BEFORE I enter on the Adventures of this Pyrate, I must take Notice to the Reader of the Reasons which made me not continue the Life of Misson.
In reading the Notes, which I have by me, relating to Captain Tew, I found him join'd with Misson; and that I must either be guilty of Repetition, or give an Account of Tew in Misson's Life, which is contrary to the Method I propos'd, that of giving a distinct Relation of every Pyrate who has made any Figure: And surely Tew, in Point of Gallantry, was inferior to none, and may justly claim a particular Account of his Actions.
However, before I enter on the Life of this Pyrate, I shall continue that of Misson to the Time that these two Commanders met.
The Blacks seeing them so much upon their Guard, brought out boiled Rice and Fowls, and after they had satisfied their Hunger, the Chief made Signs that they were the same who had carried a Negroe to their Ships, and sent for the Ax and Piece of Baze they had given him: While this pass'd, the very Negroe came from hunting, who seem'd overjoy'd to see them. The Chief made Signs that they might return, and ten Negroes coming to them laden with Fowls and Kids; he gave them to understand, they should accompany them to their Ships with these Presents.
They parted very amicably, and in hopes of settling a good Correspondence with these Natives; all the Houses were neatly framed and jointed, not built from any Foundation, but so made, that half a dozen Men could lift and transport them from Place to Place; and sometimes a whole Village shall be in Motion, which would be an odd Sight in Europe, and surprizing to see Houses moving. The Hunters returning to their Ships, with these Presents and Negroes, were joyfully received; and the Negroes not only caressed, but laden with Baze, Iron Kettles, and Rum, besides the Present of a Cutlash for the Chief.
While the Negroes stay'd, which was the Space of three Days, they examined and admired the Forts and growing Town, in which all Hands were busied, and not even the Prisoners excused.
As Monsieur Misson apprehended no Danger from the Land, his Fort (tho’ of Wood) being, he thought, a sufficient Defence to his infant Colony; he took a hundred and sixty Hands, and went a second Time on the Coast of Zanguebor, and off Quiloa he gave Chase to a large Ship, which lay by for him: She prov'd an over-match for the Victoire, which engag'd her, with great Loss of Men, near eight Glasses; but finding he was more likely to be took, than to make a Prize, by the Advice of his Officers and Men, endeavour'd to leave the Portuguese, which was a 50 Gun Ship, and had 300 Men on Board; but he found this Attempt vain, for the Portuguese went as well as the Victoire, and the Commander was a resolute and brave Man, who, seeing him endeavour to shake him off, clapp'd him on Board, but lost most of the Men he enter'd. Misson's Crew not used to be attack'd, and expecting no Quarter, fought so desperately, that they not thoroly clear'd their Decks, but some of them follow'd the Portuguese, who leap'd into their own Ship; which Misson seeing, hop'd to make an Advantage of their Despair, and crying out, Elle est a nous, a l'abordage. She's our own, board, board her, so many of his Men followed the few, that hardly were there enough left to work the Ship; Misson observing this Resolution in his Men, grappled the Portuguese Ship, and leap'd himself on Board, crying out, la Mort, ou la Victoire, Death or Victory. The Portuguese, who thought themselves in a manner Conquerors, seeing the Enemy not only drive off those who enter'd them, but board with that Resolution, began to quit the Decks in Spight of their Officers: The Captain and Misson met, as he was endeavouring to hinder the Flight of his Men; they engaged with equal Bravery with their Cutlashes; but Misson striking him on the Neck, he fell down the main Hatch, which put an End to the Fight, for the Portuguese seeing their Captain fall, threw down their Arms, and call'd for Quarters, which was granted; and all the Prisoners without Distinction being order'd between Decks, and the Powder-Room secured, he put 35 Men on Board the Prize, and made the best of his Way for Libertatia. This was the dearest Prize he ever made, for he lost fifty six Men: She was vastly rich in Gold, having near 200,000 l. Sterling on Board, being her own and the Cargo of her Companion, which was lost upon the Coast, of whose Crew she had saved 100 Men out of 120, the rest being lost, by endeavouring to swim ashore; whereas had their Fear suffer'd them to have staid, there had not been a Soul lost, the Tide of Ebb leaving their Ship dry: This was the Reason that the Prize was so well mann'd, and proved so considerable.
Being within Sight of Madagascar, they spied a Sloop which stood for them, and when in Gun-Shot, threw out black Colours, and fired a Gun to Windward; Misson brought to, fired another to Leeward, and hoisted out his Boat, which the Sloop perceiving, lay by for. Misson's Lieutenant went on Board, and was received very civilly by Captain Tew, who was the Commander, to whom the Lieutenant gave a short Account of their Adventures and new Settlement, inviting him very kindly on Board Captain Misson. Tew told him, he could not consent to go with him till he had the Opinion of his Men; in the mean while Misson, coming along-side, hal'd the Sloop, and invited the Captain on Board, desiring his Lieutenant would stay as an Hostage, if they were in the least jealous of him; which they had no Reason to be, since he was of Force so much superior, that he need not employ Stratagem. This determined the Company on Board the Sloop, who advised their Captain to go with the Lieutenant, whom they would not suffer to stay behind, to shew the greater Confidence in their new Friends.
