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The Shipping Gazette and Sydney general trade list; 1844
From the digitised version of the Sydney Shipping Gazette found at the National Library of Australia website.

Mar 23 to May 25 | Jun 01 to Aug 10 | Aug 24 to Oct 05 | Oct 12 to Dec 21

This page is a companion to Ships to Australia 1844 and contains the longer shipping related news items extracted from the Shipping Gazette, and arranged by date of publication. Many thanks to Lina Moffitt for these contributions.

Volume 1, Number 23 - 24 August, 1844

THE BONIN ISLANDS
To the Editor of the United Service Gazette

Sir—Whilst the present discussions are pending with regard to Tahiti, the Marquesas, and other Islands of the Pacific; may I be permitted to draw your attention to a small, but valuable (though little known) settlement, which happens to be the only bona fide British possession in those seas. I allude to the Bonin, or Arzobispo Islands, situated in lat. 27° 5’N and long. 142° 11’E.

About 8 years ago, while a midshipman on board Her Majesty’s sloop Raleigh, I had the pleasure of visiting them, the Raleigh having been dispatched from India for that express purpose; we found residing on the largest island of the group about forty-five men, women and children, the chief part of the men being British subjects, and the two principal settlers old men-of-war’s men; the women were all natives of the Sandwich Islands. The Island of Bonin, in addition to other natural advantages, possesses a large and secure harbour, with good holding ground for chain cables, there being much coral. At the bottom of the harbour is a basin called the “Hole”, where ships of large burden might heave down to the rocks in case of necessity, in 10 or 12 fathoms water. The anchorage is surrounded by hills, the streams descending from which afford an abundant supply of good water. The sides of the hills are thickly wooded and contain iron ores; a small quantity of sandalwood is to be found. The Soil is extremely fertile and produces musk and water melons, Indian corn, and sweet potatoes, in as great perfection as any place I have ever been at. The island also abounds in wild pigs, great numbers of which have been caught and tamed by the inhabitants and, together with the salted turtle, form their chief articles of trade with the whaling ships, a great of number of which resort to this island to refit and supply themselves with provisions, it being situated at no great distance from their whaling ground (which in itself would render it a desirable possession in time of war).

These vessels, however, cause at times considerable annoyance to the settlers, by occasionally leaving some of the worst hands behind them; during our stay they repeatedly complained of the injury they sustained from this practice, and expressed an earnest wish to have some Government authority on the island. This group was first surveyed and taken possession of by Capt Beechey in Her Majesty’s ship Blossom, on which occasion he nailed a sheet of copper with an inscription engraved on it, to a tree. The inscription, however, has since been removed to the doorway of the principal settler’s house. During our stay in the Raleigh, Capt M Quin erected a flag staff in front of the village on the starboard side entering the harbour, on which occasion I had the honour of hoisting the Union Jack. The houses are all built of wood, but well finished and clean interiorally. All the settlers appeared to be comfortable and well off, and had a considerable quantity of money in their possession. Unfortunately they had no craft belonging to them except canoes, a circumstance much to be regretted, as their inability to procure supplies of tools &c had greatly retarded the improvement of this little colony.

I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, H D Blanckley, Mate, R.N., 27 Duke street, Grosvenor square, March 4.

THE DREDGING MACHINE—An offer has been made by the owner of the Corsair to tow the dredging machine to Newcastle free of expense in order that she might be engaged in deepening the channel thence to Morpeth. This would enable steamers to be engaged in the Hunter River trade of a greater draft of water than those at present running.

THE CUTTER “ELIZABETH”—The account of this vessel being lost at Broulee was incorrect, as she arrived on Tuesday with a full cargo of potatoes. The report originated from her having touched the bar coming out when she carried away the pintal of her rudder but sustained no further damage.

LOSS OF THE SCHOONER “ISABELLA”—The brig Dorset, upon her arrival at Adelaide reported the following wreck, having been boarded by some of the crew belonging to the vessel:-- “The schooner Isabella, of Hobart Town, Hayes, master, was wrecked on 23rd June in a bay a little to the NW of Cape Buffon, in lat. 35° 37’ south, long. 140° 12’ east, where she was lying whaling in company with the Prince of Denmark of Hobart Town. The Isabella parted from her cables during a heavy westerly gale and drove immediately on shore. The Prince of Denmark also parted after the gale had subsided, but was got underweigh and kept so until the sea went down sufficiently to allow them to pick their anchors up. The Isabella is a complete wreck, but the crew had saved everything moveable, and were living on shore. They had mated with those of the Prince of Denmark, but both vessels had only procured three fish, one of which had yielded by their account sixteen tuns. They had seen many whales, but the weather had been so boisterous they could not capture them. They expected to leave for Hobart Town on or about the 20th August. The natives on his unfrequented part of the coast were very sociable, but much addicted to thieving.

