit by every means in their power. The Portuguese boats are
always ready to bring off great quantities of such trash, which no one
can eat with impunity. The changes of the weather, for which the
inhabitants are not sufficiently prepared by clothing, may be added as
another cause of disease.

The planting of coffee has lately become very general in the vicinity
of Funchal, chiefly in gardens and places not favourable for the
culture of the vine, and this plant generally presents a most thriving
appearance, producing a berry which is highly esteemed, and is in such
demand at Lisbon that there is no doubt that the cultivation of it,
will, hereafter, become an object of some consideration; and I may
here observe, that it is already gradually extending. The quality of
this berry is so superior as to have rendered it an article of
exportation, and the people more readily resort to this new branch of
culture, from the decline in the demand for the secondary wines. Our
Consul has recently introduced the tea plant at his seat up the
mountain, from which some favourable specimens have already been

The manufacture of sugar has also been tried on the island, but
although the cane succeeds uncommonly well, the expense of conveying
it to Funchal, together with that of the process of extracting the
juice, and the want of skill in granulation, has rendered the
experiment too costly, it being found that Brazilian sugar can be had
cheaper than the native production.

_Sunday, August 12th, 1827_.--I accompanied Mr. Shortridge to the
English Chapel, where the congregation was small, in consequence of
the absence of the merchants and their families in the country, during
the summer months. The service was performed by the Rev. Mr. Deacon,
who is a member of the Established Church, and holds the appointment
of Chaplain to the English residents, of whom there are a great
number, consisting of merchants, shop-keepers, servants, and a few
invalids. I do not, however, consider it the best place in the world
for the last description of visitors. Bermuda is well known to be a
much more healthy climate; from the land not being so high, the
weather is less variable, and the temperature, of course, more equal.
Madeira, notwithstanding, has two advantages over Bermuda, worthy of
consideration; it presents more agreeable and better society, and
offers greater facilities of intercourse with England; so that the
accounts from home are more frequent and recent.

I left town in the afternoon, to dine with Mr. Webster Gordon, who
resides at the mount near the Church of Nostra Senhora del Monte,
about three miles in the country; where I was invited with Captain
Owen and some of his officers. They went on horseback, while I, being
still rather an invalid, hired a palanquin by the advice of my friend,
Mr. Shortridge. Having heard a good deal of the luxury of palanquin
travelling in the East, I thought it would be a very pleasant mode of
conveyance on a hot day; but instead of finding it swing loftily, like
a hammock, as I expected, I discovered much to my mortification, that,
when on the shoulders of the bearers, it was raised only about
eighteen inches from the ground, and consisted of a solid frame of
wood, suspended from a pole with two iron stanchions, and covered on
each side by a cloth flung over the pole, to serve as a curtain. In
this I was placed, in a half sitting, half recumbent posture, which I
need scarcely observe was not very agreeable. When I got out to call
at a gentleman's house, before I reached my ultimate destination, I
found that the cramp in the calves of my legs had so disabled me, that
I could scarcely stand, and it was a considerable time before I could
walk unaided and free from pain. I anticipated every moment that my
bearers would have complained of the road, which was badly paved, and
very steep the greatest part of the way; but they were fine, hardy,
muscular men, and quite indifferent to a toil with which habit had
rendered them familiar. Each bearer carries a long stick in his hand,
which assists to support and steady him, over the uneven ground.

On arriving at Mr. Webster Gordon's, I was agreeably surprised to find
that I had been previously acquainted with Mrs. Gordon and her mother
in Italy.

The population of the town of Funchal is said to be about 25,000; and
that of the whole island, including Funchal, 120,000.

Invalids have, latterly, more facilities for obtaining lodgings than
they had in former years, the inhabitants finding it their interest to
direct their attention more to that particular. The resident British
may be estimated at about 250, including children; and since my return
to England, I have been informed, that, during this last year, there
were upwards of 100 invalid visitors from America.

I passed the short time the ship remained very pleasantly, and I could
have wished that it had been longer; not only on account of the
salubrity of the climate, but for the advantage of being enabled to
collect more information. Some of the officers went to the Coural, a
celebrated part of the island for extensive and beautiful scenery. In
the afternoon of _Tuesday, August 14th_, we embarked, and sailed
out of Funchal Bay on the same evening, directing our course for
Teneriffe. Our consort the Diadem, transport, had left the bay a few
hours before. From Funchal, Madeira, to Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, the
course is S. 6 deg. E.; distance 252 miles.

[1] Madeira received its name in consequence of being covered with
wood; the word "madeira" in the Portuguese signifying timber.

[2] The vine of Italy was originally introduced to the mountain, of
Tokay, in the fourteenth century, by Louis I. of France.

[3] In the mountains of the Caraccas the potatoe grows wild, and in
great abundance; but as they are left unnoted, they are usually not
much larger than the ordinary gooseberry.--See _Humboldt_.


Teneriffe--Town of Santa Cruz--Female Costume--Incident at a Ball--Bad
Roads--Climate--Productions--Population of the Canary Islands--Imports
and Exports--Various Qualities of the Wines--Fishery--Leave Santa
Cruz--Crossing the Tropic of Cancer--Shaving and Ducking--General
Remarks--Make St. Jago--Anchor at Porto Praya--Sickly Season--Death of
the Consul and his Wife--Consul's Sister--Governor's Garden and
Watering-place--Population of the Island--Produce--The Orchilla Weed,
its growth, uses, and varieties--Cause of Fever--Departure for Sierra

_Wednesday, 15th_.--Fresh breezes and cloudy, with the wind and a swell
from the eastward. At sunset passed within six or seven miles to the
eastward of the Great Salvage Islands.

_Thursday, 16th_.--At daylight saw the island of Teneriffe,[4] and at
nine anchored in Santa Cruz Roads, in nineteen fathoms water; the
flag-staff on the mole bearing W. by N. We saluted the Spanish flag
with thirteen guns, which was returned.

Mr. M'Gregor, our Vice-consul, came on board, when he immediately
recognised me, as having seen me at Hamburg about three years before.
On his returning to the shore he was complimented with a salute of
seven guns, according to regulations. I accompanied some of the
officers on shore to take a ramble over the town. I regretted to learn
from Mr. M'Gregor that Mr. Bruce, our Consul-General for the Canaries,
was in England. This circumstance was a serious disappointment to me,
as I had a letter of introduction to that gentleman from a friend of
his at Madeira, who assured me that he possessed so vigorous and
intelligent a mind, and was so intimately acquainted with the island of
Teneriffe, where he had long resided, that I could not fail to obtain
much valuable information from him that was not generally known.