My Reader may be surprized that a single Sloop should venture to give Chase to two Ships of such Countenance as were the Victoire and her Prize: But this Wonder will cease, when he is acquainted with the Sequel.
Captain Tew after being handsomely regal'd on Board the Victoire, and thoroughly satisfied, returned on Board his Sloop, gave an Account of what he had learned, and his Men consenting, he gave Orders to steer the same Course with Misson, whose Settlement it was agreed to visit.
I shall here leave them to give an Account of Captain Tew.
Mr. Richier, Governor of Bermudas, fitted out two Sloops on the Privateer Account, commanded by Captain George Drew, and Captain Thomas Tew, with Instructions to make the best of their Way to the River Gambia in Africa, and there, with the Advice and Assistance of the Agent for the Royal African Company, to attempt the taking the French Factory of Goorie on that Coast.
The above Commanders having their Commissions and Instructions from the Governor, took their Departure from Bermudas, and kept Company some Time; but Drew springing his Mast, and a violent Storm coming upon them, they lost each other.
Tew being separated from his Consort, thought of providing for his future case, by making one bold Push; and accordingly, calling all Hands on Deck, he spoke to them to this Purpose.
‘That they were not ignorant of the Design with which the Governor fitted them out; the taking and destroying the French Factory; that he, indeed, readily agreed to take a Commission to this end, tho’ contrary to his Judgment, because it was being employ'd; but that he thought it a very injudicious Expedition, which did they succeed in, would be of no Use to the Publick, and only advantage a private Company of Men, from whom they could expect no Reward of their Bravery; that he could see nothing but Danger in the Undertaking, without the least Prospect of a Booty; that he could not suppose any Man fond of fighting, for fighting-sake; and few ventured their Lives, but with some View either of particular Interest or publick Good; but here was not the least Appearance of either. Wherefore, he was of Opinion, that they should turn their Thoughts on what might better their Circumstances; and if they were so inclined, he would undertake to shape a Course which should lead them to Ease and Plenty, in which they might pass the rest of their Days. That one bold Push would do their Business, and they might return home, not only without Danger, but even with Reputation.’ The Crew finding he expected their Resolution, cry'd out, one and all, A gold Chain, or a wooden Leg, we'll stand by you.
Hearing this, he desired they would chuse a Quarter Master, who might consult with him for the Common Good; which was accordingly done.
I must acquaint the Reader, that on Board the West-India Privateers and Free-booters, the Quarter Master's Opinion is like the Mufti's among the Turk's; the Captain can undertake nothing which the Quarter Master does not approve. We may say, the Quarter Master is an humble Imitation of the Roman Tribune of the People; he speaks for, and looks after the Interest of the Crew.
Tew now, instead of his proceeding on his Voyage to Gambia, shaped his Course for the Cape of Good Hope, which doubling, he steered for the Streights of Babel Mandel, entring into the Red Sea, where they came up with a tall Ship bound from the Indies to Arabia; she was richly laden, and as she was to clear the Coasts of Rovers, five more, extreamly rich (one especially in Gold) being to follow her, she had 300 Soldiers on Board, beside her Seamen.
Tew, on making this Ship, told his Men she carried their Fortunes, which they would find no Difficulty to take Possession of; for though he was satisfied she was full of Men, and was mounted with a great Number of Guns, they wanted the two Things necessary, Skill and Courage; and, indeed, so it proved, for he boarded and carried her without Loss, every one taking more Care to run from the Danger, than to exert himself in the Defence of his Goods.
In rummaging this Prize, the pyrates threw over a great many rich Bales, to search for Gold, Silver, and Jewels; and, having taken what they thought proper, together with the Powder, part of which (as being more than they could handsomely stow) they threw into the Sea; they left her, sharing 3000 l. Sterling a Man.
Encouraged by this Success, Captain Tew proprosed the going in quest of the other five Ships, of which he had Intelligence from the Prize; but the Quarter-Master opposing him, he was obliged to drop the Design, and steer for Madagascar.
Here the Quarter Master finding this Island productive of all the Necessaries of Life; that the Air was wholesome, the Soil fruitful, and the Sea abounding with Fish, proposed settling; but only three and twenty of the Crew came into the Proposal: The rest staid with Captain Tew, who having given the new Settlers their Share of Plunder, designed to return to America, as they afterwards did; but spying the Victoire and her Prize, he thought he might, by their Means, return somewhat richer, and resolved to speak with them, as I have already said.
Tew and his Company having taken the above Resolution of visiting Mons. Misson's Colony, arrived with him, and was not a little surprized to see his Fortifications.
When they came under the first Fort, they saluted it with nine Guns, and they were answered with an equal Number; all the Prisoners, at their coming to an Anchor, were suffer'd to come up, a Privilege they had never before granted them, on account of the few Hands left them, except two or three at a time.
