A Narrative of the Mutiny on Board the Ship Globe by William Lay and Cyrus M. Hussey Memorandum by William Rotch
Accounts of the great whaling fleet
These two accounts of the ships, sailors and merchants who came from Nantucket have been brought together by Leonaur, since as smaller pieces they may not have seen publication individually in modern times. This good value edition acknowledges the continuing interest in the whaling industry of the American North East. The island itself is located due south of Cape Code and was at the beginning of the nineteenth century the capital of whaling boasting a whaling fleet of over 70 vessels. These two accounts hail from that golden age and there will be much within them to interest students of whaling and the period. Available in soft cover and hard cover for collectors.
Silas Payne and John Oliver, together with two or three others, set out in one of the boats, for the purpose of exploring the island, and making new discoveries, leaving the rest of us to guard the tent. They were absent but one night, when they returned, bringing with them two young women, whom Payne and Oliver took as their wives. The women apparently showing no dissatisfaction, but on the contrary appeared much diverted. Payne now put such confidence in the natives, that he dispensed with having a watch kept during the night, and slept as secure as though he had been in his native country.<br>
Payne, on awaking near morning, found the woman that he had brought to live with him was missing. After searching the tent, and finding nothing of her, concluded she had fled. He accordingly armed himself, together with John Oliver and Thomas Lilliston, (with muskets,) and set out for the nearest village, for the purpose of searching her out. They arrived at the village before it was light, and secreted themselves near an Indian hut, where they awaited the approach of day, in hopes of seeing her.<br>
Accordingly at the approach of daylight, they discovered the hut literally thronged with natives, and among the number, they discovered the woman they were in search of. At this moment one of them fired a blank cartridge over their heads, and then presented themselves to their view, which frightened the natives in such a manner that they left the hut and fled. Payne then pursued after, firing over their heads till he caught the one he wanted, and then left the village for his own tent.—On arriving at the tent, he took her, gave her a severe flogging and then put her in irons, and carried on in this kind of style until he was by them killed, and called to render up his accounts to his offended Judge.<br>
This severity on the part of Payne, irritated the natives, and was undoubtedly the cause of their committing depredations and theft, and finally murdering all our remaining crew, excepting myself and Hussey.<br>
Early on the succeeding morning, it was discovered that the tool chest had been broken open, and a hatchet, chisel, and some other articles, purloined by the natives. Payne worked himself into a passion, and said he would be revenged. During the day he informed a number of the natives of what had been done, (who signified much regret at the circumstance,) and vowing vengeance if the articles were not returned. During this day the natives frequented the tent more than they had ever done before; and at night one of them came running with one half of the chisel which had been stolen, it having been broken in two.<br>
Payne told them it was but half of what he required, and put the Indian in irons, signifying to him, that in the morning he must go with him to the village, and produce the rest of the articles, and also point out the persons engaged in breaking open the chest. The poor native seemed much chagrined at his confinement; yet his companions who remained near the tent during the night, manifested no dissatisfaction, which we could observe.
In the morning, Payne selected four men, viz: Rowland Coffin, Rowland Jones, Cyrus M. Hussey, and Thomas Lilliston, giving them each a musket, some powder and fine shot; declining to give them balls, saying, the report of the muskets would be sufficient to intimidate them. The prisoner was placed in charge of these men, who had orders to go to the village, and recover the hatchet and bring back the person whom the prisoner might point out as the thief.<br>
They succeeded in getting the hatchet, but when about to return, the natives in a great body, attacked them with stones. Finding that they retreated, the natives pursued them, and having overtaken Rowland Jones, killed him upon the spot. The remainder, although bruised with the stones which these islanders had thrown with great precision, arrived at the tent with the alarming intelligence of a difficulty;—while they followed in the rear armed for war!<br>
No time was lost in arming ourselves, while the natives collected from all quarters, and at a short distance from the tent, seemed to hold a kind of council. After deliberating some time, they began to tear to pieces one of the boats.
These were of vital importance to our guilty commander, and he ventured to go to them for the purpose of pacifying them. One of the chiefs sat down upon the ground with him, and after they had set a few moments, Payne accompanied the chief into the midst of the natives. After a conference with them which lasted nearly an hour, he returned to the tent, saying that he had pacified the natives upon the following conditions. They were to have every article belonging to us, even to the tent; and Payne had assured them of his willingness, and that of the others to live with, and be governed by them, and to adopt their mode of living!<br>
We have reason to doubt the sincerity of Payne in this respect, for what was to us a hope which we cherished with peculiar pleasure, must have been to him, a source of fearful anticipation—we mean the probable safe arrival of the ship, in the U. S. which should result in our deliverance. Our situation at this time was truly alarming; and may we not with propriety say, distressing?<br>
Surrounded by a horde of savages, brandishing their war clubs and javelins, our more than savage commanders, (Payne and Oliver) in anxious suspense as to the result of their negotiations with them; no refuge from either foe, and what contributed not a little to our unhappiness, was a consciousness of being innocent of having in the least manner wilfully aided the destroyers of the lives of our officers, and the authors of our now, truly unhappy situation.