WHALING NEWS—The Genii has suffered some loss in boats, and Capt Long recently had his collar-bone fractured by a blow from a whale. On the 26th June, a large whale was sighted, and three boats were lowered. After a long chase, and just before sunset, the whale was struck, but unfortunately it immediately stove the boat from which the iron had been thrown. The crew were picked up by one of the other boats, Captain Long pulled up and fastened, but another stroke from the whale’s tail destroyed this boat also. The third boat received the other two crews, and night having come on, the whale was fastened to the boat which had been first stove and a lantern fixed upon it. Unfortunately the whale was lost, in consequence of the light being extinguished. On the 18th July another whale was fastened to, and another boat destroyed; and on this occasion occurred the accident above mentioned, namely, the fracture of Captain Long’s collar-bone. Four of the crew were also injured so much as to have confined them to their berths ever since. We understand that the owners of the Genii have given orders for her to come on to Sydney from Port Stephens to discharge her cargo.

The Blundell will commence taking in her horses for Calcutta on Monday next. She has also tendered to take on the remaining detachment of the 80th regt.

ÆOLIAN SEA SIGNALS—Another method of applying the waves of the sea has been recently contrived, which promises more practical results than the propelling scheme. The object is to make the breakers on a dangerous coast serve as their own warning signals to sailors. The inventor proposes to have hollow buoys moored near the dangerous coast or sand bank, to which buoys with pipes, somewhat like organ pipes, are to be affixed. Tongues, on the principle of accordions, are to be fitted to the pipes, so that when the buoys are tossed up and down by the breakers the air may be forced through and cause them to utter warning sounds, which would become louder and louder as the sea raged more fiercely and the danger increased.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CURING AND PACKING SALTED HIDES FROM NEW SOUTH WALES—The hides as soon as they are taken off should be well washed, and laid open in piles of about 40 hides for a few hours, for the water &c to drain from them, then to be put into a strong bring for three days, and afterwards to be rolled separately up with hair inside, first sprinkling and rubbing in a few pounds of good fine salt on each hide; each hide to be well tied up to prevent the salt escaping. Salted hides from NSW are often much injured, in consequence of being cut in flaying, and it is particularly recommended that they should be carefully flayed—Culverwell and Brook’s circular.

Volume 1, Number 24 - 31 August, 1844
THE “HARRIETT”, WHALER, OF LONDON
Some time ago we had some intelligence via Tahiti of an attack made by the natives of one of the South Sea Islands on the above vessel, the result of which was, that the crew were slaughtered and the vessel destroyed. In the London Times of April 19 we find a full account of the massacre as well as the means by which the particulars had been obtained, which were furnished to that paper by Capt Harnmer of the whaling barque Sussex, just then received. It appears that on the 30th April 1843 the Sussex, requiring water, touched at the Island of Quallan, in long. 162° E, lat. 6°, better known amongst seamen as Strong’s Island. There were at the time lying at anchor three American and one Canadian whalers and from these Capt Harnmer received information that the wreck of an English whaler, named the Harriett of London, was lying within the harbour in eight fathoms of water. Portions of the log-book, and parts of the wreck had been recovered, which established the identity of the wreck. More information was obtained from the natives, and the consequence was that the wreck was discovered burnt to the water’s edge.

No satisfactory account could be procured from the chiefs of the island; but from the women, the following particulars were gleaned: The Harriett had put into the island for wood and water and the intercourse between her crew and the natives was apparently carried on in the usual friendly manner. A deep plot, however, seems to have been laid by the natives, which was at the same time wholly unsuspected by Capt Bunker. One day, shortly after their arrival, the captain and the surgeon went ashore shooting—two boats’ crews being engaged collecting wood and one in taking in water. Out of a crew of twenty-seven to thirty persons, only five remained on board the ship and this fact doubtless being observed by the natives who were anxiously watching an opportunity, they simultaneously attacked the different parties, killing each almost instantaneously. Resistance would appear to have been hopeless; for, although the island is not more than 27 miles in circumference, it is very thickly populated, and from 300 to 400 natives were frequently seem on the shore at one time by Capt Rounds. The five persons who were on board ship at the time observed the attack on their comrades and, seeing a number of canoes putting off towards the vessel they hastily embarked in a boat and have not since been heard of, the probability being that, as Strong’s Island is situated at a long distance from any other, they also must have perished in the course of the few following days. In the course of Capt Round’s investigations on the island, he fortunately discovered four or five leaves of the Harriett’s log, from which it appeared that the ship had recently been to Port Jackson for the purpose of undergoing some repairs and the captain had made an entry to the effect that he had had some trouble with his crew.

