Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | June 27, 2014

June 26, 1849

Mary Brewster, TUESDAY [June] 26th [1849]: “Had just got to sleep when the fourth officer came and said the Indians were coming in canoes it being 11 o’clock we did not feel much pleased as we preferred to form our first opinion by day as well as acquaintances — “

“By a former visitor to these regions had given them [natives] a hard name our officers and crew was far from being pleased with the sound when Mr. Cook went below and gave the alarm — ‘The bloody Indians are coming.’ Neither was I pleased I had in a measure got use to the ice and thought we should get clear from it when the wind changed but the Indians was a new subject & very unexpected — I asked husband what he should do, said he should not allow them to come on board till he could see something of them — a few spades [to use as weapons] was got down [from their storage braces] — four muskets loaded neither of them though would go off — or not more than one — They came alongside and when motioned to leave and go back they went — and we went to bed. This morning several canoes came off and the first one to which came said good morning with the word English we said America they wanted towack and not instantly taking their meaning a slight tap on their face with one of their number speaking more plain toback the tobacco was got and liberally distributed to them and the great joy exhibited by them showed they were well acquainted with the weed. They had their women with them, and were dressed alike in trousers made of seal skin and a skin similar to s shirt. I was quite pleased with their appearances, and we all concluded they were harmless [and not cannibals] — As there was a large pack of ice coming which would not clear the ship it was up anchor and haul in yet closer having seen a little bend in the land forming a small bay we tried to get into it — as it was very thick we could not see but knew we must be very near the shore — At 4 this afternoon the sun came out and we were less than a quarter of a mile from being high and dry. Saw the Indians distinctly looking out their huts and on the shore looking at the ship — being under a high mountain it seemed to me as if the ship must touch when she swung around — and as Mr. B. thought we were to near hauled off and again dropped anchored….

NOTE: Mary Brewster made journal entries for June 27, 29-30.


Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860.


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