The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes
Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

Part 9 out of 11

seated as apparently to incommode each other. The mistress of the
manufactory, who was quite young, gave us a friendly reception, and
showed us the whole process of drawing the threads and working the
patterns, which, in many cases, were elegant.

A great variety of dresses, scarfs, caps, collars, cuffs, and
pocket-handkerchiefs, were shown us. These were mostly in the rough
state, and did not strike us with that degree of admiration which was
expected. They, however, had been in hand for six months, and were
soiled by much handling; but when others were shown us in the finished
state, washed and put up, they were such as to claim our admiration.

I was soon attracted by a very different sight at the other end of the
apartment. This was a dancing-master and his scholar, of six years old,
the daughter of the woman of the house. It was exceedingly amusing
to see the airs and graces of this child.

For music they had a guitar; and I never witnessed a ballet that
gave me more amusement, or saw a dancer that evinced more grace,
ease, confidence, and decided talent, than did this little girl. She
was prettily formed, and was exceedingly admired and applauded by us
all. Her mother considered her education as finished, and looked on
with all the admiration and fondness of parental affection.

On inquiry, I found that the idea of teaching her to read and write had
not yet been entertained. Yet every expense is incurred to teach them
to use their feet and arms, and to assume the expression of countenance
that will enable them to play a part in the afterscenes of life.

This manufactory had work engaged for nine months or a year in
advance. The fabric is extremely expensive, and none but the wealthy
can afford it. It is also much sought after by foreigners. Even orders
for Queen Victoria and many of the English nobility were then in hand;
at least I so heard at Manila. Those who are actually present have,
notwithstanding, the privilege of selecting what they wish to purchase;
for, with the inhabitants here, as elsewhere, ready money has too
much attraction for them to forego the temptation.

Time in Manila seems to hang heavily on the hands of some of its
inhabitants; their amusements are few, and the climate ill adapted to
exertion. The gentlemen of the higher classes pass their morning in
the transaction of a little public business, lounging about, smoking,
etc. In the afternoon, they sleep, and ride on the Prado; and in the
evening, visit their friends, or attend a tertulia. The ladies are to
be pitied; for they pass three-fourths of their time in deshabille,
with their maids around them, sleeping, dressing, lolling, and combing
their hair. In this way the whole morning is lounged away; they neither
read, write, nor work. In dress they generally imitate the Europeans,
except that they seldom wear stockings, and go with their arms bare. In
the afternoon they ride on the Prado in state, and in the evening
accompany their husbands. Chocolate is taken early in the morning,
breakfast at eleven, and dinner and supper are included in one meal.

Mothers provide for the marriage of their daughters; and I was told
that such a thing as a gentleman proposing to any one but the mother,
or a young lady engaging herself, is unknown and unheard of. The
negotiation is all carried forward by the mother, and the daughter is
given to any suitor she may deem a desirable match. The young ladies
are said to be equally disinclined to a choice themselves, and if
proposals were made to them, the suitor would be at once referred to
the mother. Among the lower orders it is no uncommon thing for the
parties to be living without the ceremony of marriage, until they have
a family and no odium whatever is attached to such a connexion. They
are looked upon as man and wife, though they do not live together; and
they rarely fail to solemnize their union when they have accumulated
sufficient property to procure the requisite articles for housekeeping.

[The Luneta.] Three nights in each week they have music in the plaza,
in front of the governor's palace, by the bands of four different
regiments, who collect there after the evening parade. Most of the
better class resort here, for the pleasure of enjoying it. We went
thither to see the people as well as to hear the music. This is the
great resort of the haut ton, who usually have their carriages in
waiting, and promenade in groups backwards and forwards during the
time the music is playing. This is by far the best opportunity that
one can have for viewing the society of Manila, which seems as easy
and unrestrained as the peculiar gravity and ceremonious mode of
intercourse among the old Spaniards can admit. Before the present
governor took office, it had been the custom to allow the bands to
play on the Prado every fine evening, when all the inhabitants could
enjoy it until a late hour; but he has interdicted this practice,
and of course given much dissatisfaction; he is said to have done
this in a fit of ill temper, and although importuned to restore this
amusement to the common people, he pertinaciously refuses.

The bands of the regiments are under the direction of Frenchmen and
Spaniards: the musicians are all natives, and play with a correct ear.

Our afternoons were spent in drives on the Prado, where all the
fashion and rank of Manila are to be met, and where it is exceedingly
agreeable to partake of the fresh and pure air after a heated day in
the city. The extreme end of the Prado lies along the shore of the bay
of Manila, having the roadstead and ships on one side, and the city
proper with its fortifications and moats on the other. This drive
usually lasts for an hour, and all sorts of vehicles are shown off,
from the governor's coach and six, surrounded by his lancers, to the
sorry chaise and limping nag. The carriage most used is a four-wheeled
biloche, with a gig top, quite low, and drawn by two horses, on one
of which is a postilion; these vehicles are exceedingly comfortable
for two persons. The horses are small, but spirited, and are said
to be able to undergo great fatigue, although their appearance
does not promise it. This drive is enlivened by the music of the
different regiments, who are at this time to be seen manoeuvering on
the Prado. The soldiers have a very neat and clean appearance; great
attention is paid to them, and the whole are well appointed. The force
stationed in Manila is six thousand, and the army in the Philippines
amounts to twenty thousand men. The officers are all Spaniards,
generally the relations and friends of those in the administration
of the government. The pay of the soldiers is four dollars a month,
and a ration, which is equal to six cents a day. As troops I was told,
they acquitted themselves well. The Prado is laid out in many avenues,
leading in various directions to the suburbs, and these are planted
with wild almond trees, which afford a pleasant shade. It is well kept,
and creditable to the city.

In passing the crowds of carriages very little display of female
beauty is observed, and although well-dressed above, one cannot but
revert to their wearing no stockings beneath.

On the Prado is a small theatre, but so inferior that the building
scarce deserves the name: the acting was equally bad. This amusement
meets with little encouragement in Manila and, I was told, was
discountenanced by the Governor.

[A tertulia.] I had the pleasure during our stay of attending a
tertulia in the city. The company was not a large one, comprising
some thirty or forty ladies and about sixty gentlemen. It resembled
those of the mother country. Dancing was introduced at an early hour,
and continued till a few minutes before eleven o'clock, at which
time the gates of the city are always shut. It was amusing to see
the sudden breaking up of the party, most of the guests residing out
of the city. The calling for carriages, shawls, hats, etc., produced
for a few minutes great confusion, every one being desirous of getting
off at the earliest moment possible, for fear of being too late. This
regulation, by which the gates are closed at so early an hour, does
not appear necessary, and only serves to interrupt the communication
between the foreign and Spanish society as the former is obliged, as
before observed, to live outside of the city proper. This want of free
intercourse is to be regretted, as it prevents that kind of friendship
by which many of their jealousies and prejudices might be removed.

The society at this tertulia was easy, and so far as the enjoyment
of dancing went, pleasant; but there was no conversation. The
refreshments consisted of a few dulces, lemonade, and strong drinks
in an anteroom. The house appeared very spacious and well adapted for
entertainments, but only one of the rooms was well lighted. From the
novelty of the scene, and the attentions of the gentleman of the house,
we passed a pleasant evening.

The natives and mestizos attracted much of my attention at
Manila. Their dress is peculiar: over a pair of striped trousers
of various colors, the men usually wear a fine grass-cloth shirt,
a large straw hat, and around the head or neck a many colored silk
handkerchief. They often wear slippers as well as shoes. The Chinese
dress, as they have done for centuries, in loose white shirts and
trousers. One peculiarity of the common men is their passion for
cock-fighting; and they carry these fowls wherever they go, after a
peculiar fashion under their arm.

[Cock-figghting.] Cock-fighting is licensed by the government, and
great care is taken in the breeding of game fowls, which are very large
and heavy birds. They are armed with a curved double-edged gaff. The
exhibitions are usually crowded with half-breeds or mestizos, who are
generally more addicted to gambling than either the higher or lower
classes of Spaniards. It would not be an unapt designation to call
the middling class cock-fighters, for their whole lives seem to be
taken up with the breeding and fighting of these birds. On the exit
from a cockpit, I was much amused with the mode of giving the return
check, which was done by a stamp on the naked arm, and precludes
the possibility of its transfer to another person. The dress of the
lower order of females is somewhat civilized, yet it bore so strong
a resemblance to that of the Polynesians as to recall the latter
to our recollection. A long piece of colored cotton is wound round
the body, like the pareu, and tucked in at the side: this covers
the nether limbs; and a jacket fitting close to the body is worn,
without a shirt. In some, this jacket is ornamented with work around
the neck; it has no collar, and in many cases no sleeves, and over
this a richly embroidered cape. The feet are covered with slippers,
with wooden soles, which are kept on by the little toe, only four toes
entering the slipper, and the little one being on the outside. The
effect of both costumes is picturesque.

[Ducks.] The market is a never failing place of amusement to a
foreigner, for there a crowd of the common people is always to be seen,
and their mode of conducting business may be observed. The canals
here afford great facilities for bringing vegetables and produce to
market in a fresh state. The vegetables are chiefly brought from the
shores of the Laguna de Bay, through the river Pasig. The meat appeared
inferior, and as in all Spanish places the art of butchering is not
understood. The poultry, however, surpasses that of any other place
I have seen, particularly in ducks, the breeding of which is pursued
to a great extent. Establishments for breeding these birds are here
carried on in a systematic manner, and are a great curiosity. They
consist of many small enclosures, each about twenty feet by forty or
fifty, made of bamboo, which are placed on the bank of the river,
and partly covered with water. In one corner of the enclosure is a
small house, where the eggs are hatched by artificial heat, produced
by rice-chaff in a state of of fermentation. It is not uncommon to see
six or eight hundred ducklings all of the same age. There are several
hundreds of these enclosures, and the number of ducks of all ages
may be computed at millions. The manner in which they are schooled
to take exercise, and to go in and out of the water, and to return
to their house, almost exceeds belief. The keepers or tenders are of
the Tagalog tribe, who live near the enclosures, and have them at all
times under their eye. The old birds are not suffered to approach
the young, and all of one age are kept together. They are fed upon
rice and a small species of shell-fish that is found in the river
and is peculiar to it. From the extent of these establishments we
inferred that ducks were the favorite article of food at Manila, and
the consumption of them must be immense. The markets are well supplied
with chickens, pigeons, young partridges, which are brought in alive,
and turkeys. Among strange articles that we saw for sale, were cakes
of coagulated blood. The markets are well stocked with a variety of
fish, taken both in the Laguna and bay of Manila, affording a supply
of both the fresh and salt water species, and many smaller kinds that
are dried and smoked. Vegetables are in great plenty, and consist
of pumpkins, lettuce, onions, radishes, very long squashes, etc.;
of fruits, they have melons, chicos, durians, marbolas, and oranges.

[Fish.] Fish are caught in weirs, by the hook, or in seines. The former
are constructed of bamboo stakes, in the shallow water of the lake,
at the point where it flows through the Pasig river. In the bay,
and at the mouth of the river, the fish are taken in nets, suspended
by the four corners from hoops attached to a crane, by which they are
lowered into the water. The fishing-boats are little better than rafts,
and are called sarabaos.

The usual passage-boat is termed banca, and is made of a single
trunk. These are very much used by the inhabitants. They have a
sort of awning to protect the passenger from the rays of the sun;
and being light are easily rowed about, although they are exceedingly
uncomfortable to sit in, from the lowness of the seats, and liable to
overset, if the weight is not placed near the bottom. The outrigger
was very often dispensed with, owing to the impediment it offered to
the navigation of their canals; these canals offer great facilities
for the transportation of burdens; the banks of almost all of them
are faced with granite. Where the streets cross them, there are
substantial stone bridges, which are generally of no more than one
arch, so as not to impede the navigation. The barges used for the
transportation of produce resemble our canal-boats, and have sliding
roofs to protect them from the rain.