My friends were very much pleased with the cleanly appearance of the
town and good pavement, affording a striking contrast to Funchal,
which, like most Portuguese towns, was dirty and badly paved. There
was another agreeable sight; the Spanish women, who were generally
handsome, with an interesting character of expression in their faces,
which is much heightened by their beautiful dark eyes and jet-black
hair. Their dresses are remarkable for their neatness.

The town of Santa Cruz stands near the sea, on a plain of about two
miles square, at the foot of the mountains. The population amounts to
about 6,000 souls. It has a well fortified sea-line of defence, and a
mole protected by a fort. It was on landing at this mole that Nelson
lost his arm, and Captain Boscawen his life. The English colours taken
on that occasion are preserved as trophies in the principal church. Few
persons are seen walking about during the day, and those only of the
lower orders. The women wear large shawls thrown over their heads,
hanging very low down, and a round black hat with a high crown. A
friend of mine once visited the island in one of H.M. ships at the
time of the Carnival, and on the last day of the festivities there was
a public ball, to which the officers of the ship were invited. They
went early to see as much as they could of the inhabitants, and their
opinion of the ladies was, that they looked more like English than
Spanish women in almost all respects, except their remarkably black
eyes and hair. Before the dancing commenced the ladies were all
blindfolded, and each provided with a stick, when they were conducted
to one end of the room, where a jar full of _bon bons_ was suspended,
which they were desired to break, but the blows from their delicate
hands were not able to accomplish it, and one of the gentlemen at last
performed this task for them, when there was a general scramble among
the gentlemen, from a desire to procure some of the contents to present
to their fair partners.


The Diadem transport anchored here soon after us.

_Friday, 17th_.--The York, East Indiaman, was lying off this place in
the forenoon whilst her boat went on shore with letters. Some of the
officers took horse this morning and went to the town of Laguna, which
is about six miles from Santa Cruz. They found the road in a terrible
state, from a quantity of large stones and rubbish, which a late
hurricane, with heavy rain, had brought down from the higher lands.
Their ride was a very cheap one, for they only paid half a dollar for
each horse, including a guide--a rare occurrence for Englishmen to find
any thing cheap in a foreign country. Port Oratava, which lies on the
opposite or north side of the island, the principal town for commerce
on it, is 21 miles by land from Santa Cruz; and it is said to be 36
miles from Oratava to the summit of the Peak, a journey of at least two
days' ascent from the latter place, which is the starting point.

Our visit to this island was too short to be of much interest to a
traveller, for it would have required at least a week to have visited
the Peak only and returned to Santa Cruz, which I certainly would have
done if the ship had remained a sufficient time; as I also wished to
have visited Porto Rueva, at Madeira, but on my arrival at that island
I had not sufficiently recovered my strength after the indisposition I
experienced on leaving England.

They have at Teneriffe, (besides horses, asses, and mules,) camels,
which are much in use as beasts of burden. Smoking is a very general
practice here, and consequently there is no want of ordinary cigars;
but I was surprised to find that Havannah cigars are very difficult to
be procured. They can be obtained, however, but at un exorbitant rate,
in consequence of the risks attending the smuggling. Tobacco is a royal
monopoly, and the duty is so high, that it amounts almost to a
prohibition, and consequently affords great temptation to smuggling.
They have ice at their command here in abundance, which is a great
luxury for a hot climate. They bring it down from the mountains, and
use it very commonly in lemonade, creams, and for many other purposes.
It is desirable to call here on your way to a hot climate, if it were
only to procure a few good drip stones, the best of which are brought
from Grand Canary, and which are to be had in great plenty, and very
cheap, from one to three Spanish dollars each, which is the most
current coin of this island.

Teneriffe, in climate, soil, produce, and general appearance, strongly
resembles Madeira, from which it is distant 240 miles, due south. The
principal towns are Port-Oratava, Oratava, Realexo, and Caracheeo, on
the north side of the island; and on the south, Santa Cruz, Candilaria,
and Adexi; besides the inland towns, Laguna, (the capital) about two
leagues from Santa Cruz, Metanza, and Victoria, all on the road between
Santa Cruz and Port-Oratava, which arc at an elevation, varying from
3,000 to 5,000 feet above the level of the sea. This affords a
considerable variety of climate, and choice of residence. Teneriffe,
however, possesses but little English society, consequently there are
few comforts or inducements for invalids. There is an extensive plain
of table land and corn country round Laguna, which is a bishop's see,
with an income of 30,000 dollars per annum. The governor of the
province resides at Santa Cruz. There is also a bishopric at Grand
Canary (where the audience, or supreme court is held), worth about
50,000 dollars a-year.

Teneriffe, from its great elevation, and gradual slope to the sea,
possesses every variety of vegetation from the tropic to the frozen
regions. In the first or lower region are found the date, palm,
pine-apple, alligator-pear, and sugar cane, tea and coffee trees,
lemons, citrons, oranges and grapes; the next region is that of grain
and fruits, and trees of temperate climates; next follow the chesnuts,
pines (Pinus Cananensis), and other hardy Alpine trees; then the region
of heaths, laurels, and other evergreens; and at the extreme limit of
vegetation, a considerable distance from the summit, the white broom
(Spartium Nubigenum.) The population of the Canary Islands is about
200,000, viz. Teneriffe, 80,000; Grand Canary, 60,000; Palma, 25,000;
Lanzerota, 15,000; Forteventura, 10,000; Heirro, 4,000; Gomera, 6,000.

The exports, exclusive of the coasting trade, are wines, barilla,
orchilla weed, rock-moss, safflower, (hay-saffron,) and silks. The
imports are sugar, cocoa, oil, tobacco, paper, &c. from Cadiz;
earthenware, from St. Lucia; brandy, from Catalonia; dry goods, cloth,
iron, and hardware, from England; and staves, soap, candles, and rice
from the United States of America.

The volcanic nature of the soil of the Canary Islands renders it
extremely favourable to the cultivation of the vine, which grows
luxuriantly in Teneriffe, where more than three-fourths of all the
wines exported from the Canaries is produced. The Teneriffe wines are
of the same description and varieties as the wines of Madeira, namely,
Tinto, Verdelho, Gual, Listan, Malvasia,[5] &c., but they are not equal
in quality to the fine wines of the south side, yet superior to the
wines of the north side, of that island. They are distinguished by what
may be called the generic denominations of dry and sweet. The dry is
well known by the name of Vidonia, and the sweet as Malvasia. The first
quality of the former can only be obtained from the most respectable
merchants, it being a very common process to convert it, by admixtures,
into a counterfeit of Madeira, or sherry, and occasionally to drug it
with port. The strongest quality of the celebrated wine called sack,[6]
is made in Teneriffe, Grand Canary, and Palma.

