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Plate I. 







FROM xi-:gatives of portraits from life and 


J. W. LIXDT, F.R.G.S. 

L O N 1) O \ : 

[All liij/ifs n'served.} 



?3 c t) I r a t f t) 







Plate II. 

To face Preface. 

P R E F A C E. 

|,WA,^"^.;OR years past, when perusing the account of explorino- 
^^^^ expeditions setting out for some country comparatively 
'V^J iniknown, I always noticed with a pang of disappointment 
^^ :^^J^'^Jil that, however carefully the scientific staff was chosen, it 
was, as a rule, considered sufficient to supply one of the members -with 
a mahogany camera, lens, and chemicals to take pictures, the dealer fui-- 
nishing these articles generally initiating the purchaser for a cou[)le or 
three hours' time into the secrets and tricks of the " dark art," or when 
funds were too limited to purchase instruments, it was taken for granted 
that enough talent existed among the members to make rough sketches, 
Avhicli would afterwards be " worked up " for the purpose of illustrating 
[)erhaps a very important report. 

Sir Samuel Baker remarks, in the Appendix to one of his "Works, 
tliat a photographer should accompany every exploring expedition. The 
only one I ever heard of being furnished with that connnodity wns 
11. M.S. "Challenger," on her scientific cruise round the world, but 1 
remember readhig in the " Photographic News " the complaint of a 
gentleman, that so many years luid already passed, and still there was no 
sign of the " Challenger " photographs ever becoming accessible to the 

llow this is, or why it should be so, is dilUcult to tell, but as yet no 
book of travel, entirely illustrated by artistic views and portraits taken 

,.i,i PRE PACK. 

,r,nrt, iVoin n;ituiv, has come uii<lcr my notice. According to my belief, 
there ran he l)ut one reason for it, and thai is thi; difficulties encountered 
I,, r,i,<l a .•omi.rtent artist jdiotographcr williii.^' to join an expedition are 
ir,-,;,t.r than those necessary to secure the services of someone who Ccan 
sketcli, and hence artistic pliotography, the legitimate and proper means 
to show friends at home what tliese foreign lands and their inhabitants 
really look like, is set aside for drawings, cither partly or purely 

l-]v(r since I lirst passed through Torres Straits in September, 1868, 
1 conceived an ardent desire to become personally acquainted Avith those 
mystenous shores of Papua and their savage inhabitants. I travelled 
tliis route on board a Dutch sailing vessel, and weird indeed were the 
tales that circulated among the crew concerning the land whose towering 
mountain ranges were dimly visible on our northern horizon. But years 
passed by, and time had almost effaced the impression, until I made the 
ac<[uaintance of Signor L. M. D'Albertis, the intrepid Italian, who ex- 
l)lored the Fly River higher up than anyone has ventured since. This 
occurred in 1873. Signor D'Albertis visited the Clarence River, in New 
South AVales, where I lived for many years, by way of recruiting his 
health after his voyages to N. W. New Guinea. How I fretted that 
circumstances prevented me from accompanying him on his first trip in 
the " Xewa," and how 1 envied young Wilcox (the son of a well known 
Naturalist residing on the Clarence) being engaged as assistant collector, 

' Tho\ii,'h this book was -wrlttou and the pictures taken under this impression, I 
found, on arrival in Enpjhmd, that several works of travel illustrated by photograj^hy 
liave been puldished. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. John Thomson, F.E.G.S., 
of Grosvenor Street, who showed me liis magnificent and interesting work on "China 
and its Peoples." I examined also Sir Lepel Griffin's clever work, " Famous Monu- 
ments of Central India," and a little book on Tahita, by Lady Brassey, ably illustrated 
by Col. H. Stuart-Wortley. The illustrations in these Works consist without exception 
of photographs printed in autotype, and the inspection of these books and their piotui'es 
at once put nie face to face with the countries described and then' inhabitants, far more 
vividly than could works illustrated by wood engravings, where, for truth, the reader 
depends firstly on the individual conception of the artist, and secondly on the skill of 
the engraver. 


no one knows but myself. Again some years elapsed, and when next I 
met D' Albertis it was at Melbourne, in 1878. His personal reminiscences, 
and subsequently the reading of liis interesting work, powerfully 
awakened my desire again for a trip to New Guinea. But circumstances 
were still adverse, and it was only when rumours of annexation became 
rife, and the Rev. Mr. Lawes visited Melbourne early in 1885, that the 
prospect of visiting the land of my dreams began to assume a more 
tangible form. 

Mr. Lawes, hearing me speak so enthusiastically about my long 
cherished desire, assured me of his readiness to assist, and of hospitality, 
should I come to Port Moresby. The reverend gentleman's kindness 
and goodwill were amply proved, as my narrative will show, but be it 
here recorded, with due deference, I believe he doubted at that time the 
likeUhood of ever seeing me sit at his table in the broad verandah of the 
mission house, listening to Mr. H. 0. Forbes' reminiscences of the 
interior of Sumatra (the exhumation and ultimate fate of " that Kubu 
woman " to wit). 

A month or so after Mr. Lawes' departure from Australia, the papers 
reported the intelligence that Sir Peter Scratchley had been appointed 
High Commissioner for the Protectorate of Xew Guinea, and that a 
properly equipped expedition was to be sent to investigate the newly 
acquired territory. Now or never was my chance. Colonel F. T. Sar- 
good kindly introduced me to Sir Peter, I offered to accompany the 
expedition as a volunteer, finding myself in every requisite, and giving 
copies of the pictures I should succeed in taking in return for my 
passage and the necessary facilities to develop and finish my negatives on 

My offer was accepted by Sir Peter, and on July loth, 1885, I 
received notice to join the " Governor Blackall," tlie vessel selected for 
the expedition, then lying in Sydnc}' Ilarljour. 

The command of the "Governor Blackall" was entrusted to Captain 
T. A. Lake, the senior captain of the A. S. N. Company's fleet, who, 
throughout the voyage, sustained his high character as a skilful navigator 
among coral reels, and proved himself a man of tact and decision, 



qualities 1 lint, w( IT more lli:iii oiin; jMit to the test during our cruise. 
I'.eloru liiuiichin.L,^ into the duseriptioii ol" the expedition, I wish to record 
liere my (k-ep sense ol" ohli.i^^iition to the gentlemen who kindly aided in 
the production of tliis Work Ijy contributing chapters of valuable infor- 
mation. In the fu'st place my thanks are due to the Rev. James Chalmers, 
who kindly continued the thread of the narrative, and brought it to a 
conclusion, ^\ lun I was obliged to leave the expedition at Samarai (Dinner 
Island) about a month before the lamented death of Sir Peter Scratchley. 
1 am also greatly indebted ibr his interesting paper on " The Manners 
and customs of the Papuans." On that subject no better source of infor- 
mation than him could be found. To Mr. G. S. Fort I offer my best 
thanks lor presenting me with his Official Report of the Expedition. 
The same recognition is due to Sir Edward Strickland, the President of 
the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, for the permission to em- 
body in my journal the interesting account of the " Bonito " Expedi- 
tion, undertaken under the auspices of the Royal Geographical Society 
almost simultaneously with ours. My appeal to Mr. Edelfeld, now ex- 
ploring in Motu Motu, met with a ready response from that gentleman in 
the shape of travelling experiences in the neighbourhood of Mount Yule. 
Last, but not least, I have to thank my learned countryman and 
friend. Sir Ferdinand Baron Yon Midler, the eminent Botanist, for the 
promise of a valuable essay from his pen, although, unhappily, the pres- 
sure of departmental work on his hands is at present so severe that bis 
contribution cannot be ready for this, the first edition of my book ; and 
I cannot conclude without acknowledging my indebtedness to Commander 
II. Field, of H. M. Surveying Schooner " Dart," and to his able officers, 
Lieutenants Messum and Dawson, not forgetting Dr. Luther, who, with 
their unitbrm kindness and courtesy, made my return journey on board 
that vessel a perfect pleasure trip. 

J. AY. LiNDT. 

Melbourne, 1887. 

1^-S- — ^^^ith regard to the publication of this Work much credit is due 
to Mr. Bird, of the Autotype Company. Arriving as I did, a stranger in 


London, this gentleman materially lightened my labours by introducino- 
me to Messrs. Longmans, the publishers, and contributing his experience 
freely. My thanks are also due to Mr. Sawyer and his clever staff, for 
the masterly reproduction of my pictures, ui)on which the success of the 
book mainly depends. 


CON r E N T S. 



CHAPTER I. — Historical Account of New Guinea. 

Geographical Positions — First Discoveries — First Explorers — The Missionaries — 
Dutch Settlement — English Surveys of the Coast — Attempts of Australian 
Settlement — Annexation by Queensland — Eefusal of Imperial Sanction — 
Australian Colonists Remonstrate — Proposal of a British Protectorate — 
Annexation by Great Britain — Dissatisfaction of the Colonists — Announce- 
ment of German Occupation — Arrival of Sir Peter Scratchley — His first Pro- 
ceedings and Premature Death — Appointment of a Successor — The German 
Settlement ............. 

CHAPTER II.— From Sydney to New Guinea. 

Colonists Demand Annexation of New Guinea — Lord Derby's Vacillation — 
Appointment of Sir Peter Scratchley as High Commissiuner — His Arrival 
and first Proceedings — Departure from Sydney — Pathetic Parting of the 
Commissioner and his Family — A Sabbath Day on Board — Northwards to 
Brisbane — Description of the " Governor Blackall " — Music hath Charms to 
soothe the hardy Seaman's breast — An Eminent Naturalist — Gentle Savages — 
Departure from Brisbane — A New Patent Log — The Tragedy of Percy 
Island — A Strange Ocean Product — An Island Paradise — An Apron Signal 
— Townsville — Meeting with a " Vagabond " — Cooktown — The Tragedy of 
Lizard Island — New Guinea in Sight ........ 


CHAPTER III.— First Landing in New Guinea. 

First View of Papua — Breakers Ahead — Haven of Safety reached — First Welcome 
— The Missionary and his Wife — Excursion to Rano Falls planned — Native 
Villages on the Littoral — Frolicsome Young Savages — A Degraded Rate — 



A 'riilic of r<»tters — A Strange Flotilla — Preparations for Excursion — A 
Christian Sal>bath in a Savage Land — Elevating Influence of Christianity — 
A Photogra])li('r'.s Inipedinienta — First Landing — Religious Service in the 
Motu Language — "Gniuny"the Prime Minister — A Start resolved on — A 
Guide and Carriers engaged — Also a Native Head Cook . . . .27 

CHAPTER rV. — First Excursion in New Guinea. 

Orders to March — Heavy Travelling — Tropical Creek — Sure-footed Mountain 
Steeds — Native Hunting Camp — Luncheon in the Forest — Smoking the Bau 
Bau — Good Country for Horse-breeding — Koiari Kangaroo-hunting — The 
Hunter's Feast — The Koiari Ti-ibe — Splendid Natural Panorama — Morrison's 
Explorations — Camp for the Night — Perilous Journeying — The Alligators' 
Haunt — Night in the Papuan Forest — Frightening the Devil — Fears of 
Danger from Natives dispelled — Morning in the Forest — A Purpose aban- 
doned — Strike for a Koiai'i Village — Savage Gounnands — Steep Mountain 
Ascent — Magnificent Mountain Scenery — A Koiari Welcome — A Mountain 
Village — Dwellings on the Tree-tops — A Koiari Chief — Photographer in 
Koiai'i — Hospitable Offer — A Koiari Household — Great White Chief — Buying 
a Pig — A Koiari Interior — A Papuan Meal — Conference of Chiefs — Papuan 
Etiquette — A Tribal Feud — Uncomfortable Night — Superb Moimtain Views 
— The Photographer in a Koiari Village — Return to the Port — A Ruined 
Village — Native Remains — Encounter Mr. Forbes — Missionary Hospitality . 32 

CHAPTER V. — Excursion up the Aroa River. 

Site Fixed for Government House and Buildings — Bootless Inlet — Lakatoi Trading 
Vessels — Native Regatta — Quit Port Moresby for Redscar Bay — Landing of 
the Party — The Mouth of the Aroa — Ascent of the Stream — Reflections on 
Land-tenure — Visit to Ukaukana Village — Interview with the Head Chief of 
Kabadc — Exchange of Presents — Adventures returning to Camp — Night 
Alarms — The Vari Vara Islands — Back to Port Moresby .... 46 

CHAPTER VI.— A Coasting Expedition. 

Arrival of H.M.S. " Raven " — Trade Winds — Site for Government Stores — Inland 
Party organized — Arrival off Tupuselei — Coast Scenery — A Papuan Venice — 
Sir Peter Scratchley's Visit to Padiri — Sickness among the Party — A Native 
Feud — Attack apprehended — Kapa Kapa — A Group of Mourners — Mangoes 
— Birds of Paradise — A Palaver — Continuation of the Vovage ... 55 



CHAPTER Vn.— An Expedition Inland. 


Walk from Hula to Kalo — Cocoanut Groves — Native Diseases — Mortality — 
History of the Reprisals for Murdering — Price of a Wife — Matrimonial 
Customs — The Author leaves Kalo — Crossing a River — Arriving at Hood 
Lagoon — Rejoin the Ship .......... 04 

CHAPTER Vin.— Native Villages. 

Scenery at the Hood Lagoon — Kerepimu, Hula — Fracas between the Ship's 
Company and Natives — Beneficial Results — Start for Aroma — A Native Chief 
as Passenger — Parimata — Moaj)a — The Aroma District — Departure for Stacey 
Island — The Scenery Described ......... 

CHAPTER IX.— South Cape. 

Bertha Lagoon — Garihi — Ascent of the Peak — East Shores of the Lagoon — 
Under Way — The Brumer Group — Rendezvous at Dinner Island — Murder 
of Captain Miller — Investigations at Teste Island ..... 

CHAPTER X. — Searches for Murderers. 

Return to Dinner Island — Rendezvous with H.M.S. " Diamond " and " Raven " — 
Excursion to Heath Island — Departure for Nonnanby Island — Diaveri — An 
Exciting Chase — Fruitless Negotiations — Capture of an Alleged Murderer — 
A Mistake and its Rectification — The Real Simou Pure — His Adventures in 
Sydney— Return of the Author in H.M.S. " Dart " 85 

CHAPTER XL— Mr. Chalmers' Narrative. 

Visit to Killerton Islands — The Juliade Islands — Reprisals for the Murder of 
Cajitain and Mrs. Webb — Colomljier Point — Unsuccessful Attempt to Com- 
municate with Natives — Hoisting the Union Jack at Moapa — Inland Excursion 
to Koiari Villages — Ascent of Mount Variata — Meet Mr. Forbes — Sogeri — 
Mr. Forbes' Station — Return to Port Moresby and Hula — Bentley Bay — 
Ascent of Mount Killerton — Illness of Sir Peter Scratchley — Character of 
the Coast — The Jal)beriug Islands — From Colling\sood Bay to Cape Nelson 
— Mountains and Harbours — Departure of the " Governor Blackall " for 
Australia — Illness of Sir Peter Scratchlcv — His Dt>atli — His Fiim-ral . 95 


CHAPTER XII. — Two Nkw Guinea Stories by James Chalmers, F.R.G.S. 


I. Voiiia uf Maiva— II. The Kuitapu Tribe and their Witclicraft . . .106 

CHAPTER XIII. — History and Description op Pottery Trade. 
A Papuan " Enoch Ardon," by James Chalmers, F.R.G.S 118 

CHAPTER XIV. — Travels in the Neighbourhood of Mount Yule, 
Motu Motu and Customs of the People, by E. G. Edelpeld, M.R.G.S. . . 126 

APPENDIX I.— British New Guinea. 

Report on British New Guinea, from Data and Notes by the Late Sir Peter 
Scratchley, Her Majesty's Special Commissioner, by Mr. G, Seymour 
Fort. Finnte Secretary to the late Sir Peter Scratchley, R.E., K.C.M.G. 135 

APPENDIX n.— "The Bonito" Expedition. 

Captain Evcrill's Report of the Royal Geographical Society's Expedition to the 

" Fly, Strickland, Ser\dce, and Alice Rivers " 167 

APPENDIX III.— German New Guinea Exploration . . 189 



1. Motu Water Carrier, Port Moresby 

2. Portrait of Aiatlior, J. W. Linclt, F.E.G.S. 

3. Portraits of the Eevs. S. McFarlane, G. W. Lawes, and James Chambers 

4. "The Start." Sir Peter Scratchley, his Staff and Party of Friends, 

S.S. " Governor Blackall " . 

5. Women making Pottery 
Loading Lakatoi, Port Moresby 

6. Lakatoi, or Motu Trading Vessel, under Sail 

7. Lakatoi near Elevala Island . 
Elevala Island, from Mission Station 

8. Koiari Chiefs ..... 

9. The Haunt of the Alligator, Laloki Eiver 

10. Eoasting Yams for Breakfast, Badeba Creek 

11. Near the Camp, Laloki Eiver 

12. Sadiira Makara, Koiari Village near Bootless Inlet 

13. The Village Pet at Sadara Makara 

14. Tree-house, Koiari Village 

15. Motu Girls, Port Moresby, also Paro Paro Apple Tree 

16. Sir Peter Scratchley 's Camp, near Mouth of Aroa Eiver, Eedscar Bay 

17. Native House at Vanuabada, Kabade District 

18. Native Teachers, Kabade District . 

19. Village of Koilapu, Port Moi'osby . 

20. At Low Water, Native Houses at Koilapu 

21. H. 0. Forbes and Party of Malays, also Captain Musgravc and INIr. Lawes 

22. Tupuselei (Marine Village) from the Shore . 

23. The Chief's House, Marino Village of Tupuselei 

24. Women of Tupuselei going for Water . 

25. Mangrove Scrub, near Kaele .... 




to face Preface 





20. (Jroui) of Natives at Kapa Kajia, central figures in mourning 

27. The Kalo Creek, Kapa, Kapa District 

28. New CJuinea Trophy, Wi'ai)ons and Implements 

2}). Native House at the Village of Kaniali 

30. The Chief's Spire House at Kalo (in course of re-construction) 

31. Mourners and Dead-house at Kalo ....... 

32. Village Scene at Kalo, with Teacher and Christian Church 

33. Kerepunu Women at the Market Place of Kalo 

34. Village Scene at Moapa, Aroma District ...... 

35. Native Houses and Graves at Suau, Stacey Island ..... 

36. Garihi Village, Bei-tha Lagoon, South Cape 

37. Boating Scene, Bertha Lagoon and Cloudy Mountains in the Distance . 

38. Magiri Village, Bertha Lagoon, South Cape 

39. Group and Native House, Mairy Pass, Mainland of New Guinea in 

the Distance ........... 

40. Young Cocoanut Trees on Stacey Island, Farm Peak in the Distance 

41. Platform for Dead Bodies, South Cape, New Guinea .... 

42. Naria Village, South Cape, New Guinea 

43. On the Beach, Teste Island, Kissack's trading Canoe, Bell Eock and 

Cliffy Island in the Distance ........ 

44. Paddles, Native Ornaments, and Implements from the Neighbourhood 

of Dinner Island and China Straits ....... 

45. Village at Stade Island (Engineer Groui^) ...... 

46. The Voyage Homeward, on board H.M.S. "Dart" (on the Job) 

47. "The End," Sir Peter Scratchley's Catafalque, on board S.S. "Governor 


48. The Honourable John Douglas, C.M.G., Sir Peter Scratchley's Successor 

Captain T. A. Lake, Senior Captain of the A.S.N. Company's Fleet, and 
Commander of the S.S. " Governor Blackall" (on one Plate) 

49. Sir Peter Scratchley, K.C.M.G., and Mr. G. Seymour Fort, Private Secretary 

(on one Plate) ........... 

50. Fly River Explorers, Signer Luigi Maria D'Albertis, and Captain 

H. C. Everill (on one Plate) 













Geographical Position — First Discoveries — First Explorers — The Missionaries — 
Dutch Settlement — English Surveys of the Coasts — Attempts of Australian Settlement 
— Annexation by Queensland — Refusal of Imperial Sanction — Australian Colonists 
remonstrate — Proposal of a British Protectorate — Annexation by Great Britain — Dis- 
satisfaction of the Colonists — Announcement of German Occupation — Arrival of Sir 
Peter Scratchley — His first Proceedings and Premature Death — A])pointment of a 
Successor — The German Settlement. 

Geographical Position. 
^EW GUINEA, the latest addition to the magnificent 
Colonial empire now owned by Great Britain, is the largest 
island on our globe, counting Australia as a sixth con- 
tinent. It lies to the north of Australia, from wliich it is 
separated by a narrow strait named after Torres, a Spanish navigator, 
who, in 1606, sailed through it on his way from the New Hebrides to 
the Philippine Islands. 

First Discoverers. — It is dou])tful whether an}thing rchiting to tliis 
large island was known to the European world before the time of 
Columbus. No mention of it is found in the works of any of tlie 
ancient geographers. The earliest reference to it that can be traced is 
given in the narrative of their voyages and adventures left l)y two 
Portuguese navigators, Francisco Sorrani and Antonio d'Abriu, who 


ill 1511 saw fiTul (l{!scri])0(l a ])ortion of the south-west coast. In the 
jil)S('iice of any fuller iiiibrmalion on the suhjeet, the honour of dis- 
covering New Guinea falls to these two adventurers. Fifteen years 
later another Portuguese riavioator, Don Jorges Menenes, was voyaging 
ii-oni M;d;i(c;i to ihc Moltiecns, iind encountering a storm, was driven 
out of his course to the eastward, and came upon the great island, 
where, iiiiding a safe and convenient harbour, he remained for a month 
to refit his shattered vessel. He named the island Papua, a Malayan 
expression for black or curly hair, which is a very marked feature of the 
native population. Under that name New Guinea is shown on a chart 
published in Venice in 1554. Another Portuguese mariner visited the 
island in 1528, and gave it the high sounding title of tlie Isla del Oro, 
or Island of Gold, from a belief that it abounded in the precious metals. 
Put the honour of giving the island the name it will bear permanently 
falls to Inigo de Retez, a Spanish sailor, who in 1545 sailed 250 miles 
along the northern coasts, and, thinking that he saw in the appearance 
of the country a resemblance to the Guinea coast on the west of Africa, 
called it Nueva Guinea. The next we hear of the place is an account 
given by Torres of the southern portion and its inhabitants, whom he 
describes as being "dark in colour, naked except having some clothing 
round the middle, and armed with clubs and darts ornamented with 
tufts of feathers." Schouten, a Dutch navigator, discovered some 
volcanoes in the island in 1616. Twenty-seven years later Abel Janez 
Tasman, the greatest of the Dutch navigators and the discoverer of 
Tasmania (which he named Van Dieman's Land) and of New Zealand, 
visited and minutely examined a portion of the west coast. On the 
New Year's Day of the year 1700, William Dampier, the prince of 
English maritime adventurers, voyaging in quest of new lands, sighted 
New Guinea, and never left it until he had sailed completely round it, 
although his vessel (named the "Roebuck") was both old and leak}'. 
His account of the place and people is very racily written, and was 
probably read by De Foe before he wrote " Robinson Crusoe." " The 
natives," he says, " are very black ; their short hair is dyed of various 
colours — red, white, and yellow: they have broad, round faces with 


great bottle-noses, yet agreeable enough, except that they disfigure 
themselves by painting and wearing great things through their noses, as 
big as a man's thumb and about four inclies long. They have also great 
holes in their ears, wherein they stuff such ornaments as in their 
noses." The illustrious navigator, Cook, rediscovered Torres Strait in 
1772, and added much to the previous knowledge of the island and its 
inhabitants. In 1828 the Dutch took possession of the western portion 
and attempted to make a settlement there, but failed. In 1843 Captain 
Blackwood, in H.M.S. " Fly," discovered the river, which he named 
after his ship. Subsequently, Captain Owen Stanley, in the " Rattle- 
snake," made a rough survey of a great portion of the coast, and in 1873 
Captain Moresby, in the " Basilisk," completed our knowledge of the 
external form and dimensions of Xew Guinea. 

First Explorers. — Up till very recently the only information possessed 
by the civilised world respecting the island and its inhabitants amounted 
to little more than that the people were negroes, and that beautiful birds 
of paradise were to be found there. Alfred Wallace, the distinguished 
naturalist, was the first European that gave the world a larger know- 
ledge of the native population and the natural productions. After him 
came Dr. Mickluoho Maclay, in 1871. He lived with the natives for 
fifteen months, enduring the severest privations and risking liis life in 
the cause of science But amongst the explorers of New Guinea pre- 
eminence must be given to Signor D'Albertis, who, in 1872, in company 
with his fellow-countryman. Dr. Beccari, penetrated into the interior in 
many directions, and made himself intimately acquainted with the names 
and habits of the natives. At various subsequent times Signor 
D'Albertis continued his explorations and observations, the results of 
which he has given to the world in two handsome volumes beautifully 
illustrated. This distinguished Itahan is a born explorer. lie is 
possessed with the true spirit of martyrdom in the cause of science. 
His pluck, perseverance and patience, seem only to grow with the diffi- 
culties he has to encounter, and the obstacles he has to overthrow. His 
personal privations and sufferings wring from him no complaints; and he 
merely records them in his simple matter-of-fact manner as among the 


facts and incidents of the time, and as affording an insight into the ideas 
and ways of the natives in view of such circumstances. A German 
explorer, Dr. A. J>. Meyer, made some important additions to our know- 
ledge of the country by explorations, vigorously prosecuted in 1873. 
Dr. Beccari, alone, went on an expedition into the interior in 1875, and 
returned with a large and valuable collection of specimens of the flora 
and fauna of the island. 

The Missionaries. — Those active pioneers of civiUsation, the English 
missionaries, have not neglected New Guinea ; but their work amongst 
the natives has been seriously hindered by the unhealthiness of the 
country and climate. The Rev. S. McFarlane was appointed by the 
Directors of the London Missionary Society to establish a mission in the 
island in 1870. With him was associated the Rev. Mr. Murray; and 
subsequently the Rev. W. G. Lawes and the Rev. James Chalmers 
joined the mission. The labours of these gentlemen amongst the native 
population have been of a quite heroic kind ; and to them is mainly due 
the merit of taking possession of the country for the British people. At 
the hourly risk of their lives they have carried on their apostolic 
labours, facing a thousand dangers, overcoming a thousand difficulties, 
unwearied in their high purpose of civilising and Christianising this 
savage people. They have established primary school training institu- 
tions, for native teachers, schools for teaching the industrial arts, 
mission stations at many points along the coast, and churches with regu- 
lar congregations and enrolled members. A real triumph of missionary 
achievement was witnessed at the mission station on Murray Island on 
the 14th May, 1885, when the 15-ton mission yacht, Mar}^, was launched 
from the yard of the Papuan industrial school, amid great feasting and 
rejoicing. The wood for the little vessel had been cut, and the building 
of it was executed by the hands of the pupils of the school under the 
supervision of the Rev. Mr. McFarlane. The yacht is intended for 
missionary work in and about the Fly River. 

Dutch Settleme7it. — So far as is known, the Dutch, as already stated, 
were the first European nation to attempt settlement in New Guniea. 
In 1828 Captain Steenboom, in the ship "Triton," landed on the island 


and took possession in the name of the Dutch Government of the terri- 
tory extending from the 141st parallel of E. longitude westward to the 
sea. He built a fort at a place he called Triton Bay, on the N.W. coast, 
the scenery around which was very beautiful. But (as a Dutch gentle- 
man at Macassar told Wallace) the officer left in charge of the settlement, 
finding the life there insufferably monotonous, killed the cattle and 
other live stock, and reported that they had perished through the un- 
healthiness of the place, and that, besides, the natives were very fierce 
and intractable. The settlement at Triton Bay was on this account 
abandoned. Seven years later another Dutch commander surveyed 
what was then called the Dourga River, and found it to be a strait, 
ninety miles long, dividing Frederic Henry Island from the mainland. 
The Dutch still hold nominal possession of the territory proclaimed by 
Captain Steenboom, but practically the acquisition is of no value to 

English Surveys of the Coast. — The southern shores of New Guinea 
have been mostly surveyed by British ships, Cai)tain Blackwood, in 
II.M.S. " Fly," discovered in 1843 the river which he named after his 
ship. The next English commander that surveyed part of Xew Guinea 
was Captain Owen Stanley, who, in 1847, in li.M.S. "Rattlesnake," 
sketched a large extent of the coast and marked off a number of 
mountains, one of which, called after him, is over 13,000 feet high. 
In 1873 Captain Moresby, in the "Basilisk" discovered and named 
Port Moresby, and determined the form of the south-eastern extremity 
of the island. Hoisting the Queen's flag he took possession in her 
Majesty's name, by right of discovery, of Moresby Island and the 
surrounding archipelago. 

Attempts at Australian Settlement. — The Australian colonists have 
not been wholly indifferent to the probable advantages to be gained 
from effecting a settlement in New Guinea. During the past twenty 
years several expeditions have been either planned or partially executed 
with that object, and the Imperial Government has been again and 
again asked to take action for the establishment of a British occujKition 
of the territory. To these requests unfavourable answers were given, 


although it was known at the Colonial Office that so long back as 1793 
the island had been formally annexed to Great Britain. In that year, 
two commanders in the service of the East India Company, William 
Bampton, blaster of the " Ilormuzcer," and Matthew B. Alt, Master of 
the " Chesterfield," were exploring in these waters ; and on the 10th July 
an armed party of forty-four men from the two vessels, under the com- 
mand of Dell, chief mate of the " Hormuzeer," landed on Darnley Island 
in Torres Strait, and took possession of that island and the neighbouring 
island of New Guinea in the name of His Majesty King George the 
Third. All the formalities customary on such occasions — hoisting the 
union jack, reading the proclamation, and firing a volley — were duly 
observed on this occasion. Nevertheless, it was not until nearly a 
century had elapsed that the imperial authorities at Downing Street 
condescended to take notice of the fact that there was such a place as 
New Guinea in existence. 

Annexation by Queensland.— T\\q fact was forced upon their attention 
by the spirited action of the Premier of Queensland, Sir Thomas 
Mcllwraith, who, weary of the rebuffs repeatedly inflicted on the 
Australian colonists by the colonial office in regard to this matter, 
patriotically resolved upon annexing New Guinea on his own authority. 
Accordingly he instructed Mr. H. M. Chester, at that time police- 
magistrate at Thursday Island, to proceed to the great island, and take 
possession in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, of all that portion of 
it which was not claimed by the Netherlands Government. In obedience 
to these instructions Mr. Chester sailed for New Guinea; and, on the 
4th April, 1883, he performed the ceremony of formal annexation of all 
that part of the territory lying between the 141st and the 155th meri- 
dians of east longitude. These facts were duly reported to the Imperial 
authorities, and strong representations were made to them by the 
Governments of the United Colonies to induce them to endorse with 
their approval the action of the Queensland Premier. 

Befusal of Imperial Sanction. — But Lord Derby, who then held rule 
in the Colonial Office, was adverse. He addressed a despatch to the 
officer administering the Government of Queensland, Sir A. H. Palmer, 

Plate III. 

REV. S. M^FARLANE {Left). 

REV. G. W. LA WES {Centre). 


Befereiice page i. 

^npi*- ^^ 


formally refusing to sanction the act of annexation. At this time it "was 
well known that Germany was meditating the project of taking posses- 
sion of a part, or the whole of Xew Guinea; and yet Lord Derby altirmed 
that there appeared to be no reason for supposing that any Foreign 
Power harboured such a design. His lordship objected, moreover, to 
the unnecessarily vast extent, as he deemed it, of the territory annexed 
by Mr. Chester. The utmost that his lordship would concede was that 
possibly a protectorate might be established over the coast tribes, under 
the direction of the High Commission for the Western Pacific, but abso- 
lute annexation was quite out of the question. 

Australian Colonists remonstrate. — This fresh rebuff, instead of 
paralysing the Australian colonists, only roused them to greater activity. 
Mr. Service, Premier of Victoria, was the first to move in the matter. 
He asked the Governments of the other Colonies to send delegates to an 
Intercolonial Convention, at which this and other questions would be 
considered. The request met with immediate and general compliance. 
According^, the Convention assembled in Sydney in November, 1883 ; 
all the Australasian Colonies were represented, and the Governor of 
Fiji, Sir G. W. Des Voeux, was present, but did not vote. Resolutions 
affirming the desirability of promptly and effectually securing the incor- 
poration with the British Empire of such parts of Xew Guinea as were 
not claimed by the Netherlands Government, were unanimously adopted. 

Proposal of a British Protectorate. — To such an emphatic expression 
of the wishes of the Australian Colonists, Lord Derby could not be in- 
different. In ]\Iay of the following year his lordship addressed a des- 
patch to the Governor of Queensland, intimating that the Imperial 
authorities were inclined to sanction the appointment of a High Commis- 
sioner for New Guinea, provided that the Australian Colonies would 
agree to pay a subsidy of £15,000 per annum towards the expense of a 
protectorate. At once the two Colonies of Queensland and Victoria 
offered to guarantee, between them, payment of the whole amount, and 
the other Colonies subsequently consented to pay each its quota of con- 
tribution, but upon condition that annexation was really intended by the 
Imperial Government. 



Annexatio7i by Great Britain. — In October, 1884, several vessels of 
war on llic Aiistraliiin st;ition left Sydney Harbour one by one, bound 
northwards, and on the Gth November, five British war-ships were lying 
at anchor in Port Moresby. Commodore Erskine then formally pro- 
claimed the British Protectorate, and the British flag was hoisted with 
great ceremony, in the presence of about 250 officers and men of the 
squadron, tlie missionaries, and as many of the natives and representative 
chiefs as could be collected for the occasion. All acquisition of land 
from the natives was forbidden, and regulations prohibiting the intro- 
duction of alcohol and firearms were drawn up. A representative chief, 
Boi Vagi, of Port Moresby, was chosen, and Mr. H. Romilly was left as 
Acting Commissioner, to enforce the regulations, and to act with autho- 
rity until the arrival of the High Commissioner. Shortly afterwards the 
appointment was conferred on Sir Peter Scratchley, who at once pro- 
ceeded to enter upon his duties. 

Announcement of German Occupation. — So far the Imperial Authorities 
had complied with the wishes of the Australian Colonists, at least in 
appearance. But the favour shown them was materially lessened in 
value by the limitation of the area of territory taken under the British 
protection. They, very naturally, desired that the whole of the island 
not claimed by the Dutch should be annexed to the British Empire ; but 
Lord Derby drew a line across the map, bisecting the eastern half into 
two nearly equal parts, and made this line the boundary of the protec- 
torate, leaving the northern section free to be snapped up by any Foreign 
Power that might choose to take it. With reason the Colonists com- 
plained that good faith had not been kept with them, and that their 
agreement to pay the subsidy of £15,000 a year was invalidated by Lord 
Derby's act. But his lordship refused to alter his decision, and, unfor- 
tunately for the cause of the Colonists, New South AVales, which had 
formerly been in hearty accord with all its sister Colonies in this matter, 
drew off now, and stood aloof. It seemed as if the Secretary of State 
for the Colonies, secretly abetted by the New South Wales Government, 
was bent upon tacitly inviting some Foreign Power to take possession of 
the unannexed portion of the island. Before the close of the year — as 

Plate IV. 


Reference page 13. 


any person gifted with the least degree of sagacity might have foreseen — 
the expected claimant made his appearance on the scene. The news 
flashed along the electric wires in all directions that the German flag 
was floating over several points along the north-east coast of New Guinea, 
and on many of the adjacent islands. Fuller information showed that 
the German Government had formally annexed the whole of the territory 
marked ofl" by Lord Derby as lying outside the area of the British pro- 
tectorate, together with the islands of Xew Britain, New Ireland, and 
many others in that extensive archipelago. It must be recorded, to 
vindicate the truth of history, that this intelligence caused a movement 
of strong indignation in the minds of the Australian Colonists, and 
vigorous protests against the action of the German Government were 
addressed by the Australian Agents General to the Imperial Authorities. 
The feeling of resentment was all the more keen, because the guarantee 
to pay £15,000 a year towards the expense of the protectorate had been 
given under a distinct understanding that the whole of Xew Guinea, 
excepting the part claimed by the Dutch, should be annexed. Lord 
Derby, moreover, up till the very hour of the declaration of the German 
occupation, had denied all knowledge of any such intention on the part 
of any Foreign Power. With reluctance the Australian Colonists ac- 
cepted the limitation of area imposed by his lordship; but it was only 
their fervent loyalty to the British connexion that prevented them from 
marking in a very emphatic manner their sense of what they held to be 
a most unjustifiable surrender of the Imperial rights on the part of the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies. 

Arrival of Sir Peter Scratchley. — Sir Peter Scratchley arrived in 
Australia at the beginning of 1885. His first task was to secure the 
consent of the several Colonial Governments to share in the payment of 
the stipulated subsidy for the maintenance of the protectorate. He 
visited each of the Colonies in succession, and after some demurs on the 
part of one or two of the governments had been overcome, succeeded in 
his object. He next chartered a tine steamer, the " Governor Blackall," 
from the Australian Steam Navigation Company, and on the 20th 
August sailed for the seat of Government. 


//is I'lrst Proceedincjs and Premature Deatfi. — He selected Port 
iMorcsl))' us his first station, livin<^ on board the "Governor ]jlackall," 
aud taking a general inspection of the surrounding locality, with a view 
to selecting a fitting site for the proposed capital of the new protectorate. 
His iiitriition was to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the 
country before framing any regulations for the settlement of whites 
witliin tlie territory. It was with this purpose that he joined the expe- 
dition, the history of which is narrated in the present volume, and which 
eniled, for him, in his untimely death from the malarial fever incident to 
the climate. The loss thus caused, both to the Australian Colonies and 
to the Imperial. Interests, was deeply felt and universally mourned. 

Appointment of a Successor. — Mr. John Douglas, ex-Premier of 
Queensland, was appointed by the Imperial Authorities to succeed Sir 
Peter Scratchley. The new High Commissioner has set himself with 
characteristic energy to carry out the purposes of his predecessor. 

T/ie German Settlement. — The German government has granted a 
charter to a company to promote settlement in its newly acquired pos- 
sessions, and very liberal inducements are held out to enterprising 
adventurers to become the pioneers of the German Colony. 



Colonists demand Annexation of New Guinea — Lord Derby's Vacillation — Appoint- 
ment of Sir Peter Scratcliley as High Commissioner — His Arrival and first Proceedings 
— Departure from Sydney — Pathetic Parting of the Commissioner and his Family — 
A SahLath Day on Board — Northwards to Brisbane — Description of the " Governor 
Blackall " — Music hath Charms to soothe the hardy Seaman's breast — An Eminent 
Naturalist — Gentle Savages — Departure from Brisbane — A New Patent Log — The 
Tragedy of Percy Island — A Strange Ocean Product — An Island Paradise — An Apron 
Signal — Townsville — Meeting with a "Vagabond" — Cooktown — The Tragedy of Lizard 
Island — New Guinea in Sight. 

HE repeated demands of the Australasian Colonists for the 
annexation of New Guinea failed, for a long period, to 
move the Imperial Government. Tlie policy of Lord 
Dcrljy, when Secretary of State for the Colonics in Mr. 
Gladstone's Administration, seemed to be of the Fabian order. His 
lordship (as ^Ir. Froude told the Colonists), was in the habit of looking 
at both sides of a question, and taking time to make up his mind. But 
somehow the march of events outstripped Lord Derby's calm deliberation. 
Rumours came abroad that some great Foreign Power was meditating 
the annexation of the northern island. Stimulated to action l)y these 
reports, the patriotic Premier of Queensland, Sir Thomas ]\lcllwraitli, 
resolved upon taking the matter into his own hands, and he despatched 
an agent to New Guinea with orders to take possession of the territory 
in the name of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. These orders were promptly 
obeyed, but the patriotic act did not meet witli Lord Derby's ap[)roval. 


'i'lic iiniicxatlon was disavowed in Downing Street, and the Colonial 
Minister coiitiiiiKMl his tranquil meditations on both sides of the New 
(iuiiica (juestion. At lcn<j^th Germany stcipped in, and forestalled the 
fixed i)ur})Ose of the Australian Colonist. The larger half of the eoveted 
tei-ritory was added to the German possessions in the Pacific. Then 
Lord Derby — doul)tless with a feeUng of thankfulness to Prince Bismarck 
lor his c()iisi(hrateness in leaving a fragment of the prize unappropriated 
— bethought him of the propriety of taking steps to secure the interests 
of his own nation in the matter. Ilis lordship appointed an Imperial 
Special Commissioner, and despatched him to Australia to obtain the 
funds requisite for establishing and maintaining a British Protectorate 
over Southern New Guinea and the adjacent Archipelago. 

Sir Peter Scratchley, the newly-appointed Commissioner, set forth 
upon his mission, and arrived in Melbourne at the close of the year 1884. 
His first task was to procure a vessel to convey him to his destination, 
and also suitable for a floating viceregal residence, pending the erection 
of a palace on shore. His next business was to obtain from the several 
Australian Governments contributions towards the salary and expenses 
of the Special Commissioner. This object was gained without any 
difficulty, although there was a good deal of grumbling at Lord Derby's 
remissness in allowing Germany to steal a march upon him. But, as 
matters could not now be remedied, the Colonial Premiers, one and all, 
agreed to share jointly the expenses of the Protectorate, and the Premier 
of New South Wales, in addition, ofl^ered the use of H.M.C.S. " Wolve- 
rene," then stationed in Sydney Harbour, for a six months' service on 
the New Guinea coast. This ofter the Commissioner gladly accepted; 
but just then, as it happened, reports were raised of an impending 
rupture of friendly relations between Great Britain and Russia, and the 
" Wolverene " would, in case of that event occurring, be required for 
purposes of local defence. Instead of continuing his eflfbrts to procure 
another vessel, Sir Peter Scratchley devoted his attention to the condition 
of tlie colonial defences, most of which had been constructed under his 
own supervision. Happily, the Russian scare Si)eedily subsided, and 
tenders were called for from shipowners possessing a vessel suitable for 



Jieferevce j^ioge 28. 


the Xew Guinea service. The tender of the Australasian Steam Navi- 
gation Company, for the use of the S.S. " Governor Blackall," was 
accepted, this vessel lying then in Sydney Harbour, undergoing repairs 
and refitting. 

By the end of July, 1885, everything was in readiness for a start ; 
but another fortnight's delay occurred through the sudden illness of the 
Commissioner. His health restored. Sir Peter Scratchley gave orders to 
Captain Lake to have steam up and all ready for the voyage by half-past 
eight on the morning of Saturday, 15th August. It was with no little 
joy and pride that I shipped my personal baggage and apparatus, and 
enrolled myself as a member of the Expedition. It seemed to me that 
a goal I had long been striving to reach was now in sight, and that I 
was fortunate enough not only to obtain exceptional facilities for seeing a 
country whose physical peculiarities, and the manners and customs of 
whose inha])itants had hitherto been little known and imperfectly 
described, but to be the humble means of communicating truthful infor- 
mation to others. A large party of friends came on board to take a 
farewell breakfast, and to accompany us down the beautiful harbour. 
AVe rounded PI. M.S. " Nelson," and the band on board that vessel struck 
up " Auld Lang Syne " by way of parting salute. A number of small 
steamers were conveying the men garrisoned in the various forts and 
batterie to a grand review that was to come off that day, and the men, 
as they passed our vessel, greeted us with hearty cheers. A little past 
Bradley's Head our Captain slackened speed to allow Lady Scratchloy 
and her children to be taken on board the launch " Gladys." I could 
not help noticing that the parting between the Commissioner and his 
wife and eldest daughter was touched with pathos and solemnity, as if 
they all felt deeply that the enterprise in which the husband and father 
was engaged was not wholly free from serious risks and dangers. Alas ! 
it was their final parting on earth. The younger members of the Com- 
missioner's family, liowever, entertained no misgivings. "With the happy 
carelessness of childhood, they evidently regarded the occasion as only a 
pleasant holiday, too soon brought to a close. At length the moment 
for the final leave-takings came ; the last affectionate adieux were ex- 


changed, \hc hist tcnrlul embraces were given and taken, the last good 
wislics M-vvv si)okcii ; tlie visitors were conducted on board the " Gladys ;" 
and, witli waving of white handkercliiefs and many unspoken prayers for 
a prosperous voyage and a safe return for the adventurers, they reluc- 
tantly turned their faces in the direction of Sydney. 

The North Head was passed at 10.40, and, steering her course North 
by East, our gallant little vessel fairly entered on her mission, with a 
fair westerly wind, a smooth sea, and weather of the true Australian 
mildness and brilliancy. Broken Bay was speedily left behind us, and 
next Newcastle, fiimed for its coal mines. As the sun was sinking below 
the horizon we found ourselves abreast of the Port Stephens Lighthouse. 
The wind had freshened considerably during the afternoon, so as to 
spoil the appetites of some of our party, who had not yet found their 
sea-legs ; the carpenter was battening down the hatches, evidently in 
anticipation of a squally night, and the company generally betook them- 
selves to the horizontal position in their berths at an early hour of the 
evening. Happily, the fears of a coming storm were not realised. About 
midnight the wind fell, and the adventurers slept as calmly in their 
bunks as if they had been in a palatial hotel on shore. 

Sunday morning dawned with Sabbath stillness and brightness. 
After breakfast the Commissioner issued orders for a general muster at 
half-past ten. The hour appointed found every man not actually en- 
gaged on duty ranged on the quarter-deck ; the roll was called, and 
the Captain announced that Divine Service would be held at eleven, 
that attendance was not compulsor}', but that the Commissioner would 
be pleased to see every man in attendance. Punctually at eleven the 
bell tolled for prayers ; the crew, to a man, came up on deck, the ship 
then going at half-speed ; prayer books and hymn books were handed 
round, and then the Commissioner read with great solemnity the beautiful 
service of the Church of England for those at sea, Mr. Fort leading in 
the reading of the responses. The singing of the 166th hymn, in which 
the whole of the little congregation heartily joined, concluded this very 
impressive service, and every one of the worshippers seemed to feel 
that ho had performed an act of devout thankfulness to Almighty 

Plate VI. 

Reference page 29. 


God for vouchsafing so happy a start and such fair prospects to our 

Once more the engines were put at full speed, and witli a light 
wind and a calm sea our vessel went joyfully skimming over the deep. 
Smoky Cape and Trial Bay were passed before noon ; the lighthouse 
tower on South Solitary hove in sight; the S.S. "Birksgate" passed 
us on our way southward ; several smaller sailing craft were sighted, 
and one of them, a three-masted schooner, passed so close under our 
bows that we could read her name — the " Sarsfield ' — with the naked 

Next day we breasted the Clarence Peak, a well-known landmark, at 
4.15 p.m.; and passed the Clarence River Heads at 5.30. After dinner 
we discerned the lights of the camp-fires of the Custom House officers 
guarding the wreck of the " Cahors," wrecked a few days before on 
Evans Reef, and the red light at the Richmond River Heads showed out 
just as the company were " turning in." During the night the mouths 
of the Tweed and Brunswick rivers were passed ; Cape Byron, the most 
easterly point of Australia, was rounded, and our vessel kept thence- 
forward a more northerly course. The next point passed was the 
southern entrance to Moreton Bay, which — it is a pity to record — has of 
late years become shallower and urisafe for vessels of any size. Moreton 
Island, a sandy, sterile-looking spot, was passed on the left, and at 
9.45 a.m. we breasted the lighthouse situated on the highest part of the 
island. Entering the mouth of the Brisbane River, the harbour-master's 
steam-launch conveyed on board Mr. Romilly, the Deputy Commissioner, 
and Mr. Chester, police-magistrate at Somerset and Thursday Island, 
who had the honour of hoisting the British flag at Port ^loresby and 
taking possession of New Guinea in the name of Her ^Majesty Queen 
Victoria. Next appeared H.M.S. "Gayndah," which had been specially 
constructed for the defence of the Port, to escort us up the river, and at 
2 p.m. the " Governor Blackall " cast anchor opposite the Government 

At this point in our narrative it may not be unfitting to give the 
reader a description of our gallant ship and the appointments made for 



ilic expedition. TIk^ Ifiiil \v\\) in Sydney Harbour was thus described in 
the '' Sydney Morning Herald " of 7th August:— 

" Al)out two months ngo Her Alnjesty's High Commissioner for New 
(Juinea, Sir Peter Scratchley, chartered the A. S. N. Company's steamer 
' Governor Bhickall,' in which to visit the different parts of the new 
colony over which he has l)een appointed to act as tlie Queen's repre- 
sentative; and on her arrival in Sydney she was taken over to the 
Company's works, and altered and improved in her internal fittings to 
such an extent as to give her the appearance of a new ship. Yesterday 
the steamer was taken for a trial trip, and the result was regarded as in 
every way highly satisfactory. She cast off from the A.S.N. Company's 
wharf at about a quarter to eleven, and proceeded down the harbour and 
outside the Heads for a distance of several miles, the speed attained 
when covering the measured mile being equal to eleven knots per hour. 
As the day was beautifully fine, with a gentle ' north-easter,' the trip 
was greatly enjoyed by the company present, among whom were Messrs. 
Cruickshank (chief Government engineer-surveyor), A. B. Portus 
(superintendent of dredges). Gray (Mort's Dock), Captain Vine Hall, 
Dr. Glanville, and others. 

