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Calypso, the Charybdis, and the Tribune, had called in the order mentioned.
It was about this time-1863-that preparations were being made on Norfolk Island for the second party to return, which number originally far exceeded that of the first; but, when almost everything was ready, some withdrew. The vessel chartered to convey them was a small schooner,-the St. Kilda. The emigrants were twenty-seven persons, two of whom-Mrs. Elisabeth Young and Mrs. Hannah Young-were daughters, respectively, of John Mills and John Adams, mutineers of the Bounty. They were grand looking old women, and queenly in their bearing. It was most affecting to watch them, while on the passage from Norfolk Island, sitting together, side by side, on the deck, and talking of their children left behind, till the tears would start from their aged eyes and roll down their furrowed cheeks. Silent tears they were, but they testified to many a deep, tender feeling hidden in the heart. Mrs. Elisabeth Young was the oldest inhabitant of Pitcairn Island, and is now, at the time I write, still living, and carries well her ninety years. Of the others who returned, were Thursday O. Christian and his wife Mary (daughter of Mrs. E. Young, who was mentioned above, and who was returning to see her son, Mayhew Young, who was of the first party); and with them their nine children. A little girl of theirs, about five years of age, died on the passage. As the distance was not now very great, there being about a fortnight's run to the island, the parents begged the captain to preserve the body, to which request he kindly acceded, and they had the mournful satisfaction of bringing their dead to place beside others of theirs, who had long since been laid in the dust.
The others who returned were Simon Young and Mary, his wife, and their eight children (a son of theirs, the first-born, was with Bishop Patteson, of the Melanesian Mission); Robert and Lydia Buffett, and an American, Samuel Warren, who married the eldest daughter of Thursday and Mary Christian on the eve of their departure from Norfolk Island, and agreed to cast in his lot with them; Mrs. Hannah Young, Simon Young's mother, who left all the rest of her children and grandchildren on Norfolk Island, to accompany her younger son to her early home.
After taking leave of beloved relatives and friends, whom, perchance, they were never to see again in this world, the second
The night before the St. Kilda's party landed was spent on board in thorough wakefulness. The excitement that prevailed was so great as not to allow of any one's taking rest, and lights were sent up and guns were fired, which greatly alarmed the few people on shore, who could not at all account for all the noise and confusion, and so imagined that something of a very terrible nature was about to befall them. However, when the morning came, all fears were calmed, and it was with a true pleasure that old friends met once again. The younger people were all shy, on first meeting, but that soon gave place to a cordial welcome. The two families were all in the enjoyment of health, two infants only having died. In general, everything was going on well; the only want felt was of clothing, and that, for the time being, was well supplied, as the new arrivals brought a good supply.
For bedding, what was commonly used was a kind of cloth, manufactured, with much labor and trouble, from the fibrous bark of the paper-mulberry. This tappa, as it is called, has more of the nature of paper than of cloth, and could not stand much washing. To remedy this, however, the cloth is dyed in the juice of the bark of the candle-nut tree, after the bark is scraped from the tree, and the juice extracted by steeping it in water. The dye is of a reddish color, and renders the cloth tough.
The houses not inhabited were generally in a dilapidated state, and the new-comers found homes with the two families, till some place of abode could be provided for them. In a short time, each family had a home of its own.
The services on Sundays and Wednesdays had hitherto been conducted, in turn, by Moses Young and Mayhew Young, and were held in either of the cottages. The services were in accordance with the liturgy of the Church of England. After the second arrival, when the state of things was somewhat settled, all who were able engaged in building a place of worship, which was soon completed, as the structure was perfectly simple. Simon Young was chosen for the pastor of the small community, which place he has held ever since.
On the 25th of December, 1864, the first Christmas Day after the second party's return, a triple marriage took place between three of the former arrivals and three of the second. The names were as follows: Elias Christian, who married Elisabeth, eldest daughter of Moses Young; his brother, Alphonso Christian, who married Sarah McCoy, daughter of Margaret Young, by her former husband; and Russell McCoy, who married Eliza Young, eldest daughter of Simon Young. Everybody rejoiced on the happy occasion, and good wishes were freely expressed that domestic joy and felicity might be the happy lot of all those who had newly entered on the married state. The different families were now nine in number.
