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dition destined to proceed through Sacheuse, the Eskimaux, called out Davis' Strait, and in case of his suc to them in his own language, and a cess in finding the long-looked-for passage, he was instructed to proceed joined by John Sacheuse, an Eskimaux, to Behring's Strait, through which he native of South-east Bay, Greenland, in was to endeavour to pass into the Pa- lat. 69° N. and long. 50° W. It would ap
ific Ocean, and then to make the best pear, that he had concealed himself on of his way to Kamtschatka, and from board the Thomas and Ann, of Leith, in thence to the Sandwich Islands, to the month of May 1816: On being dis. refit and pass the winter, and return covered, Captain Newton, who commanded by the saine course in the spring, if that vessel, wished to land him again, but it should appear safely practicable ; if he earnestly entreated to be permitted to not, to proceed homeward by Cape remain, and he was accordingly brought to
Leith. He returned to Greenland with the Horn. The ships employed in this service, home, found his only near relation had
same ship in 1817, and on his arrival at the Isabella and Alexander, were fit- died in his absence. It was not ascertain. ted out with extreme care, both as to
ed, at his first outset, what were his mostrength and convenience, and fur. tives for quitting his native country, but it nished with a most ample supply of seemed now, that the death of his relation the best constructed instruments suit was his reason for continuing in the ship, ed for the various observations and which he did, returning to Leith with her experiments to be made in the course the same season. I had several conversaof the voyage.
tions with him on the subject ; he related They took their departure from many adventures and narrow escapes he Shetland on the 3d of May, and made had experienced in his canze, in one of the best of their way to Davis' Straits, ried to sea in a storm with five cthers, all
which he stated himself to have been carwhich they reached about the begin- of whom perished, and that he was mira. ning of June, and found they were culously saved by an English ship. He sufficiently early, as the ice was seen also informed me, that he had, through the in great quantities in all directions; missionaries, been converted to Christianity, they worked on, however, through and the strong desire he had to see the all obstacles, till, on the 17th of June, country these good men came from, had they reached Waygatt, or Hare Island, induced him to desert his own ; but that it situated in Lat. 70° 43' N. and Long. was always his intention to return when he 57° 3' W. and made fast to an iceberg had learnt the Scriptures and the art of about a mile from the island. They drawing. He related several traditions curfound here a number of ships employ- rent in his country respecting a race a ed in the whale fishery, all detained people who were supposed to inhabit the by the ice. After resting several days, of communicating with them, and con
north ; adding, that it was for the purpose the ice appearing to loosen a little, they verting them to Christianity, íhat he rocast off from the iceberg, and with lunteered for our expedition. During his much labour advanced, forcing their residence at Leith, in the winter of 1817, way through the loose ice; their pro- he had been taken notice of by Mr Nagress was exceedingly slow, being oc- smyth, the artist, who introduced him to casionally for days together obliged to Sir James Hall. His wishes to accompa. remain fast to the ice.
ny us were made known to the Admiralty, On the 9th of August they had through Captain Basil Hall, and he was reached lat. 75° 55' N. long. 65° 32 consequently engaged as our interpreter. W., and were surprised by the ap- the natives will be apparent in the course
His utility to us in communicating with pearance of several men on the ice.
of this narrative. lle returned, like the The first impression was that they were
rest of the crew, shipwrecked sailors, whose vessel had the passage home ; often repeating that
in perfect health during been crushed in a late gale; but on when he had got more instructions on reliapproaching they were discovered to gion, he would return to the wild prople, be natives, drawn on rudely formed and cndeavour to convert them to Christsledges by dogs, which they drove icnity. His meritorious conduct was rebackwards and forwards with wonder, presented by me to the Admiralty in the ful rapidity. When within hail, * strongest terms; their Lordships treated
him with the utmost liberality, and, aware The following account of this Green of the importance of his services on a future lander is given by Captain Ross in the in- exper'ition, had taken steps to have him troduction :
properly instructed, and for which purpose " During our stay at Deptford, we were he was sent to Edinburgh ; here he was
reply was made, though neither party seemed to discredit, saying, “ No, appeared to be in the least degree in- they are alive, we have seen them telligible to the other. On the ships move their wings !” He then told tacking, they set up a simultaneous them, he came from a distant country shout, and with many strange gesti- in that direction, pointing to the culations went off in their sledges south. To this they answered, “ That with all speed towards the land, and cannot be, there is nothing but ice disappeared.