Carbonate of soda is obtained from the _sal sola soda_, extensively
cultivated at Lanccrota and Forteventura. It is gathered in September,
dried, and then charred or fused into a ringing, hard, cellular mass,
of a greyish blue colour. A small quantity is made also at Grand
Canary. The barilla of the Canary Islands has been sold in England so
high as 80l. a ton, and as low as 6l.; at the present time, (December,
1833) it is worth 9l. 10s. a ton. The depreciation is caused chiefly by
kelp, and other substitutes found in the British alkali, a French
chemical discovery, manufactured from sea salt, from which, the other
ingredients are detached, by combination with sulphur, and acids
subjected to heat. The imports of barilla from the Canary Islands to
this country are about 3,500 tons a-year. The United States of America,
and of late years, Brazil, also, take off a few cargoes of this
article. Lancerota produces, annually, about 300 tons of barilla; Forte
ventura about 1500 tons.

Rock moss (Parmelia perlata) is worth about 70l. a ton, and is one of
the innumerable lichens common to the Canary Islands; it is used in the
manufacture of cudbear for the dyers. There is also a spurious kind,
with difficulty distinguished from the good.

Silk is chiefly produced at Palma. There is but little exported from
Teneriffe. It might, however, be produced in immense quantities, the
white and red mulberry tree being indigenous and luxuriant in the
middle region of the island, and the climate so mild, that the insect
could be hatched and reared under wooden sheds, without any difficulty.
The great defect in the Teneriffe silk is the coarseness of the fibre,
from want of dexterity in winding it off the cocoons, and in regulating
the heat to which it ought to be subjected during that separation.

A considerable emigration used to take place annually from the islands,
and particularly from Lancerota and Forteventura, to the Spanish Main,
and to Cuba, where those islanders were much in request, as labourers
and muleteers; and often prospered so well as to be enabled to return
home enriched: but the practice has been prohibited since the
declaration of independence of Spanish South America.

There is a considerable fishery carried on from the Canary Islands, on
the coast of Barbary, for a species of bream, which is salted in bulk,
and sold very cheap, and in great quantities. This trade is pursued in
decked schooners, or lugger-rigged vessels, of from 60 to 70 tons
burthen, which rum down before the trade wind to their station, where
they remain until they procure a cargo, when they beat up to the
island, take in a fresh cargo of Cadiz salt, and again return to their
station. They have very little intercourse with the Arab tribes of that
coast, but they sometimes bring back a few lion, tiger, and leopard
skins, and ostrich feathers. I am happy to learn that our knowledge of
the natural history of these islands is likely to be soon very much
increased, by the indefatigable exertions of P.B. Webb, Esq., a
gentleman well known to the scientific world, who is now engaged at
Paris in publishing the result of his researches in different branches
of natural history.

In the afternoon we took in some oxen and wine, and left Santa Cruz
roads at seven in the evening. From Santa Cruz to Porto Praya, St.
Jago, the course is S. 26 deg. W. 920 miles.

_Monday, 20th_.--Having crossed the tropic of Cancer last evening.
Captain Owen granted the ship's company permission to perform the
customary ceremony of shaving and ducking all those who had not
previously passed the tropic. Whenever a ship is intended to enter the
southern hemisphere, this marine exhibition is not performed until she
reaches the equinoctial line. Although this ceremony has been
frequently described, I do not think it right to pass it over
altogether unnoticed; I will therefore make a few general observations
by way of comment on the practice.

A sea voyage is at the best a monotonous life, and a long voyage is
only to be wished for by the few whose health it is calculated to
improve; therefore, any little variety, that produces even but a
temporary excitement, is desirable; and in this point of view only, is
the old custom of shaving and ducking (which, by the bye, is a
barbarous one) at all excusable.

When it is permitted to be practised, it should only be under certain
regulations, as the consequences have frequently been very serious, for
want of some salutary restrictions; in some cases the harmony that has
existed amongst the society on board has been destroyed; actions at
law, and duels, fevers from exposure daring the day's amusement, have
ensued: it is, therefore, imperatively necessary that the law should
take cognizance of this custom, and enforce some rigorous rules for the
government of all commanders of vessels, whenever circumstances should
permit the indulgence of this indefensible practice. In the first
place, the ship should be always put under snug sail; and that part of
the vessel, in which the scene takes place, should be completely
screened in, and no cruel or offensive practices permitted. The Captain
should always have the power of protecting his officers and passengers
from being compelled to submit to the demands of old Neptune, by paying
a small fine for the exemption: say cabin passengers, five shillings,
steerage passengers half-a-crown. The sum total of these fines should
be divided among those sailors who had previously crossed the line;
and, if any of the sailors on board should be found to throw water,
rope yarns dipped in tar, or in any other way insult, or annoy, persons
who do not take a part in their proceedings, they should be punished as
they would for a similar breach of discipline at any other time. There
is one example, which I feel at liberty to quote, and which was nearly
the occasion of a court-martial on the senior lieutenant of one of H.M.
ships that arrived in Simon's Bay during my residence at the Cape of
Good Hope. The circumstance was as follows:--The purser of the ship had
shut himself up in his cabin, determined to resist any forcible attempt
to make him undergo the ceremony of shaving; but those who were engaged
in it, were resolved that he should not be permitted to escape: they
accordingly forced the door of his cabin, from which they got him out,
dragged him on deck, and performed the ceremony, in spite of his
efforts and remonstrances. The charge against the first lieutenant was,
I understood, for encouraging the persons who committed this act of
violence. This formed the grounds of an application for a
court-martial, which was only prevented from taking place by the
intercession of some officers of rank. It is satisfactory to be enabled
to add, that this barbarous and unworthy custom is rapidly falling into

_Wednesday, 22nd_.--A moderate trade wind, and all sail set. At
daylight saw the island of Sall, bearing E.S.E. 15 miles. At half-past
5 in the afternoon saw the island of St. Jago,[7] when I went to the
fore top-mast head, for exercise and amusement, while others went to
see the land. At 11 brought the ship to the wind, and stood off the
land at a convenient distance for going into Porto Praya on the
following day.

At daylight, made all sail, and stood towards the anchorage, with a
light breeze and very fine weather. At noon anchored off Porto Praya,
in 12 fathoms water and sandy bottom. Extreme points of the bay from
W. 3/4 S. to E. 3/4 S. Garrison flagstaff N.N.W. 1/2 W.

