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NARRATIVE OF THE SAILORS.
Manna, Mokea, Steam, Jack, and Hiram, Ha- ridiculously afraid were the Japanese of foreignwaiians, all formerly belonging to the ship Lado- ers looking at their possessions, that these fifteen ga; and Ranald M’Donald, of Astoria ; belong- unarmed sailors were conducted to their lodging ing to the ship Plymouth. The cunning of the through a file of armed soldiers lining both sides Japanese in deferring the delivery until they had of the street. finished all their own conferences, and placed Here the men remained quiet till the twenty themselves in security aboard their own boats, days were up, constantly in charge of a guard and was very evident, as thereby all charges brought restrained from walking about, at which time they by their misused prisoners would fall harmless were told no vessel would be ready until twenty upon them. They may have been conscious that days more had elapsed ; at the expiration of this a conference upon the deck of the Preble might second period, they were informed that they would have been unpleasant, and they placed at a disad- not be allowed to leave the place till January, and vantageous equality with those whom they had so their application to be permitted to depart in their badly treated.
own boats was refused. Finding that no dependThe narrative of the imprisonment of these un- ence could be placed in the assertions of the Japhappy mariners shows the cruelty of the Japanese anese, McCoy and Ball made their escape from government, and the necessity of making some the prison, intending, if possible, to reach the arrangement with it involving the better usage of coast and get sea in a boat ; but they were those who are cast upon their shores. The men captured in the first village they approached to told their story to Capt. Glynn in a straightfor- ask for food, and taken back to their comrades. ward manner, which carried conviction with it; A while after their return, on the occurrence of a and we are happy in being able to furnish the fol- quarrel the guard nailed Ball into a grated crib lowing account compiled from their depositions :- by himself for ten days ; the cage was too low
for him to stand up, and when he hallooed to his
comrades, violating the orders of his keepers not It appears that the men from the Ladoga de- to speak, he was jammed at with a stick to comserted her on account of ill usage, and went off in pel him to be quiet ; for four days out of these three boats about June 5th, 1848, near the straits ten he was unable to eat. of Sangar; they cruised along the coast of Yesso, While he was in this cage, McCoy and Martin and landed to get food and water, but being re- made their escape, but were soon arrested on the fused, put to sea and landed again about three coast, though not before McCoy had swum out a miles north, where the villagers built them three distance from the shore ; they were both put in a mat sheds, and supplied them with food. On the crib or cage by themselves after they were brought morning of the 7th, an officer inquired why they back, and Ball added to their company. Here they had come there, and gave them permission to stay remained twenty-five days, fed through a hole just till a northerly wind blew to carry them away; large enough to admit a cup. Martin was taken and meanwhile ordered a calico screen to be put out once, after some high words had passed beup, and guards posted, to prevent them from going tween him and the others, and thrown on the into or seeing the adjoining county. These sol- ground ; standing on him, the Japanese bound his diers were armed with swords and matchlocks, and arms, and then raised him up and secured him to their superiors were cased in mail and Japanned hel- a post, where they beat him with the bight of a mets or hats made of paper, and resembling broad- rope over his face and head; after which he was brimmed quaker hats ; the men carried the match returned to his cage, at the intercession of his for their matchlocks at their waist.
