Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in North-West and Western Australia, Volume 1

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2), by George Grey This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2) Author: George Grey Release Date: June 9, 2005 [EBook #16027] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JOURNALS OF TWO EXPEDITIONS *** Produced by Sue Asscher and Col Choat JOURNALS OF TWO EXPEDITIONS OF DISCOVERY IN NORTH-WEST AND WESTERN AUSTRALIA, DURING THE YEARS 1837, 1838, AND 1839, Under the Authority of Her Majesty's Government. DESCRIBING MANY NEWLY DISCOVERED, IMPORTANT, AND FERTILE DISTRICTS, WITH OBSERVATIONS ON THE MORAL AND PHYSICAL CONDITION OF THE ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS, ETC. ETC. BY GEORGE GREY, ESQUIRE. GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA; Late Captain of the Eighty-third Regiment. IN TWO VOLUMES. VOLUME 1. LONDON: T. AND W. BOONE, 29 NEW BOND STREET. 1841. 2. Sandstone Cave with Paintings near Glenelg River. Drawn on stone by George Barnard from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place. CONTENTS OF VOLUME 1. DEDICATION. PREFACE. CHAPTER 1.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In
North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2), by George Grey
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2)
Author: George Grey
Release Date: June 9, 2005 [EBook #16027]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JOURNALS OF TWO EXPEDITIONS ***
Produced by Sue Asscher and Col Choat
JOURNALS
OF
TWO EXPEDITIONS OF DISCOVERY
IN
NORTH-WEST AND WESTERN
AUSTRALIA,
DURING THE YEARS 1837, 1838, AND 1839,
Under the Authority of Her Majesty's Government.
DESCRIBING
MANY NEWLY DISCOVERED, IMPORTANT, AND
FERTILE DISTRICTS,
WITH
OBSERVATIONS ON THE MORAL AND PHYSICAL
CONDITION OF THE ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS, ETC. ETC.
BY GEORGE GREY, ESQUIRE.
GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA;
Late Captain of the Eighty-third Regiment.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOLUME 1.
LONDON:T. AND W. BOONE, 29 NEW BOND STREET.
1841.
2. Sandstone Cave with Paintings near Glenelg River. Drawn on stone by
George Barnard from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N.
Hanhart, Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME 1.
DEDICATION.
PREFACE.
CHAPTER 1. COMMENCEMENT OF THE EXPEDITION. TENERIFE.
GENERAL PLAN AND OBJECTS.
INSTRUCTIONS.
TENERIFE.
AQUEDUCT AT SANTA CRUZ.
EXCURSION TO ORATAVA.
CAMELS.
STATISTICS OF THE CANARY ISLANDS.
TABLES.
METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS.
VOCABULARY OF THE CANARIAN DIALECTS.
MARINE BLOWING-STONE.
GUANCHE BONE CAVE.
CHAPTER 2. TO BAHIA AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
ATMOSPHERICAL PHENOMENON AT SEA.
LAND AT BAHIA.
EVENING WALK.
THE TOWN.
STATE OF SOCIETY.
REMARKS ON VOYAGE FROM BAHIA TO THE CAPE.
ARRIVAL THERE.
HIRE THE LYNHER.
EQUIPMENT AND PLANS.
SAIL FOR HANOVER BAY.
CHAPTER 3. FROM THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE TO HANOVER BAY.
NATURAL HISTORY.
CHAPTER 4. HANOVER BAY.
NEW AND DANGEROUS SHOAL.
ARRIVAL OFF THE COAST OF AUSTRALIA.
ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY FROM SHIP-BOARD.
LAND AT HIGH BLUFF POINT.
WALK TO HANOVER BAY.
DISTRESS FOR WANT OF WATER ON THE ROUTE.
LOSS OF OUR THREE DOGS.
TRACES OF NATIVES.
THEIR HUTS.
ALARMING DEBILITY OF THE MEN.
EFFORTS TO REACH THE VESSEL.
SWIM AN INLET OF THE SEA.
DANGER IN THE PASSAGE ACROSS AND AFTER LANDING.
THE PARTY REGAIN THE LYNHER.
CHAPTER 5. AT HANOVER BAY.
PLAGUE OF FLIES.
ENTRANCE TO PRINCE REGENT'S RIVER.EFFECT OF TIDES.
GREEN ANTS.
DESCRIPTION OF LANDING-PLACE, AND ENCAMPMENT AT HANOVER
BAY.
