There are various other precautions necessary in dealing with this people; for they will, if possible, so act as to give rise to disputes, in which case an appeal is made to their fellows, who are sure to decide against the strangers. Those who have been engaged in this trade, advise that the prices of the goods should be fixed upon before the Sultan, and the scales of the Datu of Soung employed; for although these are quite faulty, the error is compensated by the articles received being, weighed in the same. This also secures the Datu's good-will, by the fee (some fifty dollars) which he receives for the use of them. Thus it will be perceived that those who desire to trade with Sulu, must make up their minds to encounter many impositions, and to be continually watchful of their own interests.
Every possible precaution ought to be taken; and it will be found, the treatment will depend upon, or be according to the force or resolution that is displayed. In justice to this people it must be stated, there have been times when traders received every kindness and attention at the island of Sulu, and I heard it even said, that many vessels had gone there to refit; but during the last thirty or forty years, the reigning sultans and their subjects have become hostile to Europeans, of whom they plunder and destroy as many as they can, and this they have hitherto been allowed to do with impunity.
Although I have described the trade with Sulu as limited, yet it is capable of greater extension; and had it not been for the piratical habits of the people, the evil report of which has been so widely spread, Sulu would now have been one of the principal marts of the East. The most fertile parts of Borneo are subject to its authority. There all the richest productions of these Eastern seas grow in immense quantities, but are now left ungarnered in consequence of there being no buyers. The cost of their cultivation would be exceedingly low, and I am disposed to believe that these articles could be produced here at a lower cost than anywhere else.
Besides the trade with China, there is a very considerable one with Manila in small articles, and I found one of our countrymen engaged in this traffic, under the Spanish flag. To him I am indebted for much information that his opportunities of observation had given him.
The materials for the history of Sulu are meagre, and great doubt seems to exist in some periods of it. That which I have been able to gather is as follows:
[History.] The island of Sulu is generally believed to have been originally inhabited by Papuans, some of whom, as I have already stated, are still supposed to inhabit the mountainous part. The first intercourse had with them was by the Chinese, who went there in search of pearls. The Orang Dampuwans were the first of the Malays to form settlements on the islands; but after building towns, and making other improvements, they abandoned the islands, in consequence, it is said, of the inhabitants being a perfidious race, having previously to their departure destroyed as many of the natives as they could.
The fame of the submarine riches of this archipelago reached Banjar or Borneo, the people of which were induced to resort there, and finding it to equal their expectation, they sent a large colony, and made endeavors to win over the inhabitants, and obtain thereby the possession of their rich isle. In order to confirm the alliance, a female of Banjarmassing, of great beauty, was sent, and married to the principal chief; and from this alliance the sovereigns of Sulu claim their descent. The treaty of marriage made Sulu tributary to the Banjarmassing empire.
After the Banjars had thus obtained possession of the archipelago, the trade in its products attracted settlers from the surrounding islands, who soon contrived to displace the aborigines, and drive them to the inaccessible mountains for protection.
When the Chinese took possession of the northern parts of Borneo, under the Emperor Songtiping, about the year 1375, the daughter of that prince was married to a celebrated Arabian chief named Sheriff Alli, who visited the shores of Borneo in quest of commerce. The descendants of this marriage extended their conquests not only over the Sulu Archipelago, but over the whole of the Philippines, and rendered the former tributary to Borneo. In three reigns after this event, the sultan of Borneo proper married the daughter of a Sulu chief, and from this union came Mirhome Bongsu, who succeeding to the throne while yet a minor, his uncle acted as regent. Sulu now wished to throw off the yoke of Borneo, and through the intrigues of the regent succeeded in doing so, as well as in retaining possession of the eastern side of Borneo, from Maludu Bay on the north, to Tulusyan on the south, which has ever since been a part of the Sulu territory.
This event took place before Islamism became the prevailing religion; but which form of idolatry, the Sulus pretend, is not now known. It is, however, believed the people on the coasts were Buddhists, while those of the interior were Pagans.
The first sultan of Sulu was Kamaludin, and during his reign one Sayed Alli, a merchant, arrived at Sulu from Mecca. He was a sherif, and soon converted one-half of the islanders to his own faith. He was elected sultan on the death of Kamaludin, and reigned seven years, in the course of which he became celebrated throughout the archipelago. Dying at Sulu, a tomb was erected to him there, and the island came to be looked upon by the faithful as the Mecca of the East, and continued to be resorted to as a pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards.
[Tawi Tawi.] Sayed Alli left a son called Batua, who succeeded him. The latter had two sons, named Sabudin and Nasarudin, who, on the death of their father, made war upon each other. Nasarudin, the youngest, being defeated, sought refuge on Tawi Tawi, where he established himself, and built a fort for his protection. The difficulties were finally compromised, and they agreed to reign together over Sulu. Nasarudin had two sons, called Amir and Bantilan, of whom the former was named as successor to the two brothers, and on their deaths ascended the throne. During his reign another sherif arrived from Mecca, who succeeded in converting the remainder of the population to Islamism. Bantilan and his brother Amir finally quarrelled, and the latter was driven from Sulu to seek refuge in the island of Basilan, where he became sultan.
On the arrival of the Spaniards in 1566, a kind of desultory war was waged by them upon the various islands, in the hope of conquering them and extending their religion. In these wars they succeeded in gaining temporary possession of a part of Sulu, and destroyed the tomb of Sayed Alli. The Spaniards always looked upon the conversion of the Moslems to the true Catholic faith with great interest; but in the year 1646, the sultan of Magindanao succeeded in making peace, by the terms of which the Spaniards withdrew from Sulu, and were to receive from the sultan three cargoes of rice annually as a tribute.
In 1608, the small-pox made fearful ravages, and most of the inhabitants fled from the scourge. Among these was the heir apparent, during whose absence the throne became vacant, and another was elected in his stead. This produced contention for a short time, which ended in the elected maintaining his place.
This tribute continued to be paid until the flight of Amir to Basilan, about the year 1752, where he entered into a secret correspondence with the authorities at Zamboanga, and after two years a vessel was sent from Manila, which carried him to that capital, where he was treated as a prisoner of state.
[The English treaty.] In June, 1759, an English ship, on board of which was Dalrymple, then in the service of the East India Company, arrived at Sulu on a trading voyage. Dalrymple remained at Sulu for three months, engaged in making sales and purchases. The Sultan Bantilan treated him with great kindness, and sought the interest of Dalrymple to obtain the liberation of his brother, who was now held prisoner by the Spaniards at Manila, by telling him of the distress of his brother's wife, who had been left behind when Amir quitted the island, and had been delivered of twins, after he had been kidnapped by the Spaniards. Dalrymple entered into a pledge to restore Amir, and at the same time effected a commercial treaty between the East India Company and the Sulu chiefs. By this it was stipulated that an annual cargo should be sent to Sulu, and sold at one hundred per cent. profit, for which a return cargo should be provided for the China market, which should realize an equal profit there, after deducting all expenses. The overplus, if any, was to be carried to the credit of the Sulus. This appears to have been the first attempt made by the English to secure a regular commercial intercourse with this archipelago.
In the year 1760, a large fleet of Spanish vessels sailed from Manila, with about two thousand men, having the Sultan Amir on board, to carry on a war against Sulu.
On their arrival, they began active operations. They were repelled on all sides, and after seven days' ineffectual attempts, they gave up their design. They returned to Manila, it is said, with a loss of half their number, and without having done any injury to the Sulus. Not discouraged with this failure, the Spaniards, about two years after, organized a still larger force, which is estimated by some accounts as high as ten thousand men. Although this failed in its attempts on the fort at Soung, the Spaniards obtained possession of Tanjong Matonda, one of the small ports on the island, where they erected a church and fort. Here they established a colony, and appointed a governor. The inhabitants upon this deserted their habitations in the neighborhood, and fled to the mountains, which, it is said, excited the mountaineers, a host of whom, with their chief, whose name was Sri Kala, determined to rush upon the Spaniards, and annihilate them. Having to contend against disciplined troops, it was not an easy task to succeed. But Sri Kala had a follower, named Sigalo, who offered to lead the host to battle against the Spaniards, and to exterminate them, or die in the attempt. The chief accepted his offer, and Sigalo, with a chosen few, marched towards the fort, leaving the rest of the mountaineers in readiness to join them at an appointed signal, and rush into the fort en masse.
[Victory over Spaniards.] Sri Kala and Sigalo, in order to lull the watchfulness of the Spaniards, took with them a young woman, of exquisite beauty, named Purmassuri. The lustful Spaniards were thus thrown off their guard, the signal was given, and the host, rushing forward, entered the fort, every Spaniard within which was slain. A few only, who were on the outside, escaped to the vessels, which set sail, and after encountering various mishaps, returned to Manila.
Some time after this the Sultan Bantilan died, and his son Alim-ud-deen was proclaimed sultan. Dalrymple did not return until 1762, with a part of the appointed cargo; but the vessel in which the larger part had been shipped, failed to arrive, from not being able to find Sulu, and went to China. Thence she proceeded to Manila, and afterwards to Sulu. The captain of the latter vessel gave a new credit to the Sulus, before they had paid for their first cargo; and on the arrival of Dalrymple the next time, he found that the small-pox had carried off a large number of the inhabitants, from which circumstance all his hopes of profit were frustrated. He then obtained for the use of the East India Company, a grant of the island of Balambangan, which lies off the north end of Borneo, forming one side of the Straits of Balabac, the western entrance to the Sulu Sea. Here he proposed to establish a trading post, and after having visited Madras, he took possession of this island in 1763.