incensed companions, who endeavored to break The shipwrecked sailors were supplied with out. about one hundred and sixty pounds of rice and About the 10th of August, the men were all some firewood ; on the next morning they put to removed on board a junk, the three just mentioned sea again, pulling and sailing down the coast, ev- being put into a cage between decks only five feet erywhere perceiving that the country was aroused, high, six feet long, and four feet broad ; the other and keeping off until they were invited ashore by twelve men were stowed in a second cage twelve a boat from a village near where they had first by ten feet square, and high enough to stand up landed ; here they found three mat inclosures run in. In these cribs they were kept during the pasup for their reception since they came in sight, sage to Nangasacki, where they arrived about Sepand were told they could stay there till the wind tember 1st ; they made every objection to going became fair. On the afternoon of the 9th, on at- ashore, and asked for their own boats that they tempting to go aboard their boats, they found they might try to reach China in them. Moreama, the were prisoners, and the reasons assigned for de government interpreter, among other falsehoods, taining them were that an officer wished to speak told them they should be carefully taken care of to them, and that their boats were so frail and ashore, and in six weeks forwarded to Batavia in small they would perish, but that in twenty days the Dutch ship. One could have a little more a larger vessel would be furnished them. Their patience with a people like the Japanese, if to luggage was all brought ashore and ticketed, and their cruelty in carrying out regulations which placed within a house in the village ; five days they suppose necessary for their national safety, after they were again removed to a prison—80 they did not add such gratuitous mendacity to de
lude the unfortunates in their power. The men make known their case to some American conwere questioned on board of the junk, and then sul, if perchance thereby a man-of-war might be carried to the “ town house of Nangasacki,” as sent to their relief. they called it, in kago or chairs ; as each man en- Seeing no release come, the impatient McCoy tered the door, he was compelled to step on a cru- escaped from his prison, by tearing off the boards cifix in the ground, and if he showed any dislike from the fence and climbing the wall, in the vain to tread on the sacred emblem, a Japanese attend- hope of getting aboard of the Dutch ship lying ant on each side pulled him back, or lifted him off the harbor before she sailed. He travelled all up, until both feet rested on it. McCoy was told night, and hid himself in the hills during the next that if any of the men had refused to go through day, till 4 P. M., when he made for the beach ; a this ceremony, he would have been put into an rain-storm induced him to hope the coast was iron house, from which death would be his only clear ; but he was retaken and carried back in a exit. Boyd was pulled from one side to the other, kago to his old quarters, and questioned as to his as he showed some dexterity at dodging it, until designs in escaping, and his object in spying out he was forcibly fixed by his guard upon it. When the land. He was put in stocks, and tied to the in the town house, they were made to squat down, grating during the night, and the next day carried and shortly a hissing sound announced the gov- to the town house to undergo another examinaernor's approach. They told him in brief they tion, where the question as to his being a spy was were shipwrecked Americans; but as it was now again asked ; though he told his keepers his only dark, the examination soon closed, and they were desire was to get aboard of the Dutch ship. He carried to a temple about a mile from the town, was taken thence to the common prison in the where they were lodged in a room surrounded by heart of the town, once the site of a church, and a fence thirty feet high, beyond which was a wall kept there by himself about three weeks. McCoy eight or ten feet high ; their guard lodged under had by this time acquired so much knowledge of the same roof, separated from them by a grating. Japanese as to be able to talk with the people and These accommodations were not so bad and strait his guard on most common subjects; but they were as the cages and junk.
too carefully watched themselves to be free to tell In a day or two they were all again carried to him anything of importance. At the end of three the town house, and questioned more minutely, weeks, thinking the Dutch ship had sailed, he but McCoy and Boyd had by this time learned despaired of ever getting away, and refused to take enough of the Japanese language to know that the food. His guard told him he must eat, for that interpretations of Moreama were very incorrect. doubtless the emperor would give permission Partly on this account, perhaps, the examination when he “ thought good" for them to depart ; and was again put off to the morrow, at which time the governor himself sent an officer to inquire the the opperhoofd from Desima was present. “ He reason of his abstinence. On the fourth day (Noasked us,” says McCoy, " what was our object in vember 16) he was taken to the town house in a coming into the Japan seas? We told him we kago, rather faint from his long fast, where he came in pursuit of whales. He then asked us if again saw his companions, and met Mr. Levyssohn. we came in pursuit of any other kind of fish ;- This gentleman informed them all that permission if whaling was our only object ;—and if we did for their departure had not yet come, and that the not also come to spy out the country? We told ship had already waited five days beyond the him, No, we only came for whales. He asked twenty-five; he added that he had written to the us if we ate the whales ; to which we replied, American consul at Batavia, and endeavored to We made oil of them, &c.;— with more such con- cheer up the spirits of the disheartened men by versation, after which we were carried back to telling them that they were not among savages, our prison."