The Joy those ashore expressed at the Sight of so considerable a Prize as they judged her at first Sight, was vastly allay'd, when they heard how dear a Purchase she had prov'd to them; however, the Reinforcement of the Sloop made some amends; Captain Tew was received by Caraccioli and the rest, with great Civility and Respect, who did not a little admire his Courage, both in attacking the Prize he made, and afterwards in giving Chase to Misson; he was called to the Council of Officers, which was immediately held, to consider what Methods should be taken with the Prisoners, who were, by 190 brought in by this new Prize, near as numerous as those of his own Party, though Tew join them with 70 Men; it was therefore resolved to keep them separate from the Portuguese and English, who were before taken, to make them believe they were in Amity with a Prince of the Natives, who was very powerful, and to propose to them, at their Choice, the assisting the new Colony in their Works, or the being sent Prisoners up the Country, if they rejected the entering with them. Seventy three took on, and the rest desired they might be any way employ'd, rather than be sent up the Country; 117 then were set to Work upon a Dock, which was laid out about half a Mile above the Mouth of the Harbour, and the other Prisoners were forbid to pass such Bounds as were prescribed them on Pain of Death; lest they, knowing their own Strength, should revolt; for I must acquaint the Reader, that on the Arrival of the Victoire, both their Loss and the Number of Portuguese they brought in, was known to none but themselves, and the Number of those who came over, magnified; besides, the Johanna Men were all arm'd and disciplin'd, and the Bijoux laid a Guardship, where the last Prisoners were set to Work; but while they provided for their Security, both within and without, they did not neglect providing also for their Support, for they dug and sow'd a large Plat of Ground with Indian and European Corn, and other Seeds which they had found on Board their Prizes. In the mean while Caraccioli, who had the Art of Perswasion, wrought on many of the Portuguese, who saw no Hopes of returning home, to join them. Misson, who could not be easy in an inactive Life, would have taken another Cruize; but fearing the Revolt of the Prisoners, durst not weaken his Colony by the Hands he must necessarily take with him: Wherefore, he propos'd giving the last Prize to, and sending away the Prisoners. Carracioli and Captain Tew were against it, saying, that it would discover their Retreat, and cause their being attacked by the Europeans, who had Settlements along the Continent, before they were able to defend themselves. Misson reply'd, he could not bear to be always diffident of those about him; that it was better die once, than live in continual Apprehensions of Death. That the Time was come for the sending away the Johanna Men, and that they could not go without a Ship, neither durst he trust a Ship out, not well mann'd, nor man her while so many Prisoners were with him. Wherefore there was a Necessity of sending them off, or of putting them all to the Sword. A Barbarity by which he would not purchase his Security. A Council was called, and what Captain Misson had proposed, agreed to. The Prisoners were then summon'd and he told them, in few Words, that he knew the Consequence of giving them Liberty; that he expected to be attacked as soon as the Place of his Retreat was known, and had it in his Hands, by putting them to Death to avoid the doubtful Fate of War; but his Humanity would not suffer him to entertain a Thought so cruel, and his Alliances with the Natives, he hoped, would enable him to repel his Assailants; but he required an Oath of every one, that he should not serve against him: He then enquired into the Circumstances of every particular Man, and what they had lost, all which he return'd, telling the Company it should be reckoned as Part of his Share, and the Prisoners, that he did not make War with the Oppressed, but the Oppressors. The Prisoners were charm'd with this Mark of Generosity and Humanity, and wished he might never meet a Treatment unworthy of that he gave them. The Ship being victualled for a Voyage to the Coast of Zanguebar, all her Guns and Ammunitions taken out, with the spare Sails, and spare Rigging, all were ordered to be gone, and 137 departed, highly applauding the Behaviour of their Enemies. All this while they had heard nothing from the Natives, nor had the hunting Parties met with any of them, which made Misson suspect they were afraid of his being their Neighbour, and had shifted their Quarters; but as the Johanna Men were upon going away, there came about 50 Negroes to them, driving about 100 Head of black Cattle, 20 Negroe Men bound, and 25 Women, for which Cattle and Prisoners they barter'd Rum, Hatchets, Baze and Beads; some Hogsheads of which last Commodity they had taken on the Coast of Angola. Here the Negroes belonging to Misson were provided wirh Wives: The Natives were caress'd, and to the Slaves Signs made that their Liberty was given them, they were immediately cloathed and put under the Care of as many Whites, who, by all possible Demonstrations, endeavoured to make them understand that they were Enemies to Slavery. The
Natives staid ten Days, which retarded the Departure of the Johanna Men; but, upon their retiring, the Bijoux sailed with 100 of them on Board, under the command of Caraccioli's Lieutenant, who excused the keeping them a Month longer than was promised, and not bringing them at once, having no more than two Ships. The Portuguese Ship, which was unrigg'd, being made a Hulk, the ten Men of Misson's Company who had settled at Johanna, being desirous to return, were brought to Libertatia with their Wives (of which they had two and three a piece) and their Children, the Bijoux, at two more Voyages, carried over the rest of the Johannians.
