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A LONG and interesting official Letter has been just received from Ota, heite, which we have the pleasure to subjoin; by which our readers will be happy to learn, that the Missionaries, though "in deaths oft," are still preserved, and have begun to preach the gospel in the Otaheitan language. Several private Letters are also come to hand; but our Jimits confine us to an extract from one only in the present Number.
Letter from the
Missionary Residence, Mattanai, Otaheite, July 8, 1802. Honoured Fathers and Brethren,
THE Nautilus, Capt. Simpson, anchored in our port the 26th of June: she is bound to Owhyce for pork, for the coJony of New South Wales; which is not only suffering for want of provisions, but is also in some danger of a mutiny among the convicts. At Owhyee, we understand, certain vessels are sure to be met with at this season, from the north-west coast of Ainezica, bound to China; at which last place, by the time they arrive, others are on the point of sailing for Europe. We are informed, by Captains Bishop and Simpson, that the conveyance of letters through this channel, is as safe as can be expected, from the casualties of the sea and the length of the voyage: we, therefore, embrace the opportunity of communicating to you some necessary intelligence concerning singular events that have lately occund' in OtaSeite, cheerfully resigning to the will of God your receiving or non-receiving this our epistle. As the loss of our journal would be of more importance than a letter, we think it best to transmit that in the same manner we did our former, through the medium of Governor King.
About eight days after the date of our Jast (Jan. 8, 1802) a small armed colonial brig, called the Norfolk, arrived from Port Jackson, dispatched by the Governor; and on the same service as his Majesty's ship Porpoise. By the Norfolk, brother Shelley and wife joined us; and a naturalist came to make his abode sometime on the island. Brother Shelley delivered us certain letters from England, by favour of Messrs Bass and Bishop, of the Venus; which he met with at Port Jackson. To those we cannot now speak particularly.
A week after the Norfolk, the Venus anchored in Mattavai Bay. Capt. Bishop and six men remained here to procure and
salt pork for the colony also; while Capt. Bass proceeded on to Owhyee, to do the like there; and, at the end of four months, to return and take on board Capt. B. & c.
In the latter end of March a great meeting was held in Attahooroo district (the long expected one taken notice of in some of our formner letters and journals); at which Otoo, after formally demanding, and being denied, forcibly took from the natives of that land a billet of wood, which these poor Heathens call their Great God; and which has been the occasion of a great rebellion, and much bloodshed.
At the time of the meeting in Atta hooroo, a gale of wind from the N.N.W. prevailed, that occasioned the loss of the Norfolk she being forced on shore on the beach, a little to the southward of the Briush house. By the dispensation of Providence, seventeen more of our countrymen were unexpectedly brought to sojourn with us in Mattavai. Only the hull of the Norfolk is lost; her crew, guns, stores, cargo, &c. were safely landed.
A few days after this event, 0:00, Pomarre, &c. who were in Papparra district,, in their way to Towteera, in Tyaraboo, where they were going to celebrate some heathenish rites, and deposit the idol that they had plundered the Attahoorooans of, sent us word that we should be upon car guard, for there was a probability of our being attacked by the Attahoorooans. But ten days had elapsed, from the time of our receiving this intelligence, when the At tahoorooans did, in a powerful body, break into the adjoining district of Fwhaa; killed some diseased persons that were not able to make their escape, plundered and burnt the houses of the inhabitants, and pursued their conquest into Oparte, where also they expelled the natives and fired a few dwellings, which done, they withdrew ta their own land. The fugitives of Fwhaa and Oparre took refuge near our babuat
o. The report was, that we likewise were to be assaulted, our persons destroyed, and property plundered. Capt. House, of the Norfolk, and Capt. Bishop (to whom, ander God, we are indebted for our pres r vation) exerted themselves much upon the occasion. Four small brass cannon, saved from the Norfolk, were planted in the most advantageous manner then judged; all the seamen and brethren that could, or could not, handle a musquet, were immediately embodied, as far as the musquets would go, and taught so much the use of arms as to be able to load and fire, &c.; guards were posted; and every precaution taken against a surprize.