FATE OF TWO OF THE DOGS.
LABOUR OF DISEMBARKING STORES.
NATIVES.
REMARKABLE FISHES.
PREPARATIONS FOR SENDING THE VESSEL TO TIMOR.
CHAPTER 6. HANOVER BAY AND ITS VICINITY.
NATIVES SEEN.
FIRST EXCURSION.
CHARACTER OF THE SCENERY.
GEOLOGICAL PHENOMENA.
CUCKOO-PHEASANT.
SPORTING.
NATIVE HAUNTS.
ATTACK OF NATIVES.
RETURN TO HANOVER BAY.
PROCEEDINGS THERE DURING MY ABSENCE.
CHRISTMAS DINNER.
PLANTING USEFUL SEEDS.
WALK TO MUNSTER WATER.
ISTHMUS NEAR HANOVER BAY.
HILL OF SHELLS.
COUNTRY ABOUT PRINCE REGENT'S RIVER.
GOUTY-STEMMED TREES.
SINGULAR PIECES OF SANDSTONE.
CHAPTER 7. HANOVER BAY AND ITS VICINITY.
OCCUPATION AT THE CAMP.
RETURN OF THE LYNHER.
RELATION OF PROCEEDINGS AT TIMOR AND ROTI.
NEW ISLAND SEEN.
TROUBLE WITH THE HORSES.
EXCURSION BY WATER TO PRINCE REGENT'S RIVER.
CHARACTER OF ITS SHORES.
SCENERY AND THUNDERSTORM.
DEPARTURE FOR THE INTERIOR.
DIFFICULTIES OF THE ROUTE.
SICKNESS AND MORTALITY AMONG THE HORSES AND STOCK.
CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY.
CHAPTER 8. TO THE GLENELG RIVER.
MEETING AND ENCOUNTER WITH THE NATIVES.
UNFORTUNATE RESULTS.
DESCENT FROM THE SANDSTONE RANGE.
DESCRIPTION OF A NEW VOLCANIC COUNTRY.
DISCOVERY AND CHARACTER OF THE GLENELG RIVER.
IMPEDIMENTS FROM MARSHES AND STREAMS.
PROGRESS TOWARDS THE UPPER PART OF THE GLENELG.
CHAPTER 9. TO THE UPPER GLENELG.
WORKS OF NATIVE INDUSTRY.
MOUNT LYELL.
MAGNIFICENT PROSPECT.
MARKS OF INUNDATIONS.
NATIVES.
COCKATOOS.
TORRENTS OF RAIN.
SWAMPS.
SNAKE AND KANGAROO.
NATIVE BRIDGE.
PRECIPITOUS PASS.
FRILLED LIZARD.BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY.
WILD OATS.
CURIOUS BIRDS.
PAINTED CAVE.
CROSS A LARGE RIVER.
NATURAL GRAPERY.
FORD THE GLENELG.
WEAKNESS OF THE MEN.
ANOTHER PAINTED CAVE.
NARROW ESCAPE.
IMPASSABLE SANDSTONE RANGES.
CHAPTER 10. RETURN TO HANOVER BAY.
UNSUCCESSFUL SEARCH FOR A PASS.
PREPARATIONS TO RETURN.
LIGHT EXPLORING PARTY SENT FORWARD UNDER LIEUTENANT
LUSHINGTON.
THEIR REPORT.
COMMENCEMENT OF MARCH BACK.
CHANGE OF TRACK.
CURIOUS MOUNDS OF STONES.
PASS MOUNT LYELL.
RECOVERY OF BURIED STORES.
ANXIETY ON APPROACHING HANOVER BAY.
REJOIN THE LYNHER.
MEETING WITH THE BEAGLE.
STATE OF THE PLANTS AND SEEDS LEFT AT THE ENCAMPMENT.
REEMBARKATION.
SAIL FOR THE MAURITIUS.
CHAPTER 11. NATURAL HISTORY. CLIMATE. ABORIGINES.
DISTRIBUTION OF ANIMALS.
NEW KANGAROO.
NEW DOMESTIC DOG.
CHECKS ON INCREASE OF ANIMALS.
INFLUENCE OF MAN ON THEIR HABITS.
TRACES OF AN ANIMAL WITH A DIVIDED HOOF.
BIRDS.
EMUS.
ALLIGATORS.
CLIMATE.
PROOFS OF ITS SALUBRITY.
THERMOMETRICAL OBSERVATIONS.