there." On being asked where they Next morning, however, eight sledges lived, they pointed to the north, and driven by the natives, approached by said there was much water there, and a circuitous route the place where the that they had come here to fish for ships lay; they halted about a mile sea unicorns. It was then agreed that from them, but appeared afraid to Sacheuse should pass the chasm, and
In the meantime, he returned to the ship for a plank. Sacheuse was dispatched, bearing a Having procured one, he passed small white flag and some presents, over ; the natives showed the greatest to endeavour to bring them to a parley. alarm on his approach, and earnestly On approaching, a chasm was found entreated him not to touch them, or, if in the ice, pot passable without a he did, they would certainly die. They plank, separating the parties from each evidently doubted extremely whether other. Sacheuse placing his flag at he was actually a human being, till some distance, returned to the edge, one of them, after much hesitation, and taking off his hat, made friendly ventured to touch his hand; then signs for them to approach as he did. pulling himself by the nose, set up a They cautiously advanced, having no- shout, in which he was joined by ihe thing in their hands but the whips with others. Captain Ross, in hopes of which they guide their dogs, and after obtaining some interesting informasatisfying themselves that the chasm tion, now advanced along with Lieuwas impassable, seemned to acquire con tenant Parry; they instantly retreated fidence. Words were exchanged for in great aların towards their sleges; some time to little purpose, till Sac- but on the Captain and the rest of heuse thinking he perceived a resem the party pausing and pulling their blance to the Humooke dialect, hold- noses, they also halted and returned ing up the presents, cailed to them in this salute with great gravity ; it was that dialect to “ come on;" they then now evident it was meant as a friendseemed to understand him, and re- ly salutation. A few knives and small plied in words which he made out to looking-glasses were now distributed, mean, “ No, no, go away, we hope which seemed to give them intinite you are not come to destroy us." The delight. In secing their faces in the boldest then approached the chasm, glasses their amazement was extreme, and drawing a knife from his boot and the natural and unrestrained exsaid, “Go away, I can kill you.” pression of their surprise and pleasure Sacheuse, not intimidated, told them was irresistibly ludicrous. With he was a friend, and threw over some much difficulty they were persuaded strings of beads, a checked shirt, and to advance towards the ship, and on a knite, saying, " Take that;" they approaching, it was apparent they still now approached with caution, picked believed it to be a living creature, up the knife, then shouted and pulled looking at the masts, and examining their noses ; Sacheuse perceiving this every part with marks of the greatest was their elegant mode of salutation, tear and astonishment, and one of shouted in reply, and pulled his nose them cried out, in words perfectly inwith the same gesture. They point- telligible to Sacheuse, “Who are ed to the ships, eagerly asking What you? What are you? Where do great creatures these were?” “ Do you come from? Is it from the sun they come from the sun or the moon?” or the moon?” They were at length “ Do they give us light by night or induced to go on board. Theiraby day?" Sacheuse replied, that they mazement may easily be conceived ; were houses of wood. This they every thing was new to them. Their
knowledge of wood was limited to unfortunately attacked by a typhus fever, some heath of a dwarfish growth, of which carried him off on the 14th oi Fe course they knew not what to think bruary, after a few days illness.”
of the quantity of timber they saw pa
board. The only article which they from five hundred to a thousand feet pretended to know was glass, which in height. they instantly declared to be ice. On the surface of the land above
They showed the same inclination to the cliff, a scanty appearance of vepilfering which appears common to all getation of a yellowish green colour, savages, but their choice of articles and here and there a spot of a heath was unfortunate, for one of them, ap- brown, was to be seen. Similar traces parently without any idea of the of verilure were also occasionally apweight of things, coolly attempted to parent at the foot of the cliffs. The carry off the smith's anvil, and ano- boundary of this region must be placther the spare top-mast, and seemed ed to the northward of Whale Sound surprised at its resistance. They at Cape Robertson ; from that Cape toseemed to have no pleasure in music; wards the north the mountains rise some tunes being played on a violin, immediately from the sea, and form a they paid not the least attention to it. ridge similar to that which takes its On being offered some biscuit to eat, rise at Cape Melville. Thus it is inone of them put it in his mouth, but closed on all sides, and precluded from instanıly spit it out with disgust, and all possibility of communication by some salt beef that was then offered land with any other inhabitants of produced the same effect. Being this country, should there be any questioned as to the numbers of their to the eastward of this. The space nation, it was ascertained that they between Cape Melville and Cape could not count beyond ten ; but on York forms a spacious bay, which inquiring if there were as many inha. Captain Ross named Prince Regent's bitants as there were pieces of ice Bay; and is of opinion, the whale floating round the ship, they answer- fishery might be pursuel here with ed “Many more;" a thousand frag- great success, as the whales were large ments at least were at that time visi- and numerous, and that a valuable ble. Being now loaded with presents trade might be established in hlack of various kinds, they took their de, fox skins, great numbers of these aniparture, mounted their sledges, and mals being seen; these could be prodrove off hallooing and pulling their cured for European commodities of noses, apparently in great glee. trifling value, such as knives, pieces
The ships were afterwards visited of wood, crockery ware, &c. &c. by another party of the natives, and The inhabitants of this secluded we shall now proceed to lay before our district have no knowledge of any readers a short summary of the infor- thing but what originates in their mation obtained from ihem, and the own country ; nor have they any traresult of Captain Ress's observations dition how they came to this spot, or respecting this secluded corner of the from whence they are derived ; and world.
