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in 1568, supposing the islands to contain all the wealth and riches like unto that of the ancient king. They were re-discovered by Phillip Carteret, in 1767. The group is very extensive, ranging many hundreds of miles northwest and southeast, although but eight or ten are well enough known to afford data for a description. The principal are Malayta, Ysabel, Guadalcanar, Bougainville, San Christoval and Choiseul. They are of large size, some being fully 100 miles long by twenty or thirty miles wide, with lofty ranges of mountains sloping gradually to the sea, well watered and covered with trees and ferns, with here and there beautiful valleys, and streams of water meandering through them to the sea. The inhabitants are active and energetic, and are great mariners, their canoes being well built, and handled with consummate skill. Some of their warcanoes are fully eighty feet long, with beam of five feet, and carry sixty men. They are very skillful in carving, while many of their weapons and industrial implements are inlaid with the mother-of-pearl shell.
Deep in the wave is a coral grove,
JAMEs GATEs PERcivAL.
. CAROLINE ISLANDS.
equator to 12 deg. north latitude, and ranging
from 135 deg. to 177 deg. east longitude, comprises over 500 islands. Dotting the great Pacific Sea with lands of indescribable fertility and fabulous commercial possibilities, they are almost beyond the description of tongue or pen. If anything were needed to substantiate the grandeur and extent of some of the islands and atolls of the Pacific, the following description would alone suffice.
To: Caroline group, extending almost from the
THE GREAT ATOLL OF HOGOLEU.
Lying at the eastern end of the great Caroline group, it surrounds and contains within its limits a principality. If one could imagine a strip of land five to eight miles wide, varied in its topography by mountain, hill and valley, traversing the ocean for nearly 300 miles, in almost the form of a circle, and this strip covered with the most beautiful tropical foliage, of fruit and other valuable trees, some idea of the outward form of Hogoleu might be obtained. Enclosed in this great circle of land lies the lagoon, with four greater and twenty smaller islands dotting the surface, on whose broad expanse of waters the combined navies of the world might ride at safe and roomy anchorage. With three main outlets to the ocean, whose width and depth render them perfectly safe for the passage of the greatest ships, the lagoon forms an inland harbor unequalled in any other part of the world. The islands in the lake, some of which are thirty to forty miles in circumference, are covered with valuable timber, and abound in all the tropical fruits, of the cocoanut, citron, bread-fruit, oranges, bananas and mangoes, with trees of the sago and date palm, and timber of the toa, tomano, prima vera, and great quantities of sandalwood. Fine streams of fresh water flow through the valleys, while to add to the gorgeous beauty of the scene, birds with the most beautiful and valuable plumage give life and animation to the forests and glades. Here, too, the beche-de-mer, the tortoise and turtle find their favorite breeding-grounds, in the water and along the shores. The great lake teems with fish of nearly all the species found in the South Sea, many of whose brilliant hues and colors are only equalled by the pearl shell that line the bed of the lagoon. The latter is found here in great abundance, of the largest size and finest quality, covering the bottom of the lake wherever it can be seen, and of course in just as great if not greater abundance in the depths not reached by the eye. Our limited stay at Hogoleu hardly gave me time to form a just opinion of the character and manners of the natives, for which I have been forced to rely upon the valuable experiences and writings of others.
“In judging of the character of the Caroline Islanders, one must remember that there are always two sides to a question; and in connection with this matter, I may refer to a fact which I regard as very significant. All Englishmen are familiar with the story of the wreck of the Antelope at the Pelew Islands in 1793, and of the Prince Lee Boo, who accompanied Captain Wilson to England. These same Pelew Islanders, who at that time treated the shipwrecked Englishmen with such generous hospitality for a period of four months, seeking no return for the same, are now regarded as piratical miscreants of the most atrocious type—and not without reason, for they have got into a bad habit of going out to sea in their fast-sailing proas, and attacking, off the coasts of their islands, such vessels as may be becalmed or entangled among the shoals; in which nefarious practice they have, on several occasions, so far succeeded as to have plundered the vessels and massacred their crews. This change of behavior is easily accounted for. In some cases it has arisen from ill treatment which they have experienced at the hands of strangers, but in most cases it has been the result of evil example by a set of scoundrels who disgrace humanity, and are to be found strolling about these seas, making themselves at home among the simple-minded barbarians, and instructing them in every vice and villainy. “No one knows with any certainty how many inhabitants are on Hogoleu; some say 15,000, some 20,000; but there are very many. They are armed with good swords with hilts of brass, daggers, spears pointed with iron, bows of great strength, arrows headed with iron, and slings out of which they fling round stones with great certainty and with the force of a shot. The iron weapons they have purchased from traders of Manilla and elsewhere. They have many combats with crews of ships, and display great courage. No white men have ever lived among them, to anyone's knowledge, though I have heard there is one living there now, established by one Captain Hayes. Many men have been on shore and have been treated with hospitality. From what I have seen of them, they are a people I would have no fear of although they have an ugly habit of attacking ships upon small grounds of offense. In 1870 they tried to board the Vesta, but the German captain, although he lost his anchor and chain by having to slip it, was more than a match for them. He fired upon them with scrap-iron and killed a great many. Of course, he was not to blame; but these unfortunate misunderstandings tend very much to perpetuate ill feeling. “That the first Europeans who can succeed in establishing a permanent agency upon Hogoleu will make their fortunes in a very short period, is an unquestionable fact. This island presents to the commercial adventurer such an opportunity as is scarcely to be found elsewhere in the world—not alone from the valuable products of the land itself, but from the possession of so magnificent a harbor for shipping,