In October, 1762, the English took Manila, where the Sultan Amir was found by Dalrymple, who engaged to reinstate him on his throne, if he would cede to the English the north end of Borneo, as well as the south end of Palawan. This he readily promised, and he was, in consequence, carried back to Sulu and reinstated; his nephew, Alim-ud-deen, readily giving place to him, and confirming the grant to the East India Company, in which the Ruma Bechara joined.
After various arrangements, the East India Company took possession of Balambangan, in the year 1773, and formed a settlement there with a view of making it an emporium of trade for Eastern commodities. Troops and stores were sent from India, and the population began to increase by settlers, both Chinese and Malays, who arrived in numbers. In the year 1775, the fort, notwithstanding all the treaties and engagements between Dalrymple and the Sultan, was surprised by the Sulus, and many of the garrison put to death. [Victory over English.] This virtually put an end to the plans of the English, although another attempt was made to re-establish the settlement by Colonel Farquhar, in 1803; but it was thought to be too expensive a post, and was accordingly abandoned in the next year. This act of the Sulus fairly established their character for perfidy, and ever since that transaction they have been looked upon as treacherous in the highest degree, and, what is singular, have been allowed to carry on their piracies quite unmolested. The taking of Balambangan has been generally imputed to the treacherous disposition and innate love of plunder among the Sulus, as well as to their fear that it would destroy the trade of Sulu by injuring all that of the archipelago. But there are strong reasons for believing that this dark deed owed its origin in part to the influence of the Spaniards and Dutch, who looked with much distrust upon the growth of the rival establishment. Such was the jealousy of the Spaniards, that the governor of the Philippines peremptorily required that Balambangan should be evacuated. The Sulus boast of the deed, and admit that they received assistance from both Zamboanga and Ternate, the two nearest Spanish and Dutch ports. These nations had great reasons to fear the establishment of a power like that of the East India Company, in a spot so favorably situated to secure the trade of the surrounding islands, possessing fine harbors, and in every way adapted to become a great commercial depot. Had it been held by the East India Company but for a few years, it must have become what Singapore is now.
The original planner of this settlement is said to have been Lord Pigot; but the merit of carrying it forward was undoubtedly due to Dalrymple, whose enterprising mind saw the advantage of the situation, and whose energy was capable of carrying the project successfully forward.
Since the capture of Balambangan, there has been no event in the history of Sulu that has made any of the reigns of the Sultans memorable, although fifteen have since ascended the throne.
Sulu has from all the accounts very much changed in its character as well as population since the arrival of the Spaniards, and the establishment of their authority in the Philippines. Before that event, some accounts state that the trade with the Chinese was of great extent, and that from four to five hundred junks arrived annually from Cambojia, with which Sulu principally traded. At that time the population is said to have equalled in density that of the thickly-settled parts of China.
The government has also undergone a change; for the Sultan, who among other Malay races is usually despotic, is here a mere cipher, and the government has become an oligarchy. This change has probably been brought about by the increase of the privileged class of Datus, all of whom were entitled to a seat in the Ruma Bechara until about the year 1810, when the great inconvenience of so large a council was felt, and it became impossible to control it without great difficulty and trouble on the part of the Sultan. The Ruma Bechara was then reduced until it contained but six of the principal Datus, who assumed the power of controlling the state. The Ruma Bechara, however, in consequence of the complaints of many powerful Datus, was enlarged; but the more powerful, and those who have the largest numerical force of slaves, still rule over its deliberations. The whole power, within the last thirty years, has been usurped by one or two Datus, who now have monopolized the little foreign trade that comes to these islands. The Sultan has the right to appoint his successor, and generally names him while living. In default of this, the choice devolves upon the Ruma Bechara, who elect by a majority.
[Piracies] From a more frequent intercourse with Europeans and the discovery of new routes through these seas, the opportunities of committing depredations have become less frequent, and the fear of detection greater. By this latter motive they are more swayed than by any thing else, and if the Sulus have ever been bold and daring robbers on the high seas, they have very much changed.
Many statements have been made and published relative to the piracies committed in these seas, which in some cases exceed, and in others fall short, of the reality. Most of the piratical establishments are under the rule, or sail under the auspices of the Sultan and Ruma Bechara of Sulu, who are more or less intimately connected with them. The share of the booty that belongs to the Sultan and Ruma Bechara is twenty-five per cent. on all captures, whilst the Datus receive a high price for the advance they make of guns and powder, and for the services of their slaves.
The following are the piratical establishments of Sulu, obtained from the most authentic sources, published as well as verbal. The first among these is the port of Soung, at which we anchored, in the island of Sulu; not so much from the number of men available here for this pursuit, as the facility of disposing of the goods. By the Spaniards they are denominated Illanun or Lanuns pirates.  There are other rendezvous on Pulo Toolyan, at Bohol, Tonho, Pilas, Tawi Tawi, Sumlout, Pantutaran, Parodasan, Palawan, and Basilan, and Tantoli on Celebes. These are the most noted, but there are many minor places, where half a dozen prahus are fitted out. Those of Sulu, and those who go under the name of the Lanuns, have prahus of larger size, and better fitted. They are from twenty to thirty tons burden, and are propelled by both sails and oars. They draw but little water, are fast sailers, and well adapted for navigating through these dangerous seas. These pirates are supposed to possess in the whole about two hundred prahus, which usually are manned with from forty to fifty pirates; the number therefore engaged in this business, may be estimated at ten thousand. They are armed with muskets, blunderbusses, krises, hatchets, and spears, and at times the vessels have one or two large guns mounted. They infest the Macassar Strait, the Celebes Sea, and the Sulu Sea. Soung is the only place where they can dispose of their plunder to advantage, and obtain the necessary outfits. It may be called the principal resort of these pirates, where well-directed measures would result in effectually suppressing the crime.
Besides the pirates of Sulu, the commerce of the eastern islands is vexed with other piratical establishments. In the neighboring seas, there are the Malay pirates, who have of late years become exceedingly troublesome. Their prahus are of much smaller size than those of Sulu, being from ten to twelve tons burden, but in proportion they are much better manned, and thus are enabled to ply with more efficiency their oars or paddles. These prahus frequent the shores of Malacca Straits, Cape Roumania, the Carimon Isles, and the neighboring straits, and at times they visit the Rhio Straits. Some of the most noted, I was informed, were fitted out from Johore, in the very neighborhood of the English authorities at Singapore; they generally have their haunts on the small islands on the coast, from which they make short cruises.
They are noted for their arrangements for preventing themselves from receiving injury, in the desperate defences that are sometimes made against them. These small prahus have usually swivels mounted, which, although not of great calibre, are capable of throwing a shot beyond the range of small-arms. It is said that they seldom attempt an attack unless the sea is calm, which enables them to approach their victims with more assurance of success, on account of the facility with which they are enabled to manage their boats. The frequent calms which occur in these seas between the land and sea breezes, afford them many opportunities of putting their villanous plans in operation; and the many inlets and islets, with which they are well acquainted, afford places of refuge and ambush, and for concealing their booty. They are generally found in small flotillas of from six to twenty prahus, and when they have succeeded in disabling a vessel at long shot, the sound of the gong is the signal for boarding, which, if successful, results in a massacre more or less bloody, according to the obstinacy of the resistance they have met with.
In the winter months, the Malacca Straits are most infested with them; and during the summer, the neighborhood of Singapore, Point Rumania, and the channels in the vicinity. In the spring, from February to May, they are engaged in procuring their supplies, in fishing, and refitting their prahus for the coming year.
[Suppression of pirates.] I have frequently heard plans proposed for the suppression of these pirates, particularly of those in the neighborhood of the settlements under British rule. The European authorities are much to blame for the quiescent manner in which they have so long borne these depredations, and many complaints are made that Englishmen, on being transplanted to India, lose that feeling of horror for deeds of blood, such as are constantly occurring at their very doors, which they would experience in England. There are, however, many difficulties to overcome before operations against the pirates can be effective. The greatest of these is the desire of the English to secure the good-will of the chiefs of the tribes by whom they are surrounded. They thus wink at their piracies on the vessels of other nations, or take no steps to alleviate the evils of slavery. Indeed the language that one hears from many intelligent men who have long resided in that part of the world is, that in no country where civilization exists does slavery exhibit so debasing a form as in her Indian possessions. Another difficulty consists in the want of minute knowledge of the coasts, inlets, and hiding-places of the pirates, and this must continue to exist until proper surveys are made. This done, it would be necessary to employ vessels that could pursue the pirates everywhere, for which purpose steamers naturally suggest themselves.
What will appear most extraordinary is, that the very princes who are enjoying the stipend for the purchase of the site whereon the English authority is established, are believed to be the most active in equipping the prahus for these piratical expeditions; yet no notice is taken of them, although it would be so easy to control them by withholding payment until they had cleared themselves from suspicion, or by establishing residents in their chief towns.
