A RELATION OF A VOYAGE Made in the Years 1695, 1696, 1697. to the Coasts of Africa, the Streights of Magellan, Brasil, Cayana, and the Antilles or Caribby Islands.
VVE set out from Rochel on the 3d.* of June, A. D. 1695. to navigate the Southern Sea, with six Vessels, viz. The English Falcon, furnish∣ed with 46 Pieces of Cannon, and 260 Men, under the command of Monsieur de Gennes Captain: The Sun of Africa, carrying 32 Pieces, and 220 Men, com∣commanded Page 2 by M. du Pare, Captain of the Light Frigat: The Seditious, a light Frigat of 26 Guns, and 140 Men, M. de la Roque Commander: The Corvette-Fe∣licity of 8 Pieces of Ordnance, and 40 Men: The Glutton-Pink of 10 Guns, and 40 Men: And the Fruitful-Pink, of 4 Guns, and 20 Men: These two Pinks carry'd two Mortars and 600 Bombs, with all sorts of Provisions and Ammu∣nition necessary for a long Voyage.
We set sail about three a-clock in the Morning, with a fair North-East Wind, pass'd the Pertuis or Straight of Antioch, and before Noon, entirely lost the sight of Land.
On the 7th. Instant at Eleven of the Clock, we discover'd at the distance of three or four Leagues under the Wind, two Vessels, which the Felicity went to view: They came from St. Domingo, and were steering their Course for Ro∣chel.
On the 9th. we had sight of another Vessel, which the Seditious and the Fe∣licity gave chase to, during four Hours: The latter, which came very near her, inform'd us, that she seem'd to be a Sal∣ly-Man, and might carry about 30 Pieces of Cannon.
Page 3 On the 10th. at Noon, we made 15 Leagues a-cross Cape Finisterre.
On the 11th. at Break of day, we were separated from the Seditious, and the Fruitful, as also from another Vessel, which follow'd us from Rochel.
On the 15th. at four a-Clock in the Afternoon, we espy'd a very large Ship, which came up to view us within three Cannon-shot, and afterward tack'd about again; whereupon we gave her Chace, till the darkness of the Night caus'd us to lose the sight of her.
On the 21th. at Sun-Rising, we disco∣ver'd the Island of Madera, from whence we judg'd our selves to be distant about 20 Leagues.
On the 22th.* at 11 a-clock at Night, we lost the Shallop with Decks, which M. de Gennes had caus'd to be built, on purpose to throw out the Bombs: For as she was tacking about, whilst the Sea ran very high, her Cable broke, and she was driven out of her Course.
On the 26th. at three a-clock in the Morning, we pass'd the Tropick of Can∣cer; at Break of day, we discover'd the Land of Praya; and in the Afternoon perform'd the Ceremonies of the Tropi∣cal Baptism or Ducking, which are com∣monly Page 4 us'd by the Mariners in those Places.
On the 1st. day of July,* at three a-clock in the Morning, the Corvette let off a Gun, to give us notice that she was near Land; whereupon we sail'd beyond that Vessel without discerning her, by reason that she was very low built, and the Night was dark.
On the 3d. we discover'd Cape Verd,* or Green Head, and cast Anchor at 11 a-clock at Night, within two Leagues of the Island of Gorea: The next Day we likewise rode at Anchor within a Cannon-shot of the Place.
The Governour of that Island imme∣diately sent to compliment M. de Gennes,* with a Present of an Ox, and two Do∣zen of Pullets. The Person who brought this Present told us, That the Vessels of the East-India Company pass'd by a lit∣tle while ago, and that an English De∣serter had inform'd them, That almost the whole Garrison of Gambia was fall'n sick, and wanted Provisions; which piece of News was so well confirm'd to M. de Gennes, even by the Relation of the Governour himself; that if the Se∣ditious and the Fruitful had come up with us, we should have set sail the Page 5 very next day, in order to besiege the Fort, before the English could have had any notice of our Arrival.
In the mean while, waiting till those Ships appear'd, we diverted our selves, some in Hunting, and others in Fishing; nay we met with sufficient variety of Divertisements, not very expensive, without leaving the Villages. The Ne∣groes came continually on board with their* Vessels full of Fish, which they gave us in exchange for Knives, Sheets of Paper, little pieces of Iron, and o∣ther Toys of the like nature: We also pierc'd some Barrels of Wine, and set∣ting aside the Heat of the Weather, which was excessive, the Sports and Pa∣stimes abated a great deal of the Impati∣ence that we had to go to Gambia.
On the fifth Instant, M. de Gennes, M. du Parc, and the Governour of Go∣rea, went to give a Visit to the Alcaty or Governour of a Village call'd The Gap, situate on the Sea-shore, near a small Marsh, being the only place where fresh Water can be taken in; upon which account the Alcaty suffers none to do it, till an Agreement be made be∣forehand, to give him a Bottle of Bran∣dy for every Shallop. He receiv'd these Page 6 Gentlemen very courteously, and grant∣ed their Requests upon good Terms.
The next Day M. de Gennes invited to Dinner the Governour of Gorea, the a∣foresaid Alcaty of Gap, and another Al∣caty of a neighbouring Village, who was the Brother of a Favourite of the King of Houmel, and otherwise in great esteem for his Magnanimity, and for being one of the most robust and well-set Men of the Country. The Alcaty of Rufisca was also present, by chance, with a Negro Lady, the Widow of a certain Portuguese, who had one of the chief Places in the Kingdom: This Lady had excellent Features, was endow'd with a generous Disposi∣tion, and of a very obliging Deport∣ment; being of a middle-siz'd Sta∣ture, and cloath'd after the Portuguese Fashion. M. du Gennes treated them all magnificently, and made them some small Presents: He was also desirous to divert them with a Volly of Cannon and Mus∣ket-shot: But Dinner was scarce ended, when they earnestly importun'd to be dismiss'd. The cause of their sudden Departure being unknown to us, we were not a little surpriz'd, in regard that they had no reason to be tir'd with the Page 7 Company; till the Governour of Gorea told us,* That apparently they had oc∣casion to ease themselves, and that a Su∣perstitious Custom prevail'd among 'em, never to do it at Sea.
On the 9th. Instant, our Shallop be∣ing fitted out to take in fresh Water, a Storm of Wind arose, which threw her on the Coast: She suffer'd little Dammage, by reason that the Shock happen'd on the Sand: Nevertheless this Accident was like to have occasi∣on'd a great Contest with the Negroes, who gave it out, That one Moiety of the Vessels that run a-ground on their Coasts, ought to be appropriated to their Use: And even the Governour of Gorea himself acknowledg'd, that they had a Right to such a Claim: But for∣asmuch as this Law was made only in reference to Merchant-Ships, we speedi∣ly set some of our Men on Shore, to stand upon their Guard; and for far∣ther Security, retain'd seven or eight Negroes, who were come on board to trade with Fish: In the mean while, our Carpenters wrought during the whole Night; and the next Day in the After∣noon our Shallop return'd laden with Water, and as sound as before.
Page 8 On the 13th. at two a-clock, two Ves∣sels appear'd, whilst our Corvette was sailing to the Village of Rusisca; where∣upon we discharg'd a Cannon to cause her to return, and to recal all the Mariners on board: We likewise made Signals to the other Ships, which were answer'd by them. They were the Seditious and the Fruitful Pinks, which came to join with us again, after having waited for our Arrival eleven Days at Madera: They cast Anchor at two a-clock, and the next Day our Corvette set out a se∣cond time for Rufisca, to get some Pro∣visions, that were necessary for our de∣parture in good earnest.
Before we leave Gorea,* it may not be improper to give some account, how the French settled in that Island, and to relate what I have seen and heard con∣cerning the Nature of the Coast, and the Traffick and Manners of the Inhabitants.
The Island of Gorea is distant only one League from the Continent, four from Cape Verd, and may be about half a League in Compass. The Hol∣landers first fix'd a Colony therein, and built the Forts of St. Francis and St. Mi∣chael, which are still to be seen: After∣ward the Count d' Etrées made himself Master of the Place A. D. 1678: The Page 9English took it from the French in 1692. and demolish'd the Forts which were e∣rected by the Hollanders: At last the Senegal Company, having re-taken it in 1693, rebuilt St. Michael's Fort: And there are at present in this Island about 100 Frenchmen, with some Families of Lapto's or free Negro's, who are hir'd by the Company to trade from one Coast to another.
The Sea-Coast is flat, sandy, and in many places very barren: The Soil brings forth Millet, Rice, Tobacco, and some Fruits, which are all generally ve∣ry insipid: The Country is every where beset with a sort of wild Apple or Crab-Trees, that grow as thick as Broom in a Heath or Warren: There are also cer∣tain small Shrubs, which are very com∣mon; their Fruit, call'd Mandanaza by the Negro's, being no bigger than a small Nut, exactly resembles an Apri∣cock in Shape and Colour: It is of a very grateful Taste, but very unwhol∣som: Its Leaf is like that of Ivy, but of a somewhat lighter Green. I have seen there a sort of Trees not unlike our Plum-Trees, the Fruit of which has the Colour, Bigness, and almost Taste of our Cherries; 'Tis call'd Cahoüar;Page 10 and I have caus'd the Figure of it to be drawn, because it appear'd to me to be very remarkable. The Negro's made a Present to us, as a choice Banquet, of certain large Fruits that resemble small Gourds, but under the Skin, is only a kind of Substance like dress'd Flax: They cause them to be roasted under Embers, and afterward chew them to suck out the Juice, which is as yellow as Saffron: This Fruit has a Stone as large as an Egg, and as hard as Iron. In the Country there is a great number of Palm-Trees, out of which the Ne∣gro's extract a sort of white Liquor, that we call Palm-Wine, and which is thus prepar'd: They make an Incision in the Trunk, and apply to it a Gourd-Bottle, into which the Liquor runs by the means of a Pipe: 'Tis very pleasant to drink when one is hot; but at the end of two or three Days, it is spoil'd, and easily inebriates.
The Island affords great variety of Game: Turtle-Doves, Pintades, Pigeons and Partridges as big as Pullets, and of an exquisite Taste, are very numerous; besides divers sorts of large Fowl, which are unknown in Europe.* There are also Goats, Stags, Buffles, Apes, Civet-Cats, Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
An unknown Bird kill'd on ye Coaste of Affrica.
A Storke of ye Coaste of Affrica.
M. Vander Gucht Scul:
The People of these Coasts from the River Senegal,* are entirely black, robust, and well-set. They all go stark naked, both Men and Women, except their Privy Parts, that are cover'd with a sort of Cotton-Stuff, which they call Pagnes: They are very slothful, and al∣ways hold a Pipe in their Mouth: They feed upon nothing but Millet and Fish, and very seldom eat any Flesh: They were surpriz'd to see us eat Herbs, and said that we were like Horses in that par∣ticular. Their Trade consists in Slaves, Gold, Morphil or Ivory, and Wax; which Commodities they usually ex∣change for Iron, Hatchets, Fusees, Co∣ral, Page 12 Glasses, Knives, Paper, red Stuffs, and more especially Brandy; in which they take so great delight, that the Son, when 'tis in his power, often sells his Fa∣ther to procure it.
Every Province has its particular Go∣vernour, who gathers the Tributes due to the King, and takes care to call an Assembly of the Negroes when they are enjoyn'd to go on Warfare. Their ordinary Arms are the Hanger,* the Sagay, which is a very light Half-Pike, and the Bow, which nevertheless they do not use ve∣ry dexterously; some of them are also furnish'd with Fire-Arms. Their princi∣pal aim is to take a great number of Prisoners, who are never exchang'd, but are either distributed for the Service of the Officers, or sold for the Soveraign's Advantage. The King resides at the di∣stance of thirty Leagues from the Sea-Coast in a Town called Cayor, where he has a Palace, and Appartments for his Wives, always entertaining some Fo∣reigners in his Court, and more especi∣ally those of the Portuguese Nation: His Dominions are extended very far in the Country, and lie along the Coasts from Rufisca, which is four Leagues di∣stant from Gorea to the Southern side Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
A Scale of 2 Leagues
The most part of the Negroes are destitute of Religion,* and live in the Woods, of the Booty that they get from Travellers. Those who have any kind of Belief, follow the Mahometan Sect, Page 14 very much corrupted: They wear a∣bout their Neck, Arms, and Legs, and even bind about their Horses, little Lea∣thern Bags, which they call Grisgris, in which are enclosed certain Passages of the Alcoran, which were given by the Marabous, to secure them from vene∣mous Beasts, and from all sorts of Wounds; an abominable Superstition, which they equally observe in reference to their manag'd War-Horses. They circumcise their Children, but not till they have attained to the Age of Twelve or Thirteen Years. Their Sabbath is kept on Monday, during which they for∣bear working, and make but one Meal. They have no considerable Festival but that of Tabaské, which happens in the Month of June; and for the celebration of which, they prepare themselves a Month before, by continual Fasting and abstaining from correspondence with their Wives: Then they meet together in a large Plain, to say their Prayers, and to be reconcil'd with their Enemies, eve∣ry one bringing a Goat, a Calf, or some other Animal of the like nature, which the Marabous, cloath'd with a kind of Surplice made of white Pagnes, or Cot∣ton-Stuff, sacrifice to Mahomet. After Page 15•he celebration of the Festival, which continues till Evening, every one car∣ries away his Victim to make a solemn Banquet of it, with his Family; which Custom seems to have much relation to the Jewish Passover.
When one of the principal Elders dies,* the Marabous embalm his Body, and expose it to publick View in a Hut, where the Women of the Neighbour∣hood are assembled to lament his Death during several Days. At last when these Lamentations, which continue more or less, according to the Quality of the de∣ceased Person, are ended, the Marabous wrap up the Corps in a Pagnes or Cot∣ton-Shrowd, and bury it; whilst his in∣timate Friends take a pride in stabbing themselves, to shew the sincerity of their Affection; which barbarous Custom they blindly observe, even contrary to the Prohibitions of their own Religion and Laws. This is all that I have seen, or could get Information of, concerning those Coasts, with any manner of pro∣bability.
On the 19th. we set sail for the River of Gambia, having for our Guides two Negroes, and the English Deserter, of whom we have already made mention. Page 16 We sail'd along the Coasts four or five Leagues in length, and twenty the next day. At 6 a-clock in the Evening we cast Anchor within three Leagues and a half of the Mouth of the River, and immediately sent out our Shallops to sound the depth of it, but they met with a great deal of foul Weather du∣ring the whole Night, and were not a∣ble to return till the next Day at Noon.
On the 22d. Instant, at eight a-clock in the Morning, we all enter'd the Ri∣ver, with English Colours, and at Ele∣ven we saluted with three Cannon-shot, a thick and very high Tree, which serves instead of a Pavilion to the King of Bar, and which the English are like∣wise wont to salute, as often as they come into, or go out of the River. At Noon we ran a-ground before the Isle of Dogs, on a Shelf of Mud, where we stuck above two Hours, and could not get off without some difficulty. At last at Five a-clock in the Evening, we cast Anchor within a small League of the Fort, which we immediately invested, with the Corvette and the Shallops, to hinder the Importation of Provisions, or of any manner of Succours. We Page 17 also began to unmast the Fruitful Pink, to turn it into a Bomb-Galley.
The same Evening M. de Gennes sent our two Negro Agents to a Village cal∣led Gilofriée, situated on the River-side, to carry a Letter to a certain ancient Por∣tuguese, nam'd Don Cardos, whom the Go∣vernour of Gorea had assur'd us to be well-affected to the French. And in∣deed, this Portuguese having receiv'd the Letter, came to salute M. de Gennes, to whom he afterwards gave an exact Ac∣count of the Condition of the Fort, and insinuated at the same time, that forasmuch as the English were not well belov'd by the King of Bar, it would be no difficult matter, by the means of some Present, to bring him over to their Party. The Chevalier de Fontenay, our second Captain, went at two a-clock in the Morning, to compliment Don Cardos, and to entreat him to per∣mit us to land a Body of Men; to hin∣der the English from taking in fresh Wa∣ter and Provisions: But the King had told him that he wou'd not be con∣cern'd in our Quarrels, lest if we could not take the Fort, it might give an oc∣casion of Hatred to the English, who might afterwards resent the Affront; and Page 18 that therefore he would not suffer any one to land, but that he would readily supply us with all Things that were in his Power.
On the 23d.* Instant M. de la Roque went to summon the Fort to surrender, and upon his Approach, a Canoo ap∣pear'd to enquire of him what were his Demands: He answer'd, That he was desirous to speak with the Gover∣nour: Whereupon he was conducted blind-fold to the Governour's House, and was receiv'd in his Absence by the King's Lieutenant, whom he made ac∣quainted with the occasion of our Arri∣val, and that he was come to summon the Place before we proceeded to any Acts of Hostility. M. de la Roque was nobly treated, and the Healths of the Kings of England and France were drank several times, with Volleys of Cannon-shot. After the Collation, M. de la Roque return'd on board, with three English Officers, whom M. de Gennes en∣tertain'd with the like Magnificence. They desir'd some Days of Truce to consult about the Affair, but no longer time was granted to make their posi∣tive Answer, than till six a-clock the next Morning; so that they were re∣conducted Page 19 to their Fort very much dissa∣tisfy'd with these Proceedings, and wrote the following Letter to M. de Gennes.
A Letter written by the English Offi∣cers to M. de Gennes.
From St. James's Fort, July 23. 1695.
YOU have allow'd us so little time to consider about your Summons, made (as you say) by the Order of the French King, that we are resolv'd to wait for your Attacks, and to defend our selves to the last Extremity, rather than to Sur∣render; not doubting but to meet with a generous Enemy. We are,
The next Night 23 or 24 of our Shallops took a Brigantine and several Canoos, laden with Provisions for the Fort; whilst the Sun of Africa gave Chace to another Canoo, in which the Governour was passing over thither, who perceiving their close Pursuit, threw Page 20 himself into the Sea, and made his E∣scape to the Woods, from whence he found means to retire the same Night, without being discover'd.
At break of Day, we set out two of our Shallops, and sail'd three Leagues up a small River, which takes its Name from the Village of Block, where a certain Prince resides, who assumes the Title of Emperor,* and who is almost continually engag'd in War against the King of Bar. We burnt two small Ves∣sels, which the English were refitting there, and laded our Shallops with two Pieces of Cannon, and divers cast Pate∣rero's that were taken out of them. In passing down the River, we landed at the Village of Barifet,* where a Petty King keeps his Court, who is tributary to the other of Block. This Prince sent us word, That it was customary for Strangers to make him some Pre∣sent, and that he desir'd us to furnish him with a Scarlet-Cloak: We contented him with some Bottles of Brandy, which were more acceptable to him than the finest Cloak in the World.
On the 24th.* Instant, at Eight a-clock in the Morning, the Fruitful Pink dis∣charg'd two Bombs, which did not come Page 21 near the Fort; therefore M. de Gennes forbad the letting off any more, and de∣termin'd to wait for the Tide of Flood, in order to level the Shot within reach of the Place. In the mean while, the Governour having sent a Canoo with a White Flag, to desire to Capitulate, two Officers were detain'd as Hostages, and M. de la Roque and the Chevalier de Fon∣tenay were sent to the Fort, to draw up the Articles, which were sign'd the same Day, by all the English Officers, and the next Day, by all the Captains of the Squadron.
Articles of Capitulation granted to the Officers of the Garrison of St. James's Fort in the River of Gambia on the Coasts of Africa.
THat the Salaries due to them from the Company shall be paid.
That every Man shall be permitted to carry along with him his Arms, Bag∣gage, Chests, Attire, Ammunition and Page 22 Money, with Drums beating, and Match lighted; and that every Officer shall be attended with a young Negro.
That every marry'd Man, or Inhabi∣tant of the Country, shall have liberty to continue therein.
That the Commissioners for Trade shall enjoy the same Privilege, in re∣pairing thither, and making the French a Return of what they have traded for.
That the Sieur Charles Daval, a French Man settled in England for the Space of 16 Years, shall enjoy the same Privilege as the Governour himself.