One English ship-of-war had before this, in March, 1864, visited the island. RearAdmiral John Kingcombe, and many of his officers, landed, and spent a few hours on shore, after which, they invited on board ship as many of the islanders as could conveniently go. The day being beautifully calm and bright, the people gladly accepted the invitation, and went on board, where the time was pleasantly spent in going over the vessel and in listening to the band. The visit of H. M. S. Suttey was long remembered with feelings of pleasure, and gratitude for all the kindness shown to us by the whole ship's company.
Every day passed on in its quiet way, each having its own allotted duty. Fieldwork occupied most of the men's time, such as preparing the ground by cleaning it and breaking up the clods, planting, and keeping the fields free from weeds, which grew very abundantly on account of the fertility of the soil. Sweet-potatoes are what is generally planted. Of these there are six different sorts, two having been brought from Norfolk Island by the St. Kilda. The arrowroot, also, was brought here at the same time. It grows and thrives
to perfection, and is of excellent quality, being prepared with great care and purity. Other plants and seeds were taken from Norfolk Island, but the only other two that survived the passage were the rose-apple and the Sydney banana, which grows to a great height, and is so named from its first being brought from Sydney to Norfolk Island. The rose-apple came also from Sydney, is a small fruit-a little larger than a walnut -and has a large seed. The smell and flavor of it exactly resemble those of a
In the year 1865, and till November, 1866, scarcely any communication was held between Norfolk Island and this island, as few vessels ever called here, and great was our joy to receive even one letter from far-distant relatives and friends, to tell us that they still lived and thought of us. It was quite an unexpected event when, in November, 1866, H. M. S. Mutine called here to deliver a large mail from Norfolk Island. But how soon did gladness give place to grief, when, on opening the letters, we found that death had taken away many of our beloved relatives and friends! To none were the tidings more bitter than to Simon Young's family, who then learned, for the first time, of the death of their dear son and brother, who, while with Bishop Patteson, was shot with arrows, as was also a beloved companion, Edwin Nobbs, both of whom died,-Fisher Young on the 24th of August, 1864, and Edwin Nobbs, September 5th of the same year. Fisher died of locked-jaw, and was buried at Port Patteson; and Edwin, who was convalescent, going on shore to attend his friend's burial, took cold, which resulted in the same disease as his companion's, and was buried at sea. Fisher died only three days before his grandmother, Mrs. Hannah Young, who was thought to be calmly sleeping in her bed, but was found to be dead, having passed away in sleep. It was well that the sad intelligence could not reach us at the same time.
About the year 1867, a blight was observed on the potato-patches. It began at one place and went gradually on, so that now each succeeding year witnesses the effects of a more or less extended blight. It begins generally in the end of May, or the beginning of June, and ends in September, covering our colder season. A kind of worm, also, is very destructive, sometimes destroying whole potato-patches. They do most mischief in the warm months. In summer,
the yam crops suffer from caterpillars, which devour every green leaf of the plants; but, happily, these again sprout, and have time to grow well before digging-time comes. The yams that had been planted before the people removed to Norfolk Island were of superior quality, but the cultivation of them proved quite a failure. The kind that is now grown does well, but is not of such value as the other.
In March, 1868, John Buffett, who first came to this island in 1823, came again on a visit to see his only daughter, Mrs. Mary Young. He it was who principally corresponded with us, and his coming so unexpectedly was a delightful surprise, and gave universal pleasure.
The two preceding years were times of great interest among us, as then we watched for the coming of the Royal Mail steamers of the Panama line, but had the pleasure of receiving four visits only before the line was broken up.
In July, 1871, we received a visit from a Russian man-of-war-the Vitiaz from whose officers we received much kindness. After her departure from the island, almost every one of the inhabitants was laid low with some sort of fever and influenza, which, happily, in no one case proved fatal.
In May of the same year was witnessed another wedding ceremony, the first that had taken place since 1864. The parties were Daniel Christian and Harriet McCoy. On the 23d of August, 1871, Robert Young was married to Sophia McCoy. They had been for a long time engaged, and as symptoms of a decline began to show in the young man, the young woman expressed a desire to be united to him, that she might have the privilege of nursing him, as his wife. He yielded eventually to her wishes, although he expressed a fear that, in his state of health, such a union would not prove, in every way, a blessing. He lived only seven months after he was married, and died on the 26th of March, 1872, deeply lamented, as he was highly esteemed by every one.