" There was but one opinion among the the company as to the 
suitability of the steamer for the work in which she is to be engaged, 
also in reference to the exceedingly comfortable, even luxurious manner 
in Avhich she has been fitted out. The 'Governor Blackall' is a most 
attractive looking vessel of 487 tons gross register, and was built from 
designs supplied by Mr. Norman Selfe by Mort's Dock and Engineering 
Company, in 1871, to the order of the Queensland Government, Avho 
employed her for some years in conveying the mails along the coast of 
that colony. She then came into the possession of the Australasian 
Steam Navigation Company, and has been running in the coastal trade 
of Queensland ever since. About five years ago the Company went to 
the expense of providing her with new engines and boilers, which, with 
the other parts of the ship, have been carefully overhauled and put in 
first class order, so that yesterday the machinery worked very smoothly 
and without the i^lightest hitch of any kind. On the 1st of July last the 

Plate VI 1. 



Itefereiice p'tge 31. 



' Governor Blackall ' was placed in the hands of Mr. Crnickshank to 
superintend the necessary alterations and repairs, and he has carried out 
his work in a very creditable manner. The hull of the vessel, both 
inside and out, has been chipped, cleaned, and painted, the paint outside 
being white, which certainly adds to the attractiveness of the vessel's 
appearance. The old fittings in the saloon have been removed, and the 
apartment has been entirely re-arranged to suit the requirements of the 
expedition. State rooms running its entire length have been erected, with 
ample room ventilation, and light lor every member of the expedition ; and 
the dining-table, with swing trays overhead, runs down the centre. On the 
right of the companion leading to the saloon is the apartment, formerly 
the ladies' cabin, to be used by Su' Peter Scratchley as a bed and sitting- 
room, which is fitted up in most complete style, and with a considerable 
display of taste in the furnishings, &c. Each of the officers has a separate 
cabin, and in addition one has been set apart specially for the use of 
Mr. Lindt, the photographer to the expedition, who has over 400 plates 
with him, and who intends to take views of New Guinea to be sent home 
to the exhibition to be held in London next year. Then Dr. Glanville 
has a room, in addition to his private cabin, for the dispensary. There 
is a bath-room for the use of the general, and another for the officers, 
and in each hot, cold, and shower-baths may be had at any moment, the 
cold water coming from a tank on the bridge, from which the whole ship 
is supplied, and the hot from the boiler. All the furniture in the 
cabins is quite new, and made of beautifully poUshed cedar, thus adding 
greatly to the general effect. The forecabin has also been altered and 
improved and the petty officers and men will find most comfortable 
quarters therein. The ventilation of the vessel has been carefully 
studied, and a system has been adopted which has so far been an 
undoubted success, and in the trying climate of New Guinea should 
prove a boon to all on board. The ventilating machinery is diivcn by 
a separate engine, to which is attached a large and powerful exhaust 
fan, which draws out the heated air from all parts of the ship most 
effectually. There is a large pipe, six inches in diameter, extending 
from one end of tlie ship to the other. This is slung from the roof in 


iho sjilooii, :iii(] in it ilicrc arc uir-slits at intervals, which can be opened 
and sliiit at i)lcasurc. As tliu licatcd or foul air rises it is drawn into 
these oriiices, and then throu*,di the i)i[)c till it is sent overboard. The 
steam-en«2:ine will only be required to work the system when the vessel 
is at anchor in the harbour, as when she is at sea the pipe is connected 
with the funnel, and an effective 'up-cast' shaft is thus created. Two 
of Iviicaldy's patent condensers for condensing fresh water are placed 
on the bridge, and on trial proved wonderfully effective, over 1,000 
gallons being obtained from them in one day. They occupy but little 
room, and should prove invaluable to the expedition. They were the 
only two in Sydney, and Mr. Cruickshank obtained them as a special 
favour from Mr. AVildridge, the Superintendent of the E. and A.S.S. 
Company. The next noticeable addition to the resources of the ship is 
one of Oscar Kroff 's ice-making machines, which has been tried and has 
been found to work well, turning out fifteen pounds of ice every four 
hours. One of Sir William Thompson's sounding machines has also 
been supplied to the ' Blackall,' and in the coral seas it should be of great 
service. Yesterday it was tried under the supervision of the local agent, 
Captain Vine Hall, and acted most efficiently, telling the depth of water 
off the heads very accurately. In addition to every requisite in a 
general way for the expedition, the steamer has been provided with a 
complete set of spare gear in the engine-room, and an ample supply of 
stores; also with a smart little steam-launch, which should prove useful 
for a variety of purposes, especially for ascending shallow rivers, &c. ; a 
Catling gun, with a stand of small arras, including Winchester and 
Martini-Henri rifles, and revolvers, and about G,000 rounds of ammuni- 
tion; and double awnings fore and aft. What was formerly the 
commander's room aft has been fitted up in a very inviting way as an 
extra room for General Scratchley. The ' Governor Blackall ' has been 
placed under the command of Captain T. A. Lake, one of the most 
valued officers in the Company's service, and there is every likelihood 
that under his careful and skilful supervision the steamer will wend her 
way safely through the dangers which surround the navigation of the 
coast of New Guinea. After the steamer returned to the harbour sb 


brought up in Farm Cove, where she will remain until she leaves for 
her destination. She will call at Brisbane, Townsville, and Cooktown, 
en route to New Guinea, probably staying a couple of days at each 

From this description it will be seen that no expense was spared (as 
was fitting) in adapting our vessel to the requirements of the expedition. 
AVith a laudable purpose of lightening by innocent amusement the 
monotonous duties of the seamen, and enlivening the spirits of the 
company generally, the Commissioner, whilst in Brisbane, purchased a 
handsome stock of musical instruments — concertinas, flutes, banjos, 
bones, &c. — suitable for what, in the language of the music halls, is 
called a "variety entertainment." Those of the party who were 
musically inclined no doubt anticipated mnch pleasant recreation from 
this new acquisition; but it may, perhaps, be doubted whether, on the 
whole, the amateur performers themselves do not win larger delight 
from these performances than the average of their auditors. Another 
provident purchase was a set of oil-skin suits for the use of tlie crew ; 
but when, on the second day after our leaving Brisbane, the cases 
containing the waterproof gear was opened, it was found that most 
of the suits were rotten and quite useless. They were of all colours, 
from lemon yellow to Vandyke brown, and looked very much as if 
they had been bought by the vendors as salvage stock Irom a great 
lire in the warehouse. No doubt the clever fellows thought that they 
liad done a very smart stroke of business in thus disposing of a case of 
worthless and damaged goods at the price of sound and serviceable 
articles; but the Connnissioner had the bad goods carefully repacked, 
and re-shipped from Towsville to the too clever vendors. 

Whilst at Brisbane, our vessel Avas constantly beset by sight-seeing 
citizens, and our party equally so with "interviewing" reporters. The 
visitors were treated with uniform courtesy, and they all appeared to be 
very much pleased with the arrangements. Here the party was joined 
by j\Ir. II. 0. Forbes, the eminent naturalist. His instruments had 
been damaged at Batavia, through an accident that sunk the lighter 
;conveying his luggage, and he had come on to Brisbane to get them 


repaired. (h\ our starting, Mr. Forbes left behind him, to follow by the 
next stcanuT, his Mjday servant and Amboynesc hunters. He spoke to 
me very hi<,dily of these dusky retainers as being faithful and affec- 
tionate; some of them were hi tears at their master temporarily leaving 
them. Tills testhnony I am able to corroborate from my own experience ; 
1 have iound l)oth the Malays and the Sundanese as servants 
industrious and obedient, and so long as they are kept in their native 
tropical chmate they are hardy and enduring; but they cannot stand the 
cold, and what to an EngUsh constitution is pleasant and bracing 
weather is to them severe suffering and complete collapse. 

We left Brisbane on the 20th, at 3 p.m., the Commissioner having 
finished his inspection of the fortifications. Mr. Romilly, the Deputy 
Commissioner, embarked with us. He was limping a little, as I noticed, 
from a slightly lamed foot. Our vessel was laden rather above the 
Plimsol standard, in consequence of the quantity of coal and luggage 
taken on board at the city; but as this was a defect that time would 
remedy, not much notice was taken of the circumstance. It told ma- 
terially, nevertheless, against the comfort of the voj^agers throughout 
the stormy night that followed, the ship rolling heavily in a swell from 
the eastward. At nine on the morning of the 21st we passed Sandy 

The Captain had fitted up one of Walker's Patent Tafi'rail Logs, to 
test its accuracy. The instrument was not altogether a success ; the 
distance from Sandy Cape to Lady Elliot Island is seventy-two nautical 
miles, and the dial of the Patent Log showed only sixtj'^- three miles. 
Captain Lake ascribed the discrepancy to the use of an unsuitable line 
carrying the fan, or propeller, of the log, which error he proposed to 
rectify upon a second trial. 

Lady Elliot Island was passed about six in the afternoon. This 
place is merely a low stretch of coral reef, standing only a few feet above 
the water level ; but it bears a lighthouse, and it is of some importance 
geographically, as indicating the commencement of the Great Barrier 
Reef. A showery day, with a rather rough sea on, was followed by a 
bright and tranquil evening, so that we looked forward to enjojdng a 

Plate VIII. 

Reference page 3.1-. 


quiet dinner and a calm night afterwards. This anticipation, happily, 
was not disappointed. 

On passing Percy Island Xo. 1 in the afternoon of the next day, the 
22nd, Captain Lake mentioned that he knew the place well from a tragic 
incident that occurred there within his own knowledge. The captain 
has spent all his naval life on these coasts, and in the year 1854 — some 
time before the separation of Queensland from New South Wales — the 
Government of Sydney sent out an expedition to make explorations 
along that portion of the territory. The party started from Brisbane in 
a cutter named the " Percy," and after making an inspection of various 
islands they came upon the one that was now in sight. As the place 
presented an inviting appearance, they all landed to make researches, 
with the exception of four men, who formed the crew of the little vessel. 
But they ?iever returned^ everyone ofthem being murdered by the blacks. 
The geologist of the party, Mr. Strange, was a personal friend of our 
captain's, and the sad catastrophe was therefore stamped indelibly upon 
his memory. The island bears the name of the cutter, and the recollec- 
tion of the tragedy is thus perpetuated. 

A second trial of the taflfrail log already mentioned was made on the 
23rd, with much more satisfactory results. The instrument rings a bell 
every quarter of a mile traversed, and is self registering up to one hun- 
dred miles. Then the time is taken, and the same process is repeated, 
the instrument requiring no attention save oiling a couple of times 
a day. 

We noticed here a peculiar yellowish scum spread over the surface 
of the ocean. Upon inquiring of our skipper what the substance was, 
he told me that seamen supjjose it to be the si)awn of the coral insect. 
Sometimes it is met with in such large quantities that a landsman would 
think that the vessel was running on a sandbank. The substance, what- 
ever it may be, makes its appearance in these waters about the beginning 
of August, and is rarely seen later than December. 

At 4 p.m. wc passed Percy Island No 2, or rather, two islands 
divided from one another by a narrow strait. Seen under the tinted 
lights of a brilliant sunset, the place looks as lovely to the eye as Pros- 


])cro's ciiclKiiitcd Islutid. 'l\\('. sky was covered with those aerial " wool- 
j)!icks" wliicli l,h(; tnid(! winds always bring with them, and the soft 
sliadows of tlic silvery clouds flecked the green hillsides of the happy land. 
There is abundance of timber, pine, and grazing ground sufficient for a 
few thousand sheep in all seasons. An inlet runs up to a perfectly 
sheltered l)asin, navigable for small craft. Our second engineer had 
once been (b-iven upon tliis island through stress of weather, and going 
ashore, he ibund a fine lake of fresh water, Avith unlimited fishing and 
shooting privileges for whomsoever chose to claim them. Two or three 
European settlers vegetate in calm contentment in this ideal island- 
pastoral solitude. 

Pine island is the name of the adjacent small territory, and is so 
called from the immense quantity of white-stemmed pine, growing right 
up to the summit of the highest hills, which it contains. A lighthouse 
has recently been erected here, and the cottage of the keeper, standing 
amidst a grove of tall graceful pines, looks to the distant observer a 
charmingly romantic habitation for a sentimental hermit. Whilst we 
were gazing at the house through our glasses we caught sight of the 
lighthouse-keeper's wife walking up and down in the verandah, with her 
baby in her arms. We waved our handkerchiefs by way of kindly 
greeting, and the good woman, handing the baby to her husband, re- 
turned our salute. On the side of the island which fronts the conti- 
nent the cliff is extremely steep, the rise and fall of the tide being 
fully twenty feet. To draw up the building materials and stores from 
the landing-place on the beach the aid of an iron-wire tramway is 

1 could not help thinking that this group of islands would be a most 
delightful place to spend a summer holiday. Access to the place could 
easily be obtained by means of a boat from the Australian Steam Navi- 
gation Company's vessel. The islands are well sheltered, game is 
abundant, and the climate is simply perfection ; what other element of 
holiday enjoyment is needed? One of the settlers would, no doubt, 
readily lend his services to the party of excursionists, and what glorious 
campings out they would have ! One of the group is named Sphinx 

Plate I:^. 

Reference pnrje 30. 


Island, from a fanciful idea of its resemblance in shape to the fabled 
monster of the Egyptians. 

During the night our skipper was busily engaged superintending the 
navigation of the vessel through Whit-Sunday Passage, a narrow strait 
running through an almost bewildering maze of islands. This passage 
is counted the most beautiful spot in the whole extent of the Queensland 
coast. We cleared the passage at six in the morning, so that we just 
missed feasting our eyes on the varied loveliness of this romantic 
archipelago. Ever since passing Lady Elliot Island we have had per- 
fectly calm seas and Italian skies ; the vessel skims along the surface of 
the unruffled waves like a sea-bird ; and one happy result of these 
favourable conditions is that not a soul amongst the party is now absent 
from the table at meal times. 

Cape Upstart and Cape Bowling Green stand closely adjacent to one 
another, both named from their peculiar aspects. The one rises abruptly 
from the sea to a height of more than 1,000 feet ; the other lies flat with 
the sea- level. A vessel might very easily run aground at the latter 
spot, as the captain of the S.S. " Gunga " found to his cost a few months 
ago, when he got stranded there. The casualty occurred in broad day- 
light, and so sirapl}^, that the wife of the lighthouse keeper, standing only 
a few yards inland, waved her apron to warn the skipper of his danger. 

Late in the evening we entered Cleveland Bay, and dropped anchor 
in the open roadstead, about two miles from shore. Townsville stands 
upon the beach, on both sides of Ross's Creek, and high hills, rising 
abrupth', enclose it all round. I had learned from the Brisbane papers 
that " The Vagabond " was abroad in Northern Queensland, and next 
morning, upon landing, I encountered this particular eye of the " Mel- 
bourne Argus," looking as fresh and jolly as ever. r)y Mr. Julian Thomas 
I was introduced to Mr. GulUver, of Acacia Vale, who received me very 
hospitably, and lent me the manuscript diary of Mr. Edelfeld, who had 
been employed by him in collecting botanical specimens in New Guinea. 
From the perusal of this record I gained much valuable information. 
Here a small flock of about flfty sheep were bought for the use of the 
expedition, the survivors of the voyage amongst the lot being resei-ved 



lor |.;i^tur:i;j(: :it, tlu; Mission Sliilioii iit Port Moresby. Amongst our 
visitoi-s wliil>! :it Towiisvillc wore Captain Sandeman and his amiable 
wife, who took ;i larcwcll dinner willi ns, and then returned home in 
tlu'ii- smart steam launch. 

We left Townsville at 10 i).m. on tlic 24th, and next day at noon 
were abreast ol" the dolmston River, the scenery along the banks of which 
was dcsci'il)i'd to me by "The Vagabond" as being more beautiful than 
anything he had ever seen, with the exception of the wizard Fijian 

Cooktown was reached at I) a.m. of the 2Gth. The wharf here is 
situated at the base of a steep hill, on the top of which stands the signal- 
ling station at an elevation of about 500 feet. As the cliff intercepts the 
cool south-east breezes, we began to experience, while lying here, the 
true trojucal heat, the thermometer in the saloon rising to 80'^ So steep 
is the hill, that when the dwelling of the company's agent was being 
built, it was necessary to make an excavation in the side, in order to lay 
the foundations. The situation of the house exposes it to the danger of 
inundation from the tropical rains, but in the dry season the fresh water 
required lor domestic purposes has to be carried up the steep ascent. 
On the opposite bank of the Endeavour River rises the volcanic pile, 
]\Iount Sanders, its rugged slopes deeply scarred and worn by the rains 
of many centuries. Cooktown wears a straggling and stagnant appear- 
luice, in this respect contrasting strongly with Townsville. As is usual 
with all tlie towns in Northern Queensland, galvanised corrugated iron 
is here the universal building material, being so useful as a rain-catching 
roofing. Walking through the town I noticed a good hospital (built on 
a principle that suits it to a tropical climate) and several churches and 
schools. At the girls' school the children were being taught their lessons 
on the sliady side of the building under the verandah. Their appearance 
struck me as being particularly neat and tidy. I took two photographic 
views of the town, one of them from the summit of the hill, taking in 
the mangrove swamps of the Lower Endeavour River. The missionary 
schooner, tlie " Ellangowan," a very well-fitted and smart-looking craft, 
lay at the wliarf next to our vessel, and H.M.S. " Raven " was moored a 

Plate X. 

liefereiice inige 38. 

■if "■■ 


little way up the river, which is navigable for a short distance for smaller 
craft. Chinese abound in Cooktown, and very valuable residents they 
are, as they are the sole cultivators of fruit and vegetables. Scores of 
aboriginals were strolling about the town, and they afforded us some 
amusement by the expertness with which they dived into the river for 
coins. At about midnight our last visitor from Cooktown, Mr. Milman, 
who had been spending the evening with the Commissioner, left us, and 
the stragglers of our own party being all brought on board, the tide 
serving, we weighed anchor at 1 a.m. of the 27th, and so bade adieu to 
the last civilized settlement we should see until our return from the 
newly-acquired territory. 

At daybreak Cape Flattery was passed, and, about 7 o'clock, Lizard 
island, where a few years ago a party of 15eche-de-mer gatherers were 
murdered by the blacks. This incident was rendered memorable by a 
peculiarly tragic circumstance. Mrs. Wilson, the wife of one of the 
party, had accompanied her husband on the expedition. AVith her baby 
at her breast, she contrived to escape IVom the massacre, and accom- 
panied by the Chinese cook to the [)arty, put to sea in a ship's tank, in 
the hope of saving their hves. The poor fugitives drifted on to an 
island in the llowitt group, about forty miles to leeward, and there 
perished from want of water. The son of our skipper, happening to 
touch at this spot some months afterwards, found the skeletons of the 
})oor mother and her babe lying on the beach, and that of the Chinaman 
a little way off. Beside the bleached remains of the mother lay a scrap 
of paper, upon which she had contrived to scribble, in the midst of her 
prolonged agony, a rough diary of the adventures and sufferings of her- 
self and her companion. AVhat unrecorded tragedies these sunlit ocean 
regions have witnessed ! 

Clearing Lizard Passage, and keeping the largest island of the Lizard 
group right astern, we steered straight ibr the mile-and-a-half opening in 
tlie Great Barrier Iveef. Our skipper here mounted to the fore-cross- 
trees, to keep sharp oljservation of our coui'se ; nor was the precaution 
needless, for on both sides of our little cral't we could plain!}' discern the 
lonrr waves breaking' heavilv into ibani on the coral reefs. Skilful 



piloting cjirricd lis safbly through all dangers ; and, the Barrier Reefs 
once cleared, our vessel ploughed securely the deep waters of the open 
J'acific, heaving into billows under the influence of the south-east trade 

A iuvourable run of thirty-six hours further brought us within sight 
of the shores oi" the island of our destination. 



First View of Papua — Breakers Ahead — Haven of Safety reached — First Welcome 
— The Missionary and his Wife — Excursion to Eano Falls planned — Native villages on 
the Littoral — Frolicsome Young Savages — A Degraded Race — A Tribe of Potters — 
A Strange Flotilla — Preparations for Excursion — A Christian Sabbath in a Savage 
Land — Elevating Influence of Christianity — A Photographer's Impedimenta — First 
Landing — Religious Service in the Motu Language — " Granny " the Prime Minister — 
A Stai-t resolved on — A Guide and Carriers engaged — Also a Native Head Cook. 

HE south-east trade winds w^ere blowing when we first 
sighted the shores of l^ew Guinea ; and as, during their 
prevalence, a mist more or less dense hangs about the 
mountain tops, we caught only a short glimpse of the 
towering heights of the magnificent Owen Stanley Ranges. About noon 
the low-lying lands of the fore-shore came distinctly into view. Stationed 
at his post of observation on the fore-crosstrces, our skilful commander 
gave forth his directions lor steering the little craft securely through the 
lab3'rinth of coral reefs. Abreast of Fisherman Island we could clearly 
discern the breakers flashing and foaming on the shallows, and at one 
time we seemed to be in the very midst of them. At this moment our 
course was easterly, and dead in the face of the heavy swell of the 
ocean. Although our prudent skipper slackened speed by a full half, 
Ix'fore we had passed the narrows abreast of Pyramid Point the waves 
dashed in glittering cascades over our bows continuously for about an 
hour. It Avas a very wonderful sight to observe the beautiful rainbows 
woven by the dazzling sun-rays ujion tlie mounting and falling sprays, 


(•;i(li ill succession ii|)|t( ;ii-iii^- and vanishing with the speed of light. At 
Icngtii Tagil I'oint was passed, we were in smooth water, and our vessel 
canu' to unclior in the hmd-locked harbour of Port Moresby. We had 
reached our (h'stination. 

()ui' jiosilion was about a mile from the Mission Station, and close 
l)y us lay anchored II. M. Surveying Ship the "Lark." The time being 
about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, it was decided that none of the party 
should go ashore till next morning. Speedily there came to welcome us 
Mr. Musgrave, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, and Mr. Frank Lawes, 
eldest son of the missionary. News was mutually exchanged, and }>lr. 
Musgrave stayed to dine with the Commissioner. Next morning our 
feet trod for the first time the soil of New Guinea, and we had a very 
cordial welcome from the missionary and his amiable wife. Arrange- 
ments were made by the Commissioner for an excursion on the following 
Monday up the Laloki River, as far as the Rano Falls, the photographer 
being in charge of the party. Then we took a first look at the native 
villages standing close by the shore. They reminded us somewhat 
of those ancient cranoges, or lake dwellings, once common in Scotland, 
Ireland, and various parts of Continental Europe. Built upon mangrove 
stakes, planted something below low-water mark, each hut is connected 
b}- a sort of rude bridge with the shelly beach. Troops of naked 
Papuan childi'en, some so young as to be barely able to stand on their 
tiny hmbs, frolicked fearlessly about the ricketty stages upon which the 
huts stood. They had evidently no apprehension of danger from falling 
overboard. We could imagine the feelings of a civilized mother at 
seeing her offspring diverting themselves in such a situation : the savage 
matrons appeared to regard the scene with the tranquil satisfaction of a 
motherly old duck which sees her young brood taking for the first time 
to the water ! The natives hereabouts are an indolent and filthy race, 
many of them being disfigured by ugly sores on their fiices and bodies — 
the eflects of bad and hisutficient food, combined with carelessness of the 
primary laws of health. This foul disease is, however, not contagious ; 
if It were so, the whole race would speedily perish of scorbutic and 
scrofulous epidemics. 

Plate XL 

Reference iiiKje 38. 


Xevertheless, the Papuan natives of the littoral are not wanting in 
industry and ingenuity. The Motu tribe is celebrated all along the 
coast for skill in the manufacture of pottery, and they carry on a large 
trade in cooking utensils and water jugs with the tribes Uviiig farther to 
the west. We saw them fitting up their large trading canoes, or Lakatois, 
as they call them, which are, in fact, a species of raft formed of five or 
more large trunks of the buoyant pencil-cedar tree, hollowed out and 
lashed skilfully together. These huge rafts were in various stages of 
completion ; from twenty to forty busy workmen were in each, fixing 
the lashings, and making splash-boards of lengths of thatch composed of 
pandanus leaves. These leaves are gathered at certain periods when 
they have attained their full growth, and are strung together in lengths 
varying from 9 to 12 feet. A framework of strong saplings is first 
lashed right across the huge trading vessel, projecting fore and aft about 
8 feet, and 3 feet over the sides, forming, when covered with the leaves, 
a gangway all round. Huts of the same tough material are erected 
on tliis base, and last of all the mast is shipped, carrying a neat sail of a 
peculiar shape, like the claw of a crab. Of course, naval structures of 
this kind are not well calculated for sailing close to the wind ; but the 
astute natives get the better of Xeptune and his laws, by taking advan- 
tage of the prevailing winds to make their voyages annually. With the 
last of the south-east trades they sail westward to the villages on the 
coast, and to the rivers of the Papuan Gulf, exchanging their pottery for 
the rabia (sago) and other products of the region ; and after several 
weeks of feasting, they catch the north-west monsoons to return home- 
Avards with their deeply laden vessels. Sometimes, on the return 
voyage, half a dozen or more of the family trading canoes are lashed 
together, thus forming Cjuite a floating village, swarming with a joyous 
population. ]\[. D'Albertis mentions in his book the astonishment 
which these strange flotillas caused in hinj. In anticipation of witness- 
ing the starting of the Port ^Moresb}' Armada in a few days, I made my 
arrangements for taking instantaneous photographs of the Lakatois, and 
also of the singular mystic ceremonies which precede the event. ^lean- 
time I Avas occupied with preparations for the inland excursion. The 


good missionaries jn-oniiscd to furnish horses for the party, and Mrs. 
Lawcs kindly oifercd me her fixvonritc mare, a handsome chestnut, with 
silver mane and tail, the offspring of stock brought over by the pro- 
sj)ecting i)arty some years ago. 

The Sunday was spent quietly on board, and as the ship's bell was 
sniinnoiiiiig the voyagers to Divine service on the quarter-deck, we could 
hear tlie fiiint tinkling of the bell at the Missionary Station similarly 
calling the dusky worshippers to prayers. Even in savage New Guinea 
the blessed light of the Word of God is gradually dispelling the darkness 
of barbarism and cannibalism. It is amid such scenes as this that the 
Divine power of Christianity, to elevate and dignify humanity, is most 
fully apprehended. Only to think of the immense arc of moral ascent 
there is between a cannibal feast and a Christian Communion ! 

Although my apparatus and weapons of defence were always at 
hand, I had much trouble in making these up into portable packages for 
the native carriers, the impedimenta required for even a few nights of 
camping out being both bulky and heavy. 

My assistant and myself were put on shore on Sunday afternoon, 
and took up our quarters at the hospitable Mission House, prepared 
to make an early start next morning. After tea, a religious service was 
held on the broad verandah, for the benefit of the pupils and servants at 
the station. Books containing the Gospels were handed round to the 
dusky worshippers, and some hymns, translated into Motu, which was 
the language used in the service, by Mr. Lawes. The Motu, like all 
other southern dialects, has a liquid softness and euphony of expression 
that reminds one of the Malayian tongue. While Mr. Chalmers read 
the prayers, the native boj^s and girls squatted around him, were very 
attentive and decorous in their bearing, and all joined devoutly in 
reading the responses. Their singing was notable for the careful manner 
in which they kept time and tune together, and though the melodies 
chosen were of the simplest kind, the}^ well became the lips of those un- 
sophisticated children of nature. Amongst the servants, it should be 
mentioned, was an old native woman, whom every one called Granny. 
]Mrs. Lawes introduced this ancient dame to us as her Prime Minister, 

Plate XII. 


Reference i^nge 31'. 


without whose valuable aid and assistance the good lady would not 
manage to get on very well. Granny " bosses " all hands with a 
wonderful amount of tact and firmness. I presented the old dame with 
a gorgeous brooch, which delighted her immensely ; we shook hands, 
and I was repaid for my gift by a smile that quite lighted up the grim 
and wrinkled face of the New Guinea grandame. 

Anxiety about the weather, which was changeable, with sudden 
gusts of rain, disturbed my rest through the night. Towards daybreak 
the rain abated, and although the weather still wore an unsettled look, 
we resolved on making a start, our genial host being of opinion that we 
should have clear skies and gentle airs after passing the coast-range. 
Seated at our early breakfast, under the verandah, the troop of native 
boys, who were to act as porters for the party, made their appearance. 
Being a "New Chum" myself, I had left the task of engaging these 
carriers, and arranging the commissariat department, to Mr. Lawes, 
junior ; but almost at the last moment this young gentleman was called 
away on some Government service, and Mr. Hunter took his place as 
guide. An experienced leader of expeditionary parties is Mr. Hunter, 
and was right hand man to Captain Armit, when engaged in explora- 
tions here. There was, therefore, every reason to place entire confidence 
in our new guide. Our packages were equally distributed amongst the 
boys, some of whom were of the Motuan and the others of the Koiari 
tribe. One of the boys at the mission station had been told off to act 
as our head cook, and in virtue of this superior station he was accorded 
a lighter burden than the rest. 




Orders to March — Heavy Travelling — Tropical Creek — Sure-footed Mountain Steeds 
— Native Hunting Camp — Luncheon in the Forest — Smoking the Bau-bau — Good 
Country for Horse-hreeding — Koiari Kangaroo hunting — The Hunters' Feast — The 
Koiari Tribe — Splendid Natural Panorama — Morrison's Explorations — Camp for the 
Night — Perilous Journeying — The Alligators' Haunt — Night in the Papuan Forest — 
Frightening the Devil — Fears of Danger from Natives dispelled — Morning in the Forest 
— A Purpose abandoned — Strike for a Koiari Village — Savage Gourmands — Steep 
Mountain Ascent — Magnificent Mountain Scenery — A Koiari Welcome — A Mountain 
Village — Dwellings on the Tree-tops — A Koiari Chief — "Photographer" in Koiari — 
Hospitable Offer — A Koiari Household — "Great White Chief" — Buying a Pig — A 
Koiari Interior — A Papuan Meal — Conference of Chiefs — Papuan Etiquette — A Tribal 
Feud — Uncomfortable Night — Superb Mountain Views — The Photographer in a Koiari 
Village — Return to the Port — A Ruined Village — Native Remains — Encounter Mr. 
Forbes — Missionary Hosi^itality. 

,, , _ IIE order for marchino^ beino- oiven, off started our train of 
^^ / ^^-'^*'^^" porters in Indian file, making straight for a steep 
^iC^^ liill rising a little way back from the station, whilst the 
guide, my assistant, and myself, mounted on our steeds, 

strike off on a tract leading in a northerly direction, by an easier 
gradient, to a gap in the coast range. By making this little detow^ we 
spare our horses at the outset of the journey — a most prudent pre- 
caution, as we speedily discovered. After traversing a couple of miles 
of tolerably level plain, densely covered with fine kangaroo grass, we 
get into a country wherein undulations rise into ridges, ridges into hills, 
and hills into ranges so steep that no horse save one thoroughly disci- 

Plate XIII. 

Reference page 41. 


plined to this kind of travelling would care to face the precipitous native 
paths. The intervening gullies were covered with an almost impene- 
trable scrub, so that the party experienced all the troubles as well as 
the delights of travelling in the Papuan "forest primeval," Our foot- 
men having joined us, and Mr. Hunter leading, we traversed some of 
the roughest territory it has ever been my hap to explore in the 
Southern World. 

About eleven a.m. we reached a creek fringed on both sides with 
wild tropical verdure of a quite gorgeous description. Here we had an 
opportunity of testing the capabilities, and noting the behaviour of our 
steeds. At the crossing-place the banks were fearfully steep and 
slipper}^ from the previous night's rain ; so, dismounting and slinging 
the bridles to the stirrup-leathers, we let loose the horses to find their 
own way across, two of the boys preceding to catch them up. I have 
had much experience of crossing creeks in Australia, but all my previous 
trials in that way were but a pleasant diversion compared with the 
present one. Our sagacious animals, freed from their riders and left to 
themselves, addressed themselves to their dithcult task with a serene 
cautiousness that would have been admirable in the most expert 
explorer. Down the almost perpendicular descent they went, step by 
step, carefully setting each hoof upon some slight projection that just 
afforded footing, and avoiding every stumbling block in the nature of 
gnarled roots and tortuous loops of creeping vegetation. Arrived at the 
bottom, they had a long, deep drink, and then commenced the ascent, 
scaling the precipitous bank with all the courage and sure-footedness of 
mountain goats. My own apprehensions of any casuality occurring 
from a stumble during the journey were very materially diminished by 
the time I had remounted. 

Emerging into the open once more, we speedily found that our 
journey lay across a succession of similar rugged gullies, each successive 
one being still steeper and more dangerous-looking than the preceding. 
At noon Ave reached a practicable water-course, liaviiig made, according 
to our reckoning, about fifteen miles since starting. The spot was the 
site of a native hunting-camp, and here we called a halt for luncheon. 


Viicks were dropped, the horses were haltered up in shady nooks, a 
dozen little fires were speedily ])urning, whereat the yams and taros of 
the boys were rousting. A small provision of tobacco was served out, 
and the bau-bau (bamboo pipe) was passed from mouth to mouth. The 
method of smoking in New Guinea is peculiar. The pipe used consists 
of a couple of joints of bamboo of moderate thickness and about thirty 
inches in length. The tobacco is first wrapped in the green leaf of a 
particular tree (invariably used for this purpose) and is then inserted in 
a small orifice bored near the closed end of the pipe. When lighted, the 
smoke is inhaled from the open end until it fills the tube ; then the 
leaf containing the tobacco is withdrawn, a whiff is inhaled from the 
orifice that held the weed, and the bau-bau handed to the next smoker, 
who takes a whiff in turn and passes on the instrument. All the stored 
frairrance beinf]: exhausted, the tobacco is reinserted and the same 
process repeated until each one of the company has had his satisfying 
Avhiff. The New Guinea smoker is not at all particular about the quality 
of his tobacco; the real virtue of the narcotic indulgence lying rather in 
the leaf wra})page than in the nicotian weed itself. Most of the bau- 
baus are embellished with pretty designs resembling somewhat the 
native tattoo markings. These decorations are burnt into the bamboo 
with a glowing slice of the sheating leaf of the cocoanut kept at almost 
white heat by the native artist blowing upon it. The end of the glowing 
ember forms a fine point which, on being slowly moved along the desired 
lines, leaves indelible tracks. 

A billy of tea and some tinned provisions, with an hour's rest, re- 
freshed us sufficiently, and we resumed our journey. The route for 
about five miles was tolerably level, the country traversed being heavily 
grassed and admirably adapted for horse breeding. Hearing the cries 
of some natives in the distance, we learned from our boys that these 
denoted a body of Koiaris out on a kangaroo-hunting expedition. 
Crossing a watercourse, the sides of which were densely fringed with 
rabia (sago) palms, we came upon the hunting party, numbering about 
a hundred. They were all armed Avith light hunting spears, and their 
sole clothing was a bit of string girt round the waist. At several fires 


the captured game was roasting, and heaps of sugar-canes of various 
kinds and sizes — some of the canes being fifteen feet long — were lying 
about. We were introduced to several chiefs, who gave us a hearty 
welcome and a hospitable invitation to join their feast. Some sugar- 
cane — which was of excellent quality, and much more refreshing than 
creek water, by the way — sufficed for our own moderate needs ; but the 
boys had no objections to enjoying another spell and a feast of kangaroo 
roasted whole. After a friendly smoke and chut with the hunters, who 
urged upon our leader that we must not omit visiting their villages on 
our return journey, we and our dusky entertainers parted company on 
the best of terms. 

The Koiaris are, as a general rule, people of small stature, but well 
built and muscular, and their condition indicates that they have an 
ample supply of nourishing food. 

Our route now lay along the tops of ridges, and still ascending, we 
soon reached a razor-back ranp^e above 800 feet hio;h. Althouirh it was 
the season of the south-east wind, when the atmosphere is always more 
or less hazy, we enjoyed the wonderful panorama spread out at our feet. 
To the north-west we could trace the course of the Laloki River for 
miles, descry the junction of the Laloki and G oldie, about five miles 
distant, and a couple of miles beyond that again the crossing place on 
the old diggers " track." On the northern horizon loomed a high moun- 
tain, upon the summit of which (as our guide informed us) stands the 
village of the tribe that speared and robbed Mr. Morrison, the explorer. 
Its distance from where we stood was some seven or eight miles, and 
this fact indicates the extent of Morrison's party's exploration of the 
interior. Behind us, to the east and north-east, the serried ridges of 
the Astrolobe Iiange stretched away for miles and miles, their wooded 
slopes and rugged gullies being lost to view, at length, in clouds and 
mist. Southward in the far distance we could discern the faint outline 
of the coast range that hems in Port Moresby, whilst in the opposite 
quarter of the horizon, in the direction of the Rano Falls, the rocky and 
precipitous face of Mount Vedura towered full 2,000 feet above us. A 
magnificent scene, not to be forgotten by the spectators. Mentally 


coniparin;^ it with similar scenery viewed in bygone times in far-oflf 
lands, one might lor an instant believe oneself transported thither, but 
a glance at our dusky companions at once brought us back to reality, 
and made us fcrl that we were actually in New Guinea. 

'J'he sun was sinking behind the mountains, and it was time to begin 
to thiidv of pitching camp for the night. A conference between our 
leadi-r and the chief of our carriers led to the selection of a spot on the 
banks of the Laloki, distant about two miles in a northerly direction. 
The march, although but a short one, was terribly trying, both to the 
horses and tlieir riders. It was a descent along the whole course ; the 
tall grass hid numberless loose boulders, making progress both difficult 
and dangerous, and compelling us to dismount and walk. Besides this, 
there were many rugged gullies with steep precipitous sides to cross, 
bearing testimony to the fury of the tropical rains from the north-west 
quarter. The light-footed and accustomed carriers found no difficulty 
in crossing these perilous mountain chasms, but it was needful for the 
rest of the party to make frequent detours with the horses. These 
sagacious animals plodded steadily on, although at times their only foot- 
hold was the almost perpendicular bank of the river, densely covered 
with the thick foliage of the wild vine and rattan, and amidst fallen 
trees and gnarled roots, forming what might fairly be termed an im- 
penetrable jungle. 

At length, about five o'clock, we reached a dry creek, some twenty 
yards wide, -with a smooth sandy bottom. The spot struck me as being 
just the place for a snug encampment, and so I remarked to my guide. 
Hunter smiled drily, and turning to the carriers, held a brief colloquy 
with them in their oAvn language. In an instant all faces were turned 
upon me, and I could see by their looks and gestures that the party 
were pretty generally of opinion that I was, to put it mildly, a harmless 
lunatic at large. Then our leader calmly explained to me that the 
natives dreaded the spot, just on account of its inviting appearance and 
its gentle slope towards the river. This latter advantage made it, in 
fact, a favourite resort of alligators, which unpleasant reptiles would 
almost certainly, if we were to camp there, pa}' us a visit of inspection 

Plate XIV. 

Beference page 44. 


during the night, "with an ultimate purpose of having an unusually fine 
feast. Accordingly, a spot in the scrub about twenty feet above the 
smooth bed of the creek, was selected, which the natives at once set 
about clearing, prior to erecting a calico fly tent, kindly lent us by the 
missionaries. Whilst some were driving in stakes others Ht fires, and 
others again went down to the river for water, taking cautious care not 
to wade in farther than was just necessary to fill their vessels. By this 
time the sun had sunk behind Mount A^edura, the short twilight of the 
tropics had darkened to nightfall, and our evening meal — tinned pro- 
visions and tea — was ready. Needless to say, we enjoyed it heartily, 
for we were both tired and hungry, although our day's journey had 
covered no greater distance than about twenty miles. 

The impulse to " turn in " instanter was checked by the strange 
novelty of the scene and circumstances. Accustomed as I was to wan- 
dering in the unsettled regions of new colonies, I could almost fancy 
myself in another planet. The hammocks of myself and my assistant 
were slung beneath the calico roof. Hunter spread his blanket on the 
bare ground, the lamp was lit, and our leader entertained us with many 
" yarns " of his previous expeditions. The adventures of Captain Armit 
and his party were narrated in detail ; the pathetic circumstances 
attending poor Professor Denton's death were told Avith feeling ; how 
the whole party, with the exception of Hunter himself, were struck 
down by sickness ; how painfully difiicult a task it was to get the sick 
men conveyed to the coast ; how fiercely insolent the natives became 
when the white men were prostrate and helpless ; all these and other 
incidents were vividly and powerfully described. Hour aiter hour 
passed by, and still we sat listening, held by the spell of the adventurous 
explorer, and losing all sense of weariness in the interest of his story. 
A heavy fall of rain, which had been threatening since sunset, at length 
broke up the party, and sent us to our liammocks. But just before 
turning in, the natives (who had crowded round our tent for shelter), 
through their leader made a request to Hunter. Laugliingly turning to 
me, he remarked, " Do you know what these fellows are asking ? " I 
pleaded ignorance. " They want me to fire off my gun to frighten the 


(lt'\ II away." Tlio shot was fired, and this incident set us off talking 
a;;uiii, this time about the superstitions of the Papuan race, Hunter 
liaviti«r no end of anecdotes to narrate upon this very interesting topic. 

Sh'cp at last claimed its empire, and the camp was silent. The rain 
fill lu'avily all night, but I had taken the precaution to spread my water- 
proof over the mosquito curtain of the hammock, so was tolerably snug 
and comfortable. Ko night alarms disturbed our slumbers, and upon 
awaking in the morning, I found that all my apprehensions of danger 
from the natives were completely dissipated by twenty-four hours' 
residence in New Guinea. I smiled to myself at the solemn precautions 
I had received about keeping continual watch, never allowing a 
" niirsrer " to ^et behind me, and so forth. Confidence and kindness are 
effectual preservatives, even when amongst the most savage population, 
as every good missionary can testify. 

At 6 A.M. the camp was astir. The rising sun had dispersed the 
rain clouds, and although the mountain tops were folded in mist, the 
skies gave promise of a fine day. Breakfast was dispatched at 7, and 
our leader went to gather in the horses, which had been hobbled on a 
grassy flat on the other side of the creek. This creek bears the name of 
Badeba, and is a common camping place for parties visiting the Rano 
Falls. 1 took some lovely little views in the country surrounding our 
camp, and also one of the camp itself, in commemoration of my first 
night spent in a Papuan forest. 

A start being made at length, we rode on for several hours. But a 
little before noon the rain-clouds began to gather once more, and I felt 
it would be hopeless to get a good view of the Falls for my purpose that 
day. So I bethought me of the invitation of our Koiari friends to visit 
them when passing their village, and I asked Hunter to guide us thither. 
Retracing our route for a few miles, the party struck off for the slopes 
of the Astrolabe Range. There was no visible track, and the country 
traversed was extremely rough and toilsome. Yet our carriers trotted 
merrily along under their loads, every now and then dropping their 
packs to give chase to a kangaroo or wallaby, these animals being very 
plentiful hereabouts. It was astonishing to note the ease and celerity 

Plate XV. 



Reference page 4(5. 




with which the youthful Papuans scampered up and down the steep 
slopes. Ridge after ridge, each more rugged than the one preceding, 
was crossed and left behind. Occasionally we caught a glimpse of a 
distant native village, which was as speedily lost to sight. At lengtli we 
reached a deserted village at the foot of the range, on the summit of 
which, perched close to cloudland, we could descry the village in which 
we were to pass the night. Terrible fellows to feast are these Xew 
Guineamen ! Xo sooner were the packs dropped than a fire was lighted, 
at which a couple of kangaroo rats, caught during the afternoon, were 
roasted, and a regular banquet was enjoyed. For vegetables there 
were green Papaw — apples picked from the trees growing around the 
ruined and deserted huts. A smoke and a " mild quencher " satisfied 
the civilized members of the party. 

Mounting our steeds, we set their faces against the steep path 
ascending towards the razor-backed hill right before us, leaving our 
carriers to finish their feast. Our progress was slow, and finally we 
were compelled to dismount and lead our horses. At length the level 
summit was reached, and from it we surveyed another magnificent 
panorama of plain and sea and mountain. The whole extent of Bootless 
Inlet lay spread out before us like a map. The setting sun threw 
fantastic shadows across the hillsides, and long shafts of golden light 
across the level plain stretching to the seashore. On the far horizon we 
could dimly discern the breakers foaming on the sharper edges of the 
barrier reef. A little nearer, some picturesque islets, each like a gem set 
in silver, lay tranquilly on the calm waters ; on the left hand lay 
Tupuselei, and on the riglit Pyramid Head, the latter bearing almost 
due west. Xo fairer or more peaceful scene at that hour could the pen 
of a poet describe, or the pencil of a painter depict. 

By this time the people in the village aljove us had discerned our 
approach, and were waiting to welcome us. A crowd of friendly 
savages, all in puris naturaWms.^ greeted us with shouts of gladness, and 
thronged around us with infinite chattering, to lead us to our temporary 
domicile. The name of this Koiari village is Sadara Makara. It looked 
as if newly built, and contained about twenty huts of the usual descrip 



lion, four of tlicsc being perched on the tree-tops, full forty feet above 
the ground. It cluuiced that the great chief of the tribe was just then 
in the viHage, and being a particular friend of Hunter, we were intro- 
duced to him, I myself being emphasized as an artist who had come to 
take pictures of the village to be sent to far off lands beyond the sea. 
This affable chief, who rejoices in the name of Lohio-bada, shook hands 
with me cordially in the English fashion, and the same ceremony was 
gone through by all the head men of the village. Lohio-bada even did 
me the honour of requesting that I should exchange names with him. 
Hunter suggested that my name (in Koiari) should be Misi Lolo, 
meaning " maker of pictures," and I, consenting, was so denominated by 
these friendly savages during my stay amongst them. One well-built 
and good-looking fellow, named Daiva, offered us his hut to put up at, 
asking in return for this hospitable proposal the modest honorarium of 
three or four sticks of tobacco. We agreed to this kindly offer, and 
forthwith took possession of our hotel, the landlord with his wife and 
little baby withdrawing to a lower storey of the dwelling. This con- 
sisted of a sort of shelf, about 4 feet below the main floor of the hut, 
which stood on the right side of the village street. The dimensions of 
the dwelling were about 20 feet by 16 feet on the main floor, and had a 
verandah of some 4 feet in width and no higher where it joined the roof 
fronting the street. 

Some rain had fallen just as we entered the village, and the whole of 
our carriers, with about a dozen of their friends, who were curious to see 
the visitors, crowded into the apartment for shelter. A perfect Babel of 
confusion reigned, the whole crowd chattering, laughing, and ex- 
changing news with one another. A strong odour of cocoa-nut oil 
pervaded the place, that being the unguent with which the Papuan 
savages anoint theii* person. 

The news of the arrival of our ship with the Great White Chief had 
reached the village, and, naturally enough, hundreds of questions were 
put to us, whether this was really the biggest of the big chiefs they had 
been hearing about since the proclamation of the British Protectorate. 
When Hunter assured them that General Scratchley was the true White 

Plate XVI. 


Reference page 49. 