[The Bajows.] Another, and a very different race of natives who frequent the Sulu Archipelago, must not be passed by without notice. These are the Bajow divers or fishermen, to whom Sulu is indebted for procuring the submarine treasures with which her seas are stored. They are also very frequently employed in the beche de mer or trepang fisheries among the islands to the south. The Bajows generally look upon Macassar as their principal place of resort. They were at one time believed to be derived from Johore, on the Malayan peninsula; at another, to be Buguese; but they speak the Sulu dialect, and are certainly derived from some of the neighboring islands. The name of Bajows, in their tongue, means fishermen. From all accounts, they are allowed to pursue their avocations in peace, and are not unfrequently employed by the piratical datus, and made to labor for them. They resort to their fishing-grounds in fleets of between one and two hundred sail, having their wives and children with them, and in consequence of the tyranny of the Sulus, endeavor to place themselves under the protection of the flag of Holland, by which nation this useful class of people is encouraged. The Sulu Seas are comparatively little frequented by them, as they are unable to dispose of the produce of their fisheries for want of a market, and fear the exactions of the Datus. Their prahus are about five tons each. The Bajows at some islands are stationary, but are for the most part constantly changing their ground. The Spanish authorities in the Philippines encourage them, it is said, to frequent their islands, as without them they would derive little benefit from the banks in the neighboring seas, where quantities of pearl-oysters are known to exist, which produce pearls of the finest kind. The Bajows are inoffensive and very industrious, and in faith Mahomedans.
The climate of Sulu during our short stay, though warm, was agreeable. The time of our visit was in the dry season, which lasts from October till April, and alternates with the wet one, from May till September. June and July are the windy months, when strong breezes blow from the westward. In the latter part of August and September, strong gales are felt from the south, while in December and January the winds are found to come from the northward; but light winds usually prevail from the southwest during the wet season, and from the opposite quarter, the dry, following closely the order of the monsoons in the China seas. As to the temperature, the climate is very equable, the thermometer seldom rising above 90 deg. or falling below 70 deg..
Diseases are few, and those that prevail arise from the manner in which the natives live. They are from that cause an unhealthy-looking race. The small-pox has at various times raged with great violence throughout the group, and they speak of it with great dread. Few of the natives appeared to be marked with it, which may have been owing, perhaps, to their escaping this disorder for some years. Vaccination has not yet been introduced among them, nor have they practiced inoculation.
Notwithstanding Soung was once the Mecca of the East, its people have but little zeal for the Mahomedan faith. It was thought at once time that they had almost forgotten its tenets, in consequence of the neglect of all their religious abservances. The precepts which they seem to regard most are that of abstaining from swine's flesh, and that of being circumcised. Although polygamy is not interdicted, few even of the datus have more than one wife.
Soung Road offers good anchorage; and supplies of all kinds may be had in abundance. Beef is cheap, and vegetables and fruits at all seasons plenty.
Our observations placed the town in latitude 6 deg. 01' N., longitude 120 deg. 55' 51'' E.
Having concluded the treaty and other business that had taken me to Sulu, we took our departure for the Straits of Balabac, the western entrance into this sea, with a fine breeze to the eastward. By noon we had reached the group of Pangootaaraang, consisting of five small islands. All of these are low, covered with trees, and without lagoons. They presented a great contrast to Sulu, which was seen behind us in the distance. The absence of the swell of the ocean in sailing through this sea is striking, and gives the idea of navigating an extensive bay, on whose luxuriant islands no surf breaks. There are, however, sources of danger that incite the navigator to watchfulness and constant anxiety; the hidden shoals and reefs, and the sweep of the tide, which leave him no control over his vessel.
[Cagayan Sulu.] Through the night, which was exceedingly dark, we sounded every twenty minutes, but found no bottom; and at daylight on the 7th, we made the islands of Cagayan Sulu, in latitude 7 deg. 03' 30'' N., longitude 118 deg. 37' E. The tide or current was passing the islands to the west-southwest, three quarters of a mile per hour; we had soundings of seventy-five fathoms. Cagayan Sulu has a pleasant appearance from the sea, and may be termed a high island. It is less covered with undergrowth and mangrove-bushes than the neighboring islands, and the reefs are comparatively small. It has fallen off in importance; and by comparing former accounts with those I received, and from its present aspect, it would seem that it has decreased both in population and products. Its caves formerly supplied a large quantity of edible birds' nests; large numbers of cattle were to be found upon it; and its cultivation was carried on to some extent. These articles of commerce are not so much attended to at the present time, and the beche de mer and tortoise-shell, formerly brought hither, are now carried to other places. There is a small anchorage on the west side, but we did not visit it. There are no dangers near these small islands that may not be guarded against. Our survey extended only to their size and situation, as I deemed it my duty to devote all the remainder of the time I had to spare to the Balabac Straits.
[Balabac straits.] After the night set in, we continued sounding every ten minutes, and occasionally got bottom in from thirty to seventy fathoms. At midnight, the water shoaled to twenty fathoms, when I dropped the anchor until daylight. We shortly afterwards had a change of wind, and a heavy squall passed over us.
In the morning we had no shoal ground near us, and the bank on which we had anchored was found to be of small size; it is probable that we had dropped the anchor on the shoalest place. Vessels have nothing to fear in this respect.
At 9:00 a.m. of the 8th, we made the Mangsee Islands ahead of us, and likewise Balabac to the north, and Balambagan to the south. Several sand-banks and extensive reefs were also seen between them. On seeing the ground on which we had to operate, of which the published charts give no idea whatever, I determined to proceed, and take a central position with the ship under the Mangsee Islands; but in order not to lose time, I hoisted out and dropped two boats, under Lieutenant Perry, to survey the first sand-bank we came to, which lies a few miles to the eastward of these islands, with orders to effect this duty and join me at the anchorage, or find a shelter under the lee of the islands.
At half-past two p.m. we anchored near the reef, in thirty-six fathoms water. I thought myself fortunate in getting bottom, as the reefs on closing with them seemed to indicate but little appearance of it.
The rest of the day was spent in preparing the boats for our operations. I now felt the want of the tender. Although in the absence of this vessel, great exposure was necessary to effect this survey, I found both officers and men cheerful and willing. The parties were organized,—the first to proceed to the north, towards Balabac Island, to survey the intermediate shoals and reefs, under Lieutenant Emmons and Mr. Totten; the second to the south, under Lieutenants Perry and Budd; and Mr. Hammersly for the survey of the shoals of Balambangan and Banguey, and their reefs. The examination of the Mangsee Islands, and the reefs adjacent, with the astronomical and magnetic observations, etc., devolved on myself and those who remained on board the ship.
The weather was watched with anxiety, and turned out disagreeable, heavy showers and strong winds prevailing; notwithstanding, the boats were despatched, after being as well protected against it as possible. We flattered ourselves that these extensive reefs would produce a fine harvest of shells; but, although every exertion was made in the search, we did not add as many to our collections as we anticipated. Some land-shells, however, were found that we little expected to meet with, for many of the trees were covered with them, and on cutting them down, large quantities were easily obtained. Mr. Peale shot several birds, among which was a Nicobar pigeon; some interesting plants and corals were also added. On the island a large quantity of drift-wood was found, which with that which is growing affords ample supplies of fuel for ships. No fresh water is to be had, except by digging, the island being but a few feet above high-water mark.
Although the time was somewhat unfavorable, Lieutenant Emmons and party executed their orders within the time designated, and met with no other obstructions than the inclemency of the weather. This was not, however, the case with Lieutenant Perry, who, near a small beach on the island of Balambangan, encountered some Sulus, who were disposed to attack him. The natives, no doubt, were under the impression that the boats were from some shipwrecked vessel. They were all well armed, and apparently prepared to take advantage of the party if possible; but, by the prudence and forbearance of this officer, collision was avoided, and his party saved from an attack.
[Balambangan.] The island of Balambangan was through the instrumentality of Mr. Dalrymple, as heretofore stated, obtained from the Sulus for a settlement and place of deposit, by the East India Company, who took possession of it in 1773. Its situation off the northern end of Borneo, near the fertile district of that island, its central position, and its two fine ports, offered great advantages for commerce, and for its becoming a great entrepot for the riches of this archipelago. Troops, and stores of all kinds, were sent from India; numbers of Chinese and Malays were induced to settle; and Mr. Herbert, one of the council of Bencoolen, was appointed governor. It had been supposed to be a healthy place, as the island was elevated, and therefore probably free from malaria; but in 1775 the native troops from India became much reduced from sickness, and the post consequently much weakened. This, with the absence of the cruisers from the harbor, afforded a favorable opportunity for its capture; and the wealth that it was supposed to contain created an inducement that proved too great for the hordes of marauding pirates to resist. Choosing their time, they rushed upon the sentries, put them to death, took possession of the guns, and turned them against the garrison, only a few of whom made their escape on board of a small vessel. The booty in goods and valuables was said to have been very large, amounting to nearly four hundred thousand pounds sterling.
Although Borneo offers many inducements to commercial enterprise, the policy of the Dutch Company has shut themselves out, as well as others, by interdicting communication. In consequence, except through indirect channels, there has been no information obtained of the singular and unknown inhabitants of its interior. This, however, is not long destined to be the case.
Mr. Brooke, an English gentleman of fortune, has, since our passage through these seas, from philanthropic motives, made an agreement with the rajah of Sarawack, on the northern and western side of Borneo, to cede to him the administration of that portion of the island. This arrangement it is believed the British government will confirm, in which event Sarawack will at once obtain an importance among the foreign colonies, in the Eastern seas, second only to that of Singapore.
The principal inducement that has influenced Mr. Brooke in this undertaking is the interest he feels in the benighted people of the interior, who are known under the name of Dyack, and of whom some extraordinary accounts have been given.
