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Liverpool/Pulling Manuscripts                1


During the 1950's , the Pulling and Liverpool Manuscript was uncovered in the papers of the first Earl of Liverpool.This manuscript contain letters to the Governors of Newfoundland in the years 1797-1807, concerning the Beothuck Indians and their treatment by the European fishermen and furriers. George C. Pulling was a British naval officer who was commissioned as a lieutenant on 28 October, 1790.

1792 Pulling report ~ Trinity ~ July the 30th.

Maurice Kennedy, a boats-master in Mr. Lester's employ, came here from the north part of this isle and made me aquainted with a conversation which passed a few days since between him and John Mac Donald, a planter who resides at Tilton Harbor, which is three or four leagues from Fogo Harbor.

Mac Donald told him that he, with four other men, were on the Funk Island to get bird eggs, etc. on Saturday the 7th instant, when they saw two canoes which they knew must belong to the native savages of this country paddling towards the island. When they came within shot , Mac Donald said, he fired his piece which was loaded with mold shot, directly into one of the canoes and suppose he wounded some of the Indians who upon a second gun being fired at them, paddled off and went to a small isles or rocks called Gannet Rocks, which lay to the Northward of Funk Isle, about three quarters of a mile. They there landed and stayed time enough to take what birds eggs were there and then paddle away towards Wadhams Isles.

Mac Donald says they were the largest canoes he ever saw or heard of and is sure they were upwards of one hundred Indians in them.

Mac Donald also told Maurice Kennedy, that about nine years since, in the summer season, he then taking up his boat in Gander Bay, was out in his punt accompanied only by a boy, and having landed near a point, where he expected by going around it, to shoot some ducks, left the boy to take care of the punt and went away in search of his sport; but had not been gone many minutes when a very stout Indian came out of the bushes and made towards the boy, who, as soon as he perceived the Indian, ran as fast as he could the way Mac Donald had gone ~ the Indian running after him, and came so close to him at two different times as to put his bow in his left hand over the boy's head and was nearly getting it around his neck (which was what he aimed at) and the boy prevented by stooping down each time. The Indian followed him holding a large knife in his right hand until they came to the other side of the aforementioned point when they met Mac Donald who had been drawn back by the boy's screams.

They were within three yards of each other when the Indian perceived Mac Donald who was prepared, pointing his piece at his breast, which of course made him stop and threw him into a consternation. Mac Donald snapped at him but his gun did not go off. He then threw back a few paces and waved his hand as a signal for the Indian to go away; which signal he understood and obeyed with all speed.

The Indian being ignorant to Mac Donald's piece being out of order, and being so much frightened at so suddenly meeting him, did not offer to shoot an arrow at him.

Mac Donald describes the Indian to be the stouts' man he ever saw and says that he was six feet and a half high. He suppose he meant to have got the boy between his legs and cut his head off which was what had been frequently done.

Mac Donald also said that the following summer as he and his boy were in nearly the same place he met this Indian again alone and were within a dozen yards of each other. He did not appear to be afraid of them but passed by at an easy pace as they were going different ways and looked very earnestly several times in a way that Mac Donald says he is certain the Indian recognized him. Thus they parted without offering any injury on each other side.

Mr. Clark, a merchant at Fogo , told me when I was there this summer that he heard Mac Donald say the Indians came very near the Funk Islands and that he fired directly into one of their canoes.

1792 Pulling Report ~ Fogo ~ August

The aforementioned Mr. Clark also told me that five summers since he sent a boat belonging to himself and partner, Mr. Hancock, to Shoal Bay about a league to the Southward of Fogo Harbor to get ballast and dunnage and that his crew came back shortly after most of them wounded by the Indians.

I saw some of the men who were of the number: John Quinton among the rest who was very badly wounded. Mr. Clark, told me he took one arrow out of his shoulder after he came back to Fogo.

Thus, Thomas Haysom told me the story:

We were nine of us in the schooner boat and had come to an anchor in Shoal Bay, about a cable's length from the shore and all went into our punt to land in a little cove. But just as the punt had touched the shore and one of the crew had got out of her , two Indians, who we then saw on the cliffs , above us, about twenty yards distance; shot arrows at us. The men who had stepped out of the punt jumped in again and we pushed off and rowed away as fast as we could, for we had left the only gun we had in the schooner boat. The Indians kept up a continual discharge of arrows at us which we fended off with a hand-barrow and boat's thwart's as well as we could. But when we got to the schooner five of the crew were wounded and three so badly that we were obliged to lift them into the schooner, out of the punt.

I saw two other Indians come out from amongst the bushes, one a boy which supplied those who were firing at us with arrows , for I saw him give a case of them to one of our enemies.

Upward of thirty arrows hit the punt and we left fifty-six or sixty floating in the water but before we got back again from Fogo, the Indians had been off and picked and picked them up, for there was no tide or sea to have carried them away,

Just as we got into the cove we saw a young pigeon, which we picked up and found it had its throat partly stopped to prevent his diving and we supposed, afterwards, the Indians had placed it there to see if we would shoot at it and as we did not they concluded we had no gun. One of the Indians who had fired at us, was the stouts' man I ever saw.

We went back to Fogo and made our story known when a large party returned directly in pursuit of the Indians, but to no purpose.