In a few days more, a party, consisting of 2 or 300 men, with their wives and children, arrived from Eimeo, being sent for by Pomarre, to come and fight the Attahoorooans. They formed their encamp ment in the bay, where the long-house, called Nannoo (now burnt) stood. Here they were reinforced by those of Fwhaa, Oparre, Mattavai, and sundries, that came from tomarre. The Attahoorooans met them, fought them, and drove them to the foot of One Tree Hill. All now was confusion and fear among the natives: they asserted that their god fought for the rebels, and that they were irresistible. All around appeared confident that the Engishmen should next feel the weight of their arm, whom they would rush upon at once, and overpower with numbers. Capt. Bishop, and a strong party of mus queteers, on the day of action, had taken possession of the western pass, on the top of the hill, in order to resist the rebels, should they prevail over the king's friends, and attempt to enter this district. How ever, instead of that, they dispatched a messenger with the following terms :
1. They offered the Englishmen the peace (or government) of the districts of Mattavai, Oparre, and Fwhaa
2. If refused, they demanded a passage through Mattavai, to go to the eastward.
3. If denied, that they would fight their way.
Our path of duty was plain. To have admitted them into Mattavai, would have been the certain destruction of many help less persons, who had akady been compelled to fly for their lives, and who had placed themselves under the shadow of our wings for prot ction. To engage in war with them, was what all were averse to. We hesitated not in acceding to the first proposal. The Attahoorooans ratified the treaty, and retired to their own territories. Whether or no they would really have wentured to attack us, if the first term had been refused, and the second denied, we Cannot tell; but we think we may be sure of
this, that if at this crisis, only the Society had been residing in this district, the At tahoorooans would, doubtless, have pursued their advantages, and we must have hastily retreated, or fallen a sacrifice to their savage fury, which regards neither age, sex, nor condition at such times. Here then we saw the lighting down of the arm of the Lord in our defence, his em. nisciency in the knowledge of futurity,his wisdom in providing fit means for effecting the purpose of his goodness and his tender mercy towards us, that we, unworthy as we are, should be subjects of so much providence, care, and love.
The beaten party that surrounded us, filled our cars with repeated assurances, that the rebels only meant to deceive us ;' and that their real design was to lull us into a security, that they might obtain a more casy conquest over us: so that we were kept in continual anxiety, and sometimes so alarmed, that we were obliged to sleep upon our arms all night; and, at others, to rise suddenly from our beds and prepare for action, as if the foe were already at the door. Nor were the refugees less harrassed; for what awakened our fears, kept theirs awake: terrified with the apprehensions of the invaders approach (whom they deemed unconquerable) they stole off by degrees in their canoes, &c. to the eastward. The greater part of the Eimeoans, with their families, had fled for shelter to the small island that stands in Nannoo Bay, where the foe, who had no canoes, could not follow them. There they remained, fear bound, several days after the Attahoorooans had evacuated Oparre, not daring to move, and sending' to the Englishmen to go down and escort them up to Mattavai: which, however, was not considered as expedient to be done.
Intelligence of what had transpired we sent out to Pomarre, who remained at Towteera, busily employed in the mysteries of Satan, and shedding the blood of his sub. jects in sacrifice to his god; so infatuated with his abominable superstition, that he durst not stir a step towards checking the rebellion, which was growing strenger and stronger every day. The rebels took advantage of his folly, and executed what in this country may very well be termed a bold and daring plan.
Having expeditiously finished certain religious ceremonies over the dead bodies they had taken in the last action, and be ing joined by the districts of Paparra, Puppe, Ooreede, and Pappe-are, they crossed the isthmus, marched up to Towteera, and attacked Pomarre and all his force. This was done with so much secrecy and alertness, that Pomarre had but just time to collect his scattered people together, and prepare for their reception, • Or Wyercede.