A few of these, which I have procured from reputable sources, I will now relate, in order that it may be seen among what kind of people this gentleman has undertaken to introduce the arts of civilization.
[The Dyacks.] The Dyacks are, by all accounts, a fine race, and much the most numerous of any inhabiting Borneo. They are almost exclusively confined to the interior, where they enjoy a fine climate, and all the spontaneous productions of the tropics. They are believed to be the aborigines of the island. The name of Dyack seems to be more particularly applied to those who live in the southern section of Borneo. To the north they are called Idaan or Tirun, and those so termed are best known to the Sulus, or the inhabitants of that part of the coast of Borneo over which the Sulus rule. In personal appearance, the Dyacks are slender, have higher foreheads than the Malays, and are a finer and much better-looking people. Their hair is long, straight, and coarse, though it is generally cropped short round the head. The females are spoken of as being fair and handsome, and many of those who have been made slaves are to be seen among the Malays.
In manners the Dyacks are described as simple and mild, yet they are characterized by some of the most uncommon and revolting customs of barbarians. Their government is very simple; the elders in each village for the most part rule; but they are said to have chiefs that do not differ from the Malay rajahs. They wear no clothing except the maro, and many of them are tattooed, with a variety of figures, over their body. They live in houses built of wood, that are generally of large size, and frequently contain as many as one hundred persons. These houses are usually built on piles, divided into compartments, and have a kind of veranda in front, which serves as a communication between the several families. The patriarch, or elder, resides in the middle. The houses are entered by ladders, and have doors, but no windows. The villages are protected by a sort of breastwork.
Although this people are to be found throughout all Borneo, and even within a few miles of the coast, yet they do not occupy any part of its shores, which are held by Malays, or Chinese settlers. There is no country more likely to interest the world than Borneo. All accounts speak of vast ruins of temples and palaces, throughout the whole extent of its interior, which the ancestors of the present inhabitants could not have constructed. The great resemblance these bear to those of China and Cambojia has led to the belief that Borneo was formerly peopled by those nations; but all traditions of the origin of these edifices have been lost; and so little is now known of the northern side of Borneo, that it would be presumption to indulge in any surmises of what may have been its state during these dark ages. Even the Bugis priests, who are the best-informed persons in the country, have no writings or traditions that bear upon the subject; and the few scattered legends of Eastern origin, can afford no proof of the occurrence of the events they commemorate in any particular locality.
The accounts of the habits of the Dyacks are discrepant. Some give them credit for being very industrious, while others again speak of them as indolent. They are certainly cultivators of the soil, and in order to obtain the articles they need, will work assiduously. Many of them are employed in collecting gold-dust, and some in the diamond mines; and they will at times be found procuring gums, rattans, etc., from their native forests for barter. They are a people of great energy of character, and perseverance in the attainment of their object, particularly when on war-parties, or engaged in hunting.
Their food consists of rice, hogs, rats, snakes, monkeys, and many kinds of vermin, with which this country abounds.
Their chief weapon is the parang or heavy knife, somewhat like the kris. It is manufactured of native iron and steel, with which the coast of the country is said to abound. They have a method of working it which renders it unnecessary for them to look to a foreign supply; the only articles of foreign hardware that they are said to desire, are razors, out of which to make their cockspurs. One thing seems strange: although asserted upon good authority, that the iron and steel of the coast are thought to be superior by foreigners, they are not to be compared with that which is found in the interior, and manufactured by the Dyacks. All the best krises used by the Malay rajahs and chiefs, are obtained from the interior. Some of these are exquisitely manufactured, and so hard that, without turning the edge, they cut ordinary wrought iron and steel.
Among their other weapons is the sumpit, a hollow tube, through which they blow poisoned arrows. The latter are of various kinds, and those used in war are dipped in the sap of what the natives term the "upo." The effect of this poison is almost instantaneous, and destroys life in four or five minutes. Those who have seen a wound given accidentally, describe the changes that the poison occasions as plainly perceptible in its progress. Before using the arrow, its poisoned point is dipped in lime-juice to quicken it. The range of the sumpit is from fifty to sixty yards. Although the arrows are poisoned, yet it is said they sometimes eat the games they kill with them, parboiling it before it is roasted, which is thought to extract the poison. Firearms, respecting which they have much fear, have not yet been introduced among them; indeed, it is said that so easily are they intimidated by such weapons, that on hearing a report of a gun they invariably run away. Each individual in a host would be impressed with the belief that he was the one that was to be shot.
[The diwatas.] They address their prayers to the maker of the world, whom they call Dewatta, and this is all the religion they have. There are many animals and birds held by them in high veneration, and they are close observers of the flight of birds, from which they draw prognostics. There is in particular a white-headed eagle or kite, upon whose flight and cries they put great reliance, and consult them in war or on any particular expedition. For this purpose they draw numbers of them together, and feed them by scattering rice about. It is said their priests consult their entrails also on particular occasions, to endeavor to look into future events.
In the performance of their engagements and oaths, they are most scrupulous. They seem to have some idea of a future life, and that on the road to their elysium they have to pass over a long tree, which requires the assistance of all those they have slain in this world. The abode of happy spirits is supposed to be on the top of Kini Balu, one of their loftiest mountains, and the portals are guarded by a fiery serpent, who does not suffer any virgin to pass into the celestial paradise.
Polygamy does not exist among them, but they have as concubines slaves, who are captured in their wars or rather predatory expeditions. If a wife proves unfaithful to her husband, he kills several of his slaves, or inflicts upon her many blows, and a divorce may be effected by the husband paying her a certain price, and giving up her clothes and ornaments, after which he is at liberty to marry another. The women, however, exercise an extraordinary influence over the men.
[Headhunting.] But of all their peculiar traits, there is none more strange than the passion they seem to indulge for collecting human heads. These are necessary accompaniments in many transactions of their lives, particularly in their marriages, and no one can marry unless he has a certain number of heads; indeed, those who cannot obtain these are looked upon with disdain by the females. A young man wishing to wed, and making application to marry her for whom he has formed an attachment, repairs with the girl's father to the rajah or chief, who immediately inquires respecting the number of heads he has procured, and generally decides that he ought to obtain one or two more, according to his age, and the number the girl's father may have procured, before he can be accepted. He at once takes his canoe and some trusty followers, and departs on his bloody errand, waylaying the unsuspecting or surprising the defenceless, whose head he immediately cuts off, and then makes a hurried retreat. With this he repairs to the dwelling of his mistress, or sends intelligence of his success before him. On his arrival, he is met by a joyous group of females, who receive him with every demonstration of joy, and gladly accept his ghastly offering.
Various barbarous ceremonies now take place, among which the heads undergo inspection to ascertain if they are fresh; and, in order to prove this, none of the brain must be removed, nor must they have been submitted to smoke to destroy the smell. After these preliminaries, the family honor of the bride is supposed to be satisfied, and she is not allowed to refuse to marry. A feast is now made, and the couple are seated in the midst naked, holding the bloody heads, when handfuls of rice are thrown over them, with prayers that they may be happy and fruitful. After this, the bridegroom repairs in state to the house of the bride, where he is received at the door by one of her friends, who sprinkles him with the blood of a cock, and her with that of a hen. This completes the affair, and they are man and wife.
[Cremation.] Funerals are likewise consecrated by similar offerings, the corpse remaining in the house until a slave can be procured, by purchase or otherwise, whom they design to behead at the time the body is burnt. This is done in order that the defunct may be attended by a slave on his way to the other world or realms of bliss. After being burnt, the ashes of the deceased are gathered in an urn, and the head of the slave preserved and placed near it.
In some parts, a rajah or chief is buried with great pomp in his war habiliments, and food and his arms are placed at his side. A mound is erected over him, which is encircled with a bamboo fence, upon which a number of fresh heads are stuck, all the warriors who have been attached to him bringing them as the most acceptable offering; and subsequently these horrid offerings are renewed.
The Dyacks are found also in the Celebes island, but there, as in Borneo, they are confined to the interior. I have already mentioned that they were supposed to have been the original inhabitants of the Sulu Archipelago. The Sulus speak of the country of the Dyacks as being exceedingly fertile and capable of producing every thing. The north end of Borneo is particularly valuable, as its produce is easily transported from the interior, where much of the land is cultivated. I have obtained much more information in relation to this people, in a variety of ways, from individuals as well as from the published accounts, which are to be found at times in the Eastern prints; but as this digression has already extended to a great length, I trust that enough has been said to enable the reader to contrast it with the natives who inhabit the islands that dot the vast Pacific Ocean, and to make him look forward with interest to the developments that the philanthropic exertions of Mr. Brooke may bring to light.
Having completed our duties here, the boats were hoisted in, after despatching one to leave orders for Mr. Knox of the Flying-Fish, in a bottle tied to a flagstaff.
On the afternoon of the 12th, we got under way to proceed direct to Singapore, and passed through the channel between the reef off the Mangsee Islands, and those of Balambangan and Banguey. We found this channel clear, and all the dangers well defined.
As the principal objects of my visit were to ascertain the disposition and resources of the Sulus for trade, and to examine the straits leading into the Sulu seas, in order to facilitate the communication with China, by avoiding on the one hand the eastern route, and on the other the dangers of the Palawan Passage, it may be as well to give the result of the latter inquiry, referring those who may be more particularly interested to the Hydrographical Atlas and Memoir.