That two Days shall be allow'd them, to make up their Accounts; that is to say, that the Fort shall be deliver'd up on Tues∣day Morning at Six of the Clock.
That Twelve free Negroes who are employ'd in the Company's Service, shall be permitted to go wheresoever they shall think fit.
That a Vessel with three Masts shall be given them, with Artillery, Ammu∣nition, and Provisions to return to Eng∣land, without detaining any thing what∣ever; and that their Departure shall be within thirty Days at the farthest.
That they shall have a good Pass-port to go in safety; and that the English Go∣vernour shall in like manner grant an effectual Pass-port to the French Cap∣tain, who is to be their Convoy back again, that his Cargo may not be im∣pair'd.
The above-mention'd Articles being granted, it was declar'd, That these Page 24 Goods belong'd to the Royal Company of England, viz. 500 Quintals of Mor∣phil, 300 Quintals of Wax, 130 Male Negroes, 40 Female in the Island, 50 at Gilofriée, and above 80000 Crowns of Merchandizes at the usual Rates of the Country, as also 72 large Cannons mounted, 30 dismounted, and a consi∣derable Quantity of Warlike Ammuniti∣on; and that they shou'd have a Truce till the Commander in Chief return'd an Answer.
- JOHN HAMBURY.
- DE LA ROQUE.
- The Chevalier DE FON∣TENAY.
On the 27th.* at break of Day, M. de la Perriere, Major of the Squadron▪ gave notice to the Governour to prepare for his Departure, the Term which was granted him being expir'd: At Six a-clock the Shallops and Canoos ready fit∣ted up, attended on the Commander, and then cast Anchor in a Line, with∣in Pistol-shot of the Fort. M. de Fon∣tenay, who was chosen for Governour, Page 25 first came on Shore, where the English Governour gave him the Keys, and em∣bark'd the same time to go on board the Felicity. Afterwards all the Forces landed; Sentinels were set in all the ne∣cessary Posts; the French Standard was set up; Te Deum was sung by the Almo∣ners of the Squadron, and 37 Cannons were discharg'd.
This Fort was square,* with four Ba∣stions, lined with good Brick-Work, ha∣ving in the Out-Works three pieces of Fortification call'd Horse-Shooes, and se∣veral Batteries along the Pallisado's: It was furnished with a prodigious quantity Arms, and the Magazines of Powder were well stor'd; insomuch that 'tis cer∣tain that if the Governour, being a young Man, (who was more intent up∣on his Pleasures than on the putting of his Fort in a good Condition) had ta∣ken care to keep therein a sufficient quantity of Provisions and of fresh Wa∣ter, it might have held out for a long time. The Situation of this Fort was very advantageous, and there wanted only a Magazine of Powder, and a Ci∣stern Bomb-proof, to render it impreg∣nable.
Page 26 On the 28th. Instant M. de la Roque went to desire the King of Bar to give us leave to take possession of the Slaves and Oxen, which the English had in his Dominions: Whereupon the King re∣ply'd, That the Fort being surrender'd, every thing that was left on the Land▪ of very good right belonged to him: M. de la Roque told him, that we would not be so satisfy'd, and that if he re∣fus'd to grant our Demands willingly, we wou'd certainly do our selves Justice by force of Arms. And indeed a Coun∣cil was held about that Answer; and for∣asmuch as it was well known, that in the beginning of the War, he had seiz'd on Merchandizes to the value of above 40000 Crowns, belonging to the French who traded on that River; it was determin'd to make a Descent upon the Country, to take the King Prisoner, and as many Negroes as cou'd be catched; and to burn all their Hutts. This De∣cree was ready to be put in execution, when an Alcaty came to pass a Com∣pliment upon M. de Gennes, and to as∣sure him, that the King was unwilling to engage in a War against him; on the contrary, that he was very desirous to keep an amicable Correspondence Page 27 with him; and that he might freely take whatever he should think fit.
The next Day, M. de Gennes went to give a Visit to the King; the principal Officers walk'd before him to his Ca∣noo, and conducted him to the Place where the Interview was to be made. The King appear'd a little while after, without any regular Train, in the midst of a great number of Negroes, and at∣tended with some Drummers: He was of a very advantageous Stature, and was cloath'd with a red Doublet beset with the Tails of Wild Beasts, and little Bells. He had on his Head an Osier-Cap, a∣dorn'd with divers Rows of Coral, and two Ox-Horns. Here we may observe by the way, that Circumcised Persons in those Parts, have the liberty to wear such a Cap, during eight Days imme∣diately after their Circumcision, by ver∣tue of which, they are authoriz'd to commit all manner of Crimes imagina∣ble, with impunity, and none durst com∣plain of their outragious Villainies. The King in this pompous Equipage, hold∣ing a Pipe in his Mouth, walk'd with a Majestick Gate under a stately Tree, where he usually gives Audience to the Ambassadors of the neighbouring Princes. Page 28 M. de Gennes went thither to salute him, and made him a Present of 20 Bars of Iron, a Barrel of Brandy, a Pair of Pi∣stols, and a Burning-Glass, with the Ef∣fects of which he was extremely sur∣priz'd. The Interpreter being a French∣man who dwelt on the River above ten Years, spoke the Language of the Coun∣try very fluently; by which means their Conversation was continu'd for a consi∣derable time; and among other things, this poor King often enquir'd whether he was much talk'd of in France? Af∣ter a great deal of Discourse of the like nature, they parted; but the King cau∣sed M. de Gennes to be reconducted by for∣ty Men of his own Guards, and several Drummers, and presented him with some of the finest Oxen that could be found in the Village.
On the 30th. Instant, a Council was held to determine, whether the Fort should be kept or slighted: The latter Advice was follow'd for divers Reasons, and therefore we drew near, to take all the Merchandizes that were to be ex∣ported in our Vessels: They consisted in several Pieces of Ordnance, a great quantity of Arms, Morphil, Wax, Ves∣sels of Tin and Copper, &c. Woollen and Page 29 Linen-Cloth, printed Calico's, Coral, Glasses, and other Commodities, in which a great Trade is carryed on in that Country.
On the 5th. Day of August A. D. 1695.* the Sun of Africa pass'd down the Ri∣ver, to transport certain Merchandizes and Ammunition to Gorea; but that Voyage was undertaken to no purpose, because the Governour would not furnish himself with them, without the Consent of the Company.
On the 14th. Instant,* a Free-booter of St. Domingo, which parted from thence a Year ago, came to cast Anchor before us, and having saluted us with three Cannon-shot, we answer'd her with one. This Vessel met with the Sun of Africa at Gorea, by whom she was informed of the taking of St. James's Fort; and that since it was determined to demo∣lish it, some Advantage might be got by divers Provisions that were left, as being of no use to us. The same Day, we suffered a considerable Loss upon this Occasion: Forasmuch as the Fruitful Pink was appointed to convey the English Officers into France, and was obliged to pass by Cayenna to leave some of our Negroes there; 150 of Page 30 them were shut up in the Hold, lest they shou'd attempt to make their E∣scape: But these miserable Wretches, scarce having room to breathe in, threw themselves one upon another, as it were in despair, so that 34 of them were found stifled.
On the 16th. the Fruitful Pink being ready to sail for Cayenna, saluted us with her whole Artillery, and we answer'd her with a Cannon-shot.
The 17th, 18th, 19th. and 20th. Days of this Month were spent in breaking the Cannons at St. John's Fort, and un∣dermining the Walls, from whence we remov'd on the 21st. to avoid the ill Accidents that might happen upon the blowing up of the Place:* On the 22d. the Mines sprang, and took very good effect; except two, which miscarry'd, and were sprung the same Evening. The King of Bar immediately sent to search among the Ruines for such things as might turn to his Advantage; and the Portuguese, who had several Colonies on the River, told us, that they durst not go thither till after that the King and his Officers had caus'd every thing to be car∣ry'd away, which might be serviceable to them. The English spent several Years Page 31 in building this Fort, which was situated in the middle of a fine River, where the Traffick is very considerable; and the Revenues which they receiv'd from thence are computed to amount to a Million; so that the Loss of the Place cannot be easily repair'd.
This River is navigable even so as to bear large Barks,* 200 Leagues up the Country, where it is join'd with that of Senegal, in that place where the Niger forms its famous Arms: Its Sides are flat, and cut with many Channels, to which the Sea runs up; and the Soil along its Banks is fertil in Millet, Rice, Tobacco, and divers sorts of Fruits; affording also good Pasture for the feeding of nume∣rous Herds of Oxen. The principal Fruits that we observ'd in those Parts, are the Banana, the Tabakomba, and the Plougue.
The Banana is a long Fruit cover'd with a yellow and tender Skin; the Pulp of it being soft like Cotton, and of a very good taste: It grows on a tender Stalk, about two or three Fathoms high; its Leaves are a Fathom long, and of a proportionate breadth. This Stalk bears only one single Bunch or Cluster, round which there may be forty or fifty Ba∣nana's;Page 32 and when the Bunch is gather∣ed, the Stalk is to be cut, by reason that otherwise it cou'd not bring forth any more Fruit.
The Tabakomba is almost of the same Shape as a Bon-Chretien Pear; its Peel or Rind is like that of a Pomegra∣nate, and opens when the Fruit is ripe: It contains five or six small Fruits of a Rose-Colour, the Pulp of which is in∣sipid, and the Stone very large.
The Plougues or Medicinal-Nuts con∣tain three small Kernels, that are call'd Indian Pine-Apple Kernels, and which are us'd by the Apothecaries in the com∣position of their Medicines.
There is at least as great Plenty of Wild Beasts, and as much variety of Game in those Parts, as on the Coasts of Gorea. We saw there certain rare Birds, which might well deserve a Place in the famous Aviary of Versailes, by reason of the admirable Beauty of their Feathers, or upon account of their ex∣traordinary Shape; particularly, the Pe∣lican, which the Inhabitants of the Country call Wide-Throat; and the Guinee Peacock. The Pelican resembles a Goose in its Size and Colour, having on the lower part of its Bill, which is very long, Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
Ptougues or Indian Pine. apple kernels
M. Vander Gucht Scul.
How Monkeys carry Infants up Trees
The Habit of the Circumcised▪
A Negro playing on ye Balafo
The Apes are larger and more mis∣chievous than in any part of Africa; The Negroes dread them, and cannot travel alone in the Country without running the hazard of being attack'd by these Animals, who often present them with a Stick, and force them to fight. I have heard the Portugueses say, that they have often seen them hoist up young Girles about seven or eight Years old, into Trees, and that they could not be wrested from them without a great deal Page 34 of difficulty. The most part of the Negroes imagine them to be a Foreign Nation come to inhabit their Country, and that they do not speak for fear of being compell'd to work.
The Air about this River is very un∣wholsom, by reason of the Rains that continually fall during six Months in the Year; that is to say, from June till November; insomuch that Strangers can scarce avoid its malign Influence; for this Air causes lingring Feavers, by which Men are extremely wasted be∣fore they die. We experimentally felt these direful Effects, departing from thence with about 250 sick Persons, of whom above two third parts dy'd a lit∣tle while after. These Rains sometimes come with terrible Blasts of Wind; which are so much the more formida∣ble, in regard that a Vessel may be suddenly surpriz'd and over-set with them.
The Portugueses have many Habitati∣ons in different Places, and more especi∣ally in the Village of Gilofriee, where they have a small sorry Church. Those Persons who are desirous to settle in the Country, of whatever Nation they be, usually pay a yearly Tribute to the King, Page [unnumbered]
The Balafo an Instrument of the Negroes.
A Brasil Cherry
The great Trade which is manag'd in that River, has render'd the People much more polite and civiliz'd than those of Gorea: They are better Mahometans, and have a greater Veneration for their Commanders, whom they never accost, but with one Knee on the Ground, and throwing Sand over their Heads, as a mark of their Submission. Their Hutts* are neat, and well built, being made of a fat binding Earth, which soon hardens: They are cover'd with Palm-Tree Leaves, so well fitted, that they cannot be pene∣trated either by the Rain, or the Heat of the Sun. They are of a round Fi∣gure, and cannot be better compar'd than to our Ice-Houses. The most part of the Negroes divert themselves there∣in, with discoursing about the Alcoran, or with playing on a certain Musical In∣strument, which they call Balafo,* whilst their Wives are employ'd in tilling the Ground. The Balafo is nothing else Page 36 but several Pipes of very hard Wood set in order, which diminish by little and little in length, and are ty'd toge∣ther with Thongs of very thin Leather. These Thongs are twisted about small round Wands, which are put between e∣very one of those Pipes, to leave a small Space: This Instrument very much re∣sembles one of ours in that particular; but that of the Negroes is compos'd of many more parts, in regard that they fasten underneath ten or twelve Gourds, the different Sizes of which perform the same effect as our Organ-Pipes: They usually play upon it with Sticks, the Ends of which are cover'd with Leather, to render the Sound less harsh.
The Portugueses told us, that the Ne∣groes who live further up the Country, with whom they have but small Deal∣ings, are altogether Savage; boast of being great Sorcerers, and have little Religion: That when a King, or one of the principal Commanders, dies, they lay them in a new Hut, kill his best be∣lov'd Wife, with a certain number of Slaves to serve him in the other World; and lastly, having said particular Pray∣ers, and put Provisions and Tobacco sufficient to last a long time into the Hutt, they cover it with Earth.
Page 37 On the 24th. Instant at Noon* we pas∣sed down the River, and the next Day about 8 a-clock in the Morning, we pre∣par'd to set sail. The Free-booter passing by us, saluted us with five Guns, and we answer'd her with one. We were stearing our Course for Brasil, and that Pickeroon for the Red-Sea. We gave the Ship's Crew two Pieces of Ordnance, with Powder, Ball, and some Oxen, on condition that in the Passage they shou'd set the Negro Prince of Assiny a-shore in his own Territories. M. de Gennes had the charge of him, but cou'd not perform it, without interrupting the Voy∣age he had undertaken.
On the 26th. and 27th. we had a great Calm, and on the 28th. a Barrel of Brandy took Fire in the Hold, but it was soon put out, by the care that was taken in applying a great quantity of wet Clothes. The Number of our sick Men increasing every Day, and the most part of them dying for want of neces∣sary Refreshment, a Council was held on the 30th. to know whether it were most expedient to continue our Course to Bra∣sil, or to stand in for some Port: The latter Advice was follow'd, and it was determin'd that we shou'd go in quest Page 38 of the Islands of Cape Verd, where the Air is much more healthful than on the Coast of Guinee.
On the 3d. Day of September,* we had boisterous Winds, which being contrary wou'd have driven us off from the I∣slands, and perhaps wou'd have hinder'd us from making them: Wherefore we steer'd our Course for Gorea, to take in fresh Provisions, waiting for a more fa∣vourable Wind to return to the Island of Cape Verd.
On the 5th. at break of Day,* we di∣scover'd Land, and at six a-clock in the Evening we cast Anchor before Gorea, where we took in 15 Oxen, and loaded some of our Shallops with Water: Then we set sail again on the 9th. Instant, with a favourable Gale of Wind.
On the 12th. 13th. and 14th. we had a great Calm; and on the 15th. at 8 a-clock in the Morning we discover'd the Island of May, from whence we steer'd our Course for that of St. Vincent.
On the 17th. we came within sight of an Island, the Coasts of which ap∣pear'd to be very high and foggy. And indeed, by its height we judg'd it to be that of St. Nicholas.
Page 39 On the 18th. and 19th. the Winds were contrary; but on the 19th. and 20th. at Night they favour'd us; and at two a-clock in the Morning we disco∣ver'd Land by the Light of the Moon: We continu'd the rest of the Night a∣bout the Cape; and at break of Day we perceiv'd it to be the Island of St. Lucia. At two a-clock in the Afternoon we en∣ter'd the Channel, which separates the Island of St. Vincent from that of St. An∣tony; and when we were arriv'd within Musket-shot of a great Rock which lay in form of a Sugar-Loaf in the middle of that Channel, at the Entrance of St. Vincent's Bay, where our Ship was to cast Anchor; we were becalm'd, and oblig'd to tow it up with our Shallops against the Current that carry'd us a∣bove the Place. We spent the Night in a perpetual Hurry; for the Wind conti∣nu'd so little in the same Point, and veer'd so often, that we durst not fall into the Bay till break of Day.
On the 22d.* we set up Tents on the Land, for our sick Mariners, who were very numerous; for many of them were seiz'd with the Scurvy, besides the Fea∣vers of Gambia; and of 260 Men be∣longing to our Ship's Crew, we had on∣ly Page 40 80 left who were in a Condition to Work.
The Island of St. Vincent is inhabited,* but it is barren, and beset with very high Mountains: It affords little fresh Water; Wood is also scarce there, and it is customary to cast Anchor before it, only by reason of the Safety of its Har∣bour. We met with 20 Portugueses of St. Nicholas's Island, who were employ'd there during two Years, in dressing Goat-Skins, with which this Island abounds: These Animals were taken with Dogs so well inur'd to the Game, that each of them was wont to bring twelve or fifteen eve∣ry Night. There is also abundance of Tortoises in that Island, of which there are different kinds, and some that weigh three or four hundred Pounds. These Animals make to Land to lay their Eggs, hide them in the Sand, and return with∣out sitting on them: They are not hatch'd till the end of 17 Days, and continue during nine of them without being able to pass to the bottom of the Water, in∣somuch that three quarters of them are usually destroy'd by the Birds.
On the 23d. Instant,* we Mann'd out our Boat for St. Antony's Island, to trade for some Provisions; and our Ma∣riners, Page 41 conducted by two Portugueses of St. Vincent, went to certain Cottages, where they were kindly entertain'd by the Inhabitants, who gave us some Pul∣lets, and a great quantity of the Fruits of the Country, viz. Figs, Raisins, Ba∣nana's, Oranges, Lemmons, and Water-Melons; telling them at the same time, that if we sent Word thither in three Days, they wou'd give notice to the Village, where we might be supply'd with Oxen, Hoggs, Pullets, Ducks, Fruit, and every thing we cou'd desire. This Village is situated in the middle of many high Mountains, which render its Access difficult: There are above 500 Inhabitants capable of bearing Arms, and a great number of Negro-Slaves. The Fathers Cordeliers have a Church there. The Portugueses of this Island, as all the o∣ther of the Islands of Cape Verd, are of a swarthy Complexion, but they are ingeni∣ous People, and very sociable: They feed on a kind of Bread made of Millet and Banana's. They have numerous Herds of Oxen, Asses, Goats, and Hogs, with variety of Fowl; Their Wine is also good, and their Fruits excellent; inso∣much that this Island, where the Air is healthful, and always temperate, may Page 42 well pass for a very delightful Place.
On the 26th. at two a-clock in the Morning, a Merchant-Man of Nantes, that came to salt Tortoises for Marti∣nica, cast Anchor by us. If their Ship's Crew had known that they shou'd have met with so good Company, they wou'd not have enter'd so boldly; but they were not aware of us till it was too late to retreat; and if they had prov'd En∣glishmen, they might have paid dear e∣nough for their Curiosity. These Men inform'd us of the loss of Namur, and told us, that they pass'd by the Island of St. Nicolas, where the Inhabitants in∣gag'd them to bring back their Coun∣trymen, of whom they had heard no News since they went to St. Vincent. They kept their Word; so that the Por∣tugueses convey'd the Vessel under the Wind into a Creek, where there is greater abundance of Tortoises than in any other place: They often assisted 'em in Fishing, and were afterwards carry'd back to St. Nicolas.
On the 27th. Instant, the Pink went to St. Antony's Island, to fetch the Provi∣sions that the Portugueses had promis'd us, and which we could not obtain till the first Day of October,* by reason of Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
Bourse asort of Fish taken in ye Road of ye Island of S.t Vincent at Cape Verd
M Vander Gucht Sculp:
Amongst the Fish that were caught by us, we met with one of an extraor∣dinary beauty in respect of the Rayes about the Eyes, a great number of Spots and Hexagonal Marks of a very lively blue Colour: This Fish is commonly cal∣led a Bourse.*
On the 4th. Day,* at Eight of the Clock, we set sail with a North-East Wind, steering our Course again to Rio-Janeiro, or the River of January on the Coasts of Brasil.