and that there was no cause for fear, if release The suspicious rulers, having no truth them- was long deferred. He also obtained a promise selves, were not satisfied with the superintendent's from the Japanese, that if McCoy behaved quietly examination, and next day (September 6th) this he should be restored to his shipmates; which was testimony was all gone over again, and after it done four days after. concluded, Moreama told them he doubted not they After a month's detention, another escape was were spies, and came for no other purpose than to planned, by burning through the floor of their examine the country. The Dutch superintendent room and digging under the board fence; but only kindly sent them coffee, sugar, gin, and wine, and McCoy, Boyd, and Ball, got out, when the guard a piece of longcloth for Ball to make himself heard the noise and stopped the rest. These three clothes. After six weeks had elapsed, he sent a made for the thickets behind the town, and directed letter to them, stating that permission had not yet their course south-westerly to the seashore, which come from Yeddo, but that the Dutch ship would they reached about two o'clock; but the barking tarry twenty-five outside of the harbor ; he of a dog turned them from their course, so that also wisely cautioned them against quarrelling, daylight surprised them before they could reach adding that such unruly conduct would only ag- some boats they saw in a distant cove. Hiding gravate their condition. In their reply to this themselves in the bushes during the day, they note, the dispirited seamen expressed themselves started the next evening for the seaside ; but hunas in a wretched condition, and begged him to ger compelled them to ask a peasant for food-he kindly invited them to come into his hut and eat, It was now becoming cold, and the snow and and straightway went for the police, who arrested rain beat through the cages; no bedding, not even and pinioned the fugitives while at table, and re- their own clothes, were given the wretched men. turned them to the temple after an absence of They begged hard for covering of some sort for twenty-four hours. Here their arms were tied up Ezra Goldthwait, who was taken ill about Christbehind their backs so tight and high that, when mas. This man had been quite well, hitherto ; he the cords were removed after four hours' suffering, became delirious on the third day, with snch sympthe poor fellows could not let their hands down toms of swelled and cracked parched tongue, pain without assistance, As a further punishment for in the stomach, and frothing at the mouth, that his their restlessness, they were then fettered on large companions in misery were sure he had been poistocks, McCoy's being the heaviest, (about three soned. His only protection was a thin shirt and hundred pounds,) and laid in the outer yard dur- trowsers ; but though the snow beat upon him as ing the night. In the morning, wet with dew he lay on a quilt in his foul cage, his cruel keepand stiff from their constraint, they and all their ers refused to return him his own blanket, only companions were carried to the town-house. While three days, when he had been sick three weeks, proceeding thither, they imprecated the vengeance before he died. A physician came every day, of their country upon their tormenters, who taunt- whose prescriptions rather increased his malady. ingly replied : “If any officers from your country This poor man had smuggled a Bible into his cage, come here, we will serve them as we did the which he requested Martin to return to his relaAmerican commodore, last year, who was knocked tions in Salem, Mass. He died January 24th, the down at Yeddo by a soldier; if the Americans took Japanese new year, and was buried next day, his no notice of that, why should they look after you, keepers ridiculing the others for asking permission who are only poor sailors? You are here now, to attend the funeral, just as they did when Mawy and cannot help yourselves. If their ships come was buried. Not long after his death, Waters here, the priests will blow them to pieces.” was attacked in the same manner, but recovered as
