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ranald Macdonald 




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QNE thousand copies of this volume 
have been printed. Fifty are reserved 
by The Eastern Washington State Historical 
Society for editorial and copyright purposes. 
The remaining nine hundred fifty are supplied 
to the subscribing libraries and individuals. 


This copy is No.. 


q i 7 . 9 7 


Ranald MacDonald 

The Narrative of his early life on the Colum¬ 
bia under the Hudson’s Bay Company’s 
regime; of his experiences in the 
Pacific Whale Fishery; and of 
his great Adventure to 
Japan; with a sketch of 
his later life on the 
Western Frontier 



Edited and annotated from the original manuscripts by 

William S. Lewis and Naojiro Murakami 


Published for 

The Eastern Washington State Historical Society 

Spokane, Washington 

The Inland-American Printing Company 



Copyright 1923, by 

All rights reserved 


The history of mankind is little less 
than a narrative of designs which have 
failed and hopes that have been disap¬ 
pointed- Johnson 

Better to be a crystal, though shat¬ 
tered, than lie as a tile unbroken on the 
housetop- Old Chinese Classic 

Ranald MacDonald 

From an old daguerreotype taken about 1853, 
in the possession of Mr. A. T. MacDon¬ 
ald, of Great Falls, Montana. 


Editors’ Preface.17 

Biographical Account of Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald by the Editors 23 

Ranald MacDonald’s Original Narrative 71 

Preface - 72 

Chapter I—Introductory—First connection with whites and 

natives — Columbia — King Com-Comly—Royal 
Marriage—Hudson’s Bay Company and Northwest 
Company—Pioneer Exploration—David Thomp¬ 
son .73 

Chapter II—Birth and Infancy—Life in British Columbia - 92 

Chapter III—School at Red River—Bank Clerk—Canadian 
Manhood—Start in Life—Aspirations for travel, 
etc. - -- --.113 

Chapter IV—First Suggestion as to Japan—Accounts of It— 
Wanderings in the United States—Voyage to 
Sandwich Islands—Incidents there - - 120 

Chapter V—Narrative—Ship on Board Whaler for Japan Sea 

—Sandwich Islands—Ladrones Islands—Gregan, 
Pegan — Castaway Settlers — Treasure Trove — 
China and Japan Seas—Whale Fishery—Quelpert 
Island—Adrift Alone for Japan - - 137 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 








VI—Dropt on Ocean out of Sight of Land—Situa¬ 

tion—Landmarks—Night in Boat—Two Nights 
on Island—Upset—Afloat — Rescue — Ashore — 

VII— Examination of my Outfit—Inoes Tributory to Ja¬ 

pan — Japanese Officers — Worship — Religious 
Ceremony of Inoes at Meals — Drink Habit — 
Writing—Map—Inoes Character, Origin, etc.— 
Nootska—Tootoomari—Arrival of Junks - 163 

VIII— Examination—Departure for Tootoomari—Resi¬ 

dents there—Voyage to Soya—Reception—Treat- 
men—Interpreters—Stay—Start in open boat for 
Matsmai—Return to Soya - - - - 171 

IX—Embark on Junk for Matsmai—Description of Junk 
—Voyage—Stop on way—Arrival at Matsmai— 
Reception—Display on vessel—Harbor—Crowd 
on boats—Crowd of people—English terms, etc. 
—Informed of transport to Nagasaki—Asked to 
Stay—Refused—Kindly Treated on Board - 184 

X—Crowd on disembarkment—Carried in Palanquin 
Arrive at a small town—Singular, but kindly re¬ 
ception—Signs of former occupants, Prisoners 
—McCoy and others, crew of Ladoga—Fate— 
Ermaetz, Sea Port—Departure in larger Junk— 
Friendly farewell—Kind Treatment—Manner of 
Eating—All writers and readers—Paper, etc.— 
Writing—Books ------- 192 

XL—Voyage*—Doctor—View of Country—Fruit—Ar¬ 
rive at Nagasaki—Officials—Magistrates and In¬ 
terpreters—Examination on board—Murayama— 
Questions and answers—Disembark—Description 
of bay and harbor—Enter city—Procession— 
Streets—Houses, etc..206 

XII—Governor’s residence—Court—Reception — Plan 
of Court—“Devil of Japan”—Refused to bow to 
.the ground (Kotow) before the governor—Comp¬ 
liment by the governor—Description of things and 
procedure—Examination—Answers satisfactory— 
Treatment—Cage—Prisoner - - - - 213 



Chapter XIII—Second examination in court—Complimented— 
Third examination in our house—Information: 
Suggestions for trade, etc. — Sympathy — More 
Friendly—School for English—Fourteen Pupils— 
Interpreters—Language—Intelligence of pupils— 
Religions—Morals—Eagerness for information— 
Curiosity — Women — Dress, etc. — Guards — 
Friendly—Interpreters—Reticence, etc.—Fate of 
Captain of my guard.223 

Chapter XIV — Kindness, effusive — Place of honor for bible — 
Food — Sundays, specialties — Foreigners in the 
city—Acquire language—Change of Governor— 
System of Government—Harra Karri—Sense of 
Honour—Sacrifice to it—Personal reflections on 
ethics of such course—and Japanese life—Empire 
How ruled—Character of people—Feudal System 
—Laws—Aspirations—Kindness—Arrival of Pre¬ 
ble—Military display—Arms, etc.—Liberation— 
Departure in Preble ------ 233 

Chapter XV — Sequel — Official Record — Historical—Treaties 
—New Constitution.247 

Chapter XVI — Suggestions for change in International Policy — 
Agency of Author in it—Japanese Appreciation of 
his services.251 

Chapter XVII—Conclusion—Dutch Friends—A last word - 260 


I.—Identification of Manuscript.267 

II.—Authentication of Narrative 

A—A Sailor’s Attempt to Penetrate Japan. First published 
account of our author’s Adventure, appearing in the Sea¬ 
man's Friend, (Honolulu, S. I.).271 

B—Extracts, from Official Japanese Records, concerning 
Japanese Records, concerning Ranald MacDonald’s im¬ 
prisonment in Japan.275 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

C—Extracts from Official American Records, concerning 
Ranald MacDonald’s imprisonment in Japan - 280 

III—Glossary of English—Japanese words; compiled from Ranald 
MacDonald’s memoranda notes made while in Japan 287 

Bibliography of Ranald MacDonald - 303 

Other Books and Authorities, cited 

in footnotes.306 


3 X 3 


Portrait of Ranald MacDonald from an old daguerrotype taken 
about 1853. Original in possession of Mr. A. T. MacDonald 
of Great Falls, Montana. 