The difficulties in the Palawan Passage arising from heavy seas and fresh gales do not exist in the Sulu Sea, nor are the shoals so numerous or so dangerous. In the place of storms and rough water, smooth seas are found, and for most of the time moderate breezes, which do not subject a vessel to the wear and tear experienced in beating up against a monsoon.
The Balabac Straits may be easily reached, either from Singapore, or by beating up along the western shore of Borneo. When the straits are reached, a vessel by choosing her time may easily pass through them by daylight, even by beating when the wind is ahead. Once through, the way is clear, with the exception of a few coral lumps; the occasional occurrence of the north wind will enable a vessel to pass directly to the shores of the island of Panay. A fair wind will ordinarily prevail along the island, and, as I have already mentioned, it may be approached closely. The passage through to the eastward of Mindoro Island may be taken in preference to that on the west side through the Mindoro Strait, and thus all the reefs and shoals will be avoided. Thence, the western coast of Luzon will be followed to the north, as in the old route.
I do not think it necessary to point out any particular route through the Sulu Sea, as vessels must be guided chiefly as the winds blow, but I would generally avoid approaching the Sulu Islands, as the currents are more rapid, and set rather to the southward. Wherever there is anchorage, it would be advisable to anchor at night, as much time might thus be saved, and a knowledge of the currents or sets of the tides obtained. Perhaps it would be as well to caution those who are venturesome, that it is necessary to keep a good look-out, and those who are timid, that there does not appear to be much danger from the piratical prahus, unless a vessel gets on shore; in that case it will not be long before they will be seen collecting in the horizon in large numbers.
[Advantages of Sulu treaty.] The treaty that I made with the Sultan, if strictly enforced on the first infraction, will soon put an end to all the dangers to be apprehended from them. To conclude, I am satisfied that under ordinary circumstances, to pass through the Sulu Sea will shorten by several days the passage to Manila or Canton, and be a great saving of expense in the wear and tear of a ship and her canvass.
On the 13th, we passed near the location of the Viper Shoal, but saw nothing of it. It is, therefore, marked doubtful on the chart. As I had but little time to spare, the look-outs were doubled, and we pursued our course throughout the night, sounding as we went every fifteen minutes; but nothing met our view.
On the 14th, although we had the northeast monsoon blowing fresh, we experienced a current of twenty-two miles setting to the north. This was an unexpected result, as the currents are usually supposed to prevail in the direction of the monsoon. On the 15th. we still experienced it, though not over fifteen miles. On the 16th, we found it setting west, and as we approached the Malayan Peninsula it was found to be running southwest.
On the 18th, we made Pulo Aor and Pulo Pedang, and arriving off the Singapore Straits, I hove-to, to await daylight. In the morning at dawn, we found ourselves in close company with a Chinese junk. The 19th, until late in the afternoon, we were in the Singapore Straits, making but slow progress towards this emporium of the East. The number of native as well as foreign vessels which we passed, proved that we were approaching some great mart, and at 5:00 p.m. we dropped our anchor in Singapore Roads. Here we found the Porpoise, Oregon, and Flying-Fish, all well: the two former had arrived on January 22nd, nearly a month before, and the latter three days previously. Before concluding this chapter, I shall revert to their proceedings since our separation off the Sandwich Islands.
The instructions to the brigs have been heretofore given; but it may not be amiss to repeat here that the object in detaching them was, that they might explore the line of reefs and islands known to exist to the northward and westward of the Hawaiian Group, and thence continue their course towards the coast of Japan. Had they effected the latter object, it would have given important results in relation to the force of the currents, and the temperature of the water. It was desirable, if possible, to ascertain with certainty the existence on the coast of Japan of a current similar to the Gulf Stream, to which my attention had been particularly drawn.
The first land they made was on December 1, 1841, and was Necker Island. Birds, especially the white tern, had been seen in numbers prior to its announcement. Necker Island is apparently a mass of volcanic rocks, about three hundred feet high, and is destitute of any kind of vegetation, but covered with guano. It is surrounded by a reef, three miles from which soundings were obtained, in twenty fathoms water. The furious surf that was beating on all sides of the island, precluded all possibility of a landing being made. By the connected observations of the vessels it lies in longitude 164 deg. 37' W., and latitude 23 deg. 44' N.
The French-Frigate Shoal was seen on the 3rd; the weather proved bad, and they were unable to execute the work of examining this reef. The sea was breaking furiously upon it.
On the 7th, the Maro Reef was made in latitude 25 deg. 24' 29'' N., longitude 170 deg. 43' 24'' W. Bottom was found at a distance of four miles from the reef, with forty-five fathoms of line. On the 8th, they passed over the site of Neva Isle, as laid down by Arrowsmith, but no indications of land were seen.
[Arrival at Singapore.] On the 11th, Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold determined, on account of the condition of the brigs, and the continuance of bad weather, it was impossible to keep their course to the northward and westward towards the coast of Japan; he, therefore, hauled to the southward, which was much to be regretted, and followed so very nearly in the same track as that pursued by the Vincennes, towards the China seas, that nothing new was elicited by them.
After a passage of fifty-six days from the Sandwich Islands, they dropped their anchors in Singapore on January 19, 1842, all well. Here they found the United States ship Constellation, Commodore Kearney, and the sloop of war Boston, Captain Long, forming the East India squadron.
Manila in 1819 
By An American Naval Officer.
[Coral.] " * * * The fine bay of Manila, thirty leagues in circumference, is situated near the middle of the west side of the island, and has good and clear anchorage in all parts of it, excepting on a coral ledge, called the Shoal of St. Nicholas, which is the only visible danger in the bay. The dangerous part of it is, however, of small extent, and with proper attention easily avoided; the least of water found on it at present is eleven feet, but its summit is constantly approaching the surface of the sea, as has been ascertained by surveys made at different periods by orders of government, which circumstance seems to indicate the presence of Zoophytes, that compound of animal and vegetable life, whose incessant and rapid labors, and, as we are told by naturalists, whose polypus-like powers of receiving perfect form and vitality into numberless dismembered portions of their bodies, have long excited much curiosity and admiration. These small, compound animals, commence their operations at the bottom of the sea, and proceed upwards, towards the surface, spreading themselves in various ramifications; the older members of the mass become concrete, petrify, and form dangerous shoals; the superior portion of these little colonists always being the last produced, in its turn generates myriads of others, and so on, ad infinitum, till they reach the surface of the ocean. These coral reefs and shoals are found in most parts of the world, within the tropics; but the waters of the eastern hemisphere seem to be peculiarly congenial to their production, and, indeed, there appear to be certain spaces or regions in these seas, which are their favorite haunts. Among many others may be mentioned the Mozambique channel, and that tract of ocean, from the eastern coast of Africa, quite across to the coast of Malabar, including the Mahe, Chagas, Maldive and Laccadive archipelagos; the southeastern part of the China sea; the Red sea; the eastern part of Java; the coasts of all the Sunda islands; and various places in the Pacific ocean. These shoals, when they begin to emerge from the sea, are frequented by aquatic fowls, whose feathers, and other deposits, combined with the fortuitous landing of drifts of wood, weeds, and various other substances from the adjacent lands, in the course of time form superaqueous banks, of considerable elevation; and the broken fragments of coral thrown up by the waves, slowly, but constantly increase their horizontal diameter. Coconuts are frequently seen floating upon the sea in these regions, some of which are no doubt thrown upon the shores of the new created lands; from which accidental circumstance this fruit is there propagated. Vagrant birds unconsciously deposit the germs of various other productions of the vegetable kingdom, which in due season spring up and clothe their surfaces with verdure; and the natural accumulation of dead and putrid vegetation serves to assist in the formation of a rich and productive soil, and to increase the altitudes of these new creations. As I have been always much amused and interested by this subject, and had frequent opportunities, during many years' experience, to observe and examine these shoals in their various stages of subaqueous progress, and subsequent emersion I am convinced that not only many considerable islands, but extensive insular groups, owe their existence to the above origin."
[The people.] "* * * The natives of these islands are generally well made, and bear strong marks of activity and muscular vigor; they are in general somewhat larger than the Javanese, and bear some affinity in the features of their faces to the Malays; their noses are however more prominent, and their cheek bones not so high, nor are their skins so dark. Their hair is of a jet black, made glossy by the constant application of coconut oil, as is the custom in all India, and drawn together and knotted on top, in the manner of the Malays. The women display great taste in the arrangement and decorations of their hair, which they secure with silver or gold bodkins, the heads of which are frequently composed of precious stones."