Our Consul-General for the Cape de Verds (Mr. Clark) waited on Captain
Owen, from whom we learnt, that His Majesty's ship, North Star, sailed
from this port five days before, and that a very heavy gale of wind
arose from the S.W. on that night. We were also informed, that this is
the most sickly part of the year, in consequence of its being the rainy
season, which commences at the beginning of August, and continues to
the end of October; during which time the winds are frequently from the
southward and westward, making it hazardous to anchor at this port in
those months. The whole of this time is generally very sickly, so much
so that the principal authorities are glad to leave the island, and
repair to Fuego, which is the highest, and also considered to be the
most healthy of all the Cape de Verd group. The Chief Justice and his
family left Porto Praya, for Fuego, in a Portuguese sloop of war, on
the day we entered it, the Governor having previously left for the same

There were many of the inhabitants suffering from fever, while we were
at St. Jago, and two of the Consul's family were among the number, and
I lament to relate, that not long after our departure, both the Consul
and his wife fell victims to this too commonly fatal fever of St. Jago,
leaving his sister, an amiable and accomplished young lady, dangerously
ill of the same disease. The case of this lady was one of the most
melancholy interest. She was entirely unprotected by the presence of
any country people of her own, except a gentleman, who, happening to
call there on his way from England to Sierra Leone, was induced to
remain on the island, at the request of Mrs. Clark, for the purpose of
acting as Vice-Consul, during the severe illness of her husband. This
gentleman, after performing the painful duty of reading the burial
service over the Consul-General and his lady, was himself attacked by
the same fever, and after struggling for a length of time against it,
was, at last, sent off to the island of Mayo, just in time to save his
life, leaving the Consul's sister behind, reduced to the last extremity
of the disease, with scarcely any symptoms of life remaining, and
attended only by her Portuguese friends, and any occasional English
visitors who landed incidentally from their ships for refreshments, on
their way to other parts of the world. At last, however, she happily
recovered, but after a very severe struggle, and a protracted illness,
and then she could not return direct to England, but was obliged to go
to the Brazils, in a French schooner, before she could procure a
passage home. I shall give, hereafter, some further details of this
young lady's history, leading to the attachment which afterwards sprung
up between her and her medical attendant, who fell in love with her
during a second attack of illness, and there is no doubt that her
fortitude and good sense had a great share in the admiration with which
she inspired him.

_Friday, August 24th_.--Soon after breakfast I accompanied Captain
Owen, the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Davy, and some of the officers of the ship,
to pass the day at the Consul's. We took a walk before dinner, to visit
the few places that were worthy of any notice; we first went to the
fort. This fort was forty-seven paces long and seven broad, where the
only objects of interest were the graves of two Captains in the Navy.
One of them contained the remains of an old shipmate of mine, Capt. J.
Eveleigh, who was mortally wounded when commanding the Astrea, in
company with the Creole, during an engagement with two French frigates,
the Etoile and Sultane, on the 23rd of January, 1814, off the Cape de
Verds. I sailed in the same ship with this officer when I first went to
sea. He was then junior lieutenant of the Royal George, bearing the
flag of Lord Bridport. I met him some years afterwards, when he was
lieutenant of the Isis, bearing the flag of Admiral Holloway, on the
Newfoundland station, in which ship I was a passenger from England to
Newfoundland, on my way to join the Cleopatra, as lieutenant, on the
Halifax station. The other grave was that of Capt. Bartholomew, of the
Lieven frigate, who died while he was occupied in the survey of these
islands. The late Consul-General had been purser of that ship, and,
poor fellow, both his grave and that of his wife were made near his
former captain's.

From thence we went to visit the Governor's garden, which lies in a low
swampy situation, much below the town, and not far from the sea, where
the boats are obliged to land to procure water, subject to the
inconvenience of the surf, which sometimes renders it very difficult to
get the casks off. The water at this island does not deserve the bad
character given of it by some persons. It is, in fact, very good, and
it must, therefore, have been from negligence in procuring it, either
by disturbing it too much, or by using bad bungs, which allowed the
salt water to get in while floating off, that it acquired its
unfavourable reputation. It is supplied by several springs, issuing
from the side of the hill at the back of the town, which unite into one
stream, and as it approaches the sea, expands and forms into a basin,
the nearest part of which is forty yards from the beach. As this is
rarely dry, ships may be easily watered, by landing their casks through
the surf; and, when filled, floating them off to the ship. However,
when it is dry, or nearly so, as was the case when we were there, you
are obliged to roll the casks a considerable distance from the beach to
a well in the Governor's garden, from which they must be filled. This
mode is both tedious and laborious, while the sailors are almost sure
to get drunk on a bad spirit called _aqua dent_, which is sold to them
secretly by the blacks, who are ever on the watch to elude the
vigilance of the officers employed in that service.

During the time of the former Governor, (the present one not having
been long in command,) this garden received great attention, and was
kept in excellent order; but the present Governor does not take any
interest in it himself, and, consequently, it is very much neglected;
indeed, there appears to be such a general apathy in all the people at
Porto Pray a, that it seems more like a place allowed to go to decay,
than a colony under an European Government, visited so constantly by
vessels from all parts of the globe.

The population of Villa de Praya is about 4,000, and that of the whole
island about 28,000, which are principally blacks. A large proportion
of the male population of St. Jago, are enrolled in the militia, and
armed with boarding pikes; 300 of whom are compelled, in rotation, to
attend every Sunday, at their own expense, for the purpose of
exercising at Villa de Praya. The regular troops do not amount to more
than 400 for the whole of the islands.

This place owes its support entirely to the ships that call here for
provisions; and the quantity of stock, fruit, vegetables, and water,
that is purchased annually at the island is immense. A considerable sum
of money is also spent by passengers, who go on shore for their

The landing at St. Jago is, at all times, indifferent, and in the rainy
season frequently very bad, both on the rocks, and on the beach, for
there are two distinct places of debarkation. Yet, with a little
attention, and a small amount of labour, a more secure landing-place
could very easily be made, by cutting a few steps in two or three
favourable situations, that would readily admit of the improvement;
whereas now you are obliged to watch the swell, and step out on pointed
rocks, or an irregular surface, at the risk of falling back into the
boat or the water; or bruising yourself severely on the rocks. Captain
Owen and myself once fell, when he was kindly assisting me out of the
boat. The best time for landing on the rocks is at half-tide. I was
informed that materials have been collected for constructing a pier, a
project, for which nature has provided an excellent site; but, from the
poverty of the government, or some other cause, it has been postponed.
This is the more extraordinary, as the Portuguese government has
hitherto been in the habit of transporting to St. Jago convicted
felons, by whom public works could have been cheaply accomplished.
Angola, however, has latterly been adopted as the principal convict
settlement of the Portuguese.