Chief, the native chiefs held an earnest consultation amongst themselves, 
and Lohio-bada asked leave to call on us again after we had taken our 
evening meal. The chiefs then retired. As the atmosphere of the room 
had become by this time quite stifling, I called on Hunter to disperse 
the crowd, so that we might eat our meal in peace. Slowly and 
reluctantly the summons to " clear out " was obeyed ; and whilst our 
landlord and his wife gave the house a sweeping out and general 
tidying, we stepped out to inspect the village. 

Whilst strolling round a native (through Hunter) proposed that I 
should buy from him a pig at the price of a tomahawk, the porker to be 
slaughtered next day, and made the piece de resistance in a general 
feast. I agreed to the terms, but, not having a tomahawk with me, 
1 was obliged to explain that the seller must give me credit, and must 
come himself to the Port to obtain payment. The bargain was sealed 
at once, this simple child of nature having no conception of an3'thing 
like meditated deception in such a transaction. The staple of the live 
stock of this village was, visibly, swine. These animals swarmed every- 
where, and followed us about like dogs of the household. The particular 
l)ig which I now was able to claim as my private property was pointed 
out to me ; it seemed to be about half grown, and was in very good 

On re-entering our lodgings we found tea awaiting us ; and our 
hurricane lamp, suspended from the rafter, threw a dim light upon a 
strangely unaccustomed interior. Piles of yams, taro, and other edilile 
roots occupied three sides of the apartment ; on the walls hung shields, 
clubs, and mouth ornaments ; sheafs of spears were stacked horizontally 
between the rafters and the thatch. In the centre of the floor, which 
was made of battens of the sago palm, stood the firci)lace (about four 
feet by five), with an inch or two of puddled clay for a foundation, on 
which lay a bed of ashes. Saplings of some four inches thick, scai-fed 
into one another and bound together with cane, composed the fender, so 
that the precautions against a conflagration were fully sufficient. Our 
biscuits being of rather inferior quality I tried the experiment of sub- 
stituting for these taro roots roasted in tlie ashes, which, with some 


n])])lo jelly, was a novel food I confess I greatly enjoyed. This root, when 
curcfuUy roasted, tastes somewhat like chestnuts, and is very palatable. 
For second course we had a pot of rabia (sago) prepared in the primitive 
native las] i ion, wliich is a little imperfect inasmuch as the washing given 
to the i'arina is not sufficient to remove from it the colouring and fibrous 
matters, so that it soon turns sour. Some of our own apple jelly added 
to the sago, with the sharp sauce of hunger to give the combination an 
additional relish, we managed to make a very hearty meal. 

Tea over, I was about to take a quiet smoke when Hunter informed 
me that Lohio-bada and some other chiefs were coming to give us a full 
account of the onslaught made upon the tribe occupying this village by 
the neighbouring tribe, the same troublesome people that had robbed 
and speared Morrison. To refuse to hear theu' story would be counted 
a grave affront. Soon the dusky warriors made their appearance, 
creeping in Indian file through the low doorway on hands and knees. 
The dim light of the hurricane lamp played fantastically over their 
savage features and imposing forms. They were arrayed in all their 
savage panopl}^, evidently with the design of deeply impressing the 
white strangers. Cassowary plumes and coronets of feathers adorned 
their heads ; their white nose ornaments contrasted grotesquely with 
their faces, painted in transverse streaks of red and black in sign of 
mourning and woe. For a time not a word was spoken. Presently 
there came in a steaming mess of rabia in a huge wooden bowl, a present 
from the chief Lohio-bada's wife. This was first handed to Hunter, 
who, as the representative man of our party, was obliged to go through 
the form of eating a portion of the guest-meal. Then the bowl was 
passed from hand to hand amongst the chiefs until it was entirely 
emptied. The empty bowl was again handed to Hunter, who dropped 
into it a stick of tobacco as a token of thanks for the hospitality shown 
us. The tobacco was for the use of the chief's wife. — Xote, to have 
refused to join in the meal, or to have failed to drop a gift into the 
empty bowl, would have been deemed an unpardonable breach of 
l'*apnan etiquette. 

The bau-bau (the calumet of peace) was next passed round, and 


Hunter and each of the chiefs took a whiff. Then the business of the 
session commenced. Old Lohio-bada, in a very calm tone and collected 
manner, narrated the story of the raid. He was listened to with deep 
attention, and, when he had finished, the other chief corroborated his 
story, or supplemented it with fresh details. Then Hunter addressed 
the chiefs, expressing the deep sympathy of the white strangers with 
the losses and bereavements suffered by the Koiari tribe, and pledged 
himself to lay the whole case before the Great White Chief, who, 
doubtless, would deal out rigorous justice to their aggressive foes. 
Next Hunter interpreted the substance of the conference to us, and 
we added our condolence to his, with a promise to back up his repre- 
sentations to the Commissioner. We noted that whilst we were speaking 
the chiefs intently scanned our features, evidently to test the sincerity 
of our words. Their gestures to one another showed they were 
thoroughly satisfied on that point. About nine o'clock the chiefs bade 
us good night and withdrew. 

When all fear of further interruption had passed away, I took down 
the lamp from the rafter, and, swathing it in red cloth so as to exclude 
all actinic light, I changed the plates I had taken in the morning for 
fresh ones, and carefully stowed away the latent images in a light-tight 
box. I then settled down for a last smoke before turning in. ^lean- 
while our carriers, who had been paying visits to their friends in the 
village, returned to the hut in groups of twos and threes. Finding 
that they were excluded from its shelter, they cheerfully "camped out " 
underneath the hut, on the slope of the hill. The night was not a 
comfortable one. First the rain fell in torrents, but, happily, the roof 
was perfectly water-tight. I had spread my hammock and sleeping bag 
on the batten floor, using the cases containing my instruments as a 
])illow. I was roused from my first sweet sleep by Hunter's big 
kangaroo dog, which had crei)t through the open door, purposely left 
so for ventilation, and had nestled close to me. Awaking with a start, 
I gave the intruder a punch in the ril)S which set him howling, to the 
arousing of all hands. Quiet being restored, the native baby below, 
which had reached the teething stage of its earthly career, set up a 


yelliiif^ wliicli was continued at intervals through the whole night. 
Worst of all, the cflluvium from the bodies of the sleeping carriers just 
beneath my bunk was intolerable. I sat up and tried the effect of 
smoking strong tobacco, but in vain. Luckily, in groping about the 
apartment ior the large globular vessel containing water (as I had 
become very thirsty), I upset it, and its contents poured through the 
battens, soaking the unsavoury sleepers below, thoroughly rousing them 
and sending them off to a drier spot. Towards morning tired nature 
asserted its power, and in spite of rain, dogs, yelling infants, and 
malodorous savages, I gained a few hours sleep. 

The morning broke fair, but chilly, as the village stands at a high 
altitude above the plain. Stepping forth into the fresh morning air, we 
stood gazing in admiration at the surpassingly beautiful scene stretched 
out before us. In the direction of the Astrolabe Range, in particular, 
the mountain scenery was superb, rivalling in wild grandeur any I had 
ever seen before in my travels. 

Breakfast over, I sallied forth into the village to take some pictures. 
The native population, men, women, and children, gathered round Misi 
Lolo with a childlike curiosity to watch my proceedings, and readily 
obeyed all instructions. They stood in groups, took the proper attitudes, 
and even posed picturesquely, as conscious that they were being 
immortahzed in picture. When Hunter, at my request, asked the men 
to mount to one of the tree houses, and to group themselves in warlike 
array on the platform, as if defending their garrison against the attack 
of a hostile tribe, they ran up the ladders with the ease and agility of 
monkeys, donned their war coronets and masks, and in full war-paint, 
armed with shields and spears, went through all the evolutions of 
Papuan defensive fighting. They certainly looked anything but des- 
picable combatants. I succeeded in taking several fine photographs 
from savage real life, all thoroughly characteristic of the manners and 
habits of these mountaineers. 

Not caring to wait for the feast of roast pig to be held later in the 
day, and intimating to my creditor that I would pay for the pig all the 
same, I got Hunter to collect our baggage and carriers, and made a 

Plate XYII. 

Reference pfige 60. 

dlp^=5r-s?S^--prv W 1P^^ 


start for Port Moresby. The old chief, Lohio-bada, and several others, 
including my creditor, accompanied us. On our route we came to a 
deserted village, whence this tribe had been driven by a hostile tribe 
with a loss of sixteen lives. 

We also noted a suspicious looking bundle hanging in the fork of a 
tree, which we found upon inquiry contained the corpse of a woman. 
I was unable to take a picture of this interesting object, of which, by 
the way, the natives took not the least notice. 

About ten miles from the coast we encountered Mr. H. 0. Forbes 
and his party, e7i route for Sogeri, where he intends to form his first 
depot. A young German, Karl Kowald, in the employ of Mr. Romilly, 
attended the party as interpreter, and the baggage carriers were of the 
Koiari tribe. Mr. Forbes looked well and strong, and, hke an ancient 
Roman emperor, marched afoot at the head of his small army. 

We reached the mission station tired and hungry, ready to do full 
justice to the ample luncheon which Mrs. Lawes had provided for us. 
I paid and dismissed my carriers, and had a long rest under the 
verandah. Towards nightfall I went on board, and early next morning 
developed the plates exposed during the journey. Most of the pictures 
turned out satisfactorily, so that I was well pleased with the results of 
my first excursion in New Guinea. All the more so upon finding that 
during my absence no misadventure had happened at headquarters. 



Site fixed for Government House and Buildings — Bootless Inlet — Latatoi Trading 
Vessels — Native Eegatta — Quit Port Moresby for Eed Scar Bay — Landing of the Party 
— TLe Mouth of the Aroa — Ascent of the Stream — Eeception by the Natives — Eeflec- 
tions on Land Tenure — Visit to Ukaukana Village — Interviews with Head Chief of 
Kabade — Exchange of Presents — Adventures returning to Camp — Night Alarms — The 
Vari Vara Islands — Back to Port Moresby. 

MICABLE relations with the natives being thus esta- 
blished, Sir Peter proceeded at once, with the assistance' 
of Mr. Musgrave, to select a site for Government House. 
They decided on a position originally chosen by the 
" Argus " Expedition for the official buildings, and one 
on the adjoining rise for the Governor's private residence, the great 
advantages of these sites being the vicinity of a good spring of water, 
and a splendid view all over Port Moresby and Fairfax Harbour. 
An expedition to Bootless Inlet occupied the day after my return, 
the Governor and his party being accompanied by Captain Pullen of 
H.M.S. " Lark," who made some observations. The report was not 
favourable to any settlement being established on this inlet, as it 
possesses no river nor agricultural land, and is a mere cid de sac. 
Before leaving Port Moresby we were fortunate enough to Avitness a 
native regatta, in which the trading vessels (Lakatois) already men- 
tioned were competitors. The scene was animated beyond description, 
the crowd on shore being as excited during the contest as those on the 

Plate XVIII. 

Ueference page 53. 


banks of the Thames or the Isis. On the 4th September the trial trip 
was made, the Lakatois from the village at Fairfax, Planuabada, and 
Koitapu, at the foot of the mission station, rendezvousing at the western 
extremity of the harbour. I landed with my instruments, and succeeded 
in getting some excellent views of these picturesque vessels, which, 
when in full sail, resemble a bird flying with its 'svings blown over its 
head. The craft, with sails lowered, are poled against the wind to the 
starting point, where they lie awaiting the fresher breeze of the after- 
noon. About 3 p.m. we noticed sails being hoisted and a general 
bustle, upon which we hastened from the mission house to the beach, 
and found collected there some 400 men, women, and children, whose 
interest in the sport was intensified by most of them being part owners 
in one or other of the craft. On the siomal he'mo- o-iven, moorinfjs were 
slipped, and away went the boats, well together at first, but eventually 
those furthest from shore getting the strongest wind, and forging ahead 
amidst frantic shouts of delight from their owners. When some distance 
out the boats luff, reverse sails, converting what was the bow into the 
stern, and make for the point where the spectators are posted, greeted 
by shouts of admiration and enthusiasm. This trial trip is regarded as 
a semi-religious ceremony, charms and mystic rites being j^ractised to 
ensure fine weather and make the expedition a success. During the 
race a native ballet is performed by the young girls on board the craft, 
who swing their bodies to a chant composed of two notes only, and 
accompanied by the monotonous beat of drums. Notwithstanding the 
high winds, I was able to get several most successful unique instantaneous 
pictures of the scene, which convey a more vivid impression of the 
Lakatois than any written description could aftbrd. 

On the 8th September the " Governor Blackall " got under weigh 
shortly after 7 a.m., and left Port Moresby to visit Ked Scar Bay. 
Leaving ]\Iourilyan to the right, we took the inner passage, skirted 
Fisherman Lsland, steered for Lily Island, and })assed Boera about 
10 a.m., the isk;ts of Vari Yarn now showing on our port bow. From 
a distance they seem three disconnected rocks, the one nearest the 
Australian coast being covered witli timber, leafless at this season, l)ut 



Avliicli, as oxpliiincd ])y the Rev. Mr. Chalmers, who had joined our 
])arly, woiihl burst into leaf in another month's time. The Torres 
Siraits pin;("ons, at certain seasons, settle here in thousands for rest, on 
thrii- passage to and from the northern parts of Australia. Opposite 
tlie Vari A^aru group, on the New Guinea coast, is Red Scar Head, 
easily discernible by three trees growing on its otherwise bare brow, 
and a characteristic red patch, visible a long way off, whence the locality 
takes its name. Galley Reach, the mouth of the Manu Mann river, is 
passed at 11 a.m., and we could discern the village and mission station 
at the entrance. Shortly afterwards we sighted three rocks ahead, 
under the lee of which is our proposed anchorage for the night. These 
huge boulders are named by the natives Ke Keni (the daughters), from 
a legend that their parentage is derived from the mountains inland, but 
Jack, less imaginative and geological, has christened them " Skittle 
Rocks." As eight bells struck we anchored in five fathoms of water, 
about two miles from shore, and nearly abreast the Aroa river, one of 
several streams taking their source among the foot-hills of the Owen 
Stanley Ranges, and contributing (especially during the N.W. Monsoon) 
a great volume of fresh water to Red Scar Bay, materially checking the 
growth of coral. Hence the reef loses its distinctive character here- 
abouts, and is merely indicated in the chart as the probable trend of 
the sunken barrier, at a considerable distance from the coast. The 
swell of the ocean, where not broken by the " Skittle Rocks," comes in 
here with great force and causes a heavy surf on the bar of the Aroa, 
especially at low tides. Two of our party, Mr. Romilly and Mr. 
Askwith, afforded us considerable anxiety by starting out after luncheon 
with Charles Kidd, a coast pilot, and one of the petty ofiicers of the 
guard, in the ship's dingy for the purpose of fishing. Hoisting the 
ill-fitting sail in the tiny boat, away they scudded before the wind, 
towards the bar, anxiously watched by the skipper, who last saw them 
right in the midst of the heavy breakers. As night came on and they 
did not return much anxiety was felt about them, and, notwithstanding 
the coast pilot's well-known skill, we were not reassured as to their 
safetv until the foUowino; dav. 

Plate XIX. 

Reference page 65. 


General Scratcliley's principal object in visiting this locality Avas to 
open commnnication with the native chiefs and sound them as to the 
acquisition of land ; more particulai'ly with respect to certain real estate 
said to have been recently acquired by a trader named Cameron. At 
7 a.m. on the 9th September, all preparations having been made the 
party started for shore, the steam launch laden with provisions and 
camp equipage, towing the whale boat containing the passengers in her 
wake. The little steamer was so overtaxed, that, on reaching the surf, 
Mr. Chalmers, who directed the navigation, judged it best to cast off the 
whale boat and pull ahead of the launch. The bar was crossed without 
accident, and we found ourselves in the Aroa River proper, at its 
embouchure some eighty yards across, but widening consideraljly higher 
up. Selecting a landing place on the left bank, we discharged all our 
cargo, and pitched our camp on a singularly picturesque little spot, 
trunks of driftwood in the foreground forming a natural stockade, while 
to the rear lay a little estuary with all its tropical surroundings. 
Leaving a few blue-jackets to pitch the camp and keep guard, the whale 
boat, again towed by the launch, proceeded up stream, which presented 
the usual characteristics of a tropical river, snags and other obstacles 
impeding our progress by water, and dense scrub on the banks rendering 
it impossible on shore. ^Mangrove and Xipa palms formed tlie leading 
features for two miles, when a creek called " Akibaka " was reached. 
Here the launch not finding sufficient depth of water, left us and 
returned to camp, while we proceeded up the branch stream with the 
rising tide. This tributary soon narrowed so considerably that at times 
the oars could hardly be used, and great difficulty was experienced in 
clearing the boat from the snags and masses of overhanging creepers. 
The Nipa ti'ees in some places completely over-arched the stream, 
giving it the appearance of a lofty avenue. Notwitlistanding the beauty 
of the scene at high water, considerations of alligators and miasma would 
deter any judicious person from remaining in this locality longer than 
absolutely necessary. The temperature was moderate, probably not 
exceeding 80", and as we were unmolested by mosquitoes the tri}) was 
not Avithout enjoyment. The banks, for some distance flu^h with the 


river, or nearly so, now became higher, and at intervals native landing- 
places began to show. Then we noticed groves of Areca nut palms, 
those bearing ripe fruit having one of their long fronds tied up in a 
peculiar manner as a sign of ownership and taboo. Some four miles up 
Akibaka Creek we came to the head of its navigation, where to our great 
satisfaction we found our dingy minus its rudder, proving that our 
friends had been lucky enough to cross the bar, and arrive thus far, at 
any rate, in safety. Xear the Mission boat-house we saw a few natives 
engaged in extracting the sago from the trunk of the Rabia palm. The 
process, which is very jDrimitive, consists in cutting into shreds the 
fibrous pith of the palm, cut into lengths of about six feet by means of 
a peculiar kind of adze, made of hard cane, attached to a handle at an 
angle of 45", the light brown substance containing the farina being 
carried away by women to the edge of the creek, and there deposited in a 
primitive gutter made out of the butt end of an immense palm leaf. Water 
is then poured upon it which dissolves and, in a rude manner, extracts the 
farina from the pulp. News of our advent soon spread, and joined by a 
string of natives we passed through a straggling village situated in a 
grove of tall cocoa nut trees, till we came to a house of a better descrip- 
tion, and were introduced to Timoteo, the teacher located in this village, 
which is called Yanuabada by the natives. Here we found Mr. Eomilly 
and Mr. Askwith, who had been made as comfortable as circumstances 
would permit. After being refreshed with the delicious drink obtained 
from young cocoa-nuts, I sallied into the village and succeeded in 
getting several very successful ^dews. The natives generally sleep in 
hammocks suspended underneath their huts, which are built on piles 
about eight feet from the ground. We counted as many as fifteen 
hammocks under one building, but the bulk of the adult male population 
was absent in the plantations. Our stay at Vanuabada was but short, 
as part of our programme was to cross overland and visit another village 
on the main stream, and also inspect the intervening territory. Our 
road lay through flats of blade-grass country, interspersed with groves 
of cocoa-nut palms and thickets of tropical scrub. Although the soil 
appeared friable and easy to cultivate, yet the shallow, dangerous 


navigation of the river is a vital obstacle to its possessing any commercial 
value for years to come, and the difficulty of shipping produce would 
involve great trouble and expense. I fear, therefore, that Cameron's 
claim is of little value, especially as his title is by no means clear. The 
natives liave no notion of fee simple, and are possessed with the idea that 
the original owners have the reversion of real property on the death of 
the person to whom they sold it. Until the question of land tenure is 
settled by Government, I would strongly advise no one to contemplate 
the acquisition of real property in Xew Guinea, and indeed not even 
then, for there are millions of acres in Australia, w\aiting for purchase or 
selection, infinitely preferable in every respect to anything in Papua. 
After an hour's walk along native paths, we reached another almost 
deserted village, and penetrating the dense belt of scrub which 
borders the Aroa, came in sight of the main branch of that river. On 
the way our party was joined by Xaim4 X^ru, tlie sub-chief of the 
Kabade district, and after crossing the river, here a swift clear stream 
flowing between banks twenty feet high, we came to the \'illage named 
Ukaukana, of which Urevado is the chief. Tired and hot, we were glad 
to take refuge in the house of Sameo, a Samoan by birth, and mission 
teacher in this village. Bananas and cocoa-nuts were served up on 
mats spread on the Rabia batten floor, and the General made a few 
presents to Xaim^ X6ru, which that sable warrior received in true 
native st}ie, i.e.., without evincing any visible gratitude or emotion. 
After resting an hour or so we sauntered through the village to trade 
for native curiosities, but found little of interest or value, and the wind 
being too high for photographing, returned tlie way we came to the 
teacher's house at Vanuabada, where we enjoyed a set dinner, com- 
prising boiled jungle fowl and Goura pigeons with taro and yams, boiled 
plantains flavoured with grated cocoa-nut forming a second course, the 
Avhole washed down with tea and the milk of young cocoa-nuts. After 
dinner, Urc Vadu, the head chief of Kabade was introduced, attired 
European fashion, in an old Crimean shu-t with a string of beads round 
his neck. Xaimci Xeru sat beside him, and a palaver then commenced ; 
^\v. Chalmers translatinof for the Iliah Commissioner's benefit the chief's 


opinion of Cameron's land transaction. This was to the effect that 
h'gul consent to the transfer had never been given, and that Mr. 
Cameron had bartered his articles to people who had no right or title to 
the land in question, and therefore no power to alienate it. Sir Peter 
took notes of the proceedings, and from all I saw I came to the conclu- 
sion that Mr. Cameron's time and money had been wasted. Presents 
Avere given to the chiefs, who in their turn gave us feather coronets and 
native netted bngs. It being now time to think of returning, and the 
tide being yet too low to float the boat, the General, Mr. Chalmers, and 
the rest of the party started back on foot, I consenting to remain with 
my assistant and the three sailors, and bring back the boat so soon as 
the water served. Little did I know what that duty involved ! had I 
foreseen all the labour those few six miles of inland navigation occa- 
sioned I should have thought better of it. However, the foot party 
started off at 4 p.m. pioneered by Mr. Chalmers, and half an hour later I 
and my assistant went down to the creek intending to make a start, but 
found our boat still docked in the mud, and our crew conversing with 
the natives like Lord Byron at Venice, only without the aid even of a 
dictionary. There was nothing for it but patience. The wind having 
lulled a bit, I utilized the shining hour by getting a few views, including 
a native house with groups, and the hammocks slung underneath as 
already described. My Winchester repeating rifle also came into requi- 
sition, the accuracy of aim possible with this weapon beino- much 
admired by our sable audience. At length I sat down on a log to make 
notes, and began to smoke. My meerschaum pipe, which happened to 
have a pig carved upon the bowl, attracted the attention of the natives, 
who at first timidly, but afterwards more confidently, had gathered 
round me. Permission to examine the pipe having been asked by signs 
and granted, it was returned to me with many admiring looks. My 
boots, socks, and other garments were then criticized and admired, and, 
in short, I became as great an object of interest as Gulliver to the Lilli- 
putians. At length we got the boat off, punting with difficulty through 
the sHmy mud, but the prospect of passing the night in the creek wi"h 

Plate XX. 

Reference page 56. 


miasma and alligators for company made every one do his best to reach 
camp before dark. The rising tide was against us, but served in floating 
our boat, and after incredible struggling with snags and rank vegetation, 
to our great joy we reached camp at half past seven, just in time for 
some fresh tea. After a merry evening, to which the novelty of the 
scene lent charms, we turned in for the night, Mr. Chalmers selecting 
the whale boat for his cubicle, the rest hitching their hammocks as high 
above ground as possible. Hardly had we slept an hour when a wild 
shriek roused the camp. All turned out, when the cause of the night 
alarm was discovered to be a few stray wild hogs, who were on the 
prowl, and doubtless attracted by the smell of our rations. On jjassino- 
under the hammock of one of the younger members of our party, the 
grunting aAvoke him, and his terror took the above form, which probably 
alarmed the intruders as much as it did us. He said he thought we 
were attacked by alligators, but we insisted that his alarm proceeded 
from the fear of something supernatural and of a still more malignant 
character. Yet one more night alarm. After two hours' rest the steam 
whistle sounded from the launch; up jumped the engineer, made for the 
shore and hailed, " Launch ahoy! " " Are you all right at the camp?" 
" All right ? Yes, what the deuce do you mean ? what did you sound 
the whistle for ? " " We heard a boat come down the rivei-, and thought 

the savages were attacking the camp." " Savages be ! Go to 

sleep ! " growled the engineer. It turned out that Timoteo the teacher, 
Avho had promised to visit us in the morning, taking advantage of the 
high tide, had put in an appearance sooner than was expected. The rest 
of the night passed quietly, and next morning, before camp was struck, I 
took a few views, after which everything was packed. AVe re-crossed 
the bar in safety about 9 o'clock, reached the ship an hour later, weighed 
anchor and started for Port Moresby. Taking the Yari Yarn Islands, 
already mentioned, on our way, we anchored and spent the niglit under 
their lee. I went ashore early with the General, and sought in vain lor 
some picturesque spot to photograph, although I traversed the greater 
part of the islands, which are mainly formed of decomposed coral and 



coral limestone, producing little or nothing but coarse grass and pigeons, 
of ^vhich tlic shooting party got eighteen. We found the gi'oup of 
apparently three islands to be but one at low water, being connected by 
reefs. At noon on the 12th September we were lying at our old 
anchorage in Port Moresby. 

Plate XXL 



Reference page 56. 

■ ■ Li iaiwi ■» "w ■».'* ■■ •^''-J'T^y 



Arrival of H.M.S. "Raven" — Trade Winds — Site for Governmeut Stores — Inland 
Party Organized — Arrival oft" Tupuselei — Coast Scenery — A Papuan Venice — Sir Peter 
Scratchley's Visit to Padiri — Siclaiess among the Party — A Native Feud — Attack 
apprehended — Kapa Kapa — A Group of Mourners — Mangoes — Birds of Paradise — A 
Palaver — Continuation of the Voyage. 

|N the morning of the 16th we were agreeably surprised by 
the arrival of H.M.S. " Raven " which we had last seen at 
Cooktown, where she had been stationed for six months. 
She brought us a mail, and remaining two days only, 
returned to Cooktown. Before she left, and while we were still engaged 
devouring the contents of the welcome budget of letters and newspapers, 
the " Plerbert," for which we were waiting, made her ajipearance after a 
somewhat long passage, which was explained by the liict of her having 
bumped on a coral reef and narrowly escaped wreckage at llood Bay, 
nearly forty miles to the east, where she had no business. Her getting 
off, after dragging her anchor cast in ninety fathoms, was a piece of good 
fortune for which her captain has reason to be thankful. 

Attemi)ting to profit by the detention of the " Blackall " at Port 
Moresby, 1 constructed a temporary studio of framework covered with 
calico for the purpose of making photographic studies of iiati\ e luads, but 
I reckoned without my host, or rather without the south-east trades, 
which blew very heavily nearly all the time we lay in port. ^ly studio 



was Mown to pieces, and some conce])tioii of the force of the wind may 
be formed from the fact of my being bodily carried away some twelve 
feet with a screen which I had seized with the intention of saving it. 
The floor of the verandah being six feet from the ground it was a marvel 
that a fourteen stone Icarus like myself escaped without broken bones 
and nothing worse than a few contusions, but as work was out of the 
question under these conditions I was forced to put my mortification in 
my pipe and smoke it, while Sir Peter and his secretary, having got 
through their despatches, confer with Captain Musgrove, the Assistant 
Deputy Commissioner, as to the selection of a site for a store-house to 
contain the articles now being landed with infinite trouble from the 
"Herbert." As there is no jetty these have to be lightered in more or 
less primitive fashion, or towed ashore. The construction of a jetty 
must evidently be one of the first works undertaken, and as mangrove 
piles can be procured close at hand, and the natives are accustomed to 
this kind of work, the cost would not be very great. The superinten- 
dence of erection of the store and dwelling-houses will occupy Captain 
Musgrave for weeks to come. It is a matter of no small difficulty to 
acquire land, after making a selection, for the native holdings are so sub- 
divided and cut up into sections of so many shapes and sizes, with rights 
of way, water privileges, easements and other obstacles attached to the 
transfer of real property which would do credit to the ingenuity of a 
civilized conveyancer. On a comparatively barren hill the Commissioner 
has had to pay at the rate of twenty shillings an acre, and be glad to 
secure even at that price. 

On Monda}^, the 2 1st, Mr. H. 0. Forbes and party were ready to 
start on their inland expedition, and I took a couple of photographs of 
them before they left. Their first depot will be formed at Sogeri, a 
Koiari village, about forty miles inland. There they will pass the rainy 
season, and start for their object point, summit of Mount Owen Stanley, 
early next year. As the Koiaris are friendly and intelligent, and the 
climate is comparatively salubrious, their prospects of a successful 
expedition seem very promising. Soon after 9 a.m. on tlie same morn- 
ing we got up steam, and having bid fiirewell to our kind and hospitable 

Plate XXII. 

Reference page 57. 

. -i- 


friends, Mr. and Mrs. Lawes, weighed anchor, Mr. Chalmers forming 
one of the party. 

In two hours we reached Tupuselei, a Papuan Venice, built in the 
sea, on piles, and entirely isolated from the land, communication with 
which is carried on hy canoes. The inhabitants own })roductive planta- 
tions on the slopes of the mainland, raising 3'ams, bananas and other 
native food in abundance; they are also expert fishermen, and being 
well to do, and on friendly terms with the hill tribes, live happy lives 
after their fashion. On the 22nd, at 6 n.m., a party started for shore 
in two boats; the General, Mr. Fort, ]Mr. Chalmers, and the Doctor 
in the whaler belonging to the Mission, which Mr. Chalmers had sent 
for the day before as being lighter and handier than the ship's long 
boat, and the Captain, myself and assistant, and Charlie Kidd in 
the dingy. The pilot (Charlie) speaks Motu, and was to act as our 

Leaving my instruments at the teacher's house, our party went 
roaming over the hills, which are more picturesque than those at Port 
Moresby, shooting birds and collecting seeds, while Sir Peter walked 
inland to see a village which Mr. Chalmers was desirous to show him. 
Towards breakfast time the sun dispersed the mist, which up to that 
time had shrouded the hills, and taking advantage of the opportunity 
I got a series of nice pictures, including groups, as Charlie made my 
wishes known, and the natives for a few sticks of tobacco were pleased 
to pose. Some curiously carved temples, or rather feasting stages, 
attracted our notice, while hard by was a Christian church in course of 
erection, a proof of missionary labour. We then called again at the 
Mission House, and Tua, the teacher's Avife, did the honours, offering us 
l)ananas and plenty of fresh young cocoa-nuts. These teachers here 
come from the Hervey Group, and appear to get on remarkably well 
with the Motu people. A few presents were made to Tua in the shape 
of several yards of mosquito netting, which I supplemented with a few 
handkerchiefs and a l)it of looking-glass, a toilet requisite agreeable to 
the feminine mind all over the world. We rested awliiK' in the; house, 
which is built on the usual nalivc lines, I)ut remarkable for its cleanness 


and neatness. Tlic calico counterpanes of the beds, spread on the floor, 
showed a rude aptitude for design in their ornamentation with a patch- 
work pattern Ibrmed by folding squares of Turkey red twill, and slash- 
ing out pieces with the scissors, just as designs are often made in Europe 
out of tissue paper. In a barbaric country such as this, even a slight 
approach to civilized taste attracts as much attention as does a collection 
of savao-e arms or designs in London or Paris. 

Our visit to the Mission House terminated, we started in the dingy, 
Tua the teacher's wife accompanying us, to visit the marine village, 
whose picturesqueness may be better understood by the views which it 
was my good fortune to get, than by any detailed description. To 
behold a community like this living in a village consisting of ricketty 
huts six feet above the water, and half a mile from shore, excites wonder 
and astonishment, not the least difficult problem to solve being how the 
builders managed with the slender means at their disposal to drive the 
piles supporting the houses into the sea. Many of the huts had a list to 
leeward, and Mr. Chalmers informed us that unless they are particularly 
well-built, or supported by their neighbours, the prevailing wind can 
always be determined in this way. Poultry, pigs, and dogs are plentiful 
in the village, and to see one of these latter paying a \dsit to a canine 
friend over the Avay is a sight never to be forgotten. None but a 
Tupuselei dog bred and born could ever hope to ascend the slippery 
ladders, with rungs two or three feet apart, leading to the platforms of 
the huts from the level of the waterway. At first when we noticed one 
of these animals swimming across we thought he would be assisted on 
landing ; but no, he was left to his own devices, and after several futile 
attempts, most ludicrous to behold, he succeeded in accomplishing his 
object, and obtained a footing. The interiors of the dwellings were 
certainly not inviting, appearing dark and dirty ; still there are said to 
be authenticated cases of white men of respectable families choosing 
native wives and settling down happily. Well, " de gustibus non est 
disputandura," or, as the French put it, " Les extremes se touchent." 

We were now joined by the General, Mr. Chalmers and party, much 
pleased with their visit to Padiri. They reported the country between 


tliat village and the coast to be fertile. Some of the Koiari chiefs 
accompanied them to Tupuselei and received the usual presents. 

The Doctor, who previously to Ica^-ing Port Moresby had been down 
■^^dth fever, was much better, and invigorated by his walk. Several of 
the men, however, showed indications of sickness, one of the petty 
officers in particular, having a bad attack, the symptoms being feverish- 
ness and a foul tongue. For my own part I never felt better in my life, 
and certainly shall not worry myself with apprehensions, but meet the 
evil when it comes. 

Remaining at our anchorage all night, on the morning of the 23rd 
we steamed down the coast to visit Kaele, a village some ten miles 
beyond Tupuselei, and, like it, a marine settlement. Our diplomacy 
will here be called into requisition to settle a feud existing for some 
time between the people of this village and the Garians, a numerous 
inland tribe. The merits of the case, so far as we can ascertain them, 
are that the Garians were the aggressors, killing three of the Kaele 
people, who retaliated in kind, and so the vendetta went on, amongst 
other victims being a Kaele woman. Matters, it is stated, have come to 
such a pass that the Garians have formed alUances with their neighbours, 
and threaten to come down and exterminate the unfortunate Kaeleans. 
At the intercession of Mr. Hunter the General gladly consented to come 
down and use his influence in the cause of peace, and messages were 
despatched to all the principal chiefs to meet him at Kapa Kapa, the 
village next in importance to Kaele, and situated about ten miles to the 
eastward, the " Blackall " calling at Kaele on her way to investigate 
matters. We reached the village about noon, and found both teachers and 
the people generally in a great state of agitation, being cut ofi'from their 
supplies on the mainland, and reduced to cook their food in sea water. 
Some women who had ventured to the creek for water that morning 
reported that the Garian warriors had been seen on the slopes, and that 
an attack was imminent. The General, without attaching too much 
importance to this scare, ordered the whale boat to be manned, and an 
armed party, with wliom were ]\Ir. Chalmers and Mr. Fort, landed about 
5 p.m., and proceeded to search the mangrove scrub of the salt-flats for 


the supposed enemy. We watched them with glasses from the ship, 
disphiying much more interest in their proceedings than did the villagers, 
who were singularly apathetic in the matter. About sundown the party 
returned Avithout having seen any traces of a foe. 

Kaele is a miserable place, and its church, situated about 200 yards 
from the shore, and adjoining the house of Mr. Hunter, whose knowledge 
of the ]\Iotu language was of great service, had a strong list to the north- 
west. Early next morning, the 24th, the Captain, myself, and assistant, 
accompanied by Charley Kidd, went ashore to take a stroll round. The 
place looked even more desolate by daylight than in the shades of 
evenino-, and finding nothing picturesque near the beach but ruins of a 
tree house, which had a look of having been built to the order of the 
artist who sketched it to illustrate the proceedings of the Geographical 
Society of Australia, we penetrated the fringe of mangrove, and crossed 
a belt of low country covered with salt water grass till we arrived at 
another strip of mangrove, interspersed with tall forest trees. There 
were as usual a quantity of birds, and a few wallaby crossed our path, 
but not within shot. After taking a couple of pictures illustrative of 
mangrove country, we returned to the ship quite ready for breakfast, 
but not at all impressed with the quality of the land. At noon we got 
under weigh again, and at two dropped anchor at Kapa Kapa, about 
two miles off the beach. The charred ruins of old Kapa Kapa were 
still discernible away to the east of the ship. This village had been 
destroyed about two years ago by the Hula natives, who, sparing women 
and children, massacred three of the men. The others taking flight, 
sought shelter within the houses of their next neighbours, with the 
inevitable effect of overcrowding to such an extent as to cause the 
outbreak of an epidemic which led to the evacuation of the village alto- 
gether. The present village is built half over the water, and the other 
half over dry land, and the number of inhabitants is estimated at 
about 500. 

On the morning of the 25th I sallied out to pick up character sketches, 
and was so fortunate as to get a splendid group of natives, with a man 
and woman in deep mourning forming the central objects. This couple, 

Plate XXIII. 


Reference page 58. 


we were told, had lost three of their children within a recent period, 
and their grief" was deeply pronounced. They wore the usual native 
mourning of suits of charcoal, with which their bodies were blackened 
entirely. Strings of grey or lavender coloured beads were carried 
across their foreheads, and hung pendulous from their ears. The man 
wore an immense Cassowary plume, also blackened, and the woman had 
her breast covered with netting. Their appearance was so picturesque, 
that I was most anxious to include them in the group, but it requu'ed a 
good deal of persuasion from our interpreter to induce them to sit, and 
they accepted the tobacco presented them with apparent indifference. We 
then took a stroll of a few miles inland, and found it to be one of the 
most fertile tracts of countrj^ yet visited, containing miles of flat grassy 
plahis interspersed with belts of tropical scrub, which would delight the 
botanist, stretching away to the rises inland, whose rich vegetation 
indicated soil of good quality. The country is admirably adapted for 
sugar, and the clearing of the scrub would cost comparatively little. I 
secured a couple of good views near a crossing, and in the bed of a 
creek called by the natives Ka Kalo. Walking across the bed of this 
creek, almost dry at the present season, and covered with sand and 
shingle, we were struck by the great depth of black fertile soil on the 
almost perpendicular banks. The vegetation was not unlike that to be 
seen in scrubs of the Clarence or Richmond rivers in New South Wales, 
but of a richer and more tropical type. Lovely parrots, parroquets, 
scrub pheasants, and white cockatoos, filled the air with their harsh 
cries, and a great variety of pigeons from the large Goura to the tiny 
bronze wing dove appeared in numbers. We saw a great variety of 
indigenous fruit trees, and heartil}' enjoyed a feed of mangoes which 
one or our black companions good-naturedly procured for us by climbing 
a large tree of that species, and shaking the ripe fruit in a perfect shower 
to the ground. Although the fruit, which is about the size of a goose- 
egg, is ratlier stringy in the flesh, its flavour is very dehcate. On our 
way back to the ship we passed again through the village, and bought 
some spears and other weapons. They value their stone adzes and 
clubs very higldy, and will rarely part Avith them except in exchange 


for a good tomaluiwk. The fishing spears are made of about a dozen 
prongs of hard wood, lashed to a handle six feet long, the prongs being 
kept apart by interlacing with string eight inches from point. A 
few seed i)ods are sometimes suspended from the shaft by way of 
ornament. The plumes of the red birds of Paradise commanded 
ridiculous prices all along the coast. At Goldie's Store in Port 
Moresby fifteen shillings is asked for a plume, and twenty-five 
shillings for an entire bird. We obtained a few birds from the native 
teachers at lower prices, but still above what they could be bought for 
in London. The same remark applies to nearly all the curios we saw, 
their enhanced value being attributable to the demand created by the 
number of men-of-war which have visited the coast during the last 
twelve months. 

The afternoon of this day was memorable for the visit of the Garia 
and Saroa chiefs, who, seventeen in number, came off in the teacher's 
whaleboat, which they filled from stem to stern. They looked fierce 
savages indeed. One warrior sported an old suit of Pjjamas, the others 
being naked with the exception of their waist- strings. One was in deep 
mourning, got up in the manner stated. His Cassowary head-dress 
covered his face down to his neck, and altogether he looked the wildest 
specimen of the human race I ever saw. Another had short curly hair 
all over his body, and a frightfully ugly mouth, the expression of which 
was not improved by the betel nut he was constantly chewing. They 
were ushered to the poop, asked to sit near the wheel, while Mr. Fort 
and Mr. Chalmers arranged the presents which they were to receive in 
case they faithfully promised to leave off molesting Kaele, and keep the 
peace. I took a picture of this assemblage, perhaps the most curious 
human group ever assembled on the deck of a steamer, the chiefs 
making no objection, although none of them had ever seen a camera 
before, and they probably supposed the proceeding to be some mystical 
rite preliminary to the negotiations. The General then took his seat, 
and, through Mr. Chalmers, inquired into the cause of the war. They 
pleaded annoyance and aggression on the part of the Kaele people, and 
were told that Sir Peter had come to establish " maino " (peace) all 

Plate XXIV. 

Beference page 58. 


over the island. They were asked to desist from hostilities, and promised 
in case of compliance that presents were to be distributed to show that 
sympathy was felt with their grievances. During the harangue I noticed 
their faces lighten up at the prospect of peace and tomahawks, and when 
the speech was over, all but the chief in mourning declared willingness 
to terminate the war. At last even he, seeing that he stood alone, gave 
in his adhesion, and each accepted a tomahawk, six sticks of tobacco, a 
handkerchief, and a gorgeous Brummagem ring. These latter were 
given to each chief separately, as a special token of faitliful adherence 
to his promise. Sir Peter then dismissed them, saying that he would 
return in two months to see if their promises were kept. The whole 
affau* gave little trouble, for these warriors, although ferocious in aspect, 
are easily led by a strong consistent man who treats them fairly. Before 
leaving the vessel they were shown over her. Many of them had never 
been on a European ship before, and the large mirror in the cabin, which 
Avas in a state of semi-darkness, astonished them greatly. The evening 
terminated with a lunar eclipse, almost total at the rising of the moon, 
and continuing till 9 o'clock. 

Next morning at daybreak Sir Peter and some of his staff, under 
the guidance of Mr. Chalmers, visited some of the inland villages 
and were very well received everywhere, being presented with bird of 
Paradise plumes and stone clubs. In one village a fair exchange of 
produce was in progress, and all the pco[)le seemed greatly pleased at 
the re-establishment of peace. This (Friday) was a quiet day, all being 
tired with their tramp the day previous. Captain Lake and I liad a few 
hours shooting with good success, but I find taxidermy added to photo- 
graphy too great a demand upon my time and patience. The same 
remark applies to the formation of a botanical collection, which to 
approach completeness requires a man's whole time to form, collate, and 

On Saturday the 2Gth we weighed anclior, and al'ter a couple of 
hours steaming through coral reefs, let go tlie anchor opposite Hula, to 
rest and prepare for an inland expedition on the Monday following. 



Walk from Hula to Kalo — Cocoanut Groves — Native Diseases — Mortality — Kamali 
— A Pojiiilar Photographer — Arrival at Kalo — History of the Reprisals for Murder — 
Price of Wife — Matrimonial Customs — The Author leaves Kalo — Crossing a River — 
Arrival at Hood Lagoon — Rejoin the Ship. 

|T daybreak on Monday, September 28th, all was astir on 
the " Governor Blackall." Sir Peter Scratchley, Mr. Fort, 
Mr. Chalmers, myself, the Doctor, and one or two others 
started in the dingy, towed by the launch, for shore, which, 
owing to the low tide, we reached by a circuitous route, and had to be 
carried through the shallows pick-a-back. Once landed, we commenced 
our work, which was nothing more or less than a pedestrian excursion 
under the guidance of Mr. Chalmers, to the village of Kalo, some 
miles inland, making Hula, where we landed, our base. A crowd of 
natives surrounded us on landing, anxious to earn a little tobacco by 
assisting to transport our baggage. A dozen were told off to carry the 
Governor's effects, and four more took my apparatus and wardrobe 
on theu' brawny shoulders. After getting clear of the village I counted 
over fifty brothers, sisters, cousins, and aunts of the bearers following 
our party on the chance of a stray bit of tobacco. The country through 
which we passed was richly cultivated, containing miles of native planta- 
tions devoted to bananas, sweet potatoes and yams. Some of the 
gardens were in splendid order, and cultivated with Chinese minuteness, 
the young shoots of the yams being sheltered from the sun by husks and 

Plate XXV. 