Finding all their endeavors fail to procure more information, the several ships alluded to bore up and stood away from the island together—parting company some days subsequently. The Harriett was the property of Messrs, Boulcott, of Paul’s-wharf, London. She left England in June 1839 and has consequently been absent nearly five years. No tidings had been heard of her during the last 18 months and her owners had recently effected an additional insurance of £1500, making a total of £7500. Many of her crew left her at Sydney, whose places were supplied by others; it is therefore impossible to give the names of those lost correctly.

SUBMARINE PLOUGH—A submarine plough, for removing sandbanks in shallow waters, is said to have been constructed by Dr Eddy of Cincinnati, somewhat on the principle of the Archimedean screw, boring up the sand at one end, and passing it through the screw to be discharged at the other extremity.—
Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal.

 
Volume 1, Number 27 - 21 September, 1844

TAHITI
We were favoured a few days since with a copy of the Journal de Tahiti, a French lithographed paper, published hebdomadally at the French Government Lithographic Office at Tahiti. This paper is clearly the organ of the French Government. We give below a free translation of an article which appeared in the Journal on Sunday 11th July.

“At the moment we had placed the first and fourth pages of the Journal on the press, Her Britannic Majesty’s corvette the Carysfort, commanded by Lord Paulet, presented herself before the reefs which close the harbour of Papeite. The Carysfort, without entering, saluted the flag of the Commandant, and the French frigate Uranie returned the salute. At the same time the Governor received a visit from Lord Paulet. This vessel has brought private letters from France via Panama up to the 26th February but not a single dispatch for the Governor, nor a single newspaper. The Governor, however, has received a letter from the officer commanding of the ships of HM Louis Philippe, stationed in the Southern Seas, which states that a French paper received at Valparaiso contained the intelligence that the whaler Elizabeth, which left Tahiti in the first half of the month of November last, taking information to His Majesty’s Government of the motives which had compelled Admiral Du Petit Thouars to transform the Protectorate at Tahiti into taking possession of the island had performed the voyage from Papeite to Havre in 95 days. This same paper of the 29th February stated that after the receipt of the dispatches, His Majesty had declared that he would not accept the taking of possession, but would adhere to the terms of the protectorate in every particular. We repeat that the Governor has received no dispatch from the Government; nevertheless, after reading the letter which had been written to him from Valparaiso, he hastened to send the chief officer of his staff on board the British ketch Basilisk, with a letter for Pomare, in which he informed her of the state of affairs, and invited her forthwith to land. This letter was translated to Pomare in presence of the chief officers of the Governor’s staff, and of the commanders of Her Britannic Majesty’s ships Carysfort and Basilisk. Pomare replied, that she would not land at Tahiti and that she should go to Borabora, and wait there the final settlement of affairs. The course pursued by the Governor in this instance is another proof of the good faith which has regulated all the proceedings of the Government. Europe will soon know, on seeing the official reports which have been sent home from Tahiti since the month of November last, that nothing whatever has been done here which it was not absolutely necessary to do.

 
Volume 1, Number 28 - 28 September, 1844

CAST-IRON LIGHTHOUSE
The attention of the curious for sometime past has been directed to an immense iron building which has been progressing under the auspices of its builders, Messrs Cottam and Hallen, iron founders of the Cornwall-road, Lambeth. It is to be a lighthouse made entirely of cast iron, one of the first that has ever been constructed. It is composed of 130 iron plates, averaging eight feet by six, and an inch and a quarter thick. These plates, ten of which make a circumference, are connected together by wrought-iron bolts, screws and sheet-iron the interstices being filled up with cement. Its diameter at the base is 24 feet, gradually decreasing to a width of 14 feet at the top, where is surmounted by a gallery 20 feet wide, which is encircled by iron railings four feet high. In the center of this gallery is the lantern, surmounted by a cone eight feet high, and which is also made of cast iron. Its total altitude is 137 feet. The top of the building is gained by a staircase of iron fixed to the sides. The structure is divided into 9 chambers, the floors and ceilings of which are made of sheet iron fastened to the sides, and to a cast iron pillar which goes to the top of the building. It is lighted by windows 18 inches square, and glazed with strong plate glass. Its total weight is about 300 tons. It is to be fixed on one of the Bermuda islands, on a rock 250 feet high, consequently its total height, from the sea to the top of the lantern will be 387 feet.