Misson hove down the Bijoux, and resolving on a Cruise on the Coast of Guiney, to strengthen his Colony by the Capture of some slaving Ship, he gave the Command of her to Captain Tew, and he and Caraccioli press'd the Work of the Dock; he gave him also 200 Hands, of which 40 were Portuguese, 37 Negroes, 17 of them expert Sailors, 30 English, and the rest French. Tew met with nothing in his Way till he came to the Northward of the Cape of Good Hope, when he fell in with a Dutch East-India Galley of 18 Guns, which he took after a small Resistance, and with the Loss of one Man only; on the Coast of Angola he took an English Man with 240 Slaves, Men, Women, and Boys. The Negroes, who had before been taken on this Coast, found among these a great many of their Acquaintance, and several of their Relations, to whom they reported their happy and unexpected change of Fortune, the great Captain (for so they now called Misson) humanly having knocked off their Chains, and of Slaves made them free Men, and Sharers in his Fortunes. That the same good Fortune had attended them in their falling into his Hands, for he abhorr'd even the Name of Slavery. Tew following the Orders, and acquainted with the Policy of Misson, order'd their Fetters and Handcuffs to be taken off, upon his Negroe Sailors, assuring him they would not revolt, and were sensible of their Happiness in falling into his Hands. Content with these Prizes, he made the best of his Way home to Libertatia, where he arrived without any sinister Accident; but I forgot to tell my Reader, that he set his Dutch Prisoners (nine excepted, who took on with him) ashore, about 30 Miles to the Northward of the Cape, in Soldinia Bay, where had been buried, by Captain Misson, the English Commander; he found a great Quantity of English Crowns on Board his Dutch Prize, which were carried into the common Treasury, Money being of no Use where every Thing was in common, and no Hedge bounded any particular Man's Property. The Slaves he had released in this last Cruize were employ'd in the perfecting the Dock, and treated on the Foot of free People. They were not ignorant of the Change of their Condition, and were therefore extreamly diligent and faithful. A White Man, or one of the old standing Negroes, wrought with every four, and made them understand the French Words (by often Repetition, and the Help of their Country Mens interpreting) used in their Works. Misson ordered a couple of Sloops to be built in a Creek, of 80 Tun each, which he mounted with 8 Guns a piece, out of the Dutch Prize. These were perfected in a little Time, and proved not only shapely Vessels, but excellent Sailors. The Officers of these Sloops were chosen by ballotting, and as their first Design was only to discover and lay down a Chart of the Coast, Sands, Shoals, and Depths of Water round the Island of Madagascar;
The School Master being sent for that Reason with the Command of one, Tew desired, and had the other. They were mann'd, each Sloop with 50 Whites and 50 black Men. Which Voyage round the Island was of vast Advantage in giving the new released Angola Negroes a Notion of the working a Vessel; and they were very industrious both in endeavouring to learn the French Language, and to be useful. These Sloops, the one of which was called the Childhood, and the other the Liberty, were near four Months on this Expedition; in the mean while a few of the Natives had come often to the Settlement, and they began to speak a little broken French, mix'd with the other European Languages, which they heard among Misson's People, and six of the native Families fixed among them, which was of vast Use to the Planters of this new Colony; for they made a very advantageous Report to their Country Men of the Regularity and Harmony they observed in them. The Sloops being return'd, and an exact Chart taken of the Coast, Carraccioli had a mind for a Cruize; he proposed the visiting all the neighbouring Islands, accordingly he went out to Mascarenas, and the other Islands near it, taking one half of his Crew of Negroes, and return'd with a Dutch Prize, which he took off the abovementioned Island, where they were about fixing a Colony. This Prize, as it had on Board all Sorts of European Goods, and Necessaries for settling, was more valuable than if it had been vastly richer. The Negroes growing useful Hands, Misson resolved on a Cruize to the Northward, encouraged by Tew's Success; and, with all the Blacks, which he divided between the two Ships, one of which Captain Tew commanded, set out with 500 Men: Off the Coast of Arabia Fœlix, they fell in with a Ship belonging to the Great Mogul, bound for Zidon, with Pilgrims to Mecca, who, with Moor Mariners, made up the Number of 1600 Souls. This Ship carried 110 Guns, but made a very poor Defence, being encumber'd with the Goods and Number of Passengers they carried. The two Adventurers did not think it their Business to cannonade, they therefore boarded as soon as they came up with her, and the Moors no sooner saw them enter'd, but they discharged one Volley of small Arms at Randon, we may suppose, because no Execution was done, and fled the Decks. Being Masters of this Ship, which did not cost them a single Man, they consulted what they should do with her, and the Prisoners, and it was resolved to set them ashore between Ain and Aden; but as they wanted Women, to keep all the unmarried, and to navigate the Ship to Libertatia; as the Guns might be of Use to them; and, by letting her go, or sinking, they might lose, perhaps, a considerable Booty, which the Moors, might have hid in her Cielings or Ballast.