[Mixed blood.] "* * * A very considerable proportion of the population of Manila is composed of the mestizos; they are the offspring of the intermarriages of the Spaniards with the native women, and these again forming connexions with the whites, or with the native Indians (the latter, however, less frequent), combine in stamping upon their descendants a great variety of features and shades of color; a general resemblance is, however, to be traced, and waiving color and manners, a mestizo could not easily be mistaken for a native. This class of the inhabitants is held in nearly the same estimation as the whites. They are very cleanly in their persons, and neat in their dress, which, among the males, consists generally of a pair of cotton trousers of various colors, as fancy dictates, and shoes in the European manner, a frock, or tunic, of striped grass manufacture, worn outside the trousers, in the manner of the Asiatic Armenians (but without the sash, or girdle), the collars of which are tastefully embroidered, and thrown back on their shoulders; a European hat completes their costume, which is light, cool and airy, and after a stranger has been a short time accustomed to see what he at first would call a perversion of dress, his prejudices subside, and he has no hesitation in pronouncing it very proper and graceful. They are remarkably fine limbed, and well built, the females especially, who are really models of the most complete symmetry; their hair and eyes, which unlike their skins, seldom vary from the original jet black of their native parents, bestow upon them the primary characteristics of the brunette. This people, unlike the generality of mixed colors in the human race, have been improved by their intermixture, they are more industrious and cleanly than the Spaniards, possess more intelligence and polish than the Indians and are less malicious and revengeful than either. The men are employed mostly as writers, brokers, agents and overseers; many of them hold lucrative offices under government, and they not unfrequently arrive at wealth and consideration. The women are also industrious, and capable of great intellectual improvement; they have a natural grace and ease in their manner, and make excellent wives and mothers. This character must not, however, be taken in an unlimited sense, for we cannot expect this rule to be without its exceptions, and it is true that some of these females do degenerate, and copy after the manners of the creoles, or white natives; but this is only the case when, by their intercourse with the whites, their Indian blood is merged and lost in the European. That part of the population in which is blended the blood of the Chinese and Tagalogs is named the Chinese mestizos.
The natives are not unapt in acquiring knowledge, neither do they want industry, when efforts are made, and inducements displayed to call their powers into action. They are excellent mechanics and artisans, and, as horticulturists, their superiority over many of the Asiatics is acknowledged. They are polite and affable to strangers, but irascible, and when excited are very sanguinary; their natural bias to this revengeful and cruel character, is strengthened and rendered more intense by the ... doctrines of the Roman catholic religion as dictated to them by the designing and interested priests who reside among them. The culprit always finds a sanctuary in the nearest church, till by the payment of some pecuniary mulct, he satisfies the demands of the priests, obtains absolution, appeases the resentment of the relations of the deceased, and eludes the arm of justice; he grows hardened by impunity, repeats his offences, and again escapes as before."
[A Filipino foundry.] "* * * All the necessary works for a garrisoned city are within its walls; extensive magazines were erected in 1686, besides which are a hall of arms, or armory, a repository for powder, with bomb-proof vaults, and commodious quarters and barracks for the garrison. There is also a furnace and foundry here, which, although their operations were suppressed in 1805, is the most ancient in the Spanish monarchy; this establishment was founded in 1584, in the village of St. Anna, near Manila; to the latter of which places it was transferred in 1590. The first founder was a Pampango Indian, named Pandapira. When the Spaniards first arrived at Manila, in 1571, they found there a large foundry, which was accidentally burnt, in consequence of the combustibility of the building and effects, which character applies to all the houses of that period."
[Language.] "* * * Their colloquial language, like that of the natives of Java, Borneo, Sumatra, and many other islands in these seas, is a dialect of the peninsular Malay from whence it is thought they originated; and so striking is its similarity among all these islands, that the natives of each can, in a greater or less degree, understand that of all the others. The characters of their written language differ widely, and great varieties of arrangement exist among them. The Tagalogs write from top to bottom on palm leaves and strips of bamboo; and many of the Moros or Mahomedans use the Arabic characters."
[Difference of days.] From the circumstance of the Spaniards arriving in these seas by Cape Horn, and the general route being by the Cape of Good Hope, a consequent difference in time of one day is produced in the different reckoning; the Spaniards losing, and those who steer eastward gaining, each in the proportion of half a day in completing the semi-circumference of the globe. Consequently, the time at Manila, being regulated by their own reckonings, is one day later than that of those who arrive there by steering eastward from America or Europe; as for instance, when by the accounts of the latter it is Sunday, by theirs it is only Saturday.
[English in Manila.] In the year 1762, the city of Manila was taken by the English, where, and at Cavite, immense quantities of naval and military stores, brass and iron ordnance, and several fine ships, fell into their hands. It was, however, soon delivered up to the Spaniards, on a promise of the payment to the English of four millions of dollars as a ransom, which, however, never has been paid. This breach of faith and promise has been loudly complained of by the latter, and as pertinaciously excused by the Spaniards, who complain that the British plundered the city, and committed many other excesses, contrary to the express conditions of their engagements, by which they were virtually rendered nugatory.
[Galleon trade.] The inhabitants of Manila have long enjoyed the privilege of sending two annual ships to Acapulco called Galleons, Navios, or Register-Ships, with the produce of the Philippines, of China, and other parts of Asia; in return for which, they receive various articles of the production of South America; the principal of which are cochineal, merchandise of different descriptions of European origin, and silver in Spanish dollars and ingots, which compose the principal part of the value of their return cargoes, amounting annually to about three million five hundred thousand Spanish dollars. A large proportion of this property belongs to the convents in Manila, whose great revenues not only enable them to engage in extensive mercantile operations, but to lend considerable sums to the merchants on bottomry. For the indulgence in this trade, the proprietors pay a large sum of money to the crown.
These ships were of the burden of from twelve to fifteen hundred tons, and were numerously manned and well appointed for defense; but of late years, since the revolt of the Spanish colonies, which has rendered the navigation of the intermediate seas dangerous to these enterprises, the trade has been greatly interrupted, and instead of risking it in large bodies, private ships of smaller burden have been hired for the purpose of dividing the risk; some of these have been put under foreign colors, though formerly the galleons wore, by instruction, the royal flag, their officers were commissioned and uniformed like the officers of the navy, and the ships were under the same regulations and discipline. The object, however, of the trade in smaller ships has not been obtained; for so great are the fears of the owners and agents of their being captured, and so many restrictions laid upon the commanders that they lie in port the principal part of the time; so that in September, 1819, the ships of the preceding year had not arrived at Manila; neither had any been dispatched from the latter place for Acapulco during that time. These interruptions, and in fact, the virtual suspension of this commerce, will undoubtedly, if a liberal and enlightened policy is pursued, result greatly to the advantage of these islands and the mother country. Already since the establishment of the cortes, permitting foreigners to settle permanently at Manila, great improvements have been made in the productions of the island, and important additions to the revenue. The failure of the annual remittance of dollars from South America to defray the expenses of the colonial government, of which their revenues from the islands were not adequate to meet one half, has been severely felt, and has stimulated them to make some very unusual exertions. Foreign commerce has been more countenanced in consequence of this state of things, and greater encouragement has been given to the growers and manufacturers of their staple exports; and if the affairs of these islands should in future be properly conducted, the revenue arising from the impost on the single article of coffee, will in a few years be amply sufficient to support the government, and leave a net income of the revenue arising from the imposts on all other articles, besides what would accrue from the taxes and numerous other resources. A free commerce with other nations would create a competition, and a consequent reduction in the price of imports, and their articles of export would increase, in proportion to the demand for them. In short, nothing is wanting in these beautiful islands, but ability to direct, and energy to execute the most extensive plans of agriculture and commerce, which the bounties of the soil, and its excellent climate and situation, would most certainly render completely successful; and, instead of being, as at present it is, a burden to Spain, it would become a source of great wealth to her."
[Spirit of independence.] "* * * It is to be hoped that the narrow and illiberal policy which has heretofore retarded the prosperity of these fine islands, will necessarily be superseded by more expanded views, and enable them to maintain the rank and importance to which their intrinsic worth entitles them. The spirit of independence which has recently diffused its influence through the Spanish colonies on the American continent, has also darted its rays across the Pacific, and beamed with enlivening lustre upon those remote regions and the sacred flames of liberty which have been kindled have in the bosom of that country, though for a period concealed from the view of regal parasites and dependents, burned clear and intense; and the time is perhaps not very remote, when it shall burst forth, and shed its joyous light upon the remotest and most inconsiderable islet of this archipelago.
[Opportunity for a republic.] Perhaps no part of the world offers a more eligible site for an independent republic than these islands; their insular posture and distance from any rival power, combined with the intrinsic strength of a free representative government, would guarantee their safety and glory; their intermediate situation, between Asia and the American continent, their proximity to China, Japan, Borneo, the Molucca and Sunda Islands, the Malay peninsula, Cochin China, Tonquin, Siam, and the European possessions in the East, would insure them an unbounded commerce, consequently great wealth and power; and their happiness would be secured by religious toleration and liberal views of civil liberty in the government. It must be confessed, however, that the national character of the Spaniards is not suitable to produce and enjoy in perfection this most desirable state of affairs; it is to be feared that their bigotry would preclude religious toleration, their indolence continue the present system of slavery, so degrading in a particular manner to a republic, their want of energy paralyze the operations of enterprising foreigners among them. No change, however, can be for the worse, and if all the advantage, cannot be reaped by them, which the citizens of our republic would secure, it will be better for them to seize and enjoy such as their genius and talents will enable them to."
[Health.] " * * * The health of the city and suburbs is proverbial, and the profession of a physician is, perhaps, of all others the least lucrative. A worthy and intelligent Scotch doctor, who had come to Manila, while I was there, to exercise his profession, and who lodged in the same house with me, was greatly annnoyed at the want of practice which he experienced there, although he had his full share of patronage, and often jocosely declared that the "dom climate" would starve him; in fact he did not long remain there; I afterwards met him in the Isle of France, where he was still in pursuit of practice."
