Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

The second voyage attempted by M. Iohn Dauis with others, for the Discouery of the Northwest passage, in Anno 1586.

The 7. day of May, I departed from the port of Dartmouth for the discouery of the Northwest passage, with a ship of an hundred and twentie tunnes named the Mermayd, a barke of 60. tunnes named the Sunneshine, a barke of 35. tunnes named the Mooneshine, and a pinnesse of tenne tunnes named the North starre.

Land discouered in 60. degrees. And the 15. of Iune I discouered land in the latitude of 60. degrees, and in longitude from the Meridian of London Westward 47. degrees, mightily pestered with yce and snow, so that there was no hope of landing; the yce lay in some places tenne leagues, in some 20. and in some 50. leagues off the shore, so that wee were constrained to beare into 57. degrees to double the same, and to recouer a free Sea, which through Gods fauourable mercy we at length obtained.

The 29. of Iune after many tempestuous storms we againe discouered land, in longitude from the Meridian of London 58. degr. 30. min. and in latitude 64. being East from vs: into which course sith it please God by contrary winds to force vs, I thought it very necessary to beare in with it, and there to set vp our pinnesse, prouided in the Mermayd to be our scout for this discouery, and so much the rather because the yere before I had bene in the same place, and found it very conuenient for such a purpose, wel stored with flote wood, and possessed by a people of tractable conversation: so that the 29. of this moneth we arriued within the Isles which lay before this land, lying North northwest, and South southeast, we knew not how farre. This land is very high and mountainous, hauing before it on the West side a mighty company of Isles full of faire sounds, and harboroughs. This land was very little troubled with snow, and the sea altogether voyd of yce.

Gentle and louing Sauages. The ships being within the sounds wee sent our boates to search for shole water, where wee might anker, which in this place is very hard to finde: and as the boat went sounding and searching, the people of the countrey hauing espied them, came in their Canoas towards them with many shoutes and cries: but after they had espied in the boat some of our company that were the yeere before here with vs, they presently rowed to the boate, and tooke hold on the oare, and hung about the boate with such comfortable ioy, as would require a long discourse to be uttered: they came with the boates to our ships, making signes that they knewe all those that the yeere before had bene with them. After I perceiued their ioy and small feare of vs, myselfe with the Merchants and others of the company went a shoare, bearing with me twentie kniues: I had no sooner landed, but they lept out of their Canoas and came running to mee and the rest, and embraced vs with many signes of heartie welcome: at this present there were eighteene of them, and to eche of them I gaue a knife: they offered skinnes to me for reward, but I made signes that they were not solde, but giuen them of courtesie: and so dismissed them for that time, with signes that they should returne againe after certaine houres.

An 100 Canoas with diuers commodities. The next day with all possible speed the pinnesse was landed vpon an Isle there to be finished to serue our purpose for the discouerie, which Isle was so conuenient for that purpose, as that we were very wel able to defend ourselues against many enemies. During the time that the pinesse was there setting vp, the people came continually vnto vs sometime an hundred Canoas at a time, sometime fortie, fiftie, more and lesse, as occasion serued. They brought with them seale skinnes, stagge skinnes, white hares, Seale fish, salmon peale, smal cod, dry caplin, with other fish, and birds such as the countrey did yeeld.

My selfe still desirous to haue a further search of this place, sent one of the shipboates to one part of the land, and my selfe went to another part to search for the habitation of this people, with straight commandement that there should be no iniurie offered to any of the people, neither any gunne shot.

Images, trane oyle, and Seale skins in tan tubs. The boates that went from me found the tents of the people made with seale skinnes set vp vpon timber, wherein they found great store of dried Caplin, being a little fish no bigger than a pilchard: they found bags of Trane oyle, many litle images cut in wood, Seale skinnes in tan-tubs, with many other such trifles, whereof they diminished nothing.