This Resolution was put in Execution, and they brought off 100 Girls, from 12 to 18 Years old, who designed to make the Pilgrimage with their Parents. The Lamentations this Separation caused among the Prisoners, had such Effect on Misson, that he was for letting them go, but every one of his Men were against him. They now made the best of their Way for Madagascar, putting 200 Hands on board the Prize, which proved a very heavy Sailer, and retarded them very much. Off the Cape Guarde Fin they were overtaken with a cruel Storm, which was very near wrecking them on the Island called Irmanos; but the Wind coming about due North, they had the good Luck to escape this Danger. Though the Fury of the Wind abated, yet it blew so hard for 12 Days together, that they could only carry their Courses reef'd. They spy'd a Sail in their Passage, but the Weather would not permit their endeavouring to speak with her. In a Word, they return'd to Libertatia with their Prize, without any other Accident, but the Captors could make no Estimate of her Value, she having on Board a vast Quantity of Diamonds, besides rich Silks, raw Silks, Spices, Carpets, and wrought and bar Gold. The Prize was taken to pieces, as she was of no Use; her Cordage and knee Timber preserv'd, with all the Bolts, Eyes, Chains, and other Iron Work, and her Guns planted on two Points of the Harbour, where they raised Batteries, so that they were now so strongly fortified they apprehended no Danger from any Number of Shipping which could be brought into those Seas to attack them. They had, by this Time, clear'd, sown, and enclosed a good Parcel of Ground, and taken in a Quantity of Pasturage, where they had above 300 Head of black Cattle, bought of the Natives. The Dock was now finish'd, and the Victoire growing old and unfit for a long Voyage, and the last Storm having shook and loosened her very much, she was pull'd to pieces and rebuilt, keeping the same Name. She was rigg'd, victuall'd, and fit to go to Sea, and was to sail to the Coast of Guinea for more Negroes, when one of the Sloops came in, which had been sent out rather to exercise the Negroes, than with any View of making a Prize, and brought Word five tall Ships chac'd her into the Bay, and stood for their Harbour; that she judg'd them to be Portuguese by their Built, and 50 Gun Ships, full of Men. This prov'd the real Truth. The Alarm was given, the Forts and Batteries mann'd, and every Man stood to his Arms. Misson took upon him the Command of 100 Negroes, who were well disciplin'd, (for every Morning they had been used to perform their Exercise, which was taught them by a French Serjeant, one of their Company, who belong'd to the Victoire) to be ready where his Assistance should be requir'd. Tew commanded all the English. They had hardly order'd their Affairs when these Ships hove in Sight, and stood directly for the Harbour with Portuguese Colours. They were warmly received by the two Forts, which did not stop them, though it brought one of them on the Careen; they enter'd the Harbour, and thought they had done their Business, but were saluted to warmly from the Forts and Batteries, Sloops and Ships, that two of them sunk downright, and a great many Men were drowned, though some got on Board the other Ships. The Portuguese, who did not imagine they had been so well fortified, and thought in passing the two Forts they should, without Difficulty, land their Men, and easily root out this Nest of pyrates, found now their Mistake, for they durst not venture to hoist out a Boat. They had wisely, however, contriv'd to enter just before the Turn of the Tide. Finding the Attempt vain, and that they lost a great many Men, they clapp'd upon a Wind, and with the Help of the Tide of Ebb, made more Haste out than they did to get in, leaving two of their Ships sunk in the Harbour; but they did not get off so cheaply, for no sooner were they clear of the Forts, but Misson manning, with the utmost Expedition, both the Ships and the Sloops, he gave them Chase, and engag'd them at the Mouth of the Bay. The Portuguese defended themselves with a great deal of Gallantry, and one of them put off the Libertatians twice, who boarded them from the two Sloops; two of them, finding themselves hard press'd, made a running Fight, and got off, and left the third to shift as well as he could. The Bijoux and Victoire finding the Portuguese endeavour'd to clear themselves, and knowing there was little to be got by the Captures, gave over the Chase, and fell upon the third, who defended himself till his Decks swam with Blood, and the greater Number of his Men killed; but finding all Resistance vain, and that he was left to an unequal Fight by his Companions, he called for Quarter, and good Quarter was given, both to himself and Men. This Prize yielded them a great Quantity of Powder and Shot, and, indeed, they expected nothing of Value out of her. None of the Prisoners were stripp'd, and the Officers, Misson, Caraccioli and Tew, invited to their Tables, treating them very civilly, and extolling the Courage they had shewn in their Defence. Unhappily two Prisoners were found on Board, who had been released, and had sworn never to serve against them; these were clapp'd in Irons, and publickly tried for their Perjury. The Portuguese Officers being present, the Witnesses proved them the very discharged Men, and they were condemned to be hanged at the Point of each Fort; which Execution was performed the next Morning after their Condemnation, with the Assistance of the Portuguese Chaplain, who attended, confess'd and absolv'd them. This was the Engagement with the pyrates, which made so much Noise in the Lisbon Gazette, and these the Men whom the English ignorantly took for Avery; who, we had a Notion here in London, had 32 Sail of Men of War, and had taken upon him the State and Title of King, a Mistake we have already spoken to in the first Volume.
