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Manna, Mokea, Steam, Jack, and Hiram, Ha- ridiculously afraid were the Japanese of freignwaiians, all formerly belonging to the ship Lado-ers looking at their possessions, that these fifteen ga; and Ranald M'Donald, of Astoria; belong- unarmed sailors were conducted to their lodging ing to the ship Plymouth. The cunning of the through a file of armed soldiers lining both sides Japanese in deferring the delivery until they had of the street. finished all their own conferences, and placed themselves in security aboard their own boats, was very evident, as thereby all charges brought by their misused prisoners would fall harmless upon them. They may have been conscious that a conference upon the deck of the Preble might have been unpleasant, and they placed at a disadvantageous equality with those whom they had so badly treated.
The narrative of the imprisonment of these unhappy mariners shows the cruelty of the Japanese government, and the necessity of making some arrangement with it involving the better usage of those who are cast upon their shores. The men told their story to Capt. Glynn in a straightforward manner, which carried conviction with it; and we are happy in being able to furnish the following account compiled from their depositions :
NARRATIVE OF THE SAILORS.
Here the men remained quiet till the twenty days were up, constantly in charge of a guard and restrained from walking about, at which time they were told no vessel would be ready until twenty days more had elapsed; at the expiration of this second period, they were informed that they would not be allowed to leave the place till January, and their application to be permitted to depart in their own boats was refused. Finding that no dependence could be placed in the assertions of the Japanese, McCoy and Ball made their escape from the prison, intending, if possible, to reach the coast and get to sea in a boat; but they were captured in the first village they approached to ask for food, and taken back to their comrades. A while after their return, on the occurrence of a quarrel the guard nailed Ball into a grated crib by himself for ten days; the cage was too low for him to stand up, and when he hallooed to his comrades, violating the orders of his keepers not to speak, he was jammed at with a stick to compel him to be quiet; for four days out of these ten he was unable to eat.
It appears that the men from the Ladoga deserted her on account of ill usage, and went off in three boats about June 5th, 1848, near the straits of Sangar; they cruised along the coast of Yesso, While he was in this cage, McCoy and Martin and landed to get food and water, but being re-made their escape, but were soon arrested on the fused, put to sea and landed again about three coast, though not before McCoy had swum out a miles north, where the villagers built them three distance from the shore; they were both put in a mat sheds, and supplied them with food. On the crib or cage by themselves after they were brought morning of the 7th, an officer inquired why they back, and Ball added to their company. Here they had come there, and gave them permission to stay remained twenty-five days, fed through a hole just till a northerly wind blew to carry them away; large enough to admit a cup. Martin was taken and meanwhile ordered a calico screen to be put out once, after some high words had passed beup, and guards posted, to prevent them from going tween him and the others, and thrown on the into or seeing the adjoining country. These sol- ground; standing on him, the Japanese bound his diers were armed with swords and matchlocks, and arms, and then raised him up and secured him to their superiors were cased in mail and Japanned hel- a post, where they beat him with the bight of a mets or hats made of paper, and resembling broad-rope over his face and head; after which he was brimmed quaker hats; the men carried the match returned to his cage, at the intercession of his for their matchlocks at their waist. incensed companions, who endeavored to break out.
About the 10th of August, the men were all removed on board a junk, the three just mentioned
The shipwrecked sailors were supplied with about one hundred and sixty pounds of rice and some firewood; on the next morning they put to sea again, pulling and sailing down the coast, ev-being put into a cage between decks only five feet erywhere perceiving that the country was aroused, and keeping off until they were invited ashore by a boat from a village near where they had first landed; here they found three mat inclosures run up for their reception since they came in sight, and were told they could stay there till the wind became fair. On the afternoon of the 9th, on attempting to go aboard their boats, they found they were prisoners, and the reasons assigned for detaining them were that an officer wished to speak to them, and that their boats were so frail and small they would perish, but that in twenty days a larger vessel would be furnished them. Their luggage was all brought ashore and ticketed, and placed within a house in the village; five days after they were again removed to a prison-so
high, six feet long, and four feet broad; the other twelve men were stowed in a second cage twelve by ten feet square, and high enough to stand up in. In these cribs they were kept during the passage to Nangasacki, where they arrived about September 1st; they made every objection to going ashore, and asked for their own boats that they might try to reach China in them. Moreama, the government interpreter, among other falsehoods, told them they should be carefully taken care of ashore, and in six weeks forwarded to Batavia in the Dutch ship. One could have a little more patience with a people like the Japanese, if to their cruelty in carrying out regulations which they suppose necessary for their national safety, they did not add such gratuitous mendacity to de
lude the unfortunates in their power.