Portrait of Archibald MacDonald, our author’s father, from an old 
daguerrotype taken about 1851. 

Facing 26 

Log Cabin in which Ranald MacDonald died on August 5, 1894. 
From a photograph by Mr. J, A. Meyers. 

Facing 68 

Grave of Ranald MacDonald, near Toroda, P. O. Washington. 
From a photograph by Mr. J. A. Meyers. 

Facing 68 

Portrait of Ranald MacDonald, from a photograph taken July 5, 
1891, in the, possession of Mrs. Jennie Lynch, Toroda, Wash¬ 

Facing 72 

Chinook Indian grave in canoe. From a drawing by H. J. Warre. 

Facing 76 

King Com-com-ly’s grave, 
iv, 221. 

From a drawing in Wilkes’ Narrative, 

Facing 76 

Chinook (or Flathead) Indian woman, with child undergoing the 
process of head flattening. From Catlin’s North American 
Indians, ii, 125. 

Facing 82 

14 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Totem Poles of the Northwest Coast Indians. From a photograph 
in the Provincial Library at Victoria, B. C. 

Facing 88 

Northwest bastion of the stockade surrounding Hudson's Bay Co. 
Fort Colvile. From a photograph made in 1901 by Frank 

Facing 104 

Ainus: headman, male and female. From a picture of 1854, 
illustrating “The Tour of Yezo.” 

Facing 168 

Japanese soldiers, showing character of Ranald MacDonald’s es¬ 
cort. From a picture of 1854. 

Facing 177 

The Japanese junk, “Tenjinmaru.” From a picture of 1854, illus¬ 
trating “The Tour of Yezo.” 

Facing 203 

Portraits of Morayama and Tokojiro, pupils of Ranald MacDonald; 
Chief interpreters in negotiations with Commodore Perry. 
From Hawks’ Narrative, i, 348. 

Facing 209 

Portrait of Tatsnoski, pupil of Ranald MacDonald; second interpre¬ 
ter in negotiations with Commodore Perry. From Hawks’ 
Narrative, i, 485. 

Facing 226 

Photographic copy of a page of Ranald MacDonald’s autograph 
glossary of Japanese-English words made in Japan 1848-1849. 
From the original notes in the Provincial Library, Victoria, 
B. C. 

Facing 288 

Maps and Plans 

Map in colors, showing Ranald MacDonald’s route on leaving ship 
and landing on the island of Yankeshiri. Compiled from Mr. 
MacDonald’s original sketch, imposed on a map of Yezo of 

Facing 152 

Map of the west coast of Yezo (now called Hokkaido) showing 
route by which Ranald MacDonald reached Matsmae (now 
Fukuyama). From Commodore Perry’s map of 1855, com¬ 
piled from that of van Seibold. 


Plan of the place and court of examination at Nagasaki. Drawn 
from an original sketch by Ranald MacDonald. 



The Japan Story of Adventure of Ranald MacDon¬ 
ald is printed as it appears in the duplicate manuscripts 
of Ranald MacDonald in the possession of the Eastern 
Washington State Historical Society at Spokane, Wash¬ 
ington, and the Provincial Library at Victoria, B. C. 

The author, but twenty-four years old at the time of 
his japan adventure (1848-1849), spent his entire life 
on the frontiers of civilization, and it was not until forty 
years later (about 1888) that he undertook to prepare 
from his notes for publication his own story of his 
youthful adventure in Japan. 

As shown by the bibliography attached, Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald’s experiences in Japan excited some interest in 
the press of the time, and have been alluded to by many 
present-day writers on Japan. Had the story been pub¬ 
lished immediately after his return from Japan or even 
after the opening of Japan for foreign commerce by 
Commodore Perry’s treaty in 1854, 1 the book would 
doubtless have met with great success and conferred 
deserved fame on its author. But in later years the 
public was deluged with volumes on the islands, and 
Ranald MacDonald was able neither to secure a pub¬ 
lisher nor to finance the publication of the book at his 
own expense. 

While on a visit to his father’s home at St. Andrews, 

1 The treaty was signed at Kanagawa, Japan, March 31, 1854. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Quebec, in 1853, Ranald MacDonald left his original 
manuscript notes and papers with an old family 
friend, Malcolm McLeod, a barrister of Ottawa, Can¬ 
ada, and then proceeded to the Northwest Coast, where 
he engaged in various remote mining and ranching ven¬ 
tures for many years, and entirely lost touch with his 
family and friends at St. Andrews, Quebec; many of 
whom believed he was dead. Nearly a quarter of a 
century elapsed before he renewed correspondence 
with his friend. 2 

In 1857 Mr. McLeod edited Ranald MacDonald’s 
notes, and to some extent rewrote and prepared the 
manuscript for publication—to just what extent the 
present editors are unable to say. 3 In March of that 
year the story was submitted to Messrs. Dix, Edwards 
& Company of Boston for publication. In a letter to 
Ranald MacDonald of date of November 8, 1890, Mal¬ 
colm McLeod says: “The book is yours in utmost 
sense.” Little of Ranald MacDonald’s original manu¬ 
script has been preserved, but having acquired some 
familiarity with Ranald MacDonald’s personality and 
read many of his letters, including the Ranald Mac- 
Donald-Malcolm McLeod correspondence in the Pro¬ 
vincial Library at Victoria, B. C., the present editors 
concur in Mr. McLeod’s statement, though evidences of 
Mr. McLeod’s composition are apparent. 

2 “It is over a quarter of a century since I wrote you from Victoria, 
British Columbia.” Letter from Ranald MacDonald at Old Fort Colvile, 
Marcus, P. O., to Malcolm McLeod, undated (1888), in the Provincial 
Library, Victoria, B. C. 

3 “Mr. MacDonald was my guest about three years ago. I have ad¬ 
hered most strictly to his text. Mr. MacDonald was perfectly competent 
to write his own story, having received a good education, but his nature, 
bold but modest, would not allow him. In aught that seems to contradict 
this in the course of the narrative, blame me.” Letter from Malcolm 
McLeod to Messrs Dix Edwards & Co., March 18, 1857, in the Provincial 
Library, Victoria, B. C. 



The first draft of the story was completed in 1857 4 
and another in 1887. A third draft was prepared in 
1891, revised and corrected by Ranald MacDonald. A 
prospectus was issued for the publication of this draft 
by Messrs. W, Foster Brown & Co. of Montreal in 1891 
under the title A Canadian in Japan, and a number of 
subscriptions therefor weie secured by the author 5 and 
by Mr. McLeod. 

