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Wilson could not accompany me there, and I was not enabled to make inquiry on many subjects ; but observing that they treated all their gods with little respect, frequently catching them by their large ears, drawing my attention to their wide mouths, their flat noses, and large eyes, and pointing out to me, by signs, all their other deformities, I told Wilson to inform them I thought they treated their gods very disrespectfully—they told me that those were like themselves, mere attendants on their divinity, as they were on the priest; that I had not yet seen their greatest of all gods, that he was in a small house, which they pointed out, situated at the corner of the grove; and on my expressing a desire to see him, after a short consultation among themselves, they brought him out on the branch of a cocoa-nut tree, when I was surprised to find him only a parcel of paper cloth secured to a piece of a spear about four feet long; it in some measure. resembled a child in swaddling cloths, and the part intended to represent the head had a number of strips of cloth hanging from it about a foot in length; I could not help laughing at the ridiculous appearance of the god they worshiped, in which they all joined me with a great deal of good humor, some of them dandling and nursing the god, as a child would her doll.
I endeavored to ascertain whether they had an idea of a future state, rewards and punishments, and the nature of their heaven. As respects the latter they believed it to be an island, somewhere in the sky, abounding with everything desirable ; that those killed in war and carried off by their friends go there, provided they are furnished with a canoe and provisions, but that those who are carried off by the enemy, never reach it unless a sufficient nuniber of the enemy can be obtained to paddle his canoe there, and for this reason they were so anxious to procure a crew for their priest, who was killed and carried off by the Happahs. They have neither rewards nor punishments in this world, and I could not learn that they expected any in the next-their religion, however, is like a plaything, an amusement to them, and I very much doubt whether they, at any moment, give it a serious thought; their priests and jugglers manage those matters for them ; what they tell them they believe, and do not put themselves to the trouble of considering whether it is right or wrong. They are very credulous, and will as readily believe in one religion as another. I have explained to them the nature of the Christian religion, in a manner to suit their ideas; they listened with much attention, appeared pleased with the novelty of it, and agreed that our God must be greater than theirs. Our chaplain Mr. Adams endeavored to collect from one of their priests some notions of his religion, and among other things inquired of him whether, according to their belief, the body was translated to the other world or only the spirit; the priest, after a considrable pause, at length replied, that the flesh and bones went to the earth, but that all within went to the sky: from his manner, however, the question seemed greatly to embarrass him, and it appeared as though a new field was opened to his view.
Besides the gods at the burying-place, or morai, for so it is called by them, they have their household gods, which are hung round their necks, generally made of human bones, and others, which are carved on the handles of their fans, on their stilts, their canes, and more particularly on their war clubs; but those gods are not held in any estimation, they are sold, exchanged, and given away with the same indifference as any other object, and indeed the most precious relics, the skulls and other bones of their relations, are disposed of with equal indifference.
When we were at war with the Typees, the Happahs and Tayehs made a strict search in the houses of the enemy for the skulls of their ancestors, who had been slain in battle (knowing where they were deposited); many were found, and the possessors seemed rejoiced that they had recovered from the enemy so inestimable a relic. Dr. Hoffman seeing a man with three or four skulls strung round his waist, asked him for them, and they were given up immediately, although they had belonged to his father, brother, or some near relation. Next day several appeared at the village with the skulls to traffic for harpoons. A very old man came to the village as a representative from one of the tribes, and wishing to make me a present and having nothing else to give me, took from his neck a string of bones cut in the form of their gods, and assured me they were the bones of his grandmother
In religion these people are mere children; their morais are their babyhouses, and their gods are their dolls. I have seen Gattanewa with all his sons, and many others sitting for hours together clapping their hands and singing before a number of little wooden gods laid out in small houses erected for the occasion, and ornamented with strips of cloth; they were such houses as a child would have made, of about two feet long and eighteen inches high, and no less than ten or twelve of them in a cluster like a small village; by the side of this were several canoes, furnished with their paddles, seines, harpoons, and other fishing apparatus, and round the whole a line was drawn to show that the place was tabooed; within this line was Gattanewa and others, like overgrown babies, singing and clapping their hands, sometimes laughing and talking, and appeared to give their ceremony no attention ; he asked me if the place was not very fine; and it was on this occasion that he tabooed me, in order to give me an opportunity of approaching the gods and examining them more closely. The whole ceremony of tabooing me consisted in taking a piece of white cloth from the hole through his ear, and tying it around my hat as a band : I wore this badge for several days, and simple as it was, every one I passed would call out taboo, and avoid touching me. I inquired the cause of this ceremony of Gattanewa, and he told me he was going to catch tortoise for the gods, and that he should have to pray to them several days and nights for succes: during which time he should be tabooed and dare not enter a house frequented by women.
