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tion; and two vessels, the Speedwell and Prosperous, were equipped for the expedition. They were victualled for sixteen months, and stored with such merchandise as was thought most likely to turn to account on the coast of Tartary and Japan. Wood sailed in 1676, holding a good course to the north, desiring to keep as far as possible from land ; but at length finding the sea covered with ice before him, he had no choice but to run north-west, and thus seemingly retreat from the object of his destination, or else to approach the land by holding a south-eastern course. Towards the end of June he saw the western coast of Nova Zembla ; but soon after, his vessel struck on a ridge of rocks and went entirely to pieces. Wood and his crew were saved in the smaller vessel ; but after this misfortune all thoughts of prosecuting the voyage were at an end. Wood suffered his chagrin to overcome his candour; and though he had advocated by many ingenious arguments the existence of a north-east passage, yet on the loss of his ship he changed his opinion, and disingenuously criticised the accounts of preceding navigators.
In the beginning of the eighteenth century Mr. Knight, governor of the factory established by the Hudson's Bay company on Nelson's River, learned from the native Indians, that at some distance to the northward, and on the banks of a navigable river or inlet, there was a rich mine of native copper. He immediately applied to the company for ships to discover this rich mine. His representations, however, met with no attention, and he was obliged to remind the company that they were bound by their charter to make discoveries ; and he threatened to call on government to enforce that condition before they would comply. Two ships were at length fitted out for the expedition, the sole direction of which was entrusted to him ; and he sailed in 1719, “ by God's permission, to find out the Straits of Anian, in order to discover gold and other valuable commodities to the northward." These ships never returned ; and many years elapsed before any thing was known respecta ing the fate of the unhappy crews. A vessel, indeed, was despatched in 1722, from Churchill River, in Hudson's Bay, under the command of captain Scroggs, in search of the preceding expedition. But the narrative of his voyage makes no allusion to those enquiries which ought to have been his principal object. He brought back, however, a confirmation of the reports respecting the existence of a copper mine. “He had seen two northern Indians, who told him of a rich copper mine somewhere in that country, upon the shore, near the surface of the earth; and they could direct the sloop so near it as to lay her side to it, and be soon loaded with it. They had brought some pieces of copper from it to Churchill, that made it evident there was a mine thereabouts. They had sketched out the country with charcoal before they left Churchill, and so far as they went it agreed very well.” *
Nothing was learned respecting the melancholy fate of Knight and his companions till the summer of 1769, when Mr. Hearne collected from the Esquimaux in the neighbourhood of Marble Island the following account: -“When the vessels arrived at this place (Marble Island) it was very late in the fall, and in getting them into the harbour the largest received much damage ; but on being fairly in, the English began to build the house, their number at that time seeming to be about fifty. As soon as the ice permitted in the following summer, 1720, the Esquimaux paid them another visit; by which time the number of the English was very greatly reduced, and those that were living seemed very unhealthy. According to the account given by the Esquimaux, they were then very busily employed, but about what they could not easily describe; probably in lengthening the long boat, for at a little distance from the house there was now lying a great quantity of oak chips, which had been made most assuredly by carpenters.
" A sickness and famine occasioned such havock
* Aceount of the Countries adjoining Hudson's Bay. By Arthur Dobbs, Esq.
among the English, that by the setting in of the second winter their number was reduced to twenty. That winter, 1720, some of the Esquimaux took up their abode on the opposite side of the harbour to that on which the English had built their houses, and frequently supplied them with such provisions as they had, which chiefly consisted of whales' blubber, and seals' flesh, and train oil. When the spring advanced, the Esquimaux went to the continent; and on their visiting Marble Island again, in the summer of 1721, they only found five of the English alive, and those were in such distress for provisions that they eagerly ate the seals' flesh, and whales' blubber quite raw as they purchased it from the natives. This disordered them so much, that three of them died in a few days; and the other two, though very weak, made a shift to bury them. Those two survived many days after the rest, and frequently went to the top of an adjacent rock, and earnestly looked to the south and east as if in expectation of some vessels coming to their relief. After continuing there a considerable time together, and nothing appearing in sight, they sat down close together and wept bitterly. At length one of the two died, and the other's strength was so far exhausted, that he fell down and died also in attempting to dig a grave for his companion. The skulls and other large bones of those two men are now lying above ground, close to the house. The longest liver was, according to the Esquimaux' account, always employed in working iron into implements for them ; probably he was the armourer or smith.” *
* Journey from Prince of Wales Fort, &c. by Samuel Hearne.
SETTLEMENTS IN THE EAST.
JOURNEY OF JENKINSON TO BOKHARA. DESCRIPTION OF AS
TRACAN.—TIMUR SULTAN.-MANNERS OF THE TURKMANS. · BLADEBONE DIVINATION, — BOKHARA. —TRADE OF THE CAS
PIAN. TRADE OF VENICE WITH THE EAST. —THE ENGLISH
The success of Chancelor's mission to Moscow diverted the attention of the merchant adventurers for a time from seeking a passage to the Indian seas. But a better acquaintance with the newly discovered country, Russia, tended to inflame that ardour in the pursuit of eastern commerce which it had for a moment allayed. It was found that the Russians carried on a lucrative trade with Persia and Bokhara ; and it was determined to turn to advantage the favour with which the English were received at the court of Moscow, and to trace the commercial routes of the interior of Asia. For this purpose Mr. Anthony Jenkinson was selected; a resolute and
intelligent gentleman, well acquainted with Muscovy, to which country he had made several journeys, and where he afterwards appeared in the quality of ambassador from queen Elizabeth. - Jenkinson departed from Moscow in April, 1558. The country between the Volga and the Caspian he found desolate and depopulated : the inhabitants, to the number of a hundred thousand, were in that year destroyed by civil war, pestilence, and famine, to the great satisfaction, he observes, of the Russians. The city of Astracan appeared to him neither strong nor handsome. The ramparts were built of earth: all the houses, except the governor's, were of the meanest description. The only food was fish, especially sturgeon : these were hung up in their streets and houses to dry. The air was in consequence infected, and the myriads of Aies that swarmed round the putrefying fishes were insupportable. The distress among the Nogay Tatars in the neighbourhood was so great, that they offered their children for sale, and Jenkinson could have bought thousands of them for a small loaf of bread apiece. Merchants resorted to Astracan in great numbers; but the commodities in which they trafficked were bought in such small quantities as to excite the contempt of our English traveller, who concludes “ that there is no hope of a trade in those parts worth following."
On the 6th of August, Jenkinson embarked with his merchandise on the Volga, in company with some Persians and Tatars, to enter the Caspian sea, being obliged to take upon himself the care of the navigation. In four days he entered the Caspian; and nine days after passed the mouth of the river Jaik, on which, he tells us, is situated the town of Serachik, the capital of the greatest of the Nogay princes. But he adds, “ There is no trade in this country; the natives having no money but cattle, and living by robbery.” He soon became acquainted with their propensity to pillage; for, the day after he passed the river, while the greater part of his crew were on shore, a boat containing thirty armed