A plaine champion countrey. A goodly riuer. They also found tenne miles within the snowy mountaines a plaine champion countrey, with earth and grasse, such our moory and waste grounds of England are: they went vp into a riuer (which in the narrowest place is two leagues broad) about ten leagues, finding it still to continue they knewe not howe farre: but I with my company tooke another riuer, which although at the first it offered a large inlet, yet it proued but a deepe bay, the ende whereof in foure houres I attained, and there leauing the boat well manned, went with the rest of my company three or foure miles into the countrey, but found nothing, nor saw any thing; saue onely gripes, rauens, and small birds, as larkes and linnets.

The third of Iuly I manned my boat, and went with fifty Canoas attending vpon me vp into another sound where the people by signes willed mee to goe, hoping to finde their habitation: at length they made signes that I should goe into warme place to sleepe, at which place I went on shore, and ascended the toppe of an high hill to see into the countrey, but perceiuing my labour vaine, I returned againe to my boate, the people still following me, and my company very diligent to attend vs, and to helpe vs vp the rockes, and likewise downe: at length I was desirous to haue our men leape with them, which was done, but our men did ouerleape them: from leaping they went to wrestling, we found them strong and nimble, and to haue skil in wrestling, for they cast some of our men that were good wrestlers.

The fourth of Iuly we lanched our pinnesse, and had fortie of the people to help vs, which they did very willingly: at this time our men againe wrestled with them, and found them as before, strong and skillfull. A graue with a crosse layd ouer. The Tartars and people of Iapon are also smal eyed. The fourth of Iuly the Master of the Mermayd went to certaine Ilands to store himselfe with wood, where he found a graue with diuers buried in it, only couered with seale skinnes, hauing a crosse laid ouer them, The people are of good stature, wel in body proportioned, with small slender hands and feet, with broad visages, and smal eyes, wide mouthes, the most part vnbearded, great lips, and close toothed. Their custome is as often as they go from vs, still at their returne to make a new truce, in this sort, holding his hand vp to the Sun with a lowd voice he crieth Ylyaoute, and striketh his brest with like signes, being promised safety, he giueth credit. These people are much giuen to bleed, and therefore stop their noses with deeres haire, or haire of an elan. They are idolaters and haue images great store, which they weare about them, and in their boats, which we suppose they worship. They are witches, and haue many kinds of inchantments, which they often vsed, but to small purpose, thankes be to God.

Their maner of kindling fire like to theirs in America. Being among them at shore the fourth of Iuly, one of them making a long oration, beganne to kindle a fire in this maner: he tooke a piece of a board wherein was a hole halfe thorow: into that hole he puts the end of a round stick like vnto a bedstaffe, wetting the end thereof in Trane, and in fashion of a turner with a piece of lether, by his violent motion doeth very speedily produce fire: A fire made of turfes. which done, with turfes he made a fire, into which with many words and strange gestures, he put diuerse things, which wee supposed to be a sacrifice: my selfe and diuers of my company standing by, they were desirous to haue me go into the smoke, I willed them likewise to stand in the smoke, which they by no meanes would do. I then tooke one of them, and thrust him into the smoke, and willed one of my company to tread out the fire, and to spurne it into the sea, which was done to shew them that we did contemne their sorcery. Great theeues. These people are very simple in all their conuersation, but marueillous theeuish, especially for iron, which they haue in great account. They began through our lenitie to shew their vile nature: they began to cut our cables: they cut away the Moonelights boat from her sterne, they cut our cloth where it lay to aire, though we did carefully looke vnto it, they stole our oares, a caliuer, a boare speare, a sword, with diuers other things, whereat the company and Masters being grieued, for our better securitie, desired me to dissolue this new friendship, and to leaue the company of these theeuish miscreants: whereupon there was a caliuer shot among them, and immediatly vpon the same a faulcon, which strange noice did sore amaze them, so that with speed they departed: notwithstanding their simplicitie is such, that within ten hours after they came againe to vs to entreat peace: which being promised, we againe fell into a great league. They brought vs Seale skinnes, and sammon peale, but seeing iron, they could in no wise forbeare stealing: which when I perceiued, it did but minister vnto mee an occasion of laughter, to see their simplicitie, and I willed that, in no case they should bee any more hardly used, but that our owne company should be the more vigilant to keepe their things, supposing it to be very hard in so short time to make them know their euils. Their rude diet. They eate all their meat raw, they liue most vpon fish, they drinke salt water, and eate grasse and ice with delight: they are neuer out of the water, but liue in the nature of fishes, saue only when dead sleepe taketh them, and then vnder a warme rocke laying his boat vpon the land, hee lyeth downe to sleepe. Their weapons. Their weapons are all darts, but some of them haue bow and arrowes and slings. Strange nets. They make nets to take their fish of the finne of a whale: they do their things very artificially: These Islanders warre with the people of the maine. and it should seeme that these simple theeuish Islanders haue warre with those of the maine, for many of them are sore wounded, which wounds they receiued vpon the maine land, as by signes they gaue vs to vnderstand. We had among them copper oare, blacke copper, and red copper: Copper oare. they pronounce their language very hollow, and deepe in the throat: these words following we learned from them.