Page 44 On the 5th. at Night, we pass'd be∣tween the Islands of St. Jago and Fuogo. The former is the first of all the Islands of Cape Verd, and the See of a Bishop: The other is only a large Mountain, that continually burns, where we saw Fire on the top of it during the whole Night; and in the Day it only appear'd to be Smoke. The Portugueses have of∣ten endeavour'd to fix settl'd Habitati∣ons therein, but could never accomplish their Design, as being perhaps too much disturb'd by the Cinders, Sulphureous Matter, and even Stones that are thrown out of this burning Mountain.
On the 6th. and 7th. we had strong blasts of Wind, with Thunder and Rain; and on the 10th. we saw two Blowers,* being a sort of small Whales, which spout up Water very high, and with a great Noise. We likewise discover'd vast Shoales of Porpoises, that follow'd us above two Hours: They are of the size of a Hogg, swim in Rank and File as it were so many Companies of Infantry, and sometimes reach above two Miles in length.
On the 11th. 12th. 13th. and 14th. the Rains were continual, and the Winds very unconstant, so that our Pilots were Page 45 very much surpriz'd; for in drawing near the Coasts of Africa, they expect∣ed to meet with the Trade-Winds, which are very common in those Parts that lie between the Tropicks. In the mean while, our Water diminish'd, half of our Men were fallen sick, and our Negroes perish'd daily.
On the 30th. at Night we pass'd the Equinoctial-Line within a Degree,* or thereabouts, of the first Meridian; and the same Night we observ'd a Comet, which continu'd till the 19th. of No∣vember. Indeed we were not sensible of the excessive Heats, and tedious Calms, with which all the Relations of Voya∣ges threaten those who cross the Torrid Zone; for we always had some fresh Gales of Wind, and the Nights were ve∣ry cool.
On the 4th. Day of November,* we saw abundance of flying Fish, and Fre∣gats. These flying Fish are almost as big as a Herring, but their Head is more square; and their Wings are nothing else, but two very long Fins, that sup∣port them above the Water as long as they retain never so little Moisture. The Gold-Fish and the Bonite continu∣ally make War with them in the Wa∣ter, Page 46 and the Birds assault them in the Air.
The Frigate is a large Bird,* of a Grey Colour, having short Legs, Feet like a Goose, a forked Tail, and the Wings sometimes seven or eight Foot in com∣pass: These Birds fly with a great deal of swiftness, and are to be seen for 300 Leagues.
On the 13th. we gave Orders to the Felicity to spread her Sails, because she stood in need of being careen'd; and at the same time, to search for Store-Hou∣ses, where at our Arrival we might un∣lade our Gambia Merchandizes.
On the 17th. we saw a great Flock of Birds; and on the next Day we dis∣cover'd the Island of the Ascension,* which is distant above 150 Leagues from the Coasts of Brasil; it is of a small com∣pass, and very steep.
On the 22d.* a very remarkable thing hapned in reference to a Sow with young that we took at St. Antony's Island. This Sow pigg'd, and the first of her young was a Monster, which had the Body of a Pig, the Ears and Snout of an Ele∣phant; and above that Snout which was in the middle of the Forehead, an Eye with two Apples. This Monster Page 47 might have been kept for a Rarity if it had liv'd; but the Sea kill'd it imme∣diately after it was brought forth.
On the 24th. at four a-clock in the Afternoon, we discover'd Land; but the Winds and Currents being contrary to us, we were not able to cast Anchor till the 26th. Instant, which we then did before the Island of St. Ann,* on the side of the Continent, from which they are distant two small Leagues: They for∣merly serv'd as a place of Retreat for the Hollanders, when they attempted the Conquest of Brasil. They are three in number, and the greatest of them lies in the middle, being about a League and half in compass, and having a con∣venient sandy Creek, where good fresh Water may be taken in. There are al∣so some wild Fruits, as Purslain and small channell'd Cherries, which are al∣most of the same Taste as ours.
In the Woods,* with which these Islands are beset, one may hear a melodious Harmony, made by a great number of small Birds, with fine Feathers: Among others, there are Perroquets, Cardinals, and Colibries. The Cardinal is a kind of small Sparrow, the Wings and Tail of which are black, and the rest of Page 48 the Body of a very lively Scar∣let.
The Colibrie is a small Bird no big∣ger than a May-Bugg, with green Fea∣thers: It has a Bill somewhat long, and feeds on the Juice of Flowers like our Bees: Its Nest is as large as an Egg, and is so much the more curious, in regard that it is made of fine Cotton, and hung up with very small Threads. On the Sea-Coasts there are Dotterils in so great abundance, that our Mariners sometimes kill'd five or six of them with a Stick at one blow. These Birds are as big as Ducks, and commonly fly about the Islands and the Rocks that are not ex∣tended far in the Sea. The two other Islands are much less, and form with the greater, to the North and South, certain Channels, which one may pass through, as occasion serves. The Nor∣thern on the side of the Continent, has a Creek very convenient for the ca∣reening of Vessels; but the Southern is only a huge round Rock.
Over-against the Coast stands a small Village, inhabited by the Portugueses, where we sent our Shallop to get some Provisions for the sick Mariners: Our Men found the Inhabitants under Arms, Page [unnumbered]
A Scale of one League
On the 27th. we took in fresh Water, and the next Day set sail for the River of Janeiro.
On the 29th. we doubl'd Cape Frie,* and on the 30th. at eight a-clock in the Morning, supposing that we had almost made the River,* we let off a Gun, to give notice that we stood in need of a Pilot; but having tack'd about on all sides till three a-clock in the Afternoon, without hearing any News, and without being able to discover the Mouth; We cast Anchor within three Leagues of the Land, and sent our Boat along the Coast, to search it out. The Portugueses of St. Ann had told us, that there was at the Entrance, a huge Rock in form of a Sugar-Loaf; but instead of one, we discern'd two, at a great distance one from another; so that we were much perplex'd, not knowing how to steer our Course.
Page 50 Our Boat lay at Anchor during the Night, at the Mouth of the River, un∣der the Cannon of the Forts, which caus'd it to be stop'd. At break of Day the Officer, who was in the Boat, went to meet the Governour of the Place, and return'd at six a-clock in the Even∣ning, to inform us that the Inhabitants scrupl'd to permit us to enter, by reason (as they gave it out) of the great num∣ber of our Sick Men: But it is more probable,* that not being accustom'd to see any other Ships than those of their own Nation, and fearing lest we might be engag'd in a War against them, they were so extremely terrify'd at our Arrival, that as soon as our Corvette (which enter'd eight Days before us) appear'd, all the Women retir'd to the Country, with the best Effects of the Town.
At six a-clock in the Morning, we prepar'd to draw near, and at nine an Officer came, who caus'd us to cast An∣chor within half a Cannon-shot of the Forts, which are built on both sides of that River. Afterwards he went to make a Report to the Governour, and promis'd us that he wou'd use his ut∣most Endeavours to get an Order for the sending of a Pilot.
Page 51 In the mean while, there arose a strong Blast of Wind, which oblig'd us to hoist up Sail, by reason that our Ship got loose from Anchor, and ran upon a Shelf of Rocks which is in the middle of the River: But the Commanders of the Forts, who had Orders to stop our Course, and who, without having any regard to the apparent Danger we were in of perishing at that instant, imagin'd that we design'd to enter without their leave, discharg'd twelve or fifteen Can∣non-Balls a-cross our Masts, to oblige us to cast Anchor: Thus they made a Bravado, insulting over us, because they knew that we stood in need of their Assistance, and durst not resent their Af∣fronts. Therefore we made haste to cast Anchor; and about a quarter of an Hour after, an Officer came on board, who left us a Pilot, and a Phy∣sician to visit our sick Men: He told us that we might weigh Anchor, and that he was going to the Fort to know the Governour's Pleasure: But as we were under sail, before he arriv'd there, we receiv'd ten Cannon-shot more, which shatter'd our Flag, dismounted one of the Port-Holes in the Gunner's Room, and pass'd between the Shrouds, Page 52 without hurting any one of our Crew. Then we went to cast Anchor with the Seditious Pink, within a small League of the Town; neither wou'd the Go∣vernour suffer the Sun of Africa, nor the Glutton Frigate, to enter, by reason that he had Orders (as he pretended) from the King of Portugal, not to admit above three Foreign Men of War into the Harbour.
The next Night, at two or three a-clock, the Sun of Africa, which conti∣nu'd still at the Mouth of the River, got loose from Anchor; and forasmuch as the Current drove her on the abovemention'd Shelf of Rocks, so that she could not be stay'd by any of the An∣chors, she discharg'd several Cannon-shot, and made Fires upon all the Masts, as a Signal to get Succour: Whereupon we sent our Shallop, which got her off from that place, where she would have been inevitably lost without their Assi∣stance. This Ship set sail the same Day for La Isla Grande, which is twenty Leagues distant from thence; and the Pink cast Anchor in a small Bay at the Mouth of the River, where she waited till the Corvette came up to enter. M. de Gennes made a Complaint to the Go∣vernour, Page 53 of the Insult that was offer'd us at our Entrance, and that the King's Ships were basely left in danger: He excus'd himself upon account that the People were ready to make an Insurre∣ction; that it was none of his Fault that we did not enter at first; and that for the future he wou'd serve us as far as it lay in his power.
On the 4th. Instant,* we set our sick Men a-shore in a small Village that fronts the Town on the other side the River.
On the 5th. The Governour sent us a Pilot, who caus'd us to cast Anchor within a quarter of a League of the Town;* which we did not salute, because they refus'd to return us an equal num∣ber of Shot.
On the 15th. a Vessel enter'd which came from the Bay of All-Saints.
On the 17th. and 18th. two other Vessels arriv'd that came from the Coast of Angola, loaden with Negroes.
On the 20th. we paid our Ship.
On the 22d. the Felicity set out for La Isla Grande, and the Glutton Pink en∣ter'd in its place, to take in some Quin∣tals of Bisket, made of Meal that we brought out of Europe. She likewise Page 54 took in some Salt-meats, Meal of Ma∣nioc or Yuca, with Cassave, Rice, Mayz, Guildive, and other Provisions, which we purchas'd with Gambia Merchandi∣zes, upon which we lost a great deal in the exchange,* by reason that the Go∣vernour having prohibited the Inhabi∣tants to trade with us, and taking up∣on him to be the sole Seller and Buyer, we were oblig'd to afford our Commodities at a cheaper rate than they bear in Europe; which sufficiently shews the sinister Practices of that Na∣tion, of whom three quarters are ori∣ginally Jews. We likewise sold our Ne∣groes, but retain'd the most robust of them, to recruit part of our Fleet, which the Sickness of Gambia had much impair'd; our single Ship having alrea∣dy lost above 50 Men.
We continu'd till the 27th. Instant in this River, which may without doubt pass for one of the safest and most con∣venient in America. Before it falls into the Sea, it forms a large Bay, where Vessels ride as it were in a private Port. The bottom of it is firm, and the Winds are broken by the means of the high Lands, with which it is encom∣pass'd: The Shelf of Rocks that lies Page 55 at its Mouth, and by which one can∣not pass without coming within half a Cannon-shot of the Forts that command it, contributes much to the security of the Harbour.
At the distance of two Leagues from the Mouth of the River, stands the Ci∣ty of St. Sebastian,* which is an Episcopal See, the usual Place of Residence of the Governour of the Province. 'Tis si∣tuated on the Western side of the Ri∣ver, and in a fine Plain, surrounded with high Mountains: 'Tis large and well built, and the Streets are Streight, so that the magnificent Structures of the Jesuits and Benedictins that terminate them on both sides, each on a small Ascent, render the Prospect very delight∣ful: It has no Fortification on that side towards the Country; and 'tis defended only by a small Fort on the Sea-shore below the Jesuite's College.
The Inhabitants are polite,* and en∣dow'd with a Gravity customary to their Nation: They are Rich, take much de∣light in Trading, and keep a great num∣ber of Negro-Slaves, besides divers en∣tire Families of Indians, whom they maintain in their Sugar-Plantations, and whose Liberty they are not willing to Page 56 retrench, as being the Natives of the Country. Their Slaves for the most part manage all their Houshold-Affairs, which renders them so dissolute and es∣feminate, that they will not vouchsafe to stoop to take up a Pin themselves, for which they have occasion. Luxury is so predominant among them, that not only the Burghers, but even the Monks may have to do with common Harlots, without fearing the Censures or Re∣proaches of the People, who have a ve∣ry great Respect for them. Uncleanness is not the only Vice peculiar to these lewd Monks: They live in gross Igno∣rance, so that very few of them under∣stand the Latin Tongue; and it is to be fear'd, that as they strive even to out∣vie the Sodomites in their Debaucheries, they may one Day partake of the like Punishment. There are vast Multitudes of Cordeliers, Carmelites, and Benedictin Monks every where in the Territories of Brasil; but they take little Care of the Conversion of an infinite number of poor Indians, who stand in need of be∣ing instructed in the Mysteries of the Gospel; and there are only eight or ten Reverend Capuchin Fathers of the French Nation, and some Jesuits, throughout Page 57 that vast Continent, who take Pains in performing the Functions of their Mission with an extraordinary Zeal.
I cannot forbear relating a small Ad∣venture which happen'd to a young Man of our Squadron,* who fell out with one of the Inhabitants, and was oblig'd to draw his Sword in his own Defence; but perceiving himself alone, and press'd with a great number of Portugueses, he thought fit to retire, and seeing the Door of the Carmelite's Monastery open'd, he made bold to enter, not doubting but to meet with a sure Sanctuary in that Place; but he soon found the contrary, for one of these charitable Monks immediately struck him on the Head with a Hanger, the Marks of which Wound will always appear during his whole Life-time: Then many others rush'd in, and beat him with Cudgels, and at last put him again into the Hands of the Inhabitants, who had Compassion on him, and detested the barbarous Proceedings of the Monks. The Reflections I have made on these counterfeit Monks, ought not to give Offence to those who make a Consci∣ence of discharging their Duty; since the Invectives made against such Liber∣tines▪ serve only to augment the Respect Page 58 that ought to be had for those who seek for an occasion to shew the effects of a true Zeal, and use all possible means for the propagating the Christian Reli∣gion, even to the apparent hazard of their Lives.
The Country lying about this River affords good Pasture,* bringing forth a∣bundance of Tobacco and Canes, of which the finest Sugar is made; and also a kind of very strong Brandy, which we call Guildive. The latter comes of Slips, are full of Knots, that put forth Leaves like those of Reeds, and grow on Ridges as Corn: These Canes when gather'd, are carry'd to the Mill to be ground, and the Juice that they yield runs through several Pipes into the Cauldrons, where the Su∣gar is made and refin'd, almost after the same manner as Salt-Petre. The Soil is likewise very fruitful in Rice, Mayz, and Manioc,* which are Roots that put forth a small Shrub four or five Foot high, and are propagated of Slips: The Fields in which they are planted, and where they are left standing two or three Years, are like those of our Hemp-Closes: These Roots, which serve in∣stead of Bread in a great part of Ame∣rica;Page 59 are as thick and long as Carrots: They are usually grated with Rasps made for that purpose, and Meal is made of 'em after having squeez'd out all their Juice, which is the rankest Poyson in the World, and which they take care to drain off into Places under-ground, lest the Cat∣tle shou'd drink it. The most part of the Portugueses feed on this Meal, such as it is; and others make of it a kind of small Cakes, which they bake on I∣ron-Plates appropriated to that use. There is abundance of Fruit and Pulse in those parts: Cabbiges, Onions, Let∣tuces, Purcelain, Melons, Water-Melons, Goads, Grapes, and many other Fruits that we have in Europe, thrive there, and come to perfection: But the pecu∣liar Fruits of the Country are Oranges, Banana's, Ananas's, Potato's, Ighname's, Coco's, Goyaves, and many others, of which they make very good Confe∣ctions.
The Ananas grows like an Artichoak, and resembles a large Pine-Apple: Its Leaves are long, thick, and arm'd with small Prickles. It bears a Crown of the same Leaves, and may be esteemed as the best Fruit in the whole Continent of America.
Page 60 The Potato and Ighname, are Roots very like the Toupinambous; The former is of the taste of a Chesnut, and is usual∣ly eaten broil'd or roasted in Embers. The Ighname is somewhat insipid, but much more wholsome and larger than the Potato, but both these sorts of Roots are of singular use to make very savory Pottage.
The Coco grows upon a Tree which is much like a Palm-Tree: This Fruit is very large, and has nothing but what may be apply'd to some Use: It is co∣ver'd with a kind of Tow, which may serve to caulk Vessels, better than Hemp: This Tow being taken off, we meet with a large hard Nut, of an Oval Fi∣gure; of which Cups and other Toys of the like nature are usually made, that bear the Name of Coco's. This Nut contains a white Kernel, of the Taste of a Hazel Nut, lying round about of the thickness of one's Finger: Lastly, the Middle is fill'd with a cool Liquor resembling thin Milk, about the Quantity of a large Glass-full; insomuch that this Fruit alone may serve for a Man's Sustenance: And indeed the most part of the Indians do not trouble themselves about providing any Victuals, when they know that they Page 61 shall meet with Coco-Trees in the pla∣ces through which they are to pass.
The Goyave is somewhat bigger than a Nut: Its Pulp is red, very stony, and of the Taste of a Peach. The Tree that bears this Fruit resembles our Plum-Trees.
There are also numerous Herds of Oxen, Hogs, and Sheep, with variety of Game, and several sorts of Fowl, but every thing is sold •t an excessive dear Rate. The Fleet that arrives there every Year from Portugal, brings Wine, Meal, Oil, Cheese; Linnen and Woollen Cloth, and all other necessary Merchandizes; and returns laden with Sugar, Leather, and Train-Oil; from whence arises a considerable Revenue to the King of Por∣tugal. Formerly they had great Quanti∣ties of Tobacco, but at present the Sale of it is forbidden, as one of the greatest Obstacles to the Trade of the Bay of All Saints: 'Tis also prohibited to deal in Corn and Wine, to prevent the interrupt∣ing of the European Commerce, of which the Inhabitants may make considerable Advantage, as well as those of St. Paul, in the Territories of St. Vincent, whose Political Government is so Remarkable, Page 62 that it may not be amiss to give some Account of it by the way.
This Town,* which is situated Ten Leagues up the Country, derives its Ori∣ginal from an Association of Robbers of all Nations, who by little and little, form'd a great Town, and a kind of Common-Wealth, where they made a Law, not to admit a Governour. They are surrounded with high Mountains; so that one cannot enter, or go out, but thro' a Defilé or narrow Passage, where they keep a strong Guard, for fear of be∣ing surpriz'd by the Indians, with whom they almost continually make War, and lest their Slaves should find Means to escape. These Paulists usually march 40 or 50 in a Body, arm'd with Bows and Arrows, which they use more dexterously than any Nation in the World: They traverse the whole Continent of Brasil, passing as far as the River of Plata, or to that of the Amazons, and return at the End of four or five Months, sometimes with above 300 Slaves, whom they drive as Herds of Oxen; and having tamed a lit∣tle, they dispose of them in the Country to till the Ground, or employ them in fishing for Gold, which they find in so great quantity, that the King of Portugal, to Page 63 whom they carefully send a fifth Part, re∣ceives every Year above 8 or 900 Marks: They pay him this Tribute not out of a motive of Fear, for they are more potent than he, but to follow the Custom of their Ancestors, who not being at first well settled in their Retreat, endeavour∣ed to withdraw themselves from Subje∣ction to their Governours, under pre∣tence of managing the King's Affairs, to whom they own themselves at present, to be Tributaries, but not Subjects, that they may shake off the Yoke on the first Opportunity.
On the 25th. instant,* we set our sick Men on board again, who, except five or six, were very hearty. The Com∣mander of the Place where they lodg'd, was a generous old Gentleman, of great Integrity, and was not at all tainted with the sordid Principles of his Coun∣trymen; For he entertain'd our sick Ma∣riners with a Paternal Charity, supplying them with Eggs, Confits, Wine, and ge∣nerally with every thing that was ne∣cessary for them, at his own proper Costs and Charges; nay he offer'd to retain the weakest of them in his own House till our Return.