________________________________

STATISTICS OF THE SANDWICH ISLANDS

Population and Extent—The Kingdom of Hawaii, or the Sandwich Islands, consists of eight islands, of which the extent and population will appear by the following table.

 
Miles in
Area in
Population
 
Length
Breadth
sq miles
in 1836
Hawaii
88
73
4000
39,364
Maai [Maui]
48
30
620
24,199
Lanai
17
19
100
1,200
Molokai
40
7
190
6,000
Kahoolawe
11
8
60
80
Oahu
46
25
530
27,809
Kauai
22
24
500
8,934
Niihau
20
7
90
993
     
6090
108,578

The population, contrary to that of most other countries, appears to be on the decrease rather than the increase, and has continued so from the time the island was first discovered up to the present period, notwithstanding the many exertions that have of late been made to check the evil. When Captain Cook visited the islands he estimated the gross population at 400,000; but as he only arrived at his estimate by the number of persons he saw at each of the ports he visited, it is probable that it may have been somewhat exaggerated. The census of 1823, however, showed a population of 142,050 and that of 1832 - 130,313, thus proving that the progress of depopulation up to a recent period was still considerable; although from the attention now directed by the Hawaiian Government to this point some diminution of this rapid decrease may be effected.

CLIMATE—The port of Honolulu, which may be taken as furnishing a sufficient test of the climate throughout the group is situated in lat. 21° 18’ north, and long. 158° 1’ west from Greenwich. It is salubrious in the first degree, and although warm, the temperature is remarkably regular throughout the year—the thermometer ranging almost at all times from 70° to 80°. The prevailing winds are the trades, which blow more or less throughout the whole year.

PRODUCTIONS—The islands are capable of producing arrowroot, cotton, castor oil, coffee, silk, indigo, tobacco, turmeric, rice &c to a considerable extent; but hitherto little capital has been devoted to the cultivation of these articles. About 600 tons of sugar and 80,000 gallons of molasses are produced yearly—chiefly through the enterprising exertions of one American house—Messrs Ladd and Co. The yearly produce of kukui, or paint-oil, is about 10,000 gallons. Cattle, hogs, horses, sheep and goats are abundant and rapidly multiplying. Most of the necessaries of life are cheap and good.

GOVERNMENT—The Government of the Sandwich Islands is a monarchy, and the present sovereign is his Hawaiian Majesty Kamehameha III by whom and in whose name all public business is transacted. The legislative power is vested in the King and an assemblage of the Chiefs, forming a species of Parliament. There are but few executive officers, and the principal of them is Dr Judd, who is the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and exercises in the Treasury and other Financial departments. Each of the islands is provided with a distinct Governor who is styled “His Excellency”; and by a recent proclamation of the King (bearing date the 9th March last) John Record, Esq, an attorney and counselor of the Supreme Court of the United States of America has been appointed the Attorney-General of the Hawaiian Islands.

LAWS—The rules and regulations most important to be known by a stranger are, first: that the captain, supercargo, or agent of every vessel is required to present a correct manifest before landing any goods, under a penalty of forfeiting one-fourth of the goods otherwise landed; and secondly, that all boats and seamen are required to return tot heir ships at nine o’clock pm when the first gun is fired from the fort. A penalty of $2 is enforced upon every seaman seized on shore after this hour.

The Quarantine laws are very stringent, the penalty of death being provided for any willful violation of them, whereby a contagious disease is communicated to the shore. For any minor breach of these laws, the penalty is a fine of $1000, and for refusing obedience to the health officer on any matter connected with them, the penalty is a fine of $500. The following penalties are also enforced: $10 on any ship throwing rubbish into the harbour, for the first offence; $20 for the second and then the fine is doubled for every repetition of the same offence. $400 for taking on board any native without the written permission of the Governor, $400 for taking away any prisoner, and the latter to be returned. $60 on any captain who leaves on shore any of his men, without leave in writing from the Governor. $200 on any captain of a vessel touching for repair or refreshments, who does not first render in writing a clear and explicit account of what he intends to purchase and how and in what articles he is to pay for the same. $100 in every vessel which leaves the port without a certificate of clearance. $10 for coming on shore with a knife, sword-cane or any other dangerous weapon. $10 on every person who aids, secretes, or entertains a seaman on shore, after that hour; and the same fine on every person who, by force, opposes the police in their search for such seaman. $1 to $5 for hallooing or making a noise in the streets at night. $6 for striking another in a quarrel. $5 for racing or swift riding in the streets or frequented roads. Fines are likewise imposed for drunkenness, desecration of the Sabbath and every other species of immoral conduct in proportion to the nature of the offence, and the frequency of its repetition on the part of the offender.

