Liverpool/Pulling Manuscript 4
An account of the taking of the Indian Girl last summer (who is now with Mr. Stone in England) as related to me by Richard Richmond and Thomas Taylor.
1791 July - Charle's Brook
Thomas Taylor, William Hooper and Richard Richmond went to Charle's Brook in July 1791 in pursuit of some Indians who they had reason to think were there and had stolen some of their salmon nets, traps etc. Charle's Brook is about three leagues from Miller's dwelling house but a very little way from Indian Cove where I was with Richard Richmond on Sunday last. The party went from Miller's house and landed about a mile before they came to the brook and walked until they came to a pond where they saw a punt which they told me enraged them more against the Indians who they knew must be nigh at hand. They told me that they imagined the Indians had killed the people belonging to the punt. This was the excuse to me for the following brutal behavior.
Soon after they saw the punt they saw a wigwam and came within twenty yards of it before any of the Indians made their appearance. Two women came out before of any of the others which they allowed to go away unmolested. But on a man coming out with a child under his arm and looking sternly at Richard Richmond he modestly requested of Thomas Taylor to fire for Richard Richmond told me so and said that he did not fire himself as he wished to keep his loading in reserve in case there should be many of them in the wigwam.
Taylor fired and wounded the man in the thigh and the little boy in his heel, the man dropped the child and was making off as fast as he could in his situation when William Hooper (to be revenged as he told Richard Richmond for the Indians killing his father) fired and struck him between his shoulders . The Indian fell and soon expired. The rest fled into the woods all except the girl who is now with Mr. Stone and the wounded child who they left on the ground. The girl they caught ere she could run far and brought away with them.
There were eight Indians in the whole and the Christians did them no harm as they expressed to me except killing a man, and wounding a boy, and bringing away a girl who did not seem adverse to accompany them and as they justly observed is now very well off. To be sure they did them a little more injury by burning a canoe they had building, but that's nothing.
From corroborating circumstances those Indians were a party that had a few weeks before being chased ashore by two men residents of Twillingate whose names are Hicks and Verge. These two men were in their boat when they saw a canoe of Indians which they drove ashore between Beaver Cove Head and Cape Farewell. The Indians not having time to take their canoe into the woods with them left her in the landwash with a rock in the bow of her hoping that would prevent her floating off. Some of the Indians climbed up amongst the cliff's opposite their canoe and prevented Hicks and Verge landing and when they presented either of their pieces [guns] at the Indians they dodged behind the cliff's and made sport of them. But, unfortunately for the poor savages, in the heights of their fun a sea came in and washed off their canoe which Hicks and Verge bore away triumphantly making sport at the Indians in return who when they saw their misfortune tore their hair and seemed almost frantic. Those Indians must have travelled through the woods a number of miles for they went from Beaver Cove Head to Indian Arm where they took away a punt belonging to Mr. Lester with three salmon nets and crossed over to Charle's Brook where three of Miller's humane heroes came up with them. Joseph Harnet , the man who carries on the fishery for Mr. Lester at Indian Arm described his punt to Mr. miller's crew which proved to be he same, I saw it at Upper Sandy Point yesterday.
Joseph Harnet told young Captain Chaytor and Mr. Clark when they called at Indian Arm on the return from the Exploits that if he was not to keep watch every night while his nets were set that the Indians would steel some from him every year. He said he saw a canoe coming towards his nets this summer about midnight but on his making a noise the Indians paddled away.
1789, The death of Thomas Rowsell who was killed by the Indian in
Thomas Rowsell and William Hooper were servants to Matthew Ward a salmon catcher in New Bay. Rowsell went one morning as usual to dip the salmon out of an adjacent pond where he was shot in several places and afterwards beheaded by the Indians I and stripped of his clothing. When Hooper missed the victim at breakfast time he went towards the pond to look for him where he found his naked body stuck full of arrows.
The Indians knowing his usual morning's employment had built up what the Newfoundlanders call a gaze which is a wall made up of loose rocks or stones to hide behind and is generally made use of to get a shot at birds that frequently pass that way ~ and Hooper supposes the Indians had secreted them selves behind this gaze till Rowsell came near enough to them for their purpose.
I'm informed this Rowsell as well as his brother George, who now fishes in Hall's Bay, have frequently had friendly intercourse with the Indians, comparatively speaking ~ that is the opportunities have often happened where they may have taken things from each other or they may have shot each other but they never attempted anything of the kind before. But Matthew Ward , who was Thomas Rowell's master, is a notorious enemy to those unenlightened mortals and if he has not been the death of many of them, he is much belied.
Rowell's buckles were found hanging up in one of the Indians wigwam tied to some of his buttons, by Thomas Taylor, Hooper and the rest when they went up the Brook [Exploits] the ensuing winter.
Hooper being his fellow servant knew the buckles which are silver and now in my possession as I purchased them of Thomas Taylor .
The Indians had made use of the tongues, etc. of the buckles and lain by the rims as to soft a metal for their use, I imagine.
I have also the comb which the young woman who was captures combed her child's hair with and then gave it to Thomas Taylor, who admired it. I have also one of the deer skins and one of the seal skins with some other trifles which the plunderers brought out.
The Indians have no domestic animal, drink nothing but water, make use of seal fat as pomatum for their hair and mix it with red ochre for daubing or painting themselves with. They keep the seals fat in the puttocks ( stomach) of those animals. The fat of the deer serves them for butter: they render it very clear and keep it in dishes, made of birch rind. They rub ochre over everything they make use of as well as over themselves; atleast everything I saw which had belong to them had ochre on it.
On some of their skins they draw the shape of men and women , on some fish, others fanciful scrawls, etc.
Taylor and the other Christians who were with him on the laudable expedition told me they saw the figure of a child made out of birch rind and very well executed. They make use of awls to sew with instead of needles, which awls they make out of our fishing hooks.
All their clothing is made out of deer skin with the fur inside and their canoes, dishes and other utensils , out of birch and fir rind. They sew all their fine work with deer sinews and for their coarse work they make use of the moors ( roots ) of trees.
They have all black hair which both sexes wear straight. The men are said to be stout, the women a middle size.
The only substitute I can find they have for bread is eggs, mixed up with deer's and swile's cruncheons which forms a kind of paste. They mostly roast their food which they do by putting it on small sticks and placing it around the fire. They boil in dishes made of birch rind and keep their water boiling by a succession of heated rocks.
They beat out their arrows and spears on a rock which serves for their anvil. Their frames which they spread their skins to dry or many of them fastened together with nails which they of course steal from the salmon catchers.
Their wigwams are covered with sails when they have them not been able to come across any of them, they cover them with birch or fir rind. Their huts are so small that when the holes which are around the fire place, are occupied they can have scarce room to stir.
I think it likely they make use of birch rind as a substitute for paper as they have only one word in their language to express both which is Pau- shee. I know a few words in their language which I mean to pen down in this book.