This Execution seeming to impugn the Maxims of the Chiefs, Caraccioli made an Harangue, in which he told them, that there was no Rule could be laid down which did not allow Exceptions: That they were all sensible how tender the Commadore, Monsieur Misson, was in shedding of Blood; and that it was a Tenet of his Faith, that none had Power over the Life of another, but God alone, who gave it; but notwithstanding, Self-Preservation sometimes made it absolutely necessary to take away the Life of another, especially an avow'd and an obliged Enemy, even in cool Blood. As to the Blood shed in a lawful War, in Defence of that Liberty they had generously asserted, it was needless to say any Thing, but thought it proper to lay before them Reasons for the Execution of the Criminals, and the Heinousness of their Crimes. They had not only received their Lives from the Bounty of the Libertatians, but their Liberty, and had every Thing restored them which they laid claim to, consequently their Ingratitude rose in Proportion to the generous Treatment they had met with. That, indeed, both he and Captain Misson would have passed by the Perjury and Ingratitude they had been guilty of, with a corporal Punishment, which had not extended to the Deprivation of Life, but their gallant Friend and Companion the English Commander, Captain Tew used such cogent Reasons for an exemplary Punissment, to deter others from the like Crimes, that they must have been Enemies to their own Preservation in not following his Advice. That the Lives of their whole Body ought to be preferr'd to those of declared and perjured Enemies, who would not cease to endeavour their Ruin; and, as they were well acquainted with their Settlement, might be fatal Instruments of it, if they were again restored to that Liberty which they had already abused. That he was obliged to do Captain Tew the Justice, to acknowledge he was inclined to the Side of Mercy, till he was thoroughly informed of the Blackness of their Ingratitude, and then he thought it would be Cruelty to themselves to let those Miscreants experience a second Time their Clemency; thus an absolute Necessity had obliged them to act contrary to their declar'd Principles; tho’, to state the Case rightly, these Men, not the Libertatians, were the Authors of their own Deaths: Here the Assembly crying out, their Blood is on their own Heads, they sought their Deaths, and hanging was too good for them; Caraccioli gave over, and every one returned satisfied to his private or the publick Affairs.
Some Differences arising between Misson's and Tew's Men, on a national Quarrel, which the latter began; Captain Tew proposed their deciding the Quarrel by the Sword, but Caraccioli was entirely against it, alledging, that such a Decision must necessarily be a Damage to the Publick, since the brave Men who fell, would be a weakening of their Colony; he therefore desired Captain Tew to interpose the Authority he had over his Crew, as he and Misson would endeavour to bring their Men to an amicable Agreement; and for the future, as this Accident proved the Necessity, wholesome Laws should be made, and a Form of Government entered upon, both Parties were call'd, and Caraccioli shew'd them the Necessity of their living in Unity among themselves, who had the whole World for Enemies; and as he had a perswasive and insinuating Way of Argument, with the Assistance of Captain Tew, this Affair was ended to the Satisfaction of both Parties.
The next Day the whole Colony was assembled, and the three Commanders propos'd a Form of Government, being taken up, as necessary to their Conservation; for where there were no coercive Laws, the weakest would always be the Sufferers, and every Thing must tend to Confusion: That Mens Passions blinding them to Justice, and making them ever partial to themselves, they ought to submit the Differences which might arise to calm and disinterested Persons, who could examine with Temper, and determine according to Reason and Equity: That they look'd upon a Democratical Form, where the People were themselves the Makers and Judges of their own Laws, the most agreeable; and therefore, desired they would divide themselves into Companies of ten Men, and every such Company chuse one to assist in the settling a Form of Government, and in making wholesome Laws for the Good of the whole: That the Treasure and Cattle they were Masters of should be equally divided, and such Lands as any particular Man would enclose, should, for the future, be deem'd his Property, which no other should lay any Claim to, if not alienated by a Sale.
The Proposal was received with Applause, and they decimated themselves that very Day, but put off the meeting of the States till a House was built, which they set about very chearfully, and finish'd in about a Fortnight; it being of framed Timber, and they having among them a great many who understood the handling an Ax.
When this Body of Politicians met, Caraccioli open'd the Sessions with a handsome Speech, shewing the Advantage flowing from Order; and then spoke to the Necessity of lodging a supream Power in the Hands of one, who should have that of rewarding brave and vertuous Actions, and of punishing the vicious, according to the Laws which the State should make; by which, he was to be guided. That such a Power however should not be for Life, nor hereditary, but determinate at the end of three Years, when a new Choice should be made by the State, or the Old confirm'd for three Years longer; by which means, the ablest Men would always be at the Head of Affairs, and their Power being of short Duration, none would dare to abuse it: That such a Chief should have the Title of Lord Conservator, and all the Ensigns of Royalty to attend him.
This was approv'd Nemine contradicente, and Misson was chose Conservator, with Power to create great Officers, &c. and with the Title of Supream Excellence.
Then a Law was made for the meeting of the State once every Year at least, but oftner, if the Conservator and his Council thought it necessary for the common Good to convene them; and that nothing of Moment should be undertaken without the Approbation of the State.
In a Word, their first Sessions lasted ten Days; and a great many wholesome Laws were enacted, register'd in the State-Book, printed and dispers'd (for they had some Printers and Letter Founders among them) and then the Conservator dissolved them.
Captain Tew, the Conservator, honoured with the Title of Admiral, and Caraccioli made Secretary of State; he chose a Council of the ablest among them, without Distinction of Nation or Colour; and the different Languages began to be incorporated, and one made out of the many: An equal Division was made of their Treasure and Cattle, and every one began either to inclose Land for himself or his Neighbour, who would hire his Assistance.
Admiral Tew propos'd the building an Arsenal, and augmenting their Naval Force; the first was agreed to be propos'd to the State at the next Convention, but the latter was thought unnecessary, till the Number of Inhabitants was augmented; for should they all be employed in the Sea Service, the Husbandry would be neglected, which would be of fatal Consequence to the growing Colony.