The men were questioned on board of the junk, and then carried to the "town house of Nangasacki," as they called it, in kago or chairs; as each man entered the door, he was compelled to step on a crucifix in the ground, and if he showed any dislike to tread on the sacred emblem, a Japanese attendant on each side pulled him back, or lifted him up, until both feet rested on it. McCoy was told that if any of the men had refused to go through this ceremony, he would have been put into an iron house, from which death would be his only exit. Boyd was pulled from one side to the other, as he showed some dexterity at dodging it, until he was forcibly fixed by his guard upon it. When in the town house, they were made to squat down, and shortly a hissing sound announced the governor's approach. They told him in brief they were shipwrecked Americans; but as it was now dark, the examination soon closed, and they were carried to a temple about a mile from the town, where they were lodged in a room surrounded by a fence thirty feet high, beyond which was a wall eight or ten feet high; their guard lodged under the same roof, separated from them by a grating. These accommodations were not so bad and strait as the cages and junk.
In a day or two they were all again carried to the town house, and questioned more minutely, but McCoy and Boyd had by this time learned enough of the Japanese language to know that the interpretations of Moreama were very incorrect. Partly on this account, perhaps, the examination was again put off to the morrow, at which time the opperhoofd from Desima was present. "He asked us," says McCoy, "what was our object in coming into the Japan seas? We told him we came in pursuit of whales. He then asked us if we came in pursuit of any other kind of fish ;if whaling was our only object;—and if we did not also come to spy out the country? We told him, No, we only came for whales. He asked us if we ate the whales; to which we replied, We made oil of them, &c.;-with more such conversation, after which we were carried back to our prison."
The suspicious rulers, having no truth themselves, were not satisfied with the superintendent's examination, and next day (September 6th) this testimony was all gone over again, and after it concluded, Moreama told them he doubted not they were spies, and came for no other purpose than to examine the country. The Dutch superintendent kindly sent them coffee, sugar, gin, and wine, and a piece of longcloth for Ball to make himself clothes. After six weeks had elapsed, he sent a letter to them, stating that permission had not yet come from Yeddo, but that the Dutch ship would tarry twenty-five days outside of the harbor; he also wisely cautioned them against quarrelling, adding that such unruly conduct would only aggravate their condition. In their reply to this note, the dispirited seamen expressed themselves as in a wretched condition, and begged him to
make known their case to some American consul, if perchance thereby a man-of-war might be sent to their relief.
Seeing no release come, the impatient McCoy escaped from his prison, by tearing off the boards from the fence and climbing the wall, in the vain hope of getting aboard of the Dutch ship lying off the harbor before she sailed. He travelled all night, and hid himself in the hills during the next day, till 4 P. M., when he made for the beach; a rain-storm induced him to hope the coast was clear; but he was retaken and carried back in a kago to his old quarters, and questioned as to his designs in escaping, and his object in spying out the land. He was put in stocks, and tied to the grating during the night, and the next day carried to the town house to undergo another examination, where the question as to his being a spy was again asked; though he told his keepers his only desire was to get aboard of the Dutch ship. He was taken thence to the common prison in the heart of the town, once the site of a church, and kept there by himself about three weeks. McCoy had by this time acquired so much knowledge of Japanese as to be able to talk with the people and his guard on most common subjects; but they were too carefully watched themselves to be free to tell him anything of importance. At the end of three weeks, thinking the Dutch ship had sailed, he despaired of ever getting away, and refused to take food. His guard told him he must eat, for that doubtless the emperor would give permission when he "thought good" for them to depart; and the governor himself sent an officer to inquire the reason of his abstinence. On the fourth day (November 16) he was taken to the town house in a kago, rather faint from his long fast, where he again saw his companions, and met Mr. Levyssohn. This gentleman informed them all that permission for their departure had not yet come, and that the ship had already waited five days beyond the twenty-five; he added that he had written to the American consul at Batavia, and endeavored to cheer up the spirits of the disheartened men by telling them that they were not among savages, and that there was no cause for fear, if release was long deferred. He also obtained a promise from the Japanese, that if McCoy behaved quietly he should be restored to his shipmates; which was done four days after.