Water, for the supply of vessels, is brought off in large earthen
jars. It is obtained from the river, and if care is not taken, the
water will be impure; it ought to be filled beyond the city. Our
supply was obtained five or six miles up the river, by a lighter,
in which were placed a number of water-casks. It proved excellent.

The trade of Manila extends to all parts of the world.

There are many facilities for the transaction of business, as far as
the shipment of articles is concerned; but great difficulties attend
the settling of disputed accounts, collecting debts, etc., in the
way of which the laws passed in 1834 have thrown many obstacles. All
commercial business of this kind goes before, first, the Junta
de Comercio, and then an appeal to the Tribunal de Comercio. This
appeal, however, is merely nominal; for the same judges preside in
each, and they are said to be susceptible of influences that render
an appeal to them by honest men at all times hazardous. The opinion
of those who have had the misfortune to be obliged to recur to these
tribunals is, that it is better to suffer wrong than encounter both
the expense and vexation of a resort to them for justice. In the
first of these courts the decision is long delayed, fees exacted,
and other expenses incurred; and when judgment is at length given,
it excites one party or the other to appeal: other expenses accrue
in consequence, and the advocates and judges grow rich while both the
litigants suffer. I understood that these tribunals were intended to
simplify business, lessen the time of suits, and promote justice; but
these results have not been obtained, and many believe that they have
had the contrary effect, and have opened the road to further abuses.

[Environs.] The country around Manila, though no more than an extended
plain for some miles, is one of great interest and beauty, and affords
many agreeable rides on the roads to Santa Ana and Mariquina. Most of
the country-seats are situated on the Pasig river; they may indeed
be called palaces, from their extent and appearance. They are built
upon a grand scale, and after the Italian style, with terraces,
supported by strong abutments, decked with vases of plants. The
grounds are ornamented with the luxuriant, lofty, and graceful trees
of the tropics; these are tolerably well kept. Here and there fine
large stone churches, with their towers and steeples, are to be seen,
the whole giving the impression of a wealthy nobility, and a happy
and flourishing peasantry.

[The cemetery.] In one of our rides we made a visit to the Campo Santo
or cemetery, about four miles from Manila. It is small, but has many
handsome trees about it; among them was an Agati, full of large white
flowers, showing most conspicuously. The whole place is as unlike a
depository of the dead as it well can be. Its form is circular, having
a small chapel, in the form of a rotunda, directly opposite the gate,
or entrance. The walls are about twenty feet high, with three tiers of
niches, in which the bodies are enclosed with quicklime. Here they are
allowed to remain for three years, or until such time as the niches
may be required for further use. Niches may be purchased, however,
and permanently closed up; but in the whole cemetery there were but
five thus secured. This would seem to indicate an indifference on the
part of the living, for their departed relatives or friends; at least
such was my impression at the time. The center of the enclosure is laid
out as a flower-garden and shrubbery, and all the buildings are washed
a deep buff-color, with white cornices; these colors, when contrasted
with the green foliage, give an effect that is not unpleasing. In
the chapel are two tombs, the one for the bishop, and the other for
the governor. The former, I believe, is occupied, and will continue
to be so, until another shall follow him; but the latter is empty,
for, since the erection of the cemetery, none of the governors have
died. In the rear of the chapel is another small cemetery, called Los
Angeles; and, further behind, the Osero. The former is similar to the
one in front, but smaller, and appropriated exclusively to children;
the latter is an open space, where the bones of all those who have
been removed from the niches, after three years, are east out, and
now lie in a confused heap, with portions of flesh and hair adhering
to them. No person is allowed to be received here for interment,
until the fees are first paid to the priest, however respectable the
parties may be; and all those who pay the fees, and are of the true
faith, can be interred. I was told of a corpse of a very respectable
person being refused admittance, for the want of the priest's pass,
to show that the claim had been satisfied, and the coffin stopped
in the road until it was obtained. We ourselves witnessed a similar
refusal. A servant entered with a dead child; borne on a tray, which
he presented to the sacristan to have interred, the latter asked him
for the pass, which not being produced, he was dismissed, nor was he
suffered to leave his burden until this requisite could be procured
from the priest, who lived opposite. The price of interment was three
dollars, but whether this included the purchase of the niche, or its
rent for the three years only, I did not learn.

The churches of Manila can boast of several fine-toned bells, which
are placed in large belfries or towers. There was one of these towers
near the Messrs. Sturges', where we stayed; and the manner in which
the bell was used, when swung around by the force of two or three men,
attracted our attention; for the ringers occasionally practised feats
of agility by passing over with the bell, and landing on the coping on
the opposite side. The tower being open, we could see the manoeuver
from the windows, and, as strangers, went there to look on. One day,
whilst at dinner, they began to ring, and as many of the officers
had not witnessed the fact, they sought the windows. This excited
the vanity of those in the belfry, who redoubled their exertions,
and performed the feat successfully many times, although in some
instances they narrowly escaped accident, by landing just within
the outside coping. This brought us all to the window, and the next
turn, more force having been given to the bell, the individual who
attempted the feat was thrown headlong beyond the tower, and dashed
to pieces on the pavement beneath. Although shocked at the accident,
I felt still more so when, after a few minutes, the bell was again
heard making its usual sound, as if nothing had occurred to interrupt
the course of its hourly peals.

[Monasteries.] In company with Dr. Tolben, I visited one of the
convents where he attended on some of the monks who were sick; he
seemed well acquainted with them all. I was much struck with the extent
of the building, which was four stories high, with spacious corridors
and galleries, the walls of which were furnished with pictures
representing the martyrdom of the Dominican friars in Japan. These were
about seventy in number, in the Chinese style of art, and evidently
painted by some one of that nation, calling himself an artist. From
appearances, however, I should think they were composed by the priests,
who have not a little taxed their invention to find out the different
modes in which a man can be put to death. Many evidently, if not all,
had been invented for the pictures. So perplexed had they apparently
been, that in one of the last it was observed that the executioner
held his victim at arms' length by the heels, and was about to let him
drop headforemost into a well. From the galleries we passed into the
library, and thence into many of the rooms, and finally we mounted to
the top of the monastery, which affords a beautiful view of the bay,
city, and suburbs. There I was presented to three of the friars,
who were pleasant and jolly-looking men. Upon the roof was a kind
of observatory, or look-out, simply furnished with billiard-tables
and shuffleboards, while the implements for various other games lay
about on small tables, with telescopes on stands, and comfortable
arm-chairs. It was a place where the friars put aside their religious
and austere character or appearance, and sought amusement. It was
a delightful spot, so far as coolness and the freshness of the sea
air were concerned, and its aspect gave me an insight behind the
curtain of these establishments that very soon disclosed many things
I was ignorant of before. All the friars were of a rotund form,
and many of them bore the marks of good living in their full, red,
and bloated faces. It seems to be generally understood at Manila,
that they live upon the fat of the land. We visited several of the
rooms, and were warmly greeted by the padres, one of whom presented
me with a meteorological table for the previous year.

The revenues of all these religious establishments are considerable;
the one I visited belonged to the Dominicans, and was very rich. Their
revenues are principally derived from lands owned by them, and the
tithes from the different districts which they have under their charge,
to which are added many alms and gifts. On inquiry, I found their
general character was by no means thought well of, and they had of
late years lost much of the influence that they possessed before the
revolution in the mother country.

Among the inhabitants we saw here, was a native boy of the Igorots,
or mountain tribe. He is said to be a true Negrito. (Another confusion
of facts.--C.)

[Mountaineers.] The Spaniards, as has been stated, have never been
able to subdue this tribe, who are said to be still as wild as on
their first landing; they are confined almost altogether to the plains
within or near the mountains, and from time to time make inroads in
great force on the outer settlements, carrying off as much plunder
as possible. The burden of this often causes them to be overtaken
by the troops. When overtaken, they fight desperately, and were it
not for the fire-arms of their adversaries, would give them much
trouble. Few are captured on such occasions, and it is exceedingly
difficult to take them alive, unless when very young. These mountains
furnish them with an iron ore almost pure, in manufacturing which
they show much ingenuity. Some of their weapons were presented to
the Expedition by Josiah Moore, Esq. These are probably imitations
of the early Spanish weapons used against them. From all accounts,
the natives are of Malay origin, and allied to those of the other
islands of the extensive archipelago of the Eastern Seas; but the
population of the towns and cities of the island are so mixed,
from the constant intercourse with Chinese, Europeans, and others,
that there is no pure blood among them. When at Manila, we obtained a
grammar of the Tagalog language, which is said to be now rarely heard,
and to have become nearly obsolete. This grammar is believed to be the
only one extant, and was procured from a padre, who presented it to the
Expedition. (Tagalog is here mistaken for a mountaineer's dialect.--C.)

The Pampangans are considered the finest tribe of natives; they are
excessively fond of horse-racing, and bet very considerable sums upon
it; they have the reputation of being an industrious and energetic
set of men.

[Revenue.] The mode of raising revenue by a poll-tax causes great
discontent among all classes, for although light, it is, as it always
has been elsewhere, unpopular. All the Chinese pay a capitation tax
of four dollars. The revenue from various sources is said to amount
to one million six hundred thousand dollars, of which the poll-tax
amounts to more than one-half, the rest being derived from the customs,
tobacco, etc. There is no tax upon land. It was thought at Manila
that a revenue might be derived by indirect taxation, far exceeding
this sum, without being sensibly felt by the inhabitants. This mode
is employed in the eastern islands under the English and Dutch rule,
and it is surprising that the Spaniards also do not adopt it, or some
other method to increase resources that are so much needed. Whenever
the ministry in Spain had to meet a claim, they were a few years
ago in the habit of issuing drafts on this colonial government in
payment. These came at last in such numbers, that latterly they have
been compelled to suspend the payment of them.

The revenue of the colonial government is very little more than will
meet the expenses; and it is believed that, notwithstanding these
unaccepted claims, it received orders to remit the surplus, if any,
to Spain, regardless of honor or good faith.

[Government.] The government of the Philippines is in the hands of a
governor-general, who has the titles of viceroy, commander-in-chief,
sub-delegate, judge of the revenue from the post-office, commander of
the troops, captain-general, and commander of the naval forces. His
duties embrace every thing that relates to the security and defence
of the country. As advisers, he has a council called the Audiencia.

The islands are divided into provinces, each of which has a
military officer with the title of governor, appointed by the
governor-general. They act as chief magistrates, have jurisdiction
over all disputes of minor importance, have the command of the troops
in time of war, and are collectors of the royal revenues, for the
security of which they give bonds, which must be approved of by the
comptroller-general of the treasury. The province of Cavite is alone
exempt from this rule, and the collection of tribute is there confided
to a police magistrate.

Each province is again sub-divided into pueblos, containing a greater
or less number of inhabitants, each of which has again its ruler,
called a gobernadorcillo, who has in like manner other officers under
him to act as police magistrates. The number of the latter are very
great, each of them having his appropriate duties. These consist in the
supervision of the grain fields, coconut groves, betel-nut plantations,
and in the preservation of the general order and peace of the town. So
numerous are these petty officers, that there is scarcely a family of
any consequence, that has not a member who holds some kind of office
under government. This policy, in case of disturbances, at once
unites a large and influential body on the side of the government,
that is maintained at little expense. The gobernadorcillo exercises
the municipal authority, and is especially charged to aid the parish
priest in every thing appertaining to religious observances, etc.

In the towns where the descendants of the Chinese are sufficiently
numerous, they can, by permission of the governor, elect their own
petty governors and officers from among themselves.

In each town there is also a headman (cabeza de barangay), who has
the charge of fifty tributaries, in each of which is included as
many families. This division is called a barangay. This office forms
by far the most important part of the machinery of government in the
Philippine Islands, for these headmen are the attorneys of these small
districts, and become the electors of the gobernadorcillos, and other
civil officers. Only twelve, however, of them or their substitutes,
are allowed to vote in each town.

