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2-073 (Raw)

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author,male,Nicholson, Craven,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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2-073-raw.txt — 4 KB

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On or about the 26th or 27th March, 1832, the barque OLDHAM, of London, - Skelton, Esquire, of London, owner, and Robert Johnstone, of Lavisham-lane, Blackheath, master, anchored in the harbour of Wallis's Island South Pacific Ocean, and found lying there the British ship HARRIET, of London, and the American whalers, Milo, of New Bedford, and the ALENCIA, of Edgar Town.
On or about the 3rd or 4th April, the native girl, who was living on board with the captain, ran away, and the next day he went on shore with an armed boat, and demanded her. The chiefs ordered her to be brought down to the beach and told him (the captain) they would kill her if he wished: at the same time the boat's crew were forcing the women into the boat against their consent.
About this time three men, who had deserted from the British ship CORSAIR, entered on board the OLDHAM, leaving their clothes in the bush. On going on shore for them, some days afterwards, they discovered that some of them had been stolen; they returned on board, and stated this to the captain, who sent two boats to search the native huts for them. They returned bringing some clothes and a quantity of beads, tappa mats, fish-hooks &c, which they had plundered. Some of the old mats and tappas were returned.
The three vessels before mentioned sailed, leaving us alone in the harbour. On or about the 11th April, several natives came on board; the captain being in a state of intoxication, took two of them into the cabin, showed them muskets and other arms, and told then it was his intention to go on shore the next day and kill the king, desiring a negro man, named Ruebins, who lived on shore, to tell them so. The moment they understood this, a native went out to the jibboom end, and hailed the natives on shore. Two canoes immediately came off.
One of our men, who was on the main-chain, saw them (the natives) handling cutlasses and axes out of the canoes. He informed the captain of it, who immediately ordered them out of the ship. They obeyed, and said they would return next day with cocoa-nuts: they accordingly came at daylight, and gave away their cocoa-nuts, without asking for payment.
At breakfast time, the waist-boat [sic], with the second mate, four men and a boy, went to the King's village to search for four New Zealanders, who ran away. About nine o'clock, one of our men told the captain that the native women were jumping overboard, and that the men were collecting aft. At this time the captain, who was on the quarter-deck, in liquor, and swearing, was cut down with an axe, and killed, and at the same moment I was struck on the head with an axe, by a chief who afterwards knocked me down the companion ladder with the flat part of it. He followed me down, and struck me on my leg; but seeing a New Zealander preparing to fire upon him with a musket, he left me and killed him. During this time I escaped, and hid myself behind some casks. Therefore I only saw the captain and the New Zealander killed.
The next day, I heard a Portuguese and some Woahoamen talking; I called to the former, who gave me some biscuit and water, and told me that Captain Russel, of an English whaler (outside the reefs), had been alongside, but on finding what had taken place, he returned on board, and was then firing upon us from his ship, and said the natives wanted powder to return it. I told him I did not know where it was. He also told me the ship was under weigh, and going farther up, and that all our people had been killed.
Shortly afterwards he brought a chief's sister to me, and she, with the chief (the same who cut me down), prevailed upon the other natives to save my life. They afterwards took me on shore, and treated me with kindness and affection. The boat's crew who went on shore were (with three Americans belonging to a whaler) also killed. The Woahoa natives assisted the islanders in working the ship up; but I have every reason to believe they acted from compulsion. The leading chief in this melancholy affair was Tauoroa, who was killed afterwards by the ZEBRA'S crew, when the OLDHAM was boarded by them. The ship had between and 600 barrels of oil on board.