At the examination, the governor remarked he soon as his companions refused to give him the was more convinced than ever that they were spies, doctor's prescriptions. His guards told him one by repeated attempts to escape ; and in order day that his coffin was made, the grave dug, and to secure them from injuring themselves, and save the day appointed when they were to bury him. himself from anxiety by their trying to get out, he Their food during this time was rice and sweet sent them all to prison, confining them in two potatoes for breakfast, rice and now and then a small cages, which were enclosed in a larger one; treat of three or four ounces of fish for dinner, and McCoy, Boyd, and Martin were kept in one 18 by rice with boiled sea-weed for supper ; tea was fur8 feet, and the rest in another 18 by 12 feet square, nished for drink. There was little to break the the two being about six feet apart; both of them monotony of their irksome captivity. They could offensive, full of vermin, and open to the weather, not read the Bible, lest it should be taken away and to be entered only by crawling in. The only from them ; and had no other books, or any means furniture in them were lousy mats and a small of amusement. A Japanese culprit was decapiwashstand. The next night (December 17th) Mawy, tated near their cage one day, but as only one could one of the Hawaiians, hung himself in his cage, ev- look out of the hole at a time, McCoy alone saw idently by design, and not from aberration of mind. a lad running by the door with a head in his hand ; His corpse was put into a square box and buried the guards, to scare them, intimated strongly that in the Dutch burying ground; and when his such might be their own fate; but Martin says he comrades asked permission to accompany the body cared very little about the threat. McCoy did to its burial, their request was scoffingly rejected; most of the talking, and had become rather intithough in the official report handed to Captain mate with one of the guards, who, as a great seGlynn, it is asserted that the men themselves cret, told him there was another American in prison buried him. In view of the increased sufferings in Nangasacki. He also learned from the same brought upon them all, the spirited attempts of source the existence of the war between his own McCoy and his shipmates to break loose were country and Mexico. blameable, especially too, after one experiment had The day of their deliverance was now approachconvinced them of the hopelessness of ultimate ing, the letter sent by the Dutch ship having escape from the country. The fate of an Ameri- reached its destination and accomplished its purcan sailor belonging to a shipwrecked company pose. On the evening of April 17th, they heard two years before,* who had been cut down when a single distant gun, and soon after one of the resisting the police, and died of his wounds from guard told McCoy, under charge of secrecy, he cruel neglect, should also have served as a warn- was sure it indicated the approach of a vessel ; ing, and was perhaps told them with that object, and if so, they would soon hear others from the though here at ease and liberty, we are not going forts to alarm the country and put the people on to judge the conduct of these imprisoned men in their guard, which they actually did while yet their natural desires and atteinpts to be free, very conversing. His shipmates commenced cheering ; strictly.
but by request of his good-natured informant, * The account of the loss of the Lawrence has already should be aroused. In the evening he overheard
McCoy asked them to be quiet, lest suspicion been published in our columns.
citement, and sometimes real enjoyment, in a bor- | out of sight, now coming down again nearly touchder life, notwithstanding the hardships; something ing the surface of the earth, and then again disapis turning up continually to give spirit to the par- pearing in the distance, as if in search of shelter, ly, and our fare we look upon in a matter-of-course or feeing from the impending wrath of the eleway, until it is occasionally varied, when fortune ments. The atmosphere became agitated, a light smiles upon us, by a change to fresh, delicious game. breeze blew into a gale. At short intervals the
As we were toiling along one day, we were wind would lull, and then an eddy-wind would overtaken by a son of the Emerald Isle, all alone sweep over the plain, as if beat back from some and on foot. He was not overloaded ; his baggage far off mountain, sucking up the dust and smaller consisted of a small bundle, hung on a stout cudg- objects that lay in its path. The mules and other el, swung over his shoulder, the end of which animals pulled away at the ropes, as if they, too, rested in a huge fist, not unlike a brown loaf in saw something in the appearance of inanimate naresemblance. His walk was fast and steady ; as ture, that warned them to flee from approaching he came up opposite to me, humming an Irish danger. All becomes calm. It is too sudden to tune, I inquired where he was bonnd. “To Cal- be of long duration. The cloud banks become ifornia, sir,” he replied, with a peculiar twinkle more dense and darker--they seem to lie but a of his small gray eyes. The idea was so novel, few yards above the surface of the earth. It to think that he would attempt a three months' grows dark as night. Of a sudden, the atmosjourney, solitary and alone, across a country tolal- phere is in a blaze ; and, with awsul rapidity, peal ly unknown to him, without friends, acquaintances, after peal of thunder makes the very ground