Page 64 On the 27th. we set sail, and pass'd between the Forts, with our Cannons mounted, and Matches lighted, being all ready to answer them if they shou'd attempt to disturb us about the Salute at parting, or shou'd make us wait for the Governour's Orders. We no longer stood in need of them, of which they were also very sensible: They all ap∣pear'd in Ranks on their Parapets, and seem'd to be overjoy'd at our depar∣ture, by reason that they were tir'd with the continual Guards that they kept during the time of our Abode a∣mong them. The Governour thought himself so little secure, that he sum∣mon'd all the Inhabitants within four Leagues round about. We were no sooner gone, but he caus'd a Fort, fur∣nish'd with some Pieces of Ordnance, to be built below the Town on a small Island, which commands the Road, and where the French settl'd when this River was first discover'd.
On the 29th. after a great Calm, we cast Anchor at seven a-clock in the E∣vening in the Channel of La Isla Grande; and on the 30th. the Heat was so ex∣cessive, that we were ready to burn even in the Water. In the Afternoon a gentle Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
An unknown fruit found in ye Great Island at Brasil,
A Mapou Pear Found in ye great Island at Brasil,
La Isla Grande or the Great Island,* be∣ing about 18 Leagues in compass, lies high, and is beset with Woods of a prodigious thickness, insomuch that one cannot walk in them 100 Paces toge∣ther: But there are entire Plains of O∣range-Trees and Lemmon-Trees, with much variety of wild Fruits; and a∣mong others the Pear of Mapou, which bears a sort of Red Cotton, and of which Quilts are made, that are so ex∣tremely durable, that they can scarce be worn out; for by exposing them to the Sun from time to time, the Cotton swells again of it self, and the Quilt be∣comes as it were new. We met with a∣nother sort of Fruit, which is as big as a small Nut, and seems to have the crown'd Head of a Clove. There are also many of those Animals that we call Tatous, and the Scales of which serve Page 66 to adorn Apothecaries Shops: Their Flesh is firm, and has the taste of fresh Pork.
On the Coast over-again•• this Creek, stands a large Town belonging to the Portugueses, where there are about four or five hundred Inhabitants, and two Convents, viz. one of Carmelites, and the other of the Cordeliers. We there bought some Provisions, viz. Oxen, Fowl, dry'd Fish, and four Pyrogues,* which cost us from forty to eighty Crowns: These are large Canoos, very long, and made of one single Tree hollow'd: They are light, fit for De∣scents, and capable of holding 60 Men. The Governour of Rio-Janeiro sent on purpose to forbid the Inhabitants to sell us any sorts of Commodities whatever; but they had not much regard to his Prohibition, for they furnish'd us with every thing we desir'd. They have all Habitations in the Mountains, and affect to be as free as the Paulists.
On the 5th. Day of January A. D. 1696.* after having taken in fresh Water and Wood, we set sail for the Streights of Magellan.
A Scale of Leagues
On the 21st. and 22d. at Night, as we were sailing a-cross Cape St. Antony, we lost sight of the Felicity, altho' the Moon shone bright, the Sea was calm, and the Wind moderate; neither could the Fault be attributed to any thing, but the Negligence of those Mariners who were then upon the Watch, and who relying too much on the calmness of the Weather, fell asleep. We discharg'd divers Cannon-shot, and all steer'd dif∣ferent Courses, in quest of that Ship, but it was to no purpose.
On the 23d. we saw a great many Sea-Wolves lying asleep on their Backs, upon the Surface of the Water.
On the 26th. and 27th. we had a dreadful Storm of Thunder, and much Rain.
On the 29th. we saw some Whales, Sea-Pies, and prodigious Flocks of other Birds, that follow'd us as it were so many Ducks.
Page 68 On the 30th. we saw abundance of Sea-Weeds, which made us conjecture we were near Land; but having sounded, it appear'd that we were still distant from it above forty Leagues.
On the 31st. the Sea was all over co∣ver'd with small Cray-Fish, insomuch that it might well be call'd the Red-Sea; We took up above 10000 of them in Baskets.
On the 1st. and 2d. of February,* the Winds were boisterous, and the Sea ran high.
On the 4th. at Noon, we discover'd the Cape of St. Ynes de las-Bareras: The Lands thereabouts are low, and as far as we cou'd discern, very barren: We dis∣cern'd a very thick Smoke, which in∣duc'd us to believe that there were some Inhabitants. The most part of Naviga∣tors who have sail'd on those Coasts, and who have publish'd Relations of their Voyages, affirm, that when the Sa∣vages discover the Arrival of any Ves∣sels, they usually make great Fires, and offer Sacrifices to the Devil, to conjure him to raise Storms to destroy them.
On the 5th. and 6th. the Winds were very variable, and the Weather hazy.
Page 69 On the 7th. at three a-clock in the Morning, the Pink let off a Gun, to give us notice that she descry'd Land, whereupon we cast Anchor, because it was very requisite for us to discover it; and at break of Day we discern'd a Cape, which our Pilot, and two of our Officers, who had before pass'd the Streights of Magellan, assur'd us to be that of The Virgins. The Winds veer'd, and became contrary, so that we were not able to cast Anchor, to make any Discovery.
On the 8th. the Winds still continu'd contrary to us; and at two a-clock in the Afternoon blew with so great impe∣tuosity, that our Cable broke; neither could we hoise up our Sails, which were taken in, to give less Advantage to the Wind; forasmuch as there was no pro∣bability of being able to carry any Sail, we suffer'd our selves to lie by, at the mercy of the Waves, till the next Day at four a-clock in the Morning, when the Fury of the Wind being somewhat abated, we drew near the Land, and at Noon cast Anchor at the Mouth of the River of Sancta Cruz,* there to wait for a favourable Gale, to rejoyn our Vessels. We scarce let fall Anchor, but the Storm Page 70 was appeas'd, the Sea became calm, and we made as much Sail as we could that Day.
We doubl'd the Cape at Night, and at break of Day came up with our Fleet, and steer'd our Course to the above∣mention'd Promontory,* which we sup∣pos'd to be that of the Virgins; choosing rather to follow the Directions of the Navigators who had already cruis'd a∣bout those Coasts, than that of the Sea-Charts, which are often mistaken in places that are so little frequented: How∣ever we insensibly drove upon a Shelf, from whence it would have been very difficult to get off, if we had not time∣ly discover'd our Error by sounding: Therefore we immediately chang'd our Course, and lengthen'd the Coast, bear∣ing but little Sail.
On the 11th. Instant, we discover'd another Cape, very like the former, and altho' we had scarce reason to doubt it to be that of the Virgins, yet we could not be well satisfy'd till we found it by experience. We tack'd about for some time, till the Foggs were dispers'd, and at Noon we enter'd the Straight, where we cast Anchor at four a-clock in the Afternoon, at the Entrance of the Bay Page 71 of Possession, with a favourable Wind and Current.
On the 12th. at break of Day, we prepar'd to set sail, but there was so little Wind, that we were not able to make three Leagues during the whole Day.
On the 13th. at break of Day, we set out again, and made as much sail as the Tides wou'd permit us. At four a-clock in the Afternoon we doubled the Cape Entrana,* and cast Anchor at the Entrance of the Bay of Boucaut. We there saw several Whales, and a great number of Porpoises all over white except their Head and Tail.
On the 14th. we weigh'd Anchor, and tack'd about till Noon, when the Tide being contrary to us, we were ob∣lig'd to cast Anchor within two Leagues of the Land, in the middle of Boucaut Bay. The Coast is flat, barren, and destitute both of fresh Water and Wood. We there met with Snipes, and many Flocks of Sea-Pies; and some of our Mariners told us, that a League up the Land, they had seen Buffles and Goats. There is also (as everywhere through∣out the Streights) a prodigious quanti∣ty of Cockles and Muscles, which are Page 72 not at all inferiour to those of Cha∣ronne. We found some, the Shells of which were of an admirable Beauty, and weigh'd half a pound.
On the 16th.* we weather'd Cape Gregory, and at Noon cast Anchor with∣in a small League of St. George's Island, to which we could not come nearer, by reason that we were becalm'd, and the Tides began to run contrary. This Island being about a League in Compass, is high and barren, yet we found there some Mushrooms, many Sea-Pies, and several Hutts of Savages abandon'd. We also took some Penguins,* from which the Island derives its Name, which was impos'd by the English, by reason of a great quantity of this sort of Birds which they found therein: They are somewhat larger than Geese, have short Legs, with Grey and very thick Fea∣thers; Their Wings are bare without any Feathers, and serve only instead of Finns: They live for the most part in the Water, retire to Land to sleep, and make Holes in the Ground like Foxes. The most part of our Company spent the Night there, to have the pleasure of viewing the Sea-Wolves:* These A∣nimals climb up steep Rocks, sit on Page 73 their Tails like Monkeys, and make a dreadful noise to call their Mates: When they bring forth Young, they carry them into the Woods, supply them with Fish, and tend them as carefully as an indul∣gent Mother does her Children.
On the 18th. a blustering Wind arose, which oblig'd us to stand in again for Boucaut-Bay, where we cast Anchor in the Evening, under shelter of Cape Gre∣gory: The Pink follow'd us, and the other Vessels were not long in coming up.
On the 19th, and 20th. it was exces∣sive cold, and the Winds grew more boisterous. We saw great Fires on the Island of Fuogo, and the Savages seem'd to be desirous to converse with us, but the Sea ran so high, th•• we could not come near them.
On the 21th. we set sail again, dou∣bled Cape Gregory, and having cross'd St. George's Island, along which we coast∣ed with Plummet in hand, we suddenly found our selves fallen upon the Point of a Shelf: We cast Anchor to sound, and continu'd our Course again an hour af∣ter. At 5 a-Clock in the Evening, we cast Anchor within six Leagues of St. George's Island, in a Creek, where the Page 74 Coast arises delightfully, and begins to be beset with Woods: There are divers small Rivers, where very good Water may be taken in, and on the Banks of which we met with Salery, Gooseberries, Foxes, Bustards, Thrushes, Ducks, and Cormorants, and abundance of other Sea-Fowl.
On the 22th, and 23th. the Winds were contrary.
On the 24th. we set sail, and at Noon came up again with our Vessels, which we left at St. George's Island, and which had cast Anchor within two Leagues of Famine Bay: We took in there very good fresh Water, but not without some difficulty, by reason that the Coast was full of Rocks. In that place we had the first sight of the Savages,* of whom about Eight or Ten on the Sea-shore were making certain Bark-Canoos, which they did not abandon, but entreated us by Signs not to meddle with them. Among these Savages was a robust old Woman, who appear'd to be Aged about 80 Years, and who seem'd in a manner to Command 'em. They were arm'd with Slings, Bows and Arrows, and were attended with 5 or 6 little Dogs, which apparently serv'd 'em for Hunting: Their Arrows were point∣ed Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
Mountaines Coverd with Snow dureing ye whole year.
the Hutts of ye Savages
M. Vander Gucht Scul:
These Savages are robust, and of a tall Stature, their Complexion being of an Olive-Colour: Their Hair is black, long, and cut above their Head in form of a Crown. They usually paint their Faces, Arms, and several other parts of their Body, with a white Tincture. Notwithstanding the excessive Cold, they always go naked; except that their Shoulders are cover'd with the Skins of Sea-Dogs and Sea-Wolves. They are destitute of Religion, and free from all manner of Care. They have no settled Habitation, but rove up and down, sometimes in one place, sometimes in another. Their Hutts are made only of a Semi-Circle of Branches, which they set up, and let one into another, to shelter themselves from the Wind. These are the famous Patagons whom some Authors avouch to be eight or ten Foot high, and of whom they tell so many strange Tales, even making them swallow whole Pails full of Wine: How∣ever they appear'd to us to be very sober; Page 76 and the tallest among them was not a∣bove six Foot high.
On the 25th.* we prepar'd to set Sail, but had scarce pass'd Cape Froward, when we found the Winds variable and contrary; insomuch that not being able to cast Anchor, we were oblig'd to pass the Cape in the Night.
On the 26th. at break of Day, the Fury of the Winds being somewhat al∣lay'd, we set Sail again. At two a-clock in the Afternoon we doubl'd Cape Froward and Cape Holland at ten at Night,* but with terrible Blasts of Wind that came from between two Moun∣tains, and for the most part surpriz'd us in the midst of a great Calm. At Mid∣night there arose a high Wind, which oblig'd us to stand in for some Port; and the first Anchorage that we could meet with, was two Leagues above Cape Froward, in a spacious and very conve∣nient Bay, where we continu'd till the 3d. of the next Month, to take in Wood and fresh Water, in a River which there falls into the Sea, and where the Shal∣lops ride at flowing Water. In a little Island situated in the middle of this Ri∣ver, we met with a dead Body half rotten, and cover'd with about a Foot Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
On the 3d. of March* we put out to Sea, with a favourable Gale; but we had scarce doubl'd Cape Froward, when the Winds veer'd after their usual manner, with Blasts that came by Fits, and fell foul on our Vessel when we were least aware of it. We pass'd the Cape in the Night, the Winds blew f••h, and we were oblig'd to stand in two Leagues above the French Bay, which we were not able to make.
On the 5th. we discover'd Famine-Bay,* so call'd, because the Inhabitants of a new Colony of Spaniards were there miserably starv'd to death, which Colony was settl'd by Philip II. King of Spain, who endeavour'd by that means to hinder the Passage of Foreigners to the Southern Sea. This Bay is large, having a firm bottom, so that 40 Ships Page 78 may conveniently ride at Anchor there∣in. There are spacious Plains round a∣bout, which may be sown with divers sorts of Grains. There is also great plenty of Game; and 'tis probable that the Spaniards might find more in those Parts, if it were not destroy'd by the Savages.
On the 6th. we weigh'd Anchor, and doubl'd the Capes Froward and Holland, where we felt, as at other times, very furious Blasts of Wind; but the next Day at Noon, we cast Anchor two Leagues below Port Gallant.
On the 8th. a high Wind arose, which drove the Sun of Africa from her An∣chor, and forc'd her to stand in for the French Bay•
On the 9th. at Noon, the Winds were as favourable as could be wish'd for; yet we could not take the Advan∣tage, by reason that we were oblig'd to wait for the Sun of Africa, which did not appear till the next Morning at break of Day: Then we prepar'd to set Sail, but the Winds immediately veer'd, and became contrary, with a great deal of Hail and Rains so that we were ob∣lig'd to cast Anchor a League below Port Gallant.
Page 79 The Winds continu'd contrary to us, till the 20th. Instant, being very sharp, and there fell abundance of Rain, Hail, and Snow, with which the Mountains are cover'd during the whole Year. We took in fresh Water and Wood, and saw a great number of Whales.
On the 20th.* we set sail with a fa∣vourable Wind, but it soon return'd to its wonted Career, and we could only make the Road of Port Galant, where we continu'd fifteen Days longer, with cold Winds, a great deal of Rain and Snow. This Road is large, and shelter'd from the Eastern Winds. The Situation of the Harbour is pleasant and very commodious, two small Rivers fal∣ling into it. There are also to be seen the finest Shells in the World, with va∣riety of Fowl, viz. Larks, Thrushes, Ducks, and abundance of Sea-Pies. We often heard the Cries of the Savages in the Mountains, but could not see them.
Forasmuch as our Provisions began to fail, the Season being already very far advanc'd, and there was no longer any hopes to meet with favourable Winds to convey us into the Southern Sea; we held a Council on the 3d. Day of April,*Page 80 and it was determin'd that if the Wind did not change within the space of two Days, we should return to La Isla Grande, to take in Provisions, in order to seek our Fortunes elsewhere. It may be easi∣ly imagin'd in so lamentable a Conjun∣cture, how great a Mortification this Disappointment was to Persons, who ho∣ped to make their Fortune by so noble an Enterprize. There was not one Ma∣riner of the whole Squadron who did not choose rather to perish with hun∣ger, than to be diverted from the right Course; And indeed they were already accustom'd to eat Rats, and paid fifteen Pence a-piece for them. Altho' we were not so happy as to see those fortunate Coasts of Peru, from whence we are supply'd with what is generally esteem'd, most precious; nevertheless I am apt to believe, that a particular Account of the Occasion of our Undertaking this Voyage, may not be altogether unac∣ceptable to the Reader.
In the Year 1686.* certain Free-boot∣ers of St. Domingo, who are well known to be Enemies to Peace, after having for many Years infested the Coast of Carack, New-Spain, and Cuba, without being able to get any considerable Prize, Page 81 took a Resolution to pass to those of the Southern-Sea, which they know to be much more Rich, and less fortify'd. There were two Passages which lay o∣pen into those Parts, viz. one along the Coast, and the other by the Streight of Magellan: The former, as the short∣est, was taken by some other Rovers; but there were two great Difficulties, one of being attack'd by the Indians during their Course, who have some∣times War and sometimes Peace with the Spaniards: And the other Difficulty is to find in that Sea, Vessels conveni∣ent for the performing of such a Voy∣age. The Passage thro' the Streight of Magellan appearing to these Free-booters to be the safest,* they set Sail, being 80 Men in number, for the Southern-Sea, where they soon became formidable by the frequent Descents they made in se∣veral Places, and by the great number of Ships richly laden, which they took: However, notwithstanding these Prizes, they made but little Booty, as well by reason of the irregular Conduct of their ill-disciplin'd Company, as in regard that the Merchandizes were too combersome to be manag'd by Persons who had no settled place of Retreat: Therefore they Page 82 contented themselves only with putting them to Ransome; and when they could take a sufficient quantity of Pro∣visions for five or six Months, they re∣tir'd to some Island, where they spent their time in Hunting and Fishing; and after having consum'd their whole Stock, they return'd to the Coast.
Thus our Free-booters liv'd wretched∣ly for the space of seven Years,* till some of them, mov'd with a Desire to return to their Native Country, took a Resolution to sail back to the Nor∣thern Sea, and to that purpose met to∣gether in the Island Fernand, where they divided their Booty, and every one of them had the Summ of eight or nine thousand Livres for his Share. However twenty three of them having lost by Gaming what they were so long in getting, continu'd on that Island with a*Pirogue, in which they cross'd over to Peru, resolving either to perish, or at least to repair their Losses. Some time after, they took five rich Ships, a∣mong which they chose that which they judg'd to be most convenient for the making an end of their Voyage: They loaded it with cast Metal, divers Indian Merchandizes and Provisions, and at last Page 83 would have return'd with a much rich∣er Cargo than the others, if they had not had the ill Fortune to lose their Ship in the Streight of Magellan, where they spent ten whole Months in building a Bark, as well as they could, and with all the Application requisite in so great an Exigence: They laded their Bark with what they could save out of the Wreck of their Ship, and pass'd Cayenna.
All the Free-Booters being come back to the Northern Sea,* thought fit to re∣tire with their small Cargo; so that some of them settled at Brasil, and others went to Cayenna, St. Domingo, and the other Islands of America; but there were about four or five, who being unwilling any longer to undergo the Hardships of so mean a Condition, took a Resolution to make a Second Voyage, and to that purpose, they pass'd over into France, with good Memoires concerning their Adventures. One of them nam'd Ma∣certy, made Application to Mousieur de Gennes, whom he knew to be a Man very fit for the Management of great Undertakings, insomuch that the latter approv'd his Design, and went to Paris, to represent to the Court the Ad∣vantages that might arise from such a Page 84 Voyage, proffering his Service to carry on so noble an Enterprize.