The present revised draft was finished in 1893. 
Three copies of this manuscript were prepared by Mr. 
McLeod. One was sent to a friend, the Rev. H. M. 
Fletcher, Crasmere, County Westmoreland, England, 
in expectation that he might interest some English pub¬ 
lisher; the second was retained by Mr. McLeod himself; 
while the third was forwarded to Ranald MacDonald, 
then living at Old Fort Colvile, Washington. The 
manuscript was now submitted in turn to various Cana¬ 
dian and American publishers 6 without success. In a 
series of letters from Ranald MacDonald to his friend, 
Malcolm McLeod (1890-1893) in the Provincial Li¬ 
brary at Victoria, B. C., we have a rather pathetic ac¬ 
count of Ranald MacDonald’s desperate efforts to raise 
the amount of money required to secure publication of 
his book. 

In the fall of 1893 Mrs. L. C. P. Haskins, a local 
writer of some ability and then editor of a newspaper 

4 “Twenty-four years ago I wrote the manuscript ready for publica¬ 
tion.” Malcolm McLeod, Pacific Railway, Canada, Ottawa, February 4, 
1875. The reader will note a discrepancy in Malcolm McLeod’s dates. 

5 “I can dispose of 150 here and in Spokann.” Letter Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald to Malcolm McLeod, Sept. 5, 1893, in the Provincial Library, Vic¬ 
toria, B. C. In another letter dated Dec. 26, 1891, our author mentions 
having secured 87 subscriptions. 

6 The manuscript was submitted, among others, to Appleton, the 
Harpers and the Putnams, New York, and to McClurg & Co., Chicago, 
all of whom spoke highly of the work, but did not think it would take 
with the general reader. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

near his home, published the first chapters of it in the 
Kettle Falls (Wash.) Pioneer , 1 in an effort to arouse 
interest in the manuscript. In a letter 8 in February, 
1894, our author hopefully mentions Mrs. Haskins’ in¬ 
tention to interest Mr. Penrose (President of Whitman 
College) in the proposed publication. Up to the time 
of his death, in the summer of 1894, Ranald MacDon¬ 
ald was still endeavoring to publish his book. 

Some years after Ranald’s death, his copy of the 
manuscript came into the possession of the Eastern 
Washington State Historical Society at Spokane, 
Washington, through Mr. A. D. Burnett, a newspaper 
man, to whom it had been entrusted by Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald some months before his death, with a view of 
his assisting in its publication. A chapter of the narra¬ 
tive was published in the Spokane (Wash.) Spokes¬ 
man-Review by Mr. Burnett. 

Later, on the death of Malcolm McLeod, his dupli¬ 
cate copy of the manuscript, with some notes and corre¬ 
spondence from Ranald MacDonald, was acquired 
from the estate of Malcolm McLeod by the Provincial 
Library at Victoria, B. C. During all these years most 
writers on the evolution of modern Japan were in igno¬ 
rance as to Ranald MacDonald’s survival and the de¬ 
tails of his life. 

In 1905 Mrs. Eva Emery Dye, who had exchanged 
some letters 9 with Ranald MacDonald in 1892 at the 

7 The publication commenced with the issue of Nov. 16, 1893—see 

8 Letter to Malcolm McLeod Feb. 13, 1894, in the Provincial Library, 
Victoria, B„ C. 

9 Our author apparently never had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Dye 
in person. In a series of letters exchanged with her (principally in the 
months of July, August, September and October, 1892), he informed her 
that his book was completed and that he was then endeavoring to find 
a publisher. Part of the correspondence with Mrs. Dye is in the Provin¬ 
cial Library at Victoria, B. C.; the remainder is in the Oregon Historical 
Society’s collections at Portland, Oregon. 



time she was gathering materials for the writing of her 
McLoughlin and Old Oregon, had access to the dupli¬ 
cate manuscript in the Provincial Library at Victoria, 
B. C., and copied it; later publishing a considerable 
portion of it verbatim in a book entitled MacDonald of 
Oregon without mention of Ranald MacDonald’s actual 
authorship of the material so published. 

Thus Ranald MacDonald wrote, and up to the time 
of his death was endeavoring to publish his own narra¬ 
tive of his Japan adventure. The editors have thought 
his story of sufficient literary merit and historic value 
to warrant its publication as his own story, just as writ¬ 
ten. The style, perhaps a little florid for some cold 
readers of today, was addressed to the readers of the 
past century. By copious footnotes an attempt has 
been made to verify statements in the manuscript and to 
add to its historical interest and value. Such errors and 
seeming inaccuracies as have occurred through the 
lapse of forty years between the occurrence of the 
events and the final compilation of the story by Ranald 
MacDonald have been indicated in footnotes in prefer¬ 
ence to any alteration of the text of the narrative. Some 
contemporary records, confirming MacDonald’s story, 
are included in an appendix. The editors have also 
added a bibliography and a brief biographical sketch of 
some portions of Ranald MacDonald’s life not touched 
on in his story; the latter confessedly could have been 
better done a quarter of a century ago than now when 
the only sources of information are a few public records 
and the failing recollection of his few surviving con¬ 
temporaries and associates. 

Historically, the story is of interest because of the in¬ 
sight it gives into the restless spirit of inquiry, stirring 
among educated classes of Japan at the time, and to the 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

current of thought then developing, a demand for the 
radical governmental changes which took place a few 
years later . 10 

The admiration, respect and affection which Ranald 
MacDonald felt for his pupils, his deep insight into the 
Japanese character, his remarkable appreciation of the 
Japanese national aspirations and his early forecast of 
the development of Japan into a nation of the first rank 
cannot fail to impress the American and British readers 
and will, we hope, tend to a better mutual understand¬ 
ing and to stronger ties of friendship between Japan 
and the great English-speaking nations of the world. 

The editors acknowledge their indebtedness to and 
desire to thank many historical societies, libraries and 
individuals 11 for their unfailing courtesy, cheerful co¬ 
operation and assistance in the search for data relating 
to Ranald MacDonald’s life and the events narrated by 

William S. Lewis 
N. Murakami 12 

10 This fact, the self reformation of Japan from interior causes, was 
predicted by early writers,—V. M. Golowin, Memoirs of a captivity in 
Japan , 1811-1813 (English Ed. London, 1824) iii, 34-35; and has been 
strongly insisted on by Dr. fm. Elliot Griffis in The Mikado’s Empire 
(New York 1876), chapter xxvii; see also note on Nakahama Manjiro 
and Yoshida Torajiro, note 138, pages 128, 129 hereof. 