REVENUE—The net revenue of the kingdom, in 1842, was about $35,000; in 1843, it was $50,000; and under wise laws to promote agriculture and population is is susceptible of great and rapid increase. The public debt does not exceed $30,000; the interest upon the whole averages about 12% and is regularly paid. 10% of the rents for lands are appropriated for the redemption of the debt. The whole public expenditure is under $45,000; but some of the salaries require to be much increased, and the government desires to establish a regular mail communication with Europe and America, via San Blas, which will demand a considerably yearly outlay. The accounts of the treasury, since that department was placed under the superintendence of Dr Judd, have been kept by double entry, in the native language, by native clerks, with great clearness and regularity.

CURRENCY—The coins most current are the Spanish or Spanish American, namely; dollars, half-dollars, quarter-dollars, rials and half-rials; but the undermentioned foreign coins are also taken in payment:

 
Gold
 
Silver
 
Dls.
Cts.
   
Dls.
Cts.
Doubloon at
16
0
  Shilling at
0
25
Eagle at
10
0
  Francs 5 at
1
0
Guinea at
4
50
  Rix dollars of Hamb.
1
0
Sovereign at
4
50
  Ruble at
0
75
Napoleon at
4
0
  Rupee at
0
50
Ducat of       Rix dollar of Denmark
1
0
Holland at
2
0
  Rix dollar of Holland
1
0

Other foreign coins will also be received, and the value relatively to the dollar determined by weight. The amount of money in actual circulation in Honolulu, is thought not to amount to 50,000 dollars; but it is believed as much more exists, in deposit, to be used for speculative purposes, when suitable occasions offer. The amount of bills yearly negotiated for supplies to whalers and ships of war is variously estimated at from 137,000 to 200,000 dollars; and the rates of exchange are extremely high. The rates of 4s. 10d. on Navy bills on London, and of 120 for 100 dollars, on New York and Paris, are not unusual. The legal interest for money is one per cent. Per annum.

COMMERCE—The commerce of the Port of Honolulu for the year 1843 was as follows:

 
Value of goods
Amount of
Vessels
consumed ($.c.)
duties paid ($.c.)
25 American
109,297.88
3,520.93
9 British
37,849.08
1,164.32
4 French
2,931.60
148.58
1 Spanish
4,559.89
136.80
1 German
2,026.76
60.80
Received from sundry ships for transit duties
239.31
Total
156,665.21
5,270.74

As all whalers are allowed to sell goods to the amount of $200 each, without paying any duty whatever, it is thought that $15,000 may be fairly added for goods introduced under that privilege, bring the yearly consumption of goods in Honolulu to $171,565.

Sugar 1,145,010 lbs at 4 cents
$45,800
Molasses, 64,320 gallons at 2 cents
12,864
Kukui oil, 8,620 gallons at 40 cents
3,448
Bullock hides, 10,686 at 2 dollars each
21,372
Goat skins, 29,800 at 18 cents each
5,364
Arrowroot, 35,140 lbs at 4 cents per lb
1,405
Mustard seed, 39,700 lbs, at 2 ½ cents per lb
992
Total value of exports
$91,245

SHIPPING—The number of whaling and merchant vessels arriving at the port of Honolulu, in each year during the last 20 years was:--

Year
No. of arrivals
1824
96
1825
56
1826
145
1827
106
1828
151
1829
144
1830
133
1831
118
1832
155
1833
135
1834
142
1835
108
1836
112
1837
99
1838
99
1839
44
1840
78
1841
92
1842
125
1843
166

Of these arrivals about three-fourths had been vessels employed in the South Sea Whale Fisheries, which came to the islands for refreshments; and of these whaling vessels nearly fourt-fifths were American. The great difference which appears in the number of arrivals of various years appears to be mainly attributable to the falling off in the number of whalers, in consequence of the fishery having ceased of late years to be so productive as it formerly was. The arrival of trading vessels have been pretty uniform; but these, like the whalers, appear to have been principally under the American flag. Till of late years the Sandwich Islands have been rarely visited by ships of war; the number of these vessels visiting the islands between the years 1825 and 1840 having seldom exceeded one or two in each year; but in 1840 there were five arrivals, consisting of a French ship, and the four vessels forming the exploring squadron of the United States under Commodore Wilks. In 1841 there were eleven arrivals, consisting of ten Americans and one British. In 1842 there were two arrivals, one French and one American. And in 1843 there were nine arrivals, viz five British and four Americans.