The Proposals made by M. de Gennes were receiv'd with all the approbation, that could be wish'd for; the King sup∣ply'd him with Ships at his own choice, and the Project was so well approv'd of, upon account of its Novelty, that divers Persons of the highest Quality readily contributed to the equipping of our Fleet. A great number of Young Men, who were equally excited by Curiosity to see such fine Countries; and by the hopes of getting an opportunity to make their Fortune, earnestly desir'd to be admitted into the Company: However it seems, we did not go on successfully in all Points, since our Design at last prov'd abortive: But 'tis to be hop'd, that the Court will not discourage an Underta∣king of so great Importance, which fail∣ed only by reason of the small Experi∣ence we then had of the Season of the Winds. 'Tis well known, that the Spa∣niards are not in a Condition to make War with us; that by the means of the vast Treasures which they gather daily out of New-Spain and Peru, they have actually made themselves Masters of those Countries, by spilling the Blood of a Page 85 vast multitude of poor Indians, who on∣ly sought for an amicable Correspondence with those haughty Invaders, who to strike a greater Terror into their Minds, gave it out, that they were descended of the Gods. Besides all the Tortures which they could devise for the destroying of those miserable Wretches, they carried on their Cruelty so far, as to assassinate and sell them for the Slaughter, for the Maintenance of their Attendants. And in∣deed, there are many Frenchmen who can testifie, that the Coasts of Peru are still co∣ver'd with the Skeletons of those unfortu∣nate Victims, whose Blood cries to Heaven for Vengeance, and for the Liberty of their native Country; insomuch that nothing can prevent the Destruction of those Enemies of God and Nature, who under the Name of Christians, revive Idolatry, and live in the midst of their Treasure, in a Luxury that even sur∣passes that of brute Beasts. I might enlarge on this Subject, but that 'tis more expedient to resume our former Discourse, and to give a farther Account of our Misfortunes.
On the 5th. Instant, the Winds be∣ing still contrary, we prepar'd to re∣turn to the Northern Sea, as it was Page 86 determin'd two Days before. But we were scarce under sail, when the Winds chang'd as it were on purpose to de∣ceive us, and induc'd us to make another Attempt, which was not only fruitless, but wou'd have certainly pro∣ved our Ruine, if we had not been ap∣parently protected by Divine Providence in a very extraordinary manner. We had not made a League, when these favourable Winds terminated in a great Calm, and the Tides (the Course of which we cou'd not discern from Cape Froward) drove us on the Coasts, in∣somuch that four Shallops were not a∣ble to get us clear of the Shore. We let fall a large Anchor, which very much abated the force of the Cur∣rent, but could not hinder us from run∣ning a-float, by reason that the bottom not being firm, cou'd not hold it. We might have leapt off from the Poop a∣shore, and judg'd the Danger to be unavoidable,* when a gentle Breeze hap∣pily blew fresh from the North, and set us at Liberty; whereas if any other Wind had arose, we had certainly pe∣rish'd. In the mean while, the Sun of Africa and the Glutton Frigate were very near running the same Hazard.
Page 87 We lay before the Cape during the whole Night, and at break of Day, we set sail again, but the Winds being con∣trary, we were forc'd to spend the next Night in the like manner, before Cape Froward.
On the 7th.* at break of Day, the Winds blowing fresh again from the North-East, we made our last Effort, and doubl'd Cape Froward, but to no purpose. However we did not forbear to put out to Sea, and on the 11th. at six a-clock in the Evening, having pass'd between Terra de Fuogo and the Shelves that lie at the Mouth of the Streight, we re-enter'd the Northern Sea, and steer'd our Course directly for La Isla Grande.
On the 16th. at break of Day, we were separated from the Sun of Africa and the Seditious Frigat, by the means of a great Fog, which hinder'd 'em from hearing the Signals that we gave to tack about.
On the 17th. and 18th. we had foul Weather, and the Sea ran very high.
On the 26th. the Weather was very foggy, and the Winds were so boiste∣rous, that we were oblig'd to take down the Mizzen-Mast: The Waves Page 88 swell'd extremely, and we were beset on all sides as it were with Mountains of foaming Billows; insomuch that in the Evening we lost one of our Ma∣riners, who fell into the Sea, as he was coming down from the Top-Mast.
On the 27th. our Pilots sail'd a-cross the River de la Plata, at the di∣stance of 60 Leagues from the Land, and on the 29th. we had a great deal of foul Weather.
The Winds were very favourable to us,* till the 9th. of the next Month; but we did not take a provident Care to sail along the Coasts, which we could not discover till within 20 Leagues to the North of the Islands of St. Ann.
On the 12th. we cast Anchor in a Road very full of Fish, where we took a great quantity of fine ones, and among others, divers Sea-Porcu∣pines,* so called, because they are a∣ctually armed with sharp-pointed Bri∣stles, as the Porcupine or Hedg-hog, which they prick up when pursued by other Fishes.
On the 13th. at nine a-clock in the Evening, we made ready to set Sail; but on the 14th. and 15th. the Winds were very variable.
Page [unnumbered]Page 89 On the 16th. we discover'd Cape Frie, but were not able to double it, because there was very little Wind stirring. About eight a-clock in the Evening, the Sky being very serene, we discern'd the Moon to be in an Eclipse, that continu'd almost for the space of two Hours, and which in∣deed was not foreseen by us, in re∣gard that we did not meet with any Almanacks in the Straight of Magel∣lan, where the Inhabitants, although great Star-gazers, do not reap the Fruits of their Observations. About two a-clock in the Morning, we de∣scry'd a Vessel under the Wind, and some gave it out that there were two: Whereupon we prepar'd our Bat∣teries, and kept the Weather-gage du∣ring the whole Night. At break of Day, we perceiv'd it to be a Portu∣guese Bark, which a Storm had dri∣ven from the Mouth of the River Janëiro: The Mariners belonging to this. Vessel inform'd us, that the Fleet was arriv'd, and that the Governor was chang'd, but that he heard no News of our Ships. We freely bestow'd on them two Barrels of Water, of which they were destitute two Days, and were Page 90 not able to make Land, to take in any.
On the 19th. we doubl'd Cape Frie, and on the 20th. we cast Anchor with∣in seven Leagues of Rio-Janeiro; but we had not so much as one blast of Wind, and the Currents were contrary. There we saw Two of those Pillars of Water that arise out of the Sea, and which are commonly call'd Spouts: When they draw near, 'tis customary to discharge several Cannon-shot, to di∣sperse them, and by that means the dan∣ger is often escap'd.
On the 21st. we put out to Sea, and the next Day we cast Anchor, within two Leagues of the Coast, be∣fore the Mouth of the River, but we determin'd not to enter it, by reason that our Place of Meeting was appoint∣ed to be at La Isla Grande.
On the 24th. we prepar'd to set Sail again, when the Rocks cut our Cable, and sav'd us the trouble of weighing Anchor; and so little Wind was stir∣ring in the Night, that at break of Day we found our selves driven by the Currents under Cape Frie, which made us take a Resolution to stand in for the Islands of St. Ann, to wait for a fair Wind, as also to take in fresh Wa∣ter Page 91 and Provisions, of which we had a very short Allowance. Thus we cast Anchor on the 26th. Instant at Noon, and found the Island as full of Fowl as at our first Arrival.
On the 27th. we sent our Boat a∣shore to take in Provisions, and to get Information about our Vessels: We purchas'd six Oxen, two Hoggs, and some Pullets, but not without a great deal of Difficulty, by reason that all the Provisions were transported to Rio Ja∣neiro, for the use of the Fleet: We were also inform'd, that our Ships had enter'd that River twenty Days ago.
On the 29th. at five a-clock in the Evening, we set Sail with a favourable Wind, and order'd the Pink to carry the Lanthorn: We follow'd her for some time, but forasmuch as she sail'd too near the Coast, and the Night was dark, we left her to continue her Course, and stood somewhat farther out to Sea.
On the 30th. at break of Day, we weather'd Cape Frie, and found the Winds and Currents contrary as be∣fore. At the same time, we discern'd the Pink four large Leagues to the Windward of us; nevertheless (as Page 96 we were afterwards inform'd) she conti∣nu'd at Sea eight Days longer, before she could find means to enter the River.
The rest of that Day, and the next, we had but little Wind, and that too was contrary; insomuch that after di∣vers fruitless Attempts, Monsieur de Gennes judg'd, that for the future we ought not to be obstinately resolv'd to pursue our intended Course, lest we should be reduc'd to the greatest Ex∣tremity; but that 'twas more expedi∣ent to stand in for the Bay of All-Saints; since by sailing thither, we should get so far onward in our Way, and we should certainly meet with plenty of Provisions in that Place.
Therefore we cast Anchor June the first,* at Four a-clock in the Evening, before the Islands of St. Ann, to get some Recruits, having on board Vi∣ctuals sufficient only to serve for eight Days at most; and forasmuch as it was requisite to give notice to our Vessels of the Course that we had determin'd to steer, we sent an Officer a-shore to desire a Pass-port of the Commander of the Town, to go to Rio-Janeiro by Land, to acquaint them with our Design: Page 97 the Officer who had received Orders to return the same Evening, not appearing by next Day Noon; Monsieur de Gennes believing some Misfortune had befallen him, sent out a Shallop armed with two small Guns, to get Intelligence, which return'd to us again about Five in the Evening: And the Men reported, That they had seen the Canoe in the River, where there were Dwelling-places; and that the Officer who ap∣peared on Shoar, came up to the point of Land there, in Order to give them Notice to return, because it was shal∣low Water, and that he had passed over a Ridge of Rocks where the Surge of the Sea was very frightful; and that this was the Reason, together with his tarrying for three Beefs they were in quest of for us, that detained our Ca∣noe from returning to us.
The Shallop went back next Day, about ten of the Clock, and as she was ready to enter in, the Officer who had sent her back the Day before, gave them a Signal to come to an Anchor, and to wait till the Tide came in. They continued in that Posture till two a Clock in the Afternoon; when the Of∣ficer that commanded, grown quite Page 98 weary with staying, made use both of his Sails and Oars, and put forwards; and that in spight of the Advice of the Master, and of all the Signals that could be made from the Shoar to the contrary: But he was no sooner incom∣moded with the terrible Rocks afore∣mentioned, than that he began to re∣pent (tho' it was now too late) of his Rashness. After they had bore divers rude Attacks of the Sea, a Wave brought all their Oars on one side, and this Wave was followed by another, that opened the Shallop in the very middle, and drown∣ed the Commander,* with seven Seamen more; but the Master, together with the Gunner and seven other Mariners, saved themselves, and remained on Shoar to seek out their Comrades Bo∣dies.
That same Evening our Canoe came to inform us of this sorrowful News; and withal, that it was impossible for us to pass over the Territories of the Portuguese to go to Rio-Janeiro, because the Governour had given Orders at Cape de Frie, to suffer no Stranger to pass that way. She brought us three Beefs, some Poultry, a Tyger-Cat, and another very strange Animal, whom the Por∣tuguesePage [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
On the 4th we sung Mass for the dead, and discharged three Pieces of Cannon for the Officer that had been drowned, whose Name was Salior, born at Paris, and a young Gentleman whose Loss deserved to be regretted. This being over, the Canoe was sent to shoar again, to bring back those Seamen that had the Luck to escape drowning; she returned the same Day, and brought along with her two Beefs more: The Bodies of our drowned Friends could not be found, and the Portuguese in∣forming us that the Place where they were lost were full of Requins, it's not to be doubted but they were devoured by them.
Next Day, which was the sixth, about three in the Morning, we made Page 100 ready to sail for the Bay of All-Saints, without giving Information of the same to the other Vessels we had with us; but seeing Monsieur de Gennes had spo∣ken of it before at la Gloutonne, we had some sort of reason to hope that they would rejoin us, at least at Cayenne.
On the 7th and 8th we steer'd a wide Course, that we might put by the Abralhes, which are certain Islands and heaps of Rocks that run out five and forty Leagues into the Sea, and on which divers Ships have perished. The Portuguese, who are well acquainted with them, make no great Difficulty of sailing through the midst of them; and so save a large Compass that others are oblig'd to make, to avoid them. We saw a great Whale the Day fol∣lowing, that went round our Ship se∣veral times, and twice under it.
We were on the 10th, 11th, and 12th. troubled with excessive Heats, and had but very little Wind; at what time we catch'd a great Number of Requins, which was a considerable help to leng∣then out our Provisions: But tho' this Fish appears to be firm Flesh enough, yet it is so insipid that several of our Men were injured with the eating of it. Page 101 It's thick, and five or six Foot long, a great Lover of Man's Flesh, has a large Mouth, and therein five rows of very sharp Teeth: He turns himself upon his back to catch his Prey, and has two or three small Fishes near him that are his Pilots, and never forsake him, but serve to secure him from be∣ing surprized by the Whale.
There is a sort of Fish which they call Sucet, that is commonly fastened to the Requin, and this has given many Men occasion to believe that he is his Pilot; but herein they are mistaken, for this small Fish never closes with the other, but when he finds himself pursued; and then taking half a turn round, he strikes the Requin over the Head, and fixes himself so fast to the other, that it's impossible for him to make him let go his hold; inso∣much, that this little Fish makes him∣self to be convoyed with this pretty sort of Guard whithersoever he pleases: On the three following Days, viz. the 13th, 14th, and 15th, we were incommoded with contrary Winds; but on the 17th we kept about fifteen Leagues off of the Abralhes and sailed on, and next Day passed over the Shallows of St. Antony.
Page 102 We made Land the Nineteenth,* which our Pilots computed at above thirty Leagues distance; and this made us judge, That the Sea Currents moved to the North, as the Portuguese had assured us, who take it for a Maxim, that the Currents on the Coast of Bra∣sil follow the Course of the Sun; that when the same is in the Northern He∣misphere, they run to the Northward, but when in the Southern, to the Southward. On the Nineteenth at Night, having got within six Leagues of Cape St. Antony, we brought to, and by break of Day, we saw about two Leagues to the Windward of us, a Ship that steered the same Course as we did; whereupon we slackned our sail to let her come up, and believing it might have been one of our own Fleet, we gave her a Signal whereby to know us, but she returned us no Answer, and proved to be a Portuguese Ship, that was making the best of her way for the Bay of All-Saints as well as we: About Noon we made the Cape of St. Antony,* and saw all along the Coast a great Number of Barks, and the Negro's Pi∣peries, as they are called, being no other than three or four pieces of Wood Page 103 made fast together, whereon two Men go out a fishing to the extent of two Leagues: Some of them we boarded, but we could never bring them to con∣duct us to the Road, they alledging, they were forbid to do it; but I be∣lieve it was because they would not leave their fishing.
But it fortunately happen'd, that we descry'd two sorts of small Tartanes, that were for making the best of their way into the Bay as well as we; them we waited for, and required them to grant us a Pilot for our Money; upon which, one of the Masters of these Tartanes, offered himself to conduct us to the Place where we were to An∣chor, and this he performed with all imaginable Civility: We drew up in Order, within Cannon Shot of Cape St. Antony, and about five in the Even∣ing cast Anchor within a small League of the Town, that we might not em∣barrass our selves with the Portuguese Fleet we found there, consisting of be∣tween forty and fifty Sail, all laden and ready every minute to sail away.
As soon as we were come to an An∣chor, there came a Lieutenant from the Admiral, to require us to salute him; Page 104 but Monsieur de Gennes made him an∣swer, the King had given him Orders not to salute any, without they received Gun for Gun; and that he would send his next Captain, to settle that Affair with the Governour: The Lieutenant hereupon, sent to see for his Shallop, in order to assist us; and after a thou∣sand tenders of his Service to us, he accompanied the Chevalier de Fontenay to wait upon the Governour, with whom he had no long Dispute, for they quickly agreed not to salute one ano∣ther at all, which made most of the Por∣tuguese to murmur, and concernedly to say, That it was not to be endured, that a Frenchman should pass under their Forts without saluting them, and yet not be called to an Account for it: But 'tis well known, they are no other∣wise brave than upon their own Dung∣hills; and that they had rather, upon Occasion, have Recourse to their Beads than to their Courage.
The Morrow being The Feast of God, Monsieur de Gennes, accompanied with several other Officers, went to wait upon the Governour and the Intendant, who shew'd him abundance of Civilities: The Governour's Name was Don John Page 105 de Lancastre, one of the Principal Men of the Kingdom, and Vice-Roy of Bra∣sil: Then they went to see the Pro∣cession of the Holy Sacrament,* which is as remarkable in that Town, for the vast Number of Crosses, Shrines, rich Ornaments, armed Troops, Companies, Fraternities, and Religious Orders; as 'tis ridiculous for the Masquerades, Mu∣sical Instruments, and Dancers that at∣tend thereat, and who by their wanton Postures, invert the end of this Holy Ceremony. The Procession was no soo∣ner over, but our Gentlemen went to hear Mass, to the Convent of the Re∣verend Fathers the Jesuits; where they were received by some Fathers of the French Nation very kindly, who con∣firmed unto them the Loss of Namur, and the Hopes there were of a Peace with Savoy; from them they went to dine with the French Consul, and heard a great deal more News there also.
We were also informed by a Friar newly come from Goa,* that before he had left that Port, he had seen a French Ship that put in there, after having fought three Arabian Vessels, by whom she had been very rudely handled. When these mischievous Pirates board any Ship, Page 106 they do, in order to blind their Ene∣mies, make use of a sort of wrought Lime, which being squashed down up∣on the Bridge they use upon that Occa∣sion, has a most terrible Effect.
Here we came to know also of the Loss of the Famous Montauban,* of whom the Free-booters made so much Noise at Bourdeaux. He met with a large English Ship on the Coast of Guinea, whom he boarded, and took her by main Force; but the English Comman∣der being enraged that he should be ta∣ken by a Free-booter, he set the Pow∣der on fire, and blew up his own Ship and that of Montauban's; who with a dozen or fifteen of his own Men, threw himself into the Sea, where they floated upon Masts for five Days and five Nights, and at last got a-shoar half dead in the King of the Negro's Coun∣try, where they were kindly received, upon the account of an old Portuguese that Traded upon that Coast, and who took Compassion on those miserable Wretches: When they had been there about five or six Months, a Dutch Ship bound for Jamaica passed by that way, which took Montauban and seven or eight of his Followers, who promised Page 107 to pay for their Passage, on board him; while the other six, who could not find the same Favour at the Dutch-man's hands, got a Passage in a Portuguese Flute, that carried Negro's to All-Saints Bay, from whence we gave them free Transportation to Martenico.
On the 4th of July,* the Admiral with divers Merchant Ships, anchored in the Road; and on the 8th, the whole Fleet made ready to sail away for Lis∣bon, consisting in all of 45 Ships, laden with Sugar, Tobacco, Cotton, Fish, Oyl and Skins; they were almost all of them mounted from twelve to thirty six pieces of Cannon, but the Admiral and Vice-Admiral that were Men of War, and out upon the King's Account, carried one of them sixty Guns, and the other no less than seventy two.
We drew nearer to the City on the 9th, having hitherto taken in no Pro∣visions; for the Portuguese Fleet had made it excessive dear, but now we bought some European Meal, Magniot, and Rice; and the Intendant was so civil, as to let us have the Use of the King's Magazine, to provide Salt to sea∣son our Provision with: And that we might not be wanting in any thing to Page 108 our selves that was necessary; we began also to build us a Shallop instead of that which we had lost at St. Anne's.
All-Saints may be reckoned for one of the largest,* finest, and most convenient Bay of any other in the World, being capable of containing no less than two thousand Ships; of a very good Depth, and no Winds to be feared there. They take a great Number of Whales therein, build very fine Ships, and they had one then upon the Stocks that would carry sixty pieces of Cannon.
As for the City of St. Salvador, that is seated upon this Bay, it's large, well built, and very populous; but the Scitua∣tion of it is not so advantagious, as could be wished. It's high and low, and scarce one straight Street therein; it's the Capital City of Brasil, an Ar∣chiepiscopal See, and the Residence of the Vice-Roy: This place is honoured with a Soveraign Council, and the Pri∣vilege to coin Money; where, in order to quicken Trade, they make such sort of Pieces as are current no-where else, but in Brasil: They have on the one side the Arms of Portugal, and a Cross charged with a Spear on the other, with this Inscription, SƲBQ. SIGN. STABO.
