ACCOUNT OF THE VOYAGE OF THE FOUR MISSIONARIES.
C.O. 194/16. T. 74.
Account of the voyage of the four Missionaries sent by the Unitas Fratrum to the Esquimaux on the Coast of Labrador, and under the protection of his Britannic Majesty. From the month of May to November, 1765.
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23d July. Sr Thomas sent for us, and read to us that part of Commodore Palliser's Orders relative to the Schooner; by these orders she is to proceed to 56 deg. N. to explore the Coast make proper Draughts, and every needful discovery for the future Benefit of Trade and Fishery . . . .
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As we came into Pitt's Harbour we were met by the Governor, who returned with us into the Harbour surrounded by the Indian Kaiahs, . . . Bror. Prachart spoke with them . . . . he formed them in a Circle round the Governor and then read to them the following Articles which the Governor had drawn up for the purpose: . . .
16. If you will let me know what things you want our people shall bring you everything the next year to truck for your things. . . . .
Memorandum for our Brethren of the Unitas Fratrum Missionaries on the Coast of Labrador.
After giving the Savages such impressions and Informations as you judge best for making yourselves acceptable and for facilitating the pious and Laudable Object of your Mission you'l please to make the following enquiry's for his Majesty's Information and for the Benefit of the Publick
1. What do they call themselves as a Nation or as a particular People?
2. Where they Inhabit. How they name the place or places of their abode the distance from hence, or the time they are coming here or any other particulars for ascertaining the situation of the places from whence they come?
3. Whether they reside altogether or in different places?
4. If they reside at different Places their number at each and the supposed number of the whole on the Coast northward from hence, and that usually assemble together when they come this way?
5. Whether they have any notion or tradition concerning their Origin?
6. If they have knowledge of any other Nations or People, what is their names, numbers and places of abode?
7. Whether they have any intercourse with other nations or are in peace or war with them?
8. Whether they have knowledge of any other Savages directly inward from this place or to the Westwards?
9. What is the nature of the Coasts Harbours and Rivers and the inland Country and whether there are any People inward?
10. What is the produce of the Countries and Seas; if Foxes, Beaver, Deer, Elk or other animals, and if each are abundant or scarce, also as to Whales, Seals, Cod, Salmon or other Fishes?
11. How they subsist; what is their Food and Cloathing?
12. What is their employment and occupation in the different seasons?
13. What is the places and seasons for taking Whale and their manner of doing it whether they do or can preserve the Oil, or if they can't keep the Fish in certain appointed places for our people to come to cut them up?
14. By remarking all things they have in use, you'l be directed in your enquiries, how they got them, particularly if they have any metal?
15. What things they seem to covet most and for what uses they want you?
16. Whether they have knowledge of any Savages Inhabiting Newfoundland?
17. Whether they have any notion of any Europeans in former times inhabiting this place or any part of the Coast to the Northward?
18. With respect to the quantity of Tyles &c. found here how do they account for them, is there any such at any other place on the Coast and what account do they give of the Stones shaped like Ridge Tyles, whether they have been brought here by them and from whence, or by Europeans?
You'l endeavour to explain to them my Manifesto and the intended use thereof also to give them a proper Idea of His Majesty's greatness and his regard and affection for them; with anything else which you think best for fulfilling His Majesty's and your Societies' humane Intentions for the Benefit of mankind in general and of these poor ignorant People in particular, and from time to time suggest to me what measure will best answer these Ends.
(Signed) HUGH PALLISER.
Augst 11th 1765 In Pitts Harbour
within York or Chateau Bay
on the Coast of Labradore.
N.B.—The answer to these and other questions which from time to time We made are added at the end of this Journal.
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Sep. 30th. We sailed from Pitt's Harbour and came the 4th Oct. to St John's where we had the Honour to wait on the Governor, to whom We delivered the two annexed Charts One of Esquemaux Bay with the several Indian names of the Islands &c., and their meaning in English. The other a Draught we took of Davis's Inlett. Also as specific an Account as we from
time to time could get from the Esquemaux in answer to divers enquiries proposed by the Governor and what we ourselves could learn about the affairs of the Esquemaux.
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London Decemr 5th 1765.
Questions proposed from time to time by the Missionaries to the Esquemaux Indians with their Answers.
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3. From whence do they come?
Those who come here live at Esquemaux Bay which they call Nucingame and at Mille Isles, etc. . . .
4. What is the nature of the Inland Country?
Inward in the Country are plenty of Trees but near the shore it's Barren, the Isles are also Barren. There are many fresh water Lakes.
5. Of the Coast Harbours and Rivers near their Habitations.
Please to look at the annexed Chart.
6. On how many places do they live?
Those who come here have only the two above mentioned places.
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8. How long were they in their passage hither?
Twenty days, but they make short stages, one of them say'd if wind and weather favour'd him he could come here in 3 days.
9. Have they seen any Europeans in their passage?
They met one Ship with which they traded but whether English or French they don't know.
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17. Do they know of Indians inhabiting the interior part of the Country?
They speak of Caralit who live northward of them besides these they know of no Indians inland or on the Coast.
18. Do they trade with the Hudson's Bay Company?
These who come here do not; but the Caralit north of Davis's Inlet very likely do.
19. Have any French ships been on the Coast?
They tell us a ship (we suppose French) frequently comes to Esquemaux Bay and trades with them.
20. Are there any Europeans among them?
None live among or near them. Our Brethren's attempt in the year 1752 was the first and only we hear of.
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25. What are the most proper things our Merchants should take to barter for their Whalebone Furr &c.?
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To the Right Honourable the Lords for Trade & Plantations.
Your Lordships will be pleased to remember that on the report of our Brother Jens Haven having been able in the year 1764 to converse with the Eskimaux in their own language, the Rt. Honble. the Lords for Trade and Plantations desired to speak with him, and having heard from his own mouth divers particulars which seemed to them to make it a matter worthy of their very great attention, desired that our Brethren of the Unitas Fratrum would go and settle there, which being reported to our Brethren abroad, they in consequence thereof desired and engaged the four underwritten Brethren and members of the church of the Unitas Fratrum to offer their service accordingly in order to reconnoitre the coast of Labradore and chase such tracts of land as might be agreable to the Esquimaux and suitable for them to make a settlement on, and live together; in order, if possible in time thro' the preaching of the Gospel to make them real Christians and consequently good and quiet neighbours Which was looked upon to be of very good benefit to the trade of those nations.
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An account of the voyage of the four missionaries sent by the Unitas Fratrum to the Esquimaux on the coast of Labrador and under the protection of His Britannic Majesty from the month of May to November 1765.
[Certificates follow from the Rt. Honble, the Lords Commissioners for trade and plantations and Governor Palliser dated 29 & 30 April, 1765, respectively.]