ABORIGINES, THEIR HABITS AND MANNERS.
INDIVIDUALS OF AN ALIEN RACE.
SIMILARITY OF CUSTOMS WITH OTHER AUSTRALIAN TRIBES.
CAVES.
DRAWINGS.
TOMBS.
CHAPTER 12. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. COMMERCIAL PROSPECTS.
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.
MOUNTAIN RANGES.
RIVERS.
VALLEYS.
PRODUCTIONS SUITED FOR CULTIVATION.
COMMERCIAL PROSPECTS.
TRADE WITH THE ASIATIC ARCHIPELAGO.
METHOD OF BARTER.
SUCCESS OF AMERICAN VESSELS.
TRADING PRODUCTS OF THE SEVERAL ISLANDS.
CHAPTER 13. AT SWAN RIVER.
PLAN FOR RETURNING TO THE NORTH-WEST COAST.
WHY ABANDONED.
EXCURSION TO THE NORTH OF PERTH.STORY-TELLING TO NATIVES.
LAKES.
DELAY, AND BIVOUACK.
NATIVE TOILETTE.
MEETING WITH A NEW TRIBE.
CURIOUS SUPERSTITIONS.
REVENGEFUL COMBAT AND MURDER PREVENTED.
RETURN TO PERTH.
EXCURSION IN SEARCH OF MR. ELLIOTT.
CAUSE OF IT.
THE MURRAY RIVER.
WILD CATTLE.
NATIVE TRACKING.
CROSS THE DARLING RANGE.
CONDITION OF DISTANT SETTLERS.
ROUTE ALONG MR. ELLIOTT'S TRACKS.
KILLING A KANGAROO.
LOSE THE TRACKS.
NATIVE GRAVE.
ESTUARY OF THE LESCHENAULT.
MEET WITH MR. ELLIOTT.
RETURN TO PERTH.
CHAPTER 14. FROM SWAN RIVER TO THE SHORES OF SHARK BAY.
PLAN OF EXPEDITION.
SAIL FROM SWAN RIVER FOR SHARK BAY.
LAND AT BERNIER ISLAND.
DESCRIPTION OF IT.
BURY THE STORES.
INEFFECTUAL SEARCH FOR WATER.
LOSS OF A BOAT IN REEMBARKING.
PULL FOR DORRE ISLAND.
ITS CHARACTER.
HURRICANE.
BOATS DRIVEN ASHORE.
DISTRESS FOR WATER.
SAIL FOR THE MAIN.
GROUND ON A SANDBANK.
EXTENSIVE SHALLOWS.
FAIL IN MAKING THE LAND.
ANCHOR OFF MANGROVE CREEK.
CHAPTER 15. THE GASCOYNE RIVER.
ENTER A MANGROVE CREEK.
SEARCH FOR AND COMPLETE OUR WATER.
EXAMINE ANOTHER CREEK.
CHARACTER OF THEIR SCENERY.
DISCOVER ONE MOUTH OF THE GASCOYNE RIVER, AND EXPLORE
THE COUNTRY IN ITS VICINITY.
SURVEY OF MOUTHS OF THIS RIVER AND BABBAGE ISLAND.
EXPLORE THE COUNTRY INLAND TO THE NORTH OF THE RIVER.
INTERVIEW WITH NATIVES.
SAIL FROM THE GASCOYNE.
CHAPTER 16. TO KOLAINA AND BACK TO THE GASCOYNE.
EXAMINE THE COAST TO THE NORTH OF THE GASCOYNE.
LYELL'S RANGE.
BOAT SWAMPED IN BEACHING.
STATE OF PROVISIONS.
SEARCH FOR WATER.
REMARKABLE PLAINS.
INDISPOSITION OF SEVERAL OF THE PARTY.
EXAMINATION OF THE SHORE TO THE NORTHWARD, AND OF THE
COUNTRY TO THE SOUTH-EAST.
AFFRAY WITH THE NATIVES.
CONTINUED FOUL WEATHER.
PUT TO SEA.PUT TO SEA.
COMPELLED AGAIN TO BEACH THE BOATS.
ADJACENT COUNTRY EXPLORED.
LAUNCH THE BOATS, AND ENTER NORTHERN MOUTH OF THE
GASCOYNE.
CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY.
CHAPTER 17. FROM THE GASCOYNE TO GANTHEAUME BAY.
SAIL FROM THE GASCOYNE.
A GALE OF WIND.