Page 109 This City, to the Seaward, is de∣fended with some Forts, and several Batteries mounted with Cannon, and to the Landward, with earthen Bastions ill made. We saw them lay the Foun∣dation of a Fortress, the Governour had ordered to be erected about half a Can∣non shot without the Town: The Dutch attempted divers times to make themselves Masters of this Place, but without Success, tho' they have taken away two and twenty Ships from thence at one clap.
The Inhabitants, to say nothing of the common People, who are insolent to the highest Degree, are neat, civil, and honest, and withal rich, being lo∣vers of Trade, and for the most part are of a Jewish Extract; and this is the Reason, that when any one of the Inhabitants is about to make one of his Sons a Divine, he is obliged to prove his Ancestors were Christians, as the Knights of Malta are under an Obliga∣tion of making out their Gentility, be∣fore they enter into the Order. They love Women extreamly, and spare no Charges for the setting out of their Wives, who in respect to all other things, have Cause enough to complain; Page 110 for they are never allowed to see any Body, and go not out of doors at any other time but on Sunday early in the Morning, to go to Church: They are a very jealous People, and 'tis a kind of a point of Honour for a Man to stab his Wife, when he can convict her of being unfaithful to his Bed; tho' for all that, this cannot hinder many of them from finding out a way to impart some of their Favours to us Frenchmen, whose winning and free Conversation they are mightily in love with.
As the Town is nothing throughout but up's and downs, and that conse∣quently Carriages are very impractica∣ble there; their Slaves are forced to perform what Horses should otherwise do, and carry the heaviest sort of Goods from one place unto another: And 'tis also for the same Reason, that a thing they call a Palanquin is much in use there; it's nothing else but a kind of a Sedan, covered over with a little embroidered Canopy, and carried by two Negro's by the help of a long Pole, whereunto it's fastned at both ends: Persons of Quality are carried therein to Church, to make their Visits, and also into the Fields. The Houses are Page 111 high-built, and most of them of Free-stone and Brick; their Churches are very sumptuous, being finely gilt, full of Silver-plate, Sculptures, and a vast Number of the best Ornaments that are to be met with: And as for the Cathe∣dral-Church there, dedicated to the Cross, the Lamps and Candlesticks are so high, and massy withal, that two Men can scarce carry them.
They have several sorts of Religious Orders amongst them; as Franciscans, Carmelites, Benedictines, Jesuits, and divers others, and all of them, except a little Convent of French and Italian Capuchins, are very rich; and more particularly, the Jesuits are very potent there, they being no less than 190 in Number, their House of a vast Extent, and their Church large and well beau∣tified: Their Vestry is one of the most Magnificent that ever was seen, it's about an hundred and fifty Foot long, and of proportionable Breadth: They have three Altars in it, two whereof are placed at the two ends, and the third in the midst of that part that joins to the Church; and upon which may be seen, every Morning, above twenty Calices, all of them made of Gold, Ver∣million, Page 112 and Silver; on each side of this last Altar stand two great Tables, that are of that length, that there is room only left for two doors to open, by which they enter into the Church. These two Tables are made of very fine Wood, the whole Surface of them being ador∣ned with Ivory, a sort of Net-work, and a great many fine Water-colour Paintings, that are brought thither from Rome. The fourth side of this Vestry, that stands to the Seaward, is pierced with divers large Crosses from top to bottom, and the Ceiling very curiously painted.
The Soyl here is flat or level, wa∣tered with fine Rivers, on which the Por∣tuguese inhabit for above fifty Leagues into the Country, whose Dominion the Indians shun, and for that end retire into the Woods; but they steal their Cattle continually, and eat them themselves when they can catch them: Our Capu∣chins, who (as we have already obser∣ved) have a Convent in this City, have travelled four or five Years among these poor People, and expos'd themselves with an Apostolical Zeal, to all sorts of Fatigues, in order to reduce them from their Blindness and Ignorance.
Page 113 The Earth produces Sugar-Canes, To∣bacco, Cotton, Magniot-Roots, Rice, Maes, and such good Pasturage, that they breed so great a Number of Cattle, that Meat is sold there under a Penny a Pound; but the Country is so pestered with Ants, that they are constrained, for the preserving of their Fields of Maes and Magniot, to carry them to feed upon the Roads: And those who are curious in Gardening, must, by the help of several small Channels, form an Island of every Bed, to drown the Ants in their Passage over. They have Pulse and Fruits there in abundance, such as they call the Banane, Ananas, Patatoes, Ighname, Cocoe, and Goyave, of which we have given a Description already.
Here they have also Cinamon, Pep∣per, Ginger, the Oyl of Capahu, Balsom, and several sorts of Roots that have a wonderful Effect; and amongst the rest, those called Para-ayra-braba, and Hypo∣pecovana. The Cinnamon-tree is about the Height of a small Cherry-tree, bearing long Leaves, and pointed at the end, of a bright green Colour; the Je∣suits were the first that brought them thither out of Ceylan, of which they took great Care: But in some Years Page 114 they grew very common, because that the Birds who eat the Fruit thereof, sow the Seed up and down every-where, being not able to digest it. The Plant which bears the Pepper, clings round about to other Trees like Ivy, has pret∣ty large Leaves, pointed at the ends, and of a deep green; and the Fruit it produces are small Grapes, like those growing on the wild Vine.
The Capahu-Oyle and the Balsom, come from the Jurisdiction of Spiritu Sancto; those they draw from certain Trees, where the wild Beasts by rub∣ing against their Bark, cure themselves of their Wounds; for let them take off never so little of them, these Liquors will gush out, and have so much the more admirable Effect, in that they are not adulterated, as those we have in Europe are. The Para-ayra-braba, is a thick hard Root, which is made use of as an infallible Remedy against all sorts of Poysons: And as for the Hypo∣pecovana it's a small Root, that in our Armies has sufficiently discovered the Vertues of it against the Bloody-flux, being valued at ten Pistoles a Pound; but now it's cheaper, as being more common.
Page 115 Among those that are curious, you shall find very large Oranges, that ori∣ginally were brought from the Mogul Country; according to which they have their Names, and some whereof are eight Inches Diameter. They have a sort of Roses growing amongst them, whose Leaves are very like unto those of Guimauva, and the Fruit whereof is very singular, being white from Mid∣night till Noon, and from Noon to Mid-night again of a red Colour.
They have abundance of wild Fowl in that Country, and a great Number of extraordinary Birds, and more espe∣cially the finest Parrots in the World; to which may be added Tygers, Deer, wild Boars, and several other Animals that are unknown to us in Europe: Monsieur de Gennes was presented with a very large Tortoise, that lived with∣out eating and drinking the rest of the Summer, under one of the Carriages of our Cannon; and these are a sort of Animals that will never die till all their Fat is entirely consumed.
We observed two sorts of Monkeys there, which they distinguished by the Names of Sagovins and Macaques; the former are about the Bigness of a Squir∣rel, Page 116 some of them being of a greyish Colour, but others have a fine Coat, and of a Golden Hue; they are always very merry and lightsome, but so ten∣der that the least Cold kills them: The Macaques are larger, and of a brown Colour, weep continually, and are no otherwise diverting, but that they will imitate every thing they see you do; and we had one of them that would make some of our Ship-tackle as well as the Seamen themselves.
The Portuguese have already found some Silver Mines there, and lately Amethists also; they have Brass enough from the Coast of Angola, from the Traffick they drive there, upon the account of the Negro's. But to return, on the 17th of July came in a Portu∣guese Ship, belonging to the Guinea-Company, lately erected amongst them, which carried a white Flag with a Si∣nople or green Cross in it, and next Day our three Ships, which we did not expect to see till we came to Ca∣yenne, joined us; the Sun of Africa gave us seven Guns, and we returned her as many; the Seditious had lost her Fore-round-top, and by them we were informed that a Fleet of eighteen Sail Page 117 were put out of Rio-Janeiro; that the Felicity had gone thither, that fifteen Men had deserted them, and that Mon∣sieur de la Roque had two of his Men killed and an Officer wounded, in a Descent they had made against the Por∣tuguese, who detained five or six of our Officers in Prison, upon account of a Quarrel that happened, wherein two of the Inhabitants were left dead upon the spot.
On the 22d we heard the good Ca∣puchin Father Francis preach; this Man had spent five and twenty Years in preaching to the Indians, and told Mon∣sieur de Gennes, That he had several times asked Leave of the General of his Order, to return for some time into Europe, but that he had desired him to continue where he was, and not to for∣sake that Work he had so happily en∣tered upon; And that so taking the Desires of his Superiour, as a Com∣mand from him, he said he was ready to re-enter upon his Mission, and had no farther Thoughts of his Native Country.
Having, by the sixth of August,* ta∣ken in our Stores of Water and Wood, and laid in Provision for six Months, Page 118 we prepared for our Departure, and found the Governour very civil, who made a Present to all the Captains of some Amethists, and of all sorts of Re∣freshments; and the seventh Day be∣ing come, we sailed away, and having doubled the Cape of St. Antony, we kept our Course out at Sea for some Days, that we might shun the Coast, which, by reason of the Banks of Rocks, as well as the Storms that are frequent there, is very dangerous.
On the 8th we descry'd two Barks, that made all the sail they could to come up with us, and we staid for them, as believing they were about to bring us some News, because there was a Ship put in there the Day before. But they proved to be Negro's, who came to desire us to take them away with us, or else they would commit themselves to the mercy of the Waves, sooner than they would return again under the Tyranny of their Masters; but we sent them back, that we might not give the Portuguese Occasion to com∣plain of us, that we had taken away their Slaves:* And in truth, these sort of Wretches are in a very miserable State; they are born Slaves, and they Page 119 are scarce able to lift up their hands to their heads, but they make them work at tilling the Ground as Oxen do: Be∣sides they are ill-fed, and bastinado'd for the least Fault: They behold their Children sold before their Faces, and sometimes their Wives: And this does affect the greatest part of those who have been bred up in the Christian Re∣ligion, to that Degree, that they run away from their Masters, and chuse rather to go and die in the Woods among the Indians, where they meet with greater Humanity than with the other: But this they must execute with the greatest Precaution, for if their Masters once catch them, they give them no Quarter; for they hang a great Iron Collar about their Necks on each side whereof there are Hooks, whereunto is fastened a Stake or Branch of a Tree, with which they thrash them at Pleasure; and this they repeat so often, that they put them almost out of Con∣dition to follow their Work: But if it so happen, that after this sort of Cha∣stisement they relapse again into the same Fault, they without any more ado, cut off one of their Legs, nay, and sometimes hang them for an Ex∣ample Page 120 of Terrour unto others; and tho' all this is bad enough, yet the Spani∣ards and the English treat them still in a more cruel manner.
I knew one living in Martinico, who being of a compassionate Nature, could not find in his heart to cut off his Slave's Leg, who had run away four or five times, but to the end he might not again run the risque of losing him altogether, he bethought himself of fastening a Chain to his Neck, which trailing down backwards, catches up his Leg behind, as may be seen by the Cut: And this, in the space of two or three Years, does so contract the Nerves, that it will be impossible for this Slave to make use of his Leg. And thus, without running the Hazard of this unhappy Wretch's Death, and without doing him any Mischief, he thereby deprived him of the means to make his Escape.
On the 17th about seven in the Mor∣ning, we had a sight of Cape St. Au∣gustine, which we made at above thirty Leagues distance, which gave us Occa∣sion to believe that there were great Currents that way, that run towards the Coast: On the 22d about six in the Page [unnumbered]
How ye Portuguese Whip their Slaves when they run away
A Slave that has his leg cut off for running away
An invention of a French Man in Mar∣linico
On the 27th by break of Day, as our Pilots allow'd us to be yet above sixty Leagues from the Shoar, we observ'd the Water to be of a yellowish Colour, and muddy; and those of the Com∣pany, who were so curious as to taste them, told us, they did not want much of being sweet; and this made us be∣lieve Page 122 that we were come to the Mouth of the famous River of the Amazons,* that is so rapid as to preserve the Sweet∣ness of its Waters for near twenty Leagues within the Sea; we ran upon the Coast till three in the Afternoon, when we discovered a flat, even, and woody Coast, where we anchored a∣bout six in the Evening; and on the 28th and 29th, we followed the said Coast, at three or four Leagues distance from the Shoar, and never found above five or six Fathom Water.
On the 30th,* about seven in the Mor∣ning, we descry'd the Cape of Orange, where we began to see the Foot of the Mountains: About three in the After∣noon, we doubled a great Rock called the Constable, three Leagues out in the Sea, and five from Cayenne; we drew up, at about half a Cannon shot's distance, and about six in the Evening came to an Anchor, three Leagues to the North of Cayenne before five little Islands ly∣ing near to that place. When next Day was come, Monsieur de Gennes sent an Officer to complement the Governour, and to desire him to send us a Pilot to conduct us to a sase Anchorage; but our Arrival had already allarm'd the Page 123 whole Island, and they fired off their Cannon all Night long, to give the In∣habitants Notice to come together; and they would not trust to our Colours, because the Dutch in their Passage to Surinam and Barbicha, have often cast Anchor within a League of the Town, under white Colours; and as they had not been used to see four French Ships at one time, they were apprehensive of some Design upon them.
Our Shallop could not return before next Day,* which happened to be the first of September, the same being oblig'd to take a Course round the Island, for avoiding the Currents, which are very violent on that Coast; but she brought a Pilot along, tho' the Sea was so shal∣low that we were forced to tarry where we were till the Day following: And then on the second and third, we made as much use of the Tide as possibly we could, in order to get in, because there was so very little Water, and that we could not make ready before it had half flowed: But about four in the Evening, we cast Anchor under the Cannon of the Town, within Pistol-shot of Land; there were two Merchants Ships already in Cayenne, that had waited seven or eight Months Page 124 for their Cargo, besides another Vessel that came in the Day before us, laden with Wine and Brandy. As our Men had, just about this time, received a Month's Pay, and that it was now a long time since they had met with so good an Opportunity, they not only drank up the Ship's whole Cargo in eight Days time, but also all the Wine they had in the Island.
Cayenne is a French Island,* scituated on the Coast of Guiana, four Degrees and forty five Minutes North Latitude, and 332 Longitude; it's formed by the two Arms of a River, and may be rec∣koned to be about eighteen Leagues in Circumference; it stands high, upon the Brink of the Sea, and is so marshy in the middle, that you cannot travel by Land, from one end to the other; the Fens of it are covered with a sort of large Trees called Mangles,* which above all other, have the peculiar Qua∣lity of growing in Sea-Water; these Trees are so thick, and their Roots for the most part springing out of the Earth, rise up, and are so well interlaced one with another, that in some places a Man may walk upon them above fif∣teen or twenty Leagues together, with∣out Page 125 setting his Foot upon the Ground; amongst them also divers Indians retire with their Canoes, and there they make their Carbets.
The Town stands on the West-part of the Island, and is very advantage∣ously scituated, Nature and Art having both equally contributed to the forti∣fying of it: It's of an irregular Hexa∣gone-Figure, has near sixty pieces of Cannon planted upon Batteries, for the Security of it; and on the Sea-side, up∣on an Eminence, there is a Fort built that commands every way: The Gar∣rison of the place consists of two Hun∣dred Regular Troops, but there are above four Hundred Inhabitants living either upon, or round about the Island, that upon the least Alarm are oblig'd to stand to their Arms. Monsieur de Feroles, the Governour, is a Person that has great Insight into the Affairs of a Colony; the Power of distributing Ju∣stice is vested in him, and he is much beloved by the Inhabitants: The Je∣suits have a Church in the Town, and a Chappel at the other end of the Island, for the Conveniency of those that live remote.
Page 126 This Island was formerly very un∣healthy, as well for the continual Rains that fell there, for nine Months in the Year, as because the Ground was co∣vered with Wood, and withal very marshy; Diseases were very rife a∣mongst them, and Infants usually died almost as soon as they were born; but since the Island has been grubbed up, they have begun to grow more healthy, the Women have good Lyings-in, and their Children are lusty.
The chief Commodity of the Coun∣try,* is Sugar and Rocou, but they make no great Quantity, because the Inhabi∣tants want Slaves to work for them, and that is the Reason that Ships wait sometimes for near a Year's time for their lading: Those Negro's which we had sent thither by the Ship called the Fertill, were almost all dead before they got to the Place; for being taken with a Calm, they wanted both Water and Victuals: But we having still about forty on board, we sold them for five hundred Livres a Man. The Commo∣dities they have from France, are Wine, Brandy, Meal, and powdered Meats; for Beefs are very rare to be found there, besides they are not allowed to Page 127 kill any of them without Leave, as be∣ing desirous to let them multiply.
They carry Iron Tools, and small Wares also thither, for to traffick with the Indians: Four or five Years since, Money was very scarce amongst them; but the Free-booters who returned from the Southern-Seas, and the meanest of which had at least two or three thou∣sand Crowns for his Share, bought them Habitations here, increased the Colony, and thereby made Money cur∣rent amongst them. They drive a con∣siderable Trade in Slaves, dry'd Fish, and Amacks, with the Indians living upon the River of the Amazons, and by this Commerce the Colony is very much enriched; but the Portuguese, who for some Years past have a mind to settle there, have massacred in a most cruel manner those Persons who before went thither unmolested, and in all manner of Security. Monsieur de Feroles hath begun a Road which is to go by Land to this River,* and pretends he'll drive the Portuguese from thence. The same belongs to France, and 'tis our Interest to preserve it, not only upon the ac∣count of our Traffick, but also because there are Silver Mines there.
Page 128 The Earth, besides Sugar and Rocou; produces Cotton and Indigo, and is withal very fertil in Maes and Mag∣niot; besides those Fruits we have seen in Brasil, we find growing here,* the Cassia, Papaye, Acajou-Apples, the Vanilla, Peet, and several others. As for the Papaye, it's a thick Fruit, and tastes some∣what like a Cucumber; it grows round the stem of a tall but tender Tree that has large Leaves, and cleft as your Vine Leaves are; the Tree it self is hol∣low, and grows above fifteen Foot in one Year's time.
The Acajou-Apple is thick, long, and of a yellow-red; has a sharp Taste, and is usually eaten baked. At the end of this Apple you have a little green Nut, that tastes like a Filbert, and in form resembles a Sheeps-kidney: This Fruit grows upon a tall and round sort of a Tree, like unto a Chesnut-tree, whose Leaves are of the same Form and Colour, as those of the Laurel: The Wood of it is very fine, and proper to make Houshold Furniture of, and Piro∣gues of forty and fifty Foot long; if a Line, or such a thing, be once spotted with the Juice of this Acajou-Apple, it's impossible to take away the Stain, Page 129 till the Season of the Fruit be entirely gone.
The Vanilla is a Plant that creeps up along other Trees, in the same manner as Ivy does; its Leaves being of a bright green Colour, thick, long, strait, and pointed at the ends. About seven Years after it is planted, it begins to hear a sort of Husks that are full of an oyly Matter, and Seed that is smaller than that of Poppy, which they make use of in that Country, to give a good Scent to Tobacco, and Liquors they have amongst them.
The Peet is an Herb that can be peeled in the same manner, as Hemp with us, and whose threads are stronger and finer than Silk, the Use whereof it would have long since put out of doors, if so be it would have been allowed to be transported to France. Ebony, of a different sort, Letter-wood (as they call it) and that of Violet, with several others, are very common in that Coun∣try. To say nothing of the Fish and Fowl that we find there in great abun∣dance, as we do also Tygers, Deer, Pigs, little Porcupines, Camelions, those Beasts they call Agontills and Sa∣paions, and divers sorts of Animals more.
Page 130 As for the Agontill, it's a Creature of the same Bigness with an Hare, of a reddish Colour like unto a Deer, sharp Muzzle, small Ears, and short as well as very small Legs; but the Sapaion is a kind of a little Monkey, of a yellow∣ish Colour, having large Eyes, a white Face and black Chin: It's of a low Stature, but of a lively and caressing Nature.
The Camelion doth somewhat resem∣ble those small Lizards that creep up our Walls, whose Colour cannot be agreed on, because they receive it from every thing they touch: They have here also very large Serpents, but not very venomous, and some of them have been observed to have swallowed a whole Deer at a time.