The following July, the whale-ship Sea Ranger, Captain Allen, was here, and on leaving, took with him two of the young men of the island, and John Buffett, to go to Norfolk Island. As this was the first time that any one of the present inhabitants had left the island, much anxiety was manifested when a year had elapsed, and the young men did not return. But on the 30th of September, 1873, great gladness and
thankfulness were felt among the people when we welcomed back our dear ones. How eager we all were to listen to all they had to say concerning the friends from whom we parted ten years before! But we learned too, with regret, that it was not likely we should ever again see John Buffett. He had been greatly missed in the religious meetings, after he left us, and he wrote us word that his help was needed by many on Norfolk Island.
On the 23d of October, 1873, Stanley Young, one of the young men who went with Captain Allen, was married to Rebecca McCoy, to whom he had been engaged some time before.
We now pass on to the end of 1873, and the beginning of 1874. The state of the island, as regarded its different products, had been gradually declining. Yam crops, in some instances, almost totally failed. The Irish potato and the sweet-potato both yielded but poorly, and many of the orangetrees shared the general decline. But worst of all, water was scarcely to be obtained anywhere on the island. Brown's Water, a large reservoir that had formerly supplied the inhabitants, was dry, and there seemed but small prospect of rain. Every day succeeded the other in increasing heat, and the plants all suffered. At this time, the people on Norfolk Island, learning of our distress, sent an urgent invitation for us to return, saying that if we would accept, they would charter a vessel to convey us. One principal reason they urged was the rapidly increasing number of inhabitants here, and the limited means of support that the island afforded, in the future, should the people continue to increase.
The question of a return was long debated, and earnestly considered amongst us, and while some eagerly agreed to accept the invitation, others resolutely determined to remain and wait for "better times" to come again, these last believing that "while the earth remained, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night should not cease," and that the Heavenly Father, who makes his sun to "shine on the evil and on the good," is able to send his "rain on the just and on the unjust." And when did any one trust in God and was disappointed? Surely they were not who so believed. Rain in great abundance soon came, and from that time everything has been steadily improving.
When the answer was sent to Norfolk Island, stating the different conclusions at
which the Pitcairn Islanders had arrived, they said in reply that, as we were so undecided, they could not waste their time or money to come here for nothing. There the matter ended, and so it is likely to remain, especially as the inhabitants of this island have since been more generally content to live here than they were before.
On the 30th of November, 1874, Mrs. Margaret Young, one of the first party that returned, died, leaving a husband and five daughters to mourn her loss, and to learn the value of a mother.
Up to this time, communication between this island and Norfolk was seldom held, as the means of so doing were very uncertain; still the liveliest interest was manifested in each other, and the receiving of letters from relatives and friends on Norfolk Island constituted one of the chief happinesses of our existence, and was the event looked forward to in our quiet, and monotonous life.
I should have mentioned that in July, 1873, H. M. S. Chameleon came on a visit to this island, and brought a large supply of clothing, and other useful articles, from kind Christian friends in Valparaiso and Honolulu, prominent among whom were Rev. S. C. Damon, of Honolulu, and Rev. Dr. Trumbull, of Valparaiso, who have ever been faithful friends of the Pitcairn Islanders.
On the 23d of January, 1875, the Cornwallis, an English merchant-vessel, was wrecked on the rocks, on the north side of the island. Such a fearful disaster had never occurred here before, and a feeling of awe and terror possessed every breast at the dreadful event. A son of Moses Young's, a boy of twelve years of age, perished, while attempting to get something that was being washed ashore from the wreck. None of the crew of the Cornwallis received any injury, and we did what we could to render them comfortable, during their stay. Two days after the shipwreck, they were taken off the island by an American vessel, the Dauntless, whose Christian captain, Wilbur, kindly gave them a passage to New York, whither he was bound.