11 The editors acknowledge their special indebtedness to Wm. Elliott 
Griffis, D. D. L. H. D. of New York, Mr. Steward Culver of the Brooklyn 
Institute Museum, Brooklyn, New York, his Honor, F. W. Howay, F. R. 
S. C. of New Westminster, B. C., and Mr. Jacob A. Meyers of Meyers 
Falls, Washington, for information furnished and for pertinent sugges¬ 
tions made by them. Mr. Frederick Perry Noble, Ph. D., of Spokane, 
Washington, has assisted by a critical reading of the manuscript and 
footnotes prior to publication. 

12 Naojiro Murakami is at present head of the School of Music at the 
Imperial University, Tokyo, Japan. He was formerly at the head of the De¬ 
partment of Foreign Languages at the Imperial University, and sometime 
Commissioner of Historical Compilation for Japan, and known among 
historical students in the United States for occasional papers and en¬ 
cyclopedia articles in English on matters of Japanese and Pacific Coast 
history. Any merit in this work may be attributed to him and the errors 
and mistakes to his associate editor, William S. Lewis. 


OUR author, Ranald MacDonald, was a simple, great 
and many-sided character. As noted in the preface, 
most of his active life was spent in world wanderings or 
in the transient mining communities of the Northwest 
frontier, and it is extremely difficult, at this late day, to 
give an adequate or satisfactory account of the various 
incidents of his life to supplement that which he has 
told to us in his Japan Story of Adventure. 

His mother, Princess Sunday, died a few months 
after Ranald’s birth—the date being given as “the 
salmon running time” (which is usually in the months 
of May and June), 1824. The infant, Ranald, was then 
taken by his mother’s sister, Car-cum-cum, and the 
two resided in an Indian lodge at Fort George under 
care of Archibald McDonald, who, a year later, pro¬ 
ceeded to Fort Garry (now Winnipeg, in the Province 
of Manitoba), where he married his second wife, Jane 
Klyne, on the first day of September, 1825—the Rev. 
Mr. Cochran officiating—and returned with his bride 
to the Columbia River district. 

When about two years old, young Ranald was taken 
to the family home at Kamloops (now in British Co¬ 
lumbia), where he spent part of the years 1826-1830, 
though he appears to have passed much time up to the 
tenth year among his Chinook relatives. Writing in 
1891, our author says that he had a clear remembrance 
of the “Princess,” and recalled that an old Chinook 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

woman used to call him “Qua-ame, Qua-ame,” mean¬ 
ing my grand child; he said that his last recollection of 
the old King was when he was taken in Com-Comly’s 
arms when on the way to Fort Langley . 13 


His step-mother, Jane Klyne McDonald, was a most 
admirable character and seems to have truly loved and 
cared for her little, half-breed stepson as well as, if not 
better than, her own children. Here at Kamloops the 
little boy met and remembered the kindly Frank Er- 
matinger. Writing of him in later years, Ranald Mac 
Donald says: “He would sometimes give me a cake— 
then a great rarity, for our allowance of flour was two 
sacks brought from London 14 by way of Cape Horn, 
then transported to the interior—tea and sugar in like 
limited proportions. I must not forget, to us children, 
that great luxury—a few cakes of gingerbread—how 
Mr. Frank Ermatinger 15 would say: ‘I won’t tell.’ My 
foster mother would miss them and I was sure to be 

13 Letter Ranald MacDonald to Malcolm McLeod, dated June 4, 1891, 
in the Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 

1 4 The first shipments from the pioneer grist mill at Fort Colvile were 
some bags of barley and corn meal, from the 1827 crop, taken down to 
Fort Okanogan by John Work in May, 1828. Part of this cargo, with 
three pigs, was assigned to New Caledonia, where doubtless a portion of 
it reached our author’s family. Wheat flour was probably not supplied 
to the New Caledonia posts until a year or two later. 

1 5 Francis (Frank) Ermatinger, whose name appears as Nos. 123, 95 
and 84, respectively, on the List of Employees for the years 1821, 1822 
and 1823, remained in the employment of the company between 30 and 
40 years; a great part of the time on the Pacific side of the mountains; 
he spent much time in the vicinity of Fort Colvile, old Spokane House 
and the Flathead country, in what is now the State of Montana. He re¬ 
tired about 1850. He married Catherine, a daughter of Wm. Sinclair, 
and a niece of Mrs. Dr. John McLoughlin. He died in 1857 and his 
remains rest in the old churchyard at St. Thomas, Ontario, beside those 
of his brother. See note 121, page 115, 116. 

Biographical Accounts 


The family was stationed at Fort Langley, on the 
Northwest Coast, in 1828-1833, with frequent visits to 
Forts Colvile and Vancouver, the centers of the Colum¬ 
bia River fur trade. Journeys along the Columbia 
River to Fort Vancouver were usually by bateaux, but 
the return into the interior was usually in part by horse¬ 
back; Ranald MacDonald describing it as “my brother 
(Angus) in one basket and me in another.” 

At Fort Langley the education of Ranald and his 
younger brothers was begun under the personal super¬ 
vision of his father, a reputed graduate of the Univer¬ 
sity of Edinburgh, Scotland. 

In the winter of 1833-1834 Ranald for a short time 
attended the school of Mr. Ball, 16 an American gentle¬ 
man who taught at Fort Vancouver. This was the first 
school in the Pacific Northwest. Describing it, Ranald 
MacDonald has said: 

“I attended the school to learn my A. B. C. and Eng¬ 
lish. The big boys had a medal put over their necks, if 
caught speaking French or Chinook, and when school 
was out had to remain and learn a task. I made no 

In 1834 Ranald was sent overland to Fort Garry to 
attend the Red River Missionary School, supported by 

*6 John Ball was a Yankee schoolmaster who reached Fort Vancouver 
in Nathan J. Wyeth’s employ in the fall of 1832. On Nov. 17, 1832, he 
opened school at the fort for two dozen half-breed Indian children of 
the Hudson’s Bay Company’s employees. These children ranged in age 
from six to sixteen years and talked the Cree, Nez Perce, Chinook, 
Klickitat and other Indian languages. Mr. Ball said: “I found them both 
docile and attentive, and they made good progress.” Dr. McLoughlin, 
whose son was one of the pupils, was a frequent visitor to the school. 
Mr. Ball was succeeded as a teacher at Vancouver by Solomon H. Smith 
in March, 1833. He was the first American to teach school and the first 
American to raise wheat in what is known as “Old Oregon”; see Ball’s 
journal, Oregon Historical Society’s Quarterly, vi, 82, 100, 219; H. H. 
Bancroft’s History of Oregon, i, 75; Chapman’s Story of Oregon, 53, 74, 
note; Holman’s Dr. John McLoughlin, 257-8. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

the Hudson’s Bay Company and then the most west¬ 
erly educational institution in Canada. He went with 
the fall brigade from Fort Colvile in 1834 under charge 
of Mr. Finlayson. Recalling the trip, Ranald MacDon¬ 
ald has said that the trip was made in the late fall or 
early winter when the snow was deep in the mountains 
about Athabasca Pass and that he suffered greatly 
from the cold. After crossing the mountains he rode 
part of the way in one of the panniers on a pony. 