it is a remarkable fact, that until the The country to which Captain Ross moment of the arrival of Captain Ross gave the name of the Arctic High- they believed themselves to be the lands, is situated on the north-east only inhabitants of the universe, and corner of Baffin's Bay, between the that all the rest of the world was latitudes 76° and 77° 40' N. and the a mass of ice. The similarity of their longitudes 60° and 72° W. thus ex- language proves them to be of the tending on the sea-shore for 120 miles same race as the South Greenlanders, in a N. W. direction, the breadth who believe their country to have where widest does not exceed 20 miles, been peopled from the north; and and towards the extremities is reduc- the northern part of Baffin's Bay was ed to nothing. It is bounded on the probably originally peopled by a tribe south by a barrier of mountains co- from America. vered with ice; as far as could be judg The Arctic Highlanders are of a ed from the ships, this barrier is im- dirty copper colour, short in stature, passable. The interior country pre- seldom exceeding five feet, rather corsents an irregular group of mountain- pulent, and their features much reous land, declining gradually from the sembling the Esquimaux of South high ridge before mentioned towards Greenland. None of their houses the sea, which it reaches in an irre were seen, but they described then gular manner, and still at a consider
as built entirely of stone, the walls able elevation, the sea cliffs ranging being sunk about three feet into the
earth, and raised about as much above The word “ angekok,” which means a con. it. They have no windows, and the juror or sorcerer, was then pronounced to entrance is by a long narrow passage, him, in the South Greenland Eskimaux nearly under ground. Several fami- language.
He said, they had many of lies live in one house, and each has a
them ; that it was in their power to raise a lamp male of hollowed stone, hung seals or bring them; that they learned
storm or make a caim, and to drive off from the roof, in which they burn this art from old Angekoks, when young ; the blubber of the seal, &c. using that they were afraid of them ; but they dried moss for a wick, which is kin- had generally one in every family. Mej. dled by means of iron and stone. gack gave precisely the same answers, and This lamp, which is never extinguish- bad the same notions but he was not so ed, serves, at once, for light, warmth, intelligent as Ervick. finding that (). and cooking
They have no vege- toomiak, the nephew of Erviek, a lad of table food, but live entirely on the eighteen years of age, was a young ange. flesh of animals; the seal and sea kok, I got him in the cabin by himself, unicorn are preferred, as being the and, through Sacheuse, asked him how he most oily and agreeable to their pa- angekok ; that he could raise the wind, and
He replied, from an old late. This diet does not appear un drive off scals and birds. He said that this wholesome, all the natives that were
was done by gestures and words ; but the seen, looking vigorous and healthy, words had no meaning, nor were they said and nothing was heard of any disease or addressed to any thing but the wind or to which they were subject. Each
He was positive that in this inman, when he was able to maintain a cantation he did not receive assistance from family, took one wife, and, if she had any thing; nor could he be made to un. children, he was not permitted to take derstand what a good or an evil Spirit
When Ervick was told that there more; if otherwise, he took another, and the woman enjoyed the same pri- sible Being, who had created the sea and
was an omnipotent, omnipresent, and invi. vilege. They all lived under the go- land, and 'all therein, he showed much vernment of one chief, to whom they surprise, and eagerly asked where he lived. paid a portion of all they caught or When told that he was everywhere, he was found. He was described as living much alarmed, and became very impatient in a house nearly as large as the ship, to be on deck. When told that there was ard that a great portion of the people a future state, and another world, he said lived near him.
that a wise man, who had lived long beTheir dress is entirely composed of fore his time, had said that they were to go either seal or bear skins, worn with
to the moon, but that it was not now be. the hair outside, in the form of a
lieved, and that none of the others knew close tunic, with a hood lined with any thing of this history ; they believed, feathers.
however, that birds, and other living creaTheir notions of religion or a fu- certainly no proof whatever that this peo
tures, came from it. Although there is ture state may be gathered from the ple have any idea of a Suprenie Being, or following passage:
of a Spirit good or bad, the circumstances “ Ervick being the senior of the first ing to the moon aiter death, are of a na
of their having conjurors, and of their goparty that came on board, was judged to
ture to prevent any conclusion from being be the most proper person to question on
drawn to that effect, especially as it must the subject of religion. I directed Sac
be evident that our knowledge of their lanheuse to ask him if he had any knowledge guage was too imperfect to obtain the whole of a Supreme Being ; but, after trying of their ideas on the subject.” pp. 127, every word used in his own language to
128, 129. express it, he could not make him understand what he meant. It was distinctly Their sledges are made chiefly of ascertained that he did not worship the sun, the bones of seals, tied together with moon, stars, or any image, or living crea thongs, and the lower piece or runners
When asked what the sun or moon are formed of the sea-unicorn's horns. was for, he said, to give light. He had no
no To these sledges six dogs are generally knowledge or idea how he came into being, or of a future state ; but said, that, when attached, cach dog having a collar of he died, he would be put into the ground. Seal skin, to which one end of a thong Having fully ascertained that he had no
about three yards long is tied, and the idea of a beneficent Supreme Being, I pro.. other to the sledge, so that they all ceeded, through Sacheuse, to inquire if he stand nearly abreast, each drawing by believed in an Evil Spirit ; but he could a single trace, without reins.