After a month's detention, another escape was planned, by burning through the floor of their room and digging under the board fence; but only McCoy, Boyd, and Ball, got out, when the guard heard the noise and stopped the rest. These three made for the thickets behind the town, and directed their course south-westerly to the seashore, which they reached about two o'clock; but the barking of a dog turned them from their course, so that daylight surprised them before they could reach some boats they saw in a distant cove. Hiding themselves in the bushes during the day, they started the next evening for the seaside; but hunger compelled them to ask a peasant for food-he
kindly invited them to come into his hut and eat, and straightway went for the police, who arrested and pinioned the fugitives while at table, and returned them to the temple after an absence of twenty-four hours. Here their arms were tied up behind their backs so tight and high that, when the cords were removed after four hours' suffering, the poor fellows could not let their hands down without assistance. As a further punishment for their restlessness, they were then fettered on large stocks, McCoy's being the heaviest, (about three hundred pounds,) and laid in the outer yard during the night. In the morning, wet with dew and stiff from their constraint, they and all their companions were carried to the town-house. While proceeding thither, they imprecated the vengeance of their country upon their tormenters, who tauntingly replied: "If any officers from your country come here, we will serve them as we did the American commodore, last year, who was knocked down at Yeddo by a soldier; if the Americans took no notice of that, why should they look after you, who are only poor sailors? You are here now, and cannot help yourselves. If their ships come here, the priests will blow them to pieces."
It was now becoming cold, and the snow and rain beat through the cages; no bedding, not even their own clothes, were given the wretched men. They begged hard for covering of some sort for Ezra Goldthwait, who was taken ill about Christmas. This man had been quite well, hitherto; he became delirious on the third day, with such symptoms of swelled and cracked parched tongue, pain in the stomach, and frothing at the mouth, that his companions in misery were sure he had been poisoned. His only protection was a thin shirt and trowsers; but though the snow beat upon him as he lay on a quilt in his foul cage, his cruel keepers refused to return him his own blanket, only three days, when he had been sick three weeks, before he died. A physician came every day, whose prescriptions rather increased his malady. This poor man had smuggled a Bible into his cage, which he requested Martin to return to his relations in Salem, Mass. He died January 24th, the Japanese new year, and was buried next day, his keepers ridiculing the others for asking permission to attend the funeral, just as they did when Mawy was buried. Not long after his death, Waters was attacked in the same manner, but recovered as soon as his companions refused to give him the doctor's prescriptions. His guards told him one day that his coffin was made, the grave dug, and the day appointed when they were to bury him.
Their food during this time was rice and sweet potatoes for breakfast, rice and now and then a treat of three or four ounces of fish for dinner, and rice with boiled sea-weed for supper; tea was furnished for drink. There was little to break the monotony of their irksome captivity. They could not read the Bible, lest it should be taken away from them; and had no other books, or any means of amusement. A Japanese culprit was decapitated near their cage one day, but as only one could look out of the hole at a time, McCoy alone saw a lad running by the door with a head in his hand; the guards, to scare them, intimated strongly that such might be their own fate; but Martin says he cared very little about the threat. most of the talking, and had become rather intimate with one of the guards, who, as a great secret, told him there was another American in prison in Nangasacki. He also learned from the same source the existence of the war between his own country and Mexico.
At the examination, the governor remarked he was more convinced than ever that they were spies, by these repeated attempts to escape; and in order to secure them from injuring themselves, and save himself from anxiety by their trying to get out, he sent them all to prison, confining them in two small cages, which were enclosed in a larger one; McCoy, Boyd, and Martin were kept in one 18 by 8 feet, and the rest in another 18 by 12 feet square, the two being about six feet apart; both of them offensive, full of vermin, and open to the weather, and to be entered only by crawling in. The only furniture in them were lousy mats and a small washstand. The next night (December 17th) Mawy, one of the Hawaiians, hung himself in his cage, evidently by design, and not from aberration of mind. His corpse was put into a square box and buried in the Dutch burying ground; and when his comrades asked permission to accompany the body to its burial, their request was scoffingly rejected; though in the official report handed to Captain Glynn, it is asserted that the men themselves buried him. In view of the increased sufferings brought upon them all, the spirited attempts of McCoy and his shipmates to break loose were blameable, especially too, after one experiment had convinced them of the hopelessness of ultimate escape from the country. The fate of an Ameri- reached its destination and accomplished its purcan sailor belonging to a shipwrecked company pose. On the evening of April 17th, they heard two years before,* who had been cut down when a single distant gun, and soon after one of the resisting the police, and died of his wounds from guard told McCoy, under charge of secrecy, he cruel neglect, should also have served as a warn- was sure it indicated the approach of a vessel; ing, and was perhaps told them with that object- and if so, they would soon hear others from the though here at ease and liberty, we are not going forts to alarm the country and put the people on to judge the conduct of these imprisoned men in their guard, which they actually did while yet their natural desires and attempts to be free, very conversing. His shipmates commenced cheering; strictly.