HARBOUR DUES—The following are the harbour dues payable at the Port of Honolulu, viz:--20 cents per ton on merchant vessels; 6 cents per ton, on whale ships and merchants vessels entering for the purpose of obtaining refreshments only; $2 for the use of the buoys; $1 for certificate of clearance; $1 per foot pilotage for taking a vessel in or out. No harbour dues are exacted of a vessel having a Hawaiian register, or of a vessel belonging to a resident foreigner who has taken the oath of allegiance. A vessel owned bo a foreigner who has n ot taken the oath of allegiance, but who resides permanently on shore, in the occupation of a dwelling-house or shop, pays only one-half of the usual dues.

DUTIES—The only import duty is three per cent ad valorem which is levied upon all goods indiscriminately; but goods are allowed to be transshipped or re-exported on payment of a duty of one half per cent ad valorem, or where the duty has been previously paid, a drawback of two and a half per cent is allowed. There is no export duty on any of the productions of the islands, and the duty formerly levied upon the exportation of gold and silver was abolished as injurious to commerce, by a law passed for that purpose on the 28th April 1843.

RELIGION AND EDUCATION—It is by the zeal and exertions of the Protestant missionaries that the Sandwich Islands have been redeemed from heathenism, and raised to a level among the civilized nations of the earth. On the 1st April 1843 there were in all 23 churches having 23,804 regular or standing members; and nearly one half of the present adult population have been taught to read in the schools which the missionaries have established. Copies of the Scriptures and various religious works, both in the English and Hawaiian languages, are printed for sale and gratuitous distribution, the circulation of which has naturally a tendency to produce much good. There are about 20,000 children at present in the various minor schools throughout the islands, where reading, writing, geography and the simpler rules of arithmetic are taught. The missionaries have also established male and female seminaries, where the higher branches of education are taught; and there are three boarding schools---one at Honolulu for the young chiefs, and two others at Hawaii, one for males, having about 60 scholers, and the other for females, having about 25 scholars. The principal agents of all these improvements, as well as of the improvement in the commerce of the islands, have been the Americans.

NEWSPAPERS—There are 2 journals established here—the Polynesian, and the Friend of Temperance and Seamen. The latter of these is conducted under the auspices of the Rev. Samuel C Damon, Seamen’s Chaplain; and it is from various numbers of this journal that the above statistics have been compiled.
 
Volume 1, Number 29 -5 October, 1844
THE “JUNO”, WHALER, charge of insubordination, revolt and conspiracy

The Police Court was employed for about five hours on Saturday last, investigating a charge of insubordination, revolt, and conspiracy, preferred by Captain Hayes of the whaling barque Juno, against eleven of the crew of the said vessel. Mr John Dillon, who conducted the case for the prosecution, commenced the proceedings by an address to the Bench, in which he pointed out the necessity of protecting ship-owners and the officers in command of vessels belonging to this port, from having their interests sacrificed by the unlawful conduct of the men on board their vessels at sea, particularly those engaged in the whaling trade. He then gave an outline of the charge against the men before the Court, which, as it came out in the evidence, was as follows:-- In the early part of the year, the barque Juno, Captain Hayes, sailed from Sydney on a whaling voyage having on board a crew of upwards of thirty men. On the 6th ultimo, when within a few days’ sail of Twofold Bay, one of the prisoners, named Morris, was washing the decks about seven o’clock in the morning, and when the Captain appeared on deck, commenced grumbling very loudly about having to wash the deck at that time; on which the Captain spoke to him on the impropriety of using such language, when Morris became very insolent, on which he was ordered to go forward and scrape the top-gallant forecastle, as a punishment for his insolence; but instead of doing as ordered, he went below and refused to come up when the Chief Officer called him.

The Captain and Chief Mate then went below to compel him to come up and go to his work, when Morris seized a broad axe and threatened to use it against them if either the one or the other of them endeavoured to lay hands on him; and at the same instant, all the other prisoners began abetting him, and stating their determination to resist his being interfered with in any way; and one of them, a man of colour, threatened with his clenched fist, to strike the first who laid hands on Morris. The whole of them were then ordered on deck to assist in getting the vessel put in order, as there was a great deal to do to her, in consequence of her having been subjected to several days’ bad weather before the row with Morris began; but all of them peremptorily refused to do anything whatever to assist the rest of the crew in working the vessel. In consequence of this determination they were confined below, and orders given for no more rations to be given to them, except bread and water, till they returned to their duty; but they persisted in demanding rations, at the same time refusing to work; and carried their insubordination so far, that the Captain was under the necessity of allowing them to be on deck during the day time.