They not be made to understand what it meant. are guided entirely by the voice, aid
ed by the sound of the whip. Their on the 77th degree of north latitude, ten only other implements were spears a- leagues to the westward of Cape Saumabout four feet and a half long, made rez, which forms the east side, and the of the sea-unicorn's horn, and small bottom of this bay, the land was distinctknives. The iron, of which these ly seen. On the 20th and 21st, when off last were made, Captain Ross ascer
Cape Clarence, at the distance of six leagues,
the land which forms the west side, and the tained to be procured from a hill a
bottom of this bay, was also distinctly seen bout 30 miles from the shore, where by the above-mentioned officers and my. the natives assured him it was found self, and by these two observations, the in considerable masses lying on the coast is determined to be connected all surface, and sufficiently soft to be cut round. At each of these periods, this im. by the help of a hard stone. Captain mense bay was observed to be covered with Ross supposes these masses to be me field-ice; besides which, 3 vast chain of teoric stones, and this conjecture has large icebergs was seen to extend across since been strengthened by the cir- it; these were apparently aground, and eumstance of this iron being found to had probably been driven on shore there contain nickel, a peculiarity which by southerly gales. It was also observed, distinguishes all those bodies hitherto that the tide rose and fell only four feet,
and that the stream of it was scarcely perdiscovered. *
ceptible. From these several consideraThe natives of this desolate spot, in tions, it appears perfectly certain that the spite of all their privations, appear- land is here continuous, and that there is ed most happy and contented, and no no opening at the northernmost part of temptation could induce any one of Battin's Bay from Hackluit's Island to thern to quit it in search of a better. Cape Clarence. Even if it be imagined by
The ships made sail from Prince those who are unwilling to concede their Regent's Bay on the 16th of August, opinions, while there is yet a single yarn of and, proceeding northward, reached their hypothesis holding, that some narrow Wolstenholm Sound on the 18th, and strait may exist througi these mountains
, found the land to agree extremely navigable, and that there is not even a
it is evident that it must for ever be unwell with the description given, of it chance of ascertaining its existence, since by Baffin. On the 19th, Cary's Is, all approach to the bottoms of these bays lands were in sight to the S. E., and is prevented by the ice, which tills them to Smith's Sound, discovered by Baffin, so great a depth, and appears never to have was distinctly seen. Captain Ross moved from its station. Being thus satisconsidered the bottom of this sound tied that there could be no further induce. to be about 18 leagues distant, but ment to continue longer in this place, and its entrance was completely blocked it being necessary to husband the little time up by the ice. On the 20th, the ships, yet remaining for the work wliich was still by their reckoning, were in latitude
to be done, I ordered accurate bearings of 769 54' N.; to the north-eastward the different headlands to be taken, and there appeared a bay, which was judg- ing the west side of the bay after the Duke
having nained the remarkable cape furmed to extend to latitude 77° 45' N.,
of Clarence, in commemoration of the but the land was distinctly seen form- birth-day of his Royal Highness, I shaped ing a chain of mountains from Smith's my course, on the morning of the 21st
, Sound to the westward.
This was towards the next opening which appeared evidently the northernmost, and form- in view to the westward.”-p. 152, 153. ed the head of Baffin's Bay, but it was impossible to enter it, a firm field of
The ships now proceeded to the ice covering its entire surface. AN
south-west to explore the western side hope of a passage in this direction of Baffin's Bay, and on the 29th Auwas now at an end, and Captain Ross gust, when they were in lat. 74° 19', thus recapitulates all the circum
an inlet, apparently about 45 miles stances which disprove its existence.
wide, was discovered, the land on the
north side lying in an E. N. E, and * On the 19th of August, at fifty mi. W. S. W. direction, and the south putes past midnight, the ship being nearly side nearly east and west. They en
It is much to be regretted that this tered the strait on the 30th, and durvery curious and interesting fact was not ing the whole of that day much inverified on the spot. It surely might easi- terest was excited by the hope that a ly have been done, as the ships lay several passage was at length discovered, but days within 30 miles of the place pointed as the day advanced, the land was out to Captain Ross.
partially seen, extending across, the