The office of head-man existed before the conquest of the island,
and the Spaniards showed their wisdom in continuing and adapting it to
their system of police. The office among the natives was hereditary,
but their conquerors made it also elective, and when a vacancy now
occurs through want of heirs, or resignation, it is filled up by
the superintendent of the province, on the recommendation of the
gobernadorcillo and the headman. This is also the case when any new
office is created. The privileges of the headmen are great; themselves,
their wives, and their first-born children, are exempted from paying
tribute to the crown, an exoneration which is owing to their being
collectors of the royal revenues. Their duties consist in maintaining
good order and harmony, in dividing the labor required for the public
benefit equally, adjusting differences, and receiving the taxes.

The gobernadorcillo takes cognizance of all civil cases not exceeding
two taels of gold, or forty-four dollars in silver; all criminal
cases must be sent to the chief of the province. The headmen formerly
served for no more than three years, and if this was done faithfully,
they became and were designated as principals, in virtue of which
rank they received the title of Don.

The election takes place at the court-house of the town; the electors
are the gobernadorcillo whose office is about to expire, and twelve
of the oldest headmen, cabezas de barangay, collectors of tribute
for the gobernadorcillo they must select, by a plurality of votes,
three individuals, who must be able to speak, read, and write the
Spanish language. The voting is done by ballot, in the presence
of the notary (escribano), and the chief of the province, who
presides. The curate may be present, to look after the interest of
the church but for no other purpose. After the votes are taken, they
are sealed and transmitted to the governor-general, who selects one
of the three candidates, and issues a commission. In the more distant
provinces, the chief of the district has the authority to select the
gobernadorcillo, and fill up the commission, a blank form of which,
signed by the governor-general, is left with him for that purpose.

The headmen may be elected petty governors, and still retain their
office, and collect the tribute or taxes; for it is not considered
just, that the important office of chief of Barangay should deprive
the holder of the honor of being elected gobernadorcillo.

The greater part of the Chinese reside in the province of Tondo,
but the tribute is there collected by the alcalde mayor, with an
assistant taken from among the officers of the royal treasury.

The poll-tax on the Chinese amounts to four dollars a head; it was
formerly one-half more. Tax-lists of the Chinese are kept, in which
they are registered and classified; and opposite the name is the
amount at which the individual is assessed.

The Spanish government seems particularly desirous of giving
consequence even to its lowest offices; and in order to secure it to
them, it is directed that the chiefs of provinces, shall treat the
gobernadorcillos with respect, offering them seats when they enter
their houses or other places, and not allowing them to remain standing;
furthermore, the parish curates are required to treat them with
equal respect. So far as concerns the provinces, the government may
be called, notwithstanding the officers, courts. etc., monastic. The
priests rule, and frequently administer punishment, with their own
hands, to either sex, of which an instance will be cited hereafter.

[A country excursion.] As soon as we could procure the necessary
passports, which were obligingly furnished by the governor to "Don
Russel Sturges y quatro Anglo Americanos," our party left Manila
for a short jaunt to the mountains. It was considered as a mark of
great favor on the part of his excellency to grant this indulgence,
particularly as he had a few months prior denied it to a party of
French officers. I was told that he preferred to make it a domestic
concern, by issuing the passport in the name of a resident, in order
that compliance in this case might not give umbrage to the French. It
was generally believed that the cause of the refusal in the former
instance was the imprudent manner in which the French officers went
about taking plans and sketches, at the corners of streets, etc., which
in the minds of an unenlightened and ignorant colonial government, of
course excited suspicion. Nothing can be so ridiculous as this system
of passports; for if one was so disposed, a plan, and the most minute
information of every thing that concerns the defences of places, can
always be obtained at little cost now-a-days; for such is the skill of
engineers, that a plan is easily made of places, merely by a sight of
them. We were not, however, disposed to question the propriety of the
governor's conduct in the former case, and I left abundantly obliged
to him for a permission that would add to our stock of information.

It was deemed at first impossible for the party to divide, as they
had but one passport, and some difficulties were anticipated from
the number being double that stated in the passport. The party
consisted of Messrs. Sturges, Pickering, Eld, Rich, Dana, and
Brackenridge. Mr. Sturges, however, saw no difficulty in dividing the
party after they had passed beyond the precincts of the city, taking
the precaution, at the same time, not to appear together beyond the
number designated on the paper.

On the 14th, they left Manila, and proceeded in carriages to Santa Ana,
on the Pasig, in order to avoid the delay that would ensue if they
followed the windings of the river in a banca, and against the current.

At Santa Ana they found their bancas waiting for them, and
embarked. Here the scene was rendered animated by numerous boats of
all descriptions, from the parao to the small canoe of a single log.

There is a large population that live wholly on the water: for the
padrones of the parao have usually their families with them, which,
from the great variety of ages and sexes, give a very different and
much more bustling appearance to the crowd of boats, than would be the
case if they only contained those who are employed to navigate them. At
times the paraos and bancas, of all sizes, together with the saraboas
and pativas (duck establishments), become jumbled together, and create
a confusion and noise such as is seldom met with in any other country.

[Duck farms.] The pativas are under the care of the original
inhabitants, to whom exclusively the superintendence of the ducklings
seems to be committed. The pens are made of bamboo, and are not
over a foot high. The birds were all in admirable order, and made no
attempt to escape over the low barrier, although so light that it was
thought by some of our gentlemen it would not have sufficed to confine
American ducks, although their wings might have been cut. The mode of
giving them exercise was by causing them to run round in a ring. The
good understanding existing between the keepers and their charge was
striking, particularly when the former were engaged in cleansing the
pens, and assisting the current to carry off the impurities. In the
course of their sail, it was estimated that hundreds of thousands of
ducks of all ages were seen.

The women who were seen were usually engaged in fishing with a hook
and line, and were generally standing in the water, or in canoes. The
saraboas were here also in use. The run of the fish is generally
concentrated by a chevaux-de-frise to guide them towards the nets
and localities where the fishermen place themselves.

At five o'clock they reached the Laguna de Bay, where they took in a
new crew, with mast and sail. This is called twenty-five miles from
Manila by the river; the distance in a bird's flight is not over
twelve. The whole distance is densely peopled, and well cultivated. The
crops consist of indigo, rice, etc., with groves of the betel, palm,
coconut, and quantities of fruit trees.

The shores of the lake are shelving, and afford good situations
for placing fish-weirs, which are here established on an extensive
scale. These weirs are formed of slips of bamboo, and are to be seen
running in every direction to the distance of two or three miles. They
may be said to invest entirely the shores of the lake for several miles
from its outlet, and without a pilot it would be difficult to find the
way through them. At night, when heron and tern were seen roosting on
the top of each slat, these weirs presented rather a curious spectacle.

The Laguna de Bay is said to be about ten leagues in length by three in
width, and trends in a north-northwest and south-southeast direction.

After dark, the bancas separated. Mr. Sturges, with Dr. Pickering
and Mr. Eld, proceeded to visit the mountain of Maijaijai,
while Messrs. Rich, Dana, and Brackenridge, went towards the Taal
Volcano. The latter party took the passport, while the former relied
upon certain letters of introduction for protection, in case of

Mr. Sturges, with his party, directed his course to the east side
of the lake, towards a point called Jalajala, which they reached
about three o'clock in the morning, and stopped for the crew to cook
some rice, etc. At 8 o'clock a.m., they reached Santa Cruz, situated
about half a mile up a small streamlet, called Paxanau. At this place
they found Don Escudero to whom they had a letter of introduction,
and who holds a civil appointment. They were kindly received by this
gentleman and his brown lady, with their interesting family. He at
once ordered horses for them to proceed to the mission of Maijaijai,
and entertained them with a sumptuous breakfast.

They were not prepared to set out before noon, until which time they
strolled about the town of Santa Cruz, the inhabitants of which
are Tagalogs. There are only two old Spaniards in the place. The
province in which Santa Cruz is situated contains about five thousand
inhabitants, of whom eighteen hundred pay tribute.

The people have the character of being orderly, and govern themselves
without the aid of the military. The principal article of culture is
the coconut tree, which is seen in large groves. The trunks of these
were notched, as was supposed, for the purpose of climbing them. From
the spathe a kind of spirit is manufactured, which is fully as strong
as our whiskey.

About noon they left Don Escudero's, and took a road leading to the
southward and eastward, through a luxuriant and beautiful country,
well cultivated, and ornamented with lofty coconut trees, betel
palms, and banana groves. Several beautiful valleys were passed,
with streamlets rushing through them.

Maijaijai is situated about one thousand feet above the Laguna de Bay,
but the rise is so gradual that it was almost imperceptible. The
country has everywhere the appearance of being densely peopled;
but no more than one village was passed between Santa Cruz and the
mission. They had letters to F. Antonio Romana y Aranda, padre of
the mission, who received them kindly, and entertained them most
hospitably. [Climbing Banajao.] When he was told of their intention
to visit the mountain, he said it was impossible with such weather,
pointing to the black clouds that then enveloped its summit; and he
endeavoured to persuade the gentlemen to desist from what appeared
to him a mad attempt; but finding them resolved to make the trial,
he aided in making all the necessary preparations, though he had no
belief in their success.

On the morning of the 27th, after mass, Mr. Eld and Dr. Pickering
set out, but Mr. Sturges preferred to keep the good padre company
until their return. The padre had provided them with guides, horses,
twenty natives, and provisions for three days. He had been himself
on the same laborious journey, some six months before, and knew its
fatigues, although it turned out afterwards that his expedition was
performed in fine weather, and that he had been borne on a litter by
natives the whole way.

The first part of the road was wet and miry, and discouraging
enough. The soil was exceedingly rich, producing tropical plants
in great profusion, in the midst of which were seen the neat bamboo
cottages, with their industrious and cleanly-looking inhabitants. When
they reached the foot of the mountain, they found it was impossible to
ride farther, and were obliged to take to walking, which was, however,
less of a hardship than riding the little rats of horses, covered with
mud and dirt, which were at first deemed useless; but the manner in
which they ascended and maintained themselves on the slippery banks,
surpassed anything they had before witnessed in horseflesh. The first
part of the ascent of the mountain was gradual, but over a miry path,
which was extremely slippery; and had it not been for the sticks stuck
down by the party of the padre in their former ascent, they would have
found it extremely difficult to overcome; to make it more disagreeable,
it rained all the time.

It took about two hours to reach the steep ascent. The last portion
of their route had been through an uninhabited region, with some
openings in the woods, affording pasture-grounds to a few small herds
of buffalo. In three hours they reached the half-way house, by a very
steep and regular ascent. Here the natives insisted upon stopping
to cook their breakfast, as they had not yet partaken of anything
through the day. The natives now endeavored to persuade them it was
impracticable to go any farther, or at least to reach the top of the
mountain and return before night. Our gentlemen lost their patience at
the delay, and after an hour's endurance of it, resolved to set out
alone. Six of the natives followed them, and by half-past three they
reached the summit, where they found it cold and uncomfortable. The
ascent had been difficult, and was principally accomplished by catching
hold of shrubs and the roots of trees. The summit is comparatively
bare, and not more than fifty feet in width. The side opposite to
that by which they mounted was perpendicular, but owing to the thick
fog they could not see the depth to which the precipice descended.

The observations with the barometers were speedily taken, which gave
the height of Banajao as six thousand five hundred feet. The trees
on the summit were twenty or thirty feet high, and a species of
fir was very common. Gaultheria, attached to the trunks of trees,
Rhododendrons, and Polygonums, also abounded. The rocks were so
covered with soil that it was difficult to ascertain their character;
Dr. Pickering is of opinion, however, that they are not volcanic. The
house on the summit afforded them little or no shelter; being a mere
shed, open on all sides, they found it untenantable, and determined
to return as soon as their observations were finished, to the half-way
house, which they reached before dark.