[A barbarous execution.] " * * * Impelled by a very common and, perhaps, excusable curiosity, I rode out with some friends one day to witness the execution of a mestizo soldier for murder. The parade ground of Bagumbayan was the theater of this tragic comedy, for such it may be trully called, and never did I experience such a revulsion of feeling as upon this occasion. The place was crowded with people of all descriptions, and a strong guard of soldiers, three deep, surrounded the gallows, forming a circle, the area of which was about two hundred feet in diameter. The hangman was habited in a red jacket and trousers, with a cap of the same color upon his head. This fellow had been formerly condemned to death for parricide, but was pardoned on condition of turning executioner, and becoming close prisoner for life, except when the duties of his profession occasionally called him from his dungeon for an hour. Whether his long confinement, and the ignominious estimation in which he was held, combined with despair of pardon for his heinous offense, and a natural ferocity of character, had rendered him reckless of "weal or woe," or other impulse directed his movements, I know not, but never did I see such a demoniacal visage as was presented by this miscreant; and when the trembling culprit was delivered over to his hand, he pounced eagerly upon his victim, while his countenance was suffused with a grim and ghastly smile, which reminded us of Dante's devils. He immediately ascended the ladder, dragging his prey after him till they had nearly reached the top; he then placed the rope around the neck of the malefactor with many antic gestures and grimaces highly gratifying and amusing to the mob. To signify to the poor fellow under his fangs that he wished to whisper in his ear, to push him off the ladder, and to jump astride his neck with his heels drumming with violence upon his stomach, was but the work of an instant. We could then perceive a rope fast to each leg of the sufferer, which was pulled with violence by people under the gallows, and an additional rope, to use a sea term, a preventer, was round his neck, and secured to the gallows, to act in case of accident to the one by which the body was suspended. I had witnessed many executions in different parts of the world, but never had such a diabolical scene as this passed before my eyes."
* * * * *
The Peopling of the Philippines
By Dr. Rudolf Virchow
(Translated by O. T. Mason; in Smithsonian Institution 1899 Report.)
Since the days when the first European navigators entered the South Sea, the dispute over the source and ethnic affiliations of the inhabitants of that extended and scattered island world has been unsettled. The most superficial glance points out a contrariety in external appearances, which leaves little doubt that here peoples of entirely different blood live near and among one another.
["Negritos and Indios."] And this is so apparent that the pathfinder in this region, Magellan, gave expression to the contrariety in his names for tribes and islands. Since dark complexion was observed on individuals in certain tribes and in defined areas, and light complexion on others, here abundantly, there quite exceptional, writers applied Old World names to the new phenomena without further thought. The Philippines set the decisive example in this. Fernando Magellan first discovered the islands of this great archipelago in 1521, March 16. After his death the Spaniards completed the circle of his discoveries. At this time the name of Negros was fixed, which even now is called Islas de los Pintados. For years the Spaniards called the entire archipelago Islas de Poniente; gradually, after the expedition of Don Fray Garcia Jofre de Loaisa (1526), the new title of the Philippines prevailed, through Salazar.
The people were divided into two groups, the Little Negros or Negritos and the Indios. It is quite conceivable that involuntarily the opinion prevailed that the Negritos had close relationship with the African blacks, and the Indios with the lighter-complexioned inhabitants of India, or at least of Indonesia.
However, it must be said here that the theory of a truly African origin of the Negritos has been advanced but seldom, and then in a very hesitating manner. The idea that with the present configuration of the eastern island world, especially with their great distances apart, a variety of mankind that had never manifested any aptitude for maritime enterprises should have spread themselves over this vast ocean area, in order to settle down on this island and on that, is so unreasonable that it has found scarcely a defender worth naming. More and more the blacks are coming to be considered the original peoples, the "Indios" to be the intruders. For this there is a quite reasonable ground, in that on many islands the blacks dwell in the interior, difficult of access, especially in the dense and unwholesome mountain forests, while the lighter complexioned tribes have settled the coasts. To this are added linguistic proofs, which place the lighter races, of homogeneous speech, in linguistic relations with the higher races, especially the Malays. Dogmatically it has been said that originally these islands had been occupied entirely by the primitive black population, but afterwards, through intrusions from the sea, these blacks were gradually pressed away from the coast and shoved back into the interior.
[Complicated Pacific problem.] The problem, though it appears simple enough, has become complicated more and more through the progress of discovery, especially since Cook enlarged our knowledge of the oriental island world. A new and still more pregnant contrast then thrust itself to the front in the fact that the blacks and the lighter-colored peoples are each separated into widely differing groups. While the former hold especially the immense, almost continental, regions of Australia (New Holland) and New Guinea, and also the larger archipelagos, such as New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, Fiji (Viti) Archipelago—that is, the western areas—the north and east, Micronesia and Polynesia, were occupied by lighter-colored peoples. So the first division into Melanesia and Polynesia has in latest times come to be of value, and the dogma once fixed has remained. For the Polynesians are by many allied to the Malays, while the blacks are put together as a special ethnological race.
For practical ethnology this division may suffice. But the scientific man will seek also for the blacks a genetic explanation. The answer has been furnished by one of the greatest ethnologists, Theodor Waitz, who, after he had exposed the insufficiency of the accepted formulas, came to the conclusion that the differentiation of the blacks from the lighter peoples might be an error. He denied that there had been a primitive black race in Micronesia and Polynesia; in his opinion we have here to do with a single race. The color of the Polynesians may be out and out from natural causes different, "their entire physical appearance indicates the greatest variability." Herein the whole question of the domain of variation is sprung with imperfect satisfaction on the part of those travelers who give their attention more to transitions than to types. Among these are not a few who have returned from the South Sea with the conviction that all criteria for the diagnosis of men and of races are valueless.
Analytical anthropology has led to other and often unexpected results. It has proved that just that portion of South Sea population which can apparently lay the strongest claim to be considered a homogeneous race must be separated into a collection of subvarieties. Nothing appears more likely than that the Negritos of the Philippines are the nearest relatives to the Melanesians, the Australians, the Papuans; and yet it has been proved that all these are separated one from another by well-marked characters. Whether these characters place the peoples under the head of varieties, or whether, indeed, the black tribes of the South Sea, spite of all differences, are to be traced back to one single primitive stock, that is a question of prehistory for whose answer the material is lacking. Were it possible to furnish the proof that the black populations of the South Sea were already settled in their present homes when land bridges existed between their territory and Africa, or when the much-sought Lemuria still existed, it would not be worth the trouble to hunt for the missing material. In our present knowledge we can not fill the gaps, so we must yet hold the blacks of the Orient to be separate races.
[Hair as a race index.] The hair furnished the strongest character for diagnosis, in which, not alone that of the head is under consideration; the hair, therefore, occupies the foreground of interest. Its color is of the least importance, since all peoples of the South Sea have black hair. It is more the structure and appearance which furnish the observer convenient starting points for the primary classification. Generally a two-fold division satisfies. The blacks, it is said, have crisped hair, the Polynesians and light-colored peoples have smooth hair. But this declaration is erroneous in its generality. It is in no way easy to declare absolutely what hair is to be called crisp, and it is still more difficult to define in what respects the so-called crisp varieties differ one from another. For a long time the Australian hair was denominated crisp, until it was evident that it could be classed neither with that of the Africans nor with that of the Philippine blacks. Semper, one of the first travelers to furnish a somewhat complete description of the physical characters of the Negritos, describes it as an "extremely thick, brown-black, lack-luster, and crisp-woolly crown of hair." Among these peculiarities the lack-luster is unimportant, since it is due to want of care and uncleanliness. On the contrary, the other data furnish true characters of the hair and among them the crisp-woolly peculiarity is most valuable.
On the terms "wool" and "woolly" severe controversies, which have not yet closed, have taken place among ethnologists during the last ten years. Also the lack of care, especially the absence of the comb, has here acted as a disturbing cause in the decision. But there is yet a set of peoples, which were formerly included, that are now being gradually disassociated, especially the Australians and the Veddahs, whose hair, by means of special care, appears quite wavy if not entirely sleek and smooth. Generally it is frowzy and matted, so that its natural form is difficult to recognize. To it is wanting the chief peculiarity, which obtrudes itself in the African blacks so characteristically that the compact spiral form which it assumes from its root, the so-called "pepper-corn," is selected as the preferable mark of the race. The peculiar nappy head has it origin in the spiral "rollchen." As to the Asiatic blacks this has been for a long time known among the Andamanese; it has lately been noticed upon the Sakai of Malacca, and it is to be found also among the Negritos of the Philippines, as I can show by specimens. Therefore, if we seek ethnic relationships for the Negritos of the Philippines, or as they are named, the Aetas (Etas, Itas), such connections obtrude themselves with the stocks named, and the more strongly since they all have brachycephalic, relatively small (nannocephalic) heads and through their small size attach themselves to the peculiar dwarf tribes.
I might here comment on the singular fact that the Andaman Islands are situated near the Nicobars in the Indian Ocean, but that the populations on both sides of them are entirely different. In my own detailed descriptions which treat of the skulls and the hair specially, it is affirmed that the typical skull shape of the Nicobarese is dolichocephalic and that "their hair stands between the straight hair of the Mongoloid and the sleek, though slightly curved or wavy, hair of the Malayan and Indian peoples;" their skin color is relatively dark, but only so much so as is peculiar to the tribes of India. With the little blacks of the Andamans there is not the slightest agreement. In this we have one of the best evidences against the theory of Waitz-Gerland that the differences in physical appearance are to be attributed to variation merely. I will, however, so as not to be misunderstood, expressly emphasize that I am not willing to declare that the two peoples have been at all times so constituted; I am now speaking of actual conditions.