Reference pnrje G<>. 




leaves. We found numbers of Avomen at work, and at every cocoa-nut 
gi'ove we passed we were offered a refreshing drink. The cocoa-nut is 
very abundant here, and consequently very cheap. Forty young nuts 
or twenty full grown ones can be purchased for a fig of trade tobacco, a 
price at which the " three sticks a penny " fraternity might invest to a 
fabulous profit, could they but get their goods delivered at Epsom. 
After traversing three or four miles of fertile country, we arrived at the 
inland villages of Babaga and Kamali. The buildings here differ from 
the marine dwelHngs considerably. The piles on which they are built 
arc mostly strong timber up to eighteen inches in diameter, and how 
with their primitive appliances they manage to move these huge logs is 
a m3'stery. I took views of some of these houses, which have two 
platforms, or rather a large platform and verandah in front, the latter 
corresponding to the upper story of the structure. The chiefs' houses 
are further decorated with a fanciful spire at the apex of the gable, 
sometimes with poles projecting from their sides ornamented with 
streamers or pennants of bark. The inland people suffer terribly from 
skin diseases, far more so than the coast tribes, who are by no means 
exempt, but here, where water is not abundant, two persons out of three 
are more or less affected. A great mortality must have prevailed lately, 
as we saw numbers of people in mourning and observed charnel houses 
and graves in the streets, under the dwellings, and in fact anywhere and 
everywhere, while the odour of decomposing heaps of vegetable matter 
rendered the atmosphere anything but savoury, and quickly drove us 
away. On the outskirts of Kamali we came upon a picturesque dwelling 
which I photographed, while Dr. Doyle Glanville employed his pencil in 
sketching a woman in mourning. Kamali being more attractive than 
the village we had just quitted I remained to get a few studies, while 
the rest of the party went on ahead. The arrangement was that Sir 
Peter was to meet a boat at the crossing of the Kemp "Welch river and 
be ferried to the launch which would rejoin the "Governor Blackall" at 
her fresh anchorage at Kerepunu. I felt some misgivings as to getting 
sitters, being as I was unable to communicate with the people except by 
signs, but to my astonishment all the inhabitants turned out, evidently 


with the object of being photographed, and Mr. Chahncrs subsequently 
informed mc that such is their vanity that had they but money, a 
photographic artist in New Guinea would rapidly accumulate a fortune. 
After an hour's rest I started with my four bearers in j^ursuit of the 
rest of the party who had preceded me to Kalo. The road lay through 
yam plantations and luxuriant groves of cocoa-nut palms, left to grow as 
they pleased, the native merely collecting the crops. The rapidity with 
which a Papuan can ascend a palm tree is marvellous. On an indication 
that a drink would be appreciated, up he goes, and in an incredible 
short space of time throws down half-a-dozen young nuts just fit for 
tapping. His method of ascending is to take anything that will spin 
into a lanyard, such as a bit of rattan, the rib of a cocoa-nut leaf, or even 
a handful of long grass. This he ties over his feet near the instep, 
connecting the feet by a pliable link, then by alternate movements of 
hands and feet he ascends the straight stem of the palm. Arrived 
underneath the fronds he holds on with one hand, and with the other 
twists the nut round the stem till it drops. Boys eight or ten years 
old can do this as well as the men, and I have no doubt the girls are 
equally agile, though as yet I have not seen them mount a tree. I 
arrived at Kalo just in time for lunch in the house of Tau the Raro- 
tongan teacher, changing my clothes immediately, a precaution against 
fever which should always be taken after a fatiguing journey. After a 
rest and a smoke the General and his party walked to the river bank, 
where the boat was in waiting to proceed to Kerepunu, while I and my 
assistant made ourselves comfortable at Tau's house, where we were to 
spend the night. The Kalo people were in a state of great delight at 
the presents their chiefs had received from the General, whose visit 
tended to efface the sanguinary reprisals made by the blue-jackets of 
H.M.S. " Wolverine " after the murder of ten teachers in the place. We 
were shown the marks of the bullets in the cocoa-nut trees, and 
altogether the people seemed to cherish a healthy recollection of the 
chastisement inflicted upon them, which was severe, the village being 
surrounded and several men shot before the rest were allowed to escape 
into the bush. The chief's house was razed to the ground. The 


teacher, Tau, informed us that the people are still somewhat predatory 
in their habits, his chest having on one occasion been broken open and 
eight pounds of tobacco stolen. On complaint being made to the chief, 
he compelled restitution of all the unconsumed tobacco and gave Taii a 
large pig to make up the difference. A large portion of the village Avas 
recently destroyed by fire, and is now in course of re-building. Among 
other curious sights we were shown the price or dowry of a wife heaped 
up on the platform of one of the houses. It consisted of a quantity of 
all kinds of New Guinea goods and chattels, jDots, earthenware, and 
wooden weapons, bird of paradise plumes, baskets of yams, bunches of 
bananas and other produce. Among the articles were two pigs tied up 
underneath the house. The bride herself sat all smiles on the verandah 
above, over her earthly treasures, with as much pride as any white 
sister might feel on exhibiting her trousseau. I regretted that owing to 
the lateness of the evening I could not secure a picture of this curious 
scene, but managed to give the lady a prominent place in a group next 
morning. Skin disease is also rife here. We saw a young man walkino- 
about the village with his arm round his sweetheart's neck, both of them 
frightfully afflicted. He had a sore on his leg above the ankle, laying 
bare the bone, while she, not naturally ill-favoured, was covered with 
large patches which made her look positively mangy. Still, neither of 
them seemed to mind it in the least, and looked supremely hap])y. The 
head-dresses of marriageable girls are picturesque, their hah- being frizzed 
and decorated with pink shells from Port Moresby, highly valued by 
them, strings of Venetian glass beads procured from the traders being 
woven in. All the women are tattooed from head to foot, and a peculiar 
necklace-like V-shaped mark, ending in a peak between the breasts, 
indicated those engaged or married. These cuticular devices, although 
obvious enough to the eye, do not show in a photograph unless picked 
out with black or some colour, a proceeding too tedious to perform even 
if they should be willing to submit to it. During our stay witli Tau the 
house, doorways, and ladders on both sides were constantly crowded 
with natives attracted by motives of curiosity, and anxious to get a bit 
of tobacco or even the stump of a cigar. I commissioned Tau to buy 


mc some l)ir(l oi" ijunulisc plumes, leiiviii<^ liim a quantity of tobacco for 
the purpose, and making him a present of print and other articles for 
himself and wife. He told me that so long as the ship was in sight, the 
])ricc of all curios was forced up to a fancy value, but that after her 
departure the beloved " Kuku " would purchase anything at reasonable 
rates. The commercial ways of savages are very like those of civilized 
beings to be sure ! Tlie tol^acco I brought — the best American Raven 
twist — was too good for the market; anything will do, if black and 

On the 29th, although it was still blowing hard, I managed to get 
some nice groups, and especially one of two women in mourning, keep- 
ing watch at a hut erected over the remains of some departed relative ; I 
was obliged to go to leeward for the view, and as photography appeals 
to the eye and not the nose, I deemed the public had the best of it. 
Numbers of women sat outside the houses busy niakmg ramis (petti- 
coats) out of strips of fibrous leaves spread out in the sun to dry, and 
performing certain duties for each other often mentioned by previous 
travellers. After breakfast we started for Kerepunu, crossing the Kemp 
Welch river in a native canoe close to where the massacre of the teachers 
took place. The river is about a hundred yards wide and being 
shallow at its mouth can only be entered by boats of light draught. 
Once across the bar there is water enough to float a big ship. About a 
mile from its mouth the stream bifurcates, the smaller afliuent being 
nearly dry at low water, while the larger is navigable for about fifteen 
miles, and is supposed to take its rise in the neighbourhood of the 
Laloki, but on the eastern side of the water shed, running along the 
back of the Astrolabe range, until it reaches the level land at the back 
of Hula, The vegetation here is extremely rich, and the luxuriant 
condition of the native gardens indicates the great fertility of the soil. 
Dismissing our ferry men with a small present of tobacco, we proceeded 
with our bearers along the sandy beach. The glare of the sun on the 
shore and water was oppressive and I was thankful that I had provided 
myself with a pair of Mr. Gaunt's smoked goggles before leaving 
Melbourne, as they saved my eyes, not only from the sun's rays but 

Plate XXVI. 


Reference page 61. 


from the sand and grit blown up by the strong wind, to say nothing of 
the protection they afford against fles in the scrub. The teacher was 
rather uneasy about a little river named " Alerai " which had to be 
crossed before reaching Kerepunu. At dead low water it is only about 
knee deep, but on reaching it we found that the rismg tide had extended 
its width about sixty yards. We shot a couple of brace out of a flock 
of curlews we found at its mouth. Having no mind to follow the 
example of Horace's peasant and sit down half-a-dozen hours in the 
broiling sun, " Expectantes dum defluit amnis," we stripped and 
prepared to wade across, braving the alligators, which the teacher in- 
formed us were plentiful and possessed good appetites. First went the 
boys carrying their burdens over their heads and fortunately keeping 
them dry, though the water reached up to their shoulders. The teacher 
and myself followed, and last of all came Mr. Bubb, my assistant. With 
my broad-brimmed straw hat, and goggles, and singlet, rolled up under 
my armpits, but otherwise in a state of nature, I must have presented a 
picturesque apj^earance, at any rate, I caused some amusement to our 
bearers, who sat waiting for us on the opposite side. The bottom was 
soft sand, sinking a foot with every step, but we got across without 
mishap and felt refreshed with our bath. Along the remaining two 
miles of hard beach I walked barefooted, but was compelled to resume 
my boots on crossing a neck of land covered with cocoa-nut trees and 
brushwood. Emerging from the thicket we found our ship snug at 
anchor in Hood Lagoon, with the village of Kerepunu as a background. 
The mouth of Hood Lagoon is about a mile wide and at high water 
sufficiently deep to allow vessels of fifteen feet draught to enter. Further 
iidand it widens considerably and appears aljout eight miles long by six 
in diameter. The depth in some places is considerable, but tlie best 
anchorage is just within the narrow neck at the entrance. We got on 
board without loss of time and were glad of a bath and change of 
clothes. Tau, our guide, crossed over to Kerepunu to visit ^hinu, the 
teacher there, at whose house the teacher of Hula was also staying. 
Their wives had come with the ship to Kerepunu to assist in the ship's 
washing, fresh water being more abundant here than at Kalo or Hula. 



Scenery at the Hood Lagoon — Kerepumi — Hula — Fracas between Ship's Company 
and Natives — Beneficial Eesults — Start for Aroma — A Native Chief as Passenger — 
Parimata — Moapa — The Aroma District — Departure for Stacey Island — The Scenery 

EREPUNU lies on the eastern headland of Hood Lagoon, 
'^^ and contains about 1,500 inhabitants, rising to the impor- 
tance of a town rather than a village or hamlet. The 
Mission House is built of lath and plaster, its founda- 
tions being blocks of coral. The glebe, about an acre in extent, attached 
to the Mission is, from its exposed position, unsuited for culture, and 
only useful for purposes of recreation. A few hundred yards to the 
east lies the fishing village of old Hula, tenanted by the remnants of a 
tribe which was numerous and flourishing only a few years back, but 
the bulk of them abandoned their village owing to tribal wars, and 
settled about twelve miles further west, the new settlement receiving 
the same name already mentioned in the previous chapter. The present 
inhabitants remain on sufferance, being allowed by the Kerepunu men 
to stay only so long as they supply the large village with fish. Old 
Plula is built partly on the sea, and partly in a ravine close to the shore. 
Facing the villao-e are extensive coral reefs, and beche-de-mer is collected 
in considerable quantities, and bought up by a trader named Dan 
Rowan, who ekes out a precarious subsistance by drying, smoking, and 
selling it. During our stay there occurred a collision with the natives. 

Plate XXVII. 

lieference page 61. 


which might have entailed serious consequences, but which, as things 
turned out, ended happily. That the imprudence of some members of 
the ship's company did not involve us in a serious embroglio was a 
most fortunate circumstance. After tea one evening one of the body- 
guard and two stewards went on shore, the latter without leave. They 
stayed rather late, and while walking round the village and romping 
with the natives, had a few sticks of tobacco stolen from them. This 
they somewhat noisily demanded back, using intimidating gestures, and 
the result was a panic, the natives assuming that their village would be 
burnt if the missing tobacco were not restored. Howling and shrieking, 
the women snatched up their children and fled into the bush, making 
so great a hubbub, that those on board the " Blackall " became seriously 
alarmed on the circumstance of three members of the company being on 
shore becoming known. Captain Lake and Mr. Chalmers at once went 
on shore in the dingy to ascertain the cause of the disturbance, and 
rescue the men if possible. By the time they reached the shore the 
commotion had greatly abated, and they discerned some white imn 
putting off in a native canoe, which they pursued, and identified the 
occupants. The General was naturally much annoyed at the circum- 
stance, and the matter was thoroughly investigated next day, a High 
Commissioner's Court being convened, which the culprits were summoned 
to attend. The Court was held at the teacher's house, the evidence 
of the native witnesses being translated by Mr. Chalmers and the 
teacher, and taken down by me. The decision was reserved, but the 
proceedings were conducted with dignity and decorum, and evidently 
made a strong impression on the native mind. The congregation 
assembled afforded an excellent opportunity for an etluiologist. The 
admixture of races here becomes very noticeable, and further east- 
ward the lighter coloured Polynesian t}-pe becomes more and more 

The next district to be visited is Aroma. Xoa{)ena, the great chief 
of that part of the country, hearing of the General's intention of going 
there, came down to Kerepuiiu, and was His Excellency's guest on the 
trip to Aroma. We left Kerepunu on the morning of the '2nd October, 


but got stuck on a s.ind-JDank sliortly after starting, and had to wait 
four hours till the rising tide floated us off. This delay necessitated the 
postponement of our journey for a day, as the captain was unwilling to 
navigate those dangerous waters in the dusk. We dropped anchor 
opposite a village called Parimata, distant as the crow flies only twelve 
miles from Kerepunu, but on account of the coral reef involving a 
d6tour of some twenty-seven. This village presented a peculiar appear- 
ance from long lines of high fences, looking in the distance like stockades. 
We found these to be designed to break the force of the wind, which beats 
on the low sandy shore to the detriment of both houses and plantations. 
They are made of a framework of tough sticks and sapHngs fastened 
together with rattan, and interlaced with cocoa-nut leaves, butt end 
upwards. They are fully twelve feet high, and seem to answer the 
l)urpose for which they were designed perfectly. The Mission House is 
close to the beach, and the premises are larger than those at Kerepunu. 
The teacher Tenaori is a determined looking man of powerful physique, 
and seems well fitted for his post. Not long ago he was the means of 
saving the lives of over fifty Motu people, for which service he was 
presented by the General with a nice silver watch, bearing a suitable 
inscription. The history of the exploit is as follows : — Some little time 
ago a trading canoe belonging to Port Moresby got caught in a gale of 
wind on its return from Motu Motu, and driven past its own port, was 
wrecked on the reef of Keppel Point, not a great distance from Parimata. 
There were in all fifty-six persons on board ; a traditional feud existing 
between the Aroma people and the Motu's, the young Aroma warriors, 
anxious to take advantage of so large a number of their foes being 
placed in their power, launched their canoes with the intention of 
massacring them all. Tenaori, seeing their preparations, and learning 
their object, at once put off in the Mission Boat to interpose and save 
life. He was after some parley allowed to land unaccompanied, the 
Motu people knowing their danger, and being greatly apprehensive 
of a hostile visit. Their anticipations were indeed realized, for soon the 
Aroma war canoes came in sight. On their approaching within hailing 
distance, Tenaori harangued the warriors in true native style, and by 

Plate XXVIII. 

Reference page G3. 


alternate coaxing, bullying, cajolling, and threatening, induced them to 
forego their project. He then took the Motus off the reef to the Mission 
Plouse, a boatload at a time, fed them, and finally crowned his diplomatic 
"vvork by sending them to Kerepunu in the canoes of the very persons 
who had meditated their destruction. Thence they were shipped to 
Hula, where they chartered a lakatoi, and returned to Port Moresby. 
Sir Peter Scratchley hearing, when in Queensland, of this truly heroic 
action, determined to mark his sense of it by conferring a mark of 
distinction on the hero of the affair. Our guest Koapena, the chief of 
the Aroma District, although past the prime of life, is a fine stalwart 
man over six feet high, and decidedly the finest specimen of savage 
humanity we have seen in New Guinea. He stoops slightly with age, 
but his bearing is full of grace and dignity, and altogether he looks like 
a person to select rather for a friend than a foe. He is in full native 
dress, i.e.^ waist string, plaited armlets, and head-scratcher, or five- 
toothed comb. His luo-o^ao-e consists of a little netted shoulder-bag or 
knapsack, containing a lime gourd, a stick of betel pepper and a few 
areca nuts, the combination of which articles constitutes his favourite 
chew. The steward served him dinner in the saloon as soon as ours, 
which we now almost invariably take on the quarter-deck, was over. 
Amongst other things he was given some tinned asparagus, a vegetable 
which he certainly had never seen before. His appetite was wonderful, 
and he ate enough baked yams and pork to satisfy three oi'dinary 
])eople. The result of this late and heavy meal was that he could not 
sleep, notwithstanding the soft cushions provided for him in the aft part 
of the saloon, and I was witness to a midnight conversation equally 
quahit and ludicrous between this gigantic naked savage and Mr. Fort, 
the General's secretary, who olteii })refers to do his woi-k in the cool of 
the night. The former plying his little chunan stick from his lime 
calabash to his mouth, and now and then taking a chip of betel, by way 
of variety, watched with curiosity the busy pen of the Secretary 
seated op[)osite, writing by the light of three candles, in addition to the 
saloon lam[). Scarcely a word was spokt-n, and certainly none wire 
exchanged, the chief contenting himself witli smiling and nodding in 


rci)ly to the Secretary's whispers and cluml) show. This nocturnal 
interview between an Oxford B.A. and a native prince is surely 
without precedent. I greatly regretted that the time and place 
adordcd insuperable obstacles to my taking a picture of it. The 
warrior chief, in addition to his other embellishments, had more 
than thirty crosses tattooed on his breast and back, each of which 
indicates a life violently taken. We landed at Parimata shortly after 
ten o'clock next morning, not without difficulty, as the water is shallow, 
and the surf rough. Sir Peter had arranged to visit Koapenas Village, 
Moapa, without loss of time, as we were to start for Suau and Dinner 
Islands on the morrow. Our walk to Moapa, after leaving the beautiful 
hard beach, lay through plantations of cocoa-nut trees, the road being 
fringed on either side with nuts put out to sprout, forming a border two 
feet high. When the roots begin to penetrate the soil, they are trans- 
planted, and fresh ones put in their places. The milk, which w^e quaffed 
abundantly at every halt, is most refreshing. Each nut contains fully 
a pint, and the quantity we put away I should not like to estimate. 
Every now and then we met troops of people engaged at the plantations, 
the young men bedecked with Avreaths of flowers and twigs of bright 
crotons stuck through their armlets. My dark goggles produced a sort 
of terrified amazement among the women and girls, and when I took 
them off curiosity overcame fear, and they expressed theu' wonder and 
surprise without stint. I put them on one of our carrier boys to show 
that they were transferable, and he indicated by signs that he understood 
perfectly well that they served to guard the eyes from the glare of the 
sun. After a pleasant walk of about three miles, we neared the beach, 
the soil becoming sandy and barren, and, passing the Mission House, 
we came upon Moapa, a considerable village situated in a sandy flat, 
protected from the sea breezes by a belt of hills covered with Pandanus 
trees, and timber somewhat similar to the honeysuckle. The population 
of Moapa is about 600, and the houses, built facing each other so as to 
Ibrm regular streets, show an order and regularity which would not 
disgrace a European town. All the houses are two-storey structures, 
and some of them have a kind of third floor close to the ridofe. The 


usual platform is in front of every tenement, but many of tliem have 
this peculiarity, that access is gained by a sort of manhole in the floor, 
eight or nine feet from the ground, and reached by a ladder, which can 
be drawn up into the building at pleasure. Our host showed us with 
pride three different houses belonging to him, each presided over by a 
separate individual in the shape of a wife. He was, however, bound to 
confess that this " unicorn " team was as much as he could drive, and 
that he was obliged to breakfast in one hut, lunch in another, and dine 
in a third, distributing his other attentions impartially, or an outburst 
of jealousy was the result. In the centre of the village we found an 
open space or square with a sanctuary in the middle. It consisted of a 
framework of logs, about three feet high, filled with earth inside, and 
surmounted by a kind of scaffold, from which half a dozen skulls, orna- 
mented with strino;s of cowrie shells and streamers of Pandanus were 
suspended. On the mound beneath more skulls and other human bones 
were scattered. These were supposed to be the remains of a party of 
bcche-de-mer fishers, murdered some years ago by the Aroma people. 
Dilapidated and repulsive looking as the spot looked, overgrown with 
weeds, and ghastly with human debris, it was interesting enough to 
record photographically, but the conditions rendered this impossible, 
the high wind swaying about the suspended skulls in a manner which 
would blur any sun picture. I offered almost any price (in tobacco) to 
induce the natives to go up and steady the skulls while the picture was 
being taken, but nothing would induce them to undertake the task, and 
most reluctantly I was compelled to trust to the pen, unaided by the 
camera, for a description of this curious and interesting spot. The 
protection from the wind afforded by the buildings enabled me to get 
some street scenes which I valued as indicative of the methodical and 
orderly habits of the natives. On our way back to the ship we met 
hundreds of natives who had flocked to sec tlie big ship and its inmates, 
with an ulterior view of tobacco. We halted for a brief space at 
Tenaori's place, and I succeeded in picking up a few curiosities. The 
native teachers and the ir wives, on the General's invitation, came oft' to 
the ship, and were regaled with nuts, biscuits, and other deUcacies, 


wliicli they tasted probably for the first time in their lives. Before 
they took their leave, presents of print, mosquito netting, stationery, 
ami other useful articles were distributed. 

On the 4th October we quitted the Aroma District for Stacey Island, 
alternatively named South Cape. We gave the reef a wide berth, and 
came into a stiff south-easter, which gave us a lively time of it for 
twenty hours, this being the first night under steam since we made 
Papua. Early on Monday, the 5th, we passed Tree Point on the port 
quarter, and steering E. by N., left Wedge Rock to starboard, and 
Rugged Head to port, when we entered the narrow straits called Mairy 
Pass, formed by the mainland on the north, and Stacey Island on the 
south. The scenery here is surpassingly beautiful, the most beautiful 
we have yet visited. The narrowest part of the strait is not more than 
a mile in width, stretching away to the far east, and is bounded by 
Leocadi Island, which is crowned with a tree looking from the distance 
singularly like a lighthouse. The varied tints of green on the steep 
rises of Stacey Island, the deep azure of the straits, and the woody 
shores of Bertha Lagoon, dotted with native villages, combined to form 
a picture delightful to an artist's eye. Nothing seemed to be wanting 
to complete the charm of this terrestrial paradise. The eye roamed 
from spot to spot, everywhere resting on fresh and varied beauties. 
The lights developing the salient points of the glorious panorama of 
mountain, wood, and water, constantly changing from the shadows 
cast by flitting clouds. The mountains in the background rise to 
3,000 feet above the level of Bertha Lagoon, and are covered from 
base to summit with luxuriant vegetation. The spot will always rest 
in my memory as the most beautiful I ever saw. The lagoon at its 
mouth is about 1,500 yards across, but widens considerably within. 
At 9 a.m. we anchored 300 yards from shore opposite the Mission 
Station of Suau, the native name for Stacey Island. The South Cape 
Missionary having died some time previous, his duties devolved upon 
his widow, who discharged them most efliciently, and to the entire 
satisfaction of the mission authorities. Anxious to preserve some 

Plate XXIX. 

lleference page 65, 



solar pictures of the exquisite scenery around, I took the dingy imme- 
diately after breakfast, and paddled ashore to the westerly point of 
the lagoon, in company with Mr. Rossiter, our second officer, who 
was deputed to superintend the cutting of a load of grass for our 
sheep on board. 



Bertlia Lagoon — Garilii — Ascent of the Peak — East shores of the Lagoon — Under 
weigh — The Brumer Group — Rendezvous at Dinner Island — Mui-der of Captain Miller 
— Livestigations at Teste Islands. 

EAVING our grass cutting party, Mr. Bubb (my assistant) 
v^[J)jS®^ and myself, accompanied by Mr. Smart, our third engi- 
^^i^yXSk ^^^^^'' wended our way to Garihi, a village facing the 
^^^s^^^^ straits, from which our vessel lying at anchor was visible 
in the distance. We took the precaution to carry arms, but had no 
occasion to handle them, as the villagers received us literally with open 
arms, less, perhaps, out of feelings of platonic affection, than from 
ulterior views relative to tobacco. Our guides took us to the centre of 
the village, where a space about ten feet in diameter was rudely flagged 
with stones from the beach. Round the outside of this pavement large 
flat stones were set on edge in the ground at an angle like the backs of 
chairs. We were invited to be seated, and the chiefs and headmen of 
the place were presented to us. I gave the old warriors a few sticks of 
tobacco each, and to the women and children a dozen or two tin plates 
ornamented with stamped letters, and a kangaroo in the centre. These 
gifts were much appreciated, and yams, sweet potatoes and cocoa-nuts 
were heaped up in front of us as return presents. We then had a 
smoke, and Mr. Smart, by some conjuring tricks, in which he was an 
adept, first terrified, and then diverted the simple-minded natives. The 
wind being too high for photographing, we inspected some of the 

Plate XXX. 



Reference page 67. 


interiors, and were amazed at the accumulation of rubbish which they 
contained. They keep all the skulls of wild pigs killed in hunting, and 
string them on sticks, tapering from the largest size to the smallest. 
These queer trophies are put in the side of the verandah as ornaments, 
much as an English Nimi'od decorates his entrance hall with stags' 
antlers and foxes brushes. Human skulls also find a place, but these 
are suspended by strings and ornamented with white cowrie shells and 
tufts of grass. When swayed about by the wind, these shells tinkle on 
touching each other. Immediately over the front entrance the spears 
and other weapons are displayed, and one or two drums hang handy 
for use, while the large conch shell used in war and when out pig- 
hiuiting is invariably found in this part of the house. A little further 
back the seines and crayfish nets are suspended when dry, and the large 
meshed nets used in hunting are also carefully kept there. Behind 
them a little fence not more than 2 feet 6 inches high, divides the 
house into two apartments, the back one serving as kitchen, dining- 
room, and sleeping place. Their women perform the cooking and oihw 
household duties, the front apartment being used by the men, should 
the weather be rainy or boisterous. The houses in this locality are 
only one storey high, and the floor is on a level with the eaves of the 
roof. The interior consequently is triangular, and a man can only 
stand upright in the very centre, as all sorts of household utensils are 
inserted between the rafters and thatch, and overhead one or more 
shelves carry suspicious looking bundles containing the smoke-dried 
bones of deceased relatives. I was presented at my request with several 
of their conch shells, and in exchange for a long knife secured a w* 11- 
made net used for pig-hunting. On our walk to the beach we noticed 
a large war canoe, made of an immense log of very buoyant tinil)er, 
with the sides regularly built u[) of large planks of the same wood. 
The stem and stern were rudely ornamented with carvings and painted 
with red, white and black pigment, the only three colours in use among 
them. On one side of the canoe a log was attached as ;ni outrigger, 
enabling the craft to live in a pretty heavy sea. As we had outstayed 
our ap[)ointed time, and there was a possibility of our own bnat ha\ ing 



rcturiu^d without us, we determined to go baek iu this canoe, the native 
who liad sold me the net agreeing to put us on board. Although wind 
and (i(K! were both dead against us, we reached the ship safe and dry, 
though not without danger, the overloaded canoe leaking to such an 
extent as to keep a boy constantly bailing. After bath and luncheon 
we landed near the Mission Station on Stacey Island with our guns, and 
procured the services of two or three native boys to guide us up the 
peak, which is about 800 feet high. After a walk of half a mile along 
the beach we turned sharp up the precipitous side of the cliff, whose 
ascent was anything but easy. The formation is conglomerate, broken 
up into the most fantastic shapes, the roots of the trees interlacing with 
the stones, furnishing facilities for climbing the steep track. Bright 
plumagcd parrots, satin birds, and New Guinea magpies flew about in 
numbers, and the tracks of wild pigs were everyw^here visible. Our 
route lay up the bed of a stream almost dry at this season. In some 
places, however, the ascent was so steep that I was under the necessity 
of giving my gun to a little native boy, whose bare feet enabled him to 
negotiate the obstacles without the slipping and stumbling incurred by 
the heavily shod Avhite man. About six hundred feet above the sea 
level we met a native woman carrying a heavy load of yams on her 
back in the usual net, secured by a band across her forehead, the weight 
thus being divided between her spine and her hips. A little higher we 
skirted the plantation Avhere she had been working, the freshly dis- 
turbed earth indicating the spot whence the yams had been taken. 
Emerging from the thick undergrowth, we came upon a slope covered 
with coarse grass eight or nine feet high, and in places entirely conceal- 
ing us from view. After passing another plantation where taro was 
cultivated and thriving, we came to a rocky place near the summit, and 
sat down for a rest and smoke. Eastward was another peak about a 
hundred feet higher, but a shoAver of rain coming on, we took shelter in 
a little thicket, and left the ascent of the highest point to some more 
energetic explorers. The rain soon passed over, and the dispersing 
clouds disclosed a wonderfully beautiful tropical panorama, forest, sea, 
and mountains being spread before us in endless varietv. To our ridit, 

Plate XXXI. 

Reference page 68. 


Mairi Pass and Catamaran Bay ; and, far away in the distance, the 
waters of Mihie Bay. Beneath our feet lay Bertha Lagoon, the Cloudy 
Mountains rising from its edge, and the hills of Farm Peak, ^loudiri, 
and Debadeba, the country of the Cannibals, sharply outlined by the 
setting sun, stretched away to our left. To the southward we could 
plainly see the narrow neck of land, part of Stacey Island, which forms 
what is marked on the chart South Cape. It is in fact much narrower 
than indicated on the map, being in one place not more than a mile in 
width from beach to beach. The immediate foreground to the north 
consisted of the densely wooded slope we had just ascended, Avliich hid 
our vessel and the mouth of the Lagoon from view. On our way back 
we bagged half a dozen different kinds of birds, but a beautiful black 
scrub pheasant we lost in the jungle, where even the sharp eyes of our 
native boys were at fault. We returned to the ship at 6 p.m., and early 
next morning I went ashore to attempt some photographs, as our 
departure was fixed for 11 a.m., and I was unwilling to leave this lovely 
locality without some views. Fortunately the wind had moderated, 
and I was able to get some very characteristic pictures, both of scenery 
and houses, with native groups. The people were most obliging, and 
did everything in their power to please us. There is little or no timber 
on Stacey Island available for building purposes, but at Bertha Lagoon 
all along its Eastern shores and close to the water's edge, we found 
quantities of red and white mangrove, and huge Malava trees, the latter 
not unlike the walnut-tree in shape and foliage. The country seemed 
thickly populated, and up the rugged slopes of the Cloudy Mountains we 
saw many columns of smoke, indicating the presence of man. ^Vq 
visited some half dozen villages, rowing across the lagoon several times, 
and the day being warm drank sufiicient cocoa-nut milk to float a ship. 
The huts, generally speaking, had an appearance of age, a sign in itself 
of peace prevailing among the various tribes. We got back to the ship 
at 10.30, and breakfasted before getting under way. 

It appears that we have a rendezvous at Dinner Island with several 
men-of-war, to inquire into and possibly punish the murder of Captain (?) 
Fryer, at Hoop Iron Bay, Moresby Island. Leaving the Straits by the 


wjiy wc entered them, and passing AVedge Rock on the port side, we 
si<Thtcd Tassai, the village on Brumer Island. This group comprises 
one larger and one smaller island, with two or three lesser islets. To 
the south-east, when abreast of the passage between the two first men- 
tioned of the Brumer group, Dumoulin Island, distant twenty-five miles, 
becomes visible due east, Castori and Arch Islands, about twenty miles 
away, are seen east-north-cast, and Heath Island, towards which we are 
heading, shows its high peak eighteen miles to tlie north-east. The 
double island named Leocadi, with the sea breaking over the connecting 
reef, is visible five miles off on the port quarter Avith its solitary light- 
house looking tree. Shaping our course through the inner passage 
between Heath Island and the mainland of New Guinea, and carefully 
navigating the strong tide-rips that run through it, we sighted Dinner 
Island at 2.20 and dropped anchor 200 yards from the beach half-an- 
hour later. We are now in China Straits, and the wonderful beauty of 
the island scenery surrounding us has not been overrated. Dinner 
Island itself is not more than 200 feet high at any point, but is a para- 
dise of lovehness. To our right, in the south-west, tower the ranges of 
Heath Island, 1,000 feet high. Three or four miles in the opposite 
direction are the mountains of Hayter Island ; towards the east the hill 
chains of Basilisk and Moresby Island loom in the hazy distance, and 
behind us towards the north the lofty ranges of the mainland, wooded 
from base to summit, rise abruptly from the shore. On reaching the 
anchorage at Dinner Island we found ourselves the first at the rendez- 
vous. The Mission Boat came out to us brino-ino- the unwelcome news 
of fresh outrages. It appears that Captain ]\Iiller, well known in Cook- 
town, had lately come to these parts and commenced trading in beche- 
de-mer and copra. He had built a store and temporary dwelling on an 
islet called Koilao, separated from Heath Island by a channel, quarter 
of a mile wide and not three miles from Dinner Island. With some 
mates he established several trading stations among the islands of this 
Archipelego ; as matters were apparently prospering he determined to 
build a better house on the Island of Digaragara, opposite Normanby 
Island, which contains plenty of timber suitable for the purpose. 


Accordingly he proceeded there in his cutter, taking with him as crew 
an Italian named Paolo Fidele, a Chinese cook, an Australian aboriginal 
and his gin, and a native named Bonita. The party, according to 
Paolo's account, were seated on the beach among a number of natives, 
talking matters over in a friendly way, when a Xormanby islander, a 
boy returned from Queensland, came up behind and struck Miller a 
blow on the back of the neck with a tomahawk. Paolo saw the native 
coming, but too late to put Miller on his guard, and before he could in- 
terfere another native cut the unfortunate man's throat with a long 
knife. No general massacre was attempted, and Miller was just able to 
walk to the boat when he expired from loss of blood. Paolo states that 
he fired at the first aggressor but apparently Avithout eftcct. The cutter 
then put off" and made for Milne Bay, where Miller had a branch store, 
to warn a young Englishman named Cotterill and a Chinaman in charge 
of their danger. They brought Cotterill off with them, l)ut the China- 
man could not be induced to leave. The cutter then proceeded to 
Dinner Island, where MiUer's body was decently interred near the 
IMission Station, and the party being apprehensive that their lives were 
still in danger left on the morning of our arrival for Teste Island, where 
the natives are known to be friendly. 

The " Diamond" not having yet arrived, the General decided to pro- 
ceed next day to Teste Island to collect evidence for the identification 
and punishment of the murderers. AVe accordingly started at 7 a.m. on 
the 8th October, weather showery and cool, wind south-west and sea 
smooth. An hour later we passed Blanchard Island and noticed a small 
island near its eastern extremity, covered with beautiful grassy slopes 
and having a cocoa-nut grove at the end opposite Blanchard, while at 
its eastern extremity gigantic Casuarina trees reared their feathery 
branches against the sky. At 8.30 we passed Beehive Island, and 
sighted Bell Rock and Teste Island. Hayter and Moresby Islands were 
on our port side, with heavy clouds hanging on their mountain tops. 
At 9 o'clock we opened up the entrance to Fortescue Straits formed by 
Margaret and O'Xeil Islands, and separating Basilisk from Moresby 
Island. AVe next passed Hoop Iron Bay, where Captain Frver was so 


recently mnrdcrcd. A cutter which wc sighted and supposed to be the 
crall we were in pursuit of turned out, on closer acquaintance, to be a 
rock which bore a singular resemblance to a boat, the illusion being 
hei'ditened by a solitary tree growing on its side, which looked from the 
distance like a flag. The name of this curious island is marked in the 
chart as " Foolscap Rock." Teste Island, with Bell Rock quarter point 
to the westward, lay seven miles ahead, and at 11 o'clock we dropped 
anchor midway between the land and a huge boulder called Boat Rock. 
The tides here are very strong, and the under current is so swift that a 
sinker weighing over two pounds attached to a fishing line would not 
fetch the bottom. On landing we found two cutters, belonging to the 
unfortunate Captains Miller and Fryer, the former of which had arrived 
the day previous with Paolo Fidele and the rest of the party. A neatly 
built house, with the Union Jack flying from a pole, stood near the 
beach, and I Avas surprised to find in the proprietor a young man 
named Kissack, a photographer, formerly owning a studio in Victoria 
Street, Hotham, a Melbourne suburb. He told me that the doctors 
advised him to give up photography as the worry connected with that 
profession was sure to kill him. So after a spell in a Queensland labour 
ship as Government Agent, he settled down on Teste Island as a trader, 
making a tolerably good living by entrusting trade articles to the Teste 
Island bo3^s, who barter them in the Louisiade Islands and bring back 
cocoa nuts and hcche-de-mei\ in return for tobacco, pipes, and knives, 
the market quotations at that time being twenty-eight old cocoa-nuts for 
one stick of tobacco. By the time the fruit is husked, sliced and dried, 
and bagged, and the freight paid to Queensland, the profit has dwindled 
to a very modest sum, and I could not but reflect that with the risk 
thrown in of being murdered on the slightest provocation the traders 
deserve all they can make. Meantime the General had been pursuing 
his inquiries at the Mission House, the result being that Paolo Fidele 
and his mates are to return with their cutter to Dinner Island, proceed 
with us to the scene of the outrage and identify the perpetrators if 

Plate XXXII. 


Reference page 08. 



Eetum to Dinner Island — Rendezvous witli H.M.S. Diamond and Rivon — Excur- 
sion to Heatli Island — Departure for Normauliy Island — Diaveri — An exciting Chase — 
Fruitless Negociations — Capture of an alleged Murderer — A Mistake and its Rectifica- 
tion — The real Simon Piu-e — His Adventures in Sydney — Retm-n of the Author in 
H.M.S. Dart. 

X our return to Dinner Island, where we dropped anchor 
on the morning of the 10th October, we found II. M.S. 
" Diamond " awaiting us, and the " Haven " arrived a 
couple of hours later bringing a small mail from Australia, 
which afforded me the first news I had received since leaving Sydney. 
Visits were exchanged between Captain Clayton, Commander of the 
"Diamond," and H.M. High Commissioner, a salute of honour bein<T 
fired to the terror and astonishment of the natives on shore and the con- 
sternation of our poor cat. 

The next day being Sunda}' I determined to make an excursion to 
some of the adjacent islands, our second officer, Mr. Rossiter, and Mr. 
Smart, the third engineer, offered to accompany me with Captain Lake's 
permission, and two sailors volunteered to take an oar each. Thus our 
crew, including self and assistant, was composed of six men all well 
armed and quite prepared for any adventure that might befall us. AVc 
set out at daybreak taking a keg of water, some biscuits, and other pro- 
visions ample for the day. My photographic instruments were of course 
not omitted, but it turned out too windy to use them to advantage. 


Wc lir«t iiiude I'or ii little island about mid-wtiy between Samarai and 
the mainland of New Guinea. If I recollect rightly, it is named on the 
chart Middle Island. This little spot, though probably not containing 
more than ten acres of land and at the highest part not above fifty feet 
hi'dier than the sea level, is covered with an endless variety of tropical 
verdure, from the graceful cocoa palm to the wonderful orchid. The 
rocks and the gnarled stems of the Malavas near the water's edge are 
now covered with many kinds of dendrobia, some of them in flower; I 
noticed one beautiful species, white waxlike pendant blossoms, and 
another with green flowers delicately shaded from olive to brown in the 
centre. Shells in profusion were found on the beach ; Mr. Smart, being an 
ardent conchologist, was in his glory, and we experienced some difiiculty 
in getting him to leave the new wonders he was discovering at every 
turn. A gigantic white convolvulus attracted our attention, and I col- 
lected about a dozen kinds of seeds in this locality. Some of each kind 
I gave to Mr. Guilfoyle, the Director of the Melbourne Botanical 
Gardens, on my return. It was about 7 a.m. when we pulled away 
towards Heath Island. We had to row hard to cross a swirling tide- 
rip, and it took us nearly two hours to reach the smooth water of the 
little straits that separate Heath Island from Bonarua Island, where 
]\Iiller had erected a cobra station not long before his untimely death. 
The place was then in charge of a family of natives from Heath Island. 
The Heath Island natives are reputed cannibals, and were said to be at 
war just then with a tribe from a neighbouring shore. But as we were 
not actually forbidden the place we made up our minds to visit a few of 
their villages. Near Miller's store we landed and lit a fire to boil a billy 
of tea and have some breakfast. We were soon noticed, and the natives 
flocked around us both from the little island we were on, as also from 
the shores of Heath Island opposite. There were men, women, and 
children among the crowd, and they certainly appeared a most peaceful 
lot of people. After breakfast Smart amused them with his conjuring 
tricks while we inspected Miller's Store. Several tons of dried cocoa 
nut (cobra) were stacked up there ready for shipment, but the indus- 
trious owner now rested peacefully in his grave near the Mission Station 

Plate XXXI II. 

Reference page 69. 


at Samarai, beyond all troubles and earthly care. Uproarious merri- 
ment and laughter recalled us from our meditations, and coming near 
our boat we found Smart excelling himself to everybody's delight. 
The natives had no weapons with them, but promised if we would cross 
to their village they would sell us plenty. The crossing took but a few 
minutes and we were accompanied by the whole crowd. They had seen 
and smelt our tobacco, and not receiving visitors often were all the more 
anxious to trade with us. I asked, and was given permission to inspect 
a number of their houses, and allowed to handle anything I pleased. 
On visiting native houses it is absolutely necessary to observe a certain 
amount of etiquette to avoid giving offence. For instance, I would 
never dream of entering a house without first inquiring for the owner 
and obtain his permission to enter. In most cases this is readily given. 
We had no interpreter on this occasion, and had to manage as best we 
could with signs and gestures. We came upon flagged places such as I 
described at Garihi. I interrogated by signs what these places were 
used for, and they seemed reticent to explain. I had a suspicion that 
they were used in connection with their cannibal feasts, and in order to 
facilitate explanation, I first pointed to the flags, and then taking u}) 
Smart's immense bare arm, I made a movement as though I would take 
a bite of it. They understood my meaning evidently, for they burst 
out into immoderate laughter, especially when I, following up the strain, 
took out my long hunting knife and pretended to kill Smart, suggesting 
meanwhile to them to get a lire ready to roast him. We visited seven 
villages during the day, and not to weary the reader I must omit many 
interesting incidents. We did a roaring trade with tobacco in exchange 
for weapons and implements. There were lots of skulls hanging up, 
more or less fractured, which we might have had, and very little per- 
suasion accom[)anied by tobacco would have secured a few bundles of the 
smoke-dried remains of their ancestors. But I was chary about bring- 
ing these interesting objects on board. We had four or five on the sick 
list and, under these circumstances, a collection of liuman skeletons 
would scarcely have been considered an acquisition. We i\ tuiiud on 
board at sundown, after two liours' sinaii rowing against wind and tide, 


Iiaviii<i' travelled over about twenty miles of land and water, but we 
counted tlie trouble for nothing as against our interesting excursion and 
tlie considerable additions made during the day to our ethnological 

On Monday, the 12th October, the little flotilla hove anchor and left 
Dinner Island, the "Diamond" and "Raven" preceding, and the 
" Governor Blackall " following in their wake. The naval procession up 
China Straits possessed a certain dignity and solemnity, intensified by the 
nature of the errand on which it was despatched. The lovely sur- 
roundings were lighted up by the sun, which broke through the clouds 
soon after starting and dispersed the haze hanging over the land. The 
dangerous navigation rendered caution necessary, and we threaded our 
way through the coral reefs with the greater care from the want of a 
reliable chart, no adequate survey having yet been made. On our way 
up the Straits, H.M.S. "Dart" met us and signalled that she had 
Diaveri, Captain Miller's murderer, in custody on board. Coming 
alongside the " Diamond " the prisoner was shipped on board that 
vessel. It appears that the " Dart," on the outrage being reported, Avent 
direct to the scene of the crime and, through a native interpreter, de- 
manded the murderer; what ensued is remarkably characteristic of 
native manners. The culprit himself came voluntarily on board, bring- 
ing presents to atone for his crime, and to make peace. The commander 
of the " Dart," however, not viewing homicide in the same light, made 
him a prisoner and delivered him on board the " Diamond." This duty 
performed, the " Dart " left us at Cape Ventenat and proceeded with 
her surveying duties. 

Passing Normanby Island we anchored off Digaragara Island, the 
scene of the tragedy, in a bay unnamed in the chart, which it has been 
suggested should be called " Avenger " Bay. The native name of the 
locality is Negarera. Boats containing armed parties were sent on shore 
from each of the three vessels about five o'clock in the afternoon, to 
open up communication with the natives, but although a number were 
seen ashore at the time of anchoring, no sooner did the boats put off 
than they vanished like spectres into the dense forest, whence they could 

Plate XXXIV. 

Ii.efere)ir.f> jxif/e 7k 


descry our movements, their own being completely hidden from view. 
Under these circumstances the recall was sounded, and the crews put oft' 
lor their ships at dusk. On their way several canoes were seen leaving 
the shelter of a promontory and paddling with all the speed they could 
towards the north to get out of the bay. Our officers thinking these 
might be the persons we were in quest of, or at any rate people who 
could supply information, gave orders to pursue, and a most exciting- 
chase commenced, the boats' crews giving way with a will, and the 
canoes, seeing themselves chased, paddling with might and main for tlie 
shallow water where they would be safe from pursuit. Each boat made 
a capture, the " Raven " laying alongside a canoe containing three 
natives, while the " Blackall " boat captured another with two. The 
little dingy, after a desperate pull, overtook a canoe containing two men 
within a few boat-lengths of the reef, of whom one took to the water 
and escaped to the shore. It was nearly seven o'clock when the boats 
got back, and a signalman from the "Diamond," who was on board the 
" Blackall," wishing to report progress, used the steam whistle on the 
Morse principle, giving short and long splashes of sound. He certainly 
succeeded in making a hideous din, echoed from all the inland hills, 
whether intelligible or not I cannot say, but our poor prisoners were 
nearly frightened out of their Avits, being too terrified to swallow the 
food we gave them. On the arrival of Mr. Chalmers, which took place 
shortly after, they were interrogated through his means and that of 
Paolo, and it tmmed out that they were natives of a northern district, 
who had been on a visit to Negarera. In order to aftbrd Captain 
Clayton an opportunity of seeing them they were kept in custody till 
next morning, being stowed away for the night in the boatswain's 
locker and sailroom, where they must have spent a most miserable night. 
As they had no information to impart when taken on board the 
"Diamond" they were sent ashore with a few presents and dismissed. 
Early next morning, the 13th October, the General and Captain Clayton 
started on a cruise of inspection round Cape Ventenat, to the village 
whose inhabitants were known to have participated in the murder of 
poor Captain ^Miller. I profiting l)y the occasion to borrow the dingy 


to iio asliorc find take some views. I found, hoAvcver, an insurmountable 
coral reef outlying the whole of the land, and as leaving the boat and 
thus cutting off our retreat was not to be thought of, we contented our- 
selves with admiring the marvellous marine formations over which our 
boat drifted. A party of natives, some ten in number, waded out to- 
wards us but could not be persuaded to approach closely. At length 
my assistant met them half way, and giving them some tobacco, with 
some difficulty induced one of them to trade a spear, which he fetched 
i'rom shore and, though with great hesitation, brought to the boat. At 
this point and while we were negotiating for some sea urchins to be got 
out of the clefts of the coral reef, we were signalled for from the ship, as 
it was thouo^ht dano^erous to trade with the natives during^ the existino; 
state of affairs. Later in the morning Captain Lake, with two armed 
boats' crews, went ashore, pulling round Cape Ventenant and landing at 
the village, and I was allowed to accompany him, and was fortunate 
enough to get several good views of this interesting locality. This is 
the spot which was shelled next day and the houses destroyed, it being 
the settlement nearest to Digaragara Island, where poor Miller was mur- 
dered. The few huts along the beach were deserted, but the smoulder- 
ing fires showed how recently they had been tenanted, and we had no 
doubt the natives were watching us from their hiding places. In the 
afternoon Paolo Fidele and two native interpreters were sent ashore, 
and succeeded in interviewing the old chief, who resolutely refused to 
come on board, and said it was impossible to give up the accomplices as 
they had taken to the bush. He further pleaded that the man Diaveri, 
who actually committed the deed, had gone on board of his own free 
will to make atonement, and nothing further having been seen of him 
since he naturally concluded that he had been killed. According to 
Xormanby Island law, the culprit had done all in his power, and having 
offered native jewellery in value equal to the Hfe he took, he fully 
expected to have squared matters. The Chief, from his point of view, 
thought that our party had treated Diaveri treacherously, and stedfastly 
refused to have any more parley unless the man was returned. Finally, 
he ordered interpreters and all to quit the island. Our people withdrew. 


for there was certainly no use in prolonging the interview. Still, as 
punishment was considered due according to our laws, Sir Peter and the 
Senior Captain of the Squadron determined to shell the village near 
which the murder was committed. This, as stated above, was done 
next morning. Three shells, one of which exploded before reaching the 
shore, were thrown, to warn any stragglers to clear out. The 
" Diamond " and "Raven" then sent an armed boat each, and fired a 
few huts. Signals were then given to proceed on our cruise, and no 
sooner had we shaped course than the natives appeared on the beach 
again. We closely scanned their movements thi-ough the glasses but 
could not discern any signs of distress. I do not think a single native 
was hurt during the fracas ; in fact, the Commanders never intended to 
take life, but simply to administer a wholesome lesson. Another 
incident happened on the previous day which I must not forget to 

During the interview with the old chief the interpreter from Dinner 
Island recognized among the bystanders, from his red hair, a man 
named Baelala, who he made certain had taken an active part in the 
murder of Captain Fryer at Hoop Iron Bay, and so positive Avas he that 
it was determined to capture and take Baelala on board. The arrest was 
cleverly effected on trading being commenced, and he was shipped on 
board the "Diamond," handcuffed, and a sentry placed over him, his 
wretched wife making the beach resound for hours with shrieks of 
terror and grief. 

On reaching Hoop Iron Bay a couple of days afterwards, it was 
found that the interpreter liad made a grievous mistake. A i)arty 
landing to parley with the natives, the real Baelala turned up. There 
could be no mistake this time, as the narrative will show, and to make 
amends it was determined to send the innocent man back to his home 
immediately. The mistake was interpreted to him, and after being 
loaded with presents, Mr. Chahncrs personally conducted him to Nega- 
rera Bay, the "Raven" being told off lor that duty. Tlie joy of his 
poor wife and friends on his return may be better imagined than 


Ai'tcr the ])uiii.sliment dealt for the outrage at Digaragara, the fleet 
proeeedcd to Slade Island, Engineer group, to inquire into the circum- 
stances of the inurder of a trader named Reid. It was found, however, 
that this man had been rather a lawless fellow, who for a long time set 
all native rules and mere common decency at nought. Sir Peter, con- 
sidering that his fate had been brought about by his bad conduct, 
decided not to take any further steps in this matter. Hostilities being 
expected, I was not allowed to land the day we arrived, but matters 
being amicably settled, enabled me to get a characteristic village view 
before leaving next day. The houses here being differently built to any 
place we yet visited, I was very pleased to secure this picture. Many 
returned Queensland boys were met with here, Mr. Romilly being 
recognized by all who came on board, having been in charge of the 
" Victoria" on her cruise to return the natives, who had been labouring 
on the Queensland Plantations. 

The Slade Island affair being thus disposed of, we steamed west- 
ward, and soon reached Moresby Island. We anchored about mid-day 
at Hoop Iron Bay, where the above-mentioned episode with Baelala 
took place. 