Their language.

Kesinyoh, Eate some. Madlycoyte, Musicke. Aginyoh, go fetch. Yliaoute, I meane no harme. Ponameg, A boat. Paaotyck, An oare. Asanock, A dart. Sawygmeg, A knife. Vderah, A nose. Aoh, Iron. Blete, An eye. Vnuicke, Giue it. Tuckloak, A stagge or ellan. Panygmah, A neddle. Aob, The Sea. Mysacoah, Wash it. Lethicksaneg, A seale skinne. Canyglow, Kiss me. Vgnera, My sonne. Acu, Shot. Conah, Leape. Maatuke, Fish. Sambah, Below. Maconmeg, Will you haue this. Cooah, Go to him. Aba, fallen downe. Icune, Come hither. Awennye, Yonder. Nugo, No. Tucktodo, A fogge. Lechiksa, A skinne. Maccoah, A dart. Sugnacoon, A coat. Gounah, Come downe. Sasobneg, A bracelet. Vgnake, A tongue. Ataneg, A seale. Macuah, A beard. Pignagogah, A threed. Quoysah, Giue it to me.

The 7. of Iuly being very desirous to search the habitation of this countrey, I went myselfe with our new pinnesse into the body of the land, thinking it to be a firme continent, and passing vp a very large riuer, a great flaw of winde tooke me, whereby wee were constrained to seeke succour for that night, which being had, I landed with the most part of my company, and went to the top of a high mountaine, hoping from thence to see into the countrey: but the mountaines were so many and so mighty as that my purpose preuailed not: Muscles. A strange whirlwind. whereupon I againe returned to my pinnesse, and willing diuers of my company to gather muscles for my supper, whereof in this place there was great store, myselfe hauing espied a very strange sight, especially to me that neuer before saw the like, which was a mighty whirlewinde taking vp the water in very great quantitie, furiously mounting it into the aire, which whirlewinde, was not for a puffe or blast, but continual, for the space of three houres, with very little intermission, which sith it was in the course that I should passe, we were constrained that night to take vp our lodging vnder the rocks.

Great Ilands. The next morning the storme being broken vp, we went forward in our attempt, and sailed into a mighty great riuer directly into the body of the land, and in briefe, found it to be no firme land, but huge waste, and desert Isles with mighty sounds, and inlets passing betweene Sea and Sea. Whereupon we returned towards our shippes, and landing to stoppe a floud, we found the burial of these miscreants; we found of their fish in bagges, plaices, and calpin dried, of which wee tooke onely one bagge and departed. The ninth of this moneth we came to our ships, where we found the people desirous in their fashion, of friendship and barter: Slings. our Mariners complained heauily against the people, and said that my lenitie and friendly vsing of them gaue them stomacke to mischiefe: for they haue stollen an anker from vs, they haue cut our cable very dangerously, they haue cut our boats from our sterne, and now since your departure, with slings they spare vs not with stones of halfe a pound weight: and wil you stil indure these iniuries? It is a shame to beare them. I desired them to be content, and said, I doubted not but all should be wel. The 10. of this moneth I went to the shore, the people following mee in their Canoas: I tolled them on shoare, and vsed them with much courtesie, and then departed aboord, they following me, and my company. I gaue some of them bracelets, and caused seuen or eight of them to come aboord, which they did willingly, and some of them went into the top of the ship: and thus curteously vsing them, I let them depart: the Sunne was no sooner downe, but they began to practice they deuilish nature, and with slings threw stones very fiercely into the Mooneshine, and strake one of her men then boatswaine, that he ouerthrew withall: whereat being moued, I changed my curtesie, and grew to hatred, my self in my owne boate well manned with shot, and the barks boat likewise pursued them, and gaue them diuers shot, but to small purpose, by reason of their swift rowing: so smally content we returned.