Tattooing among these people is performed by means of a machine made of bone something like a comb with the teeth only on one side; the points of the teeth are rubbed with a black paint made of burnt cocoa-nut shell ground to powder, and mixed with water; this is struck into the flesh by means of a heavy piece of wood which serves the purpose of a hammer; the operation is extremely painful and streams of blood follow every blow, yet pride induces them to bear this torture, and they even suffer themselves to be tied down while the operation is performing in order that their agony may not interrupt the operator. The men commence tattooing as soon as they are able to bear the pain ; they begin at the age of eighteen or nineteen
and are rarely completely tattooed until they arrive at the age of thirtyfive. The women begin about the same age; they have only their legs, arms, and hands tattooed-which is done with extraordinary neatness and delicacy-and some slight lines drawn across their lips. It is also the practice with some to have the inside of their lips tattooed, but the object of this ornament I could never find out, as it is never seen unless they turn out their lips to show it. Every tribe in the island, I observed, were tattooed after a different fashion, and I was informed that every line had its meaning, and gave to the bearer certain privileges at their feasts. This practice of tattooing sometimes occasions sores which fester and are several weeks before they heal; it however never produces any serious consequences, or leaves any scars behind.
On the 9th December I had all my provisions, wood, and water on board, my decks filled with hogs, and a most abundant supply of cocoa-nuts and bananas, with which we had been furnished by the liberality of our Nooaheevan friends, who had reserved for us a stock of dried cocoa-nuts, suitable for taking to sea, and were calculated for keeping three or four months.
I now found it necessary to stop the liberty I had heretofore given to my people, and directed that every person should remain on board and work late and early to hasten the departure of the ship; but three of my crew determined on having a parting kiss, and to obtain it, swam on shore at night; they were caught on the beach and brought to me. I immediately caused them to be confined in irons, and determined to check any farther disobedience of my orders by the most exemplary punishment. I next morning caused them to be punished severely at the gangway, and set them to work in chains with my prisoners : this severity excited some discontent and murmurings among the crew, but it effectually prevented a recur
Nooaheevah had many charms for a sailor, and had part of my crew felt disposed to remain there, I knew.they would not absent themselves until the moment before my departure. This affair had, however, like to have ended seriously ; my crew did not see the same motives for restraint as myself, they had long been indulged, and they thought it now hard to be deprived of their usual liberty: one kiss now was worth a thousand at any other time; they were restless, discontented, and unhappy. The giris lined the beach from morning until night, and every moment importuned me to take the taboos off the men, and laughingly expressed their grief by dipping their fingers into the sea and touching their eyes, so as to let the salt water trickle down their cheeks. Others would seize a chip, and holding it in the manner of a shark's tooth, declared they would cut themselves to pieces in despair ; some threatened to beat their brains out with a spear of grass, some to drown themselves, ard all were determined to inflict on themselves some dreadful punishment if I did not permit their sweethearts to come on shore. The men did not bear it with so much good humor: their situation, they said, was worse than slavery."
On the 12th Commodore Porter, having the Essex and Essex Junior ready for sea, sailed for the coast of South America to cruise against the enemy. Previous to leaving he had the remainder of the prizes warped in under the guns of the fort. The command of the fort was given to Lieutenant Gam
ble, of the marines, who had under him Messers, Feltus and Clapp two of the midshipmen, and twenty-one men. Captain Porter's object in leaving these vessels was to secure the means of future repairs to his ships, and to avoid an unnecessary detention, he gave Lieutenant Gamble orders to leave tho island in five and a half months if he should not hear from him in tho meantime.