At the Red River school Ranald was shortly followed 
by his younger brothers, and many children of the Co¬ 
lumbian clerks, chief traders and factors. During 
Archibald McDonald’s furlough in Europe, 1834-1835, 
the family stayed with the Rev. Mr. Cochran at Red 
River. Among the students then there, Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald recalled Miss Catherine Sinclair—later the wife 
of Frank Ermatinger. We know of no better source of 
information concerning this period of Ranald MacDon¬ 
ald’s life than to quote from contemporary letters writ¬ 
ten by his father, Archibald McDonald, chief trader at 
Fort Colvile, on the Columbia River, to his friend, Ed¬ 
ward Ermatinger, an old associate in the Hudson’s Bay 
Company’s service, then retired and engaged in bank¬ 
ing at St. Thomas, Ontario. 

Extracts concerning Ranald MacDonald from letters of 

Archibald McDonald to Edward Ermatinger, from 
the originals in the Provincial Library at 
Victoria, B. C. 

Letter of Archibald McDonald written at Fort Col¬ 
vile, April 1 , 1836: 

‘‘Taking us altogether, we are men of very ex¬ 
traordinary ideas—a set of selfish drones, incapa¬ 
ble of entertaining liberal or correct notions of hu- 

Archibald McDonald 

Chief trader and chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company 

From an old daguerreotype, taken about 1850, copied 
from the original in possession of the late Ben¬ 
jamin MacDonald by Mr. T. C. Elliot, 
of Walla Walla, Wash. 


Biographical Accounts 


man life.—Our great password is a handsome pro¬ 
vision for our children, but behold the end of this 
mighty provision, which we are amassing like ex¬ 
iled slaves; the off-spring is let loose upon the 
wide, wild world while young, without guide or 
protection (but always brimful of his own im¬ 
portance) to spend money and contract habits at 
his own free will and pleasure. The melancholy 
examples resulting from this blind practice are, I 
am sorry to say, but too common—much better to 
dream of less, to set ourselves down with them in 
time, and to endeavour to bring them up in habits 
of industry, economy and morality, than expire at 
all this visionary greatness for them. All the 
wealth of Rupert’s land will not make a half-breed 
either a good parson, a shining lawyer or an able 
physician, if left to his own discretion while 

“With this impression, I am myself for being 
off with them as soon as possible. Three of them 
are at present at the Red River Academy. Ranald, 
or if you will have it Toole, was removed there 
from Pritchard’s 17 last summer and now costs me 
£30 a year. As I hinted to you before, I am very 
anxious to send him down before us; by 1838, I 
think he ought to be qualified enough to begin the 
world for himself. Will you then do me a favor to 
take him in hand? Without flattery I feel confi¬ 
dent he cannot be under a better guardian. You 

17 Richard Mortimer Pritchard’s school, a sort of grade or primary 
school for preparation for the Rev. David Thomas Jones’ High School. 
Letters from our author to Malcolm McLeod dated October 24, 1893, in 
the Provincial Library at Victoria, B. C. Pritchard was related to the 
John Pritchard mentioned in Prof. E. H. Oliver’s The Canadian North¬ 
west (Ottawa, 1914), i, 55. 

28 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

know their facility with the pen, and indeed their 
aptness altogether while young. He will not at 
the time I am speaking of be a learned lad, but 
with the help he can pick up with you will have 
knowledge enough to develop what may be in him 
as a man. Bear in mind he is of a particular race, 
and who knows but a kinsman of King Concomly 
is ordained to make a great figure in the new 
world; as yet he bears an excellent character. Un¬ 
less he takes it after his father and Prince Cass- 
acas (I do not mention the princess) he won’t 
have an itching for Law. Be good enough next 
spring to write me your sentiments about him and 
suggest the best way of getting him on in summer 
’38 from the Sault St. Marie by way of the Lakes.” 

Letter dated Fort Colvile, January 25, 1837: 

“I am glad you notice the allusion I made about 
my young Chinook, as in my last I have expressed 
myself. Still more serious as regards him, indeed 
my mind is made up to send him down in ’38, if 
your letter of ’37 will not absolutely prevent me. 
I heard very favorable accounts of him this fall 
from Mr. Jones, 18 and who knows but he may turn 
out a rare exception to the case. I tell him to keep 
him at a Jointer plane and Beauvit’s Sledge ham¬ 
mer when the younger boys are at play, and he will 
in reality be trained to the one or the other should 
we unfortunately discover a leaning to unsettled 
habits. Two of our other boys are with Mr. Jones 

is The Rev. David T. Jones. He came to Red River in 1823 as suc¬ 
cessor to the Rev. Mr. West and founded St. Pauls (the middle) and 
St. Johns (the upper) churches. He returned to England in 1838. See 
note 119 on Red River Missionary School, herein page 114. 

Biographical Accounts 


also; a young one is there with the Klynes, another 
and the young lady with ourselves.” 

Fort Colvile, February 2, 1838: 

“I am exceedingly obliged to you for the readi¬ 
ness with which you come into my views respect¬ 
ing my own boy. If Frank goes down he is to take 
him, but if not I will for a year or two yet have him 
at Mr. Jones’, which must finish all the education 
I intend for him. Were I certain of the time I can 
get down myself, I could with more ease say how 
I would like to have him begin the world. In short, 
my aim is to try how useful he can make himself 
to me in the first place, and in the next to acquire 
those habits of industry and good conduct that 
might at a future day be useful to himself. Upon 
the strength of your suggestion I have made up my 
mind to send my other two boys at R. R. down to 
Toronto as soon as possible.” 