The 11. of this moneth there came fiue of them to make a new truce: the master of the Admiral came to me to shew me of their comming, and desired to haue them taken and kept as prisoners vntill we had his anker againe: but when he sawe that the chiefe ringleader and master of mischiefe was one of the fiue, he then was vehement to execute his purpose, so it was determined to take him: he came crying Iliaout, and striking his brest offered a paire of gloues to sell, the master offered him a knife for them: so two of them came to vs, the one was not touched, but the other was soone captiue among vs: then we pointed to him and his fellowes for our anker, which being had, we made signes that he should be set at libertie: One of the people taken which after dyed. within one houre after he came aboord the winde came faire, wherevpon we weyed and set saile, and so brought the fellow with vs: one of his fellowes still following our ship close aboord, talked with him and made a kind of lamentation, we still vsing him wel with Yliaout, which was the common course of curtesie. At length this fellow aboord vs spake foure or fiue words vnto the other and clapped his two hands vpon his face, whereupon the other doing the like, departed as we suppose with heauie chere. We iudged the couering of his face with his hands and bowing of his body downe, signified his death. At length he became a pleasant companion among vs. I gaue him a new sute of frize after the English fashion, because I saw he could not indure the colde, of which he was very ioyful, he trimmed vp his darts, and all his fishing tooles, and would make okam, and set his hand to a ropes end vpon occasion. He liued with the dry Caplin that I tooke when I was searching in the pinnis, and did eate dry Newfoundland fish.

All this while, God be thanked, our people were in very good health, onely one young man excepted, who dyed at sea the fourteenth of this moneth, and the fifteenth, according to the order of the sea, with praise giuen to God by seruice, was cast ouerboord.

A huge quantitie of yce in 63. degrees of latitude. The 17 of this moneth being in the latitude of 63. degrees 8. minuts, we fell vpon a most mighty and strange quantitie of yce in one entire masse, so bigge as that we knew not the limits thereof, and being withall so high in forme of a land, with bayes and capes and like high cliffe land, as that we supposed it to be land, and therefore sent our pinnesse off to discouer it: but at her returne we were certainely informed that it was onely yce, which bred great admiration to vs all considering the huge quantitie thereof, incredible to be reported in trueth as it was, and therefore I omit to speake any further thereof. This onely I thinke, that the like before was neuer seene: and in this place we had very stickle and strong currents.

The nature of fogges. We coasted this mightie masse of yce vntill the 30 of Iuly, finding it a mighty barre to our purpose: the ayre in this time was so contagious and the sea so pestered with yce, as that all hope was banished of proceeding: for the 24 of Iuly all our shrowds, ropes and sailes were so frosen, and compassed with yce, onely by a grosse fogge, as seemed to me more then strange, sith the last yeere I found this sea free and nauigable, without impediments.