Relations here with the natives were not considered safe, and much 
to my chagrin I was not allowed to land. Not lying far from shore, 
I could see several beautiful spots just fit for the camera, and to the 
west of the ship there stood the skeleton of an enormous Malava tree, 
its bleached limbs standing out distinctly against the bright green of 
the tropical forest. The scene reminded me of part of a certain picture 
by Dor^, and I felt I could have braved a whole village of natives to 
secure a negative of it. But both Sir Peter, and afterwards Captain 
Clayton, were inexorable, and much against my inclination I had to 
stay aboard. 

Before leaving Hoop Iron Bay, the real Baelala gave a minute 
description of how Fryer was murdered. This will be found amongst 
the official records of the trip, and need not here be repeated. But an 
episode from Baelala's life, which he related to us, will not be out of 
place. It appears that some years ago a trader, whose name I have 

Plate XXXV. 


Reference face 7(>. 


forgotten, took Baelala to Sydney, and there exhibited him in a tent for 
money. When the novelty had worn off, and no more could be made 
out of the poor savage, the unscrupulous fellow simply turned him 
adrift. For some weeks the Papuan led a precarious existence, picking 
up bits of food from even the dust-pans and gutters, sleeping about the 
wharves in any corner he could find. After a while a publican in that 
neighbourhood took compassion on the homeless man, and in return for 
various small services fed him and gave him a place to sleep. This 
affair got talked about in Sydney, and Baron ^liclohon ^laclay, who 
passed through at that time, chanced to hear of it. Like a good 
Samaritan the Baron took charge of Baelala, and eventually brought 
him back to Moresby Island, on his way to the North Coast of New 

Towards noon on the 16th October, we anchored again at the road- 
stead of Dinner Island. Next day the " Harrier" arrived from Cook- 
town with the Australian Mail. It brought me rather distressing news. 
My wife's health, delicate always, had become worse, and grave fears 
were entertained. Though in her own letter there was nothing to cause 
immediate alarm, my friends urged me if possible to return. It so 
happened that H.M.S. "Dart" was to leave here for Sydney on the 
21st to pay off, and ship a fresh crew. When I made my vdsh. to return 
known to Sir Peter, he seemed to regret the circumstances very much, 
and expressed the hope that I might be able to accompany him again 
next season. He also kindly promised to speak to Captain Clayton 
(who as senior of the station had to be consulted) about a passage home 
in the "Dart." Captain Clayton consenting. Captain Field, of the 
*' Dart," courteously acceded to Sir Peter's wish, and I was granted a 
passage home in that vessel. The time of the change in the trade winds 
was approaching, and the few days before our departure the weather 
had been very uncertain. I made several attempts, ]3ut only got one 
chance of getting a few views of Dinner Island and Anchorage. 

I must not omit to mention that Diavcri was ultimately taken to 
Port Moresby and liberated there, the laws of the protectorate not 
allowing a severer punishment than exile. 


We left Dinner Islfind on October 21st, and after a most pleasant 
voyage reached Sydney on Sunday afternoon, the 1st November. My 
ctlinological collections I shipped by the "Lyeemoon" to Melbourne, 
])ut my negatives, numbering about 128, I took for safety sake with me 
to Melbourne by rail, arriving on November 3rd, in the middle of tlie 
bustle and traffic of Cup Day. On reaching home I found the wife's 
health considerably improved, though not quite restored. 

Plate XXXVI. 

Beferencc page 78. 



Visit to Killerton Islands — The Juliade Islands — Eeprisals for the Mui-der of Cap- 
tain and Mrs. Webb — Colombier Point — Unsuccessfiil attempts to communicate with 
Natives — Hoisting the Union Jack at Moapa — Inland excursion to Koiari vilhiij^os — 
Ascent of Mount Variata — Meet Mr. Forbes — Sogeri, Mr. Forbes' Station — Return 
to Port Moresby and Hula — Bentlej Bay— Ascent of Mount Killerton — Illness 
of Sir Peter Scratchley — Character of the Coast — The Jabbering Islands — From 
Collingwood Bay to Cape Nelson — Mountains and Harbours — Departure of the 
" Blackall" for Australia — Illness of Sir Peter Scratchley — His Death — His Funeral. 

ri^nr^IIE closing scene of the expedition I was not privileged to 
^^ ' /^'^(S^ witness, but by the ojreat kindness of Mr. Chalmers I have 
tS been supplied with a full account of what occurred bc- 
Si tween my departure iu the "Dart," on the 21st October, 
and tlic lamented death of Sir Peter Scratchley on the 29th of the fol- 
lowing month. That I was spared this painful episode I am thankful. 
I give an abstract of J\Ir. Chalmers' narrative in his own words. It 
commences with an account of a visit to the Killerton Islands, on the 
21st October, in consequence of a hostile attitude of the natives of Bon 
Ijcing reported. On the landing of the General and myself, Mr. 
Chalmers says, all the natives disappeared. Soon one old man, tlu-ir 
chief, came out weeping bitterly, and explained the cause of his grief to 
be the refusal of his men to appear and show the friendliness with the 
white men and teachers, as they had no (|ii;u'i\l wiih them, but oiilv 
with the natives of Barabara. I certainly believed in the sincerity of 
his professions, and subsequently walked over the largest of the group, 


finding in some parts good pbmtations, a lagoon at the cast end, and a 
very good mission station at the west. On the 22nd we returned to 
Dinner Island, and on the 23rd anchored between Dufaure Islands and 
the mainland in a very tine harbour, which it is proposed to call Port 
Scratchley. In the afternoon we landed, and, after meeting the good 
old Chief ]\Ieandi (since dead), we strolled into the thick tropical bush 
with which the island abounds. From sea level to summit it is covered, 
with dense scrub, greatly impeding exploration. The " Ellengowan," 
which arrived this day from Cooktown, brought the ships' mails, which 
rejoiced all on board. 

On Saturday, the 24th, we weighed anchor and proceeded to the 
Juliade Islands, where the " Blackall " and "Diamond" remained, the 
General and myself going on board the " Raven" to Port Milport, the 
scene of the murder of Captain and Mrs. Webb. The object of sending 
one vessel only was to invite a collision with the natives. As soon, 
however, as they saw the ship they commenced clearing out, and sought 
shelter in the scrub behind the villages, where it was impossible to 
follow them without great risk and with no reasonable probability of 
any substantial result. As they persistently declined to show them- 
selves, the villages where the skulls of the victims were said to be were 
shelled and destroyed on Monday morning. This step, I have since 
heard from Toulon, has had a very good effect, the people being 
thoroughly frightened and sorry for their conduct, without indiscri- 
minate and unnecessary effusion of the blood of not only men, but 
women and children who, in all probability, took no part in the out- 
rages. Although these cannot be defended, much less exculpated, it 
must be borne in mind that Captain Webb and his wife owed their fate 
to their own rashness. They were warned not to venture among the 
natives of this island, who were known to be treacherous and unfriendly, 
and as the result of their temerity they were attacked and killed soon 
after setting foot on shore. After the return of the "Raven" to Port 
Milport, the "Blackall" steamed to Aroma, where Koapena was taken 
on board, and the three vessels rendezvoused in Cloudy Bay, proceeding 
thence to Colombier Point, where the village of Dedele formerly stood 

Plate XXXVII. 


Reference pi If) e 79, 



])ut was destroyed a few years back by H.M.S. " Beagle." Our object 
was to open up communications with the natives and make the bay safe 
for heche-de-mer fishermen. However, although we found some small 
lean-over huts, showing that the people are beginning to return, we saw 
no human beings, and had to content ourselves with sending peaceful 
messages through the Aroma people, to the effect that we should call 
again and hoped to see them. In the evening the " Blackall " left for 
Port Moresby, and I accompanied the General on board the " Diamond." 
Next morning, October 30th, an armed party was landed from both 
vessels and marched from Keppel Point to Moapa for the purpose of 
hoisting the flag. Before this ceremony was performed Captain Clayton 
insisted on the skulls of the murdured Chinamen being taken down and 
buried, which was done by the teachers, as no native dared touch them. 
This being done Captain Clayton and the General, accompanied by 
Koapena, followed by the other officers, marched to the chief's house 
Avhere a flagstaff had been erected, and Captain Clayton addressed the 
chief and people in the following terms : — 

"Koapena and people of Aroma! On behalf of Iler Most Gra- 
cious Majesty Queen Victoria, I have come here to hoist this flag 
to-day. It will be to you a token of friendship and an emblem of jDeace, 
and in all future dealings with her people you will keep a kindly 
remembrance ever before you. If at any time the white man should 
offend against your customs, you will at once report the matter to the 
proper autliorities, and they will see that justice is properly dealt towards 
you. Rest assured that Queen Victoria will ever regard you as her 
own children, and as she cherishes lier children so will she cherish you, 
and bear in mind that when the white man comes among you, you must 
treat him well, and on no account interfere with him, always remember- 
ing that the ceremony you have seen performed this day is the abiding 
emblem of peace and lasting good will. God save the Queen ! " The 
I'nioii Jack was then hoisted, a feu-de-joie fired, and the "Diamond" 
gave a royal salute of twenty-one guns ; the band playing the National 
Anthem. Great enthusiasm and excitement prevailed among the 
natives, of whom some 3,000 were present, and no dissatisfaction of any 


kind was evinced. We all then marched back, followed by a great 
crowd showing the most friendly disposition, and when about half way 
to the ship an invitation from Koapena was conveyed to Captain Clayton 
that all should sit down and take refreshment. This hospitality was 
accepted, and soon native lads were seen climbing trees in all directions 
and throwing down cocoa-nuts, which were opened and handed round by 
others, while Koapena, sitting on the platform of his plantation, superin- 
tended all the proceedings. After this interesting episode he came on 
board the " Diamond," and was much interested in all he saw. He 
made an earnest application for the release of the prisoner Diaveri who 
was on board, and begged that he might not be hung. In the evening we 
left Aroma, and, steaming slow all night, were off Port Moresby in the 
morning of the 31st October. The following day the " Blackall" left 
for Townsville with Mr. Askwith, who was much prostrated by fever, 
the General and his private secretary remaining on shore. 

The High Commissioner being anxious to visit inland, and if pos- 
sible to get as far as Sogeri, where H. 0. Forbes had his head camp, a 
party was formed, and on Wednesday, the 4th November, started at 
daylight. The sun was very hot by the time we got to the creek, 
where we decided to breakfast. About 1 p.m., when the south-east 
breeze found us out, we started for the nearest Koiari village, Sadara, 
where we arrived about 4 p.m. We pitched our camp on a spur about 
one mile from the village. The General was tired, but nothing much. 
After dinner he got to his hammock, and was soon asleep. The next 
morning we were away by dawn, and reached the foot of the Astrolabe 
about 9.30, where we breakfasted. After a rest we ascended the 
mountain at A'ariata, 2,500 feet, and there we remained some time. It 
was cheering to see the General in such good spirits and splendid 
walking trim. We Avalked leisurely into Taburi, where we arrived 
about 3.30 p.m. About 5.30 Mr. Forbes arrived on his way to Port 
Moresby. We arranged with him he should return with us to Sogeri, 
and all come to port the following week. We all sat long after dinner 
chatting, and the most lively of the party was the General. The next 
morning we were away earty, and after crossing the river about three 


miles inland of Taburi, we kept on until mid-day, having had breakfast 
at camp in the morning. In a pleasant shade by a small stream we 
rested, and had something to eat. Accompanied by Mr. Sharpe (a 
young missionary), who was one of the party, I started for Xakari, to 
arrange the camp for the night. Assisted by the people of the village, 
we soon had tents up and water boiling. About five the General and 
his party came in just in time to avoid heavy rain, the first we have had 
in all our wanderings. We got a pig from the chief, which greatly 
pleased our carriers, and added new life to the camp. 

The following morning, after breakfast, we struck camp, and got 
speedily into marching order. It was fine, bright weather, and the 
ground being less difiicult than hitherto, we succeeded in reaching 
Sogeri before nightfall. On our way Mount Owen Stanley had been 
visible to its summit, while on our right Mounts Bellamy and Nisbet 
marked the lay of the Stanley range till the view was stopped by Blount 
Obree, whose lofty mass rises over ten thousand feet above sea level. 
Mr. Forbes had sent on a native attendant of our party to warn his 
Malay servants of our approach, so that we had a warm welcome, and a 
good set meal ready for us by the time we had refreshed ourselves with 
a wash, and settled the quarters for the night. 

The next day was a day and " the day " of rest. The General 
made a careful inspection of the station, and congratulated Mr. Forbes 
warmly on his arrangements, promising material assistance for his 
explorations. ]\Ir. Forbes' house, built of native materials, stood on 
the steep side of a natural basin, without doubt the crater of an extinct 
volcano ; through it ran a small river ; on the opposite side of the crater 
stood the native village, backed by steep and thickly wooded crags 
reaching to the summit of Mount Owen Stanley. ]\lr. Forbes discoursed 
with Sir Peter on the explorations he had made and contemi)lated, on 
the observations in which he was engaged, and showed the natural 
history specimens he had collected. 

The next day our party, including Mr. Forbes, started on the 
return journey to Port Moresby through an undulating country, with a 
dry, parched soil, stunted gum-trees, and occasional extensive patches 


of long, coarse grass. It was a good hunting country, swarming with 
walhiby and pig. We encamped for tlie night before commencing the 
rougli ascents of the Astrolabe range, and l)y the evening of the third 
da}' we reached Port Moresby. The whole journey had been accom- 
plished without danger, and without any serious fatigue. Our native 
attendants Avere rewarded with presents of red cloth, fish-hooks, and 
tobacco, and went off with shouts and rejoicing to the fishing village of 
Hula, to which they belonged. 

The General stayed at his quarters at Port Moresby till the return 
of the "Governor Blackall" on the 15th, when he resumed command, 
and on the 19th proceeded to Milne Bay, passing on the 20th into 
hitherto unsurveyed waters at the head of the bay to a place called 
Maivara. From here to Bentley Bay, the most southerly portion of the 
N.E. coast, calling on the way at Killerton Islands, and as reports 
were rife of the Bentley Bay natives and their antagonism to white 
men, and feeling sure it was a mistake, we arranged a party to test it. 
By six the following morning (21st), we left the ship and the General, 
and on landing got a number of natives as carriers. We followed the 
creek for some miles until we reached the Stirling Range, ascended 
Mount Killerton, where we had breakfast. It was indeed cold on the 
top, and I was glad when the descent on the other side was begun. It 
was very steep, and in many places merely side paths like goat paths 
along the side of precipices. On our arrival at the first village, the 
women at once got us water to drink, and set to cooking yams, taro, 
and bread-fruit for us and party, several of them bringing us fine ripe 
bananas. All were exceedingly friendly, and showed no appearance of 
timidity. The "Raven" passing to the anchorage, we went along the 
beach with a crowd of men, women, and children increasing at every 
village, until we came opposite the anchorage, when there were several 
hundreds all anxious to show us some kindness, supplying us with an 
abundance of mangoes and cocoa-nuts. We were kindl}^ entertained on 
board the "Raven" by Commander Ross and his officers until the 
arrival of the "Blackall" about 4.30 p.m. On going on board we 
found the General in his cot on deck, and complaining of feeling out of 


lief erence page 79. 


sorts, restless, and no appetite. It was evident from his appearance, 
also, he was in the first stage of fever. Fearing he might grow worse, I 
suggested that if not better in the morning we should return ; Mr. 
Forbes and I remain at South Cape, and he with the " Blackall " pro- 
ceed at once to Australia. He decidedly objected to go back until he 
had been to the Boundary or Mitre Rock. On the 22nd we steamed 
close in shore through Bentley Bay, Bartle Bay, Goodenough Bay to 
Rawden Bay, where we had anchored. The coast all along these bays 
looks poor indeed, much worse even than that about Port Moresby. 
In many places the mountains run steep to the sea, and in no })lace we 
saw could settlement be made. Two peaks not on charts, but standing 
out and well defined, we named Lady Scratchley Peak and Mount 
Service, and the nomenclature has since been reported to the Royal 
Geographical Society. I again suggested to the General we should at 
once return and hurry on to Australia, but to no effect, as he insisted 
on seeing Mitre Rock. 

On the 23rd we rounded Cape Vogel to the Jabbering Islands, 
where we anchored. AVe spent several hours ashore with the natives, 
climbing the sandstone cliffs, and walking back into the country, which 
was poor, and terribly burned up for want of rain. The natives were 
very noisy, and yet very friendly. Their houses were small, miserable 
huts, built on posts, with small verandahs on the side, on which cooking 
was done. They have earthenware pots as in other parts, in shape 
similar to Teste Island. On the morning of the 24th we were away 
from oiu* Jabbering friends, through CoUingwood P>ay, keeping close in 
round Hardy Point to Cape Nelson, and passing many good harbours, 
one of which wc named Fort Harbour after our hearty, pleasant friend, 
the private secretary, whose life seemed entirely devoted to the General. 
AVhen in good health, he and the General appeared as if fjither and son; 
the General becoming sick, Fort, as a son, nursed him day and night, 
assisted by Dr. Glanville. Only when Fort was near the cot was the 
General satisfied. 

Two very high mountains seen to-day, and position taken, were 
named Mount Romilly and Mount Ross, the former al\er the well- 


known Western Pacific Commissioner, and the latter after the excellent 
commander of the " Raven." Rounding Cape Nelson we skirted the 
sliore of Porlock Bay to Dyke Acland Bay, and anchored about 3.30 
p.m. near to Cape Sud Est. 

Before coming to Hardy Point Mount Nelson was very distinct, and 
had all the appearance of a crater on its east side, and certainly there 
were more on board in favour of its being a living volcano than against 
it. Heavy clouds hung over the top, and at various places long jets of 
steam appeared to rise. The country we passed to-day seemed much 
better and more suitable for agricultural purposes. Early on the 25th 
we were under way, and passed some splendid looking country through 
Holnicote Bay, round Caution Point to Richie Island, and on to Mitre 
Rock. The country was well wooded, with apparent large plains ; a 
very good harbour is just on our side of 8th parallel, which we called 
Annabella Harbour. Some of us landed on the rock, but not having a 
line with us we could not ascend. It is in German territory, just 
beyond the parallel. The General feeling better, seemed to enjoy the 
sight of the boundary. There was no time to lose, so without anchor- 
ing we went round and away full speed to the south-east, anchoring in 
Holnicote Bay. On the morning of the 26th, it being impossible for 
our good captain to see his way amongst innumerable reefs wdth the 
sun ahead of him, we landed at a number of small islands named by 
us " Glanville Islands," after our Zulu Soudan doctor. The natives 
were noisy and friendly, and came out to the boat quite unarmed. 
They are dark, and very much like the natives of Motumotu, only they 
are circumcised, which is unknown on the south-east coast. Their 
ornaments were very poor, and they seemed to have little to trade. 
About ten we were under way, and steamed through Dyke Acland Bay, 
where we saw a large river, wdiich seemed to drain all the back country. 
We called the river "Rossitter River," after our second mate. There 
seems a very large mangrove fringe all round this bay. We anchored 
about 6 p.m. in Porlock Bay, and the following morning at six o'clock 
pulled in shore, and into a large inlet or lagoon, w^hich w^e named 
" Clayton Inlet." We rowed up what seemed to be a river, and were met 

Plate XXXIX. 


Reference page 80. 


by a noisy crowd all unarmed, and extremely anxious to trade with us. 
There was no mistaking their friendliness, and we allowed them round 
the boat as friends. We pulled out of the inlet, and round on to the beach, 
where we landed and again met the people. They had very few things 
worth trading for. They were greatly delighted with pocket handker- 
chiefs, and danced and shouted when they possessed a piece of red cloth. 

Getting on board we were under way by eight o'clock, and steam- 
ing all day we anchored at the Jabbering Islands about 6 p.m. "We did 
not think the General looked worse, only he complained of feeling 
terribly prostrated, and at night could not sleep. He would not take 
quinine in any form whatever. On Saturday (28th) before daylight, 
we were under way and off for Lydia, where we arrived about 2 p.m. 
We spent several hours ashore, and everywhere met with kindness. 
Several boys from Queensland were here, who told us frequently, 
" White man no good. New Guinea man very good ; " " White man no 
gammon, too much fight." 

When passing through Chads Bay, we had difficulty in getting 
canoes alongside. One approaching with clothed men, our interpreter 
recognized boys as some who had been returned in " Victoria," and 
knew they belonged to a place where a labour vessel killed several 
natives and stole quite a large number. Of the latter were some of 
those in the canoe. 

On Sunday morning, the 29th, the General was much worse. We 
arrived at Dinner Island about 10 a.m., got mails on board, and away 
to Suau. When reading his letters he seemed to revive, and spoke quite 
hopefully and pleasantly of his return next year, when together we 
should do the north-east coast and D'Entrecasteaux Group well, visiting 
every nook and corner, and making excursions inland, meeting the 
vessel at points decided on. 

At 2 p.m. Mr. Forbes and I landed at South Cape, and the " Black- 
all" steamed away for Australia, we hoping that the next news would 
be that our good kind General would have quite recovered, and that a 
quiet rest in Ilobart with Lady Scratchier and family would set him up 
for another season. 


On the " Raven " coming to take us to Port Moresby, Commander 
Ross told us the sad, sad news, that the General was dead, died when 
near Townsville — the natives, knowing by our looks something had 
happened, pressed round to know, and on being told, they too felt full 
of sorrow as for a friend. He was much respected on board, and by all 
who met him. He was kind and true, would do his duty, and never 
mind the consequences. He came rather prejudiced against natives, he 
left their friend, and much interested in them. He would have done a 
splendid work if only he had lived two years more, and laid the basis of 
a good government that both races would have felt to be for their 

We all deeply sympathize with Lady Scratchley and her family in 
their great sorrow. 

The remains of General Scratchley were brought to Melbourne in 
the " Governor Blackall," and temporarily interred in the St. Kilda 
Cemetery on the 16th December, 1885. The Dean of Melbourne and 
clergy performed the funeral service. Sir Henry Loch was present in 
person, and all the Australian colonies. Governmental departments, 
civic bodies, and learned professions were largely represented. The 
pall-bearers were Mr. Fort, Captain Lyster, Lieutenant-Colonel Sargood, 
Major-General Downes, Colonel Roberts, Mr. J. C. Tyler, Mr. James 
Service (Premier of Victoria), and Colonel Trench. The '* Melbourne 
Age," of December 17th, describing the occasion, says : — 

" The half-masted flags floating yesterday over Melbourne, the pre- 
dominance of sombre costumes among civilians, and the presence of 
officers bearing mourning badges hurrying ofi" to their rendezvous, be- 
tokened the day to be one of sorrowful observance. The duty of the 
day was that of pajdng the last tribute of respect to the memory of the 
late Sir Peter Scratchley, High Commissioner for New Guinea, by 
honouring his remains with a public funeral, attended by his Excellency 
the Governor in person, a special representative of Lord Carrington, 
Governor of New South Wales, and deputies from all the Australian 
colonies. The ministry of Victoria, the consular body, the bench, the 
bar, the other learned professions, and the local forces contributed to 

Plate XL. 


lleference page 81 . 


swell the procession, which was upwards of a mile in length, its route 
being lined by thousand of serious and orderly spectators." 

Such was the fatal termination of an expedition which had about it, 
from first to last, an air of romance and adventure, which acquired in- 
formation respecting the south coast and immediate interior of New 
Guinea far in excess of any previously obtained, and which, it is con- 
fidently hoped, has prepared the way for the settlement of a valuable 
British possession. 




Veata of Maiva. 

IKE all other savages, the Papuans are a prey to supersti- 
tion. As an example of the beliefs they entertain, and 
the fears they cherish, I will narrate my adventures with 
a great sorcerer, a Maivan, dreaded by his countrymen on 
account of the power he is supposed by them to possess. Like other 
pretenders of the same class, he was himself the dupe of his own caba- 
listic juggleries, and as big a coward as the simple folk who hung upon 
the rites he practised. I had often heard of this man, but never met 
him personally till, when in Maiva, I was presented at an inland village 
with a broken crystal, and on inquiring if there were others of the same 
kind about, I was informed the}^ all came from the vicinity of Mount 
Yule, but that one in particular, by common report surpassing all 
others, was in the possession of Veata, the mighty sorcerer, never to be 
seen by mortal eye except his own, for no other person could look on it 
and live. One of our teachers hearing of it, and thinking, I suppose, it 
was some precious stone, offered the sorcerer several tomahawks only to 
be allowed to see it. On returning to the coast I went to my friend 
^liria, and asked him to use his influence with Ycata to show me his 
burning jewel. " Yes," he replied, "but I am afraid ; I myself have 
never seen it, although he is my cousin, and should he show it to you 


will you not die ? " " Xo, Miria, that cannot kill me ; " and then I told 
him of the many charms, fetisches, &c., I had from other places. He 
was evidently distressed, for after thinking the matter over, he said, 
"Were there only two Tamates it would be right one to die and one 
to live ; we have only one, and cannot get another." " Miria, do not 
be alarmed. I can look on all Veata's things and know I will live." 
" Well, I wHl ask him." 

After some time, Veata and Miria came into the house, and, sitting 
down in front of me, I asked the former if the latter had spoken to him 
of what I was anxious to see. Veata looked steadily at me, and said, 
" My friend Tamate, I would, but I am afraid, very much afraid. Xo 
living soul but my sister and me has ever seen those things, and you 
know very frightened Maiva is." " Veata, friend, do not be afraid, your 
kohu goods cannot injure me, and I alone will see them." " To-night I 
will return, and you will see them, and no one but ourselves must be in 
the house." "Good, friend, now do not deceive me." 

He is a man some forty years old, about 5 feet 8 inches in height, Avell 
made, with a peculiar anxious expression and dark restless eyes. He 
would have been killed long ago, but his party is large and influential, 
and all of them would rally round him, as, apart from relationship, he is 
the source of food and property to them. 

Long droughts will bring large quantities of yams, bananas, sugar 
cane, betel nut, cocoa nuts, pigs, fish, tobacco, arm-shells, ear, neck, and 
forehead ornaments. 

AVhen one is sick fiiends will do the same. If death follows he is 
l)lamed. When my old friend Oa died, Veata had to leave for some 
time, until it was shown by his friends that he could not have caused 
Oa's death, and the blame was then laid on another. 

This superstition is the source of constant trouble in the Ciulf, and 
amongst the inland tribes on the Owen Stanley Range. Last year 
Motu-Motu, on their return from Port Moresby, where they had been 
trading Avith arrowroot, attacked Kevcri, a district near Cape l*osscs- 
sion, and killed three men, themselves losing two. Since then they 
have threatened to return, but were afraid of the teachers at ^laiva, and 


my old savaf^c father, Scmcse, said he would not consent, as he did not 
wish to break faith with his foreign son. Four weeks ago Lese invited 
Motu-Motu to a large feast. A large crowd assembled, and when the 
time for talk came on Keveri alone was the subject. Many were excited 
and determined on fighting. When the talk was at its highest a strange 
native stepped into their midst, and said, " I am a Keverian, I wish you 
to kill me, or if you save me I shall lead you to Keveri. A dear friend 
has been killed by a vatavata (spirit), and Keveri will not help me to 
revenge on the sorcerer. I do not wish for life, but if you spare me I 
shall be yours." Some said, kill him at once; Semese said, " No," and 
stepping over to him took his net bag from him, giving him his, ex- 
chano-ed head dresses and armlets, and then took him by the hand, 
sayino-, " You are mine, and live." He took him home to Motu-Motu, 
and the following week landed him on the beach near Keveri, telling 
him to make known to Keveri his great, wish for peace, and that he and 
his son would be found in Maiva with the teachers. Soon a messenger 
came in begging Semese and his son Rahe to go out, which they did, 
and made friends and peace. 

At sunset Veata returned, looking very serious, and sitting down 
near to me, he said, " Oh, Tamate, are you sure it will be right for you 
to look on these things — what if you die? Where shall I go? Every 
tribe on New Guinea would seek my destruction. " " Nonsense, Veata, I 
am very anxious to see your kohu, and you will find I live." He left 
me in great doubt, but I was determined not to be done. I have had a 
good deal to do with these gentlemen, the most troublesome men on 
New Guinea, and the same in other lands ; many known as Protestants, 
and hosts as Romanists. Bigoted priests, Protestants or Romanists, are 
not near so easily managed as my savage friend and priest Veata, and I 
thought I would yet see his articles of might, especially the burning 
jewel of death. 

The sun had long set, and a very dark night had come. I sent for 
Miria and asked him why Veata did not return. " Oh, Tamate, we are 
all afraid ; were there only two Tamates, one to die and one to hve, it 
would be right, but to lose you now and through my friend." " Mirixi, 



lieference page 81. 

<'*" 2:^ 


do not be afraid, die I shall not, but i±' I should there are others to 
take my place. Come, and we shall go to Veata." Consenting, we 
started, and walked for nearly a mile, when we came to Veata's village. 
At this season the Maivans turn night into day, because of the mos- 
quitoes. They walk and sit about and smoke all night, and sleep during 
the day. In walking through the village during the day, groups on 
mats, dead asleep, may be seen everywhere. Except Rakaanya, of the 
Humphrey group, I know no place to beat Maiva for these annoying 
creatures. One of my boat's crew said, " Their noise is loud as Rouna 
(a large waterfall), and their bites T cannot describe." A teacher walk- 
ing through the village one evening saw a man killing and eating these 
enemies. " What, are they nice that you eat them? " " No, but they 
take my blood, and I kill and eat them in revenge." 

Veata, with his wife, was sitting on his platform in the dark, afraid 
to have a light near that would draw the mosquitos. " Friend, I have 
come to see your kohu, and especially the burning one." Having 
strongly impressed on Miria, going along, the necessity of his assisting 
me, I found now I was about attaining my object. " Tamate, you will 
see it, they are with my sister ; whilst with me I lost father, mother, 
brothers, sisters, wife and children; and, being frightened, I gave them 
to my one sister to keep, and she hides them in the earth." After a 
chew of betel nut we start for the sister's, where he begs to remain 
awhile to follow us in a short time. On arrivinsij at the Mission House 
j\Iiria told the natives about to keep away as Veata was coming with his 
kohu. The teacher's wife had to leave the house, and I with the teacher 
long waited. The wife, tiring of the long delay, returned and inlornud 
us it would be long ere he came, as he was " going through his prayers," 
and there sure enough he was, on a platform near our house, busily 
engaged with his bags in front of him. After a long stay ^liria entered 
and saw the house cleared, then Veata came, put down my curtahi that 
makes my end of the house private, asked me to take the light inside, 
showed me where I was to sit and not lean over his things. Agahi he 
began, " Tamate, I think it is good and no harm will come to }ou ; but 
do not show them to any Maivan or Motuan." 


" Yes, it is good, and no harm will be mine." Muttering hurriedly to 
liimsclf, he pulled carefully each fingei', cracking all, till he came to the 
ninth, no crack, then more earnest muttering, and an appealing look to 
me, " Tamate is it good?" " Yes, Veata," A long, hard pull, and a 
crack, and then the tenth — all right. In some places the pulling the 
fingers signify friendship, and everywhere it is done by friends to any 
one taken suddenly sick. I remember once at Aroma, a chief not much 
accustomed to smoking had two or three long whiiFs from a bamboo 
pipe ; he was sitting close by me and thrust his hands towards me ; not 
knowing what he wanted, he turned to the other side, and a friend 
caught his hands and pulled his fingers, not at all happy if one failed to 
crack. The man, I found, was smoke-sick, and this was the cure. 

I was going to ask Veata what it all meant, but he insisted on my not 
speaking. The first thing produced was a small net bag containing two 
large seeds ; on one was a very good, clear, and well shaped crystal, and 
underneath small shells to represent nose and eyes. That was the male, 
and the other, unadorned, was the female. They were never spoken to 
but for death, and were the cause of many deaths. He now asked me 
if I was afraid ? " Oh, dear no, go on." He next produced a piece of 
bamboo ten inches long in which there was a black stone, basaltic, and 
another very small one. The one was father and the other child; these 
were for seasons, and gave plenty or scarcity. In taking the large stone 
out it fell, which much disconcerted him, and he had again to go over 
his prayers. Next came a cone, from the end of the pandanus growth, and 
made like a scent bottle. He took the lid off, and Avrapped in various 
kinds of weeds was another stone he handled very carefully, a co- 
partner with the last, only both together produced sickness and death ; 
the latter was a female. 

He then laid down a small parcel done up in native cloth very care- 
fully, and whilst undoing it was very solemn in appearance, and mutter- 
ing all the time. Another stone was produced wrapped in weeds, with 
two small stones enclosed in a network of string, and another substance 
wrapped up in leaves. These were of power to make children, and 
were appealed to for the barren, only the women must never see them. 

Plate XLII. 

Reference page 82. 


He then said that was alL I said, " Xo, Veata, I want to see the bright 
burning stone; but never mind just now, will you sell these?" " Xo.'' 
" Then put them up and go and get the other." After a little delibera- 
tion and a good deal of muttering, he asked what I should give him if 
he would sell, and on mentioning a tomahawk, native beads, arm-shells 
and tobacco, he was satisfied, and I packed my curios away, lest repent- 
ance on his part should deprive me of them. I forgot to say that Miria 
was first consulted, and he was favourable to the sale. We then went 
out to Miria, and I told him what I wanted, ^^eata left, and in about 
an hour returned with a small parcel of crystals. AVe again retired, and 
the small crystals were produced. I bought them, and then in great 
secrecy he brought out a large piece of crystal quartz in a small net, 
and said that was what I had heard about, and no one must look on it 
but myself. It was the " death stone," and of which all Maiva was 
afraid. It was now getting into the small hours of morning, and I 
wished my friend would go, but he lingered long instructing me, and 
betrg'ins: of me not to exhibit these thino-s to Maiva and Motu. 

The next mornino; there was trouble. It was noised all over ]\[aiva I 
had got these things. j\Iy inland friends begged of me to have nothing 
to do with them, our boat would sink or we should all die, or I might 
live, but Motu would sufi'er. Xo one on board knew where I had thorn 
until after leaving Yule, when my stroke asked me, and I told him they 
were in a box under his seat. During the trip back he never once 
returned to that oar. In crossing Redscar Bay we had dirty weather 
and a very dark night. It arose from Yeata's stufi" — throw it overboard. 
Xo, it must not go overboard. I never had a quieter crew, and all 
were frightened. They begged for a reef to be taken in. I was 
anxious to get to Redscar Head ])y morning, and would not consent. 
They asked to throw some of our Ibod overboard, and to that I also 
objected, as at ]\[aiva and Delena, they persisted in filling the boat 
too full. I heard them saying amongst themselves, " What folly to 
keep these things on board ; he is not afraid, I)ut what uf us? " 




The KoiTAru Tribe and their Witchcraft. 

KoiTAru Trire and Sorcery. 

As a tribe the Motuans have few traditions, and very little mytho- 
logy, although a very superstitious people. One night, sitting with a 
number of old men, they told me that with the Koiari and Koitapu 
tribe they came from two ancestors, named Kaimaikuku and Kirimai- 
kapa, who came from the earth with one female dog, which they took 
unto themselves. A son was born, then a daughter, and again a son 
followed by a daughter. 

The first two grew up and married, and their children numbered 
fourteen. Two went far back and became the progenitors of the Koiari 
tribe, two went in from the coast by the banks of the Laroge, and from 
them descended the Koitapu tribe. The others all went to Eelema, 
where they increased. Long after a quarrel occurred in Eelema. An 
elder brother desu'ed his younger one to procure him some sago, but 
the younger, intent on making a bow, turned a deaf ear to the request. 
Again and again was the request made, but with the same result. 
Other members of the family, knowing the eldest brother's request, 
went and procured sago, but would on no account let the younger 
brother have any, and threatened any who would give him even 
only a grain, with death. The difficulty increased, and the younger 
brother decided with a good following to leave, which accordingly they 
did, and arrived at Taurama (Pyramid Point), where they long 
remained, increasing in numbers and strength, and finally came to 
Hanuabada (Port Moresby), where they now live. They speak of 
themselves as " sea natives/' and the Koitapuans are " the land 

When leaving Eelema the Spirit said, " Go, but never forget me. In 
feast and in dance I will be with you, and the sound of your drums will 
be heard by me when I shall indeed bless you." 

Plate XLIII. 




Reference pnge 84. 


They found the Koitapu tribe a very powerful one indeed, with 
chiefs innumerable, who not by fighting merely killed their enemy, but 
also by "meamea" (prayer). They had not long to wait, until they 
found to their cost they too were under the spell of the Koitapu tribe. 
Long droughts, only these sorcerers could stop, and to get them to do 
so, meant pigs, stone adzes, spears, sago, toeas (armlets), and pear^ 
shell, and often these were given mth no good results whatever. 
Something was wrong, and again presents would be gone over. 

These Koitapuans held also the Spirits of life and death, and to keep 
friends with them was one constant aim with the Motu tribe. These 
spirits travelled in darkness, and would thrust a sharp-pointed instru- 
ment between flooring, touch a sleeper, and he or she would surely 
sicken and die, the latter certainly if the sorcerer was not called in and 
well paid. Many prefer sleeping in the open and on the ground, so 
frightened are they of these pests. 

A fortnight ago a Motu youth killed a pig belonging to a Koitapu 
chief, a fight took place, in which over two hundred people took part, 
and when several got bad knocks. My friend Mabata, a great chief and 
sorcerer amongst the Koitapuans, seeing his people were likely to be 
worsted, ran into his house, and brought out a parcel done with native 
cloth, and with glaring eyes, distended nostrils, and terribly excited, 
ran in and out of the crowd, tearing the cloth, and scattering a kind of 
powder, and calling out " To your houses, it is death ; " and many did 
go to their houses quicker than they have run for many a day, but the 
young men cared not, and meant to carry it on, until prevailed on by 
stronger friends. Mabata is even feared by the mountain tribes. 

The one uncompromising enemy of the Koitapu tribe is Hula of 
Hood Point. When these natives are down this wav and fishinjr, and 
when unsuccessful, they at once say " Koitapu at it, let us for them,'' 
and a few years ago it meant the death of several Koitapuans. 

When new sago canoes come in from the West they collect splinters 
from each, and the following year, when all are in the Gulf, and the time 
is ncaringfor the return home, these sorcerers give it out that they must 
be considered. A morning is set apart, and a lai-ge (piantity of food is 


collected, on the top of which may be seen tomahawks, beads, tobacco, 
toeas (armlets), spears, and pearl shell. The sorcerer holds in his hand a 
])iccc of an carthenwai-e pot in which there is a parcel containing the 
s])lintei's, and over which he is supposed to " Meamea." Lost canoes 
livv always easily accounted for by these sorcerers. They have often 
tried to exorcise the white missionaries and teachers, but of no use, and 
they give up, saying, " God is strong." Many in the Motu tribe have 
thrown them over of late years, their revenue has been little. Very few 
of them come to church yet, we are friendly indeed. My real object in 
writing this chapter is for the following, which haj^pened only a very 
short time ago, and four miles from here. 

An old widow woman with her two sons, a few years ago, left the 
village of Kevana — forty miles from here (Port JMoresby) — where a part 
of the Koitapu tribe live, and went to Padiri to live. She was always 
looked upon as a great sorceress, and her sons assisted her. 

Unfortunately she boasted constantly of her great power, which was 
very displeasing to the chief Eheita and others. During the first months 
of last year we had no rain on the coast, and many of the plantations 
suffered in consequence. The old lady and her sons did not try to hide 
their having something to do with the drought, and for a long time were 
kept in food and other things ; but no rain coming, it was too much for 
Eheita, and he determined to get rid of so obnoxious a personage and 
her sons. She was known to have a large bag containing pieces of all 
kinds of food, which she kept buried near her house. She told them 
she kept it to prevent rain, and to show them they had no power, that 
power of that kind rested with her. Eheita must have the bag. One 
morning very early he came with a pig to her, and begged her to give 
up the bag and all it contained. After some hesitation one of the sons 
was sent, and it was brought, Eheita taking it, and scattering the con- 
tents all round. The pig was killed and divided, the elder son went 
with his wife to a plantation to get food, the mother was under the house 
with a number of other women, and the younger son in the house. 
Eheita with two others followed to the plantation, and when he had 
done his work he would shout so that those in the villasfe could do 


theirs. On reaching the plantation he asked the widow's son for a 
smoke, the man went aside to his bag for tobacco and a leaf, and whilst 
engaged in jDreparing the pipe, Eheita rose, lifted his spear, and sent it 
clean through him, the other two doing the same. He then gave the 
long signal shout, and those in the village began ; the old woman was 
soon despatched, but the son in the house defended himself for some 
time, but was overcome, and done with. Friends (?) came and took up 
the bodies and buried them. An influential man from here, visiting the 
village the same day, Avas told of the murders by l*]heita himself, who 
also said to him, " Tell the white friends not to be angry, but I could 
stand it no longer, and now it is done. I am glad, and so must be every- 
body else." I send him word that I thought he should be hanged. 

There is a place in the bush near to Port Moresby sacred to the 
Koitapuans, where no one ever treads ; to do so would be instant death. 
Such places there were in many of the South Sea Islands. The name of 
this Koitapu place is Varimana. Long ages ago mighty men went inland 
to Sogeri, and carried away a very large stone, on the way down many 
died, and when it arrived near the coast range the tribe, as a whole, 
begged it should be left at Varimana lest all should be exterminated. 

Long after it was carried in to the Koiari, and they too died in large 
numbers. Again it was returned, and buried at ^'arimana close by a 
young tree ; the tree has grown very large, and now the stone is quite 
covered by it, but no one ever goes near it. The stone before burial 
was carefully wrapped in native cloth, and bound round with well made 

For many generations, the old people of Rarotonga spoke of a stone, 
te nooanga a Tari — Tans seat — that was long, long ages before covered 
over by a large Tamanu tree, close to the ^lission grounds. The grounds 
were sacred, and none carelessly trod there. To approach was the 
priest's place, and he only uncovered and crouching, A\'hin a limb of 
the tree fell, some one of the chief's family should die, and on several 
occasions such was the case. Li the year lS(i7 \\\v tree itself fell, and 
soon after the King Daniela died, leaving office to my friend Abela. 
AVhen it was known the tree was down people from all jiarts came in to 


sec for themselves the truth or falsehood of many generations, and there, 
sure cnougli, was the stone with the short bark scat. Many times I 
liavc seen it and sat on it. Abela gave me Tuarca (name of large tree) 
to do with as I liked, only he could not assist in cutting it up. Having 
at the time inany students, fine young men, anxious for work, they in 
their odd hours cut it up into logs, and the school children sledged up to 
Mission ground. Only the root was left, which was afterwards used in 
burning lime. A few months passed, and I gave orders one morning 
after classes to roll out the best log, and get it over the sawpit. This 
was soon done, and I had just returned to the house, when a native 
came running to me, saying, Makea Abela was dead. The night before 
I spent an hour Avith him in front of his house, and he was then in ex- 
cellent health. That same morning I heard of him threatening some of 
his people. I ran over and found him in the bush quite dead. He died 
of heart disease. Many natives said it was Tuarea. Ah, well, we shall 
make his coffin from it. I ordered the morning's log to be rolled back 
and dug out for a coffin. The stone and tree superstition is very common, 
in Eastern Polynesia. 

Although the ^lotuans fear the whole Koitapu tribe, there are two 
men of that tribe living in Redscar Bay they fear more than all the rest. 
Maba, of Lokurukunu, holds great power over the north-west wind, rain 
and sun ; and Taru, of the same place, holds the south-east entirely in 
his power. To these presents were constantly brought. When about 
to start for the west on a trading voyage Maba was given a large 
present that he might not send the north-west wind, and Taru as large 
that he mio:ht continue the south-east. When the returning season 
comes, end of December or beginning of January, Taru was appealed to 
to stay the south-east, and Maba to give the north-west. 

When planting yams, the Koitapuans, holding a stone in the left 
hand over the seed, pour water on the stone with the right, and allow it 
to fall all over the yams to be planted, repeating very quickly the 
following : — 

Asindvaridaudau, asindvaridaudau, asindvaridaudau, 
Ilucvara daudau, huevara daudau, huevara daudau. 

Plate XLIV. 




Reference page 87 . 



Bedovari daiidau, bedovari daudau, bedovari daudaii, 
Naevari daudau, naevari daudau, naevari daudau, 
Eogovari daudau, eogovari daudau, eogovari daudau. 

When the yams are just above ground the following is repeated in the 
plantation : — 

Sinari kenikeni (repeat twice more), 
Hueri kenikeni (repeat twice more), 
Ruela kenikeni (repeat twice more), 
Naera kenikeni (repeat twice more). 

]\Iabata, the chief of one of the Koitapu division, a great man in the 
tribe, a kind-hearted fellow though a great sorcerer, has just come in 
whilst writing this, and he has given me the following prayer used by 
him when he hears there is going to be fighting. He says when he 
uses it the fighters' hands hang down with weakness, and their knees 

Tuanugi i ae mai (three times), 
Kornanugu i ae mai (three times), 
Vangu i ae mai (three times), 
Vanugu i ae mai (three times), 
Kornbuie (twice), 
Tuauru i ae a (twice), 
Eorigori e ae a (twice), 
Kuru e ae a (twice), 
Eaubu i ae (twice), 
Suuri i ae ma (three times), 
En boriboro (four times), 
Koieri gamia a (twice), 
Eairaki beriboro (twice), 
De umu ba ba (twice). 

It is gone over and over again, truly " vain repetitions." 



lUST now, as I write, the village of Hanuabada (Port 
Moresby), is one scene of life — truly animated human 
nature from the oldest man to the youngest bairn kicking 
in its net cradle, rocked by an elder brother or sister to 
still its impetuous nature. Who can sleep amidst the thud, thud, of many 
native hammers (long sticks) used in ship-building, or the slap, slap, of 
native trowels used by women in the manufacture of native pottery? 
Now, what does it mean, whence has it sprung, and what object has it? 
Categorical, no doubt, but to an old stager easily answered. 

The village within Port Moresby counts about 1,000 inhabitants, 
700 pure Motuans, and 300 Koitapuans. The former are seamen and 
travellers who came in past ages from the distant west, and settling first 
at Taurama, Pyramid Point, notwithstanding all its barrenness, and 
living principally on fish and kangaroo, not objecting to an occasional 
dog. The generations rolled on, and the newer ones think a better 
place can surely be found than that barren, rocky hill, and they 
emigrate to this commodious harbour, perhaps the most central of all 
centres in New Guinea. Plantations were made on the hill sides, and in 
the somewhat more fertile valleys, on land belonging to a once powerful 
tribe of sorcerers known as the Koitapuan tribe. Now this Koitapu 
tril)e to tlie present day is of note on this coast. Once they lived well 

Plate XLV. 