Fort Colvile, February 1, 1839: 

“Should Frank be going down this summer, he 
will be taking Ranald along with him and indeed 
should he not it is still my intention that the young¬ 
ster should accompany some one to the Sault. I 
will enclose him a letter for you, suggesting what 
we will endeavour to make of him. He has a high 
character for application and good behaviour from 
Mr. Macallum. 19 

19 The Rev. John Macallum, M. A. Sometime councilor and coroner 
of Assiniboia. He succeeded the Rev. Mr. Jones in charge of the Red 
River Boarding School in 1837. See minutes of Council, Prof. E. H. 
Oliver, op. cit. i, 88, 769. The Red River Academy, later St. John’s Col¬ 
lege, Winnipeg, founded by the Rev. John West, rose to importance un¬ 
der him. He died in 1849. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Continued March 20th in the same letter: 

“This I hope will be handed you by my son, to¬ 
gether with another letter entirely about himself, 
and I trust in God the poor fellow may be a credit 
to us both. I have written to Mr. Christie 20 and to 
Mr. Nourse 21 about him, also to Mr. Keith. 22 
Should it so happen that he goes by way of La- 
chine, I hope there will be no difficulty about a 
passage for him as far as the Sault. Mr. Christie 
is directed not to send him to Norway House if it 
is possible to meet the canoes at ‘Bas de la Ri¬ 
viere/ direct from Red River.” 

Letter carried by Ranald MacDonald. 

“Fort Colvile, March 10, 1839. 
“Edward Ermatinger Esqr. 

“Dear Sir: 

“This will be handed you by my son, Ranald, 
of whom I have already made mention. Having 
seen nothing of him myself for the last four years, 
I am much at a loss how to speak of him to you 
now. All say he is a promising, good-natured lad. 
Before he went to Red River in ’34, I had him my¬ 
self pretty well advanced in arithmetic, so that one 
would suppose he is now something of a scholar; 
yet, I am aware, boys of his age leaving school not 
infrequently are very deficient, and that a little 
practical learning about that time brushes them up 
amazingly. I will just quote you a sentence about 
him from the Rev. Mr. Cochran’s letter to me last 

so Alexander Christie, Chief Factor at Red River Settlement (Fort 
Garry) for some years. 

21 William Nourse, Chief Trader. 

22 James or George Keith, both Chief Factors. 

Biographical Accounts 


fall: ‘I preached at the upper church last Sunday, 
and saw the boys; they were all well then. Angus 
(the little white-headed boy you saw crawling 
about at Okanogan House) still takes the lead;but 
Ranald has certain indescribable qualities which 
lead me to imagine that he will make the man that 
is best adapted for the world.’ So far good; still 1 
cannot divest myself of certain indescribable fears, 
which you can conceive as well as I can; but in 
your hands, without flattery, I feel the grounds for 
those fears are considerably removed. 

“I should like to give him a trial in the way of 
business, and with this view have him bound to 
yourself, sir, as an apprentice. By the spring of 
’40 you will be able to judge of his conduct and ca¬ 
pacity, when I shall trouble you for a full expose 
of all you think about him. My reply to that let¬ 
ter you will have in the fall of ’41, which will either 
confirm all our plans of making a gentleman tout 
de bon of him or have him enter on a new appren¬ 
ticeship at any trade he may select for himself. In 
either case I will with great pleasure attend to all 
the little demands you may make on his account, 
and by the first opportunity direct how the remit¬ 
tance is to be made. 

“You know the Rock on which split all the 
hopes and fortunes of almost all the youth of the 
Indian Country. Ranald, I hope, will have none 
of those fatal notions. His success in the world 
must solely depend on his good conduct and exer¬ 
tions. He has a few letters his father and mother 
lately addressed him, with the very best advice we 
could give, situated as we are; which you will have 
the goodness to see that, the better to impress their 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

import upon his mind, he will frequently peruse. 

“Above all, let him be a constant attendant at 
church. Had I known the name of your Episco¬ 
palian preacher, I would certainly have taken the 
liberty to address him a few lines about the moral 
duties of my son, which I dare say the reverend 
gentleman would not take amiss. We had him 
vaccinated some years ago, but, as the inflamma¬ 
tion was scarcely perceptible, there would be no 
harm in giving it him again. I am, my dear sir, 
very truly yours, 

“Arch’d McDonald.” 

Regarding the trip to St. Thomas, our author himself 
has written: 

“I left Red River School in 1839 in a canoe bri¬ 
gade of four bark canoes in charge of Roderick 
McLeod. We crossed Lake Winnepeg, then to 
Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, to Fort William 
on Lake Superior, across Lake Superior to Sault 
St. Marys, where the canoe left me in charge of 
Mr. Norse, to whom I delivered letter of introduc¬ 
tion. He then turned me over to the agent of the 
American Fur Company at Fort Bradly, on the 
opposite side of the river. Here I saw the first 
steamboat (the Governor Marcy), the first negro 
and the first American soldier. The agent secured 
me a passage on the Governor Marcy to Mackena, 
armed with letters to the agent there. From there 
I got on board a large steamer for Detroit. When 
it was known that I was born at Astoria I was 
much made of, particularly by a dignified gentle¬ 
man, a Mr. Ralph Gurney of Washington, D. C., 
who gave me his card. On arrival at Detroit I was 

Biographical Accounts 


taken care of by a Mr. Abbott, the agent of the 
American Fur Company. After enjoying his hos¬ 
pitality I was transferred to charge of Captain Eb- 
berts of the little Canadian steamer (the Broth¬ 
ers). We crossed over to Windsor, Canada, from 
there to Chatam, and from there by stage to Lon¬ 
don, where I saw the first British soldiers. From 
there I proceeded to St. Thomas.” 23 

We continue to quote from the letters of our author's 

father, Mr. McDonald, a chief trader of the Hud¬ 
son's Bay Company, written to his friend, 
Edward Ermatinger of St. Thomas, 


From letter written at Fort Colvile, April 2, 1840: 

“Without your express desire to that effect, I 
have sent you Ranald, and am satisfied you will 
do towards him all that one friend can con¬ 
sistently expect from another. After you have an 
opportunity of seeing the best of his own inclina¬ 
tions, you will have the goodness to suggest to me 
what we can best do with him—but you have my 
ideas on this head already, and I beg you to act up 
to them according to circumstances—without my 
saying it you can imagine the source of anxiety he 
is to me. I do not like this country for them, yet 
how many of them have done well out of it. With 
him it rests to develop the character of the West- 
sidian, and God send it may be a creditable one.” 

Fort Colvile, March 5, 1841: 

“About my son I am truly at a loss what to say, 

23 Letter of our author to his friend, Malcolm McLeod, Oct. 24, 1893, 
in the Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

and as it is probable your brother will be going 
down to see you, I shall refrain from saying any¬ 
thing till I see him. I fear much the stupid fellow 
takes no right view of his situation, he is now ap¬ 
proaching the age of manhood, and he must be 
given to understand that I cannot afford to make 
a gentleman of him, nay, to put him even in the 
way of gaining a decent livelihood for himself, 
without the proper exertion on his own part. What 
in the universe could have put the army in the 
head of the baby—does he forsooth think I am go¬ 
ing to buy a commission for him? Please have the 
goodness to tell him I am exceedingly displeased 
at his notions and that the sooner he drops them 
the better, otherwise, though it galls me to say it, 
he must speedily shift for himself. My wife, too, 
is much concerned to hear of the little satisfaction 
he is likely to afford us.” 