The night was passed uncomfortably, and in the morning they made
an early start down the mountain to reach the native village at its
foot, where they were refreshed with a cup of chocolate, cakes, and
some dulces, according to the custom of the country. At ten o'clock
they reached the mission, where they were received by the padre and
Mr. Sturges. The former was greatly astonished to hear that they
had really been to the summit, and had accomplished in twenty-four
hours what he had deemed a labor of three days. He quickly attended
to their wants, the first among which was dry clothing; and as their
baggage had unfortunately been left at Santa Cruz, the wardrobe of
the rotund padre was placed at their disposal. Although the fit was
rather uncouth on the spare forms of our gentlemen, yet his clothes
served the purpose tolerably well, and were thankfully made use
of. During their absence, Mr. Sturges had been much amused with the
discipline he had witnessed at the hands of the church, which here
seem to be the only visible ruling power. Two young natives had made
complaint to the padre that a certain damsel had entered into vows
or engagements to marry both; she was accordingly brought up before
the padre, Mr. Sturges being present. The padre first lectured her
most seriously upon the enormity of her crime, then inflicted several
blows on the palm of her outstretched hand, again renewing the lecture,
and finally concluding with another whipping. The girl was pretty, and
excited the interest of our friend, who looked on with much desire to
interfere, and save the damsel from the corporal punishment, rendered
more aggravated by the dispassionate and cool manner in which it and
the lecture were administered. In the conversation which ensued, the
padre said he had more cases of the violation of the marriage vow,
and of infidelity, than any other class of crimes.

After a hearty breakfast, or rather dinner, and expressing their
thanks to the padre, they rode back to Santa Cruz, where they arrived
at an early hour, and at nine o'clock in the evening they embarked
in their bancas for Manila.

[Los Banos.] In the morning they found themselves, after a comfortable
night, at Los Banos. Here they took chocolate with the padre, to whom
Mr. Sturges had a letter, who informed them that the other party had
left the place the evening before for Manila.

This party had proceeded to the town of Baia, where they arrived at
daylight on the 15th. Baia is quite a pretty place, and well situated;
the houses are clean and comfortable, and it possessed a venerable
stone church, with towers and bells. On inquiring for the padre,
they found that he was absent, and it was in consequence impossible
for them to procure horses to proceed to the Volcano of Taal. They
therefore concluded to walk to the hot springs at Los Banos, about
five miles distant. Along the road they collected a number of curious
plants. Rice is much cultivated, and fields of it extend to some
distance on each side of the road. Buffaloes were seen feeding and
wallowing in the ditches.

At Los Banos the hot springs are numerous, the water issuing from the
rock over a considerable surface. The quantity of water discharged
by them is large, and the whole is collected and conducted to the
bathing-houses. The temperature of the water at the mouth of the
culvert was 180 deg..

The old bath-house is a singular-looking place, being built on the
hill-side, in the old Spanish style, with large balconies, that are
enclosed in the manner already described, in speaking of the houses
in Manila. It is beautifully situated, and overlooks the baths and
lake. The baths are of stone, and consist of two large rooms, in
each of which is a niche, through which the hot water passes. This
building is now in ruins, the roof and floors having fallen in.

Los Banos is a small village, but contains a respectable-looking
stone church, and two or three houses of the same material. Here the
party found a difficulty in getting on, for the alcalde could not
speak Spanish, and they were obliged to use an interpreter, in order
to communicate with him. Notwithstanding this, he is a magistrate,
whose duty it is to administer laws written in that language. Finding
they could not succeed even here in procuring guides or horses,
they determined to remain and explore Mount Maquiling, the height
of which is three thousand four hundred and fifty feet, and in the
meantime to send for their bancas.

The next day they set out on their journey to that mountain, and the
first part of their path lay over a gentle ascent, through cultivated
grounds. Next succeeded an almost perpendicular hill, bare of trees,
and overgrown with a tall grass, which it was difficult to pass

Such had been the time taken up, that the party found it impossible
to reach the summit and return before dark. They therefore began
to collect specimens; and after having obtained a full load, they
returned late in the afternoon to Los Banos.

The mountain is composed of trachytic rocks and tufa, which are
occasionally seen to break through the rich and deep soil, showing
themselves here and there, in the deep valleys which former volcanic
action has created, and which have destroyed the regular outline
of the cone-shaped mountain. The tufa is generally found to form
the gently-sloping plains that surround these mountains, and has in
all probability been ejected from them. Small craters, of some two
hundred feet in height, are scattered over the plains. The tufa is
likewise exposed to view on the shores of the lake; but elsewhere,
except on a few bare hills, it is entirely covered with the dense
and luxuriant foliage. The tufa is generally of a soft character,
crumbling in the fingers, and in it are found coarse and fine fragments
of scoria, pumice, etc. The layers are from a few inches to five feet
in thickness.

In the country around Los Banos, there are several volcanic hills, and
on the sides of Mount Maquiling are appearances of parasitic cones,
similar to those observed at the Hawaiian Islands; but time and the
foliage have so disguised them, that it is difficult to determine
exactly their true character.

I regretted exceedingly that the party that set out for the Lake of
Taal was not able to reach it, as, from the accounts I had, it must
be one of the most interesting portions of the country. It lies nearly
south-west from Manila, and occupies an area of about one hundred and
twenty square miles. The Volcano of Taal is situated on an island
near the center of it, and is now in action. The cone which rises
from its center is remarkably regular, and consists for the most part
of cinders and scoria. It has been found to be nine hundred feet in
elevation above the lake. The crater has a diameter of two miles,
and its depth is equal to the elevation; the walls of the crater
are nearly perpendicular, so much so that the descent cannot be
made without the assistance of ropes. At the bottom there are two
small cones. Much steam issues from the many fissures, accompanied
by sulphurous acid gas. The waters of the lake are impregnated with
sulphur, and there are said to be also large beds of sulphur. In
the opinion of those who have visited this spot, the whole lake once
formed an immense crater; and this does not appear very improbable,
if we are to credit the accounts we received of the many craters
on this island that are now filled with water; for instance, in the
neighborhood of San Pablo there are said to be eight or nine.

[The hot springs.] The hot springs of Los Banos are numerous, and in
their vicinity large quantities of steam are seen to issue from the
shore of the lake. There are about a dozen which give out a copious
supply of water. The principal one has been enclosed, and made
to flow through a stone aqueduct, which discharges a considerable
stream. The temperature of the water as it leaves the aqueduct is
178 deg.. The villagers use it for cooking and washing; the signs of the
former employment are evident enough from the quantities of feathers
from the poultry that have been scalded and plucked preparatory to
cooking. The baths are formed by a small circular building six feet
in diameter, erected over the point of discharge for the purpose of
securing a steam-bath; the temperature of these is 160 deg. and 140 deg.. A
change of temperature is said to have occurred in the latter.

The rocks in the vicinity are all tufa, and some of the springs break
out close to the cold water of the lake. Near the aqueduct, a stone
wall surrounds one of the principal outlets. Two-thirds of the area
thus enclosed is occupied by a pond of warm water, and the other third
is divided into two stone reservoirs, built for baths. These baths
had at one time a high reputation, and were a very fashionable resort
for the society of Manila; but their celebrity gradually diminished,
and the whole premises have gone out of repair, and are fast falling
to ruin.

The water of the springs has no perceptible taste, and only a very
faint smell of sulphur is perceived. No gas escapes from it, but a
white incrustation covers the stones over which the water flows.

Some of these waters were obtained, and since our return were put into
the hands of Dr. C. T. Jackson, of Boston, who gives the following

Specific gravity, 1.0043; thermometer 60 deg.; barometer 30.05 in.

A quantity of the water, equal in bulk to three thousand grains of
distilled water, on evaporation gave--

Dry salts, 5.95 grains.

A quantity of the water, equal in bulk to one thousand grains of
distilled water, was operated on for each of the following ingredients:

Chlorine 0.66
Carbonic acid 0.16
Sulphuric acid 0.03
Soda and sodium 0.97
Magnesia 0.09
Lime 0.07
Potash traces
Organic matter ,,
Manganese ,,

[Mount Maquiling.] On Mount Maquiling, wild buffaloes, hogs, a small
species of deer, and monkeys are found. Birds are also very numerous,
and among them is the horn-bill; the noise made by this bird resembles
a loud barking; report speaks of them as an excellent bird for the
table. Our gentlemen reached their lodging-place as the night closed
in, and the next day again embarked for Manila, regretting that
time would not permit them to make another visit to so interesting
a field of research. They found the lake so rough that they were
compelled to return, and remain until eight o'clock. This, however,
gave our botanists another opportunity of making collections, among
which were beautiful specimens of Volkameria splendens, with elegant
scarlet flowers, and a Brugmansia, which expanded its beautiful
silvery flowers after sunset. On the shores a number of birds were
feeding, including pelicans, with their huge bills, the diver, with
its long arched neck, herons, gulls, eagles, and snow-white cranes,
with ducks and other small aquatic flocks. Towards night these were
joined by large bats, that were seen winging their way towards the
plantations of fruit. These, with quantities of insects, gave a vivid
idea of the wonderful myriads of animated things that are constantly
brought into being in these tropical and luxuriant climates.

Sailing all night in a rough sea, they were much incommoded by the
water, which was shipped into the banca and kept them constantly baling
out: they reached the Pasig river at daylight, and again passed the
duck establishments, and the numerous boats and bancas on their way
to the markets of Manila.

Both the parties reached the consul's the same day, highly pleased with
their respective jaunts. To the kindness of Messrs. Sturges and Moore,
we are mainly indebted for the advantages and pleasures derived from
the excursions.

The instruments were now embarked, and preparations made for going
to sea. Our stay at Manila had added much to our collections; we
obtained many new specimens, and the officers and naturalists had
been constantly and profitably occupied in their various duties.

We went on board on January 20, and were accompanied to the vessel
by Messrs. Sturges and Moore, with several other residents of Manila.

We had, through the kindness of Captain Salomon, procured a native
pilot for the Sulu Sea, who was to act as interpreter.

On the morning of the 21st, we took leave of our friends, and got
under way. The same day, and before we had cleared the bay, we spoke
the American ship Angier, which had performed the voyage from the
United States in one hundred and twenty-four days, and furnished us
with late and interesting news. We then, with a strong northerly wind,
made all sail to the south for the Straits of Mindoro.

Sulu in 1842

On the evening of January 21, the Vincennes, with the tender in
company, left Manila bay. I then sent for Mr. Knox, who commanded
the latter, and gave him directions to keep closely in company with
the Vincennes, and at the same time pointed out to him places of
rendezvous where the vessels might again meet in case any unavoidable
circumstance caused their separation. I was more particular in giving
him instructions to avoid losing sight of the Vincennes, as I was aware
that my proposed surveys might be impeded or frustrated altogether,
were I deprived of the assistance of the vessel under his command.

[Mindoro.] On the 22nd, we passed the entrance of the Straits of San
Bernardino. It would have been my most direct route to follow these
straits until I had passed Mindoro, and it is I am satisfied the safest
course, unless the winds are fair, for the direct passage. My object,
however, was to examine the ground for the benefit of others, and the
Apo Shoal, which lies about mid-channel between Palawan and Mindoro,
claimed my first attention. The tender was despatched to survey it,
while I proceeded in the Vincennes to examine the more immediate
entrance to the Sulu Sea, off the southwest end of Mindoro.

Calavite Peak is the north point of Mindoro, and our observations
made it two thousand feet high. This peak is of the shape of a
dome, and appears remarkably regular when seen from its western
side. On approaching Mindoro, we, as is usual, under high islands,
lost the steady breeze, and the wind became light for the rest of
the day. Mindoro is a beautiful island, and is evidently volcanic;
it appears as if thrown up in confused masses; it is not much settled,
as the more southern islands are preferred to it as a residence.