EeJ'ereiice page 92. 


back near the Koiari, owning then as now all land back to the Laroki 
river, the Koiarians claiming all on the other side. They are a people 
much feared because of their wonderful power over sun, rain, heaven, 
and earth; north-west and south-east monsoons, these especially are 
theirs. Only yesterday one old chief, an arrant blackguard from Padiri, 
marched through Hanuiibada, and some occupant from nearly every 
house came out to meet him with a present, a stick of tobacco, a toma- 
hawk, an arm-shell, or some other article of value, so that he might be 
friendly to the proposed trading expedition. They are no doubt the 
real owners of the soil, and it may be some day in a Land Court presided 
over by a British judge, they will have much to say. By no conquest 
do the Motuans live here, but simply because the Koitapuans allow 
them, saying, " Yours is the sea, the canoes and the nets, ours the 
land and the kangaroos; give us fish for our flesh, and pottery for 
our yams and bananas." AVhat a power these Koitapuans have ! mid- 
night spirits travel at their will, strong men are laid low by them, 
canoes on distant travels never return because of them, burning sun, 
cracked earth, dried up bananas, and harvest-time and famine all belong 
to them. Who will not try to appease their wrath, to gain their favour? 
He is dead now, my old friend, Taru, but I remember well how all 
along this coast he was feared, and how from far and near they came 
with offerings to him. But worse than anything mentioned is that 
often they cause murder, or commit it to further their dark designs. 
To hang a few of them may yet become necessary, although since the 
missionaries have come here they are not so exorbitant, and the others 
are not so blind. As readers may know, the Motuans are at Pari, 
llanuabada, Poribada, Lealea, and Manumanu, in Redscar Bay, a tribe 
numbering about 2,000 only; their dialect is spoken by about 5,000, 
and they being the people of commerce (the Britons of New Guinea), 
through their dialect it is possible to communicate with nearly 20,000 
people. The Koitapuans are to be found tacked on to the Motu tribes 
at Pari, llanuabada, Poribada, also Bocra and Lealea on tlie east side 
of Redscar Bay, and inland at Padiri and Kevana, and numbering about 
2,000, very much cut up into parties. I have never heard of the two 



tribes figliting, but often the Motu tribe being the stronger has helped the 
Koitapuan against their enemies, the Hulans, who come from Hood Point. 
The Motu natives are the traders, theirs is the sea. Now it is 
interesting to go back to the origin of things. How interesting it 
would be to know to a certainty all origins. But we do know from out 
of a very distant past, so distant that all we have comes through cob- 
webs of many, very many generations, a kind of myth which many 
present day scholars accept before fact. Well, myth or whatever else, 
here it is. Away, far away, in those hoary ages, a canoe with several 
men on board went out fishing. They lowered their net and all dived; 
one, named Edae, near a large rock, in which there was a cave, and into 
which he looked, was seized by the spirit of the deep and kept, only his 
toes being left above water. His companions wondered what had 
become of him, and on looking around saw his toes, and at once tried 
to pull him up, but could not succeed. Letting go, he disappeared 
entirely, and they returned home disconsolate and crying all the way. 
When the sun was near its dipping hour, and the tide was low, they 
again returned and found Edae's whole foot above water, and had no 
difficulty in getting him on board, and laid him in the canoe, crying 
bitterly over him as dead until near the shore, when he opened his 
eyes, and told them what he saw, heard, and was told to do. It was a 
large cave in which a great spirit dwelt who caught him and kept him 
down, so that when they tried to pull him up by the feet the spirit just 
pulled him right in and told him not to fear, but to wait patiently and 
hear how the hungry north-Avest season might be got over — have a 
season of sacredness, then cut large trees, dig them out, and when 
finished lash them together, then get masts and sails, and when all is 
finished take all the pottery the wives and daughters have been making 
on board, and sail away to Eelema. 

On his arrival at home he told the same tale to his wife, and at once 
he became sacred. His brother-in-law, Xohokinoboki, a Koitapuan, 
opposed his going and said, "Why leave? I have plenty of yams, 
some in the house for the North- West season, and some to plant, but 
Edae must go and get some sago ? " He told his wife he should be 




Eeferencr page 93. 


long gone, and on no account to give him up. Montlis passed and he 
did not come; the men -svho accompanied him left their wives, hoping to 
be soon back, and because they did not return when expected the Avives 
got married to others, and began to forget Edae and his party. But 
his wife never gave him up, and she encouraged her daughter-in-law to 
hope on. At last she had a dream, and saw Edae, who told her he was 
leaving Eelema on his return journey. She waited a few days, and then 
early one morning sent the daughter-in-law up to the highest hill to 
look away to the westward. On her return she reported something on 
the horizon beyond Redscar Head, but could not say what it was. 
Later she returned again, and after sitting awhile felt convinced it was 
Edae, and the next morning was up early. The daughter-in-law again 
ascended the mountain, and this time returned with the thrilling news 
that it was Edae, and the lakatoi was near. Both took sticks and 
beat on the floor, and shouted for joy. The people came running to 
know what was the matter, when they were told Edae was coming, 
was near, and that very day would anchor near his house. During the 
time Edae was gone his wife never allowed the fire to go out, did not 
go to other houses, had nothing to say to other people, and never 
bathed. Now she broomed the house, set things to rights, and had a 
bath, then she anointed her body and dressed in her best. The lakatoi 
Avas ncaring, and she gave orders for a canoe to be got ready, and 
getting into it she was paddled off, and when alongside the lakatoi beat 
on the bulwarks and shouted, " All your wives are married again, I 
only with our daughter-in-law waited till now." The men were struck 
dumb, and felt much pained indeed; Edae Avas full of delight, and on 
seeing his wife broke forth in song. 

Receiving some sago the Avife returned, and set to cooking for her 
lord Avhen he should land. Great AA'as her joy on landing, and rehears- 
ing all she heard and reporting Avhat she saAv. Sago in (piantities far 
beyond her power to describe, and all the men looking Avell. Soon the 
lakatoi anchored, and after the visiting Avas got OA'cr, Edae landed 
amidst the plaudits of tlie assembled villagers, another Columbus 
returning from an unknown region. The iirst part of the night lie 


spent in rehearsing in a loud voice from his house the incidents of the 
journey, the people he was amongst, their kindness and anxiety to have 
him remain. He wound up his discourse by an attack on the faithless 
wives, who Avere terribly ashamed. 

In the morning his sister-in-law, Xohokinoboki's wife, came to get 
sago, but he sent her back to live on her yams. Day after day she 
returned, until at last he relented, and told her to tell her husband, and 
not to be so bumptious in future. When her husband tasted the cooked 
sago, he could do nothing but praise Edae and condemn himself. 

This journey to the West for sago has been continued ever since, 
and at present great are the preparations. Long before daylight may 
be heard women making their pottery, and a walk through the village 
is indeed interesting. Some women are just returning from the clay 
pits with heavy burdens of clay of various kinds, black, red, yelloAv, 
brown. Some are spreading the clay out to dry, others are pounding 
with a stone the dry clay, some are damping and kneading it, and 
mixing it with very fine sand. Salt water alone is used. Others have 
a lump of clay, and are beginning to make various kinds of pottery. 
Some have theirs half finished, others quite finished, while others are 
burning theirs in large fires, and staining them with a dye made from a 
mangrove bark. Every woman has her private mark, and marks ever}-- 
thing she makes. Here is a list of their pottery : — 

Hodu = water vessel. Ituru zr small cup. 

Uro z= large cooking vessel. Kebo := basin. 

Nau z= dish for serving. Kibokibo z=: small basin. 

Ohuro z= large cup. Kaeva z=: pot with rim. 

Keikei == small pot. Tohe n: 

The men are busy getting their canoes together, work all day, and at 
night pooling them well out where the man first proposed the trip, and who 
is captain, sleeps with a few others. Long ago the captain has been secured. 
In the morning at sunrise the lakatoi is brought in to have her work 
carried on. Four large canoes are lashed together, then bulwarks are 
made of leaves from the stemless palm sewn together, and well fastened 


with long poles, and caulked with dried banana leaves. A stage is made 
all round, so that the sailors can work her without getting inside of the 
l)ul\varks. Masts of mangrove, with the roots at right angles, are stepped 
on to the centre, and large sails made of mats all sewn together, and 
shaped like crabs' claws, are fixed for working with ropes made from the 
bark of the large yellow hybiscus. The anchor is a large stone made 
fast with long canes, sometimes 100 fathoms in length. Fore and alt 
are small houses, where the captain, mates, and boatswain sleep or 
smoke. A day or two before leaving they sail about the harbour with 
all the young swells, male and female in killing costumes, on board, and 
then they have a hearty song, with drums beating, and bodies swaying, 
and the ladies' petticoats flying about. The wind is favourable, the 
cargo on board, and the pole out a mile or two to the eastward : then set 
sail and away, whilst friends at home remain to weep. With a fine 
breeze following fast, the men most worked are the helmsmen, three or 
four of them with large paddles standing aft whilst the others are drum- 
beating and singing the following Hues taught Edae b}' the sj)irit : — 

Jjokibada oviria nanania 
Ario visiu na verianbro 
Boebada eraroi nanai 
Trope immanai ale Dauko 
Eela lao mauaro diaia 
Pinuopa diaid iauoro nairiuovox 
Eela lao melarara memem. 

There are many others, but the above is sufHcient. When the port 
where bound is reached, they are received with great delight, pigs and 
dogs are killed for the reception feast, after which they distribute their 
pottery, to be paid for when ready to take their return journey. They 
sleep on the lakatoi, the shore people cooking them food and taking it to 
them. They ascend the rivers, cut down large trees, and make canoes 
of thc;m to take home laden with sago. On the rclui-n journr}- tliry will 
have as many as fourteen and fifteen canoes for one lakatoi. Now they 
go wealthier than formei-ly, taking wiih them tomahawks, knives, bead 


lookiii«^-oiassos, {irul red cloth. They return with many tons of sago, 
whicli they dispose of to Tupuselei, Kaile, Kapakapa, Hula, and Kere- 
punu, these natives paying them in arm-shells, and other native articles. 
They keep very little for themselves. During the time they have it the 
whole settlement smells of nasty sour sago, as they like it best when it 
ferments, so keep it damped in large uros. 

A list of the places they visit for sago may not be out of place — 
Oiapu, Lokea, Lese, Motumotu, Moneave, Karama, Namai, Silo, Pisi, 
Kerema, Keura, Vaidala, Ileran, Orokolo, Maipua, Ukerava, Kairiu, 
Keropenairu, Kaiburave. 

The great trade on the coast and inland is pottery, the natives very 
seldom making a native oven like the Maories of New Zealand and 
South Pacific. On the east the most of the pottery is made on Teste 
Island and the islands of the Engineer Group, that is traded as far west 
as Orangerie Bay. 

Their pottery is much finer than that west, but perhaps not so strong. 
Travelling west, we find the next pottery makers in Arona chiefly at the 
large village of Maopa. They supply as far east as Mailuikolu (Toulon 
Island), and send a little to Kerepunu on the west, but the great supply 
for Kerepunu and Hood Bay come from the Motu tribe. The Hula 
natives bring cocoa nuts to Pari, Port Moresby, Porebada, and Boera, 
and in exchange load up their canoes with earthenware of various 

Pottery is made at the above-mentioned places, also at Manumanu in 
Redscar Bay, and Delena in Hall Island. 

An article of very great value to the native is the ornamental toea 
or arm-shell. A few small ones are made on this part of the coast, 
but the best come from the east, as far away as the D'Entrecasteaux 
Group. They trade them for pottery, &c., to the Dauni natives, whilst 
the Dauni natives sell them again to Mailuikolu for sago, dogs, &c., and 
these to the Aroma natives for pigs, dogs, and canoes. The Aroma 
natives trade them to the Hood Bay, Kerepunu, Kalo, Hula, Papaka, 
and Kamari natives for birds' plumes of various kinds, and these again 
to the Motu natives for sago, and the Motuan to the Eelemaites for sago 

Plate XL\U. 


Reference page 104. 


in bulk, weighing 2 or 3 cwt. From the time of the return of the trading 
canoes, the Motuans keep collecting things until the next season. The 
most industrious woman, the one who cultivates best on the plantations 
and makes the most and best pottery, is sure to have her husband's 
praise, and she "has of the fruit of her hands, and her own works praise 
her in the gates." 

It is to be hoped that in the future when a civilized power governs 
these children of nature, they will not do away with the present occupa- 
tions and systems of trade, and let us hope the missionaries will re- 
member that Anglicising is not Christianising, and Christianising should 
have little to do with Manchester. For myself I think the natives with 
a little bit of loin cloth better off far than }our whitewashed Euro- 
[)eanized, shirted and trousered natives. Leave them alone in their 
trading and their pottery, and leave them alone on their lands. Why 
deprive them of these ? 



ItEW Guinea has a peculiar fascination for the traveller 
r/j although it is said to be sickly, and in the uttermost 
degree detrimental to European constitutions ; in which 
statements it is to be feared there is a great deal of truth. 
Yet Xew Guinea possesses such a charm, or magnetic force, that a 
traveller who has once been there is sure to be drawn back. 

There is a serenity and solemn grandeur in those primitive forests, 
untrodden by civilized man ; danger and climatic troubles are never 
thought of by the true traveller, but onward is his sole aim, and the 
further he plunges into the woods in New Guinea the greater becomes 
his desire to penetrate into the unknown regions of this beautiful island ; 
it is the naturalist's paradise, where his labours will be amply rewarded 
and every anticipation fully gratified. 

At the same time I am sorry to confess my own labours in New 
Guinea were not crowned with that success as anticipated, but this was 
owing to various circumstances which other travellers can avoid. 

I shall now proceed to give a short narrative of a trip up the Hilda 
river. In November, 1 884, I set out from Port Moresby for ]\Iaiva, a 
coast village about ten miles west of Yule Island, and in 1 40° 40' east 
and 8° 40' south latitude. 

For the reason that it was rumoured that Mr. Forbes had chosen 
Mount Owen Stanley as his field of operation, I directed my attention 








to Mount Yule, where I expected great results in floral discovenes; and 
on the suggestion of Mr. Chalmers and Captain Liljeblad, made Maiva 
my headquarters, as from here it was thought I should have easy access 
to Mount Yule. After a fortnight's stay at Maiva I had so far gained 
the confidence of the natives that they undertook to pilot me part of the 
way towards Mount Yule, and I set out with ten native carriers. 
Travelling about two miles in an east-south-easterly dii-ection through 
low country dotted with mangrove swamps, and bearing the appearance 
of being subjected to heavy floods, as flood-marks appeared on the trees 
in every direction, I soon arrived at a village called Paihana, about five 
miles in a direct line north of the coast, nearly opposite Hall Sound. 
The village contained about thirty houses mostly poorly built and 
situated in a dense wood, intermixed with cocoa-nut palms, and distant 
about one mile south of the Hilda river. The natives were friendly and 
off'ered us cocoa-nuts and betel-nuts, the former welcome to me and the 
latter to my Maiva friends. Here I observed a custom among the 
natives not seen by me anywhere else in Xew Guinea, every male 
native carried a bark blanket on his shoulder, and before seating himself 
would first spread this blanket on the ground. 

After having a chat, through an interpreter, with the chief, he pro- 
mised to supply me with carriers the next morning to take me away to 
the next village, and moreover the old chief, Aruoba, would accompany 
me himself, and I rejoiced over my success so far; but when evening 
came, the worthy chief had got lame on one foot in some mysterious 
way, and of course could not accompany me, nor give me men, he 
said none would undertake the journey. However, the next morning I 
mustered a small party and crossed the Hilda River in order to reach 
a path about a mile up the other side, where we entered, and walked 
under a complete archway of tall rank grass extending for al)out three- 
quarters of a mile, when we came to an open forest country admirably 
suited for stock. Here we met a number of natives, men and women 
carrying fruit and vegetables in netted bags, to be bartered wiili tlic 
people on the other side of the river, where tliey had a proper market- 
place and three or four tribes met on certain days for excliange of 



goods, which arc mostly food and fruit; those who are badly off, barter 
ornaments or war implements for food. On seeing me the people got 
greatly excited, as I was the first European they had seen, but they soon 
became calm, and most of the men conducted us to their village, Nauea, 
and on entering this village the inhabitants raised their voices to the 
highest note in astonishment at seeing such a party carrying articles in- 
comprehensible to them. After a formal introduction to the chief, and 
my name ascertained — it is always a custom amongst the Papuans to 
ask a stranger's name, where he comes from, where going to, and his 
errand amongst them — a house was placed at my disposal, and food was 
brought for us all. I say the house was placed at my disposal, but I 
feared every minute the frail structure would give way under its burden, 
for every available space was occupied by inquisitive natives to see the 
wonderful Albus man, the first one who had visited them. These people 
conversed at the very top of their voices ; frequently my own voice was 
not audible, and to amuse myself while they were talking over all the 
wonderful things they saw of mine, I commenced to whistle, and before 
long found myself singing an operatic song, and the natives were as 
quiet as if a wonderful charm had acted upon them, with their mouths 
wide open, and staring at me. I had found the secret how to subdue 
their deafening conversation ; I always applied the same means when I 
desired quietness, and it never failed to produce effect. 

Every day, during my stay amongst them, I was requested to sit on 
the verandah of the house I occupied, and exhibit my white skin ; it 
took place as near as possible between 4 and 5 p.m. ; at this hour the 
people came in from their plantations or hunting excursions, and they 
appeared never to get tired of looking at me, and feeling every part 
of the body, and to all this I had to submit with a gracious smiling 

The Xauea village contains about 1,500 inhabitants, with fairly good 
houses and small enclosures where variegated plants grew. The people 
are of a small stature, healthy and industrious, clean and orderly, well 
fed, and mostly of a light colour, even as light as many half castes of a 
Tahitian origin, with bright intelligent faces. Tattooing was not much 


practised, and the string used by the natives at Port Moresby and in the 
Astrolabe ranges is dispensed with here and replaced by a wide filire 
cloth fastened like a suspender at the back, terminating in a long pen- 
dant ribbon-like tail. The women wear a short petticoat dyed black, and 
seldom more than one, but at Port Moresby, Hulu, Kerepunu, and other 
places the women generally wear two or three ; at every house I saw 
hammocks made of bark cord, on the same principle as our European 

I stayed at Nauea for several days, and explored the locality, and 
found it most valuable for pastural and agricultural purposes. It will 
no doubt in time to come play an important part as a European settle- 
ment, and I have every reason to suppose the climate is salubrious, as 
all the people here looked exceptionally healthy. 

There is one thing about the Papuan all over New Guinea that I am 
sorry I cannot record favourably on, that is, their statements and pro- 
raises cannot be relied upon. When it came to the day of my departure 
to proceed on my journey towards Mount Yule — from Nauea about two 
days' march — here also I was refused assistance, on the ground that the 
Nauea people feared that the mountain people would kill me ; but on 
investigation I found it was nothing but jealousy of my trade, as tliey 
did not wish it to pass into the hands of other tribes. Notwithstanding 
my remonstrances, I could not induce them to take me beyond their 
own district, and I with sorrow and dismay had to return to the coast, 
and leave Mount Yule unexplored for the present by me. 

The Nauea natives gave many interesting narratives relating to the 
people on the other side of Mount Yule, such as the existence of a tribe 
with long tails. The natives in the Astrolabe ranges have the same 
story about Mount Owen Stanley ; although I did not attach much im- 
portance to these wonderful tales, what I saw and heard greatly stinui- 
lated my desire to visit Mount Yule. 

In reference to the Hilda River, whether it will be of any practical 
navigable service to future settlers is more than I can say. The natives 
say the river always contains plenty of water ; at tlie time of my visit 
the wet season had jdready set in, and the river banks were overflowing, 


with a strong current which prevented my progress ; but as far as I as- 
cended the stream, it was not less than two chains wide, and in some 
places much more, and with almost perpendicular banks. The Hilda 
river flows into the Ethel river near the coast, and empties itself' into the 

I am of opinion that the Hilda derives its source from the interior, 
immediately at the back of Mount Yule, and as the western side of the 
mountain terminates very abruptly, and apparently almost forms a per- 
pendicular wall, I do believe the river has its source under this wall, or 
within a short distance of it. If this be correct, and the river proves 
navigable at all seasons of the year, it will be a most important route for 
future explorers, as this route would bring them into the centre of the 
south-easterly portion of the island. And as the western side of Mount 
Owen Stanley range gently slopes into the eastern side of Mount Yule, 
and forms a saddle between the two mountains, I believe from this 
centre the Mount Owen Stanley ranges can easily be explored, and 
probably from this point the summit of the mountain itself can be 

As it appears to me that Mount Yule terminates very abruptly when 
it meets the Hilda river, I have every reason to think my supposition is 
correct, and from that point a vast extent of level country extends in a 
north-westerly course for many miles, and will, beyond doubt, even- 
tually be one of the localities for European settlements. 

In retracing my steps to the coast, I passed through several villages, 
and was astonished to find a number of fowls cooped up in true Euro- 
pean style ; the birds are merely kept for the feathers of the male, which 
are particularly bright and used for ornaments ; they are similar to the 
Malay fowls, with the exception of being a shade bigger. 

On my return to Maiva I again stayed there a few days, and made 
a small collection of botanical specimens. The Maiva district is dry, 
consisting of a series of hills, up to 600 feet above sea level, with slate 
and ironstone ; the vegetation is mostly a stunted eucalj-pti growth, and 
the natives are compelled to have their plantations in the valleys where 
there is more moisture and shelter for the fruit trees and vegetables. I 


found several quartz pebbles of a very good quality, water-worn, which 
in all probability had been washed down from the hills. The natives 
used large brilUant crystals as charms when hunting or courting ; these 
crystals were found in the Maiva district. 

On the hills, a mile from the village, I discovered in calcareous beds 
a number of marine fossils of a recent formation, I venture to tliink 
that gold will also be discovered in the Maiva district, but in what quan- 
tity I do not venture to predict. 

The ]\laiva district has a large population with apparently abundance 
of food of every description. The people are kind and friendly disposed 
towards strangers, and intelligent ; the men are full of conceit, and pay 
great attention to their scanty attire. Many of them ai'e handsome, and 
have an aristocratic bearing. The women, who have sharp masculine 
features, and much tatooed, are less pleasing than the men. 

The marriage custom at Maiva, unHke all the places I have seen in 
New Guinea, where, when a woman is married, she is deprived of all 
her hair and ornaments, differs in this that she retains them at Maiva, 
being allowed to keep her pretty hair. As a young girl she is tattooed 
all over her body, with the exception of her face, which is left to be 
(lone when she is married, to indicate that the woman has entered into 
the matrimonial union. At the marriage ceremony the bride and bride- 
groom are dressed in their best, ornamented with feathers, shells, and 
bright foliage plants ; friends and relatives are invited, all giving 
presents, chiefly food. After the feasting is at an end, the marriage 
ceremony is considered legal, and the young couple are left to struggle 
lor themselves. Each wife is bought from the parents, or from relatives, 
should the girl's parents be dead. The payment usually consists of 
pigs, food, and ornaments, tomahawks, and pearl shells, with calico, 
beads, &c., if any articles of European manufacture have found their 
way to the villages ; but the pig is on no account omitted. 

It is of frequent occurrence that the lady leaves her husband three 
or four times during life, and vice versa^ in each case always taking a 
fresh partner. At each such mishap cocoa-nut trees and vegetable 
gardens belonging to the peccant wife or husband, as the case may be. 


or co-respondent, are destroyed by the injured party, a severe fight being 
usually the result. I saw in Maiva many marks of the infringement of 
the marriage law, such as half the trunk of a beautiful cocoa-nut palm 
standing as a monument of the unlawful event. 

The only drawback to Maiva ever becoming a European Settlement 
is the heavy surf on the coast, which makes it very difficult to effect a 
landing even with a canoe, but I dare say when Europeans are allowed 
to settle in New Guinea, and should Maiva ever become a European 
Settlement, civilization will devise some means of aj^proaching it. 


Motu-Motu is situated on the eastern bank at the entrance of Wil- 
liams River, in longitude 146° 9' east, and latitude 8° 13' south; the 
district is an immense extent of sago country, very humid, and beyond 
doubt the fever-bed of New Guinea. 

The population here I should estimate at 1,500; the people are as a 
rule of tall stature, well built, and in good condition, as here is no lack 
of food ; considering the humidity of the district they keep in excellent 
health. Smallpox has at some time or other visited this district, as un- 
mistakable evidences show on middle-aged men who say they had a 
great sickness when they were boys, and many people died. 

These people have many interesting customs ; for instance, at a cer- 
tain time of the year, usually September and October, when vegetables 
are abundant, youths are sent into the Elamos, or sacred houses, as Mr. 
Chalmers calls them, but this word is a misnomer, as my readers will see 
further on. The youths having reached the age of fourteen or fifteen, 
all the hair is shaved off their heads. On the day of their entering the 
Elamo all the people feast on pigs, yams, taros, sweet potatoes, sugar- 
cane, cocoa-nuts, and betel-nuts, &c. All this food is collected and 
placed in huge heaps outside each Elamo where a boy or several is to be 
imprisoned, as I call it ; it is distributed amongst the people, then cooked 


and consumed ; singing and dancing follow. These boys remain in the 
Elamo for eight or nine months, or until such time as the hair is com- 
pletely grown over the head, so that when they marry — which they are 
at liberty to do when they come out — it can be tied in a mop at the back 
of the head. All the time they remain in the Elamo they are allowed 
to communicate with none but men, who bring them food, &c. They 
take outdoor exercise at night, as they must avoid all contact with 
women, and not even be seen by old or young, sister or mother. When 
the hair is grown to the required length they are set free ; they are then 
considered men, and allowed to take part in matters concerning the 

The Elamos, it is said, are sacred houses, but I am sorry to say these 
people have nothing sacred ; all married and single men sleep in these 
so-called sacred houses ; here they gossip, eat, drink, and create mis- 
chief of every description. If a sanctuary is used for such debasing 
work it cannot justly be called a sanctuary. Death sentences have been 
passed upon many innocent men from these so-called sacred houses. 

I said married men slept in the Elamos ; yes, this is rather a pecuhar 
custom in the matrimonial union amongst these people ; every night the 
husband leaves his wife and family and betakes himself to the house of 
mischief, there to sleep. Not unfrequently when the husband leaves 
his wife in the evening, some single man will go to the wife, give the 
name of her husband, and have a little love adventure — the readers will 
wonder how this can be done, but it is easy enough, as there is no light 
in the houses; sometimes the woman will find out the mistake and give 
alarm, and the intruder will find himself in a serious trouble, which 
frequently is fatal to him. 

The images of birds, fishes, pigs, and men are kept in these houses 
only as ornaments, as these people acknowledge no deities. 

On the whole these people are very egotistic, and not easy to deal 
with ; they are by nature rowdy and <|uarrelsome, and were at one time 
considered the warriors of the coast ; and even at the time when Messrs. 
Lawes and Clialmers took up their residence at Port Moresby, they 
threatened to go and fight them. And for my own part I have not met 


a more selfish lot of people than the ]\Iotu-]\Iotuans. The Aroma and 
]\Iotu-]\[otu people are certainly the most noisy folks I have met in Xew 
Guinea as yet, and my wife has named them the Irish of New Guinea. 
They will receive strangers very kindly, but this is policy, as they know 
strano'ers are generally liberal with their tobacco, &c.; but were the 
young people taken in hand and taught what is right and wrong — for at 
present they don't know what is right, except from their own point of 
xie^v — they could be made a useful people ; they possess intelligence, and 
are quick of comprehension. They are independent, because nature is 
kind to them ; they need not worry for to-morrow, and when their larder 
is exhausted they need only to go into the bush, cut down a sago tree, 
which will supply a family with food for weeks; cocoa-nuts they also 
have in abundance, and on the whole the Papuans are the happiest 
people on earth, the country supplies them with all their wants, without 
much exertion on their part ; poor mortals in civiHzation have to toil 
and struggle all their life long, and in most cases only for a miserable 
existence. The savage is indolent, blood-thirsty, and in every way 
opposed to the moral laws laid down for the guidance of humanity, yet 
the Creator provides more readily for the savage in New Guinea than 
for the civilized man. 


188 6. 







Private Secretary to the late 




Report by G. Seymour Fort. 

Part I. 

A record of places visited, proceedings taken in connection with the 
erection of buildings, purchases of land, judicial matters, &c., judicial pro- 
ceedings, and other administrative matters. 

Part II. 

Statement of the existing state of the country, the character of the natives, 
their system of land tenure, resources — actual and potential, &c. 

Part III. 

The views of the late Sir Peter Scratchley with regard to the present 
political position which British New Guinea occupies in the Anglo-Australia 
System — also his views with regard to its future position and futiu*e 


From a Negative hy Foster and Martin, Melbourne. 

Plate XLIX. 



11 E P R T. 

^S^m PETER SCRATCHLEY arrived in Molbournc at the end of 
the year 1884. Before, however, he was able to proceed to New 
Guinea, two main questions had to bo settled — 

(1) To find a suitable vessel in which to go to, and remain 
on, the New Guinea coast: 
(2) To arrange with the various Australasian colonies with regard to tho 
present and future contributions towards the expenses of adminis- 
tering the Protected Territory. In order to settle this latter 
question. Sir Peter Scratchley visited the colonies of Victoria, New 
South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and New Zealand, and per- 
sonally interviewed their respective Ministers. Ho also met and 
interviewed the Premier of South Australia. The purport of tho 
replies from these colonies with regard to this point was to tho 
effect that they would continue to contribute their respective 
quotas for periods varying from two to five years, on the condition 
that a certain share in the expenditure should bo borne by tho 
Imperial Government. 
The difficulty and delay in obtaining a suitable vessel for service on tho New 
Guinea coast was intensified by tho threatened rupture between England and 
Russia, which was imminent during the months of March and April of that year. 
Early in January, 1885, Sir I'eter Sc-ratchley had gone to Sydney, and while 
there the Government had offered to place H.M.C.S. " Wolverene " at his disposal 
for service on the New Guinea coast for six months. This offer was accepted, 
and the vessel was placed in charge of Captain Taylor, who was instructed to 


carry out tlio nocossary refittings and repairs. In the meantime, Sir Peter went 
to Tasmania, and not long after his return to Melbourne from that colony the 
threatened rupture with Russia appeared so imminent that he felt it his duty to 
resign the " Wolverene/' and place her again at the disposal of the New South 
Wales Government. For a considerable period after this his time and attention 
were devoted to the defences of the various colonies. As soon as the alarm with 
regard to the danger to be apprehended from Russia had somewhat subsided, he 
advertised for tenders for the chartering of a steamer for service on the New 
Guinea coast. Twenty answers were received, but the prices ashed by the 
majority of the tenderers were so exorbitant as to leave only one or two to 
choose from. After considerable trouble and dehberation, Sir Peter Scratchley 
accepted the tender of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company for the 
s.s. " Governor Blackall," and in July she was laid up in Sydney for the purpose 
of refitting and preparing for her work on the coast of New Guinea. In the 
meantime, at the request of the Governments of Queensland and New Zealand, 
Sir Peter Scratchley visited those colonies for the purpose of conferring with 
the Ministers on the subject of his mission. 

By the end of July, the " Governor Blackall " was ready, but, owing to his 
illness. Sir Peter Scratchley was unable to start until the middle of August. 
On the 13th of that month the " Governor Blackall " left Sydney, and, after 
calling at Brisbane, Townsville, and Cooktown, arrived at Port Moresby on the 
22nd August. 

Paet I. — Recced of Proceedings. 

After arrival of Sir Peter Scratchley in New Guinea, his time may be 
divided into three periods : — 

(i.) From 28th August to 12th October, during which period he was 
engaged in establishing the seat of Government at Port Moresby, 
and in inspecting the country from Port Moresby to South Cape 
and Dinner Island. Redscar Bay was visited, and an expedition 
made inland, for about twelve miles, to the Kabadi district. The 
following places along the coast were also visited : — Bootless 
Inlet, Tupuselei, Kailee, Kapakapa, Hula, Kemp, Walsh River, 
Kerupunu, Kalo, Aroma, South Cape, Teste Island, and Dinner 
Island. From each of these places expeditions were made inland, 
in some cases penetrating to the interior to the distance of 
fourteen miles. 

(it.) Peri,^! from 12th to 30th October. During this period. Sir Peter 


Scratchley, in company with H.M.S. '* Diamond " and '^ Raven/' 
who were awaiting his arrival at Dinner Island, was engaged in 
investigations concerning the killing of white men, which had 
occurred among the islands on the South and South-East Coast, in 
the Louisiade Archipelago, &c. The following cases were investi- 
gated : — The killing of Captain Miller, at Normanby Island, on the 
3rd of that month ; the killing of Rcid, at Slade Island, Engineer 
Group; the killing of Captain Friar, at Moresby Island; the killing 
of Bob Lumse, at Hayter Island j the killing of Captain Webb, in 
the previous year, at Milport Bay ; the attack on the schooner 
" AVild Duck," in Cloudy Bay, in June, 188t. For the purpose 
of obtaining evidence, the following islands were visited : — Killer- 
ton Island and the main land in Milne Bay, Dufaure Island, Lydia 
and Toulon Islands. On the 29th, the vessels returned to Aroma, 
where the flag was hoisted, in the presence of about 2,000 natives ; 
and on the 31st they returned to Port Moresby, 
[in.) From 1st November to 1st December — a period of exploration and 
discovery. On the 1st November, the " Governor BlackalP' was 
sent back to Australia, in consequence of the dangerous illness of 
Mr. Askwith, serving on staft', and Sir Peter Scratchley remained 
on shore at Port Moresby for twelve days, making an expedition 
50 miles inland to Mr. Forbes' station, at the base of Mount 
Owen Stanley. After the return of the " Governor Blackall," he 
went to Hula, and, on the 15th, held a Court of Inquiry on the 
conduct of two white men. On the 19th, ho proceeded to Dis- 
covery Bay, in Milne Bay, exploring on the way a hitherto un- 
known river on the north-east portion of the bay. On the fol- 
lowing day, the ''Governor Blackall" was taken into hitherto 
unsurveyed waters, at the head of the bay, to a place called 
^faivara. From here the vessel went to Bentley Bay, the most 
southerly point on the North-East Coast, calling on her way at 
Killerton Island, from which place an expedition was made across 
the hills, extending from Milne Bay to Bentley Bay, througli a 
country which was reported to be teeming with hostile natives, 
who were, however, found to bo most friendly. From Bentley 
Bay the vessel cruised along the North-East Coast to ^litre Rock, 
which forms the boundary of the English territory on the North- 
East Coast. I^litro Rock was reached on the 25th November. 


From this point, owing to tlio illness of Sir Peter Scratclalcy, the 
vessel steamed direct to Australia, callin<^ at Dinner Island and 
South Cape on the way, arriving at Cooktown on the 1st 
Two important results are to be noted : — 

(1) The practical knowledge gained of the country, the natives, and 

their environment. 

(2) The friendly relations opened up everywhere with the natives. 
With regard to the first point, at each place visited a record was kept of the 

name of the district and its chief; the approximate number of villages and 
population ; the native teachers resident ; the character of the natives, climate 
and nature of the soil ; the natural products and industries, &c. ; and any in- 
cidents of importance. Each of these points will be dealt with in a subsequent 
part of the Report. 

With reference to the opening up communication with the natives — at each 
place, wherever possible, the chiefs were collected, presents made, and the inten- 
tion of the Government and its wish to protect black and white alike explained. 
The chiefs were told that all complaints against white men were to be made to 
H. M. Special Commissioner or his representative, who would constantly patrol 
the coast ; that no chief was to take the law into his own hands ; that tribal 
warfare was to be discouraged ; and the absolute authority of one chief to be 
recognised. The position of the native teacher, as exercising a beneficial 
influence, was also everywhere recognised. 

On arrival in New Guinea the subjects demanding immediate attention 
were — (1) The appointment of ofiicers ; (2) The establishment of a seat of 
Government ; (3) The purchasing of land from the natives ; (4) The erection of 
a house for the Government Resident. 

Captain Musgrave, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, was placed in charge^ 
and intrusted with the administration of afiairs for the district, extending from 
Yule Island to Hood Bay. The Honourable J. Douglas, who was Government 
Resident at Thursday Island, was also appointed Assistant Deputy Commissioner 
for the purpose of exercising control over the western portion of the protected 
territory. Mr. Frank Lawes was appointed Postmaster, Harbour- master, and 
Clerk to Captain Musgrave. Two brothers, by name Hunter, of considerable 
practical experience in New Guinea, were also taken into Government employ — 
the one to act as forester and inspector of the timber trade, the other to inspect 
the beche-de-mer industry. 

Port Moresby was established as the seat of Government, and the sole port 
of entry. The reasons for this selection were — (1) because it was the only place 


where any permanent attempt at civilization had been made ; (2) because of its 
comparative healthiness ; (3) its vicinity and easy access, especially for sailin"- 
vessels, to Cooktown, and a telegraph station. 

A considerable area of land, comprising the best sites in tlio harbour and 
nearly the whole of the frontage to the sea, was, with but small difliculty, 
purchased from the natives. In summoning together the claimants for this 
land, and in obtaining their assent to parting with their property in perpetuo, 
and thus securing a sound title for the Government, the assistance rendered by 
the Mission was invaluable. A portion of this was set aside for Government 
buildings ; part was reserved as a site for a future township, and a portion was 
also to be held as a native reserve. 

Previous to the arrival of Sir Peter Scratchlcy at Port Moresby, the only 
houses were those belonging to the Mission and to a storekeeper of the name of 
Goldie. Consequently, all Government officials, and to a large extent all 
visitors also, were dependent upon the hospitality of the Mission for board and 
lodging. A site was, however, carefully selected by Sir Peter, on which a lar^-e 
two-roomed house, which had been ordered at Townsville, was erected. This is 
at present oecupied by Captain Musgrave, and is the only Government residence 
in the island. By means of pipes laid on from a natural spring, the house as 
well as the native village below, is amply supplied with water. A prison was 
also in the course of erection, and Captain Musgrave was instructed to collect 
materials for the building of a native bungalow. A small printino- office was 
also established, and Eegulations were printed, copies of which were sent to as 
many white traders as possible, and to the native teachers in each district. 

Boevagi, the chief of the village, was formally recognised as chief of the 
district. He was instructed to refer all complaints, whether of a tribal nature or 
against white men, to the Special Commissioner. Twenty-five of the sub-chiefs 
of the district were summoned on board the " Governor Blackall," were pre- 
sented with presents, and were told by Sir Peter Scratchlcy — firstly, that they 
were to regard the white man as their fricud, whose presence would be to their 
advantage ; secondly, that they were to regard Boevagi as their chief, to whom 
they were to refer to in all cases requiring arbitration. 

In addition to tho land at Port Moresby purchased by the Government, a 
large tract of land, comprising nearly one half of Stacoy Island, was purchased at 
South Capo. In this case, tho transaction was simplified by the fact that there 
was only one owner, and that the rest of tho tribe recognised his individual 
right to dispose of tho land. No title deeds were drawn up, nor did the seller 
attach his nanic to any document ; a statement was signed by tho Rev. J, 
Chalmers, tho native interpreter, and others, to tho effect that the native (Pusa) 


liad a solo riglit to tho land, that ho had parted with it voluntarily, and that he 
and tho tribo were satisfied with tho payment given — about £5 worth of trade. 
These were the only purchases of land made. 

Owing to the somewhat unstable and unique relationship that the Imperial 
and Colonial Governments had occupied with regard to New Guinea, several 
Europeans had gone through the form of purchasing land from the natives. Two 
classes of claimants to land were dealt with — those who based their claims on 
purchases made prior to the proclamation of the Protectorate ; those who claimed 
a prescriptive right to lease lands, on the ground of occupancy or original 

Of the first class, a claim to about 700 acres of land at Port Moresby in 1878, 
and a claim to 15,000 acres of land alleged to have been purchased in the Kabadi 
district in 1880, were the most important. Although, under paragraph No. 6 
in Commodore Erskine's Proclamation of November, 1884, these claims had no 
legal basis whatever, yet as there might be special cases, where individuals 
might in equity appear entitled to consideration, each case was thoroughly 
investigated by Sir Peter Scratchley. 

In the first case, the original purchase had been made in July, 1878 ; the 
original purchaser, who had been master of a trading vessel, had died and had 
assigned his claims to the present claimant, who now claimed about 500 acres of 
peninsula headland, and two other allotments of about 100 acres each, these 
two being comprised in the land purchased by the Government as a native 
reserve. In the purchase of these it was alleged that £600 had been spent. 
After careful inquiry, it was made clear that certain transactions had taken place, 
and that certain natives had signed their names to these transactions. It was, 
however, made equally clear that, putting the trade at its highest figure, not 
more than £8 was given to the natives for the land. 
The claim was refused on the following grounds : — 

(a) Under Commodore Erskine's Proclamation it had no legal basis. 
(6) Neither of the parties to the transaction had any legal or ofiicial 

(c) There was no reason shown why in equity any consideration should 
be given. 
As the land in the Kabadi district was stated to be very fertile, the area 
claimed extensive, and the claim already possessed an official history, a special 
expedition was made for the purpose of investigation. 
This claim was refused on the following grounds : — 
(a) Sir Arthur Palmer's Proclamation. 


(h) Commodore Erskino^s Proclamation. 

(c) There was no reason shown why in equity the claim should be 


In support of this last cause, Sir Peter Scratchlcy wrote : " I have ascertained, 

by inquiries on the spot, that the purchase of the land was not completed by you 

or your late partner, and that your negotiations for the land have at no time 

been acknowledged by the chief of the district." 

I may state that one of the partners has voluntarily retired from his alleged 
claim — the other still importunes the Government on the subject. 

The applications for leases were based on the grounds of occupancy or 
original exploration. They were all temporarily shelved or refused until the 
places had been visited by Sir Peter Scratchlcy or one of his officers. 
The following applications for concessions of land were recorded : — 

(1.) From a firm in Australia, on behalf of a Gorman Company, for tho 
purpose of establishing trading stations. — This application was 
refercd to the Imperial Government. 
(2.) From the New Guinea Land and Emigration Company in London, to 
which the following reply was returned by Sir Peter Scratchlcy : — 
" Being anxious to assist in every way the enterprise of persons 
desirous of developing the resources of the British portion of 
the island, I regret to state that the project, as laid before mo 
in your prospectus, is altogether unworkable and pi'omature." 
(3.) From a New Guinea trader, in order to enable him to start a 
company for the development of native industries. — The corre- 
spondence in reference to this application was never completed. 
Permissive occupancy of Government land, for tho purpose of erecting a 
house and store, was granted to two traders at Port Moresby, and also at Soutli 

Permission was granted to -Mr. II. O. Forbes, who has a station at Sogere, 
about 50 miles inland from Port Moresby, to purchase land from tho natives in 
that district. 

A registration of claiinauts to land or to leaseholds, on tho same plan as that 
adopted in Fiji, was in tho course of compilation. As soon as this had bi-i'u 
completed, the claims of those pcr.sons who had expended money in the purchase 
of land, or who had worked and cultivated land on terras of agreement with tho 
natives or otherwise, would have received prior consideration as against all sub- 
sequent retjucsts to lease or purchase. 

In addition to tho claimants already mi'iitioucd, there are others whoso 



claims date back for some years, who arc only waiting the result of test cases 
boforo tlioy take any action. 

As it was found that no vessel would undertake the conveyance of a monthly 
mail to Port Moresby at an economical rate, it was considered necessary to 
abandon, for the present, the project of a monthly mail service. The Queensland 
Post Office authorities agreed, however, to regard New Guinea in the same light 
as an isolated station in Queensland. That is to say, letters posted in New 
Guinea, and bearing a Queensland stamp, would be charged Queensland rates ; 
while all letters addressed to New Guinea would bo forwarded to Cooktown^ 
and would there await the departure of any vessel that might be returning to 
New Guinea, no extra charge being made for their transference from Cooktown 
to their destination. The Queensland Government were also good enough to 
allow the Auditor-General to make a half-yearly audit of the accounts. Official 
notices with regard to New Guinea were also, by the courtesy of His Excellency 
the Governor and the Premier, allowed to be inserted in the Queensland 
" Government Gazette." 

As, in Sir Peter Scratchley^s opinion, the indiscriminate influx of adventurers 
and speculators would be to the disadvantage of the country, no person was 
allowed to go to New Guinea without a permit. Several permits to trade were 
granted to private companies and individuals ; but it is a significant fact that, 
although the requests for these permits were very urgent, yet in the majority of 
cases the applicants did not avail themselves of them when granted. Each 
permit was granted subject to the observance of conditions. The customs 
officer, both at Townsville and Cooktown, was authorized by the Queensland 
Government to prevent any vessel without a permit from clearing from either 
of the above-named ports. 

It was a prominent item in Sir Peter Scratchley's policy to encourage as much 
as possible explorations, conducted upon a proper footing and under recognised 
leaders. Many persons applied for permits to explore who were totally unfit to 
do so, and whose attempt, had permits been granted them, would have been ruin 
to themselves, and would have made a breach in the relations with the natives 
which it might have taken years to heal. The following remarks on this question 
appear in his note book : — " All explorations must be methodical and systematic. 
No time must be fixed for the return of the exploring party, which should be 
composed of as few members as possible. No exploring party should act 
independently of the Government.''' 

The two most important explorations undertaken during Sir Peter Scratchley's 
administration were — 


(1.) The expedition of the Australasian Geographical Society, under 
Captain Everill. The whole history of this expedition is so well 
known that remark is unnecessary. 
(2.) Mr. H. 0. Forbes, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, arrived 
in Australia in August, and accompanied Sir Peter Scratchley in 
the s.s. '^ Governor Blackall '' to New Guinea. His object is to 
explore the Owen Stanley Range. For this purpose he has esta- 
blished himself, with 25 Malays, at a station at the base of the 
mountain, and has opened up friendly relations not only with the 
natives immediately around him, but also far back into the 
interior. Early in the dry season he will attempt the ascent of 
the mountain. In the meantime, he is engaged in making obser- 
vations and collecting Botanical and Natural History specimens. 
He will eventually furnish the Government with a Geological 
Report upon the country through which he passes. In order to 
assist him in his operations. Sir Peter Scratchley has authorized 
him to purchase land from the natives, for the purpose of intro- 
ducing the cultivation of rice and maize, and a considerable 
amount of the former, for seed purposes, was ordered from Batavia . 
Sir Peter also furnished him with a large number of seeds for the 
purpose of forming a Government garden. It had also been the 
intention of Sir Peter Scratchley to have granted him from the 
Government funds a considerable sum of money to enable him 
to continue his operations after his ascent of the mountain. His 
long experience in dealing with natives, the accurate records kept 
by him of the natural features and natural products of the country, 
render his work as an explorer of exceptional value in adding to 
the knowledge of the country. 
(3.) An application was made from the Mayor of Townsvillo for a 
permit to be granted to a gold prospecting expedition to visit the 
country. This was granted, and Sir Peter Scratchley promised 
to instruct his oflicers to assist the expedition in every way possible. 
It was, however, pointed out that it would not be advisable for 
the expedition to start until the end of the raiuy reason. 
During his cruise along the coast, many instances of strained relationships 

existing between the trading whites and the natives were brought under Sir 

Peter Scratchloy's notice. 

Tho most important complaint made by natives white mou was a 


cliargo hronglit by Rcnalci, chief of Ilula, against two white men, by name 
CJuiso and Currio. These two men had been resident in that district for some 
time, and the chief had made a complaint to Mr. Romilly about them in December, 
1884. He complained that, although they were resident in the district, they 
followed no trade ; that they were in tho habit of systematically violating the 
young women of the tribe ; and, what appeared to bo the chief cause of his 
complaint, of violating the married women also. He further informed Mr. 
Romilly that they had spoken disrespectfully of the Commodore. Acting upon 
this complaint, Mr. Romilly requested the captain of H.M.S. 'SSwinger" to 
deport tho men from Hula. This was done, and they were taken in that vessel 
to Australia. They, however, again returned in a vessel which had no permit, 
and took up their residence at Hula. On Sir Peter Scratchley's first visit to 
Hula, in September, the chief Renaki made a formal complaint against these two 
men, and asked Sir Peter Scratchley if he was strong enough to remove them. 
At that time Sir Peter Scratchley was unable to remain at the village, but he 
promised that he would return and investigate the matter. Accordingly, when 
he visited Hula in November, a Court was held on board the s.s. ^'Governor 
Blackall," and the two men. Guise and Currie, were summoned by warrant to 
appear. The native evidence taken before the Court was not strong enough to 
justify their deportation under clause 26 of the Western Pacific Orders in 
Council, but they were proceeded against under clause 27 of those Orders, which 
prohibits residents in the Island from remaining there if their presence shall be 
considered by the Commissioner detrimental to the peace and good order of the 
Pacific Islands. 

A few minor complaints, made against some of the traders on the coast, with 
reference to the prices paid for heche-de-mer, &c., were also adjudicated upon. 

The principal complaint of whites against natives was a charge of robbery 
with assault, committed by some of the natives at Aroma, upon a trader called 
Dan Rowan. This case was carefully investigated on the spot by Sir Peter 
Scratchley, and the native evidence taken in the matter, the result being that the 
chief was ordered to restore the stolen property, which was done. 