The Chief Officer was also directed to inform them, that if they would return to duty all would be forgiven; but they persisted in refusing to do any duty, assigning as a reason that their rations were not served out to them; the Chief Officer then told them that the instant they resumed their duty their rations would be given them, and a quantity was even served out, and they were ordered to hand along some water; but after getting the rations, they again declined to work.

Under these circumstances, Captain Hayes felt himself necessitated to bear up for the nearest port, Twofold Bay, where the agent of Mr Boyd, the owner, went on board and gave them the alternative of leaving the vessel there, or being brought on to Sydney as prisoners, on board the Juno, to have the matter investigated. They preferred coming to Sydney, and as there were neither arms nor irons on board, they were secured and kept in irons by the agent’s order until the vessel left the bay, the irons were however taken off within 24 hours of the vessel getting under sail; and on her arrival in Sydney, they were handed over to the police. Mr Brenan, who appeared for the prisoners, before the case was called on, applied to have the prisoners admitted to bail, and to have it postponed till Monday; but the Court considered the charge as one of too serious a nature to allow any of the prisoners bail, until it was investigated.

The defence set up by the cross-examination of the Captain and the Chief Officers, the only witnesses examined, was that while the vessel was at New Zealand, one of the crew, a Frenchman, had been subjected to corporal punishment; but, in explanation, it was sworn that the cause of his being punished was getting drunk and embezzling the ship’s stores; another defence set up was, that of being overworked; but it was sworn that merely the work necessary to be done had been directed to be done, in consideration of the fatigue the men were subjected to in the boats in searching the bays for whales. The only other defence set up was, that bad provisions had been served out; but the Captain and Mate both swore that when these were complained of, others, without limitation, were served out instead of what had been damaged.

Mr Dillon having stated that, in his opinion he had adduced sufficient evidence to authorize the Bench in committing the prisoners; when the Bench enquired whether he had any evidence to prove that the prisoners had endeavoured to solicit any of the other men on board to join them, so as to make out the charge of conspiracy. Mr Dillon, in reply, stated that he had; but he thought that the case for committal was so clear, that he did not deem it necessary to bring the witnesses forward; but if the Bench deemed it requisite, he would have evidence to prove that part of the charge to the satisfaction of the Bench. The Bench deemed it necessary that evidence of the conspiracy should be adduced. Mr Windeyer enquired of Mr Brenan whether he claimed to be heard for the prisoners, as a matter of right, or as a favour. Mr Brenan replied, that he wished to be heard, in order to save the time of the Court; as, although he could only be heard by sufferance, yet each of the prisoners had a right to be heard, which the Bench could not deprive them of.

Mr Windeyer admitted the truth of Mr Brenan’s statement; but reminded him that it was the practice of the Bench, when a prima facia case for committal was made out before it, to inform prisoners and their advocates, that they might reserve what they had to say until they appeared before another Court, which generally saved more time than hearing a single advocate. The Bench then ordered the prisoners to be remanded till Tuesday. Mr Brenan applied to have the prisoners admitted to bail; but the Bench refused the application, on the ground that the charges of which evidence had already been given, and that of which evidence was promised to be adduced on Tuesday, if substantiated would probably be followed by consequences of a much more serious nature than the prisoners contemplated. They were then remanded in custody of the police.

The case was closed on Tuesday, by the examination of the third mate and three of the crew, in order to prove that the prisoners had advised others of the crew to give up working until they, the prisoners were released. After the case was closed; Mr Dillon stated that Mr Robinson, for Mr Boyd, had instructed him to apply to have the case summarily disposed of, as if this was possible, Mr Boyd did not wish to press the case further against the prisoners than what was necessary for demonstrating to seamen the state of the law, and to give warning to others that if they ventured to act as the prisoners had done, that the law was stringent enough to punish them for it; what had weighed most with his client in bringing the case before the Court to the extent he had done, was the necessity of affording protection to the commercial interests of the port. By the disobedient and disorderly conduct of the prisoners, the owners of the Juno had already been subjected to a loss of upwards of £1500, and if the case was much longer delayed that loss would be greatly augmented, as it was necessary if the case was to go before the Supreme Court, that the depositions should be forwarded with as little delay as possible to the Attorney General, otherwise a delay of three months would be caused by the case standing over till January criminal sessions.