REACH BERNIER ISLAND.
DESTRUCTION OF THE DEPOT OF PROVISIONS.
REPAIR DAMAGES, AND RETURN TO THE MAIN.
ANCHOR TO THE NORTH OF THE GASCOYNE.
EXAMINE THE COAST TO THE SOUTHWARD.
ITS CHARACTER.
STEER FROM THE MAIN.
ANOTHER GALE.
LAND ON PERRON'S PENINSULA.
DESCRIPTION OF IT.
ROUND CAPE LESUER.
BEACH THE BOATS.
SAIL AGAIN FOR DIRK HARTOG'S ISLAND.
LAND THERE.
PASS OVER TO THE MAIN.
DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND.
ROUND STEEP POINT, AND PUT BACK AGAIN.
PASSAGE TO GANTHEAUME BAY.
THE INTERVENING COAST.
BOAT TOTALLY WRECKED IN BEACHING IN GANTHEAUME BAY.
ERRATUM.
Volume 1 Table: for Castles, read Chateaux.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
VOLUME 1.
[1. Map of the District of the River Glenelg, on the North-Western Coast of
Australia, from the surveys of George Grey, Esquire, by John Arrowsmith.]
2. Sandstone Cave with Paintings near Glenelg River. Drawn on stone by
George Barnard from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N. Hanhart,
Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
3. Diphya, Sp.
4. Diphya, Sp. (Acalepha.)
5. Salpa, Sp.
6. Hyalea, Sp.
7. Physsophora rosacea.
8. Erichthus vitreus.
9. Janthina exigua.
10. Glaucus, Sp.
11. Phyllosoma, Sp.
9. Janthina exigua.
12. Attack of Natives near Hanover Bay. Drawn on stone by George Barnard
from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N. Hanhart, LithographicPrinters, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
13. Three rows of notches made by people on the Gouty-Stem Tree.
14. Gigantic Ants' Nest and Gouty-Stem Tree. Drawn on stone by George
Barnard from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N. Hanhart,
Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
15.1. Figure drawn on the roof of Cave, discovered March 26th.
15.2. Figure drawn on side of Cave, discovered March 26th.
15.3. Oval drawing in Cave, discovered March 26th.
15.4. Figure drawn in Cave, discovered March 26th.
16. Head cut in Sandstone Rock. Captain Grey, delt. G. Foggo, Lithographer.
M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic Printers.
17. Figure drawn on roof of Cave, discovered March 29th.
18. Supposed Native Tombs. Discovered on the North-Western Coast of New
Holland, 7 April 1838. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.
19. Nest or Bower of the Chalmydera nuchalis.
[20. Map and Chart of the West Coast of Australia, from Swan River to Shark
Bay, Including Houtman's Abrolhos and Port Grey, from the Surveys of
Captains Grey, Wickham, and King, and from other official Documents,
compiled by John Arrowsmith.]
21. Attack of Natives near Kolaina Plains. Drawn on stone by George Barnard
from a sketch by Frederick C. Smith, Esquire. M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic
Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
DEDICATION.
TO
THE LORD GLENELG,
UNDER WHOSE AUSPICES,
AS PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES,
THE EXPEDITIONS
RECORDED IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES
WERE UNDERTAKEN,
THESE VOLUMES ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE
OF HIS ASSISTANCE, HIS COUNSELS, AND HIS KINDNESS,
IN HIS HIGH PUBLIC STATION,
AND
WITH A PROFOUND RESPECT
FOR
HIS PERSONAL AND DOMESTIC VIRTUES.
PREFACE.
The following pages contain the results of the author's travels and residence in
the western parts of Australia, between the years 1837 and 1840, during which
period he traversed extensive regions unknown to the European traveller, and
probably never before trodden by the foot of civilized man.
It is not alone with gratification of enlightened curiosity that the countries now
first brought to notice are likely to be objects of interest. A knowledge of the
districts lying between Swan River and Shark Bay cannot but be of importance
to future colonists, whilst the intertropical provinces of the north-west coasts,
distinguished as they are by important peculiarities both of character and
position, are equally calculated to draw the attention of the literary and
enterprising enquirer.It only remains to state in a few words the circumstances under which this work
is given to the public.
The author arrived in England in September, 1840, and was engaged in
preparing his notes for publication when he was unexpectedly honoured with
an appointment which re-called him to Australia in the month of December
following.