Hides, goat skins, and salt, are exported from these islands, but the
chief and most valuable produce is the orchilla weed. It is a
government monopoly, and is at present farmed out to a man named

As the orchilla weed is a production, the practical application of
which in various ways is diffused over a large surface of utility, and
as its peculiar properties are not very generally known, a minute
description of its nature and uses, which I have procured at some cost
of time and research, may not prove uninteresting.

The orchilla is a delicate fibrous plant, springing up in situations
that are apparently the most unfavourable to the sustenance of
vegetable life. When gathered it has a soft delicious odour, which it
retains for a great length of time. Mr. Glas, in his history of the
Canary Islands, gives so clear and accurate an account of its growth,
that I will avail myself of his description, as being not only the best
I have met with, but as containing all the necessary particulars. "The
orchilla weed," he observes, "grows out of the pores of the stones or
rocks, to about the length of three inches: I have seen some eight or
ten inches, but that is not common. It is of a round form and of the
thickness of common sewing twine. Its colour is grey, inclining to
white: here and there on the stalk we find white spots or scabs. Many
stalks proceed from one root, at some distance from which they divide
into branches. There is no earth or mould to be perceived on the rock
or stone where it grows. Those who do not know this weed, or are not
accustomed to gather it, would hardly be able to find it, for it is of
such a colour, and grows in such a direction, that it appears at first
sight to be the shade of the rock on which it grows."

Mr. Glas adds, that the best sort is of the darkest colour, and nearly
round; and that the more white spots or scabs it exhibits the better.
It is found in considerable quantities in the Canary Islands, the Cape
de Verds, the Azores, and the Madeiras, and such are the nice varieties
and properties incidental to the different soils, (if they may be so
called,) or climates, that although the above clusters of islands are
at no great distance from each other, the difference in the produce
makes a very considerable difference in the value of the article. It is
also found on the coast of Barbary, and the Levant, and on that part of
the coast of Africa, which lies adjacent to the Canary-Islands; but,
owing to the want of seasonable rains, the produce of the latter is not
rapid or abundant, although the quality is excellent. It has been
suggested, that the orchilla was probably the Gertulian purple of the
ancients; a conjecture which is strengthened by the fact, that the
coast of Africa, where the orchilla abounds, was formerly called
Gertulia. That the vivid dye which resides in this weed was known to
the ancients, does not admit of any doubt.

The plant belongs to the class Cryptogamia, and order Algae, of the
Linnean system, and to the class Algae, and order Lichenes, of the
natural system. Professor Burnett, in his Outline of Botany, informs
us, that "Roccella, a corruption of the Portuguese Rocha, is a name
given to several species of lichen, in allusion to the situation in
which they are found; delighting to grow on otherwise barren seaward
rocks, that thus produce a profitable harvest. Tournefort considers
that one species at least (R. tinctoria) was known to the ancients,
and that it was the especial lichen (Greek: leichaen) of Dioscorides,
which was collected on the rocky islands of the Archipelago, from one
of which it received the name of the 'purple of Amorgus.'"

Of all the known varieties of orchilla, that which is grown in the
Canary Islands stands the highest in estimation, and brings the
greatest price. In the collection of the weed, which is always
performed by the natives, the risk is imminent: they are obliged to be
suspended by ropes over the cliffs, many of which are of stupendous
height, and loss of life frequently occurs in these perilous efforts to
contribute to the luxury of man. Such is the esteem in which the
orchilla of the Canaries is held, that it has recently reached the
enormous value of 400l. per ton. That from the Cape de Verds is next in
quality, but of much greater importance, in reference to the quantity
produced. Madeira and the Azores produce the next qualities. The same
plant, though of a very inferior character, is found in great abundance
in Sardinia, in some parts of Italy, and also on the south coast of
England, Portland Island, Guernsey, &c. but of so poor a kind that it
would not reward the expense of collection.

The original mode of preparing orchilla, that which was practised by
the ancients, is said to have been lost, and many chemical experiments
exhausted in vain for its recovery. In 1300, however, it was
rediscovered by a Florentine merchant, and from that period preserved
as a profound secret, by the Florentines and the Dutch. It appears that
the Florentines were not satisfied with keeping the preparation of
orchilla a mystery from the rest of the world, but that they
endeavoured to lead all inquiry into a false channel, by calling it
tincture of turnsole, desiring it to be believed, that it was an
extract from the heliotropium or turnsole: the Dutch also disguised it
in the form of a paste, which they called _lacmus_ or _litmus_. The
process is now, however, generally known, and simply consists of
cleaning, drying, and powdering the plant, which, when mixed with half
its weight of pearl ash, is moistened with human urine, and then
allowed to ferment: the fermentation, we are informed by Professor
Burnett, "is kept up for some time by successive additions of urine,
until the colour of the materials changes to a purplish-red, and
subsequently to a violet or blue. The colour is extremely fugitive, and
affords a very delicate chemical test for the presence of an acid. The
vapour of sulphuric acid has been thus detected as pervading to some
extent the atmosphere of London."

I understand--and for some valuable particulars I here beg to tender my
acknowledgments to Mr. John Aylwin, merchant of London--that the great
object obtained from this vegetable dye, is the production of a red
colour, without the aid of a mineral acid. But the utility of the
orchilla is not confined to the purposes of manufacture. It has been
successfully employed as a medicine in allaying the cough attendant on
phthisis, and in hysterical coughs. It is also variously used in many
productions, where its splendid hue can be rendered available, and
imparts a beautiful bloom to cloths and silks.

The introduction of the weed into England came originally through the
Portuguese. The Cape de Verd Islands having long been a possession of
the crown of Portugal, orchilla became a royal monopoly, and was
transmitted in considerable quantities to Lisbon, where it was sold by
public auction; from Lisbon it gradually found its way to England,
France, Germany, &c. The recent political contest in Portugal, caused a
total suspension of the shipment of orchilla at the islands. About six
months ago, there were two cargoes at Bona Vista waiting for orders,
one of them (a vessel of about 66 tons) put to sea, and arrived safe at
Lisbon only a few weeks before Admiral Napier's naval victory. When the
news of the result of that battle reached the island, the holders of
the remaining cargo proposed to hand it over for a consideration to
certain parties in the interest of Donna Maria, and it was accordingly
consigned to a Portuguese house in London. The vessel in which it was
sent was called the Saint Anne, of 60 tons, and sailed under British
colours: the cargo consisted of 564 bags,[8] each containing 2 cwt.,
and the whole sold for 15,000L. I mention this circumstance as an
occurrence worth being recorded; the arrival of a vessel to England
direct from the islands being a great novelty, accounted for, in this
instance, by the political events which threw the trade out of its
regular channels.