The day of their deliverance was now approaching, the letter sent by the Dutch ship having
but by request of his good-natured informant,
*The account of the loss of the Lawrence has already McCoy asked them to be quiet, lest suspicion
been published in our columns.
should be aroused. In the evening he overheard
out of sight, now coming down again nearly touching the surface of the earth, and then again disappearing in the distance, as if in search of shelter,
citement, and sometimes real enjoyment, in a border life, notwithstanding the hardships; something is turning up continually to give spirit to the party, and our fare we look upon in a matter-of-course or fleeing from the impending wrath of the eleway, until it is occasionally varied, when fortune smiles upon us, by a change to fresh, delicious game. As we were toiling along one day, we were overtaken by a son of the Emerald Isle, all alone and on foot. He was not overloaded; his baggage consisted of a small bundle, hung on a stout cudgel, swung over his shoulder, the end of which rested in a huge fist, not unlike a brown loaf in resemblance. His walk was fast and steady; as he came up opposite to me, humming an Irish tune, I inquired where he was bound. "To California, sir," he replied, with a peculiar twinkle of his small gray eyes. The idea was so novel, to think that he would attempt a three months' journey, solitary and alone, across a country totally unknown to him, without friends, acquaintances, or provisions to last him any length of time, that I at first began to doubt his sincerity. But on he was going, and would soon have left our party behind, if it had not been proposed to him that he join our company. He accepted, and is now one He has turned out to be an original genius, and witty, as you may well suppose. We have given him the name of " Tall Walker," although he disavows any claim to it, but says he was christened Pierce Flemming, in county Mayo.
Numbers of deer and antelope are to be seen, but too far off to get a shot at them. The huntsman of our company is Joseph Taylor. Who is there that has visited, for a few years past, the well known place of resort called Sportman's Hall, near Cincinnati, and not heard of the soul of good company and marksman, Joe Taylor? He still continues with his shot gun, or rifle, to be equal to any emergency with a possibility of success. Wild turkeys, ducks, and snipe are frequently brought in by him, after an absence of but an hour
STORM ON THE PRAIRIE.
On the 25th of June, encamped upon the open plain without wood or water. We are compelled to drink from the stagnant pools in the holes on the prairie, so intense is our thirst. The air is hot and oppressive. Dark clouds were looming up in the south-west, indicating the approach of supply in the stormy clouds. A thunder storm on the prairie is a fearful sight. All was rendered snug at our quarters, like any ship at sea, at the first distant sound of Vulcan's anvil, who is still forging the Ægian shield for Jupiter, not unlike the noise of
Armorers, accomplishing the knights,
ments. The atmosphere became agitated, a light
And the firmament now glowed
Without light, or fire, other than the light of heaven, we lay down upon the wet mattresses, and forgot our troubles as sleep, the universal leveller, stole o'er our brows with leaden legs and batty wings.
There are many things to cheer the emigrants while on their long march, and not the least of these is the news occasionally received by telegraph. Be not astonished when I tell you that the telegraph is extended along the road to California. I do not mean the great Lightning King, O'Riley's, but a line established by the emigrants themselves, for their own convenience. I will exThe wagons were arranged to form a hollow plain. At different points along the road there square, with the tent erected in the centre; the are sheets of writing paper nailed up high on the mules were picketed at a short distance on the trees by those who have gone on before. They outside. The clouds rolled up, and drifted across are generally headed with the name of the officers the sky with fearful velocity. Various-sized birds of each company, and from what state they came, went crying through the air, now flying almost and then commences a detail of events occurring
among them on the way up to this point, with short distance over rolling lands and dry hard soil, the date of the time when they passed this tele- we at length reached Fort Kearney. The idea graphic post. One day Taylor had been gone longer than usual on a hunting excursion, when it was determined to call a halt, and, as it was growing towards five o'clock, we concluded to pitch our tent and go no further that night. He had gone on before us, and we supposed probably turned off the road to follow an antelope or wolf, to get a shot, and in that way had fallen behind us. We thought it best to await his coming up. About an hour afterwards we heard him coming down the road, he being still ahead of us. His mule was loaded with game; and the first words we had from him, as he galloped within hailing distance, were, "More news by telegraph!" "What is it?" returned some half dozen voices at once. "Dupuy, of St. Louis, died of cholera yesterday; his company are six or eight hours ahead of us." I learned the news at the telegraphic station (an oak tree) about two miles up the road.