Six cases of white men who had been killed during the past two years on the 
New Guinea Coast were investigated. The results of these investigations went 
to show — 

(1.) That the white men killed fell into two classes: — (a) Those who 
were killed for their individual crimes against native laws, either 
immorality, as in the case of Reid, or of unfair and unjust dealing^ 
as in the case of Bob Lurase, or, as in the case of Webb, for reck- 


lessly ignoring of triLal feuds and warfare, (l) Those who fell as 
victims to native superstitious ideas, and the demand for vengeance 
which the evils of the labour traffic had aroused, vide Frier and 
Miller's case. 
(2.) That in every case, therefore, there was either direct or indirect 
aggressive provocation on the part of the whites against the 
(3.) That, in the majority of cases, there was reckless disregard on the 
part of the murdered of warnings given. Frier refused to believe 
the native boy who told him the natives had determined to kill 
him. Miller had been warned by Captain Bridge of H.M.S. 
" Espiegle," and by Mr. Chalmers, not to go to Normanby Island. 
So many and so various are the difficulties connected with the question of 
punishment, that to administer justice according to European notions for these 
outrages is impossible. A murder is committed, and a man-of-war proceeds to 
the spot. She finds that every person in the village has left, taking everything 
with them; by waiting a day or so, some of the men will return. They will not, 
however, fight — at the first sign of hostility they flee into the jungle, where to 
pursue them would be fatal, as for every native caught, ten white men might 
be speared. Should, however, the natives remain and consent to give evidence, 
such evidence is wholly unreliable, partly from the difficulty of interpretation and 
explanation, and partly also from the readiness with which, when they do under- 
stand, they will endeavour to adapt their statements to the leading idea or 
apparent wish of the questioner. Then, again, the native custom with regard 
to payment for murder, and their low estimate of human life, forms another 
difficulty. In the case of Miller, one of the murderers came off to the ship 
voluntarily, bringing liis payment or wergild for the nmrder he had committed. 
He was detained on board, but to have punished him with death, in the face of 
liis having voluntarily paid what, according to his standard of justice, was a 
full penalty for his deed, would have been revenge and not justice. 

As a result of the experience gained by Sir Peter Scratchlcy during these 
investigations, the following conclusions wore arrived at: — 

(1.) That the Government cannot be responsible for the protection of 
irresponsible traders, who cruise from place to place in vessels in- 
sufficiently manned, whose defenceless position, and the possession 
of trade which they injudiciously expose, are almost invariably a 
source of incitement to the natives to attack them. 
(2.) That mou-of-war vessels are not suited for tho purpose of administer- 


ing justice and punishing outrages on the New Guinea coast ; that 
under the peculiar conditions for which they are required, they 
comLino the least amount of efficiency with the greatest display of 
(3) . That the most effective police would be a selected crew of Samoans 
or Fijians, under the charge of an English officer, who would be 
constantly patrolling the coast. This force could also be utilized 
for the prevention of tribal warfare. It would of course be 
necessary that the officer in charge should send in a writteji 
report of his proceedings. 

Part II. — The Existing State op the Country. 

The above-mentioned administrative proceedings were more or less of a 
provisional nature, and were incidental to what appeared to Sir Peter Scratchley 
to be the main object of his cruise, namely, to gain a practical insight into the 
actual condition of the country, in order to be able to lay before the Imperial 
and Colonial Governments some scheme for its administration. As it is evident, 
on account of the climate, that as the natural resources of New Guinea can only 
be developed by means of coloured labour, the distribution of the natives, both 
as to population and disposition, is perhaps of paramount importance. With the 
exception of some portions of the North-East Coast, almost the entire littoral of 
the Protected Territory is inhabited. In the AYest and North- West, from the 
Fly River to Hall Sound, the natives are very numerous, the tribes are large, 
and a higher stage of tribal development is reached than elsewhere. The soil is 
in some places extremely fertile, and the sago produced in this portion of the 
coast supplies the districts on the South- West Coast as far as Kaile. 

The natives inhabiting not only the coast, but also the high lands and 
valleys from Port Moresby to Kerupunu, are numerous, peaceable, and show 
themselves willing to adopt European ideas with regard to labour, &c. This is 
especially the case among the fertile lands behind Kapakapa, Hula, and Keru- 
punu. At Aroma, Cloudy Bay, Milport Bay, and Toulon Island, the character 
of the natives changes ; they are very numerous, their tribal organization is 
more complete, and their individual physique finer, but they are not to be 
trusted — their latent capacity for bloodshed is strong, and with difficulty 

The population from South Cape to Bentley Bay and East Cape is more 


scattered, the villages are small and numerous, tlie people small in stature, and of 
peaceable disposition. 

But little is known of the natives on the north-east coast ; the few that were 
visited were visited during the cruise of the " Governor Blackall." Several 
places were visited where no white man had ever been before ; although shy, the 
natives appeared to be friendly ; in some places the villages were very large. 

Most of the islands in the Louisiade Archipelago and D'Entrecasteaux 
Group are thickly populated ; the natives are, however, treacherous, and less to 
be trusted than those on the mainland ; in most of the islands also, as well as on 
the mainland from South Cape to Bentley Bay, the natives have been and are 

From what is known of the interior, the villages appear to be numerous, and 
the people friendly. At Mr. Forbes^ station, the furthest settlement inward 
hitherto attempted, the natives are not only friendly, but have caused tribes 
living far away in the interior to become friendly also. 

During his tours of inspection. Sir Peter Scratchlcy personally visited no 
fewer than 18 districts, 27 islands, Si inland villages, and nearly GO coast 
villages. Except on rare occasions, no arms were carried ; and on no single 
occasion was the slightest hostility shown, or was there a single disturbance 
with the natives. 

The social and political organization of the New Guinea natives is quite 
rudimentary. Even the tribes in the West, who are less barbarous than elsewhere, 
have no fully developed tribal system, such as existed iu Fiji, Java, or New 
Zealand. On the other hand, however, nowhere arc they nomadic or so low in 
the scale as the Australian black. 

The infinite variety of dialects to bo found throughout the Protected Territory 
is a prominent element of difficulty in dealing with the natives, whether for 
trading or investigation purposes. Not only each district, but each village, has 
very frequently a dilFerent dialect. The Motu dialect prevails over the largest 
area, namely, from Port Moresby to Kapa Kapa. 

Owing not improbably to the influence of the ISIalay element they have 
everywhere shown themselves ready to trade with Europeans, and eagerly 
exchange, not only natural products, pigs, Sec, but even personal ornaments, 
relics, house utensils, Sec, for tobacco, axes, cloth, Sec. They have also a good 
deal of inland trading among themselves, the inland supplying the coast tribes 
with food products in exchange for fisb, salt, &c. In the Port Moresby district 
largo expeditions are annually made to the Gulf of Papua for the purpose of 
exchanging the j)ottery (burnt clay pots) made at l^ort Moresby for the sago 


grown in the West. These expeditions arc undertaken in large crafts (Lakatois) 
made by lasliing several canoes together. In those they frequently go out of 
sight of land, and steer hy the stars. It was estimated that in one of these 
expeditions, which started from Port Moresby shortly after the arrival of the 
" Governor Blackall,^^ 20,000 pots were taken, for which they would bring back 
in exchange about 150 tons of sago. 

As tho natives exist almost entirely upon vegetable diet — yams, bananas, 
&c. — they are obliged to undergo a certain amount of labour in tilling the 
ground. This, however, is done mainly by the women, who are not unfrequently 
skilful agriculturalists. The men, however, as a rule, are not industrious, and 
seem incapable of any systematic permanent labour. The principal food sources 
are bananas, yams, sweet potatoes, tare, cacoa-nuts, sugar-cane, bread-fruit, and 
other native fruits, fish, &c. 

In order to render the natives more capable of self-government among them- 
selves and useful instruments in developing the resources of the country, it will 
bo necessary that native customs and institutions should be reformed by Govern- 
ment in two directions. 

(1.) It will be necessary to create in each district a tribal chief, who 

will also be a British official. This chief will be trustee for the 

lands, and responsible for the conduct of the inhabitants in its 

At present, not only in each district but in each village, there appears to be 
a chaos of authorities. Under the present circumstances, each man, beyond con- 
forming to certain established customs, is a law to himself. In a single village 
there is not unfrequently to be found three rival chiefs, each basing his claim to 
chieftainship upon a different basis; there is the patriarchal chief, who is, more 
or less, connected by kin with all in the village ; there is the man who is chief 
by virtue of his individual prowess in war ; and there is also, perhaps, a sorcerer 
chief. It occasionally happened that all three attributes, or perhaps two, were 
centred in one chief — as, for instance, Koapena, chief of Aroma — but this is the 
exception, and not the rule. The remedy suggested by Sir Peter Scratchley 
was to introduce a modified form of the Java system, crushing out the minor 
chiefs, and making the Government-elected chief the recipient of a certain annual 
payment. He would then be held responsible for the safety of all foreigners, and 
for the maintenance of law and order within his district. 

(2.) It will be necessary to raise the standard of native comfort, by 

introducing the cultivation of rice and maize. 
This could be done by means of the official chief and native teachers. Its 


effect would be to increase the number of requirements among the natives — to 
give them an inducement to steady labour and systematic cultivation. Hitherto 
tobacco has been current coin among the natives, and only so long as they were 
in want of this would they work, consequently their labour could never be 
depended upon. At Port ]\Ioresby, however, and elsewhere, the introduction of 
a meal of rice, as payment for a day^s work, was appreciated, and proved a far 
greater incentive to steady and reliable labour than tobacco. 

The system of land tenure in New Guinea is generally admitted to be a com- 
plicated one. Those who have hitherto written and reported concerning it have 
almost without exception regarded it as an organized system of tribal ownership ; 
but although the natural boundaries of the tribal district are always known to 
each member of the community, yet it seems probable that there is no idea of 
tribal ownership as it is generally understood. 

The actual ownership of the land appears to be based upon the basis of kin- 
ship. The land is divided into divisions and subdivisions, owned by groups of 
individuals, who are all more or less connected by kin. The number of indivi- 
duals in these groups is variable. The group may have dwindled down to one 
representative, or it may have indefinitely increased. Each member of this 
family group regards himself as having a distinct interest in the land appro- 
priated to his kinsmen ; not only, however, can no one member alienate the land 
without the consent of the family group, but each member yr\\\ claim to receive a 
share of the profits of the sale of such land. The sense of individual proprietor- 
ship is very strong, and extends to particular trees, and even to the fruit upon 
these trees, &c. 

The position and action of the chiefs will vary in proportion to their indi- 
vidual influence and power. If the land to be disposed of belong to the family 
group, of which the district chief is also the patriarchal head, he would bo the 
most prominent figure in any transactions with the land; but if the land in ques- 
tion belong to a different family group from that to which he himself belongs, 
and he has no voice by virtue of kinship with them, then his authority and power 
as district chief will, with reference to this land, be almost nothing. It is excep- 
tional to find a chief strong enough to negotiate iudepcdcndeutly for the disposal 
of the land belonging oven to his own group. It is, therefore, still less common 
to find him negotiating with regard to land in which, from want of relationship 
to tho owners, he has not himself any share. However vague these distinctions 
with regard to the interests of chiefs and of members of family groups in land 
may appear to Europeans, they nevertheless seem to bo pretty well defined and 
understood by the natives themselves. As a pi-actical illustration of the strange 



do'TOca in which various members and chiefs of tribes are interested in the tribal 
lauds, I may give the following : — 

There was a small piece of land at Port Moresby for which thirty or forty 
members of a tribe alone claimed payment. These, however, were not the whole 
of the tribe but only a part, and their apparent right to receive the money was 
acquiesced in by the rest of the tribe. At South Cape, however, the independent 
right of one individual, and he was not a chief, to dispose of a large area 
of land was recognized by the whole tribe — no one, not even the chief of that 
tribe, putting forward any claim for payment ; while again, for the land adjoining, 
there were many owners out of the tribe, each of whom, including the chief, 
would have had to receive payment in settlement for any land sold. At Kabadi, 
a piece of land belonged to a family group, of which the district chief was not the 
patriarchal head, and he was consequently, on the sale of the land, only able to 
veto the transaction, but could not stop the transactions in connection with the 
sale of the land. 

Although it is probable that the confidence of the natives would best be 
gained by avoiding for the present any attempt to purchase land, yet this course 
is now hardly practicable. It is, however, evident that with all these different 
and conflicting interests in any one piece of land, it is absolutely necessary that 
there should be one recognized source and channel from which a good title could 
be drawn, otherwise it might be that two or three members of one of the groups 
might pretend to have authority to sell land to any purchaser, but in reality they 
would have only a small interest in the purchase-money, each of the other 
members of the group having an equal right to their share in it. The conditions 
for bringing about a war in connection with land, similar to that which occurred 
in New Zealand, are abundantly present in New Guinea, and unless the land 
transactions are controlled by Government, complications with the natives must 
arise. It is not easy, however, to define in what most practical and economical 
manner this control could be exercised. One means towards this end would be 
the creation of an oflScial tribal chief, through whom theoretically the title would 
issue. No title would be valid without his assent, but this assent must be 
certified to by the Sub- Commissioner in charge of the district, and, if necessary, 
receive the approval of the Special Commissioner. Transactions for land, how- 
ever, under a certain defined area, might, under special conditions, be made 
directly with the natives. Other means might also be devised on the spot for 
ensuring a good title to lands. 

The London Mission Society commenced to work in New Guinea in 1871. 
In its constitution and principles it is unsectarian, but for many years it has 


been mainly supported by the Congregational Churches of the British Isles and 
Australian Colonies. The Mission districts are as follows: — {n) The Western 
begins at the Baxter River, embraces the Fly and the Katan Rivers, and ends at 
the Aird River. This is under the care of the Rev. S. McFarland and the 
Rev. — Scott. The head-quarters of this district are not situated on the main 
land but at Murray Island, where natives are instructed and sent to the coast to 
open Mission stations. In the institution many industrial arts are taught, and 
a schooner for Mission purposes has been recently launched which was built by 
the students under the direction of an English boat-builder. {J)) The Central 
District begins at the Aird River and ends at Orangery Bay, having Port 
Moresby for its head-quarters, and the Rev. W. G. Lawes, F.R.G.S., and tho 
Rev. J. Chalmers are at tho head of this district. (c) The remaining district 
extends from Orangery Bay eastward, and is under the care of the Revds. — 
Savage and W. Sharpo.^ At Port Moresby is a college and school, whereat 
native teachers are trained for the purpose of carrying out Mission work. 

There are thirty South Sea Island and ten New Guinea teachers, located at 
aa many stations. These stations form a chain from East Cape to Maclatchio 
Point, and then again on the FJy River, and to the west of it. Although the 
whole of that coast line is not actually occupied, the gaps are being rapidly filled 
up. Between the two places mentioned above, there is only one gap, namely, 
Cloudy Bay, where the natives are not on friendly terms with tho teachers. At 
each station the Mission teacher has a large house and a garden, also a whale 
boat ; at tho majority of stations there is also a church built. It would be 
impossible to define the area over which the influence both of Mr. Chalmers and 
Mr. Lawes as well as of the native teachers extends. One positive result of the 
labours of tho Mission is that they have succeeded, not merely in opening up 
communication -svith the natives along nearly tho entire littoral of the Protected 
Territory, and far into the interior as well, but, what is more important, they have 
inspired those natives with confidence. Had the result been reversed, and tho 
natives rendered aggressively hostile or suspicious, none but armed bodies of 
men could have ventured into tlio interior, nor could single individuals have 
cruised from point to point along the coast in fair security. Under tho present 
conditions, a single white man, unarmed, can go fifty miles into the interior from 
any point between Port Moresby and Hula in perfect safety. 

Tho successful results attained by the Mission in this respect are due, partly, 
to tho special (jualifications for tho work jiossessed by tho Revs. W. G. Lawea 

' Since wii(ii);_' tliis tlio IJov. W. Sliaipo lias diiil rrmii liver in Xiw (luim-a. 


;iii(l J, Cli.'ilinor.s. TJio former has acquired a scholarly mastery of tho native 
langua<ji;o, has compiled a grammar and dictionary from an unknown language, 
and has organized a body of interpreters. To hia efforts are due the possibility 
of being able to carry out investigations and enter into explanations with the 
natives. Tho latter, by his energy and enthusiasm — by his courage and tact — 
has not only overcome native shyness and distrust, but wherever ho has gone 
ho has upheld the moral superiority of the white man, and inspired even the 
wildest barbarians with trust and confidence. 

Success is also partly due to the native teachers, who frequently, with their 
lives in their hands, have been pioneers to break down native superstition and 
distrust. They are the channels of communication between European ideas and 
native superstitions, and their usefulness from a political point of view is very 
considerable. To their devotedness and zeal is due the fact that Europeans are 
able to go with tolerable security into places which otherwise must have remained 
sealed to any but armed forces. By their means, moreover, the natives might 
be induced to undertake the cultivation of rice, maize, &c. They are excellent 
gardeners themselves, and have cultivated limes, Papua apples, pine-apples, 
oranges, tea, potatoes, &c. 

Experience shows, that the presence among primitive barbarians of Mis- 
sionaries of difterent sects is not infrequently the cause of political disturbances, 
or even civil war. This was especially the case in some of the islands in the 
Western Pacific, Rotumah, &c. The eff'orts of the Roman Catholic Mission to 
establish themselves in places which the London Mission Society had occupied 
for years, were, in Sir Peter Scratchley's opinion, upon political grounds, to be 
discouraged. He considered that the London Mission had, in equity, a pre- 
scriptive right within certain districts, and that the intrusion within these 
districts of a rival denominational sect was likely to produce trouble among the 
natives. Hearing, therefore, that certain Roman Catholic priests had established 
themselves at Yule Island, which had been previously occupied by the London 
Mission, he wrote to tho head of the Roman Catholic Mission at Thursday Island, 
and pointed out the settlement on Yule Island of these priests was undesirable, 
and that other areas were available for their efi'orts. He further ofiered to take 
the priests in the s.s. " Governor Blackall '' to the Louisiade group, or any other 
island they might desire. 

There are, in all, about twenty white men now resident in New Guinea. The 
majority of these are traders, who are backed in a small way by merchants and 
firms in Australia. There are three stores at Port Moresby, and one settler has 
erected a sawmill. The traders, as a rule, live in their boats, but a few native 


houses at Hula and Killerton Island have been erected by Europeans. In con- 
sequence of the recent murders that have been committed in the islands, and the 
disturbed state of the natives generally on the South-East Coast, warnings were 
sent round to as many traders as possible. 

The climate of New Guinea must doubtless be considered as one of its 
greatest drawbacks. In the first place, it is enervating, and Europeans are 
incapable during the summer of performing much continuous labour; and, 
secondly, the fever, which is everywhere prevalent, is of a severe character. 
Although all early attempts at permanent settlement, especially on the coast, 
must be attended with a high rate of mortality, yet it seems not improbable that 
there the New Guinea climate will resemble that of the north of Queensland, and 
that in proportion as settlement advances and the soil is worked, so the pesti- 
lential character of the climate will become modified. In breaking up land for 
sugar plantations in the north of Queensland, every one, Kanakas as well as 
Europeans, were attacked, some fatally, with fever. On the same stations fever 
is now almost unknown. With regard, however, to the present state of the 
climate in New Guinea, all that can be done is to point out some of the least 
unhealthy spots on the coast, such as Cornwallis Island, Port Moresby, Dinner 
Island, Killerton Island, Teste Island, and several places on the North-East 
Coast. In the interior, although fever prevails, it is not of so severe a character 
as that on the coast, while the atmosphere, especially on the highlands, is more 
bracing and invigorating. 

The commencement of the seasons in New Guinea are : — Spring, September 
2ord ; Summer, December 21st; Autumn, !March 20th; Winter, June 21st. 
'I'lio rainy season commences in December, and lasts with more or less fall of 
weather until April. The rough statistics collected with regard to the rainfall 
shows as follows : — 

On the North-Wcst Coast, as far as to Redscar Bay, rainfall moderate 
tliroughout the year; excessive during rainy season. ^lost healthy portion of 
the year from June to October. On the South-East Coast, from Port Moresby 
to Kerupunu, rainfall almost nil for sometimes six months in the year; during 
this season this district, csjiecially Port Moresby, is, comparatively speaking, 
healthy. From Aroma to East Cape the rainfall in the summer is considerable. 
At South Cape the least unhealthy season is during the north-cast monsoon or 
rainy season. On the southern portion of the North- I'^ast Coast the rainfall is 
ajijiarontly small. Among the islands the rainfall throughout the year is con- 
siderable, and the most unhealthy portion of the year throughout the Protected 
Territory is in April and May, as the IJnods are subsiding afti'r the rainy season. 


Tlio wliolo of tbo Papuan Culf may bo regarded as unsafe for vessels to visit. 
The water is always muddy, and reefs cannot be seen. Moreover, there is little 
depth of water for miles from the shore, very often not more than two fathoms, 
and heavy rollers are constantly coming in. From Redscar Head eastwards the 
South Coast is skirted almost continuously by a reef, an outlier of the great 
Australian Barrier Reef. This reef extends from the shore, at a distance of some 
five to six miles, and the numerous indentations afford excellent harbours and 
anchorage. Along the whole of the North-East Coast, from East Cape to Mitre 
Rock, are numerous large harbours. The most important harbours, however, 
which would afford anchorage to any considerable number of vessels of a large 
size are Port Moresby, Orangerie Bay, Milport Bay, and South Cape. At some 
of these, however, landing for small boats is difficult, on account of the fringe of 
reef. The navigation along the whole coast is difficult, and no vessel can travel 
at night. 

There are a large number of rivers in the Protected Territory, and the whole 
of it, with the exception of the district around Port Moresby, appears to be well 
watered. The largest rivers are those which drain the basin of the vast level 
region which begins on the west side of the Gulf of Papua. The largest of these 
rivers is the Fly River, which rises some hundreds of miles in the interior. It 
is supposed that many of the smaller rivers are mere branches leading into the 
Fly. Owing to the action of the south-west monsoon, which blows during the 
healthy season, the mouths of these rivers are silted up with sand and mud, and 
are unnavigable. This is especially the case in the Aird River, which it is 
only possible to enter during the north-east monsoon, or unhealthy season. On 
the South-East Coast the rivers are numerous, and the soils on the banks fertile. 
As, however, the elevated land is near the coast, they are small in comparison 
with those in the west. The North-East Coast appeared to be well watered, and 
several rivers of considerable size were seen. In Dyke Acland Bay, where there 
is a vast tract of level country, densely wooded, intervening between the coast 
and the highlands, which are very distant, the mouth of a very large river was 
discerned. This river was not marked on any map. 

In Milne Bay, two rivers, not mentioned in any map and apparently un- 
known, were discovered and explored. The first river (native name Davadava) 
was discovered in the north-east of the Bay, and was explored for a distance of 
about six miles. The banks were steep and precipitous; vegetation rank; 
timber ; depth from eight to twelve feet ; small bar at its mouth, navigable for 
a small steamer. It is comparatively a small river, rising in the mountains near 
the coast. The other river (native name Hadara) was a very large one, and 


apparently led into the heart of the country. There were several deltas at the 
mouth. The land on either side was flat and the soil very rich ; vegetation very 
tropical and in abundance ; depth of river from twelve to sixteen feet. Largo 
numbers of natives were seen; they were, however^ very friendly. 

AVithin a radius of 100 miles from Port Moresby, the wallaby is to be 
found in large numbers. The undulating plains which extend at the back of 
Port Moresby are great hunting grounds for wallaby and pigs. Outside this 
radius the wallaby is not found. "Wild pigs are found everywhere in the Pro- 
tected Territory. The cuscus, an animal resembling the Australian native bear, 
and a species of tree kangaroo are to be found in the southern portion of the 
Peninsula. These animals, together with the wallaby, are marsupials. It is 
supposed that monkeys exist in the interior in the west. Birds of all sorts — 
pigeons, duck, cassowary, birds of paradise, &c., — are very numerous. 

The mineral resources of the Protected Territory, both as to kind and 
quantity, are still a matter of conjecture. With regard to gold, two specimens 
of sand, one from the Larogi and the other from Milne Bay, have been assayed. 
The assay of the specimen from the Larogi River yield gold, but not in payable 
quantities ; the results of the assay of that taken from Milne are not yet known. 
It is the opinion of Mr. H. 0. Forbes, based upon his geological observations, 
that gold will not be found to tho westward, but might lie among the high 
country in the Milne Bay district, and on the North-East Coast. Plumbago 
has been seen at various places along the South- West Coast. Pebbles and 
small fragments brought down from the interior, consisting of mica slate, 
quartz, sandstones, greenstone, and jasperiod rocks, show tho formations there 
to be undistinguishable from tho Silurian and Devonian series of tho gold- 
fields of New South Wales. Rocks of similar ago, with granite and gneiss, were 
also found. 

Tho following industries are at tho present time in operation in the country, 
from which a revenue could be immediately obtained : — Timber, hcche'ih-mer, 
copra-making, pearl fishing, &c. 

The glowing accounts which have appeared in tho newspapers of the prospects 
of the timber trade in New Guinea have raised cxpectjitions of a very sanguine 
nature. It is true that there are large quantities of cedar and malava (species 
of cedar) on the banks of the rivers in tho west, in the Manu-manu district, and 
on the Kemp, Walsh, Edith, and other rivers ; but it is not generally known 
that a very large proportion of this timber is so small as not to bo of marketiiblo 
value. As large quantities of cedar had been felled before the proclamation of 
the Pi'otectoratc by firms in Australia, permits were granted to remove this 


timber, but tho foiling of frosli timber was proliibited until the spot had been 
visited by Sir Peter Scratchley or one of his officers. Tho wisdom of this step 
was sliown by the fact that large numbers of young cedar trees, too small for 
use, had been cut down in sheer wanton waste. To prevent this for tho future, 
a Forester was appointed, whose duty it was to prohibit tho felling of timber 
below a certain girth. It was stated, verbally, by an agent for an Australian 
company who had for some years past been engaged in felling timber in New 
Guinea, that out of 10,000,000 superficial feet of cedar and malava fallen, only 
about 500,000 superficial feet were of marketable value. He further went on to 
state that he did not think the future prospects of the cedar trade were hopeful, 
and that he himself would hardly be able to recover the money he had already 
spent in felling and removing timber. Besides the cedar and malava, there are, 
however, large quantities of indiarubber trees, massoi, sandalwood, ebony, 
hardwood, tamonu, &c., — especially in the district around South Cape, ebony 
grows in considerable quantities. Two or three large firms have invested capital 
in this trade in New Guinea. By one firm a number of Kanakas were em- 
ployed, but hitherto no complications have arisen with the natives with regard 
to this industry. 

Beche-de-mer, or the sea-slug, which is an article de luxe among the Chinese, is 
to be found all along the coast from Port Moresby to Aroma, including Constance 
Island, Milport Bay, Milne Bay, Slade Island, Bentley Bay, and, it is believed, in 
some bays on the north-east coast. The number to be obtained, however, 
especially on the south-west coast, has materially decreased during the last few 
years. The profits are small and precarious, and a considerable amount of 
hardship has to be undergone in prosecuting the trade. There is also a further 
difficulty in some districts where the natives, through superstition, dislike 
handling the heche-de-oner. It was estimated that the actual annual export in 
this industry amounted to about £8,000 ; and it was suggested that the revenue 
raised by a tax on this trade might eventually be considerable. The expense, 
however, of collecting this tax would absorb a large portion of the amount 
raised. It was the intention of Sir Peter Scratchley to establish a depot for this 
industry at Teste Island. An inspector was appointed, whose duty it was to 
report the number of vessels engaged, and the number of tons of fish exported. 
According to his estimate, there are now ten schooners occupied with this work, 
and the estimated amount of fish exported is about 500 tons. The persons 
engaged in this pursuit are, generally speaking, small irresponsible traders, 
who are constantly coming into collision Avith the natives -uath regard to 
payments, &c. 


Copra is made by splitting open cocoa-nuts and drying them either artificially 
or in the sun. It is used in large quantities in Europe as an element in oil cake 
and other cattle foods. The localities at present suited for the manufacture of 
copra are on the south-west coast from Hula to Roma, all along the shores of 
Milne Bay, at Bentley Bay, and along the north-east coast as far as Dumpier 
Straits, and many of the Islands of the D'Entrecasteaux and Louisiade Group. 
At each of these places cocoa-nuts grow in abundance, and could be purchased 
from the natives at a low price. It would, moreover, be very easy to induce 
them to plant more cocoa-nut trees, which, if planted in a certain manner, would 
bear fruit in three years. Thus, this industry is likely to yield a considerable 
profit to the individuals engaged in it. In order, however, to facilitate its 
development, it would be necessary to have a chain of stations at various points, 
whereby a constant supply of nuts could be obtained. The natives show them- 
selves Avilling to work in procuring the nuts, and are often found trustworthy 
agents, and capable of rendering a correct account of any trade left in their 
hands for the purpose of purchase. In consequence of the moisture of the climate 
at Milne Bay and surrounding islands, there would be considerable difficulty in 
drying the nuts in the sun. As sun-dried copra is superior to the smoke-dried 
copra, it has been suggested that it would be more profitable to bring the nuts 
to Port Moresby, to be dried there by the sun, rather than treat them by artificial 

The seat of the pearl fishing industry has hitherto been on the western 
extremity of the Territory, and occasionally large amounts of pearl have been 
collected. Quite recently, however, a large find of pearl was made in the 
Louisiade Group, and it is not improbable that this industry may assume much 
larger proportions, especially among the islands on the East Coast. 

On the well-watered valleys of the Astrolabe ranges, and on the fertile areas 
distributed all over the Protected Territory, the following articles, for wliich a 
market could be found in the Australian colonies, could bo produced without 
competing with colonial industries: — Cinchona, coffee, rice, on the hills, as in 
Java and Timor-Laut ; and on the swamps, on the north-east coast, sugar, arrow- 
root, cotton (which grow wild), vanilla, tobacco, &c. In course of time, the 
natives themselves might bo taught to cultivate these, and would return tlu' 
produce to the Government, a certain portion being reserved as their contri- 
bution towards the expenses of Government, and the surplus being made over to 
them as wages. 

The following are some of the natural articles of commerce already growing 
in the country, and cajiablo of forming sources of revinue in addition to the 



indiistrios mcntionocl abovo : — Nutmegs, ginger, pepper, indiaruLber trees 
(those grow to a large size in tho Tabouri district), spices of all kinds, sago, 
hemp, tnassoi bark (largely used for medicinal purposes), cocoa-nut fibre, sandal- 
wood, saffron canes, rattan. 

In some portions of tho interior it would bo possible to graze sheep and cattle 
— these might supply a local market — but the obstacles in the way of developing 
purely agricultural interests in tho country, on account of the difficulties of 
communication, would be very great. 

A central range of mountains running north and south forms the backbone of 
the Protected Territory. The highest point in this range is supposed to be 
Mount Owen Stanley, 13,200 feet. Leading to the base of this central range on 
either side, east and west, are a series of high ranges or spurs, whose sides are 
covered with dense tropical forest of a virgin growth. Interspersed among these 
ranges are open valleys, full of rich deep soil, table lands, patches of open country 
covered with coarse grass, and craters evidently formed by recent volcanic 
action. Many of the hillsides and valleys had been cleared, fenced, and culti- 
vated by the natives. In some cases the ranges come almost sheer to the coast ; 
in others, as at Kabadi, &c., the intervening land between the ranges and the 
coast is perfectly flat and open ; while, again, at other places such as Kapakapa, 
Hula, &c., miles of gently undulating country, well watered, with patches of 
forest intervening, stretch far back into the interior from the coast. The 
character of the vegetation, especially on the coast, and in many cases of the soil 
also, is entirely Australian; towards the interior, however, it becomes more 
tropical, both as regards its character and density. 

Part III. — Future Administration, Expenditure, etc. 

Before any definite programme of administration for tho Protected Territory 
can be laid down, two questions of considerable political importance must first be 
settled. In the first place, the status and authority of the Special Commissioner 
wathin the Protected Territory requires to be more clearly and definitely defined, 
and secondly, the present political relationship of the Imperial Officer adminis- 
tering the country with I'espect to the Imperial and Colonial Governments is a 
wholly anomalous one, and one which apparently will not prove workable. Under 
the present arrangement. New Guinea forms no integral part in the Anglo- 
Australian System. 

With reference to the firyt point, namely, the authority and status of the 

REPORT BY G. 8. FORT. 161 

Special Commissioner, tho following is the conclusion of a legal opinion oLtaiuctl 
from tho Hon. Mr. Griffith, Q.C., Queensland, given as Q.C. and not as 
Premier : — 

" I am therefore of opinion that General Scratchlcy has at present no 

legal jurisdiction and authority of any kind, except such as he can 

exercise as a Deputy Commissioner for tho Western Pacific ; and 

in particular that he has no power to make any regulations having 

the force of law, or to impose or collect any taxes or license fees 

upon exports or imports, or other^nso to exercise any legislative or 

judicial functions in tho Protectorate.^' 

With reference to the second point, and especially the relation of tho Imperial 

Officer and the Australasian Governments, tho following is the written opinion of 

Sir Peter Scratchley : — 

'' A Crown Colony, with the simplest machinery for its government, will 
probably bo the best. The judicial powers of tlie Governor should 
be such as to enable him to deal summarily with minor offences, 
and to remit, say to the Queensland Courts, offences of a more 
serious nature. Everything will, at first, bo necessarily of a ten- 
tative character, 
" What proportion of tho expense of tho cost of government ^^'ill 1)0 
borno by tho Imperial Government ? This is of paramount im- 
portance. If tho whole of the expense is to bo borne by the 
Colonies, the Imperial Government will practically have no con- 
trol, and I foresee that a deadlock must eventually arise between 
the Imperial officer and the Australasian Governments. 
" Tlic exercise of tact, patience, and diplomacy will keep matters going 
for the first two or three years; but the deadlock will ultimatoly 
occur, as he will be dealing with half-a-dozen Goverununts, all 
holding more or less divergent views." 
With regard also to tho method of coutributiug, Sir Peter Scratclilcy writes 
as follows : — 

"Tho ignorance of tho intentions of tho Colonial Ofiice as to tho futiin; 
creates difficulties in the colonial Governments coming to an 
agreement with tho Imperial Government on the subject of the 
cost of governing British Now (Juinoa. 
" Until full information is given on all pninls, tlu'ro is little prospect of a 
permanent settlement of tho question, and (he policy of the Aus- 
tralian colonies will continue to bo of a hand-to-mouth cliaraitcr. 


"Tho object should be to get the several Governments to propose acts of 
Special Appropriation to their local Parliaments, in order to 
permanently secure the contributions to be granted yearly to Her 
" An Act has been passed in Queensland, and, although that Govern- 
ment declines to increase its contribution, there is little fear of the 
Act being repealed. 
" It is doubtful whether the other Governments will do more than vote 
the contribution yearly. If so, every year there will be discus- 
sions, more or less unpleasant, in the local Parliaments ; and it 
will be difficult for the Imperial officer in charge to look ahead 
and establish an economical administration.'^ 
It has also been suggested that — 

(1.) That the payments should be made half-yearly. 

(2.) The financial year should commence on 1st January instead of 1st 
Pending the settlement of these important political questions. Sir Peter 
Scratchley had intended to restrain, as far as possible for the present, the indis- 
criminate influx of white traders until the necessary machinery for control over 
whites and natives had been established. In order to obtain this, he had proposed 
establishing a chain of Government officials at various points along the coast. 

Each Sub-Commissioner would have to be provided with a house, a schooner 
or whaleboat, one trusty and reliable European, and a crew of Solomon Islanders 
or Fijians, who should all be married. The duties of the Sub-Commissioner 
would be — to act as port officer, health officer, &c. ; to superintend all commercial 
transactions between natives and whites ; to adjudicate on all cases arising be- 
tween them and white men ; to initiate the cultivation of grain for the natives ; 
to encourage exports of natural products ; to superintend and report upon all 
local industries ; to control and advise all exploring expeditions in his district. 
The salary of the Sub-Commissioner should be at £400 a year. The establish- 
ment of these officers would be preparatory to, and a means of, systematically 
opening up the country, so that, when an influx took place, not only would it be 
possible to exercise control, but the lands best adapted for various industries 
could be at once pointed out. 

After carefully considering all hydrographical, sanitary, and tribal conditions, 
it will perhaps be found that the best sites for these ports, which would be ports 
of entry, would be as follows: — Cornwallis Island, which would command the 
entrance to the various rivers on the Western Coast. The situation is healthy. 


and it is within easy communication of Thursday Island and Port Moresby. The 
central scat of Government would be at Port Moresby, for reason.^ mentioned 
above ; and the Government Resident would have charge of that district from 
Hall Sound to Hula. Aroma would be another centre, extending over the Hood 
Bay district, and along the coast to South Capo. Dinner Island could be made 
another centre, to control Milne Bay, the Louisiade Archipelago, and tho 
D'Entrecasteaux Group; while it might be found necessary to have an officer 
stationed at Rawdcn Bay, for the purpose of controlling the North-East Coast 
from Bentley Bay to Mitre Rock. 

"With regard to the natives, it had been Sir Peter Scratchley's intention to 
have formed depots at these ports of entry, and elsewhere, to wliich tho natives 
might bo induced to bring trade. Regulations would be in force at these depots 
controlling the prices to be paid to the natives, the method of conducting 
trading operations, &c. 

As the area of square miles in the Protected Territory is estimated at 80,382 
sq. miles, some portion of this might bo handed over to a company for adminis- 
trative and commercial purposes. It had been the intention of Sir Peter Scratch- 
ley to have encouraged in Australia the formation of a trading company on a 
basis somewhat similar to the British North Borneo Company. With regard, 
however, to the tenure of land by this proposed company, Sir Peter Scratchley 
consulted tho experience of Sir F. A\'hittaker, whose opinion it will be pertinent 
to quote : — "I may say that, if tho Australian Company is to be empowered to 
acquire and cultivate land, this would, I think, bo very objectionable ; in fact, 
would at once introduce into New Guinea all tiio objectionable features that have 
l)oen incident to the colonization of New Zealand and I'iji, in an exaggerated 
form. If, on the other hand, the Australian Now Guinea Company intends only 
to establish trading stations on sites to be held under license from the Cmwn, 
then I think it would be of great use in promoting tho interests and civilization 
of tho inhabitants, and therefore should receive encouragement and assistance." 

Referring to tho statement made by tbo Auditor-General of Queensland, Ist 
I'ebruary, it will be seen that tho amount received for the year 1881 5 was 
Ll."),17I, tho actual amount expended from 1st January, 1885, to 30th January, 
1886, being £15,0t8. Adding £500 to this for out-standing accounts, tho total 
expenditure would amount to il5,51-8. It \v\\\ be remembered that the amount 
115,171 was the amount duo from tho Colonial (Jovernmeuts from 1st June, 1881, 
to 1st Juno, 1885. As the contributions for the year 1st June, 1885, to 1st 
June, 188G, have not yet been paid in, there is consequently a very considcrabio 
balance to the New Guinea account, and not a deficit as publicly stated. 


Moroovor, by referring to Sir Peter Scratchley's memorandum of 1st April, 
1885, forwarded to the Governments of the Australasian colonies, it will be seen 
that ho divided expenditure into three heads — (a) Capital, or first cost, to bo 
raised as a loan ; (h) Estimated expenditure for the first year ; (c) Annual ex- 
penditure for years subsequent. Had he lived to have carried out this classifi- 
cation, which was approved of by the Colonial Governments, many of the items 
— such as building of house, &c., — which, under the Auditor-General's Report, 
appear as annual expenditure, would have been charged to a loan or first cost 
account. In no way can the expenditure of the year from January, 1885, to 
January, 188G, be taken as the basis for future expenditure. The work done by 
Sir Peter Scratchley was preparatory and tentative. He states — *' I consider 
that my duty is to examine and report upon the country for the information of 
the Imperial Government." 

If any systematic administration of the country be attempted, the machinery 
of government will have to be increased, thereby involving increased expenditure 
both in — (a) Capital, or first cost ; (i) In salaries of Government officers. The 
principal items under («), or first cost, will be the building of the houses for the 
Sub-Commissioners along the coast, providing accommodation for native police, 
providing whale-boats, &c. The increased expenditure under Schedule B will be 
the salaries of the Sub-Commissioners and native police, the establishment of a 
regular mail service, &c. It can, however, be reasonably anticipated that the 
increased expenditure for administration will index a proportionate increased 
development of natural sources of revenue. 

It has been confidently anticipated by those who have seen the fertility of 
the Protected Territory, and its capacity for producing articles of tropical growth, 
that it will ere long become self-supporting. Although in its present condition 
this, perhaps, would hardly be possible, yet the following methods of raising a 
revenue to defray local expenditure might be found practical and economical : — 
(1.) License fees on all heche-de-mer and pearl fishing boats. These 
would be registered, and have to report themselves at Port Moresby 
at least once a year. 
(2 ) License fees for the erection of smoke huts and copra stations. 
(3.) Export duties on cedar and malava, at a fixed rate for so many 100 
superficial feet of timber ; ad valorem duties on sandal woods and 
black woods. With reference to this last duty, I may mention 
that one timber trader alone, if he had paid on his privileges ac- 
cording to Queensland timber dues, would owe the Government 
about £2,000. The Customs officers at Cooktown and Townsville 


might, with the consent of the Queensland Government, be em- 
powered to act for the New Guinea Protectorate. 
(4.) Funds arising from trading licences, judicial fees, harbour dues, 

and leases of certain unoccupied lands. 
(5.) Import duties. 

(G.) Native contributions to the expenses of government. These would 
have to be paid in kind, and could hardly be calculated as a source 
of revenue for some years to come. 
The question with regard to New Guinea which at present is most prominent 
is whether it can be made a successful outlet for capital, or, in other words, a 
commercial success. Before, however, considering this point, it will be necessary 
to recall the fact that New Guinea was primarily annexed for a strategical pur- 
pose. Its value to Australia in this respect has not been diminished by the fact 
that portion of the country has been ceded to Germany. Not only is the British 
territory nearest the Australian shores ; but it contains the best climate, the finest 
harbours and ports, the most fertile lands, the largest rivers. The object, there- 
fore, for which the country was primarily annexed has been obtained, and its 
strategical and negative value in this respect is not unfrequently lost sight of hy 
those who only look for positive financial results. 

The next point which demands attention is the responsibility which rests with 
the annexing powers with regard to the protection of the natives. Probably, in 
no country, and at no period of history, was there a more favourable opportunity 
for successfully adjusting the mutual interests of European and blacks than in 
British New Guinea. On both moral as well as politic grounds, it is essential 
that the natives should be protected, not only negatively from aggressive violence 
and usurpation on the part of the whites, but positively also from moral contami- 
nation and corruption. Regulations with regard to the introduction of spirituous 
liquors must not exist merely on paper — they must be strictly and rigidly on- 
forced ; and, as far as is practicable, the system of appointing teachers to official 
positions must bo avoided. The following statement with reference to this 
question appears among Sir Peter Scratchley's notes : — " The only hope of 
making Now Guinea ])ay is the employment of the natives, who can, by patience 
and care, be tniiued. Iftlicy disappear, other natives will have to be imported. 
Putting, therefore, the protection of the natives on the lowest ground, it will bo 
seen that it will bo cheaper to preserve and educate them. New Guinea must 
be governed for the natives and by the natives." 

The future of the country di peuds largily upon the attitude of the natives. 
If they are rendered either hostile or corrupt, tluui it will continue to \)C the 


liunting ground of nocdy adventurers or desperate speculators; if, on the other 
hand, tlioy learn confidenco in their rulers^ then settlement in many parts is 
possible, and the country may become the regular source of supply of tropical 
products to the Australian markets. On this point, therefore, the duty of the 
Government and the interest of the speculator coincide, and if, in the scheme for 
the administration of the country, the positive protection of the natives be com- 
prehended, the introduction of European capital will materially benefit them, will 
create in them a useful and willing instrument, and thus be the first means to- 
wards rendering financial success ultimately possible. 
Briefly to summarize the foregoing points — 

(1.) Now Guinea was primarily annexed for a strategical purpose — that 

purpose has been obtained. 
(2.) Having been annexed, it is the duty of the annexing power to pro- 
tect the natives. 
(3.) It is doubtful whether the country can ever be self-supporting, partly 
on account of the climate, and partly owing to the attitude and 
condition of the natives. 
(4.) Nothing can be done towards systematically administering the 
country and developing its resources until it is made an integral 
part of the Anglo-Australian political system, and the position of 
the officer administering its Government, both with regard to the 
country itself, and also to the authorities to whom he is responsible, 
shall have have been more definitely determined. 


Marcli 30tli, 1886. 





Leader of the New Guinea Exploring Expedition. 

■^^' i^^ 

A A 


Plate L. 


Reference page 173. 




Meeting of the Geographical Society of Australasia to receivk 
THE Official Rei'Ort of Captain 11. C. Kvekill, Leader of 
the Society's New Guinea Exploring Expedition. 

PUBLIC meeting in connectiou with the New South Wales 

Branch of the Geographical Society of Australasia was held in the 

Royal Society's room, Elizabeth Street, yesterday afternoon. His 

^^ Excellency the Governor presided, and in addition to a largo 

\ . '{ .. \ yK^ audience of ladies and gentlemen, there were upon the platform 

Messrs. E. Do Faur, Thompson, M.A. (Secretary to tho Queensland Branch of 
tho Society), Gerard (Hon Treasurer), Myring (Hon. Secretary), Sir Edward 
Strickland, K.C.B. (President), and other gentlemen. The principal business of 
tiie meeting was the hearing of an oflicial summary of tho results of tho recent 
expedition to New Guinea, under the leadership of Captain Everill. A largo 
sketch map of that island liad been prepared, from tho j)lottings of tho explorers, 
by Mr. ^I. Gautschy, C.E., its measurement being IG feet by 15, and tho scale 
4 miles to the inch, and tho tracks of recent exploration parties were shown. 

Lord Cakrington excused himself from offering any lengthened remarks, on 
account of the long programme which was before him, and ho called upon tho 
Honorary Secretary, Mr. T. H. Myring, to read a papir which ho had prepared, 
on "The aiuis of tho Geographical Society." 

!Mr. Myring having read his paper, His Excellency then said he would call 
upon Captain Everill to read his oflicial report of the recent expedition, which 
was the principal business of the Jiiecting. 

1 70 




N Wednesday, Juno lOth, s.s. " Bonito " left Sydney in tow of the 
" Egmont" with part of the exploratory party on board, in charge 
of Mr. Hemsworth, Nautical Sub-leader. Drs. Haackc, Bernays, 
and Messrs. Senior and Vogan following with myself in the 
steamer " Wentworth.^^ We left Sydney about 4.30 p.m. on 
Saturda}^, Juno 13th, the President, Sir E. Strickland, with the Administrative 
Council, and many of our friends being kind enough to see the last of us, and bid 
us God^s speed. Mr. Maiden, Hon. Secretary, accompanied us to Brisbane, 
partly in connection with the departure of the expedition, but mainly to assist in 
forming a new Branch of the Society in Brisbane, which I am glad to say is now 
successfully formed. After a rather rough voyage we arrived in Brisbane 
on Tuesday the 18th instant; the only notable event on the voyage being a 
stoppage of some time near the wreck of the steamer " Cahors.'^ During our 
short stay in Brisbane, Mr. Maiden and myself called upon such members of the 
Queensland Ministry as were in town. We also were fortunate enough, through 
the kindness of the Postmaster-General, to obtain the free use of the Government 
telegraphs for the transmission of news to the Society. I here found, from the 
Nautical Sub-leader's report, that the " Bonito " had encountered very heavy 
weather on her passage, and was somewhat strained by a heavy sea striking her. 
However, on inspecting her I found the damage was apparently not sufficient to 
delay her voyage, and made arrangement for a temporary repair to enable her to 
proceed on the morrow, thus avoiding a delay here as the steamer to Thursday 
Island only connects once a fortnight. Accordingly the " Bonito " left Moreton 
Bay at 2 p.m. on the 17th, in tow of s.s. " Wentworth.'' Our party with the 
exception of Senior (who had joined the " Bonito '^ at Sandgate) leaving by the 
s.s. "Alexandra" some hours later. I must here take the opportunity of 
thanking the Queensland Government for their kindness and the assistance 
so freely accorded us during the progress of the expedition. 

Fi'om Brisbane to Cooktown we had a pleasant voyage, the " Alexandra " 
taking the '' Bonito 'Mn tow from Townsville. At Cooktown we found the 
steamer "Advance,'' which the Queensland Government had kindly sent lo 


convey us to the mouth of the river AirJ. I saw Cai)t:iin Williams the night wo 
arrived, and found that he objected to go to the Aird, and he strongly recommended 
me to go elsewhere ; but as my instructions did not permit my making such an 
alteration in the plans of the Council, I of course could not discuss the question ; 
explaining that the Society had matured their plans and issued their instructions 
after considerable deliberation, and that I could not think of any deviation from 
the line laid down by them, unless I had the direct evidence of its impractica- 
bility from some one of local experience, which Captain Williams was unable to 
give me; his objections being principally founded on rumour, and not on practical 
experience. However, I telegraphed to the Society, but as the steamer left at 
daylight next morning could not get a reply. I also, on Captain Williams's 
request, put to paper what I had previously said. 