The Essex had no sooner disappeared than the savages began to show a turbulent disposition. This was for the time quieted. Soon after one of the men was drowned and four deserted in a whaleboat. In April a part of the men mutinied and sailed away in the Seringapatam. In May the natives attacked them and killed midshipman Feltus and three of the men and severely wounded another. The whole party was now reduced to eight individuals of whom only four were fit for duty. With these Mr. Gamble got to sea in the Sir Andrew Hammond and went into the Sandwich islands where he was soon after captured by the Cherub. He there learned the fate of the Essex, which on the last of March, after a bloody and long sustained battle with the British ships Phæbe and Cherub, in the neutral harbor of Valparaiso, had surrendered. The action had been fought under great disadvantages with a far superior force of the enemy, and with a bravery that reflected great credit upon Captain Porter : indeed he refused to surrender until his principal officers, and more than one half of his crew, had been killed or wounded. Just before going into the action a squall of wind had carried away the main topmast of the Essex, so that Captain Porter could not maneuver his vessel. She therefore lay completely in the power of the enemy who could choose his own position and distance and with his guns of longer reach pour in the shot upon his crippled antagonist, without the latter having the shadow of a chance of a successful defense.
Thus terminated this enterprising and singular cruise. Its end was as disastrous as its commencement had been fortunate; and its whole history was romantic and highly creditable to the spirit, resources and self-reliance of the master mind who originated and carried it into execution.
Captain Porter was a native of Boston, Massachusetts, where he was born in 1780, so that at the time of starting on this eventful cruise he was but thirty-two years of age. On the termination of the war in 1815 he was appointed a naval commissioner, and performed the duties of that office until 1821. Subsequently, in relation to an insult offered the American flag at Forado, in Porto Rico, of which he was cognizant, he obliged the authorities of the place to make a due apology. He had no orders to do so ; and consequently was suspended for six mouths by a court-martial. He thereupon resigned his commission and joined the Mexican navy. In 1829, President Jackson appointed him minister to Constantinople, where he rendered his country most valuable aid, in the formation of treaties. He died in 1843, at the age of sixty-three years.
Captain Porter was the author of the celebrated motto, "Free Trade and Sailor's Rights.” On his return from his celebrated cruise, he was everywhere received with the highest honors. Congress and the several States gave him a vote of thanks, and by universal acclamation he was called "the Hero of the Pacific."
THE WISE AND HEROIC CONDUCT
J E H U DI A S H M U N:
AS SHOWN IN SAVING FROM DESTRUCTION AND IN ESTABLISHING ON A FIRM BASIS
THE AMERICAN COLONY OF LIBERIA.
AMONG the subjects that have attracted the consideration of statesmen and philanthropists of our time, that of African Colonization has been conspicuous. Many of our ablest and purest men have regarded this as the only practicable means to effect the ultimate regeneration of a degraded class of our population; and also as the mode by which the whole continent of Africa will eventually have opened to it the blessings of Christian civilization.
Among those names connected with the early history of the American colony of Liberia, is that of Jehudi Ashmun. He it was that in its darkest hour saved it from utter extermination, and by the exercise of masterly abilities in his agency of six years' duration, gained the reputation of having been one of the most remarkable of men. In the midst of the varying circumstances of difficulty and danger, he exhibited most conspicuously every variety of quality and talent that could be called for--military skill and courage, political sagacity and address, all of which were united to such a spirit of self-sacrifice that finally his life became the forfeit of his devotion.
Mr. Ashmun, was born in April, 1794, in Champlain, New York. His parents were respectable people in moderate circumstances. He was educated at the University of Vermont, and for a while was a Professor of Classical Literature in a Theological Seminary at Hampden, in Maine. He also received a license to preach.
The subject of foreign missions had taken a deep hold of his thought, and it was his ultimate design to devote his life to that department of labor. The elements of intellectual strength are generally mingled in the human character with ardent feelings and powerful passions. The talents which render men capable of great and noble actions, may, if perverted, cover them with all the disgrace and infamy of crime. Ashmun was naturally selfconfident, proud, ambitious. His imagination was warm, his passions ardent, his sensibility extreme. His religious sentiments at this time, were deeply tinged with a romantic enthusiasm. In allusion to this period, he some years after observed : “My genius and habits, much of the time, were decidedly of the ascetic cast. I determined not only to forsake the gay, but