On the king's side were about forty mus quets and a swivel; the rebels had about fourteen. In point of men, it is thought that the superiority was on the king's part also. In the evening the two par ties met; a slight skirmish ensued, in which, it is said by some, that the rebels received a check; but in a night-assault they made, they killed a great chief, relation and friend of Pomarre. This threw the king's forces into confusion: with the utmost precipitation they took to their canoes, filed, and left the rebels masters of Tyaraboo.
Pomarre, with his routed army, bore down for Mattavai. Capt. Bishop received him and his son under arms, as a token of respect. The Chief, and all his family's countenances were strongly marked with fear and dejection: he talked something of flying directly to Eimeo; but when he saw what we had done and were doing in fortifying our new house for self. defence, he appeared to take heart a little, and seemed to begin to hope that all was not yet lost. Thus the kind Providence that had so graciously wrought for our protection, took under its saving wings these poor Heathens. May the day soon come when many of them shall know him who is the Saviour of all men !
ravaging Tyaraboo, and then returned to their own lands. Prior to their return, Pomarre took the advantage of their absence, and sent a strong party to fall, in the dead of night, upon the men, women, and children that they had left at home. This enterprize succeeded; and, in two or three hours, near 200 of them, it is reported, were slain. This, instead of intimidating the rebels, indamed them the more. They professed their determination to be the utter extirpation of the present governors; and we fear much slaughter will be the result of this dreadful commotion.
After the rebels had exercised their bar barity sometime in Tyaraboo, they re marched back to their lands; being has tened thereunto by the unpleasing accounts of the destruction of several of their families. Word was continually coming to Pomarre that his foes were approaching. One day it was said, that they were coming up through Fwhaa and Oparre; another day, that they were crossing the isthmus, coming down from the eastward, joined also by the Tyarabooans; while presently after, it was confidently asserted that they had divided their forces, and were coming both ways at once. Pomarre knew not what to do: he caused some works to be thrown up on the west side of One Tree Hill; which would greatly assist in keeping off an enemy on that side: and he made a few faint attempts, by go
Expecting that now the rebels would certainly pursue their success (which was the general opinion of all Pom.arre's adherents) we laboured to make ourselves as strong as possible, that when they shoulding down to the Nannoo, to draw the Atappear, we might have no cause to reproach tahoorooans to an engagement. ourselves with self-confidence and neglect of necessary means for preservation, from a savage enemy never provoked by us, and whose only aim in warring against us must be for the sake of shedding blood and plunder.
We cut down all the bread-fruit, cocoanut trees, &c. (amounting to some score) which we conceived would be favourable for them, from behind, to annoy us with their musquets and slings. With the trees we formed a strong palisade round the lower apartments of our new house; to which the whole of the Society was retired, as also Capts. House and Bishop, with their property, and sundry Seamen. While the veranda, that runs the length of the front of the building,. was barricadoed; as likewise the upper apartments, with chests, bedding, bales of natives cloth, &c. so as to be in general musquet-ball proof. Before this, the four small cannon had been removed from their former situations, and planted in two opper-end rooms, where they commanded an extensive range;-the small-arms were distributed in the other apartments. But the rebels were mercifully kept at a distance from us. They remained sometime
At last the Nautilus arrived; which appeared to give new life to the king's friends. Pomarre soon prevaild with Captain Simpson, through the mediation of Captain Bishop, to grant him a boat mas ned and armed, to accompany him to Attahooroo, where he was very desirous of going, to offer up to his god, which the rebels had retaken in Tyaraboo, some exceedingly valuable, as he thought, presents. He went with his fleet and the Nautilus's boat. The Attahoornoents, who were assembled on the beach, seemed to wait for an attack; but made none. They contented themselves with keeping Pomarre out of the Morai, and obliged him to make his oblation on the sea-beach, at some distance off. As the rebels committed no act of violence, Pomarre (who is rolled up in superstition) would not permit any hostilities to be commenced against them, though the opportunity appeared favourable. Having finished his prayers, he re-embarked with all his people, highly pleased that he had performed so great a service, and returned to Mattavai.