On the 23rd, we ascertained the elevation of the highest peak of
the island by triangulation to be three thousand one hundred and
twenty-six fet. The easternmost island of the Palawan group, Busuanga,
was at the time just in sight from the deck, to the southwest.

It had been my intention to anchor at Ambolou Island; but the wind
died away before we reached it, and I determined to stand off and on
all night.

On the 24th, I began to experience the truth of what Captain Halcon had
asserted, namely, that the existing charts were entirely worthless,
and I also found that my native pilot was of no more value than
they were, he had evidently passed the place before; but whether
the size of the vessel, so much greater than any he had sailed in,
confused him, or whether it was from his inability to understand and
to make himself understood by us, he was of no use whatever, and we
had the misfortune of running into shoal water, barely escaping the
bottom. These dangers were usually quickly passed, and we soon found
ourselves again floating in thirty or forty fathoms water.

We continued beating to windward, in hopes of being joined by the
Flying-fish, and I resolved to finish the survey towards the island
of Semarara. We found every thing in a different position from that
assigned it by any of the charts with which we were furnished. On
this subject, however, I shall not dwell, but refer those who desire
particular information to the charts and Hydrographical Memoir.

Towards evening, I again ran down to the southwest point of the island
of Mindoro, and sent a letter on shore to the pueblo, with directions
to have it put on board the tender, when she should arrive. We then
began to beat round Semarara, in order to pass over towards Panay.

The southern part of Mindoro is much higher than the northern
but appears to be equally rough. It is, however, susceptible of
cultivation, and there are many villages along its shores.

Semarara is moderately high, and about fifteen miles in circumference;
it is inhabited, and like Mindoro much wooded. According to the native
pilot, its shores are free from shoals. It was not until the next day
that we succeeded in reaching Panay. I determined to pass the night
off Point Potol, the north end of Panay, as I believed the sea in its
neighborhood to be free of shoals, and wished to resume our running
survey early in the morning.

[Panay.] At daylight on the 27th we continued the survey down the
coast of Panay, and succeeded in correcting many errors in the
existing charts (both English and Spanish). The channel along this
side is from twelve to twenty miles wide, and suitable for beating
in; little current is believed to exist; and the tides, as far as
our observations went, seem to be regular and of little strength.

The island of Panay is high and broken, particularly on the south
end; its shores are thickly settled and well cultivated. Indigo and
sugar-cane claim much of the attention of the inhabitants. The natives
are the principal cultivators. They pay to government a capitation tax
of seven reals. Its population is estimated at three hundred thousand,
which I think is rather short of the actual number.

On all the hills there are telegraphs of rude construction, to give
information of the approach of piratical prahus from Sulu, which
formerly were in the habit of making attacks upon the defenceless
inhabitants and carrying them off into slavery. Of late years they have
ceased these depredations, for the Spaniards have resorted to a new
mode of warfare. Instead of pursuing and punishing the offenders, they
now intercept all their supplies, both of necessaries and luxuries;
and the fear of this has had the effect to deter pirates from their
usual attacks.

We remained off San Pedro for the night, in hopes of falling in with
the Flying-fish in the morning.

On the morning of the 28th, the Flying-fish was discovered plainly in
sight. I immediately stood for her, fired a gun and made signal. At
seven o'clock, another gun was fired, but the vessel still stood off,
and was seen to make sail to the westward without paying any regard
whatever to either, and being favored by a breeze while the Vincennes
was becalmed, she stole off and was soon out of sight. [270]

After breakfast we opened the bay of Antique, on which is situated the
town of San Jose. As this bay apparently offered anchorage for vessels
bound up this coast, I determined to survey it; and for this purpose
the boats were hoisted out and prepared for surveying. Lieutenant
Budd was despatched to visit the pueblo called San Jose.

On reaching the bay, the boats were sent to different points of it,
and when they were in station, the ship fired guns to furnish bases
by the sound, and angles were simultaneously measured. The boats made
soundings on their return to the ship, and thus completed this duty,
so that in an hour or two afterwards the bay was correctly represented
on paper. It offers no more than a temporary anchorage for vessels,
and unless the shore is closely approached, the water is almost too
deep for the purpose.

[San Jose.] At San Jose a Spanish governor resides, who presides over
the two pueblos of San Pedro and San Jose, and does the duty also
of alcalde. Lieutenant Budd did not see him, as he was absent, but
his lady did the honors. Lieutenant Budd represented the pueblo as
cleanly and orderly. About fifteen soldiers were seen, who compose
the governor's guard, and more were said to be stationed at San
Pedro. A small fort of eight guns commands the roadstead. The beach
was found to be of fine volcanic sand, composed chiefly of oxide of
iron, and comminuted shells; there is here also a narrow shore reef
of coral. The plain bordering the sea is covered with a dense growth
of coconut trees. In the fine season the bay is secure, but we were
informed that in westerly and southwesterly gales heavy seas set in,
and vessels are not able to lie at anchor. Several small vessels were
lying in a small river about one and a half miles to the southward of
the point on which the fort is situated. The entrance to this river
is very narrow and tortuous.

Panay is one of the largest islands of the group. We had an opportunity
of measuring the height of some of its western peaks or highlands,
none of which exceed three thousand feet. The interior and eastern side
have many lofty summits, which are said to reach an altitude of seven
thousand five hundred feet; but these, as we passed, were enveloped
in clouds, or shut out from view by the nearer highlands. The general
features of the island are like those of Luzon and Mindoro. The few
specimens we obtained of its rocks consisted of the different varieties
of talcose formation, with quartz and jasper. The specimens were of
no great value, as they were much worn by lying on the beach.

The higher land was bare of trees, and had it not been for the
numerous fertile valleys lying between the sharp and rugged spurs,
it would have had a sterile appearance.

The bay of Antique is in latitude 10 deg. 40' N., longitude 121 deg. 59'
30'' E.

It was my intention to remain for two or three days at a convenient
anchorage to enable us to make short excursions into the interior;
but the vexatious mismanagement of the tender now made it incumbent
that I should make every possible use of the time to complete the
operations connected with the hydrography of this sea; for I perceived
that the duties which I intended should be performed by her, would now
devolve upon the boats, and necessarily expose both officers and men to
the hazard of contracting disease. I regretted giving up this design,
not only on my own account and that of the Expedition, but because of
the gratification it would have afforded personally to the naturalists.

The town of San Jose has about thirty bamboo houses, some of which
are filled in with clay or mortar, and plastered over, both inside
and out. Few of them are more than a single story in height. That of
the governor is of the same material, and overtops the rest; it is
whitewashed, and has a neat and cleanly appearance. In the vicinity of
the town are several beautiful valleys, which run into the mountains
from the plain that borders the bay. The landing is on a bamboo bridge,
which has been erected over an extensive mud-flat, that is exposed at
low water, and prevents any nearer approach of boats. This bridge is
about seven hundred feet in length; and a novel plan has been adopted
to preserve it from being carried away. The stems of bamboo not
being sufficiently large and heavy to maintain the superstructure in
the soft mud, a scaffold is constructed just under the top, which is
loaded with blocks of large stone, and the outer piles are secured to
anchors or rocks, with grass rope. The roadway or top is ten feet wide,
covered with split bamboo, woven together, and has rails on each side,
to assist the passenger. This is absolutely necessary for safety;
and even with this aid, one unaccustomed to it must be possessed
of no little bodily strength to pass over this smooth, slippery,
and springy bridge, without accident.

Two pirogues were at anchor in the bay, and on the shore was the
frame of a vessel which had evidently been a long while on the stocks,
for the weeds and bushes near the keel were six or eight feet high,
and a portion of the timbers were decayed. Carts and sleds drawn by
buffaloes were in use, and everything gave it the appearance of a
thriving village. Although I have mentioned the presence of soldiers,
it was observed on landing that no guard was stationed about or even at
the fort; but shortly afterwards a soldier was seen hurrying towards
the latter, in the act of dressing himself in his regimentals, and
another running by his side, with his cartridge-box and musket. In
a little while one was passing up and down on his post, as though he
was as permanent there as the fort itself.

After completing these duties, the light airs detained us the remainder
of the day under Panay, in sight of the bay. On the 29th, at noon,
we had been wafted by it far enough in the offing to obtain the
easterly breeze, which soon became strong, with an overcast sky,
and carried us rapidly on our course; my time would not permit my
heaving-to. We kept on our course for Mindanao during the whole night,
and were constantly engaged in sounding, with our patent lead, with
from thirty to forty fathoms cast, to prevent our passing over this
part of the sea entirely unexamined.

[Mindanao.] At daylight on the 31st, we had the island of Mindanao
before us, but did not reach its western cape until 5 p.m. This island
is high and broken, like those to the north of it, but, unlike them,
its mountains are covered with forests to their very tops, and there
were no distinct cones of minor dimensions, as we had observed on
the others. If they do exist, they were hidden by the dense forest.

I had determined to anchor at Caldera, a small port on the south-west
side of Mindanao, about ten miles distant from Zamboanga, where the
governor resides. The latter is a considerable place, but the anchorage
in its roadstead is said to be bad, and the currents that run through
the Straits of Basilan are represented to be strong. Caldera, on the
other hand, has a good, though small anchorage, which is free from the
currents of the straits. It is therefore an excellent stopping-place,
in case of the tide proving unfavorable. On one of its points stands
a small fort, which, on our arrival, hoisted Spanish colors.

At six o'clock we came to anchor at Caldera, in seven fathoms
water. There were few indications of inhabitants, except at and
near the fort. An officer was despatched to the fort, to report the
ship. It was found to be occupied by a few soldiers under the command
of a lieutenant.

[Caldera fort.] The fort is about seventy feet square, and is built
of large blocks of red coral, which evidently have not been taken from
the vicinity of the place, as was stated by the officers of the fort;
for although our parties wandered along the alluvial beach for two or
three miles in each direction, no signs of coral were observed. Many
fragments of red, gray, and purple basalt and porphyry were met with
along the beach; talcose rock and slate, syenite, hornblend, quartz,
both compact and slaty, with chalcedony, were found in pieces and
large pebbles. Those who were engaged in dredging reported the bottom
as being of coral, in from four to six or eight fathoms; but this
was of a different kind from that of which the fort was constructed.

The fort was built in the year 1784, principally for protection against
the Sulu pirates, who were in the habit of visiting the settlements,
and carrying off the inhabitants as slaves, to obtain ransom for
them. This, and others of the same description, were therefore
constructed as places of refuge for the inhabitants, as well as to
afford protection to vessels.

Depredations are still committed, which render it necessary to keep
up a small force. One or two huts which were seen in the neighborhood
of the bay, are built on posts twenty feet from the ground, and into
them they ascend by ladders, which are hauled up after the occupants
have entered.

These, it is said, are the sleeping-huts, and are so built for the
purpose of preventing surprise at night. Before our arrival we had
heard that the villages were all so constructed, but a visit to one
soon showed that this was untrue. The natives seen at the village
were thought to be of a decidedly lighter color and a somewhat
different expression from the Malays. They were found to be very
civil, and more polished in manners than our gentlemen expected. On
asking for a drink of water, it was brought in a glass tumbler on a
china plate. An old woman, to whom they had presented some trifles,
took the trouble to meet them in another path on their return, and
insisted on their accepting a basket of potatoes. Some of the houses
contained several families, and many of them had no other means of
entrance than a notched post stuck up to the door.

The forests of Mindanao contain a great variety of trees, some of
which are of large size, rising to the height of one hundred and
and one hundred and fifty feet. Some of their trunks are shaped like
buttresses, similar to those before spoken of at Manila, from which
they obtain broad slabs for the tops of tables. The trunks were
observed to shoot up remarkably straight. Our botanical gentlemen,
though pleased with the excursion, were disappointed at not being
able to procure specimens from the lofty trees; and the day was less
productive in this respect than they had anticipated. Large woody
vines were common, which enveloped the trunks of trees in their folds,
and ascending to their tops, prevented the collection of the most
desirable specimens.