We arrived at Thursday Island June 2oth, went alongside the A. S. N. 
Company's hulk to coal and tranship provisions; but before doing this, in accord- 
ance with my instructions, I had the " Bonito " surveyed, and found that she 
required some repairs ; the heavy tow, together with the high seas experienced 
between Sydney and Brisbane having strained her considerably. These repairs 
were effected under the survey of Captain Wilkie, Government Pilot, and Captain 
Dubbins of the " Elsca.'^ While these repairs were proceeding, the scientific 
staff made what collections they could on Thursday and adjacent Islands. These 
collections, together with some sketches and photos, were duly forwarded to the 
Society before our departure, and I have learnt since our return that they were 
very good, some novelties having been found among them ; so that it is satis- 
factory to know that our unavoidable detention was not time lost. While at 
Thursday Island I received a telegram from the President requesting me not to 
attempt the Aird River or to cross the Gulf of Papua. This telegram altering 
the whole plan of the expedition, and in fact forbidding me going eastward of the 
]Jiver Fly; but fortunately the llev. Mr. M'Farlane coming to Thursday Island 
enabled me to obtain his valuable advice and experience ; and after some 
consultation with him and the Hon. Mr. John Douglas, I resolved to go up the 
river Fly, and to take the first largo branch to the eastward. Mr. M'Farlane, 
who was then on his way to the river Fly, kiudly ofioriug to assist me in obtiiin- 
ing interpreters, &c. This circumstance, together witii that of Mr. Douglas who 
was also going to Kewei in the " Mavis," afforded us an excellent opportunity of 
going in company, and giving the Society the advantage of the report of a good 
clear start. 

As a great deal has been written in the Prcs^ about our equipment of fire- 
arms, 1 may hero state tliat the m;ij(jrity of the lirc-arms scut by Messrs. 


Iloniiung- and Co. to Thursday Island wore found unsuitable from various causes, 
and did not correspond with the copy I received from the Secretary of the 
President's order to that firm (the fire-arms not being selected by myself, or any 
opportunity of inspecting them having been given me before arrival at Thursday 
Island), so I called a survey on them, and such as were condemned I sent back 
to Sydney, and after considerable trouble, managed to replace them from Thurs- 
day Island, Cooktowu, and Townsville. But when we left Thursday Island, our 
armament was quite complete in every respect, as per list, and Sub-leader's 
receipt forwarded to the Society, which I read. 

List of Fire-arms. 

8 Winchester repeating rifles, 

3 Sniders, 

6 Double- barrel fowling pieces, 

1 Rook rifle, 

5 Colt's improved revolvers (6 chambers), 

13 Bull-dog revolvers (6 chambers), 
with an abundance of cartridges and reloaders, with spare powder and shot. 

These firearms were, I consider, quite sufficient for our party, consisting of 
twelve Europeans and twelve Malays. 

The repairs, together with the difficulty of obtaining firearms, detained us on 
Thursday Island until July 14th; our party also here became one short — Mr. 
Broadbent returning to Sydney sick — and on leaving Thursday Island consisted 
of the following : — 

Dr. Haacke, Chief Scientist (Zoology and Geology); 

Dr. Bernays, M.D., and Botanist; 

Mr. Hemsworth, Nautical Sub-leader ; 

Mr. Creagh, Land Sub-leader ; 

Mr. Froggart, Zoological Collector and Entomologist ; 

Mr. Bauerlin, Botanical Collector ; 

Mr. Senior, Surveyor and Explorer; 

Mr. Shaw, Photographer and Explorer ; 

Mr. Vogan, Artist and Explorer ; 

Mr. M'Gechan, Engineer and Explorer ; 

Mr. Waddick, Seaman and Explorer ; 
and eleven Malays and one cook Cingalese, the Malay names being difficult 
to remember. Some of the most facetious of the party re-christened them by the 


following names, which will be found used in the narratives. Marco Polo, 
Barabas, Lucy, Scotch Lizzie, Anchises, Chandos, &c. 

While in Thursday Island, wo received every assistance from the Hon. .Nfr. 
John Douglas, and Mr. Bowden, of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Co., was good 
enough to place their jetty at our disposal, besides assisting us in many other 

We left Thursday Island ; I having arranged a rendezvous with tlio " Mavis" 
and " Mary " at Missionary Pass, it was intended that the " Advance " should 
tow the " Bonito,'' but an incident prevented it. Hut liowever, we all arrived 
at Missionary on July 17tli, excepting the "Mavis," and next morning left for 
the Fly in tow of the "Advance." At noon the " Advance " cast us off at the 
mouth of the Fly, and we proceeded under steam, follo^ving the missionary lugger 
" ]\Iary," and at 4 p.m. anchored off Neboo, taking our first hold of Xew Ciuinca 
soil. After anchoring, found the " ^lavis," which, through the kindness of the 
Queensland Government and the Hon. John Douglas, had taken twenty tons of 
coal for our use, was on the other side of the island, and we made arrangements 
for getting her up next day. 

Neboo, the first settlement made by the missionaries, is a large, low, sandy 
island, with an abundance of cocoa-nut and other palms growing on it. It does 
not appear to contain any regular inhabitants, but the natives from the neigh- 
bouring islands and villages come periodically to collect nuts and cut the nepa 
])iilm-leavcs for roofing their houses. The missionary establishment is now moved 
from Neboo to Kewei. The anchorage is a deep channel between two islands, 
where a vessel can lie in smooth water. In the river, which is very wide licrc, a 
very nasty sea and swell is constantly expei'ienccd during the south-east 
monsoons. We remained at Neboo until Sunday morning, July 10th, when our 
squadron (now consisting of the " Mavis," " Mary," " Venture," and " Bonito") 
went over to Kewei, which is a village situated on the north side of the cliaunel. 
After anchoring there, Messrs. Douglas, MacFarlane, Captain Cater, and ujysclf, 
went on shore, taking four of the " Mavis " men with us. I intrndi'd to have 
landed a collecting jiarty, but it was not ccmsiilered wise to do so ; the old cliief, 
Duropa, having attacked the teachers of the mission a month or so previously, 
with a view of making bacon or "long pig" of them, wild pigs being un- 
commonly scarce that season. .Mr. Douglas and myself landed lirsi, and found a 
few natives comjiletely naked, grouped in front of a large liouse, the pnnci]»al of 
whoju was an old white-headed num, intelligent looking, to wliom Mr. Douglas, 
with his usual good nature, immediately gave a new suit of serge clothes, and 
assisted him to don them. This was hardly done, when up eamc Mr. MacFarlane, 


with Captain Cater, and to our great dismay wo found that we had made friends 
with the wrony man, and that it was the chief '* cannibal himself" that wo had 
been making " chums " with. We remained on shore the rest of the day, and 
walked through the villages and plantations, seeing some curious looking graves, 
and some remarkably fine sago palms. The natives did not strike me as being 
particularly friendly. We saw no women ; all the houses on Duropa's side of the 
creek being closed up, and the men and women had gone to another village on 
the approach of our vessels, but I distinctly heard the voices of women in 
suppressed tones inside the houses. 

Kewei consists of two villages, separated by a salt-water creek. The natives 
on the east side of the creek (which is bridged by a method peculiar to the Malay 
countries) being far more friendly than those on the west. There appears to be 
no fresh water near the village. We intended to have landed some coal here, 
and to have formed a depot, but the sea and surf were too heavy to attempt it, 
and we concluded to make the depot at Sumanti, the next large river further up, 
and after finishing our business here. AVe left Kewei for Sumanti at noon, 
20th July, the "^^ Mary " going back to Thursday Island, and the '' Mavis ^' 
accompanying us. We anchored off the village about 4 p.m., and when about 
to land discovered that by some mistake no interpreters had been brought. 
Sumanti lies at the mouth of a creek, at the edge of which we saw a number of 
natives waving a white flag. I landed with four Europeans and four Malays of 
my own party, armed, and found the natives exceedingly friendly, and after 
distributing some presents among them returned on board. We remained here 
landing coal and spare stores until July 23rd, and the scientific staff collecting. 
We found the natives very docile and friendly on the whole, Mr. Douglas 
especially succeeding in gaining their friendship and I may say affection. After 
the departure of the " Mavis," I succeeded in obtaining the services of three 
Papuans, viz., Korossa, Atar, and Gesau, who have since attained considerable 
notoriety throughout the world. I left Sumanti the same afternoon about four 
hours after the " Mavis," and pushed up the river as rapidly as possible, my 
object being to get up the river while the party were fresh, and before sickness 
attacked us. We found little difficulty in getting through the islands at the 
north of the river, and clearly made out the passage at the north end of the 
Kewei, hitherto not named, and which I purpose naming Griffiths Channel ; the 
north-west point of Kewei, C. Dickson ; and keeping- the whale-boat ahead 
sounding, wo reached the main banks of the river Fly on Saturday, July 2oth, 
naming the point to the southward, which is a good distinguishing mark, and 
the first point that you can get between the regular banks, Fortescuc Point. 


Here aro two or three larg^e villages on the south side of the river, but the water 
was too shallow on that side to go close in ; so standing across to the north side 
of the river, we found a deeper channel. The right or north bank of the river 
here appears to form another entrance from the sea farther to the eastward. This 
entrance I have named tho M'llwraith Channel, in commemoration of the first 
annexation of New Guinea by tho M'll wraith Ministry. "Wo now steamed between 
tho main banks of this river. Tho river here is wide, and there aro at least two 
deep-water channels, but also a number of shoals and sand-banks. Tho trees 
are very high and the foliage is luxuriant. In places on tho left bank aro 
numbers of cocoa-nut and banana plantations. We also began to get among tho 
pandarus, and a very bright green tree, commonly known as the fresh water 
mangrove. Wo saw no signs of natives on the north side, excepting a bridge 
across a creek. The greater portion of tho country appeared very swampy, and 
the banks are only just out of tho reach of high water. We passed on tho north 
side two lots of red cliffs, forming small hills forty feet high. Ono of theao 
corresponds with D'Alberti's Howling Place. Passing through tho Fairfax 
Group, which is formed of small islands almost under water, very thickly wooded 
with high trees, we anchored for tho night ; next morning wo proceeded up the 
river, meeting tho same kind of scenery, low banks, covered in places with tho 
fresh-water mangrove, and again we found the banks ten and fourteen feet higli 
in detached and broken places, and composed of red clay. Wo also came across 
immonso numbers of Hying foxes. We saw no signs of permanent houses, but 
ilie remains of temporary shelters, and the only sign of human life was a solitary 
canoe made fixst into the bank. Animal life was well represented by black 
cockatoos, numerous pigeons, hornbills, small green parrots, lorrykoets, with 
plenty of swallows and smaller birds. The banks of tho river were a littlo higher 
(in places), and had been cleared in places, now overgrown with coarse grass 
and bamboo, tho remains of native houses. Wo found very deep water, seven 
and eight fathoms, no bottom. The weather was squally, with showers and 
strong south-east winds blowiug. Higher up the river, as we neared tho Ellen- 
gowan Island, tho banks appeared covered in places with a species of long reeds 
or grass, of tho same family as sugar-cane ; and wherever these appear there is 
generally a mud or sand-flat extending a little way from tho shore. Wo went 
round tho north side of Ellengowan Island, and on getting to tho west of it, saw 
a village on the south side, but did not stop. Above Kllongtnvan Island, tho 
birds appear to become scarcer; but in some places tho trees were literally black 
with (lying foxes, hanging like pears on a tree. Tho vegetation appears tho 
sami', but there are no signs of c<»c<ia-nuts to be f'und Iuto ; and from the mast- 

n 1! 


head tho country presents a more open appearance. The river above Ellcngowan 
Island is not nearly so straight as it is below, it winds in almost complete circles, 
so that progress up country was much slower here. Alligator tracks are very 
niiincrous, tho country generally low and swampy, and very few birds about. 
We did not see any natives for a considerable distance, until we saw a canoe 
round a point ahead, with some men, apparently drawing their bows. We 
stationed our party to act on the defensive, and held out a large table-cloth as a 
sign of friendship. On rounding the point we found a large number of canoes 
full of men, who kept pulling ahead, close into the bank, until they entered a 
small creek. On both sides of the river there were a large number of low houses, 
roofed in a very primitive manner, and standing about four feet high; these 
houses were apparently abandoned by everybody excepting one man, who 
extended his arms, evidently to show that he was not armed, and was friendly 
disposed. He was black, and perfectly nude, excepting the usual shell, which 
the Sumautese call " We-der-ow." The creek that the canoes had entered we 
found connected with the river round a small grassy island. I did not stop to 
communicate with these natives ; but as we passed them I saw several of them 
in the trees watching us, and when we had passed by, the canoes came out of the 
creek again, apparently greatly relieved at our not having molested them. AVe 
now found the country altering a great deal. The outstretching spits were now 
more sandy than before, and the country appeared more open ; grassy plains 
stretching to the westward, where I could also see several lagoons inland, and to 
the north-west there appeared higher land thickly wooded. About 4.30 p.m. on 
the same day, July 28th, we came to a junction of the river, one arm going north- 
east and the other north-west. On the east point of this junction, where the sand 
spit extended, it was completely covered with large logs of drift-wood, forming, 
in fact, a complete timber stack. I carefully examined both branches, and 
finding a strong current and large logs of wood drifting down the north-east 
branch, determined upon ascending that river, it lying in the direction the 
Society wished to explore. This branch joins the Fly in latitude 7 degrees 34 
minutes south, longitude 141 degrees 21 minutes east; I named this the Strick- 
land River, in honour of Sir E. Strickland, President of the Administrative 
Council of this Society, and Chairman of the Melbourne Geographical Conference, 
at which the New Guinea Expedition was decided upon. We upon the voyage 
wondered why this river was not noticed in Mr. Hargrave's notes concerning the 
exploration of the river Fly {vide vol. i. of the Society's proceedings), and 
unfortunately had no copy of D'Alberti's work with us ; but since returning I 
have read his work on New Guinea, and find in vol. ii., page 260, that he dis- 


covered this opening, and says in his account of his third voyage : — " For half 
our voyage the river appeared to bo of the same breadtli, but after we had passed 
a large openiog, which occurs on the right bank, in a north-easterly direction, 
and which I must confess I do not remember observing last year, it becomes 
much narrower, and runs between two banks covered with grass. I think the 
opening Ave saw to-day may be the river Alice, which, after leaving the Fly River 
at Snake Point, returns here. I intend on our return to explore it " (which, 
however, ho never did). I may here say that, on our retuni, wo ascended tho 
Fly for two and a half hours twelve minutes, and found the country above tho 
junction much as D'Albertis describes it, and tho Fly taking a westerly, and even 
a west-south-westerly dii'cction ; and even the country on the south side of tho 
Fly and that on the east side of the Strickland Itiver differ greatly in my opinion. 
Ascending tho Strickland River we stopped one day for collecting and cuttin-"" 
fire-wood ; and proceeding upwards found tho current getting much stronger, and 
at first we saw no signs of natives. Tho sand-spits became more numerous, and 
tho sand is of a darker colour. A little higher up we again began to pass native 
shelters, and some small canoes. In tho bends of tho river there were many 
large logs of drift timber stranded ; also many lai-ge snags stationary in the 
middle of the channel, now easily kept clear of as they were in sight. Rut they 
would have proved very dangerous if tho river had been a few feet higher. Still 
higher up, the banks began to rise a little, and the trees and vegetation changed. 
The river is constantly changing its channel ; one side continually being washed 
away, while a bank is forming on tho other ; and in places tho water appears to 
have cut a new channel, and formed comparatively large islands in tho midille of 
the river, with tho stream running on both sides. Tho newly-formed land is 
covered in some places with a short bright green grass ; in others with long 
reeds. Tho red cliffs also occur again in small hillocks, 25 to 40 feet high. 
They are formed of red and yellow ochre ; tho side facing tho river genonilly 
being steeji, and almost perpendicular; and it appears as if the water had 
literally cut its way through them. Tho other side presents tho usual flat bank, 
Avith brown alluvial soil, and is thickly wooded with forest trees. These hills 
occur very frcfiuenlly, an<l wherever found the river makes n broad circuit and 
comes up with them again after some distance has been traversed. \\'r now 
found tho native shelters and abandoned houses becoming more plentiful; and, 
though wo saw no natives we heard them, and also hoard their dogs howling. 
'J'ho level of tho river we found to bo rapidly rising, the current getting stronger, 
and its direction more circuitous. We continued to ascend tho river, stopping 
in the forennon to collect and take observations, still passing tho suuic scenery; 


but tlio rain squalls were now loft boliind, and the air became clearer. At 8 a.m. 
on Sunday, August 2nd, on rounding a bend, a change of scenery took place ; a 
grassy flat appearing ahead, and to the westward of us the country appeared 
more open from E.N.E. to S.E., and a little further up I found that the river 
formed a largo circle, and branched to the E. S.E. and N.N.E. I kept to tho 
easterly one, as it turned to the north a little higher up ; but the other branch 
(which I have since named the Service River) will, I think be found to connect with 
the river Fly at Snake Point, opposite the junction of tho Alice River — in fact 
that south-south-easterly branch which D'Albortis speaks of. The river now got 
}i]uch more difficult to navigate, on account of the large snags in the middle of 
tho stream. The water constantly undermining the concave bank, when tho 
freshets come down very large portions of tho bank are washed away, leaving 
the trees in the middle of the river, where they lodge, and in places almost form 
rapids. For instance, we passed close here some enormous trees grounded in 
45 feet of water, and forming a fence of snags in two or three places right 
across the river, leaving barely room for the *' Bonito " to steer between them. 
A few miles above Service Junction we saw some canoes full of people, who at 
first showed a hostile front, but, as we approached nearer, deserted their canoes 
and took to the jungle. I showed a white flag, and made friendly signs, but 
without efiect, and landing a party tried to communicate but did not succeed in 
assuring them of our friendly intentions. I left them some presents of cloth, 
tomahawks, tobacco, beads, &c., and selecting some articles from their canoes, 
which were very full of their household goods, proceeded on our voyage. The 
cui-rent was now getting too strong for us to stem when burning a mixture of 
wood and coal, as we had been doing for some days, and we had to burn all coal 
to get steam enough to make headway at all. On Monday, August ord, our first 
and only serious brush with the natives occurred. Early in the morning we saw 
a number of canoes on a sand-spit, and on approaching, finding some of the 
natives standing their ground, I took the dingy, and with two Malays, pulled for 
the shore, standing up in the boat with my arms outstretched to give them con- 
fidence, and to show that I was not armed. I landed, thinkins" that the fact of 
my being unarmed and distributing presents among them, would perhaps gain 
their friendship and confidence, but I soon found myself placed in a very critical 
position ; the natives increasing in numbers, and coming up in full war paint, 
brandishing their weapons, and some of them pointing their arrows at me. In 
fact, the only way I prevented them from shooting was by walking towards such 
of them as appeared the most hostile, and assuming an unconcern which I confess 
I was far from feeling. I remained on shore perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes 


and thought myself very lucky in getting off with a whole skin. The story of 
the attack afterwards made is fully written in my journal, and all I will here say 
of the matter is, that finding it impossible to communicate with them I steamed 
up the river, the natives following along the banks. On ncaring the beud wo 
saw a village which the natives made for. Seeing them hostile, 1 blew the steam 
whistle, which they did not appear to mind. They now mustered eighty to ono 
hundred fighting men (there were only forty-six when 1 interviewed them on 
shore), and seeing them make preparations to fire I called the man in from leading, 
and sent the Malay off the bridge, taking the wheel myself. In less time than it 
takes to relate we were saluted with a perfect shower of an'ows, some striking and 
some going over the vessel ; luckily none of us being liit. I reluctantly gave 
the order to fire, and they were dispersed after some shots. The same afternoon 
we grounded on the first hard bottom wo had met with in the river, and being 
only about four miles miles from the village, were placed in a very dangerous 
position. Finding the water leaving us raj)idly, with a view to meet any 
emergency, after landing the coal, &c., to lighten the vessel, I had a clearing 
made, and built the framework of a house, intending to make a permanent depot 
there in case of the water not risiug, or in the event of anything happening to 
the "Bonito.^' The clearing was made, and the house ready fur roofing when, 
on August 8th, the water rose, and the " Bonito " was afioat again. Taking in 
the stores again as quickly as possible, wo proceeded up the river. AVe named 
this reach " Douglas Bend,^' after the Hon. John Douglas, C.M.G. The bed of 
the river is hero composed of hard largo shingle, and the current is so rnjnd that 
it is impossible to stem it with a boat. Just above where we stranded wo found 
a passage with only eight feet of water on it during the freshets. Proceeding 
onwards, the river began to get much shallower, in places giving barely water 
enough for the " Bonito " to steam over, and a hard shinglo bottom formed 
tho bed of the river, with no anchorage for the rest of our voyage. The red 
clilVs became more numerous, and increased in height as we got further up. At 
5 p.m. on August Dth, wo camo to a dead stop, tho river dividing, and neither 
cliannol containing enough water for us. Here we remained fourteen dnya before 
the water rose and enabled us to proceed further up. During this time wo 
cx])lored and collected round this neighbourhood, and made an attempt to cut 
our way into tho interior, but did not succeed in getting more than ten miles. 
\V'hile hero, also, our throe Sumantese, Korossa, Gesau, aud Atau, deserted us. 
As it has been stated that wo were massacred in our sleep, and no watch was kept 
(although on whose authority 1 do uvl know), I may say that the Doctor and 
one J\ia!ay were on watch, and awake too when the wily Papuans left. We had 


ostal)lishe(l a camp some distance from the vessel, and meant to try and cut 
inland from there, when, on August 23rd the waters again rose, and we steamed 
further up. On August 24th and 25th we again cut inland in hopes of seeing 
the mountains, and attained a position of 250 feet high, by climbing a tree on the 
top of a hill, but could find no trace of highland or clear country. We proceeded 
further up the river, searching vainly for the mountains, until we finally grounded, 
on August 27th, where, as has already been related, the " Bonito '' remained 
until October 21st. But not without incident, for on the 31st instant, the gravel 
washing away from under her caused a capsize, and it was only by the great 
exertions of the party that the provisions were landed, and most likely a great 
disaster averted, the capsize taking place in the middle of the night, and the 
vessel filling with water almost immediately. The conduct of the party on this 
occasion is deserving of the highest praise. After this we housed all our stores 
on shore, half of us camping and half remaining on board. In the midst of our 
troubles we had a visit from hostile natives, who luckily were dispersed without 
bloodshed. After righting the '^ Bonito,''^ drying and housing our stores, we 
again tried to cut inland, but found too many difficulties in the way to hope for 
any success in gaining the mountains in that way ; so after two or three pre- 
liminary excursions in which we could find no definite traces of mountains or open 
country, I organized a boat expedition, and on September 16th, left Mr. Hems- 
worth in command on board the " Bonito,'^ with the following party : — 

Dr. Bernays, in charge of sick, which numbered seven. 

Senior, sick. 

Vogan, sick. 

Bauerlin, to continue his collecting. 

M'Gechan, engineer. 

Malays — Mandore, sick, boil and fever. 

Carpenter, cut his leg half through with an axe. 

Barabas, foot injured. 

Fireman, ditto. 

Anchises, fever and unsound. 

Lous, cook, troubled with fever and not fit for hard work. 
"We broke up the camp on shore, having previously built a house for the pro- 
visions under the bank where it was covered by the rifles of the " Bonito." 

The whale-boat party consisted of Dr. Haacks, Messrs. Froggart, Shaw, 
Creagh (Sub-leader), Waddick, six Malays — the only sound ones at my disposal 
— and myself. 

We named our station here '' Observatory Bend; " it is in lat. 6" 38' 30" S. 


long. 142" E. Our boat contained tents, trade, instruments, Sec, and with ten 
days' provisions, twelve men, sails, awning, &c., was fully laden, in fact too 
crowded for convenience. It being my intention to try and discover the position 
of the mountains, and failing to do that to ascend the river as far as possible. 

Accordingly we proceeded on the morning of the IGth, sometimes using tho 
oars in the slack water reaches, but mostly six or eight hands wading through 
the water tracking or towing the boat with a rope over tho sharp stones. We 
frequently had to cress and recross the nver, sometimes to cut away snags to get 
the boat through, the river becoming more ditHcult if possible every mile wo 
ascended ; even if tho " Bonito " had not been stranded she could not have got 
two miles further up the river. The Red Hills becoming more frequent and 
rising in altitude as we ascended, but still of tho same formation, excepting that 
the lower strata is very much honeycombed and of a duller colour. Tho birds 
were represented by parrots, hornbills, many and various descriptions of pigeons, 
including tho Goura or crested pigeon, night herons, eaglets, swifts, swallows, 
cockatoos white and black, many varieties of king-fishers and king-Iiuntcrs, 
small insect and honey-eating birds, cassowaries, oriels, and occasionally we havo 
heard tho note of the bird of Paradise. We had not yet seen any four-footed 
animals in New Guinea, and only tracks of pigs, and some which wo afterwards 
found to be those of bandicoots and rats. There were many tracks of alligators, 
which caused rae considerable anxiety, as our men were in the water fully thrco- 
(juarters of the day. Also, wo found many tracks of river turtle, but although 
wo frequently tried the river with fishing-lines wo caught nothing, and even by 
dynamiting all tho likely places we only got a few cat-fish and some smaller 
species resembling minnows. There were many descriptions of non-edible wild 
fruits, including a largo variety of figs, a species of broad-fruit just fruiting, 
which afterwards proved an excellent article of food ; tho sago palm appears to 
nourish everywhere about here, as wo found it in more or less quantities through- 
out our journey. Tree ferns also began to get plentiful ; but I leave tho 
details of these important subjects to bo treated by the special scientists who 
accompanied tho Expedition, and to proceed on our journey. Tho river 
must havo been unusually low oven for the dry season when wo ascended it, and 
is very noticeable hero from tho immense gravel wastes or circuit of shingle and 
stone that was now i-xposcd to view from the low state of the water ; in places 
there being a distance of 1 to 2 miles between tlio banks proper of tho river ; 
tho intervening space being filled with tho dry beds of the river, and small 
islands formed by tho deposits of sand and silt, some of those i.slands being 
thickly wooded. In another place tho river runs between two stacks or neatly 


piled licaps of largo stono or shingle, as level and neatly stacked as if placed by 
hand, and in ilicso places, nearly always forming a rapid, the water rising its 
level very fast, that sometimes on looking over the narrow ledge we were tracking 
the boat along wo found the water to be 10 and 12 feet lower than where 
our boat was floating, giving it the appearance of a lock-gate only being parallel 
with the river instead of crossing it. This is of course caused by the channel 
being blocked or blind, and the water having the same level as the lower water- 
level of the rapid. In some places these rapids were very difficult of ascent.^ 
One place notably, we were twelve of us one hour and twenty minutes in the 
water holding on to the boat, scarcely gaining anything, the stones shifting and 
washing away from under our feet with such force that sometimes the bow of tho 
boat was afloat and the stern high and dry with the force of the current washing 
or wedging the stones under her. It was only with the utmost difficulty that we 
could prevent the boat from obtaining the mastery : for the bow to have moved 
round one point of the compass meant to us the loss of arms, ammunition, food, 
boat, and everything else, and this at a distance of 70 miles from the depot was 
at least serious. The ascent in the whale-boat proved very trying work to the 
party, made as it was under a tropical sun directly overhead, our latitude and tho 
sun's declination being almost approximate. These gravel wastes or cii-cles 
form natural reservoirs, and during the rainy season are of course full of water, 
and must form quite lakes or lagoons whenever freshets come down the river. 
AVe ascended thus for seven days without much change of scenery, during which 
time we saw no natives, but passed plenty of shelters, and occasionally the recent 
foot-prints of small parties, and although the red hills got higher as we ascended, 
they still kept the east side of the river, and we could not see the mountains. 
The channels becoming narrower, and snags more awkward and numerous as we 
advanced, making it very difficult to prevent the boat being stove. 

On September 22nd, after coming up a long straight reach, we dropped upon 
a recent camp of natives on a gravel spit where the river makes a junction and 
receives a large tributary apparently directly from the mountains. I think they 
must have taken the boat for some new animal seeking to devour them, for they 
fled on first sighting us, leaving everything behind them, even to their fire-sticks. 
This tributary goes to the north-north-east, while the main river takes a 
westerly bend. I name this the Carrington Junction, and the river the Cecilia 
Uiver, named in honor of Lady Carrington. 

To me the deposit of stone and sand coming from this river differs somewhat 

N-B. — Wc always had to get into the water, and drag and carry the boat over. 


from that of the Strickland. There appeared to be more of the lignite or coal 
mixed with the stone, and the magnetic iron-sand was much purer and heavier. 
Much as I should have liked to examine the Cecilia I had to keep to the main 
stream ; and leaving a large present to the food the natives had abandoned, 
and planting a red ensign on a pole, wo proceeded. 

About here, there must bo at times immense bodies of water coming down. 
There are a number of dry channels to be seen, looking like roads cut through 
the high forest trees ; they are almost as straight and regular as if made by the 
hands of man ; from 80 to 200 yards wide, and many of them contain a fall of, I 
should think, 1 in 100 feet. 

Soon after passing this junction wo saw many signs of human life, and passed 
somo houses and a very primitive raft. I was also pleased to see tlie hills, which 
hitherto have only appeared on the east side, are now to bo found on both sides, 
the river now cutting right through them. 

The land here is swampy ; back from the river and in the gulloys close to 
the hills the sago palm appears very plentiful, and there are also plenty of natives 
hereabouts. The level of the river is also rising very rapidly ; it has quite 
become a caso of getting upstairs to ascend the rapids at all. 1 should estimate a 
rise of 30 feet in tho water-level in half a mile in some places. 

Tho current was so strong that wo had to use a number of devices to ascend, 
and tho snags outlying from tho banks made it very dangerous ; tho current 
rushing over and round them made it appear like a series of boiling whirlpools 
and breakers, and in many places we had to pass a long rope under tho snags 
up the river, and make it fast to a snag or tree in tho bank, then sheer the boat 
outsido or between the snags, and haul up foot by foot, fleeting tho rope again 
and again until we came to easier ground. 

l]ut on tho afternoon of Thursday, September 2 Ith, on rounding a ])uint wo 
were rewarded by the sight of a low range of hills about 1,000 feet high, over 
which was a complete view of two distinct ranges of mountains, tho nearer ono 
perhaps 50 miles,^ and tho farther one 80. The river now became straightcr, 
and ran between high steep banks, or rather a scries of small hills. 1 estimated 
wo wore about 18 miles from tho lowest range of hills, and between us and their 
base tho country formed a scries of low hill-ranges 200 to 300 foot high, gradually 
increasing in height as they wont north. 

Wo were now nine days from our depot, and our provisions were nearly 
liuished, part of them having been spoiled by tho boat getting stove oa wo 

' Vim Miii'llcr rtingc. 
C C 


ascondod a rapid ; but determining to reach the hills wo pushed very hard during 
the ensuing tliroo days, and finally reached the base of the hills on Sunday, 
Soptomber 27th, twelve days after leaving the " Bonito." The river about here 
presents a most beautiful appearance ; in one place, for instance, a long, straight 
reach, with the hills rising in places perpendicularly 300 feet from the river, 
which is about 50 to GO feet wide, and flows with groat force through the gully 
or funnel formed by the high banks, which are covered with beautiful trees on 
the top, and even their steep sides are covered with plants and vegetation, 
among which, flowering creepers, ground orchids, ferns, and tree-ferns are 
numerous. The country appears to be comparatively thickly populated. We 
passed a number of houses and clearings, and a great many very small canoes. 
But the natives about here appear to be a very timid race ; had they been hostile 
they might easily have done us considerable damage, without our even seeing 
them; as it was we ascended expecting a shower of arrows every minute ; but 
instead of attacking us they fled from their houses at our approach, and the 
only one we caught sight of was of a light copper-colour, well made, and clean- 
limbed, and ornamented with the usual shell. We did not attempt to enter 
their houses on the way up, but left presents on the banks opposite the houses ; 
but on coming down, on examining them, found the houses had all been deserted 
for some days, and the presents untouched. 

On arriving at the base of the highest range of hills our provisions were 
finished, excepting one meal and a little Liebeg's extract, so necessity compelled 
almost immediate return. However, Dr. Haacke, Mr. Shaw, and myself, with 
three Malays and two dogs, commenced the ascent of what we thought to be the 
highest hill, and were lucky enough to gain a ridge or spur, which we followed 
over one hill 310 feet high, and from there ascended another 460 feet, where, as 
Dr. Haacke wished to return, I sent a Malay back with him, and proceeding 
with Shaw and the others gained the top of the hill, which the aneroid showed 
to be 750 feet ; but to our great disgust we found that other hills still higher 
obscured our view to the N.W. and N.N.E., and as it was near sunset we had to 
return. We were fortunate enough to get down all right and reached the camp 
one hour after sunset, completely done up, rifle, revolver, axe, &c., being a very 
heavy handicap for hill-climbing on short commons. 

I estimated the highest position reached to be latitude 5' 30'' S., longitude 
142" 22 E. Unfortunately we had very heavy thunderstorms at night while up 
here, which prevented good observations being taken ; but I have a very fair 
l)osition, taken from a native house, marked on plan, taken on Monday, Septem- 
ber 2Sth, on our homeward journey. 


The country hereabouts, and right as fivr as wo could see to the northwards, 
is composed of undulating hills, very heavily wooded, which appear to go as far 
as the Von Mueller Range. The further range we saw was very high indeed, 
and I think considerably above snow-level. This range will in all probability 
turn out to be the northern coastal range. 

The lower hills will I think be found admirably adapted for growing coffee, cin- 
chona, cocoa, gutta, and other valuable tropical productions, while the lower alluvial 
lands cannot fail to produce rice and other grain.' But the report of Baron von 
Mueller, when he has classified the botanical specimens, will be an invaluable proof 
of the nature of the soil and its probable value for future plantations. I also 
expect some valuable timber will be found among the forty specimens that wo 
have brought back, and which as yet are not classified. I look upon the 
botanical collection as perhaps the valuable work done on the Expedition. 

On Monday, 28th, about 10 a.m., wo commenced our return, collecting a few 
ethnological specimens on the way down, and arrived safely at Bonito Depot, 
Observatory Bend, on the night of 29th, and found all well there. I intended 
to have ascended the river again, but the health of the party would not allow it, 
most of the river party being laid up after our return. That circumstance, 
together with the dangerous position of the vessel, decided me to do all that was 
possible in the way of collecting until the water rose, and then to commence our 
return journey, stopping and giving as much time to the collectors as circum- 
stances would permit. Keeping in mind my instructions, and the necessity of 
catching the steamer leaving Thursday Island November This I adhered 
to ; and as time and space does not permit me to detail our homeward journey, 
I will briefly state that we left Observatory Bend, October 25th, leaN-ing one 
Malay buried there, and the health of the party far from good at that time, 
safely journeying down the Strickland River with a few adventures-, meeting far 
more natives than we had supposed lived on the river. On one occasion, in a 
thickly populated place, which I estimate contained 2,000 natives, what 
threatened to be a serious tragedy was turned into a comedy by our blowing the 
Syren whistle, which on that occasion cert^iinly Nived the lives of a great number 
of natives and perhaps of some of our own party ; but proceeding, wo left Strick- 
land Junction, November 9th, Sumarti, November loth, Mouth of the Fly, 
November 18th, and arrived at Thursday Island at 10.30 a.m. on November 28th 
(up to time) . On arrival there, finding a relief party had gone to our a,ssist- 
ance, on consulting with the lion. J. Douglas, wo despatched a lugger with 

• (Jood stisrnr rountrv. 


]\rr. Senior in charge to recall tlicm. Mr. Senior earnestly requested this duty- 
might bo allotted to him, which I did on the Doctor's assurance that it would in 
all probability benefit his health, which was far from good, and was not likely to 
stop or impede his recovery. It is only fair to the rest of the party to say that 
there were plenty of other volunteers for that service. 

We left Thursday Island on November 21st, in tow of s.s. '' Alexandra," and 
arrived in Sydney on December 3rd, all well, and on behalf of the Exploratory 
Party I beg to return our most hearty thanks for the very generous and cordial 
reception we received from the Society and public, and also for the kind and 
deep interest felt for us when we were supposed to be in trouble. 

In conclusion, I also report that the Expedition was entirely dependent on 
its own resources. I was scarcely able to supplement our provisions at all, 
game of all kinds being very scarce, and extremely shy. It was from first to 
last conducted on temperance principle, no stimulants being taken as stores 
excepting as medical comforts. I hold the opinion that any hard work can be 
performed just as well without alcohol as with it. 

Quinine was also taken by all the party daily from the time we left Thursday 
Island until we returned there, but even that did not prevent our suffering rather 
severely from fever, as four of the Europeans were dangerously ill, but there is 
no doubt in my mind that it was extremely beneficial in staving off malaria : and 
finally, in conducting the Expedition, I have endeavoured to follow out my line 
of instruction as well as I could, and to keep in mind the duty I owed to this 
Society, the members of the Expedition, and the natives of the country we were 
sent to explore, and can at least congratulate myself that no serious complication 
with the natives arose at all, and I think other parties that may follow in our 
footsteps will benefit from any communications we had with the native tribes. 

Captain Everill was heartily cheered at the conclusion of his address, and His 
Excellency the Chairman invited discussion. 

Mr. Mann said that, after having carefully examined the map, and having 
listened to the leader's remarks, he was inclined to think that the country which 
had been traversed was a series of deltas or islands. Possibly, also, the Aird 
River might unite with the Strickland. It was very probable that future explo- 
rations would bear out this idea. 

Dr. Belgrave thought that Captain Everill might well be congratulated upon 
the success of the expedition. (Hear, hear.) He was only away some four 
months, and about three thousand speciiuens were collected, in addition to 
exploration work and its attendant risks. He had discovered, amongst other 


things, most valuable and extensive cedar forests, and also a site for what might 
prove a city, from whence the interior of the island might bo explored. The 
expedition was a success, and it well repaid the money and the labour which had 
been expended, and ho heartily congratulated the leader and his party. It 
would be, in his (Dr. Belgrave's) opinion, a mistake to continue sending expedi- 
tions, and he advocated the formation of settlements. (Hear, hear.) Some 
central settlement could be made, for instance, not far from the junction of the 
Strickland and the Fly Rivers. He would like to be informed whether any 
communication had been received from Mr. Stockdulo with reference to an 

Sir Edward Strickland said that he had recently received a communication 
from that gentleman, but he had not yet perused it, and until he had done so no 
answer could be given. 

Mr. THOMrsoN, the Secretary of the Queensland Branch of the Society 
thought that thanks were due to Captain Everill, for many reasons ; not tho 
least of which was the establishment of friendly relationships -sNnth tho natives, 
and the saving of white men's lives. He disagreed with Dr. Bclgrave, and 
believed that the time was not yet ripe for tho establishment of a central depot. 
The Society and tho public now had an idea of what was really required to 
explore a tropical country like Now Guinea, and the knowledge would bo of 
extreme benefit in future. He suggested that in succeeding expeditions there 
should be fewer Europeans and more Malays. When discontent commenced in 
a party it was like a cancer, and ate its way into the heart of tho enterprise. 
He felt certain that the world in general would hereafter thank Captain Everill 
and those who had formed tho expedition. (Cheers.) He had much pleasure 
in moving that the Society's hearty thanks bo accorded to them. 

Mr. Du Fadr seconded the proposition, and it was carried unanimously. 

Sir Edward Stuickland, on behalf of tho members of tho Society, then pre- 
sented Captain Everill with an illuminated address, which had been signed by 
tho various officers, and was inscribed to tho leader and tho members of tho 
party. Ho briefly alluded to the value of geographical research, and highly 
eulogized the efforts of tho explorers. Ho expressed the hope that the expedi- 
tion would bo supplemented by others, and that tho public would benefit greatly 
thereby. Tho present one had shown how future trips might be carried out 
more economically. Ho looked upon tho work as a very gallant one (Lord 
Can-ington : Hear, hear), and he liopcd that one and till would join in congratu- 
lating Captain Everill and his comrades upon having done their duty to their 
country and to tlioso who liatl cuiployed thoin. (Cheers.) 


Captain Everill cordially acknowledged the gift, and he referred to the sin- 
cere feelings of thankfulness which he and each of his party had experienced, and 
had expressed, for the assistance which had been offered upon the occasion of the 
rumour of their massacre. He quoted from a letter from the Hon. John Douglas, 
in which an absolute denial was given to a rumour, that had emanated from 
Cooktown, to the effect that ingratitude had been shown. 

Sir E. Strickland, as the President of the Society, made a few remarks with 
respect to the advantages of geographical knowledge ; and he suggested the 
advisability of efforts being made to obtain copies of apparatus, &c., similar to 
that which was exhibited in London in connection with the study of this branch 
of knowledge. He felt satisfied that the Government would not ignore an appeal 
if it were made to them for assistance in this respect. (Hear, hear.) 

A vote of thanks was unanimously accorded to His Excellency for having 
presided, and the proceedings were terminated about 6 p.m. 





(Brisbane Daily Observer, September 17th, 1886.) 

^R. Knappo, German Consul at Samoa, was a passenger by the 
''Alexandra/^ s., for Sydney yesterday, after making an oflicial 
tour in the German territories of the Pacific. In the course of a 
conversation with a representative of this journal on board the 
steamer, he stated that, acting under instructions from the 
Imperial Government, ho left Samoa in June last, and was transported by the 
flagship of the German squadron, the " Bismarck," to New Britain and the Mar- 
shall Group, where he consulted the leading German traders with reference to 
important matters relating to the government of those islands, and the better 
organisation of the group. After spending a few weeks among the various 
islands Dr. Knappe arrived at Finschhafcn, and at once accompanied a scientific 
expedition in tho " Ottilio " np the Empress Augusta River, which empties into 
the sea some hundreds of miles from Finschhavcn. lie describes it as a magni- 
ficent stream, varying in width from one to two miles. There is no bar, and the 
'' Ottilie" steamed up it a distance of 310 miles. The party then took the 8t«im 
launch and navigated the river for another ninety miles. At tlie furthest point 
reached they were fifty-three miles from the Dutch boundary on the we>t, and 
sixty-three miles from tho British boundary on tho south. Tlie river for tho 
whole of the way up varied in depth from ten to fifteen fathoms. For the first 
250 miles tho country was fertile, with portions liable to inundation; not far 
back on the right hand side, however, a range of nvmntains towered alol't. The 
river had previously been explored by Captain Dahhnann in the Samoa, for a 

I) D 


distance of fifty miles, and after his point of exploration was passed, landings 
were made daily to observe the quality of the country, and to propitiate the 
natives who assembled in large numbers on the banks. Dr. Knappe's account of 
these savages is very interesting. He states that they were quite overcome on 
beholding the " Ottilio,'^and pointing reverentially to the sun (whom Dr. Knappe 
beheves they worship) they foil at the feet of the explorers, as much as to say — 
" Children of the Sun we worship you." They are a powerful and apparently a 
contented race. Although every few miles the language was different, the mode 
of life and habits were similar. The largest village or plantation met with was 
about 240 miles up the river. It was situated some distance from the river, and 
contained from fifteen to twenty large houses at some distance from each other, 
and built at a height of about twelve feet from the ground on piles. Each house is 
very solidly built, large beams being used in the framework, which is covered by 
a thick thatch of grass. A peculiar custom obtains with reference to the separa- 
tion of the sexes, the males and females occupying different houses. Each house 
or ward has accommodation for about fifty. The male children, up to the age of 
about thirteen years, inhabit the female wards. Owing to the brief stay and 
ignorance of the language. Dr. Knappe says he was unable to ascertain what are 
their customs with regard to marriage. As in other portions of New Guinea, 
the natives go in for extensive plantations, their special products being yams and 
other tubers, of which Dr. Knappe possessed no knowledge. Sago palms, 
bananas, and cocoa-nut trees also were growing wild in profusion. The favourite 
kind of ornamentation indulged in in the men's huts were rows of grinning skulls, 
in which the human and the crocodile were awarded the place of honour, the 
skulls of the dogs and pigs that surrounded them evidently not being held in 
such high reverence. The natives are not by any means vegetarians, deriving 
their supply of flesh from the hordes of dogs and pigs which surround their vil- 
lages. They have also a kind of fowl, but Dr. Knappe did not observe at any of 
the feasts at which he was present that poultry was provided. Their bows, 
arrows, and spears are not nearly so well-made or so formidable as those of the 
coastal natives, and their canoes are nothing but trees hollowed out, first by chop- 
ping with their inferior stone axes, and then by fire. Dr. Knappe said that in 
one he counted twenty-two occupants. No out-riggers or rowlocks are used, the 
canoe being propelled by paddles, which are used by the rowers standing up. 
The natives, both men and women, are inveterate smokers of cigarettes, which 
they manufacture from the tobacco leaf, which is indigenous. The tobacco leaf 
is rolled tightly up, and enclosed in the green leaf of a pepper tree. Dr. Knappe 
smoked one himself and found that though a decided novelty, it was not all un- 


pleasant. Another custom is betel-nut chewing. They chew the nut, then place 
the end of a small stick in their mouth. The moistened part is then dipped in lime 
and again transferred to the mouth. Dr. Knappe was urgently invited to partici- 
pate, but not having a cast-iron tongue, declined the request. The costume of the 
natives is rather primitive. The men go about entirely nude and the skirt worn 
by the women is remarkably scanty. Iron, which is generally so highly prized by 
savages, found no favour in the eyes of the natives there, but turkey red had not lost 
its power to charm, and the native that secured an empty bottle was an object of the 
greatest envy to his fellows. The prize was at once filled with lime and sur- 
rounded by betel-nut-chewers who in ecstasy dipped their lime-sticks in it and were 
happy. During the trip many geological specimens were obtained, including 
quartz, but as Dr. Knappe confessed that he was entirely ignorant of such matters 
ho was unable to state whether the country was likely to bo auriferous. After a 
very pleasant and instructive trip of three weeks the party again reached the sea, 
and on their way to Finschhaven inspected the stations at Feldthavcn and Hats- 
feldt Harbour. Both were found to be flourishing, especially the latter, which 
had experienced entire immunity from sickness for the past six months. Dr. 
Knappe spent a few weeks at Finschhaven as the guest of the Governor, Baron 
Schleintz, and expresses his belief that there is a great future before CJcrman 
New Guinea. The German New Guinea Company have been so far most fortu- 
nate. They have had no trouble to speak of with the natives, over 100 of whom, 
men and women, they have now working for them, the solo payment in return 
being an occasional donation of turkey red, scrap iron, or beads. The Jfalays, 
too, are working well, but, as is almost invariably the case, have to be ruled with 
a firm hand. It is intended by the Company to establish stations all along the 
magnificent stream opened up by Dr. Knappe and his companions, and in order 
to do so speedily au officer of the Company, Mr. Graboffski, accompauiod Dr. 
Knappe to Cooktown, where he is now waiting the arrival of a British-India 
steamer. He will then proceed to Batavia, and engage 1 50 more Malays for this 
Company, who will employ them on the new plantations. The outlay of the 
Company up to the present has been considerable, without taking into considera- 
tion the loss of the Papua, but Dr. Knappe is of opinion that the privileges they 
have obtained will 1)0 of enormous value in the future. ]\y their charter they 
have possession of all land not actually claimed by others, and as the natives do 
not care a rush for the land not comprised in their plantations the company prac- 
tically own all the German territory. Ho also believes that the foundations of a 
prosperous colony have already been laid. Fortunately for Dr. Knappe, the 
"Ottilio^' arrived at Cooktown just in time to catch the ** Alexandra," which 



steamor will roach Sydney next Monday. Dr. Knappe the next day transships 
into the Lubock, which steamer will land him at Samoa in time to form one of 
the Commission recently appointed by the British and German Governments 
to inquire into matters tioncerning the islands at present under his especial 








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