Our men through this extremity began to grow sicke and feeble, and withall hopelesse of good successe: whereupon very orderly, with good discretion they intreated me to regard the state of this business, and withall aduised me, that in conscience I ought to regard the saftie of mine owne life with the preseruation of theirs, and that I should not through my ouer-boldnes leaue their widowes and fatherlesse children to giue me bitter curses. This matter in conscience did greatly moue me to regard their estates: yet considering the excellencie of the business if it might be attained, the great hope of certaintie by the last yeeres discouery, and that there was yet a third way not put in practice, I thought it would growe to my great disgrace if this action by my negligence should grow into discredite: whereupon seeking helpe from God, the fountaine of all mercies, it pleased his diuine maiestie to moue my heart to prosecute that which I hope shall be to his glory, and to the contentation of euery Christian minde. Whereupon falling into consideration that the Mermaid, albeit a very strong and sufficient ship, yet by reason of her burthen was not so conuenient and nimble as a smaller bark, especially in such desperate hazzards; further hauing in account her great charge to the aduenturers being at 100. li. the moneth, and that at doubtfull seruice: all the premisses considered with diuers other things, I determined to furnish the Moonelight with reuictualling and sufficient men, and to proceede in this action as God should direct me. Whereupon I altered our course from the yce, and bare Eastsoutheast to recouer the next shore where this thing might be performed: so with fauourable winde it pleased God that the first of August we discouered the land in Latitude 66. degrees, 33. min. and in longitude from the Meridian of London 70. degrees voyd of trouble without snow or ice.

The second of August we harboured our selues in a very excellent good road, where with all speed we graued the Moonelight, and reuictualled her: wee searched this countrey with our pinnesse while the bark was trimming, which William Eston did: he found all this land to be onely Ilands, with a Sea on the East, a Sea on the West, and a Sea on the North. Great heat. In this place wee found it very hot and wee were very much troubled with a flie which is called Muskyto, for they did sting grieuiously. The people of this place at our first comming in caught a Seale and with bladders fast tied to him sent him vnto vs with the floud, so as hee came right with our shippes, which we took as a friendly present from them.

The fift of August I went with the two Masters and others to the toppe of a hill, and by the way William Eston espied three Canoas lying vnder a rocke, and went vnto them: there were in them skinnes, darts, with diuers superstitious toyes, whereof wee diminished nothing, but left vpon euery boat a silke point, a bullet of lead, and a pinne. The next day being the sixt of August, the people came vnto vs without feare and did barter with vs for skinnes, as the other people did: they differ not from the other, neither in their Canoas nor apparel, yet is their pronuntiation more plaine then the others, and nothing hollow in the throat. Our Sauage aboord vs kept himselfe close, and made shew that he would faine haue another companion. Thus being prouided, I departed from this lande the twelft of August at sixe. 66. degrees 19. minutes. of the clocke in the morning, where I left the mermayd at an anker: the fourteenth sailing West about fiftie leagues, we discouered land, being in latitude 66. degrees 19 minuts: this land is 70. leagues from the other from whence we came. This fourteenth day from nine a clocke at night till three a clocke in the morning, wee ankered by an Island of yce, twelue leagues off the shore, being mored to the yce.

The fifteenth day at three a clocke in the morning we departed from this land to the South, and the eighteenth of August we discouered land Northwest from vs in the morning, being a very faire promontory, in latitude 65. degrees, hauing no land on the South. Great hope of a passage. Here wee had great hope of a through passage.

This day at three a clocke in the afternoone wee againe discouered lande Southwest and by South from vs, where at night wee were becalmed. 64. degr. 20. min. The nineteenth of this moneth at noone, by obseruation, we were in 64. degrees 20 minuts. A great current to the West. From the eighteenth day at noone vnto the nineteenth at noone, by precise ordinary care, wee had sailed 15. leagues South and by West, yet by art and more exact obseruation, we found our course to be Southwest, so that we plainely perceiued a great current striking to the West.

This land is nothing in sight but Isles, which increaseth our hope. This nineteenth of August at sixe a clocke in the afternoone, it began to snow, and so continued all night with foule weather, and much winde, so that we were constrained to lie at hull all night fiue leagues off the shore: In the morning being the twentieth of August, the fogge and storme breaking vp, we bare in with the lande, and at nine a clocke in the morning wee ankered in a very faire and safe road and lockt for all weathers. Ilands. At tenne of the clocke I went on shore to the toppe of a very high hill, where I perceiued that this land was Islands: at foure of the clocke in the afternoone wee weyed anker, hauing a faire North northeast winde, with very faire weather; at six of the clocke we were cleare without the land, and so shaped our course to the South, to discouer the coast, where by the passage may be through Gods mercy found.