The paths leading to the interior were narrow and much obstructed;
one fine stream was crossed. Many buffaloes were observed wallowing
in the mire, and the woods swarmed with monkeys and numbers of birds,
among them the horn-bills; these kept up a continued chatter, and made
a variety of loud noises. The forests here are entirely different from
any we had seen elsewhere; and the stories of their being the abode
of large boas and poisonous snakes, make the effect still greater
on those who visit them for the first time. Our parties, however,
saw nothing of these reptiles, nor anything to warrant a belief that
such exist. Yet the officer at the fort related to me many snake
stories that seemed to have some foundation; and by inquiries made
elsewhere, I learned that they were at least warranted by some facts,
though probably not to the extent that he represented.

Traces of deer and wild hogs were seen, and many birds were obtained,
as well as land and sea shells. Among the latter was the Malleus
vulgaris, which is used as food by the natives. The soil on this
part of the island is a stiff clay, and the plants it produces
are mostly woody; those of an herbaceous character were scarce,
and only a few orchideous epiphytes and ferns were seen. Around the
dwellings in the villages were a variety of vegetables and fruits,
consisting of sugar-cane, sweet-potato, gourds, pumpkins, peppers,
rice, water and musk melons, all fine and of large size.

The officer at the fort was a lieutenant of infantry; one of that rank
is stationed here for a month, after which he, with the garrison,
consisting of three soldiers, are relieved, from Zamboanga, where
the Spaniards have three companies.

[Zamboanga.] Zamboanga is a convict settlement, to which the native
rogues, principally thieves, are sent. The Spanish criminals, as I
have before stated in speaking of Manila, are sent to Spain.

The inhabitants of the island of Mindanao, who are under the subjection
of Spain, are about ten thousand in number, of whom five or six
thousand are at or in the neighborhood of Zamboanga. The original
inhabitants, who dwell in the mountains and on the east coast, are
said to be quite black, and are represented to be a very cruel and
bad set; they have hitherto bid defiance to all attempts to subjugate
them. When the Spaniards make excursions into the interior, which is
seldom, they always go in large parties on account of the wild beasts,
serpents, and hostile natives; nevertheless, the latter frequently
attack and drive them back.

The little fort is considered as a sufficient protection for the
fishermen and small vessels against the pirates, who inhabit the
island of Basilan, which is in sight from Mindanao, and forms the
southern side of the straits of the same name. It is said that about
seven hundred inhabit it. The name of Moro is given by the Spaniards
to all those who profess the Mohammedan religion, and by such all the
islands to the west of Mindanao, and known under the name of the Sulu
archipelago, are inhabited.

The day we spent at Caldera was employed in surveying the bay, and
in obtaining observations for its geographical position, and for
magnetism. The flood tide sets to the northward and westward, through
the straits, and the ebb to the eastward. In the bay we found it to
run two miles an hour by the log, but it must be much more rapid in
the straits.

At daylight on February 1st, we got under way to stand over for
the Sangboys, a small island with two sharp hills on it. One and a
half miles from the bay we passed over a bank, the least water on
which was ten fathoms on a sandy bottom, and on which a vessel might
anchor. The wind shortly after failed us, and we drifted with the tide
for some hours, in full view of the island of Mindanao, which is bold
and picturesque. We had thus a good opportunity of measuring some of
its mountain ranges, which we made about three thousand feet high.

In the afternoon, a light breeze came from the southwest, and before
sunset I found that we were again on soundings. As soon as we had
a cast of twenty fathoms, I anchored for the night, judging it much
better than to be drifting about without any knowledge of the locality
and currents to which we were subjected.

On the morning of the 2nd, we got under way to proceed to the
westward. As the bottom was unequal, I determined to pass through
the broadest channel, although it had the appearance of being the
shoalest, and sent two boats ahead to sound. In this way we passed
through, continuing our surveying operations, and at the same time
made an attempt to dredge; but the ground was too uneven for the
latter purpose, and little of value was obtained.

[Sulu.] Shortly after passing the Sangboys, we had the island of
Sulu in sight, for which I now steered direct. At sunset we found
ourselves within five or six miles of Soung Harbor; but there was not
sufficient light to risk the dangers that might be in our course,
nor wind enough to command the ship; and having no bottom where we
were, I determined again to run out to sea, and anchor on the first
bank I should meet. At half-past eight o'clock, we struck sounding
in twenty-six fathoms, and anchored.

At daylight we determined our position by angles, and found it
to correspond with part of the route we had passed over the day
before, and that we were about fifteen miles from the large island
of Sulu. Weighing anchor, we were shortly wafted by the westerly
tide and a light air towards that beautiful island, which lay in the
midst of its little archipelago; and as we were brought nearer and
nearer, we came to the conclusion that in our many wanderings we had
seen nothing to be compared to this enchanting spot. It appeared to
be well cultivated, with gentle slopes rising here and there into
eminences from one to two thousand feet high. One or two of these
might be dignified with the name of mountains, and were sufficiently
high to arrest the passing clouds; on the afternoon of our arrival
we had a singular example in the dissipation of a thunderstorm.

Although much of the island was under cultivation, yet it had all the
freshness of a forest region. The many smokes on the hills, buildings
of large size, cottages, and cultivated spots, together with the
moving crowds on the land, the prahus, canoes, and fishing-boats on
the water gave the whole a civilized appearance. Our own vessel lay,
almost without a ripple at her side, on the glassy surface of the
sea, carried onwards to our destined anchorage by the flowing tide,
and scarce a sound was heard except the splashing of the lead as
it sought the bottom. The effect of this was destroyed in part by
the knowledge that this beautiful archipelago was the abode of a
cruel and barbarous race of pirates. Towards sunset we had nearly
reached the bay of Soung, when we were met by the opposing tide,
which frustrated all our endeavors to reach it, and I was compelled
to anchor, lest we should again be swept to sea.

As soon as the night set in, fishermen's lights were seen moving along
the beach in all directions, and gliding about in canoes, while the sea
was filled with myriads of phosphorescent animalcula. After watching
this scene for two or three hours in the calm and still night, a storm
that had been gathering reached us; but it lasted only for a short
time, and cleared off after a shower, which gave the air a freshness
that was delightful after the sultry heat we had experienced during
the day.

The canoes of this archipelago were found to be different from any
that we had heretofore seen, not only in shape, but in making use
of a double outrigger, which consequently must give them additional
security. The paddle also is of a different shape, and has a blade at
each end, which are used alternately, thus enabling a single person to
manage them with ease. These canoes are made of a single log, though
some are built upon. They seldom carry more than two persons. The
figure on the opposite page will give a correct idea of one of them.

We saw the fishermen engaged in trolling and using the line; but the
manner of taking fish which has been heretofore described is chiefly
practised. In fishing, as well as in all their other employments,
the kris and spear were invariably by their side.

[Sulu harbor.] The next morning at eight o'clock we got under way,
and were towed by our boats into the bay of Soung, where we anchored
off the town in nine fathoms water. While in the act of doing so,
and after our intentions had become too evident to admit of a doubt,
the Sultan graciously sent off a message giving us permission to
enter his port.

Lieutenant Budd was immediately despatched with the interpreter to call
upon the Datu Mulu or governor, and to learn at what hour we could see
the Sultan. When the officer reached the town, all were found asleep;
and after remaining four hours waiting, the only answer he could get
out of the Datu Mulu was, that he supposed that the Sultan would be
awake at three o'clock, when he thought I could see him.

During this time the boats had been prepared for surveying; and after
landing the naturalists, they began the work.

At the appointed time, Captain Hudson and myself went on shore to wait
upon the Sultan. On our approach to the town, we found that a great
proportion of it was built over the water on piles, and only connected
with the shore by narrow bridges of bamboo. The style of building in
Sulu does not differ materially from that of the Malays. The houses
are rather larger, and they surpass the others in filth.

[Pirate craft.] We passed for some distance between the bridges to
the landing, and on our way saw several piratical prahus apparently
laid up. Twenty of these were counted, of about thirty tons burden,
evidently built for sea-vessels, and capable of mounting one or two
long guns. We landed at a small streamlet, and walked a short distance
to the Datu's house, which is of large dimensions and rudely built on
piles, which raise it about six feet above the ground, and into which
we were invited. The house of the Datu contains one room, part of which
is screened off to form the apartment of his wife. Nearly in the center
is a raised dais, eight or ten feet square, under which are stowed
all his valuables, packed in chests and Chinese trunks. Upon this
dais are placed mats for sleeping, with cushions, pillows, etc.; and
over it is a sort of canopy, hung around with fine chintz or muslin.

The dais was occupied by the Datu, who is, next to the Sultan, the
greatest man of this island. He at once came from it to receive us, and
had chairs provided for us near his sanctum. After we were seated, he
again retired to his lounge. The Datu is small in person, and emaciated
in form, but has a quick eye and an intelligent countenance. He
lives, as he told me, with all his goods around him, and they formed
a collection such as I could scarcely imagine it possible to bring
together in such a place. The interior put me in mind of a barn
inhabited by a company of strolling players. On one side were hung up
a collection of various kinds of gay dresses, here drums and gongs,
there swords, lanterns, spears, muskets, and small cannon; on another
side were shields, buckler, masks, saws, and wheels, with belts, bands,
and long robes. The whole was a strange mixture of tragedy and farce;
and the group of natives were not far removed in appearance from the
supernumeraries that a Turkish tragedy might have brought together in
the green-room of a theatre. A set of more cowardly-looking miscreants
I never saw. They appeared ready either to trade with us, pick our
pockets, or cut our throats, as an opportunity might offer.

The wife's apartment was not remarkable for its comforts, although
the Datu spoke of it with much consideration, and evidently held his
better half in high estimation. He was also proud of his six children,
the youngest of whom he brought out in its nurse's arms, and exhibited
with much pride and satisfaction. He particularly drew my attention
to its little highly-wrought and splendidly-mounted kris, which was
stuck through its girdle, as an emblem of his rank. He was in reality a
fine-looking child. The kitchen was behind the house, and occupied but
a small space, for they have little in the way of food that requires
much preparation. The house of the Datu might justly be termed nasty.

We now learned the reason why the Sultan could not be seen; it was
Friday, the Mahomedan Sabbath, and he had been at the mosque from
an early hour. Lieutenant Budd had been detained, because it was not
known when he would finish his prayers; and the ceremonies of the day
were more important than usual, on account of its peculiar sanctity
in their calendar.

[Visiting the Sultan.] Word had been sent off to the ship that the
Sultan was ready to receive me, but the messenger passed us while on
our way to shore. After we had been seated for a while, the Datu asked
if we were ready to accompany him to see the Sultan; but intimated
that no one but Captain Hudson and myself could be permitted to
lay eyes on him. Being informed that we were, he at once, and in
our presence, slipped on his silken trousers, and a new jacket,
covered with bell-buttons; put on his slippers, strapped himself
round with a long silken net sash, into which he stuck his kris, and,
with umbrella in hand, said he was ready. He now led the way out of
his house, leaving the motley group behind, and we took the path to
the interior of the town, towards the Sultan's. The Datu and I walked
hand in hand, on a roadway about ten feet wide, with a small stream
running on each side. Captain Hudson and the interpreter came next,
and a guard of six trusty slaves brought up the rear.