tremor provisions to last him any length of time, that ble. As the first sheet of limpid fire illumes the I at first began to doubt his sincerity. But on he darkness, instantly followed by a crash like the was going, and would soon have left our party sound of falling towers—the terror-stricken anibehind, if it had not been proposed to him that he mals burst their fastenings and run wildly before join our company. He accepted, and is now one the storm. The flood-gates of the sky are opened, of us. He has turned out to be an original genius, and everything is deluged with water. The ocean and witty, as you may well suppose. We have itself seemed lifted from its bed, and borne in a given him the name of “ Tall Walker," although volume through the air ; it burst, and poured down he disavows any claim to it, but says he was chris- the whole of its contents on our devoted heads, in tened Pierce Flemming, in county Mayo. the far distant plains of the Anahuac. The vio
Numbers of deer and antelope are to be seen, lence of the tempest soon passed by. Long and but too far off to get a shot at them. The hunts- difficult was the task of recovering our mules man of our company is Joseph Taylor. Who is again, and it was not till after a race of some there that has visited, for a few years past, the miles. Our quarters were rendered most uncomwell known place of resort called Sportman's Hall, fortable, everything wet through-tent blown near Cincinnati, and not heard of the soul of good down, wagons upset, trunks burst open, and, what company and marksman, Joe Taylor? He still to me was a more serious loss than any inconvencontinues with his shot gun, or rifle, to be equal ience I felt, my writing materials were entirely to any emergency with a possibility of success. destroyed. The storm was over almost as sudden Wild turkeys, ducks, and snipe are frequently as it rose. brought in by him, after an absence of but an hour And the firmament now glowed or two.
With livid sapphire. Hesperus, that led
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
And o'er the dark her silver inantle threw. to drink from the stagnant pools in the holes on Without light, or fire, other than the light of the prairie, so intense is our thirst. The air is heaven, we lay down upon the wet mattresses, and hot and oppressive. Dark clouds were looming forgot our troubles as sleep, the universal leveller, up in the south-west, indicating the approach of stole o'er our brows with leaden legs and batty supply in the stormy clouds. A thunder storm on wings. the prairie is a fearful sight. All was rendered There are many things to cheer the emigrants snug at our quarters, like any ship at sea, at the while on their long march, and not the least of first distant sound of Vulcan's anvil, who is still these is the news occasionally received by teleforging the Ægian shield for Jupiter, not unlike graph. Be not astonished when I tell you that the noise of
the telegraph is extended along the road to CaliArmorers, accomplishing the knights, fornia. I do not mean the great Lightning King, With busy hammers closing rivels up, O'Riley's, but a line established by the emigrants Give dreadful note of preparation.
themselves, for their own convenience. I will exThe wagons were arranged to form a hollow plain. At different points along the road there square, with the tent erected in the centre ; the are sheets of writing paper nailed up high on the mules were picketed at a short distance on the trees by those who have gone on before. They outside. The clouds rolled up, and drifted across are generally headed with the name of the officers the sky with fearful velocity. Various-sized birds of each company, and from what state they came, went crying through the air, now flying almost and then commences a detail of events occurring
STORM ON THE PRAIRIE.
among them on the way up to this point, with short distance over rolling lands and dry hard soil, the date of the time when they passed this tele- we at length reached Fort Kearney. The idea graphic post. One day Taylor had been gone associated with what is termed a fort, would lead longer than usual on a hunting excursion, when one to suppose it would comprise a block-house, it was determined to call a halt, and, as it was with loop-holes to fire through, out on the enemy, growing towards five o'clock, we concluded to or four walls enclosing a certain number of feet of pitch our tent and go no further that night. He ground, either square or oblong, with bastions and had gone on before us, and we supposed probably cannon, and a sentinel or two to keep up a warturned off the road to follow an antelope or wolf, like appearance. Not so with Fort Kearney. It to get a shot, and in that way had fallen behind is nothing more than a few mud huts, apparently We thought it best to await his coming up. built for a temporary purpose.