Avocations both of a public and private nature arising out of that appointment
prevented him from carrying his work through the press during the short period
of his residence in this country, and consequently the final arrangement of the
impression and the duties of typographical revision devolved on others.
Although no pains have been spared to render these volumes worthy of the
public eye, the circumstances under which they appear will naturally occasion
them to be marked by defects which, doubtless, would not have escaped the
author's notice and correction had he been present.
It would be an act of injustice not to express here the obligations the author is
under to Mr. J.E. Gray of the British Museum for his valuable assistance in
whatever relates to natural history in the body of the work, as well as for the
contributions in the same branch of science which will be found in the
Appendix; nor are his thanks less due to Mr. Adam White for an interesting
paper on the Entomology of Australia; and to Mr. Gould, who has lately visited
that country, for his list of the Birds of the Western Coast.
JOURNALS OF EXPEDITIONS OF
DISCOVERY.
CHAPTER 1. COMMENCEMENT OF THE
EXPEDITION. TENERIFE.
GENERAL PLAN AND OBJECTS.
The Expeditions of which the results are narrated in the following pages took
their origin from a proposition made to Government by myself, in conjunction
with Lieutenant Lushington,* in the latter part of the year 1836.
(*Footnote. Now Captain Lushington of the 9th Foot.)
At that time a large portion of the western coast and interior of the great
Australian continent had remained unvisited and unknown; whilst the opinions
of the celebrated navigators Captains Dampier and King, connected with other
circumstances, led to the inference, or at least the hope, that a great river, or
water inlet, might be found to open out at some point on its western or north-
western side; which had then been only partially surveyed from seaward.
DESIGN OF THE EXPEDITION.
Anxious to solve this interesting geographical problem, we addressed a letter to
Lord Glenelg, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, wherein we offered our
services to conduct an exploration from the Swan River to the northward,
having regard to the direction of the coast, so as to intersect any considerable
body of water connecting it with the interior; and, in the event of such being
discovered, to extend our examination of it as far as circumstances might admit.
The letter containing this offer also enumerated several secondary objects, to
which we proposed to direct our attention, and which were ultimately
comprehended in our instructions.
The offer and suggestions were favourably entertained by Lord Glenelg, and
further communications invited; and, the project having been favoured by the
support of the Royal Geographical Society, our services were finally accepted
by the Government.INSTRUCTIONS.
More mature consideration however led to a material alteration in the first plan;
for whilst our principal object, namely, the search for a great river or interior
inlet, remained the same, it was considered, for several reasons, more
advisable that the exploration should commence from the vicinity of Prince
Regent's River, on the north-west coast, and be directed towards the Swan. I
shall pass over the various points of detail which occupied our time and
attention until the moment of departure, as they offer no matters of general
interest. It will be sufficient to say that everything suggested as likely to be
conducive to the success and utility of the expedition was most liberally granted
and supplied; and, when all was prepared, a letter of instructions dated the 16th
June 1837 was addressed by Lord Glenelg to myself and Lieutenant
Lushington conjointly; which embraced the following points:
1. We were to embark in H.M. sloop of war the Beagle, then fitting out for a
survey of the coasts and seas of Australia, under the command of Captain
Wickham, R.N.; and to proceed in that vessel either to the Cape of Good Hope
or to Swan River, as might ultimately appear best suited to forward the objects
of the expedition.
2. On our arrival at either of the foregoing places, we were directed to procure a
small vessel to convey the party and stores to the most convenient point in the
vicinity of Prince Regent's River.
3. After due examination of the country about Prince Regent's River we were
instructed to take such a course as would lead us in the direction of the great
opening behind Dampier's Land. From the moment of our arrival at this point
our subsequent proceedings were left more discretionary; but the instructions
continued: "You will use the utmost exertions to penetrate from thence to the
Swan River; as, by adopting this course, you will proceed in a direction parallel
to the unknown coast, and must necessarily cross every large river that flows
from the interior towards that side of the continent."
4. That we might have an opportunity, in the event of any unforeseen difficulties
occurring, of falling back upon the vessel conveying the party, she was not to
quit the place where she might have been left by it until such a time had
elapsed, from the departure of the expedition for the interior, as should be
agreed upon; and, to ensure the observance of this condition, we were
instructed to act by the advice of the local authorities of the colony where she
might be engaged in drawing up the agreement, as well as in procuring
guarantees for its fulfilment.