We hoped that no such calamity would again befall any poor mariner, but still we were ready to offer any assistance in our power, should our help at any time be required. How little we dreamed that before the year was ended we should have another shipwrecked crew thrown upon our hospitality! But so it was. On the morning of the 28th
of September following, the inhabitants were surprised to see two boats approaching the island from the north-west; they were instantly supposed to be a shipwrecked crew, seeking to find a home here till some vessel could take them away. And so it proved. It was the crew of the Liverpool ship Khandeish, lost on Oeno Island, on the 25th of September. The wind favoring them, they reached this island after a three days' run from Oeno. A boat went off to the shipwrecked men, and accompanied them to the shore, where nearly all of the inhabitants had assembled to welcome the poor sailors. After dividing them off by twos and threes, they ascended the steep hill leading up to the village, where they found a home with the different families till the day of their departure. After a stay of fifty-one days, during which time they were regarded by the inhabitants as part of themselves, they bade farewell to Pitcairn Island and its people, with regret and sorrow on both sides, and embarked on the 19th of November, on board the English ship Ennerdale, for San Francisco, where they arrived and cast anchor on the 28th of December, after a passage of forty days. One of the crew of the Khandeish, Peter Butler, an American, remained on the island, and was afterward married to the widow of Robert Young.
The arrival of a vessel at the island affords, almost exclusively, the only break in our quiet, simple lives. The only holidays observed are Christmas and the 24th of May, the Queen's birthday, on which day, 1877, a wedding ceremony was performed between Edward Young and Sarah Young, second daughter of Moses Young. Everybody rejoiced on the happy occasion, and many good wishes were bestowed on the youthful pair. After partaking of a substantial repast, the younger members of the community engaged in different kinds of games, all thoroughly enjoying themselves. The singing of the national anthem, "God save the Queen," concluded the merrymakings.
On the 2d of November a feast was given to the school-children, who numbered thirtytwo, when prizes were distributed among the best of the scholars. The adults also had a spelling-match, which was merrily carried on, till two only remained against each other, whereupon one of the competitors soon decided the game. The prizes consisted of several heaps of fruit, the most fruit to the best speller. Merry shouts of laughter greeted each prize-winner, and all dispersed to their homes after having spent the few hours pleasantly together.
In May, 1878, the brig Julia M. Avery, of Honolulu, touched at this island on her way to Tahiti, and, being in the trading business, procured a number of hogs, and a few pounds of wool and cotton, both being of very inferior quality; the wool being mixed with hair, and the cotton having a very coarse texture. From that time, the raising of cotton began to be part of the regular business here.
On the 8th September of the same year, we received a most unexpected and joyful surprise, in the visit of H. M. S. Shah, flagship of the rear-admiral, De Horsey, from
San Francisco to Coquimbo. The visit happening on Sunday, many of the officers attended divine service in the morning, being a happy addition to our small congregation. Our church was then being enlarged, as it was getting to be too small for the increasing number of the inhabitants. The good admiral intended sailing the same evening, but, on our urgent request, he most kindly consented to wait till noon of the following day. The next morning, almost all the inhabitants, including many of the babies, went on board the Shah, where a bountiful meal was spread for them. The day was very calm, but with drizzling rains, yet this did not damp the day's enjoyment. Every one on board was kind, and after spending a pleasant time on board, the islanders returned on shore, leaving behind them every good wish for the Shah's company. They left a large supply of flannel, serge, soap, and other goods, but, as we shall see, the admiral's kindness did not end here.
The day after the Shah sailed, we had another visit, of an altogether different nature. The Venus, a small trading-vessel, having for her master a Captain Scott, who had been here years before, called in for the express purpose of establishing, if possible, a trade between this island and a company in Liverpool, De Wolf & Co., who have also established a business among the other groups of islands in the Pacific. The plan proposed was that we should cultivate and gather whatever produce the island affords, fit for trade, and have the produce ready whenever their vessel should call for it. Here was now a good opportunity for maintaining ourselves by our own industry, and no longer having the feeling of depending on the charitable contributions of others. The offer was, for that reason, gladly accepted by most, while others expressed a doubt whether the plan would succeed or not.
Among the more valuable products of the island may be mentioned arrowroot, cocoanut, coffee, candle-nut, and cotton. The arrowroot, as has been before stated, is of excellent quality. The cocoa-nut trees are not now very productive, on account of the great age of many of them. Coffee could be made very profitable. be made very profitable. Cotton-seed, of the right quality, was left by Captain Scott, and these, being planted, soon grew, and produced very fine cotton-wool. Many of the plants first put in the ground did not succeed in growing, owing to a long-continued dry weather coming immediately