The principal manufactories of orchilla in England are London and
Liverpool, but there are many others in different parts of the country.
The chief manufacturers are Messrs. Henry Holmes and Sons of Liverpool,
and Mr. Samuel Preston Child of London. The manufactured orchilla is
frequently shipped to Germany, Holland, &c. in its fluid state, with a
small proportion of weed in each cask for the satisfaction of the
purchasers. The inferior qualities of the weed, and also a variety of
mosses that have the same properties as the orchilla, only in a minor
degree, are dried and ground to a fine powder, which is denominated
cudbear, and is applicable to the same purposes as the weed itself.[9]

It is a curious illustration of the importance that is attached to the
weed generally, and to the weed of the Canaries in particular, that,
within the last twenty years, the latter production was considered in
London as a remittance equivalent to specie, and was invariably quoted
in the usual channels of commercial intelligence with the price of gold
and silver, thus:--

Doubloons per ounce
Dollars ditto
Orchilla Weed per ton

A bark called the Cape Packet, bound on a whaling voyage in the
Pacific, arrived and sailed again to-day. Our consort the Diadem
transport arrived this afternoon, and sailed the following evening,
being _Saturday 25th_.

_Sunday, August 26th_.--The Consul General, with his wife and sister,
came on board to attend divine service, and pass the remainder of the

_Monday, 27th_.--Very fine weather. At 7 in the morning, I accompanied
the Rev. Mr. Davy to pass the day with the Consul's family. A bark from
England, bound to the Cape of Good Hope, anchored in the roads to-day.
A brig, loaded with timber, bound from Sierra Leone to England, was
cast away on this island some time since, and the wreck was purchased
by our Consul. He accordingly made an agreement with some people for
the purpose of having it broken up, with the understanding that he was
to retain the copper bolts, and they were to have the wood for their
labour. I fear that this did not prove a good speculation on the side
of the Consul, as he found it necessary to be nearly always on the
spot, from a very reasonable suspicion that the workmen would steal
some of his bolts. It is not unlikely, that so great an exposure to the
sun as this occasioned him, had no small share in predisposing him for
the fever that afterwards attacked him.

The cause of so much fever at St. Jago, may be traced to the peculiar
situation of the town, which stands on an elevation between low swampy
grounds, the exhalations from which pass over it as they arise.

There are a great number of horses, horned cattle, goats, pigs, &c.
bred here. There was formerly an extensive traffic in slaves carried on
between these islands and the coast of Africa, which I was informed is
not yet wholly abolished. The best anchorage among the Capede Verds is
at St. Vincent's. What should prevent the Portuguese giving it up to
us, so that we might form an establishment for any ships to call there,
instead of going to St. Jago, where they so often make fever an
accompaniment with their refreshments? His Majesty's ship Tweed,
visited this place on her way to the Cape of Good Hope station, and a
great proportion of the young officers who slept on shore, died within
a fortnight afterwards.

The bay abounds with fine fish, yet there are not many taken, therefore
the town is badly supplied, owing entirely to the indolence of the

At 5 in the afternoon we made sail out of Porto Praya, leaving it
without regret, except what we felt in parting from the Consul and his
family. There was also a Consul for the United States, but he was not
on friendly terms with Mr. Clark. Their differences, however, were very
soon settled by the great pacificator, death, for they were not long
after interred near each other in the fort. Visiting the Portuguese was
quite out of the question, as very few of them had the power of
entertaining strangers, excepting one old woman known by the name of
English Mary, and she was well paid for her civilities. She could give
you a sort of dinner with bad wine, bad spirits, and fruit. You could
also get your things badly washed here, that is, wetted and well beaten
for money. The Portuguese troops vary from black to white, with all the
intermediate shades, in ragged party-coloured clothing: but a truce
with the Colonial Portuguese:--I am now bound to an English colony,
where I fear I shall not find every thing as it ought to be, and that
is Sierra Leone, which bears from Porto Praya about S.E. by E. 1/2 E.
720 miles.

P.S. The port charges at St. Jago are not heavy, as they do not exceed
sixteen dollars for a vessel of any size or nation.

[4] This island was named Thenariffe, or the White Mountain, by the
natives of Palma; Thenar, in their language, signifying a mountain,
and Ife, white--the Peak of Teneriffe being always covered with snow.

[5] Malmsey, or sack.

[6] This word is erroneously supposed to be a corruption of "sec," or
_dry_, but both Canary and sherry sack of old times (as well as the
present) was a _sweet_ and _rich_ wine, and the name could not,
therefore, have been so derived. The term _sac_ is more likely to be a
contraction of the word "saccharine," or it may have been adopted in
consequence of the wine being made from half-dried grapes.

[7] The islands of Mayo, Bonavista (or St. Filippe), and St. Jago,
were the first of the Cape de Verds discovered, in May 1461, by
Antonio de Nolle, a Genoese in the service of Portugal; and St. Jago,
was the first settled. The remaining seven were also discovered the
same year, by Portuguese subjects, namely, St. Antonio, St. Vincent,
St. Lucia, St. Nicholas, Sall, Fuego, and Bravos.

[8] The bags in which the weed of the Cape de Verds is packed, are
marked with the initials of the island of which it is the produce, and
indicative of its quality which is at all times uniform.

[9] A regular trade with Sweden for moss has been long established. A
variety of mosses, different in their growth, but all producing the
colour found in orchilla, are to be met with on the hills and rocky
places, at a distance from the sea, in every country where the weed
itself is indigenous.


Arrival at Sierra Leone--Mr. Lewis--Black Washerwomen--Visitors on
board--Capture of Leopards--Mortality--Funeral of Mr. Lewis--Education
of Native Children--Regimental Mess--Curious Trials at a Quarter
Sessions--Depredations of the Kroo-men--Causes of Unhealthiness--The
Boollam Territory--Lieut. George Maclean's Mission--Election of a
King--Regent's Speech--Macaulay Wilson--Ceremonies of the Coronation--
Character of the Boollams--Christian and Mahommedan Missionaries--Aspect
of the Country--Cession of Boollam to Great Britain--Extraordinary Trial
for Crim. Con.--News of the Death of Mr. Canning

_Saturday, September 1st, 1827_.--There was a moderate breeze from the
S.W. and fine weather to-day. At noon, lat. 9 deg. 20' N. lon. 16 deg.
6' W. Cape Sierra Leone S. 73 deg. E. 173 miles. Imagining that I was
avoiding a lady who was intentionally advancing to address me on the
quarter deck to-day, I stepped back and measured my length across the
gunroom skylight, which, fortunately for me, had a piece of wood
lengthways in the middle of it, to rest the sashes on, or I must have
paid the officers a visit in their mess-room in a very unceremonious
manner; I had however the good luck to escape with a slight bruise.