Antecedent to his arrival, Captain Bishop, who now thought that Pomarie's main object in soliciting a party from the
Nautilus, was to proceed immediately against his rebellous subjects, and to endeavour to subdue them to obedience, was disappointed at the boat's return without effecting any thing: requested a meeting of the Society, at which were present also Capt. House and Mr. Lewin the naturalist. He proposed, that since Pomarre would not attack the rebels, and as they have frequently (so it is declared by those arround us) threatened the destruction of the English, the English should, with the assistance of Porarre's musquetry, go and attack them. Capt. H. declined engaging with his men in the matter, it being contrary to his orders from Gov. King, to take any decided part in the affairs of the country. Mr. Lewin assented, could a sufficient party be formed for the enterprize. The Society reasoned some time upon the subject, and concluded with observing, that they did not see it their path of duty to embark in such an undertaking; and recommended, that, as thro' Pomarre's absence we did not know what his designs were, we should wait his return.
Two days after Pomarre arrived, and renewed his solicitations with Captains Bishop, and Simpson, for men and arins, to assist him in quelling the existing rebellion. Capt. B. desired another meeting; which was attended as before; the sub. ject of actively engaging in the present commotions was resumed. Capt. B. now informed the Society, that he did not wish for them to take part in, the business, against their inclination; he only requested to know, if it would not be for the Society's interest, that there should be peace; and whether it would not be for the interest of the Society, that he should go and act against the rebels. The sense of the Society was taken singly upon the subject, when only one negative was found, who objected, through a scruple of conscience. Some arguments were now used by Capt. B. with Capt. H. to induce hem to permit his men (who only waited his consent) to be employed in the service. Capt. H. agreed, if the Society would indemnify him to Governor King, for a breach of orders. This the Society acceded to. Capt. B. drew up a certificate for the purpose, and the assenting members signed it.
Preparations were now made for the war. By 10, P. M. the whole armament was embarked, and on their way i Attahooroo. The number of Europeans with Capt. Bishop, was 19 men, well armed, a boat with the first mate and four men from the Nautilus, a four pounder cannon, and all Pomarre's forces. Brother Elder attended as surgeon. Otoo and the young prince of Tvaraboo remained here, with a few servants.
On Monday, July 5th, Capt. Bishop, brother Elder, and part of the Europeans, returned. By Capt. B. various expresses already received, were confirmed; the substance of which was as follows:
The fleet landed in Attahooroo on Saturday, July 3d, at eleven A. M. a small party of the rebels saw their approach, and retired. The enemy was withdrawn to their strong holds, which, on reconnoiter. ing, were found to be, if not wholly impregnable, yet the storming of them must be attended with great loss. Capt. B. and men would have made the attempt; but Pomacre and inen could not be brought to venture on so desperate an action. Several shot were fired, which in general fell harmless. One of Pomarre's men was wounded in the chin and throat, by a bail from the enemy; though they fired but few musquet, owing perhaps to their scantiness of ammunition; stones they slung in abundance, and rolled down some from a great height, of several hundred pounds weight. On the following morning, a party of Papparra people, marching to join the rebels, was intercepted by a party of the royalists. The leader of the party (who was a great warrior) and his wife (a woman of a very goodly appear ance) were slain; the rest made their escape, and got safe to the strong holds. The bodies of the man and his wife were treated in a most inhuman manner. The rest of the day passed without any particular occurrence, till evening, when Capt. B. wearied with the inactivity, irresolution, and want of subordination, that pervaded Pomarre's camp, had actually re-embarked his men, to return to Mattavai. Pomarre also, who thought it not safe to remain there without the Englishmen, was re-embarking his people with all possible speed. The embarkation was nearly completed, and most of the canoes were moving off, when an unexpected event took place, which gave a new turn to affairs.