Continued April 21: 

“From all you write about my son I am placed 
in a very awkward situation; so much so, that, 
with the view of relieving my anxiety at once about 
him, I have resolved on trying the Indian country 
again, and to this end have written Governor 
Simpson 24 and Mr. Finlayson 25 to R. R. [Red Riv- 

24 (Sir) George Simpson, an exceedingly able man, whose activity 
and intelligence soon elevated to a high position in the Hudson’s Bay 
Company’s affairs. Shortly after the coalition he was made Governor in 
Chief of all the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territories in America—a posi¬ 
tion of great power, which he maintained for forty continuous years. 
He made three trips across the mountains, received knighthood and died 
at Lachine, Canada, in 1861. His name is preserved in Fort Simpson 
and Port Simpson. He was the author of Narrative of a Journey Around 
the World During the Years 1841 and 1842, London, Henry Colburn, 
1847, 2 vols. 

25 Duncan Finlayson, see note 10.5, page 107. 

Biographical Accounts 


er]. My letter to Ranald himself is enclosed to 
the latter, who will add a postscript to it, according 
to the answer his excellency may give. April, ’42, 
is the ordinary time he could embark at Lachine, 
but I have suggested that probably they could em¬ 
ploy him at some one of the near forts for some 
months prior to that date by way of initiation, and 
thus avoid further incumbrance to you and Mrs. 
E., to whom I am much indebted for her kindness. 
Herewith I enclose you a bill on the company for 
£35 Sterling., and any further claim you may 
have, let me know it and I shall attend to it cheer¬ 
fully. Should the plan of mine with respect to 
Ranald be acceded to, you know how to assist in 
the execution of it. My paper is done, but all I 
could say to you, not one-half. 

P. S.—Whether Ranald leaves you immediate¬ 
ly in receipt of this, or hang about you till spring, 
have the goodness to drive out of his head his new 
notions of greatness. Even for the few months he 
was with you I can see he very much improved in 
his hand-of-writing and business appearance alto¬ 
gether. In case my application now may not be 
conceded to, to the full extent of my wishes, I shall 
after the Governor is [ ?] renew the charge and 
write you out by our fall express, which generally 
reaches Lachine end of March or beginning of 
April; so that I hope you will have an eye upon the 
youngster until we can fairly dispose of him in a 
conne [ il ] faut manner.” 

Fort Colvile, March 30, 1842: 

“In reference to my son. Seemingly it would be 
a waste of time to say much. I believe I told you 
last year of the application I was making on his 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

behalf to return to the hopeful Indian Country, 
and of course would have seen Finlayson’s note 
from R. R. to my letter to the chap himself. The 
Governor himself has since informed me that, to 
meet my views he had forwarded my son’s name 
to Fenchurch Street 26 before he left Red River, 
and thought it possible notice of his appointment 
would reach St. Thomas early in the spring. He 
may or may not make good use of this opening 
made for him. One advantage he will have by re¬ 
ceiving the appointment through their Honors is 
that of being placed on the footing of apprentice 
clerk , instead of apprentice, as is the case with all 
those received into the service from the country. 
Unwilling to lose this chance and to make assur¬ 
ance doubly sure, I by the Cape Horn vessel in¬ 
closed Mr. Secretary Smith my own application 
direct to the board, for him to present in the event 
of his finding the Governor’s recommendation 
overlooked or mislaid. And this is all I can do for 
the future benefit of the gentleman. You will, 
however, my dear sir, as I have no doubt either the 
one or the other application will be attended to, 
have the goodness to continue your kind offices to 
him, and keep him about you till you hear from 
London comformably to my wish to that effect ad¬ 
dressed to Mr. Smith and look to me for a dis¬ 
charge of the bill of expense.” 

Continued in same letter: 

“For God’s sake don’t lose sight of my son, 
until he is fairly embarked in that concern which I 
believe is the most suitable for every mother’s son 
of them, bad as it has proved to many.” 

26 London—the head office of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

Biographical Accounts 


Colvile, March 5, 1843: 

“From Master Ranald himself I also heard by a 
few lines dated in March from London. As mat¬ 
ters have now turned out, 1 am not at all sorry that 
the young buck is made to look more to himself, 
but I fear from what you say of his thoughtless 
and indolent disposition that Mr. John Clair’s 
store has too many tempting cordials in it to be a 
fit nursery for the young gents of the far west. 
Never mind, my friend, we have done our duty 
and things must now be allowed to take their 
course. If he can only keep out of egregious acts 
of impropriety till we can once more have him 
back in the Indian country, I shall consider it a 
great point gained that the experiment with him 
was made and tested so early in life. Here, for all 
I shall ever do for him again, he may just crawl 
through life as the Black Bear does—lick his 
paws. We are all most unfortunate parents.” 

Fort Colvile, March 22, 1844: 

“The case of unfortunate Ranald gave me great 
pain. As it is clear, however, that the bent of his 
inclinations was anything but what we could wish, 
perhaps the step he has taken is the very best that 
could have happened. As for the service, in the 
case of these chaps, I never look upon it but as a 
mere apology to keep them out of harm’s way, and 
that in all probability is as effectively done on the 
wide ocean as in the most obscure corner of the 
Indian Country, and all I hope is that he may stick 
to the ship “Tuskeny.” 27 His miserable scrawl 

27 There were, at this time, several vessels named “Tuscany.” The 
brig of that name, on which our author first reached London, was, ac- 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

does not enable us to say when he sailed, but that 
is immaterial; it is enough that we know he was 
yet in existence, contrary to other rumors that 
reached the country from Canada. Both Sir 
George and Mr. Smith wrote me about him, the 
latter a few days before his death.” 


Of the high-minded, visionary, quixotic youth who 
single-handed invaded the forbidden realms of the Her¬ 
mit Kingdom we get our first glimpse at St. Thomas. 
Sitting perched on his bank-stool, the wanderlust—in¬ 
herited equally from his Scotch Highland father and 
Indian mother—took possession of him. 

More than fifty years later, Ranald MacDonald re¬ 
lated to a friend, Mrs. Eleanor Haskins Holly of Kettle 
Falls, Wash., how he happened to decide on the attempt 
to get to Japan. It apparently came about through an 
unhappy, youthful love affair; when he found that the 
strain of Indian blood in his veins was considered a 
barrier to his marrying the young girl who had won his 
heart. He did not mention her name, but it was some 
one with whom he was associated in Eastern Canada. 