The Admiral then proposed the fetching in those Englishmen who had followed the Quarter Master; but the Council rejected this, alledging, that as they deserted their Captain, it was a Mark of a mutinous Temper, and they might infect others with a Spirit of Disorder; that however, they might have Notice given them of the Settlement, and if they made it their earnest Intreaty to be admitted, and would desert the Quarter-Master, it should be granted as a particular Favour done them, at the instance of the Admiral, and upon his engaging his Parole of Honour for their quiet Behaviour.
The Admiral then desired he might take a Cruize; that he hop'd to meet with some East-India Ships, and bring in some Voluntiers, for the Number of Subjects being the Riches of a Nation, he thought the Colony stood more in need of Men, than of any Thing else; that he would lie in the Way of the Cape, and did not question doing good Service; and as he went to the Northward, would call upon his own Men.
The Victoire was according to the Admiral's Desire fitted out, and in few Days he sail'd with 300 Men on board; he came to an Anchor at the Settlement his Men had made, and hoisted an English Ensign in his Fore Shrouds, and fir'd a Gun; but after he had waited some Time, perceiving no Signal from the Shore, he landed and sent back his Boat; soon after the Boat was returned towards the Ship, two of his Men came up to him, to whom he gave an Account of Misson's Settlement: They invited him into the Wood to see that of theirs, and to advise with their Companions, about the propos'd Migration. The Governor, aliàs Quarter-Master, received him mighty civilly, but told him, that he could see no Advantage to themselves in changing their present Situation, tho’ they might prove a great One to the new Colony, by adding to their Force so many brave Fellows: That they there enjoy'd all the Necessaries of Life; were free and independent of all the World; and it would be Madness again to subject themselves to any Government, which, however mild, still exerted some Power. That he was Governor for three Months, by the Choice of his Companions; but his Power extended no farther than to the judging in Matters of small Difference which might arise, which he hop'd to do impartially while his Authority continued; that they had agreed among themselves, and confirm'd that Agreement by Oath, to support the Decrees of the Governor for the Time, that their Tranquillity might not be disturb'd by the capricious Humour of any one Man; and that this Power of determining, was to devolve at the Expiration of three Months, to him on whom the Lot should fall by balloting, provided he had not before enjoyed the Honour, for such a one was not to draw; by which Agreement, every one would be raised, in Time, to the supream Command, which prevented all canvassing and making Interest for Votes, as when it determined by Suffrage; left no Open for making Divisions and Parties, and was a Means to continue to them that Repose inseparable from a Unity among themselves. However, continu'd he, if you will go to America or Europe, and shew the Advantages which may accrue to the English, by fixing a Colony here, out of that Love we bear our Country, and to wipe away the odious Appellation of pyrates, with Pleasure we'll submit to any who shall come with a Commission from a lawful Government; but ’tis ridiculous to think we will become Subjects to greater Rogues than our selves; and that you may know what to say on this Head, if you think it expedient to follow my Advice, take with you some few Thoughts, which I have couch'd in Writing, and which I'll fetch you; he went into his Cabbin, for, tho’ the Governor's, it did not deserve the Name of a House, brought out some written Papers, and gave them him.
Captain Tew finding the Quarter-Master spoke the Sentiments of his Companions, took Leave, and returned to his Ship.
When the Captain was in his Cabbin, he read the Quarter-Master's Papers, which, as the Contents of them may oblige the curious, I shall set down.
This Island of Madagascar affords all the Necessaries of Life, and yields to none either in the Wholesomeness of the Air, or Fruitfulness of the Soil: The Seas around it are well stor'd with Fish, the Woods with Fowl, and the Intrails of the Earth are enrich'd with Mines of excellent Iron, as I have learn'd from some Natives, by their having Arms of that Metal; and, doubtless there are here both Gold and Silver Mines in the Mountains.
The Soil will produce Sugar, Cotton, Indigo, and other Growths of our American Colonies, at a far inferior Expence, as I will make plain, by comparing the Charge of erecting a Mill, &c. in Barbadoes, with what it would be here.
A Windmill in Barbadoes will cost 100 l. all Materials and Labour being very dear; but here Wood and Stone may be had for Labour only; so that with Artificers, and the needful Iron and Copper Work brought from Europe, a Sugar Work may be set up for very little Money.
Negroes in Barbadoes are at 30, 40, 50 l. per Head; and I dare answer 10 s. in European Goods, will purchase a Negroe Slave at Madagascar, since we have purchas'd for an old Coat, a lufty Fellow.
Food is very dear at Barbadoes, and here you may feed a Slave, as well as your self without Expence; consequently he will do more Work than a Barbadoes Slave, who is, by the Dearness of Provision, half-starved.
Tho’ a Cattle Mill is of less Expence in Barbadoes, yet the feeding of Horses and Oxen at Barbadoes is very dear.
But, to proceed to other Advantages, all Sorts of medicinal and dying Woods may be carried from hence to Europe; and your Woods for fine Works, as Iron, Wood, Cedar, Mahogony, &c. are here in great Abundance.
If a Colony, with a lawful Power, were settled here, no doubt, but many of the Commodities which we fetch from the Indies might be made here, as Silk, Cotton, &c. the Soil being proper for their Production.
The Natives are, or seem to be, very human; and they have such Plenty of black Cattle, that we have bought an Ox of 800 lb. Weight, for a Pair of Breeches.