Mr Windeyer did not consider that the Bench had any power to deal summarily with a felony, which was the charge against the prisoners. It was one of those offences until the late mitigation of the law subjected offenders to the punishment of death and now if convicted they would be punished by transportation or imprisonment. As the case stood at present, the Court would adjourn till Wednesday, in order to hear Mr Brenan for the prisoners, on the subject of bail, for as at present advised, the Court might be of opinion that there were such differences of guilt against the prisoners that to some bail might be allowed but refused to others. As to delay, it was not likely to take place, because for anything yet shown before the Court, the whole of the depositions might in 24 hours be in the hands of the Attorney General who would have ample time to get the case brought on for trial before the Criminal Court which sits next week. The prisoners were then remanded till Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Mr Brenan appeared on behalf of the prisoners, and in an address, which lasted about an hour and a half, contended that no charge of revolt had been made out against them; that the utmost of the charge was that they had been guilty of insubordination, and that only by allowing that they had disobeyed the lawful commands of the captain, who he contended, had not exercised due caution, nor displayed such prudence as a captain of a vessel, situated as he was, ought to have exhibited. There was nothing in the evidence which showed that the prisoners contemplated piracy, which was the amount of the charge against them. In order to show the law of the case, Mr Brenan cited largely from Tomlin’s Law Dictionary, Abbott on Shipping and the sixth volume of Carrington and Payne’s Reports, and submitted that the proper mode of punishing them was by mulcting them of their wages; moreover, he offered to stake his existence that if they were committed no conviction would take place. The Court did not consider it necessary to hear Mr Dillon in reply and committed all the prisoners to take their trial for endeavouring to excite a revolt on the high seas. The names of the prisoners are George Scott, Richard Morris, James Campbell, Henry Moore, and Benjamin Wilson. The following were also committed, but allowed bail, each in £80, with sureties £40:--James Smith, Henry Watt, Charles Crawford, Thomas Neilson and Timothy Cole.

The Proteus left Sydney 15th August 1842, and met with good success until the 17th Feb last, when she put into Cyrus Harbour, in the Island of Roto, with 1060 barrels of sperm oil on board. After taking in wood and water, she left again 6th March all well; but two days after, sickness made its appearance, supposed to have been caused from the heat of the sun whilst going forward and back to the ship. Two of the crew named John Ramsden and Roberts, first fell victims to the disorder, having died in a few days. On the 15th March, Thomas Francisca, a native of Manila, also expired and on the 18th, Thomas West a New Zealander. March 20th, Captain Christal, Mr T Wilson, chief officer, Mr T Smith, second officer and eight of the crew were taken sick and confined to their berths. March 25th having stood for the harbour of Bangowangie to obtain medical assistance, the vessel came to an anchor and the captain and chief officer were taken on shore; the second mate died about 9.20pm the same day. They remained in this port about a month, during which Capt Christal, Mr Wilson, James Rolings, boatsteerer, John Hooper, carpenter and Charles Goodman, a seaman, all died, and were interred. The charge of the ship now devolved on Mr Maloney, the third officer, and being quite out of medicine and provisions, he took her on to Sourabayia, where she refitted, and 380 barrels of oil were afterwards landed to defray the expenses. As Mr Maloney was the only navigator on board, the Dutch Government and the agents of the Insurance Office appointed Capt Gale to the command of her, who was the chief officer of the Nereiad, lying at Batavia. Previous to their touching at Roto, a seaman called John Ramsden, and a New Zealander, died with the small pox. During the whole time the Proteus has been at sea, she has not spoken a single Sydney whaler. She left Sourabayia on the 29th June, called off Anjer and obtained some refreshments but did not hear of any vessels passing there.

LOSS OF THE BARQUE ‘MAGNET’—The following is an extract from a letter received by the owners of the barque Magnet, from Mr J J Curtis, the supercargo:--“The loss of the Magnet happened on Tuesday morning, 3rd September, about three o’clock, on the coast south side of Banks Peninsula, near Cerackia in a sudden S.E. gale. We went on to a reef of rocks, and by daylight she was all to pieces; one seaman named Davis, was drowned, the rest, including Mr John Jones, all got ashore in safety. Had it not been for the kind assistance of Mr Cria, at the nearest whaling station, who at daylight on the top of his look-out-hill observed the wreck, and immediately came down and got hold of the poor fellows in the surf, many would have perished. As we jumped out of bed we came ashore, losing everything in the world.”

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