_Sunday, 2d_.--At six in the morning we got soundings in 50 fathoms of
water, and at eight in 29 fathoms. Lat. 8 deg. 29' N. lon. 13 deg. 56' W.
Cape Sierra Leone S. 81 deg. E. distant thirty-six miles. At three in
the afternoon we saw the land, and at the same time a schooner, (which
we afterwards learned was the Joseph and Mary from Sierra Leone bound to
England.) Soon after this we saw the brig Ark coming out of the harbour
of Sierra Leone, which returned into port on the 7th, and sailed again
on the 14th of the same month. This brig had the Aid-de-camp of the
late Sir Neil Campbell on board, who died nearly three weeks before our
arrival, and this officer was the bearer of despatches relating to Sir
Neil Campbell's death, &c. Shortly before midnight we anchored off the
town of Sierra Leone in 14-1/2 fathoms water, and found that our
consort the Diadem transport had arrived only a few hours, although she
left St. Jago three days before we started. We had not any visitors
from the shore that night, in consequence of the lateness of the hour
at which we came to anchor; but we had a great number on the following
day to make up for it.

_Monday, September 3rd_.--At 7 in the morning Mr. Lewis, the agent;
victualler, came on board to see Captain Owen, and some of his old
friends, whom he had previously known on board H.M. ship Leven. This
gentleman, however, had another motive for coming on board at so early
an hour; he had felt unwell for several days, and having boasted a good
deal about his infallible method of keeping off the fever, namely, by
the use of brandy and water and cigars, he did not choose to apply to
any medical man on shore, knowing that the circumstance would be
immediately spread among his acquaintances; he therefore applied to the
surgeon of the Eden for some medicines, which of course he obtained;
but mark the result--on that day week the officers of the ship were
invited to attend his funeral.

About 8 o'clock the ship was crowded with black women, who came on
board to procure clothes for washing. Some brought a little fruit, and
all brought a very long tongue, for there was such a clatter that it
was almost impossible to catch one word that was said, and they
clustered round our breakfast table without any ceremony, which was not
very pleasant, in consequence of the variety of odours they carried
with them, from the delightful one of fruits and flowers, to the
broadly contrasted smells which I suppose were peculiar to their

In the course of the forenoon Colonel Denham, Mr. Kenneth Macauley, and
many other gentlemen, came on board to wait on Captain Owen, and the
officers. We found that Colonel Lumley, the Commandant of the troops,
had assumed the reins of government on the decease of Sir Neil
Campbell, (August 14th) with the title of Lieutenant Governor. We
learnt that the place was still very sickly, but the rainy season was
drawing to a close, and sickness diminishing.

_Tuesday, 4th_.--The two previous days had for a wonder been fine, but
the usual weather for the season returned to-day, namely, frequent and
heavy showers, with a bright sun at intervals. Took a ride on horseback
with Mr. Campbell before dinner, and afterwards dined with that
gentleman, in company with Dr. Burn.

Mr. Campbell had two leopards, which he purchased with the intention of
sending to England, secured in one of the out-buildings in his yard.
They were brought from the Rio Pongas, about 80 miles to the northward
of Sierra Leone, and were taken, near that river in the following
manner:--Some black fellows having discovered a leopard's den, about a
dozen of them, armed with muskets, placed themselves to watch the
departure of the dam in quest of prey. When they went to examine it
they found two young ones, not larger than good sized cats, which they
immediately bagged, and conveyed to the town. They were soon followed
by the dam, but she would not venture to attack so great a number of
persons; she continued, however, to hover about the town for several
weeks, before she despaired of recovering her young.

_Wednesday, 5th_.--Continued heavy rain in the morning, and showery
throughout the day. We hired 30 Africans, called Kroomen,[10] who are
always ready to serve as seamen on board of a man of war, or any other
vessel, so long as they continue on that coast. They are usually
entered as supernumeraries on the ship's books for provisions and
wages, in the same manner as British seamen. They are employed on any
service which would expose Europeans too much to the climate, such as
wooding, watering, pulling in boats, &c. I shall hereafter give further
particulars of these people, and their country.

_Saturday, 8th_.--I accompanied Mr. Macaulry, to wait on his honour,
the Lieutenant Governor, Colonel Lumley, who continued in his
Commandant's quarters at the barracks, situated on a hill, which at
first rises gradually from the town, but becomes much steeper as you
ascend. We then accompanied Captain Perry and Mr. Green to the
regimental mess, where we lunched. It is worthy of remark, perhaps,
that three out of four of these gentlemen, namely, the Lieutenant
Governor, Mr. Macauley, and Mr. Green, whom I was in company with at
the barracks this morning, died long before my return to England. Dined
at Mr. Reffells, the acting Chief Justice, where there was a large
party, consisting of the Lieutenant Governor, and all the principal
official characters of the place, Captain Owen, &c.

_Monday, 10th_.--Notwithstanding the heavy rain to-day, a large party
of the friends of the late Mr. Lewis, (agent victualler, who died last
night at 11 o'clock,) assembled at his residence near King Tom's point,
to witness his interment, under a large tree not far from the house. It
was distressing to observe a favourite dog of the deceased gentleman
howling about the grave of his late master. He offered so much
resistance to those who attempted to remove him, that it was with great
difficulty he could be prevented from throwing himself into the grave
after it had received the coffin.

Mr. Miller, who was a volunteer serving for a commission in the Royal
African Corps, died to-day from the effects of fever.

_Tuesday 11th_.--Some slight showers in the forepart of this day, and
fine in the afternoon, when the Rev. Mr. Davy took me to visit a school
for free black children under the charge of Mrs. Taylor, widow of a
late missionary in this colony. Although this is but a day-school,
there is a probability of its doing some good with all who attend it,
and a great deal of service to a few. But it is in vain to attempt to
civilize savage nations through the medium of book instruction alone.
Previous habits exercise so powerful an influence over the mind, that
the value of precept is hardly felt. The good impressions which arc
made by the teacher in the morning, are obliterated by the example of
ignorant parents in the evening; so that the result of an education
imparted in this way, is merely to sharpen the natural cunning of
youth, and give them an increased power of evil, by the fragments of
information they thus acquire. If we would have our efforts to improve
their condition, really effective, we should deal with them as with
foundlings. They should be removed from the contagion of their former
intercourse, and apprenticed out to persons who would look after their
morals, and whore they would have no bad examples set them, so soon as
they were capable of applying their faculties to objects of utility.
The instances are very rare where these African children have fulfilled
the expectations of their benevolent benefactors; I am persuaded that
an establishment for a limited number, in which the end proposed should
be the completion of the work of civilization, would be incalculably
superior to the attempts to accomplish that desirable purpose with
great numbers in so imperfect a manner.