On the 28th of June, at morning's dawn, our little train pursued its way along the margin of the Little Blue river, and as the road turned to the left leaving the prairie far behind, I turned to take a last look at its broad green surface, and, with a sigh, involuntarily repeated the lines,
Oh! the prairie lea is the home for me,
associated with what is termed a fort, would lead one to suppose it would comprise a block-house, with loop-holes to fire through, out on the enemy, or four walls enclosing a certain number of feet of ground, either square or oblong, with bastions and cannon, and a sentinel or two to keep up a warlike appearance. Not so with Fort Kearney. It is nothing more than a few mud huts, apparently built for a temporary purpose. It is situated on the north bank of the Platte river, opposite to Grand Island, three hundred and twenty-eight miles from St. Joseph. We reached it on the 30th of June, about mid-day, and encamped on the low plat in front of it. Found plenty of soldiers, and a blacksmith's shop. The latter we have had occasion to call pretty loudly for, considering the little experience each one of our party has had in that line of business. The venerable descendant of Vulcan, with his assistants, seem to be in great demand, as a large number of emigrants are waiting here to make repairs, and to give their mules time to recover from the effects of over-driving.
ASCENT OF MOUNT ORIZABA.
To the Editor of the Living Age.
WHILE looking recently at some of the back numbers of your valuable periodical, I observed an account of the expedition by a party of American officers to the summit of Orizaba, which, like most of the accounts from Mexico, published while our army occupied that country, contains many errors. I have thought, therefore, that an account of the trip by one of the successful party, might not be unacceptable to your readers.
The Peak of Orizaba, though situated nearly a hundred miles inland, is the first point which comes in view on approaching Vera Cruz from the gulf. Being visible fifty miles at sea, it is the most important land-mark to the sailor in those regions.
While the command under Colonel (now General) Bankhead, which was the first to march from Vera Cruz to the city of Orizaba, was en route," (Feb. 1848,) the mountain being constantly in view, a trip to its summit was frequently discussed; and after our arrival at that place, the marvellous stories told by the inhabitants only
We are now entering the Pawnee region. The vicious habits of the Indian tribe from which it takes its name are such, that all the emigrants are doubly vigilant while in their country, and it is customary to increase the number of the guard at night. Their thieving propensities are such that a white man will lose the very coat from his back and the boots from his feet, between sleeping and waking, scarcely being aware of it until fairly aroused, and then he becomes sensible of the fact that they have been stolen from him. The Arabian tale of the three sharpers that stole from the countryman, who was taking a goat to the Bagdad market, his goat, his mule, and his clothes from his back, without he suspecting it until too late, is a mere nothing to the stories I hear of these Indians. Some of them I will transfer to paper at the ear-increased the desire to make the attempt. All liest opportunity. From the Little Blue river the road stretches across the country a distance of twenty-eight miles to the Platte river. We passed through fine bottom lands, a dark luxuriant soil, covered for the space of a hundred yards with buffalo skulls. The picturesque scenery surrounding the entrance to this valley, brought to mind the romantic myth of the Northmen. Im- avalanches, under which, we were assured, all of agination pictured among the bones, tall warriors drinking their fiery draught from the skulls of those whom they have killed in battle, and dancing their drunken war-dance in Odin's Halls, and on the mead of Valhallah.
Passing the low bottom lands, we reached the banks of the Platte river; pursuing its course a
agreed that the summit had never been reached, though several knew or had heard of its being attempted. The difficulties to be encountered were represented as perfectly insurmountable; craggy precipices were to be climbed, gullies two thousand feet deep to be crossed, inclined planes of smooth ice to be ascended; to say nothing of the
the rash party daring the attempt would find a ready grave. These extraordinary accounts produced quite a different effect from the one anticipated, and the question was not who would go, but who should stay at home.
It was not, however, till the latter part of April that the weather was thought favorable, and secur