A young man who has been with the Society some years, and who had taken to himself the name of To-morrow-Morn
ing, had shewn a most active and coura geous spirit, and performed such feats of bravery, as astonished our countrymen, and excited the admiration of his own. This young man at the time of embarking, was up with one more, at the enemy's entrenchments, braving them to appear and fight, and firing at them, as he saw opportunity. At this season a heavy shower of rain came from the mountains. The rebels, perhaps, decming this a favourable time, se.zed, as they thought, the golden moment, and, in great numbers rushed out, armed with musquets, spears, clubs, and slings, and chaced To-morrowMoning and the ot! er down to the fleet;
they at times firing upon him, and he on them.
The noise of the musquets, and their approach, attracted the attention of the people embarked, and stopped their further proceedings. To-morrow-Morning came in sight, and gave notice that the enemy was come. In the twinkling of an eye, a few of Pomarre's musqueteers, not yet in their canoes, sprang forward to the combat. A successful discharge of their pieces obliged the rebels in an instant to turn their backs and fly. In the mean time the seamen and soldiers relanded, and joined in the pur suit of the flying foe; who, in a very peculiar manner, after running some space, in a moment rallied, and faced their pur
Some of Capt. B.'s party were sufficiently near for the attack. The sight of the Europeans overpowered the rebels; their spirit failed them, and they now fled in different directions: some made for the Thountains to the right and left; and others directly for their strong holds; to the entrance of which they were chaced.
This most unlooked-for dispensation of Providence proved highly advantageous for Pomarre, as God gave into his hands seventeen of the rebels, who were killed upon the spot; all fighting men, inveterate ene mies, and among them one of the principal ringleaders of the rebellion. Many others were wounded, but escaped. Though we may be thankful to God for the subduing of those who delight in war, and are averse to peace,-yet, we find much cause to lament the extreme depravity of man's nature, which admits no bounds to revenge and cruelty, when resentment is roused, and power obtained to execute it. Ea h of the seventeen bodies was treated in the most wantonly barbarous manner:-pierced with spears, beat with clubs, dashed with stones, derided, scoffed, and otherwise maltreated, as if now susceptible of pain, or affected by
lively as ever. They could do no more than discharge several musquets upon them, which could do them but little hurt; and after a while, return to the fleet. A woman, an ambassadress, was permitted to pass between the parties. She carried an account to the rebels of those who had been killed, and how they were treated. They received the intelligence with seeming indifference; said that they did not know them; and as for the slain chief, they supposed that he had been carried away by the river, and not slain by the royalists. The surviving ringleader of the rebellion, a reIation of Pomarre's, named Tahtahace, bade the ambassadress acquaint Pomarre, that when they had done to him as they had done to Rooa (the name of the chief killed) then, and not till then, there would be peace in the land.
Capt. Bishop knowing that Capt. Simpson could not be detained longer from prosecuting his voyage, returned with the boat, leaving fifteen men with Pomarre. Brother Elder also returned. Pomaire has,
not lost in the expedition any man killed, and but four wounded: one of whom was by his own party, by mistake. One of the Norfolk's men received a slight blow on his hip with a stone. On Tuesday Po marre sent the Europeans home, and removed his fleet about twelve miles nearer Mattavai, and there encamped.
Upon the whole, this short campaign, through the mercy of God, has tended very much to destroy the strength of the pre vailing commotion. The two chiefs above named (one of whom is dead) may be considered as the life of the rebellion. Their fighting men remaining are but few. As for the body of the people, on both sides, they are always spectators; and prepared to fly, or plunder, and exercise cruelties
on those wounded or slain.
Respecting our personal safety, while God is pleased to continue the means he has afforded us, there is little probability now that we shall be assailed in our habitations. But the Venus is expected every hour; on her arrival, Capt. Bishop and men will quit the island, if not also Capt. House and men. Should that occur, and the disturbances of the island not be settled, what may follow, we cannot tell. The Porpoise is looked for; but her coming is dubious. We have suffered considerably by the present distresses, through destroying several inclosures of gardens, and gardens themselves, and pulling down our chapel: all which was done to clar around us, as much as possible, in order to prevent an unseen a proach, and al o the firing of our dwelling from the flames of the chapel, should it be bart; it being close to the dwelling-hoase. The Society's labour and expence in erecting the fence, &c. and cu