_Wednesday, Sept. 12th_.--Heavy and frequent showers, from last evening
till near noon to-day, when it cleared up, and continued fine all the
afternoon. This forenoon, I accompanied Mr. Kenneth Macauley to the
Court House, and attended the opening of the general quarter

_Friday, 14th_.--Attended the Court to-day with Mr. Macauley, where I
heard various cases of petty larceny. The morning was fine, but it
became cloudy in the evening, and very dark with much lightning. The
latter is a strong intimation of the expected tornadoes, with which the
rainy season terminates, as well as commences. Captains Owen and
Harrison, Lieutenant Woodman (agent for transports), and myself, dined
with the Governor at his regimental mess. There were also present, all
the principal officers of the civil establishment. Could our friends in
England have witnessed the hilarity that prevailed at that banquet, in
such a country, and at that melancholy season of the year, they would
have scarcely credited what they saw and heard. Many who were seated
there on that day, are now no more! The assistant surgeon of the North
Star, who was serving on hoard a schooner, that was tender to that
ship, died to-day. His death was supposed to have been much accelerated
by the gloomy apprehensions that entered his mind from the moment he
was seized with the fever.

_Saturday, 15th_.--Attended the Court, and heard some amusing trials
for house-breaking, and stealing therefrom; in one case there were
Kroomen against Kroomen:--Tom Coffee and Bottle of Beer--against
another Bottle of Beer.

_Sunday, 16th_.--Very fine day. Accompanied the Rev. Mr. Davy on board
the Eden, whore he performed divine service: after which we dined with
Captain Owen, and returned on shore in the evening, when I accompanied
him to a chapel in the parish of St. George's, Freetown, where he
performed the evening service. There are a great number of Independent
chapels in the town, supported by the free black population, and with
black preachers. I unfortunately witnessed a trial in the Court, that
did not redound much to the credit of one of these preachers. As it is
very novel, and not a little amusing in its way, I think I cannot do
better than to give, in its proper place, the opening speech on the day
it occurred, as delivered in the Court by the plaintiff's counsel, who
was a black gentleman. It was the first cause of the kind that ever was
tried in this colony, where morality does not appear to be so highly
appreciated as in some countries of Europe.

_Monday, 17th_.--Very fine warm day. I attended the Court as usual
to-day; and heard two trials of the same nature as most of the others;
distinguished also by the same difficulty of obtaining the truth from
most of the witnesses, who are quite indifferent to the responsibility
of an oath, because they have no qualms of conscience; but if their
priests were to fetish them, it is probable they might be induced to
give their testimony more honestly. Sentence was this day awarded to
all the prisoners that had been tried, as follows:--

John Rhode, a native of the Rio Pongas, for petty larceny.
Grando, a Krooman, for assault.
Yellow Will, a Krooman, for receiving stolen goods.[12]
Peter, a Krooman, for stealing from a dwelling-house.
John Testing, a discharged soldier, for ditto.
Jim Johnson, a liberated African, for grand larceny.
Ben Kroo, a Krooman, for ditto.
Jack Freeman, a Krooman, for receiving stolen goods.[12]
John Freeman, a Krooman, for ditto.

Several other prisoners found "not guilty," were discharged by
proclamation, and the sentence on Patrick Riley, a private soldier in
the Royal African Colonial Corps, for maliciously stabbing with intent
to murder, was respited on the motion of counsel, until a reference
should be made as to the application to this colony, of the statute
under which he was indicted;--the 43rd Geo. III. cap. 58th, commonly
called Lord Ellenborough's Act.

It is some gratification to know, that, notwithstanding these sessions
have been unusually heavy, still, that out of 19 prisoners in the
calendar, only two were liberated Africans, although this class of
persons forms nine-tenths of the community of the colony, and that but
one of them was found guilty; whereas, the time of the Court was taken
up with the crimes committed by Kroomen, 13 of whom were tried for
various offences. The evidence disclosed in these cases, afforded the
strongest grounds for the measure now in progress for reducing the
number of such strangers, by sending all above 600 from the colony; and
more particularly what are termed headmen. These fellows, who perform
no kind of work, it would seem, from what transpired in two or three of
the robberies brought to light before the public on this occasion, live
on the labour, and proceeds of plunder, obtained by the younger hands,
who first leave their country under the protection of these headmen,
and who are the mere instruments of this privileged class, contenting
themselves with planning the felonies committed by their dependants,
and thus generally escaping the consequences of detection; while, at
the same time, they _alone_ benefit in the pecuniary advantages of this
criminal course of life. The organization of professional criminals,
and the presence of the principle of co-operation amongst rogues, who
live by the commission of a variety of depredations on society, are not
confined to such places as London and Paris. The schemes and resources
of the headmen, considering the limits and differently constituted
sphere of their operations, are quite as admirable as those of the more
practised thieves of the modern Babylon.

_Tuesday, September 18th_.--About one o'clock this morning, we had a
violent tornado, which we had expected, from the frequent lightning of
the last four or five days; also, from the near approach of the
termination of the rainy season. The morning was very fresh and clear
after it; but, in the afternoon, it became cloudy and close. Burglaries
are frequently committed by the Kroomen in Sierra Leone, under cover of
the storm, it being a favourable time, from the difficulty of hearing
their operations, as well as from the disinclination the inhabitants
feel to go out in such heavy rain and wind, to examine their stores and

_Wednesday, 19th_.--Heavy rain from last evening till nine this
morning. Attended the Court, where I heard the trial of an action
brought by a house-carpenter against the executors of an estate, for
work, forming part of a contract that he had made with the late Tascoe
Williams, Esq.; the executors objecting to pay any part, because the
whole of the contract had not been performed, although it appeared,
that he was ready, but they were not willing, that he should complete
it: a verdict was, of course, given for the carpenter.

At three in the afternoon, I accompanied Capt. Owen to dine with Capt.
Arabin, on board the North Star, which was to sail for the Gambia on
the following day, taking a detachment of the Royal African Corps

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