When we reached the outskirts of the town, about half a mile from
the Datu's, we came to the Sultan's residence, where he was prepared
to receive us in state. His house is constructed in the same manner
as that of the Datu, but is of larger dimensions, and the piles are
rather higher. Instead of steps, we found a ladder, rudely constructed
of bamboo, and very crazy. This was so steep that it was necessary to
use the hands in mounting it. I understood that the ladder was always
removed in the night, for the sake of security. We entered at once
into the presence-chamber, where the whole divan, if such it may be
called, sat in arm-chairs, occupying the half of a large round table,
covered with a white cotton cloth. On the opposite side of the table,
seats were placed for us. On our approach, the Sultan and all his
council rose, and motioned us to our seats. When we had taken them,
the part of the room behind us was literally crammed with well-armed
men. A few minutes were passed in silence, during which time we
had an opportunity of looking at each other, and around the hall in
which we were seated. The latter was of very common workmanship, and
exhibited no signs of oriental magnificence. Overhead hung a printed
cotton cloth, forming a kind of tester, which covered about half of
the apartment. In other places the roof and rafters were visible. A
part of the house was roughly partitioned off, to the height of nine
or ten feet, enclosing, as I was afterwards told, the Sultan's sleeping
apartment, and that appropriated to his wife and her attendants.

The Sultan is of middle height, spare and thin; he was dressed in a
white cotton shirt, loose trousers of the same material, and slippers;
he had no stockings; the bottom of his trousers was worked in scollops
with blue silk, and this was the only ornament I saw about him. On his
head he wore a small colored cotton handkerchief, wound into a turban,
that just covered the top of his head. His eyes were bloodshot, and had
an uneasy wild look, showing that he was under the effects of opium,
of which they all smoke large quantities. His teeth were as black as
ebony, which, with his bright cherry-colored lips, [271] contrasted
with his swarthy skin, gave him anything but a pleasant look.

On the left hand of the Sultan sat his two sons, while his right
was occupied by his councillors; just behind him, sat the carrier
of his betel-nut casket. The casket was of filigree silver, about
the size of a small tea-caddy, of oblong shape, and rounded at the
top. It had three divisions, one for the leaf, another for the nut,
and a third for the lime. Next to this official was the pipe-bearer,
who did not appear to be held in such estimation as the former.

[Treaty with United States.] I opened the conversation by desiring
that the Datu would explain the nature of our visit, and tell the
Sultan that I had come to make the treaty which he had some time
before desired to form with the United States. [272]

The Sultan replied that such was still his desire; upon which I told
him I would draw one up for him that same day. While I was explaining
to him the terms, a brass candlestick was brought in with a lighted
tallow candle, of a very dark color, and rude shape, that showed
but little art in the manufacture. This was placed in the center
of the table, with a plate of Manila cigars. None of them, however,
were offered to us, nor any kind of refreshment.

Our visit lasted nearly an hour. When we arose to take our leave,
the Sultan and his divan did the same, and we made our exit with low
bows on each side.

I looked upon it as a matter of daily occurrence for all those
who came to the island to visit the Sultan; but the Datu Mulu took
great pains to make me believe that a great favor had been granted in
allowing us a sight of his ruler. On the other hand, I dwelt upon the
condescension it was on my part to visit him, and I refused to admit
that I was under any gratitude or obligation for the sight of His
Majesty the Sultan Mohammed Damaliel Kisand, but said that he might
feel grateful to me if he signed the treaty I would prepare for him.

On our return from the Sultan's to the Datu Mulu's house, we found
even a greater crowd than before. The Datu, however, contrived to
get us seats. The attraction which drew it together was to look at
Mr. Agate, who was taking a sketch of Mohammed Polalu, the Sultan's
son, and next heir to the throne. I had hoped to procure one of the
Sultan, but this was declared to be impossible.

The son, however, has all the characteristics of the Sulu, and
the likeness was thought an excellent one. Mohammed Polalu is about
twenty-three years of age, of a tall slender figure, with a long face,
heavy and dull eyes, as though he was constantly under the influence
of opium. So much, indeed, was he addicted to the use of this drug,
even according to the Datu Mulu's accounts, that his strength and
constitution were very much impaired. As he is kept particularly
under the guardianship of the Datu, the latter has a strong interest
in preserving this influence over him, and seems on this account to
afford him every opportunity of indulging in this deplorable habit.

During our visit, the effects of a pipe of this drug were seen upon
him; for but a short time after he had reclined himself on the Datu's
couch and cushion, and taken a few whiffs, he was entirely overcome,
stupid, and listless. I had never seen any one so young, bearing
such evident marks of the effects of this deleterious drug. When
but partially recovered from its effects he called for his betelnut,
to revive him by its exciting effects. This was carefully chewed by
his attendant to a proper consistency, moulded in a ball about the
size of a walnut, and then slipped into the mouth of the heir apparent.

[Interior travel prohibited.] One of the requests I had made of the
Sultan was, that the officers might have guides to pass over the
island. This was at once said to be too dangerous to be attempted, as
the datus of the interior and southern towns would in all probability
attack the parties. I understood what this meant, and replied that
I was quite willing to take the responsibility, and that the party
should be well armed. To this the Sultan replied that he would
not risk his own men. This I saw was a mere evasion, but it was
difficult and would be dangerous for our gentlemen to proceed alone,
and I therefore said no more. On our return to the Datu's, I gave
them permission to get as far from the beach as they could, but I was
afterwards informed by them that in endeavoring to penetrate into the
woods, they were always stopped by armed men. This was also the case
when they approached particular parts of the town, but they were not
molested as long as their rambles were confined to the beach. At the
Datu's we were treated to chocolate and negus in gilt-edged tumblers,
with small stale cakes, which had been brought from Manila.

After we had sat some time I was informed that Mr. Dana missed his
bowie-knife pistol, which he had for a moment laid down on a chest. I
at once came to the conclusion that it had been stolen, and as the
theft had occurred in the Datu's house, I determined to hold him
responsible for it, and gave him at once to understand that I should
do so, informing him that the pistol must be returned before the next
morning, or he must take the consequences. This threw him into some
consternation, and by my manner he felt that I was serious.

Captain Hudson and myself, previous to our return on board, visited
the principal parts of the town. The Chinese quarter is separated
by a body of water, and has a gateway that leads to a bridge. The
bridge is covered by a roof, and on each side of it are small shops,
which are open in front, and thus expose the goods they contain. In
the rear of the shops were the dwellings of the dealers. This sort
of bazaar contained but a very scanty assortment, and the goods were
of inferior quality.

We visited some blacksmith-shops, where they were manufacturing krises
and spears. These shops were open sheds; the fire was made upon the
ground, and two wooden cylinders, whose valves were in the bottom,
served for bellows; when used, they had movable pistons, which were
worked by a man on an elevated seat, and answered the purpose better
than could have been expected.

The kris is a weapon in which this people take great pride; it is of
various shapes and sizes, and is invariably worn from infancy to old
age; they are generally wavy in their blades, and are worn in wooden
scabbards, which are neatly made and highly polished.

The market was well stocked with fruit and fish. Among the former the
durian seemed to predominate; this was the first time we had seen
it. It has a very disagreeable odour, as if decayed, and appears
to emit a sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which I observed blackened
silver. Some have described this fruit as delicious, but if the
smell is not enough, the taste in my opinion will convince any one
of the contrary.

Mr. Brackenridge made the following list of their fruits: Durian,
Artocarpus integrifolia, Melons, water and musk, Oranges, mandarin
and bitter, Pineapples, Carica papaya, Mangosteen, Bread-fruit,
Coco and Betelnut. The vegetables were capsicums, cucumbers, yams,
sweet-potatoes, garlic, onions, edible fern-roots, and radishes of
the salmon variety, but thicker and more acrid in flavor.

[A stolen granite monument.] In walking about the parts of the town we
were permitted to enter, large slabs of cut granite were seen, which
were presumed to be from China, where the walls of canals or streamlets
are lined with it. But Dr. Pickering in his rambles discovered pieces
that had been cut as if to form a monument, and remarked a difference
between it and the Chinese kind. On one or two pieces he saw the mark
No. 1, in black paint; the material resembled the Chelmsford granite,
and it occurred to him that the stone had been cut in Boston. I
did not hear of this circumstance until after we had left Sulu, and
have little doubt now that the interdiction against our gentlemen
visiting some parts of the town was owing to the fear they had of the
discovery of this plunder. This may have been the reason why they so
readily complied with my demands, in order to get rid of us as soon as
possible, feeling themselves guilty, and being unprepared for defence;
for, of the numerous guns mounted, few if any were serviceable.

The theft of the pistol was so barefaced an affair, that I made up
my mind to insist on its restoration. At the setting of the watch
in the evening, it had been our practice on board the Vincennes to
fire a small brass howitzer. This frequently, in the calm evenings,
produced a great reverberation, and rolled along the water to the
surrounding islands with considerable noise. Instead of it, on this
evening, I ordered one of the long guns to be fired, believing that
the sound and reverberation alone would suffice to intimidate such
robbers. One was accordingly fired in the direction of the town,
which fairly shook the island, as they said, and it was not long
before we saw that the rogues were fully aroused, for the clatter of
gongs and voices that came over the water, and the motion of lights,
convinced me that the pistol would be forthcoming in the morning. In
this I was not mistaken, for at early daylight I was awakened by a
special messenger from the Datu to tell me that the pistol was found,
and would be brought off without delay; that he had been searching for
it all night, and had at last succeeded in finding it, as well as the
thief, on whom he intended to inflict the bastinado. Accordingly, in
a short time the pistol was delivered on board, and every expression
of friendship and good-will given, with the strongest assurances that
nothing of the kind should happen again.

[Marongas island.] As our naturalists could have no opportunity
of rambling over the island of Sooloo, it was thought that one
of the neighbouring islands (although not so good a field) would
afford them many of the same results, and that they could examine
it unmolested. Accordingly, at an early hour, they were despatched
in boats for that purpose, with a sufficient guard to attend them
in case of necessity. The island on which they landed, Marongas,
has two hills of volcanic conglomerate and vesicular lava, containing
angular fragments embedded. The bottom was covered with living coral,
of every variety, and of different colors; but there was nothing like
a regular coral shelf, and the beach was composed of bits of coral
intermixed with dead shells, both entire and comminuted. The center
of the island was covered with mangrove-bushes; the hills were cones,
but had no craters on them. The mangroves had grown in clusters,
giving the appearance of a number of small islets. This, with the
neighboring islands, were thought to be composed in a great part of
coral, but it was impossible for our gentlemen to determine the fact.

The day was exceedingly hot, and the island was suffering to such
a degree from drought that the leaves in many cases were curled and
appeared dry. On the face of the rocky cliff they saw many swallows
(hirundo esculenta) flying in and out of the caverns facing the sea;
but they were not fortunate enough to find any of the edible nests,
so much esteemed by Chinese epicures.

At another part of the island they heard the crowing of a cock,
and discovered a small village, almost hidden by the mangroves, and
built over the water. In the neighborhood were several fish-baskets
set out to dry, as well as a quantity of fencing for weirs, all made
of rattan. Their shape was somewhat peculiar. After a little while the
native fishermen were seen approaching, who evidently had a knowledge
of their visit from the first. They came near with great caution
in their canoes; but after the first had spoken and reconnoitered,
several others landed, exhibiting no signs of embarrassment, and soon
motioned our party off. To indicate that force would be resorted to,
in case of refusal, at the same time they pointed to their arms, and
drew their krises. Our gentlemen took this all in good part, and, after
dispensing a few trifling presents among them, began their retreat
with a convenient speed, without, however, compromising their dignity.

The excursion had been profitable in the way of collections, having
yielded a number of specimens of shrubs and trees, both in flower
and fruit; but owing to the drought, the herbaceous plants were, for
the most part, dried up. Among the latter, however, they saw a large
and fine terrestrial species of Epidendrum, whose stem grew to the
height of several feet, and when surmounted by its flowers reached
twelve or fifteen feet high. Many of the salt-marsh plants seen in
the Fijis, were also observed here. Besides the plants, some shells
and a beautiful cream-colored pigeon were obtained.