We coasted this land till the eight and twentieth of August They runne 8 dayes Southward from 67 to 57. degrees vpon the coast. finding it still to continue towards the South, from the latitude of 67. to 57. degrees: we found marueilous great store of birds, guls and mewes, incredible to be reported, whereupon being calme weather, we lay one glasse vpon the lee, to proue for fish, in which space we caught 100. of cod, although we were but badly prouided for fishing, not being our purpose. A harborough in 56. degrees. This eight and twentieth hauing great distrust of the weather, we arriued in a very faire harbour in the latitude of 56. degrees, and sailed 10. leagues into the same, being two leagues broad, with very faire woods on both sides: in this place wee continued vntil the first of September, in which time we had two very great stormes. Faire woods. I landed, and went sixe miles by ghesse into the countrey, and found that the woods were firre, pineaple, alder, yew, withy, and birch: here we saw a blacke beare: this place yeeldeth great store of birds, as fezant, partridge, Barbary hennes or the like, wilde geese, ducks, black birdes, ieyes, thrushes, with other kinds of small birds. Store of cod. Of the partridge and fezant we killed great store with bow and arrowes: in this place at the harborough mouth we found great store of cod.

The first of September at ten a clocke wee set saile, and coasted the shore with very faire weather. The thirde day being calme, at noone we strooke saile, and let fall a cadge anker, to proue whether we could take any fish, being in latitude 54. degrees 30. minuts, in which place we found great abundance of cod, so that the hooke was no sonner ouerboord, but presently a fish was taken. It was the largest and the best fed fish that euer I sawe, and diuers fisher men that were with me sayd that they neuer saw a more suaule or better skull of fish in their liues: yet had they seene great abundance.

The fourth of September at fiue a clocke in the afternoone we ankered in a very good road among great store of Isles, the countrey low land, pleasant and very full of fayre woods. A perfect hope of the passage about 54. degrees and an halfe. To the North of this place eight leagues, we had a perfect hope of the passage, finding a mightie great sea passing betweene two lands West. The Southland to our iudgement being nothing but Isles: we greatly desired to goe into the sea, but the winde was directly against vs. We ankered in foure fathome fine sand. In this place is foule and fish mightie store.

The sixt of September having a faire Northnorthwest winde hauing trimmed our Barke we proposed to depart, and sent fiue of our sailers yong men a shore to an Island, to fetch certaine fish which we purposed to weather, and therefore left it al night couered vpon the Isle: the brutish people of this countrey lay secretly lurking in the wood, and vpon the sudden assaulted our men; which when we perceiued, we presently let slip our cables vpon the halse, and vnder our foresaile bare into the shoare, and with all expedition discharged a double musket vpon them twise, at the noyse whereof they fled: Two of our men slaine by the Sauages. notwithstanding to our very great griefe, two of our men were slaine with their arrowes, and two grieuously wounded, of whom at this present we stand in very great doubt, onely one escaped by swimming, with an arow shot thorow his arme. These wicked miscreants neuer offered parly or speech, but presently executed their cursed fury.

This present euening it pleased God further to increase our sorrowes with a mighty tempestuous storme, the winde being Northnortheast, which lasted vnto the tenth of this moneth very extreme. We vnrigged our ship, and purposed to cut downe our masts, the cable of our shutanker brake, so that we onely expected to be driuen on shoare among these Canibals for their pray. Yet in this deepe distresse the mightie mercie of God, when hope was past, gaue vs succour, and sent vs a faire lee, so as we recouered our anker againe, and newe mored our ship: where we saw that God manifestly deliuered vs: for the straines of one of our cables were broken, and we only roade by an olde iunke. Thus being freshly mored a new storme arose, the winde being Westnorthwest, very forcible, which lasted vnto the tenth day at night.

The eleuenth day with a faire Westnorthwest winde we departed with trust in Gods mercie, shaping our course for England, and arriued in the West countrey in the beginning of October.

Last updated Monday, March 10, 2014 at 21:52