As for Birds,* they have very curious Parrots in that Country, that will quick∣ly learn to speak; from which the In∣dians pluck Feathers of divers Colours, by the help of the Blood of certain creep∣ing Animals, with which they rub them. They have also other Birds, called Fla∣mands, Ocos, Toucans, and many sorts besides. The first whereof, viz. the Flamands are Sea-birds, about the Big∣ness of an Hen, which flie in Bands as Page 131 Ducks, or rather Cranes do; and whose Feathers being of a scarlet Colour, the Indians make unto themselves Crowns of them: The Ocos are as big as the Indian Poultry, black on the Back, but white breasted, with a short yellow Bill, a fierce Gate, and have small friz∣led Feathers standing up like a Cop up∣on their Heads. And for the Toucan, that is a Bird that hath both black, red, and yellow Feathers, being very near as big as a Pidgeon, whose Bill is almost as thick as his Body, and of a very singular make, as being all over nothing but black and white welts or streaks, like Ebony and Ivory interlaid; neither is his Tongue less admirable, being nought but a plain Feather, and that very streight.
We shall say nothing of several Birds, who have nothing remarkable in them besides their Feathers; and therefore, we shall now proceed to a short De∣scription of the Government of Cayenne, which some, by reason of the Bigness of it, and its Scituation under the Equa∣tor, have called Equinoxial France.
The Government of Cayenne contains about an hundred Leagues in length,* upon the Ocean, wherewith it's bounded Page 132 both on the East and North; as it has to the West the River Marony, which separates the same from Surinam, now in the hands of the States of Holland; and to the South, the Northern Boun∣dary of the Amazons, where the Portu∣guese have already built three Forts up∣on the Rivers of Paron and Macaba: One may see by the Map made of this Government (which I have taken Care to correct, according to the Memoirs of Monsieur de Feroles, for to send it to Court) the Road that has been made, in order to drive them from thence: This Road begins at the River of Pei∣ra, which falls into that of Paron, and by which they can afterwards go down in Canoes: Here also Observations may be made of the different Nations of the Indians that dwell in those Parts, and who all of them, tho' intermixt one with another, speak different Langua∣ges, and are almost always ingaged in War, which is not usually put an end to, until they make forty or fifty of their Enemies Prisoners. We were in∣formed by the Jesuits, That several of these Nations were once entred into a League against one another; and that they were about a Year's Space in ma∣king Page 133 grand Preparation for War, which after all ended one Night, in their surpri∣zing two or three Carbets, where they might burn perhaps about an hundred Persons, Men, Women and Children, and so returned home as fierce and vaunt∣ing, as if they had made a Conquest of the whole Country.
These Indians are red,* of short Sta∣ture, having black, long, and lank Hair; they go all naked, unless it be their Privy-parts, which they cover with a little Cotton-welt, that hangs down by their Legs: But for the Women, they use a piece of Cloth half a Foot square, which they call Camisa, and which is usually woven after a striped manner, of divers Colours, and especially white, which they prefer above any other; but some of them there are, who only hang a Carrot-leaf at their Girdle: The Men cut off their Beards, dye their Faces with Rocou, and cover their Arms and Faces with several folds of the fore∣mentioned sort of Cloth; they gene∣rally, by way of Ornament, wear Crowns made of Feathers of various Colours, and bore a hole between their Nostrils, where they hang a little piece of Money, or a large knob of green Page 134 Crystal that is brought from the Ri∣ver of Amazons, and which they migh∣tily value: But there is particularly one whole Nation of these Indians, that make a large hole in the nether Lip, through which they put a piece of Wood, whereunto they fasten this Crystal: And as these are thus singu∣lar, all the other Nations have particu∣lar marks of Distinction also.
These People are very skilful in Bows and Arrows, which they make use of as well in fishing as fowling: They work their Amacks very curiously, and make very pretty Pots and Baskets, which they call Pagara, and are wrought in such a manner, that they go one into another, and cannot be penetrated by Water: They also make use of their Couis or Calabasses, about which they turn their Ornaments, and varnish them with divers Colours, so as that the Wa∣ters shall not injure them; but for all this Skill of theirs, they are very lazy, and continually lain down, taking no Care for the Morrow, no, not for their necessary Subsistence: And there is no∣thing but Famine that can draw them out of their Amacks. When they are in the Country, or waging War, and Page 135 chance to hear that the Wife lies in, they return with all speed, bind up their Heads, and, as if themselves were in labour, they lie in their Beds, where their Neighbours come to comfort them under their imaginary Illness: There are several of them live together in one or more large Cottages, which they call Carbets, over each of which there is a Captain constituted. As for their Diet, they feed upon that which they call Cassave, Maes, Fish and Fruits; the Men they live by fishing, and 'tis the Women that till the Ground: They earry but a small matter of Victuals along with them, when they go to War; for they feast upon the fattest part of their Prisoners Flesh, and for the rest they sell them to the French.
They have divers sorts of Feasts amongst them, unto which one Carbet invites another; and there they appear with Crowns on their Heads, and Fea∣ther-girdles, and spend the Day in dancing round, and in feasting, where they make themselves drunk with a strong sort of Liquor, which they call Ovicon, made of Cassave and Fruit, boyled together.
Page 136 These poor People live in miserable Ignorance, for they worship the Stars, and are very much afraid of the Devil, which they call Piaye, and who (as they say) comes to Beat and Torment them: Every one of them hath his Wife, which they cannot forsake, 'tho they find them Tardy: Old Men they highly venerate, and when any of them die, they bury them in their Carbets, without any other Ceremony than to make themselves soundly drunk: But as soon as they think the Corps is al∣most rotten, they dig up the bones, and burning the same to ashes, they put it into their Ovicon, and this they esteem excellent chear; the Jesuits take a deal of Pains in Instructing these poor People, who with much Docility give ear to the Mysteries of the Christi∣an Faith.
On the 16th a Fire broke out in the House of one of the Officers, which was a great loss not only to the Owners, but also to several of the Inhabitants round the Town, who had their Moveables there. All these Houses are built of Wood, and thatched over, which is the reason that Fire takes them so fast that nothing can be saved.
Page 137 On the 25th we made ready for a cruise upon the Coast of Barbadoes, which Island is under the Dominion of the English, who send thither above six hundred Ships every Year: It's well Peopled, and they reckon no less than six thousand Negro-Slaves to be in it, so that without Contradiction it may be esteemed the most Powerful Colony of all the American Islands.
Monsieur de Gennes had some thoughts of going to attack Surinam, and for furthering of his design, Monsieur de Feroles made him an offer to go thi∣ther in Person with part of his Gar∣rison; but certain Indians who do no∣thing else but go backwards and for∣wards to give an Account of what is done both on the one and the other side, informed us there were two large Dutch Ships there carrying 70 Pieces of Cannon, that were ready to put out forthwith, and that so we should have to deal with the Fort and these two Ships at a time; which made us alter our re∣solution, and to continue Cruising.
On the 14th of October,* believing our selves to be in the height of Bar∣badoes, we sent the Glutton to Martinico, with Orders to lade her self with Su∣gar, and so to sail away for France:Page 138 And there we Cruised to the 16th, fifty, forty, and thirty Leagues distance from the Shoar, without seeing any thing, and therefore we thought it advisable to draw near to the Island.
The 17th the Weather was very Hazy till five in the Afternoon, when clearing up all of a sudden, we disco∣vered Barbadoes, from which we might be about five Leagues distance: About an Hour after we descryed a Ship; But as we found she was near the Shoar, and that it was now Night, we thought it more Convenient to bear off than to come up with her.
On the 18th the Wind being very slack, we found our selves still to be at the same distance from Shoar, but a∣bout Noon we gave chase under Eng∣lish Colours to a Carvet that came to discover what we were, but upon her putting up French Colours, and giving us a Gun as a Signal that she was really such, we hung out ours also, and gave her the same assurance. This was a small Vessel from Martinico called the Malovin, carrying four Guns, and was manned with five and forty Buc∣caneers, whose Captain came on board us, and gave us an Account of the Page 139 Death of Monsieur de Blenac, General of the American Islands, adding farther that he had met with our Fleet, and that there were six and twenty Sail of Ships got into Barbadoes about six Weeks before.
About five in the Evening we dis∣covered three Ships near the Shoar, which the Malovin told us was a Man of War for a Guard-ship, that carried four and fifty Guns, and two small Frigates of fourteen Guns each, and that they were come out to hinder her to take a Merchant Ship, that she had chased to the very mouth of the Port.
On the 19th by Break of Day we discovered the said Guard-ship followed by a Skiff about two Leagues off of us: But as there was but very little Wind stirring, and that she had a great mind to know what we were, she made use of her Oars to get out, and about three in the Afternoon sent her Shallop to see what the Seditious was, which was not above two Cannon-shot off, but a∣bout five she recalled her, and an Hour after she sailed off and made a show of getting to the Shoar and recovering land: But we did not think fit to pursue Page 140 her, because we were apprehensive she might return, and had a design to surprize us: But in short we saw her again at ten at Night within Cannon-shot of us, and she followed us all that Night long almost within Musket-shot, and from time to time fired Rockets as a Signal for the Shallop to come up, that had not yet rejoyned her. At break of Day we came up to her with a good Wind under French Colours, and all our sails loose, but as she had no other design than to see what we were, and not to fight, she gave us no Occasion to desire her to return to Port, which she did very safely, as did also the Skiff and her Shallop, which we discharged some shot at.
On the 20th and 21th we bore off to Sea, and next Day about Noon discover∣ed a Ship, about three Leagues to the Windward of us, with which we came very near up, when the Night approached and prevented our taking of her.
On the 24th we took a small Fly-boat of forty Tunn,* coming from Virginia, laden with Tobacco, Bacon, and Meal for Barbadoes, and was valued at 10000 Livres; and the Seditious the very same Page 141 Day gave chase to another small Ship, that made her escape by the favour of the Night.
The 25th and 26th we had a great deal of bad Weather, on the last of which, about three in the Afternoon we saw a large Ship two Leagues to the Windward of us, towards which we bare, and all that Night kept a diffe∣rent Course that we might not lose her, but all in vain.
On the 28th we found our selves in sight of Barbadoes, from which we com∣puted our selves to be five and twenty Leagues distance; we were surprized with our mistake, and could attribute the cause of it to nothing but the Currents; but we took this opportunity to send our Fly-boat to Martinico, to∣wards which she made good sail by the help of the Night, and a favourable Wind.
We spent the rest of our time to the fourth of November,* to get thirty or forty Leagues out to Sea, because the Winds are always contrary, and that no way can be made but upon a tack; and on the sixth, seventh, and eighth we had very bad weather, and next Day we were ready to sail back, when we dis∣covered Page 142 a Ship two Leagues off to the See-ward,* which as well as we, was at the Cape, to stay for the weather to prove better; hereupon we made all the sail we could, and in two Hours time came within Cannon-shot of her; she put out English Colours, which we Answered with ours, and at the same time gave her some chase Guns; she kept Fight∣ing, Retreating, and wounded three of the Sun of Africa's Men, which was ready to give her a whole Broadside and to send her to the Deep, when, to prevent it, she presently struck.
She was a tight Ship, carrying two and twenty Guns, belonged to New Eng∣land, and this was her first Voyage: Her lading consisted chiefly in Materi∣als for Shipping, and some Cod; we put twenty Men on board her, and steered for Martinico, but that Night it blew very hard, and we were separa∣ted from the Seditious in the storm; and on the 11th we had sight of Barba∣does, which we left to the North of us.
Next Day early in the Morning, we found our selves at two Leagues distance from St. Lucia, which we had a desire to leave behind us, but the Wind Page 143 took us short: This Island is high of Scituation, covered all over with Wood, and very remarkable for two Peaks in it like a Sugar-loaf, that may be seen at twenty Leagues distance in clear Weather: We Coasted it all Day, and on the 13th early in the Morning, we found we were three Leagues from the Diamond-Point of Martinico; we plyed till Evening for to get into the mouth of Sack-Royal, (as they call it) where we Anchored at five, within half a League of the Fort, which we saluted with seven Pieces of Cannon, and were answered with as many from thence.
Next Day the Captain of the Fort entred us for Careening; we found four or five Ships there from Rochel and Bourdeaux, and two Danes hired by French Merchants for the Voyage, one of which saluted us with five Guns, which we answered with three: We Anchored about two Spears length from the Mead, where we took out our first Tier, Provision, and Utensils, in order to cleanse our Ship.
We understood on the 16th, that the Seditious was come to Fort St. Peter, and that the Glutton, laden with Sugar, Page 144 was sailed away for France, the same Day we were entred for Careening.
The English failed not to send a Pack∣et-boat to fetch away their Prisoners, with a design to discover what state we were in, and the French Prisoners she brought over, told us that the Guard-ship, that had given us Chase, when she understood what we were, not thinking her self safe in that Port, had sailed away for Antegoe to joyn another Ship of sixty Guns that cruised about that Island: The Packet-boat went from Port Royal to Fort St. Peter, where all the English Prisoners that were in the Island, were delivered up to her, and some of whom the very same Night, they were to sail for Barbadoes, took away a small Privateer that was ready to put to Sea, and had but one Man to look after her; whereupon the English Officers were presently seized, and the Packet-boat sent back to demand Satisfaction for this Seisure, which was contrary to the Law of War.
On the first of December,* tho' we had not fully embarked all our things that we had to put a Shoar, we left the Careening place, to the end we might put an stop to the desertion of Page 145 our Men, of whom we had already lost no less than thirty, all of them brave young Fellows, who sought for nothing more than an opportunity to fight for the honour of their Country, in order to make their Fortune, or lose their Lives, and who were en∣raged at their sufferings now for two Years together without any hopes of attaining their Ends: And what is still more lamentable, there were three or four of them found starved to Death on the Mountains about fifteen Days after.
From the third at Night to the fourth we set Sail for St. Peter's Fort, where we anchored at five in the Evening, within Pistol-shot of Land, and continued there to the thirteenth to take in Water.
But seeing it is now a long time since we have had any account of the Islands of America; and that the face of things there is much altered since fifteen or twenty Years, I thought it would not be impertinent to make a short Description of the same, where∣on depends all the rest that are in our possession.
Page 146Martinico was at first Inhabited by some French and English,* who took this, as was done by all the other Islands, as a place of refuge, and each of them upon different accounts: They lived there a long time at Peace with the Indians, who gave them a share of the Cassave and Fruits that they Cul∣tivated; but after the descent Mon∣sieur d' Enambuc made on St. Christopher, in the Year 1625, those Indians be∣ing put in the head by their Wizards, that these new Guests came with an Intention to destroy them, and to take away their Country, they resolved to Massacre them; but the French disco∣vering the design, took all the Caution imaginable to prevent it.
In 1626 there was a Company erect∣ed for the American Islands, and then they began to be Peopled, and Ships fre∣quently sailed thither, to Trade for Sugar, for which they paid ready Money; but after divers petty Wars, there was a general Peace made with the Indians in 1660, and they had St. Vincent and Domingo assigned them to retire to. They continue there to this Day, and come constantly to Trade with our French-men, between Page 147 whom and them there is so great an unity, that when they catch the Eng∣lish, whom they know to be our Ene∣mies, they Murder and Eat them, and the French themselves have no power to bring them to give them Quarter: The Jesuits, and other Orders settled in these Parts, do from time to time make small Voyages into their Islands, to Instruct them in the Principles of Religion; which they hear with a great deal of Joy, but reap little Be∣nefit thereby, as being still very tena∣cious of their old Superstition.
The American Islands Company were of no longer Duration than the Year 1651, when they sold them to the Knights of Malta, and several particu∣lar Persons; but now the King is Master of them; where he has erected Forts, and keeps good Garrisons. Mar∣tinico is the residence of the General, and Soveraign Courts of Judicature; whereon depends St. Domingo, Guada∣lupa, Granada, Mary-Galanda, the Saints, St. Cross, St. Lucia, and Tabago; of which they have abandoned the last three. This Island is scituated in 14 degrees North Latitude; and 315, 25 minutes Longitude, stands high, and Page 148 is fifty five or sixty Leagues in Cir∣cumference. It has the conveniency of three Ports, where you may lade a∣bove an hundred Ships every Year; and their Names are the Cul-de-sac Royal, the Bourg of St. Peter, and the Cul-de-sac de la Trinity.
Cul-de-sac Royal is a large Bay to the South of the Island,* and at the bottom whereof stands a pretty Town, containing near three hundred Inha∣bitants, where the General resides, and the Courts of Justice are kept: The Streets of it are straight, the Houses regular, and mostly built of Wood; and here the Capuchins have a very fine Convent. The Fort which is ve∣ry advantageously scituated, is built up∣on a large and long Point of land that runs out into the Sea, and makes the best Careening place in all the Islands: The Fort is no other way accessible to the Sea-ward, but by Layes or Banks of Rocks which do encompass it; and the Town cannot be otherwise approached to, than by a small but very narrow Clascis, that is flanked with an half Moon, and two Bastions, lined with good Stone∣work; and defended with a Ditch Page 149 full of Water; they have eighteen and four and twenty Pounders mounted e∣very way upon it, and six Marine Com∣panies in Garrison. Monsieur de Blenac before his death erected a Magazine of Powder there, and a Cistern Bomb∣proof, so that the Fort is now in a Condition to withstand a whole Army.
The Town of St. Peter is pretty large,* and better peopled than that of Fort Royal; but to speak the truth of it, it's no more than one Street, a good quarter of a League in length, full of ascents and descents, and in several Places interrupted with diverse curious Rows of Orange Trees; to say nothing of a River that runs cross the middle thereof, that has excellent Water; this River comes down from a great Val∣ley, that stands behind the Town, and where may be seen a great many Sugar Plantations, that are very agree∣able to the Eye: At one end of the Town stands the Jesuits House, which is curiously Built; and at the other the Jacobins Church; where also there is a small Convent of Ʋrsulines in the mid∣dle, besides an Hospital, over which the Brethren of Charity (as they are called) have the super-intendency: Page 150 Most of the Houses there are built of Wood, but very well, and the Inha∣bitants are very Civil and Affable. France may be known there by the neatness of the People, and Martinico can boast that her Females are as hand∣some as the Women of Europe: There had been a Fort at the mouth of the River, which the Hurricans entirely ruined and levelled to the Ground; they have no more now there, than two Companies of Foot, and two Bat∣teries at both ends of the Town, consisting of eight or ten Pieces of Cannon each; but they are continually at Work there to raise new Fortifications.
The English came thither in 1693, with sixty Sail of Ships, and made a descent above the Town towards the Preacher's Point, from whence they were vigorously repulsed by the Inha∣bitants, who killed about fifteen Hun∣dred of them upon the spot, with the disadvantage of no more than twenty Killed and Wounded on their own side; and Monsieur de Blenac signalized him∣self very much upon this Occasion: He Marched in one Night from Fort Royal with two hundred Men thither, and so incouraged the Inhabitants, that it Page 151 may be said, it was almost to him alone that the Success of this Expedi∣tion was owing.
Cul-de sac de la Trinity, that stands on the other side of the Island, is much smaller, and less frequented than the other Ports; besides which, there are divers small Places on the Sea-side, where Barks and Canoes take in their Lading; so that since the taking of St. Christopher's, whose Inhabitants withdrew into other Islands, they rec∣kon Martinico to have three thousand Men bearing Arms, and above fifteen thousand Negro-Slaves.
This Island, as has been already no∣ted, is very high and so full of Mountains, that the middle part thereof cannot be in∣habited; but it's very fruitful in Sugars, where they are now refined, in Cotton, Rocou, Cinnamon, Cocoe, of which they make Chocolate, in Magniot, and the Fruits of the Country, which I have describ'd already. They have very fine sort of Wood there, especially that which they call the Gayac, of which they make Pullies, and such like things, for the King's Men of War.