During the day we were busily engaged in the survey of the harbor,
and in making astronomical and magnetical observations on the beach,
while some of the officers were employed purchasing curiosities,
on shore, at the town, and alongside the ship. These consisted of
krises, spears, shields, and shells; and the Sulus were not slow in
comprehending the kind of articles we were in search of.

Few if any of the Sulus can write or read, though many talk
Spanish. Their accounts are all kept by the slaves. Those who can read
and write are, in consequence, highly prized. All the accounts of the
Datu of Soung are kept in Dutch, by a young Malay from Tarnate, who
writes a good hand, and speaks English, and whom we found exceedingly
useful to us. He is the slave of the Datu, who employs him for this
purpose only. He told us he was captured in a brig by the pirates of
Basilan, and sold here as a slave, where he is likely to remain for
life, although he says the Datu has promised to give him his freedom
after ten years.

Horses, cows, and buffaloes are the beasts of burden, and a Sulu
may usually be seen riding either one or the other, armed cap-a-pie,
with kris, spear, and target, or shield.

They use saddles cut out of solid wood, and many ride with their
stirrups so short that they bring the knees very high, and the
riders look more like well-grown monkeys than mounted men. The cows
and buffaloes are guided by a piece of thong, through the cartilage
of the nose. By law, no swine are allowed to be kept on the island,
and if they are bought, they are immediately killed. The Chinese are
obliged to raise and kill their pigs very secretly, when they desire
that species of food; for, notwithstanding the law and the prejudices
of the inhabitants, the former continue to keep swine.

[Natives.] The inhabitants of Sulu are a tall, thin, and
effeminate-looking race: I do not recollect to have seen one corpulent
person among them. Their faces are peculiar for length, particularly
in the lower jaw and chin, with high cheek-bones, sunken, lack-lustre
eyes, and narrow foreheads. Their heads are thinly covered with hair,
which appears to be kept closely cropped. I was told that they pluck
out their beards, and dye their teeth black with antimony, and some
file them.

Their eyebrows appear to be shaven, forming a very regular and high
arch, which they esteem a great beauty.

The dress of the common people is very like that of the Chinese,
with loose and full sleeves, without buttons. The materials of which
it is made are grass-cloths, silks, satins, or white cotton, from
China. I should judge from the appearance of their persons, that they
ought to be termed, so far as ablutions go, a cleanly people. There
is no outward respect or obeisance shown by the slave to his master,
nor is the presence of the Datu, or even of the Sultan himself, held
in any awe. All appear upon an equality, and there does not seem to
be any controlling power; yet it may be at once perceived that they
are suspicious and jealous of strangers.

The Sulus, although they are ready to do any thing for the sake of
plunder, even to the taking of life, yet are not disposed to hoard
their ill-gotten wealth, and, with all their faults, cannot be termed

They have but few qualities to redeem their treachery, cruelty,
and revengeful dispositions; and one of the principal causes of
their being so predominant, or even of their existence, is their
inordinate lust for power. When they possess this, it is accompanied
by a haughty, consequential, and ostentatious bravery. No greater
affront can be offered to a Sulu, than to underrate his dignity and
official consequence. Such an insult is seldom forgiven, and never
forgotten. From one who has made numerous voyages to these islands, I
have obtained many of the above facts, and my own observation assures
me that this view of their character is a correct one. I would,
however, add another trait, which is common among them, and that is
cowardice, which is obvious, in spite of their boasted prowess and
daring. This trait of character is universally ascribed to them among
the Spaniards in the Philippines, who ought to be well acquainted
with them.

The dress of the women is not unlike that of the men in
appearance. They wear close jackets of various colors when they go
abroad, and the same loose breeches as the men, but over them they
usually have a large wrapper (sarong), not unlike the pareu of the
Polynesian islanders, which is put round them like a petticoat, or
thrown over the shoulders. Their hair is drawn to the back of the head,
and around the forehead it is shaven in the form of a regular arch,
to correspond with the eyebrows. Those that I saw at the Sultan's
were like the Malays, and had light complexions, with very black
teeth. The Datu thought them very handsome, and on our return he
asked me if I had seen the Sultan's beauties. The females of Sulu
have the reputation of ruling their lords, and possess much weight
in the government by the influence they exert over their husbands.

[Superiority of women.] It may be owing to this that there is little
jealousy of their wives, who are said to hold their virtues in no
very great estimation. In their houses they are but scantily clothed,
though women of rank have always a large number of rings on their
fingers, some of which are of great value, as well as earrings of
fine gold. They wear no stockings, but have on Chinese slippers, or
Spanish shoes. They are as capable of governing as their husbands,
and in many cases more so, as they associate with the slaves, from
whom they obtain some knowledge of Christendom, and of the habits
and customs of other nations, which they study to imitate in every way.

The mode in which the Sulus employ their time may be exemplified by
giving that of the Datu; for all, whether free or slave, endeavor to
imitate the higher rank as far as is in their power. The datus seldom
rise before eleven o'clock, unless they have some particular business;
and the Datu Mulu complained of being sleepy in consequence of the
early hour at which we had disturbed him.

On rising, they have chocolate served in gilt glassware, with some
light biscuit, and sweetmeats imported from China or Manila, of
which they informed me they laid in large supplies. They then lounge
about their houses, transacting a little business, and playing at
various games, or, in the trading season, go to the meeting of the
Ruma Bechara.

At sunset they take their principal meal, consisting of stews of fish,
poultry, beef, eggs, and rice, prepared somewhat after the Chinese
and Spanish modes, mixed up with that of the Malay. Although Moslems,
they do not forego the use of wine, and some are said to indulge in
it to a great extent. After sunset, when the air has become somewhat
cooled by the refreshing breezes, they sally forth attended by their
retainers to take a walk, or proceed to the bazaars to purchase goods,
or to sell or to barter away their articles of produce. They then pay
visits to their friends, when they are in the habit of having frequent
convivial parties, talking over their bargains, smoking cigars,
drinking wine and liquors, tea, coffee, and chocolate, and indulging
in their favorite pipe of opium. At times they are entertained with
music, both vocal and instrumental, by their dependants. Of this art
they appear to be very fond, and there are many musical instruments
among them. A datu, indeed, would be looked upon as uneducated if he
could not play on some instrument.

It is considered polite that when refreshments are handed they should
be partaken of. Those offered us by the Datu were such as are usual,
but every thing was stale. Of fruit they are said to be very fond,
and can afford to indulge themselves in any kinds. With all these
articles to cloy the appetite, only one set meal a day is taken;
though the poorer classes, fishermen and laborers, partake of two.

[Government.] The government of the Sulu Archipelago is a kind of
oligarchy, and the supreme authority is vested in the Sultan and the
Ruma Bechara or trading council. This consists of about twenty chiefs,
either datus, or their next in rank, called orangs, who are governors
of towns or detached provinces. The influence of the individual
chiefs depends chiefly upon the number of their retainers or slaves,
and the force they can bring into their service when they require
it. These are purchased from the pirates, who bring them to Sulu and
its dependencies for sale. The slaves are employed in a variety of
ways, as in trading prahus, in the pearl and beche de met fisheries,
and in the search after the edible birds' nests.

A few are engaged in agriculture, and those who are at all educated
are employed as clerks. These slaves are not denied the right of
holding property, which they enjoy during their lives, but at their
death it reverts to the master. Some of them are quite rich, and
what may appear strange, the slaves of Sulu are invariably better
off than the untitled freemen, who are at all times the prey of the
hereditary datus, even of those who hold no official stations. By
all accounts these constitute a large proportion of the population,
and it being treason for any low-born freeman to injure or maltreat
a datu, the latter, who are of a haughty, overbearing, and tyrannical
disposition, seldom keep themselves within bounds in their treatment
of their inferiors. The consequence is, the lower class of freemen
are obliged to put themselves under the protection of some particular
datu, which guards them from the encroachment of others. The chief
to whom they thus attach themselves, is induced to treat them well,
in order to retain their services, and attach them to his person,
that he may, in case of need, be enabled to defend himself from
depredations, and the violence of his neighbors.

Such is the absence of legal restraint, that all find it necessary
to go abroad armed, and accompanied by a trusty set of followers,
who are also armed. This is the case both by day and night, and,
according to the Datu's account, frequent affrays take place in the
open streets, which not unfrequently end in bloodshed.

Caution is never laid aside, the only law that exists being that of
force; but the weak contrive to balance the power of the strong by
uniting. They have not only contentions and strife among themselves,
but it was stated at Manila that the mountaineers of Sulu, who are
said to be Christians, occasionally make inroads upon them. At Sulu,
however, it did not appear that they were under much apprehension of
these attacks. The only fear I heard expressed was by the Sultan,
in my interview with him; and the cause of this, as I have already
stated, was probably a desire to find an excuse for not affording us
facilities to go into the interior. Within twenty years, however,
the reigning sultan has been obliged to retire within his forts,
in the town of Sulu, which I have before adverted to.

These people are hostile to the Sulus of the coast and towns, who
take every opportunity to rob them of their cattle and property,
for which the mountaineers seek retaliation when they have an
opportunity. From the manner in which the Datu spoke of them,
they are not much regarded. Through another source I learned that
the mountaineers were Papuans, and the original inhabitants of the
islands, who pay tribute to the Sultan, and have acknowledged his
authority, ever since they were converted to Islamism. Before that
time they were considered extremely ferocious, and whenever it was
practicable they were destroyed. Others speak of an original race
of Dyacks in the interior, but there is one circumstance to satisfy
me that there is no confidence to be placed in this account, namely,
that the island is not of sufficient extent to accommodate so numerous
a population as some ascribe to it.

The forts consist of a double row of piles, filled in with coral
blocks. That situated on the east side of the small stream may be
said to mount a few guns, but these are altogether inefficient; and
in another, on the west side, which is rather a rude embankment than
a fort, there are some twelve or fifteen pieces of large calibre;
but I doubt very much if they had been fired off for years, and many
of the houses built upon the water would require to be pulled down
before these guns could be brought to bear upon any thing on the side
of the bay, supposing them to be in a good condition; a little farther
to the east of the town, I was informed they had a kind of stockade,
but none of us were permitted to see it.

[Population.] According to our estimates, and the information we
received while at Sulu, the island itself does not contain more than
thirty thousand inhabitants, of which the town of Soung may have six
or seven thousand. The whole group may number about one hundred and
thirty thousand. I am aware, however, that it is difficult to estimate
the population of a half-civilized people, who invariably exaggerate
their own strength; and visitors are likewise prone to do the same
thing. The Chinese comprise about an eighth of the population of the
town, and are generally of the lower class. They are constantly busy
at their trades, and intent upon making money.

At Soung, business seems active, and all, slaves as well as masters,
seem to engage in it. The absence of a strong government leaves all at
liberty to act for themselves, and the Ruma Bechara gives unlimited
freedom to trade. These circumstances promote the industry of the
community, and even that of the slave, for he too, as before observed,
has a life interest in what he earns.

Soung being the residence of the Sultan, as well as the grand depot
for all piratical goods, is probably more of a mart than any of the
surrounding towns. In the months of March and April it is visited by
several Chinese junks, who remain trading until the beginning of the
month of August. If delayed after that time, they can scarcely return
in safety, being unable to contend with the boisterous weather and
head winds that then prevail in the Chinese seas. These junks are said
to come chiefly from Amoy, where the cottons, etc., best suited for
the Sulus are made. Their cargoes consist of a variety of articles of
Chinese manufacture and produce, such as silk, satin goods, cottons,
red and checked, grass-cloth clothing, handkerchiefs, cutlery, guns,
ammunition, opium, lumber, china and glass-ware, rice, sugar, oil,
lard, and butter. In return for this merchandise they obtain camphor,
birds' nests, rattans, beche de mer, pearls, and pearl-shells, coco,


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