In the same sense I wish also my remarks concerning the Negritos to be taken. Not one fact is in evidence from which we may conclude that a single neighboring people known to us has been Negritized. We are therefore justified when we see in the Negritos a truly primitive people. As they are now, they were more than three hundred and fifty years ago when the first European navigators visited these islands. About older relationships nothing is known. All the graves from which the bones of Negritos now in possession were taken belong to recent times, and also the oldest descriptions which have been received, so far as phylogeny is concerned, must be characterized as modern.
[Negritos a primitive people.] The little change in the mode of life made known through these descriptions in connection with the low grade of culture on which these impoverished tribes live amply testify that we have before us here a primitive race.
* * * * *
(The question whether we have to do with older, independent races in the Malay Archipelago or with mixtures is everywhere an open one.—Translator.)
Whoever would picture the present ethnic affiliations of the light-colored peoples of the Philippines will soon land in confusion on account of the great number of tribes. One of the ablest observers, Ferd. Blumentritt, mentions, besides the Negritos, the Chinese and the whites, not less than 51 such tribes. He classifies them in one group as Malays, according to the plan now customary. The division rests primarily on a linguistic foundation. But when it is noted that the identity of language among all the tribes is not established and among many not at all proved, it is sufficiently shown that speech is a character of little constancy, and that a language may be imposed upon a people to the annihilation of their own by those who belong to a different linguistic stock. The Malay Sea is filled with islands on which tarry the remnants of peoples not Malay.
For a long time, especially since the Dutch occupation, these old populations have received the special name of Alfuros. But this ambiguous term has been used in such an arbitrary and promiscuous fashion that latterly it has been well-nigh banished from ethnological literature. It is not long ago that the Negritos were so called. But if the black peoples are eliminated, there remains on many islands at least an element to be differentiated from the Malay, chiefly through the darker skin color, greater orthocephaly, and more wavy, quite crimped hair. I have, for the different islands, furnished proof, and will here only refer to the assertion that "a broad belt of wavy and curly hair has pressed itself in between the Papuan and the Malay, a belt which in the north seems to terminate with the Veddah, in the south with the Australian." One can not read the accounts of travelers without the increasing conviction of the existence of several different, if not perhaps related, varieties of peoples thrust on the same island.
[Theory of Negrito and three Malay invasions.] From this results the natural and entirely unprejudiced conclusion, which has repeatedly been stated, that either a primitive people by later intrusions has been pressed back into the interior or that in course of time several immigrations have followed one another. At the same time it is not unreasonable to think that both processes went on at the same time, and indeed this conception is strongly brought forward. So Blumentritt assumes that there is there a primitive black people and that three separate Malay invasions have taken place. The oldest, whose branches have many traits in accord with the Dayaks of Borneo, especially the practice of head-hunting; a second, which also took place before the arrival of the Spaniards, to which the Tagals, Bisayas, Bicols, Ilocanos, and other tribes belong; the third, Islamitic, which emigrated from Borneo and might have been interrupted by the arrival of the Spaniards, and with which a contemporaneous immigration from the Moluccas went on. It must be said, however, that Blumentritt admits two periods for the first invasion. In the earliest he places the immigration of the Igorots, Apayos, Zambales—in short, all the tribes that dwelt in the interior of the country later and were pressed away from the coast, therefore, actually, the mountain tribes. To the second half he assigns the Tinguianes, Catalanganes, and Irayas, who are not head-hunters, but Semper says they appear to have a mixture of Chinese and Japanese blood.
Against this scheme many things may be said in detail, especially that, according to the apparently well-grounded assertions of Mueller-Beeck, the going of the Chinese to the Philippines was developed about the end of the fourteenth century, and chiefly after the Spaniards had gotten a foothold and were using the Mexican silver in trade. At any rate, the apprehension of Semper, which rests on somewhat superficial physiognomic ground, is not confirmed by searching investigations. So the head-hunting of the mountain tribes, so far as it hints at relations with Borneo, gives no sure chronological result, since it might have been contemporaneous in them and could have come here through invasion from other islands.
The chief inquiry is this: Whether there took place other and older invasions. For this we are not only to draw upon the present tribes, but if possible upon the remains of earlier and perhaps now extinct tribes. This possibility has been brought nearer for the Philippines through certain cave deposits. We have to thank, for the first information, the traveler Jagor, whose exceptional talent as collector has placed us in the possession of rich material, especially crania. To his excellent report of his journey I have already dedicated a special chapter, in which I have presented and partially illustrated not only the cave crania, but also a series of other skulls. An extended conference upon them has been held in the Anthropological Society.
The old Spanish chroniclers describe accurately the mortuary customs which were in vogue in their time. The dead were laid in coffins made from excavated tree trunks and covered with a well-fitting lid. They were then deposited on some elevated place, or mountain, or river bank, or seashore. Caves in the mountains were also utilized for this purpose. Jagor describes such caves on the island of Samar, west of Luzon, whose contents have recently been annihilated.
The few crania from there which have been intrusted to me bear the marks of recent pedigree, as also do the additional objects. Unfortunately, Dr. Jagor did not himself visit these interesting caves, but he has brought crania thence which are of the highest interest, and which I must now mention.
[Study of a giant skull.] The cave in question lies near Lanang, on the east coast of Samar, on the bank of a river, it is said. It is, as the traveler reports, celebrated in the locality "on account of its depressed gigantic crania, without sutures." The singular statement is made clear by means of a well-preserved example, which I lay before you. The entire cranium, including the face, is covered with a thick layer of sinter, which gives it the appearance of belonging to the class of skulls with Leontiasis ossea. It is, in fact, of good size, but through the incrustation it is increased to gigantic proportions. It is true, likewise, that it has a much flattened, broad and compressed form. The cleaning of another skull has shown that artificial deformation has taken place, which obviously was completed before the incrustation was laid on by the mineral water of the cave. I will here add that on the testimony of travelers no Negritos were on Samar. The island lies in the neighborhood of the Bisayas. Although no description of the position of the skull is at hand and of the skeleton to which it apparently belonged, it must be assumed that the dead man was not laid away in a coffin, but placed on the ground; that, in fact, he belonged to an earlier "period." How long ago that was can not be known, unfortunately, since no data are at hand; however, the bones are in a nearly fossilized condition, which allows the conclusion that they were deposited long ago.
The deformation itself furnishes no clue to a chronological conclusion. In Thevenot is found the statement that, according to the account of a priest, probably in the 16th century, the custom prevails in some of the islands to press the heads of new-born babes between two boards, also to flatten the forehead, "since they believed that this form was a special mark of beauty." A similar deformation, with more pronounced flattening and backward pressure of the forehead, is shown on the crania which Jagor produced from a cave at Caramuan in Luzon. There are modes of flattening which remind one of Peru. When they came into our hands it was indeed an immense surprise, since no knowledge of such deformation in the South Sea was at hand. First our information led to more thorough investigations; so we are aware of several examples of it from Indonesia and, indeed, from the South Sea (Mallicolo). However, this deformation furnishes no clue to the antiquity of the graves.
(Chinese and Korean pottery are said to have been found with the deformed crania. Similar deformations exist in the Celebes, New Britain, etc. Head-shaping has been universal, cf. A. B. Meyer, Ueber Kunstliche deformirte Schaedel von Borneo und Mindanao and ueber die Verbreitung der Sitte der Kunstlichen Schaedeldeformirung, 1881, 36 pp., 4. deg.—Translator.)
I have sawed one of these skulls in two along the sagittal suture. The illustration gives a good idea of the amount of compression and of the violence which this skull endured when quite young. The cranial cavity is inclined backward and lengthened, and curves out above, while the occiput is pressed downward and the region of the front fontanelle is correspondingly lacking. Likewise, a considerable thickness of the bone is to be noted, especially of the vertex. The upper jaw is slightly prognathous and the roof of the mouth unusually arched.
For the purpose of the present study, it is unnecessary to go further into particulars. It might be mentioned that all Lanang skulls are characterized by their size and the firmness of bone, so that they depart widely from the characteristics of the other Philippine examples known to me. Similar skulls have been received only from caves, which exist in one of the little rocky islands east from Luzon. They suggest most Kanaka crania from Hawaii, and Moriori crania from Chatham islands, and they raise the question whether they do not belong to a migration period long before the time of the Malays. I have, on various occasions, mentioned this probable pre-Malayan, or at least proto-Malayan, population which stands in nearest relation to the settling of Polynesia. Here I will merely mention that the Polynesian sagas bring the progenitor from the west, and that the passage between Halmahera (Gilolo) and the Philippines is pointed out as the course of invasion.
At any rate, it is quite probable that the skulls from Lanang, Cragaray, and other Philippine Islands are the remains of a very old, if not autochthonous, prehistoric layer of population. The present mountain tribes have furnished no close analogies. As to the Igorots, which Blumentritt attributes to the first invasion, I refer to my description given on the ground of chronological investigations; according to the account given by Hans Meyer the disposal of the dead in log coffins and in caves still goes on. Of the skulls themselves, none were brachycephalous; on the contrary, they exhibit platyrrhine and in part decidedly pithecoid noses. On the whole, I came to the conclusion, as did earlier Quatrefages and Hamy, that [Indications of pre-Malay invasion.] "they stand next in comparison with the Dayaks of Borneo," but I hold yet the impression that they belong to a very old, probably pre-Malay, immigration.