Besides, a Settlement here would be a Curb on pyrates, and a Protection, as well as a great Conveniency to our East India Ships, who might here be stored with fresh or salt Provisions, and consequently not be obliged to carry with them so great a Quantity as they now do, and save a great Deal of Money to the Company in their Victualling.
Captain Tew went on Shore again in the Evening, the Wind not serving to weigh, it blowing due West; he asked the Governor, how he got acquainted with the Natives? and he answered, by meeting them a Hunting, and using them well; that he wheedled one of them down to their Huts, the Fellow being alone, and they three in Company, he suppos'd, thought it best to go with seeming Willingness. After him several came, and they liv'd very friendly with them: The Captain had brought ashore with him some Rum and Brandy, and they were drinking a Bowl of Punch, when, on a sudden, a violent Storm arose; Captain Tew ran to the Shore, and made a Signal for his Boat to carry him off, but the Sea ran too high to venture out of the Ship: The Storm all the while increas'd, and the Victoire, in less than two Hours, parted her Cables, was drove ashore where it was steep to, and perished, with all her Men, in Captain Tew's Sight.
The Captain staid with his old Companions, without knowing which Way to return to his Friends he had left with Misson, not one of whom was (luckily for them,) on board the Ship. At the End of three Months, as far as they could discover a Hutt, they saw a large Ship, which Tew believed was the Bijoux; but she took no Notice of the Fires they made: As he expected she would return after a short Cruize, he, and his Companions, made large Fires every Night on the Shore, and visited the Coast very often. About a Month after this, as they came early to the Sea-Side, they were surpriz'd at the Sight of two Sloops which lay at an Anchor, about a Canon Shot from the Shore; they had not been long looking upon them, when a Canoe was hoisted out of One, and made to them, with six Men who row'd, and one Sitter.
Tew soon knew him to be Captain Misson; he came ashore, and embracing the former, told him, all their propos'd Happiness was vanished; for without the least Provocation given, in the Dead of the Night, the Natives came down upon them in two great Bodies, and made a great Slaughter, without Distinction of Age or Sex, before they could put themselves in a Posture of Defence; that Caraccioli (who died in the Action) and he got what Men together they could, to make a Stand; but finding all Resistance vain against such Numbers, he made a Shift to secure a considerable Quantity of rough Diamonds and Bar Gold, and to get on board the two Sloops with 45 Men: That the Bijoux being gone to cruize, and the Number of Men he had carried with him in the Victoire, weaken'd the Colony, and given the Natives the Boldness to attack them as they did, but for what Reason he could not imagine.
Tew gave him an Account of the Disaster which had happen'd; and after having mutually condol'd their Misfortunes, Tew propos'd their going to America, where Misson might, with the Riches he had, pass his Life unknown, and in a comfortable Manner.
Misson answer'd he could not yet take any Resolution, tho’ he had Thoughts of returning to Europe, and privately visiting his Family, if any where alive, and then to retire from the World.
They dined with the Quaster-Master, who press'd their Return to America, to procure a Commission for the settling a Colony.
Misson told Tew, he should have one of the Sloops, and what Volunteers would keep him Company, for his Misfortunes had erased all Thoughts of future Settlements; that what Riches they had saved, he would distribute equally, nay, he would be content, if he had only a bare Support left him.
On this Answer, four of the Quarter-Master's Company offer'd to join Captain Tew.
In the Afternoon they visited both Sloops, and Misson putting the Question to the Men, thirty went on board of one Sloop, tho’ they parted with great Reluctance from their old Commander; and fifteen staid with Misson. The four Men who join'd Tew made the Number of his Crew 34; they staid about a Week, in hopes of the Bijoux's Return upon the Coast; but she not appearing, they set sail, Captain Misson having first shared the Treasure, with Tew and his other Friends and Companions, hoping to meet the Bijoux on the Guiney Coast, for which they shaped their Course.
Off Cape Infantes, they were over-taken with a Storm, in which the unhappy Misson's Sloop went down, within a Musket Shot of Captain Tew, who could give him no Assistance.
Tew continued his Course for America, and arrived at Rhode Island without any Accident; his Men dispersed themselves, as they thought fit, and Tew sent to Bermudas for his Owners Account fourteen Times the Value of their Sloop, and not being questioned by any, liv'd in great Tranquillity; the French belonging to Misson, took different Routs, one of whom dying at Rochelle, the French Manuscript of Misson's Life was found among his Papers, and transmitted to me by a Friend and Correspondent.
Captain Tew lived unquestion'd, &c. he had an easy Fortune, and designed to live quietly at home; but those of his Men, who lived near him, having squandered their Shares, were continually solliciting him to take another Trip: He withstood their Request a considerable Time; but they having got together (by the Report they made of the vast Riches to be acquired) a Number of resolute Fellows, they, in a Body, begg'd him to head them but for one Voyage. They were so earnest in their Desire, that he could not refuse complying. They prepared a small
Sloop, and made the best of their Way to the Streights, entering the Red Sea, where they met with, and attack'd a Ship belonging to the Great Mogul; in the Engagement, a Shot carried away the Rim of Tew's Belly, who held his Bowels with his Hands some small Space; when he dropp'd, it struck such a Terror in his Men, that they suffered themselves to be taken, without making Resistance.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:07