It is situated on About an hour afterwards we heard him coming the north bank of the Platte river, opposite to down the road, he being still ahead of us. His Grand Island, three hundred and twenty-eight mule was loaded with game; and the first words miles from St. Joseph. We reached it on the we had from him, as he galloped within hailing 30th of June, about mid-day, and encamped on the distance, were, “More news by telegraph !” low plat in front of it. Found plenty of soldiers, “What is it?" returned some half dozen voices and a blacksmith's shop. The latter we have had
“Dupuy, of St. Louis, died of cholera occasion to call pretty loudly for, considering the yesterday; his company are six or eight hours little experience each one of our party has had in ahead of us." I learned the news at the tele- that line of business. The venerable descendant graphic station (an oak tree) about two miles up of Vulcan, with his assistants, seem to be in great the road.
demand, as a large number of emigrants are waitOn the 28th of June, at morning's dawn, our ing here to make repairs, and to give their mules little train pursued its way along the margin of the time to recover from the effects of over-driving. Little Blue river, and as the road turned to the left leaving the prairie far behind, I turned to
ASCENT OF MOUNT ORIZABA. take a last look at its broad green surface, and, To the Editor of the Living Age. with a sigh, involuntarily repeated the lines, WHILE looking recently at some of the back
numbers of your valuable periodical, I observed Oh! the prairie lea is the home for me, For there I am lord of all I see ;
an account of the expedition by a party of AmerThe chase, the chase, o'er the boundless waste, ican officers to the summit of Orizaba, which, And its grassy course for me.
like most of the accounts from Mexico, published We are now entering the Pawnee region. The while our army occupied that country, contains vicious habits of the Indian tribe from which it many errors. I have thought, therefore, that an takes its name are such, that all the emigrants are account of the trip by one of the successful party, doubly vigilant while in their country, and it is might not be unacceptable to your readers. customary to increase the number of the guard at The Peak of Orizaba, though situated nearly a night. Their thieving propensities are such that hundred miles inland, is the first point which comes a white man will lose the very coat from his back in view on approaching Vera Cruz from the gulf. and the boots from his feet, between sleeping and Being visible fifty miles at sea, it is the most imwaking, scarcely being aware of it until fairly portant land-mark to the sailor in those regions. aroused, and then he becomes sensible of the fact While the command under Colonel (now Genthat they have been stolen from him. The Arabian eral) Bankhead, which was the first to march from tale of the three sharpers that stole from the coun- Vera Cruz to the city of Orizaba, en route, tryman, who was taking a goat to the Bagdad mar-|(Feb. 1848,) the mountain being constantly in ket, his goat, his mule, and his clothes from his view, a trip to its summit was frequently disback, without he suspecting it until too late, is a cussed ; and after our arrival at that place, the mere nothing to the stories I hear of these Indians. marvellous stories told by the inhabitants only Some of them I will transfer to paper at the ear- increased the desire to make the attempt. All liest opportunity. From the Little Blue river the agreed that the summit had never been reached, road stretches across the country a distance of though several knew or had heard of its being attwenty-eight miles to the Platte river. We tempted. The difficulties to be encountered were passed through fine bottom lands, a dark luxuriant represented as perfectly insurmountable ; craggy soil, covered for the space of a hundred yards with precipices were to be climbed, gullies two thoubuffalo skulls. The picturesque scenery sur- sand feet deep to be crossed, inclined planes of rounding the entrance to this valley, brought to smooth ice to be ascended ; to say nothing of the mind the romantic myth of the Northmen. Im- avalanches, under which, we were assured, all of agination pictured among the bones, tall warriors the rash party daring the attempt would find a drinking their fiery draught from the skulls of ready grave. These extraordinary accounts prothose whom they have killed in battle, and dancing duced quite a different effect from the one anticitheir drunken war-dance in Odin's Halls, and on pated, and the question was not who would go, the mead of Valhallah.
but who should stay at home. Passing the low bottom lands, we reached the It was not, however, till the latter part of April banks of the Platte river ; pursuing its course a that the weather was thought favorable, and secur