These, and several other Fruits, which are transported thence into France grow Page 152 in this Country mighty well; and Sheep, Oxen, and Horses, multiply amongst them apace; and the Ships that sail thither, whether singly, or in company, to lade Sugar, carry with them Wines, Corn, Salt-meats, and all sorts of Mer∣chandizes they may have occasion for; so that a Man of an Estate can live there, as well as in France: But yet the high Scituation of the Country makes the Air unwholsome, and there are but a few Ships that go thither, whose Crew does not feel the Effects of it; and we our selves, lost about a dozen or fifteen Men, who died as it were from one Day to another, without any Symptom of being sick. The Inhabi∣tants, besides the Inconveniency of a bad Air, are much incommoded with Ants, Mousticks, and a kind of an Hand∣worm, which they call Chiques, and which fix themselves in the soles of the Feet, and are so much the more trou∣blesome and insupportable, in that they cannot be rooted out from thence, if they have once time given them to lay their Eggs there: Serpents are also very common in this Island, and creep into the very Houses, of which there are se•eral sorts, whose stinging is very Page 153 dangerous; but the Negro's find Sim∣ples there that cure them presently.
We made ready on the 13th to go and take in Wood at St. Lucia,* and from thence to return to cruise on the Coast of Barbadoes; but the Seditious had been ordered away for a Convoy to a Merchant-Ship, bound for Guada∣lupa, where she received Monsieur de Gennes his Commands, to make the best of her way for France.
On the 14th,* about Nine in the Mor∣ning, we anchored in a great Bank of Sand at St. Lucia, where a very good Port may be made, and convenient Habitations fixed. St. Lucia is of a high Scituation, covered with Wood, and rendred almost uninhabitable, by a vast Number of Serpents that are to be found there; but for all that, there are two or three Indian Carbets, or Vil∣lages, upon the place, and some French∣men, who fetch Tortoises from thence for Martinico: You will find upon the Sea-shoar, a great many Macheveliers, which is a Tree that does not grow very tall, whose Wood is very fine, and its Leaves like unto those of a Pear-tree; it bears small Apples, that are of such a Smell and Colour, as do invite Peo∣ple Page 154 to eat of them; but it's very dan∣gerous to comply with the Tempta∣tion; for there is no Antidote that can secure a Man from a speedy Death, that hath once tasted of them: The very Leaf of it makes an Ulcer upon the place it toucheth, the Dew that falls from them takes away the Skin, and the very Shadow of this Tree makes a Man swell to that degree, that it will infallibly kill him without speedy help.
On the 15th, in the Afternoon, we weigh'd Anchor, and kept pretty near the Shoar, that we might be able to get to the Coast of St. Vincent, within two Leagues of which we found our selves next Morning by break of Day: But it was three in the Afternoon before we could draw near, tho' we had a small Gale that was favourable enough; and this made us suppose that the Currents were against us; but it blowing at length, at three of the Clock, a fresh Gale, we made a little more sail, and coasted within half a League of the Island, where we saw a very fine Coun∣try, and seemingly well cultivated: The same is inhabited, on the Coast by which we passed, with twelve or fif∣teen Page 155 hundred Negro's, that fled thither from the Neighbouring Islands, and especially from Barbadoes, from whence they made their Escapes, with a favou∣rable Wind, in their Masters Canoes: But the other side is Peopled with two or three thousand Indians, who have a great Trade with those that dwell upon the River Orenoquo that is on the Continent, whither they pass in their Pirogues, as they do to all the Islands scituate in the Gulph of Mexico; and that which is very wonderful, is, That they are never overtaken with bad Weather, but that on the contrary, they are always aware of the Day wherein an Hurricane happens, a long time be∣fore the same doth come to pass.
St. Vincent is also high of Scituation, abounding in Fruits, Fowl, in Goats and Hogs. There is a very fine Port there to Lee-ward, which the Eng∣lish some Years since, would have made themselves Masters of; but the Indians prevented their making a De∣scent, with Showers of poison'd Ar∣rows, and the Assistance of the Ne∣gro's, who took Vengeance on them for all the ill Usage they had met with at the hands of that Nation.
Page 156 On the 17th we doubled that Place they call the Pomgranates, and next Day saw the Island of Tabago, which the Mareschal d' Estre took from the Dutch in 1678. after two of the sharpest En∣gagements that have been heard of; but this Island is now desolate, and serves only for a place of Retreat to Birds. About Noon we steered towards Barbadoes, which we discovered on the one and twentieth; and having a fair Wind on the 25th and 26th, we made much of our way towards Barbadoes.
On the 31th we discovered, by break of Day,* a small Vessel to Leeward, and made all the Sail we could to come up with her; and as she saw we were got near her, and that it was to no purpose to flee, she came to, and staid for us: She was a Vessel of forty Tuns, that had been three Months sailing from Bristol for the Barbadoes, and was laden with Beer, Syder, Herrings, Cheese, Butter, Hats, and several sorts of other Goods, being valued at 20000 Livres. We put eight Men on board her, and sent her away for Martinico.
Next Day, which was the first of January, 1697.* we discovered also ano∣ther Vessel, four Leagues to Wind∣ward Page 157 of us, and we bore up towards her till three in the Afternoon, but could not come up with her, which made us give o'er the Chase.
On the 6th we had a sight of Bar∣badoes. As Monsieur de Gennes, who had been sick for fifteen Days, found himself now sicker than ordinary, he thought fit to return to Martinico.* We left the Sun of Africa behind us, to cruise, which she did for five or six Days, without purchase; and we making all the Sail we could, next Day about four in the Evening discovered the Coast of St. Lucia, which we left to Lee∣ward of us; and on the 8th, about ten in the Morning, entred the Port they call Cul-de-Sac Royal: We were come very near the Fort, and ready to cast Anchor, when we met with a great Rock, that took out three of our Ship's outer Planks, without doing us any fur∣ther Damage; we quickly brought her back, and anchored a good Cannon∣shot from the Shoar; and indeed it's dangerous to get nearer, and we had good luck to come off so well.
We discharged our Prizes, and sold the Goods very well, because the Inha∣bitants, who were in daily Expectation Page 158 of the Arrival of Monsieur d' Ambli∣mont's Fleet, wanted Provisions; and it's certain they had not twenty Barrels of Meal left in the whole Island. The Free-booters had contributed very much to subsist them for the first Years of the War, by the many Prizes they had ta∣ken on the Coast of Barbadoes, St. Chri∣stopher, and the other Islands belonging to the English, but now their Merchant-ships sailed together in Fleets; and there are also some of them, who to avoid the Privateers, go to the Coast of Ta∣bago and la Trinity, and come back again to recover Barbadoes.
On the 24th we made ready to sail for the Fort of St. Peter, where we anchored on the 25th, and continued in that place till the fourth of the next Month, to take in Sugar, Cassia, and Cocoe, with which Martinico almost supplies all France: The Cassia grows in Husks about half a Foot long, upon a Tree much like unto our Walnut-tree.
The Cocoe grows no where but in moist Places,* and such as are but little exposed to the Sun; the Tree that produces it is but small, the Fruit is long and uneven, like a Cucumber; Page 159 when it is ripe they gather it, and leave it for a time to dry in the Sun; it's properly nothing else but a rind, like that of the Pomgranate, that con∣tains about five and twenty, or thir∣ty Beans, of which thy make Choco∣late.
On the 31st. we fitted out a Bri∣gantine, to sail to Barbadoes, to ex∣change the Prisoners they had made of the Crew of a small Free-booter, that had been taken in sight of Guada∣lupa.
I have a mind, before we go from hence, to relate the Adventure of our Poor Mango, who gave us continually some diversion or other; this was an old Monkey we had, belonging once to the Governour of Gambie; who was so prodigiously strong, that he broke his Chain at least once in eight Hours; and as soon as he got loose, he failed not to make a Ravage: His main Care was to get him a Dinner, and when he had fooled any poor Seaman out of his Mess, it was very pleasant to see him get up to the top of the Masts, and to jump from one Sail unto another with a dish of Rice, or a great Piece of Bacon in his Paws. If any one was Page 160 so bold as to go about to take away his prey, he threw a Cannon-ball at his Head, or what ever else came in his way; all which was nothing in comparison of the Wounds of his Teeth, which made such an Impression, that the Marks of them some times remained for the space of two Months and upwards. At last he took upon him to throw into the Sea the Wheels of an Ivory-Clock which Monsieur de Gennes had ordered to be made, and took up two Years time in the do∣ing: But this was no sooner known, than that the poor Devil was condem∣ned to have his head chopped off, and therefore he was carryed a Shoar to have the Sentence Executed upon him; but he managed his part so well, that after two or three Pistols shot at him, he broke his Cord and took to his feet; and all that Day we saw the poor Animal, as wounded as he was, run up and down along the Shoar, to seek out an opportunity to return on Board; and if he was much concerned for losing of us, we were no less to find our selves deprived of his dear Company.
Page 161 From the fourth at Night to the fifth of February,* we made ready to sail for Guadalupa. As for our Great Prize which remained at Fort Royal, to dispose of her Wood, and relade with Sugar, we left twenty Men on board of her; but for the other two Prizes, we sold them, tho' to no great advantage, because they were but small, and the Lading inconsidera∣ble.
At the Preacher's Point we met an English Prize, taken by the Merchant-ship, that entred at the same time with us into Cayenne, near St. Christo∣phers; then we Coasted St. Domingo, and on the sixth anchored very near the Shoar before Guadalupa, even in the midst of the Town, to the South-west of the Island, at the bottom of a very high Sulphurous Cavity, that casts out smoke continually, and oftentimes fire. We got our full Cargoe in less than two Days, and the Inhabitants came to intreat us with great earnestness to take off their Goods, so that we could have laden fifteen Ships in fifteen Days time.
This Island is very large, and heal∣thier than Martinico, being divided in∣to Page 162 two parts by an Arm of the Sea, called the Salt-River, by which Barks may pass up when the Tide is in; the Land is high, but fruitful in Sugar, Indico, and Cotton: Here also they have Rocou, Cassia, Cocoe, and very good Comfits. Fruits and Fowl are very common there; and they have a sort of Birds about the forementioned sul∣phurous Cavity, which they call Dia∣bolins, which are very large, and as good as Pullets; they live upon nothing else but Fish, which they vomit up to feed their Young withal, and the In∣habitants send out their Negro's to take them; but whether it be that they are not used to it, or that the Cold, or the Air of the said sulphurous Ca∣vity seizes upon them, they are taken with such a languishment upon it, that they cannot surmount without much Difficulty; they also find several boyl∣ing Fountains in this Island.
That part of the Island which stands to the Northward, because of its being larger than the other, is called The Great Land, and hath been inhabited a long time, but at present has not above an hundred Inhabitants. The other, which is known by the Name of Gua∣dalupa,Page 163 has two Companies of Foot in it, about a thousand Inhabitants fit to bear Arms, and a great Number of Negro-Slaves: The Jesuits, Jacobins, Capu∣chins and Carmelites, have their Parishes there in distinct Places, as well as in Mary-Galand, and the Island called Saints.
The Town where we cast Anchor, is the most considerable and almost the only one of the Island, being divided into two parts by a small River, which runs from behind the sulphurous Cavity we have already mentioned; it's large enough, and the greatest part of the Houses in it are built of Stone: There is a Battery of eight pieces of Cannon erected in the middle, and the same commands all the Road; and at the end thereof, upon the Bank of a swift Torrent, stands a little Fort defended by eight pieces of Cannon, and lined with good Stone-Work.
The English made a Descent upon this Place in 1691, burnt the Town, took away the Battery that stood in the middle of it; and there was none but this Fort made good by the Inha∣bitants, till Monsieur d' Ʋragny, then General of the Islands, came with three Page 164 or four Men of War, and some Mer∣chant Ships, fitted up in haste to raise the Siege; when the English re-imbarked with Precipitation; and left above two hundred Men in the Woods, to the Mercy of the French.
Between the tenth at Night, and the eleventh, we weighed Anchor, and at break of Day saw a Brigantine, that bore up towards us, when we on our part did the same in respect to her; upon which about Noon we fired three Pieces of Cannon, which made her presently alter her Course; it is like∣ly she might be some small English Privateer, that look'd after some Prey on these Coasts.
On the 12th and 13th we were ve∣ry much becalmed,* and on the 15th we discovered the Island of St. Cross, which many of our Crew were con∣fident, to be the Islands called the Virgins; for indeed at a distance it appeared to be no other than a Num∣ber of little Islands separated from one another: Here they have Sugar, Cot∣ton, and Indico, great plenty of Fowl and Swine. And Cows and Horses would have multiplied here apace: But as they were from Day to Day appre∣hensive Page 165 of the loss of this Island, they caused the Inhabitants to withdraw to St. Domingo, with all their Effects, and entirely to abandon the Place.
On the 16th by break of Day we discovered St. Thomas,* that is to Lee∣ward of all the Isles of the Virgins: It's very remarkable for many Banks, and white Towers that do surround the Port of it: Upon our approach we dis∣covered the Town, and a great For∣tress of Stone-work that defends the Entrance of it, without which rode three large Ships. This Island belong∣ed to the Danes; the Hamburghers have an Agent there, and the Product of the Place is Sugar and Indico, but no very great Quantity of either; and they would not think it worth their while to mind it, but that this does facilitate the Trade they drive in Ne∣gro's with the Spaniards of Portorico, that is about fifteen Leagues off.
About Noon we doubled the Island of St. Thomas, and left a great white Rock on the left, that looked at a di∣stance, like a Hoy under-sail: This Euripus, as I may call it, is very com∣modious for the Merchant-ships that stand in fear of the Corsairs, which they Page 166 cannot many times escape, when they sail by St. Christophers, Saba, and others of the Enemies Islands.
On the seventeenth, eighteenth, nine∣teenth and twentieth, we had a great deal of Rain and but little Wind; and on the one and twentieth, we past the Tropick of Cancer. From the twenty third to the twenty eighth we had va∣riable Winds, and very rainy Wea∣ther.
The second and third of March we had great Winds,* Rains, and foggy Weather, and the following Days we were becalmed: We found our selves parallel to the Bermudoes, but an hun∣dred and fifty Leagues distance from it, as being a Place which all the Ships that come from the Islands, take care to shun, seeing they have found by constant Experience, they must meet with bad Weather there; for the con∣trary Winds either forces them to draw near it, or to pass to Lee-ward of it.
On the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th, we had a fair Wind and moderate Weather but from the time of our leaving St. Thomas, till we came parallel with the Azores, we saw Herbs every Day Page 167 floating upon the Sea, which those who had sailed upon the Coasts of New Spain, told us came from the Channel of Bahama, from whence they were carried into the main Ocean by the rapidity of the Currents, and then dispersed over all this Sea, by the Westerly Winds that continually blow upon the Coasts of Virginia and New-England.
On the 10th we had both Winds and Rain, and the Weather was very cold; we came parallel to the Azores, and kept at an hundred and fifty Leagues distance from the Isle of Corva.
On the 11th we had very great Winds, but they blowing of us on∣ward in our way, we were easily brought to acquiesce with them.
Very early on the 12th in the Mor∣ning, the Winds blew very hard, the Heavens were all over-cast, and the Sea grew very boisterous and terrible, and it was with very great Difficulty that we could carry low Sails: We had a Foot of Water in the Hole, but we could not use our Pumps; the Waves were as high as our Masts, and came in upon us on all sides: And in this dangerous pickle Page 168 we continued all the Day: But about ten at Night the Winds began to al∣lay, and on the thirteenth we re∣joned the Sun of Africa, which the bad Weather had separated from us the Day before, and whose Gallery had been swept away by a great Wave.
On the sixteenth, being come paral∣lel to Cape Finister, we made all the Sail we could to get a sight of it; and next Day, at five in the Even∣ing, we saw a small Vessel two Leagues to Windward of us, and which we believed was bound for the Bank of New-found-Land: But on this, and the two succeeding Days, we had Hail, Rain, and very cold Winds.
On the nineteenth we discovered a pretty large Ship three Leagues to Leeward, whom we chased for four Hours, but could not come up with her.
And on the twentieth, by break of Day, we found another within two Cannon-shot of us, which made us put out all our Sails, and give her chase, which continued for seven hours: But as we had but little Wind, we could not come up with Page 169 her, and so we resumed our Course again.
From the two and twentieth to the 27th, the Weather was very hazy; and for six Days together, we saw neither Sun, Moon, nor Stars, and had but very little Wind.
On the 17th we saw three Ships to Windward of us, which we did not think convenient to look after, seeing our Provision was now almost spent, and that it was our Interest to improve our time well; and this same Night, we beheld a Rain-bow cross the Heavens, which, without recei∣ving any Reflection from the Stars, that were very much over-cast, had a very lively red Colour.
The 28th, 29th, and 30th, we had favourable Winds, and fine moderate Weather.
But now the first Day of the Month of April being come,* the Wind chopp'd about all of a sudden, and came con∣trary; at what time we accounted our selves not above fifty Leagues from Cape Finister: Next Day the Winds bare hard upon us, and disabled us to make the Cape.
Page 170 But on the fourth and fifth they began to allay, and proved fair enough; and next Day, at seven in the Mor∣ning, we discovered about a League from us to Leeward, a pretty large Ship, which we chased all Night long, gained much upon her, and had it not been for a Fog that fell for two Hours, by favour of which she sail∣ed away, she had certainly given us either Bullets or Bread, which last we now most wanted, all our Provisions being spent, and the Winds still con∣trary.
On the eighth we saw Pewets, and other Sea-birds, who are never seen very far from the Shoar; next Day being the ninth, we met with a sort of little Sparrows, who passed over our Sail-yards without resting them∣selves; and this was an infallible sign unto us, that we were not far from Land.
On the 12th at break of Day, we descry'd two Ships at a League's di∣stance from us, but we could not come up with them, our Ships being too foul, too full of Herbs and Shell∣work, to think of gaining upon Vessels newly careened, as we apprehended these to be.
Page 171 On the 13th we saw several Birds that waited as well as we, for a fa∣vourable Wind to put them a-shoar; next Day the Wind was boisterous, and we had much Rain, Hail and melt∣ing Snow: And we lost Company with the Sun of Africa in a Fog, who not observing the Signal, sailed away, while we were setting our Round-tops, that were displaced, in order again.
On the 15th the Wind being some∣what allay'd, and the Weather clear∣ing up, about break of Day we saw five Ships, three to the Star-board, and two to the Lar-board; but we were not in a Condition to go and look after any them.
By the sixteenth our Provision was all spent,* and we necessitated to use the Sugar and Cocoe of the Merchants, to make Chocolate for the Ships Crew; which is a Liquor that is of a very nourishing nature, and might serve instead of Victuals; but our Seamen, who were not accustomed to it, did not like it at all, and said it made their heads giddy.
On the 17th at Sun rising, we thought we had the sight of the Tower of Cor∣dovan, but our joy was short-lived, and Page 172 this Tower was all of a sudden Trans∣formed into a Ship.
At last on the 18th, after a traverse of sixty seven Days, we sounded and found a Bottom, and were come parallel to Pertuis de Maumusson, about twenty Leagues distance from the Shoar: On the ninteenth we had but a small Wind.
But on the 20th we discovered Roche∣bonne, which is fifteen Leagues wide of Pertuis d' Antioch; the Sea, tho' very even, proved now to be broken and violent: About Noon we saw four Ships, and they Steered the same Course with us. Soon after we discovered the Steeple of God's-Island, about five in the the Evening, the Whale-Tower in the Isle of Rhee, and at Night we came to an Anchor, to wait for the Tide.
On the 21st we weigh'd, and by break of Day we found our selves within two Cannon-shot of four Ships, which we had seen the Day before, which made us put out French Colours: They did the like, and we sent our Canoe on board them, to know what news from France: They happened to be a Bark of the Isle of Oleron, and Page 173 three St. Malo Men, half men of War, and half Merchants, who were going to take in Salt in the Isle of Rhee, and from thence to fish on the bank of New-found-Land: They gave us six Baskets of Bread, one Barrel of Ba∣con, and some Beer, which a little refreshed our men. The St. Malo men passed by Pertuis Breton, and we by that of Antioch, and so on till a∣bout Midnight, we cast Anchor be∣fore Rochelle, where we found the Sun of Africa, who was got into that Port two Days before us.