5. The main objects of the expedition were then specified to be: To gain
information as to the real state of North-Western Australia, its resources, and
the course and direction of its rivers and mountain ranges; to familiarize the
natives with the British name and character; to search for and record all
information regarding the natural productions of the country, and all details that
might bear upon its capabilities for colonization or the reverse; and to collect
specimens of its natural history.
6. It was directed that strict discipline should be observed, and the regulations
by which our intercourse with the natives was to be governed were laid down;
after which the instructions concluded with the following paragraphs:
No further detail has been given you in these instructions, for, as you have
been made aware of the motives which have induced his Majesty's
Government to send out the expedition, it is supposed each individual will do
his utmost in his situation to carry these objects out, either by obtaining all
possible information or by such other means as may be in his power.
Although the instructions regarding the expedition are addressed to you
conjointly as conductors of it, it is necessary that the principal authority and
direction should be vested in one individual, on whom the chief responsibility
would rest.
It is to be understood that Lieutenant Grey, the senior military officer, is
considered as commanding the party and the person by whose orders and
instructions all individuals composing the party will be guided and conform.1837.
All our preparations being completed, there embarked in the Beagle, besides
myself and Mr. Lushington, Mr. Walker, a surgeon and naturalist, and Corporals
Coles and Auger, Royal Sappers and Miners, who had volunteered their
services; and we sailed from Plymouth on the 5th July 1837.
TENERIFE. AQUEDUCT AT SANTA CRUZ.
The usual incidents of a sea voyage brought us to Santa Cruz in Tenerife,
where I landed on Wednesday 19th July 1837, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
There was a sort of table d'hote at 3 o'clock at an hotel kept by an Englishman,
at which I dined, and was fortunate in so doing as I met there a German and
several English merchants who were principally engaged in the trade of the
country. There was also a gentleman who had been from his earliest years in
the African trade for gums, etc.; and he gave me many interesting particulars of
the wild life the individuals so occupied are compelled to lead. In the afternoon I
made a set of magnetic observations and then walked out to see the aqueduct;
which at about three-quarters of a mile to the north-east of the town approaches
it by a passage cut through a mountain. The execution of this work must have
been attended with immense labour, for, although the design is grand and
noble, the actual plan upon which it has been completed was by no means well
conceived. The average depth of this cut is at least one hundred and twenty
feet, its length is about one hundred and eighty, whilst its breadth in many parts
is not more than four.
Previously to the construction of this aqueduct the town of Santa Cruz was very
badly supplied with water, indeed so much so that the inhabitants were, at
some periods of the year, compelled to send upwards of three miles for it; but
no want of this nature has ever been experienced since its completion. The
expenses of its construction as also of keeping it in repair are principally
defrayed by a tax upon all wine and spirits actually consumed in the town.
The scenery of the country I walked through was bold and romantic but by no
means rich; fig-trees grew wild about the mountains, and it seemed singular
that, whenever I approached one, the peasants on the adjacent hills shouted
out in loud tones. As far as I could understand the guide, this was done to deter
us from eating the fruits now just ripe, and, upon my return to the town and
making further enquiries, I found that such was their custom.
EXCURSION TO ORATAVA.
July 20th.
I started at six o'clock with Mr. Lushington for Oratava, distant about 30 miles
from Santa Cruz. We were mounted on small ponies, admirably adapted to the
wretched roads of the country, and accompanied by two guides who carried our
carpet bags.
CAMELS, MATANZAS, THE GUANCHES.
The first town we came to was Laguna, which appeared to be of some
importance; it is distant about four miles from Santa Cruz. On this road we
passed many camels laden with heavy burdens; a circumstance which rather
surprised me for I had always imagined that, owing to the peculiar formation of
its foot, the camel was only fitted for travelling over sandy ground, whilst the
way from Santa Cruz to Laguna is one continued mass of sharp rocks, utterly
unworthy of the name of a road; yet these animals appeared to move over it
without the least inconvenience.
After leaving Laguna the country for some miles bore a very uninteresting
appearance; for, although apparently fertile, it was quite parched up by the
extreme heat of the sun; our guides, who were on foot carrying our carpet bags,
kept up with us by running, and, occasionally when tired, catching hold of the
horses' tails to assist themselves along.
We halted for breakfast at Matanzas (or the place of slaughter) so called from a
dreadful slaughter of the Spaniards which was here made by the Guanches,
the aborigines of the island. I examined the spot where this occurred; it is a
narrow defile, formed by a precipice on one hand, and perpendicular rocks on