He described some of the parties he used to attend 
at St. Thomas and elsewhere; the dinner; then the din- 

cording to Lloyd’s Register, of 236 tons, built at Portland, Me., 1832, 
and owned by C. Prince, New York, G. Dean, Master. It cleared from 
Hull for New York in the summer of 1841, and entered New York from 
Marseilles on Dec. 4, 1841, and appears frequently on the New York 
Custom House records in succeeding years. A contemporary ship of 
the same name, 288 tons, was bought from Philadelphia in 1842 by John 
Budd of Sag Harbor, and under Capt. Godbey sailed that year on a 
whaling voyage to Crozette Island, returning Feb. 26, 1845; it was with¬ 
drawn from the fishery in 1855. Starbuck’s History of the American 
Whale Fishery, 396, 522-3. Capt. F. W. Beechey (R. N.) [Narrative of 
a Voyage to the Pacific, London, 1834, ii, 321], mentions an English 
whale ship of somewhat similar name—“The Tuscan.” 

Biographical Accounts 


ing-room (paneled with dark wood and lighted by can¬ 
dles and a flaming fireplace) being cleared, and the 
young people—“some of the finest in the land”—to use 
his expression, bowing and courtesying, gliding across 
the polished floor to the music of the viols. 

It was one of those pretty, dainty maids met in these 
surroundings whom he loved and wished to marry, and 
it was then that he learned for the first time 28 that Jane 
Klyne MacDonald was not his own mother, as he had 
always supposed, and that some social prejudice exist¬ 
ed towards him on account of his Indian blood. In 
childhood his father had affectionately called him his 
“little Chinook,” Mr. Edward Ermatinger and Peter 
Warren Dease occasionally addressed him as Com- 
comly, 29 and the Indians had respectfully dubbed him 
“little chief,” but it appears that he took these terms 
with childish egotism as his due; or, if he gave them 
any consideration, supposed they were given him on ac¬ 
count of his father’s position. It evidently came to him 
as a shock to learn of his Indian birth. He stated that 
it was then he decided to go to Japan, of which he had 
heard and read, and from which he was convinced that 
the North American Indians originally came—“The 
land of his ancestors,” he termed it. He decided to run 
away and get to Japan, if possible, and made his plans 
accordingly. He had an idea, he said, that the Japa¬ 
nese were similar to the Indians and probably ignorant, 
so that an educated man might make himself something 

28 Elsewhere our author has stated that he first learned the story of 
his birth and that Jane Klyne was not his mother from Celeste—daughter 
of Co-boy or Cobaway, the Clatsop Chief who married Solomon H. 
Smith of Clatsop Plains, an early pioneer of Oregon. Smith, as has 
been mentioned, page 25, succeeded Mr. Ball as teacher in the first 
school established on the Northwest Coast in 1833. 

29 Letter Ranald MacDonald to Malcolm McLeod June 4, 1891, in the 
Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

of a personage among them; and, though he did not 
say so, it is evident that he determined, if possible, to 
achieve some prominence among them. 


Little is known of his experiences after leaving Mr. 
Edward Ermatinger’s home at St. Thomas, Ontario, in 
1841 or of his trip down the Mississippi. He walked 
to the Great Lakes and then proceeded to St. Paul, 
where he engaged as a deck hand on one of the Missis¬ 
sippi River boats. At New Orleans he shipped for New 
York City. In later years he described the garb which 
he wore when he went on the docks at New York City 
to obtain a berth on some sailing vessel in his first step 
towards Japan. He thought that he would be more apt 
to obtain a position as a sailor if he were rudely dressed; 
so, he said, he wore a buckskin shirt trimmed with 
fringe, heavy wool trousers tucked into his fur-trim¬ 
med leggings and a fur cap, with a tail at the back of it, 
on his head. He must have looked more like a hunter 
than a sailor, but he was a strong, broad-shouldered, 
well-grown fellow and had no difficulty in getting a 
berth. This ship was evidently the “Tuskeny,” and the 
first voyage was to London, from which port, in March 
of 1842, he wrote to his father for the first time since 
his disappearance. 

Archibald McDonald and Duncan Finlayson made a 
trip to New York in 1844 with the object of locating 
the young man and bringing him back home and having 
him assert some claim of Indian title in the “old Ore¬ 
gon” country as lineal descendent to King Com-Com- 
ly. 30 At the time of the settlement of the Hudson’s Bay 

30 Letter Ranald MacDonald to Malcolm McLeod May 25, 1889, in the 
Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 

Biographical Accounts 


Company’s claims against the United States, under the 
Treaty of 1846, the idea of presenting a claim on the 
part of Ranald MacDonald, as heir and successor of 
old Chief Com-Com-ly as a Canadian subject was fur¬ 
ther considered by family friends of our author, but 
his whereabouts were then unknown. Writing face¬ 
tiously on the subject in later years, Ranald MacDonald 
said: “I consider myself the only living descendant of 
the once powerful King Kumkumly. The lands they 
have taken away, a heritage that should be mine. Be¬ 
ing no lawyer, I could not define their limits and per¬ 
haps no one else can. I hear they are going to deprive 
me of my now empty title (for I had never assumed it). 
As King Kum Kumly’s only surviving representative 
you will excuse me if 1 dutifully and loyally enter my 
protest (for all the good it may do) in this usurping of 
rights and prerogatives of another. Don’t laugh; I mean 
what I say. Although I may not have enough to jingle 
on a tombstone, yet such is the case nevertheless.” 

At the time of the proposed restoration of Queen 
Liliuokalani to the throne of Hawaii in 1892, the mat¬ 
ter was the subject of a characteristic editorial by the 
late Harvey W. Scott in the Portland Oregonian . 31 

Ranald MacDonald was at Yerba Buena (now San 
Francisco) late in 1842 where, in later years, he men¬ 
tioned having seen, but not made himself known to Mr. 
Rae 32 of the Hudson’s Bay Company. 

It was of this or a later voyage that he related to an 
intimate acquaintance another story of his sailing ex¬ 
periences which he requested him never to tell while 

3 1 Portland (Ore.) Oregonian, November 29, 1893; also Harvey W. 
Scott, History of Oregon, ii., 140-141. 

32 W. Glen Rae, Chief Trader at Yorba Buena in 1842; he had previ¬ 
ously been a clerk in the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company at the 
Sandwich Islands. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

he was living; but, now that he has gone, there can be 
no harm in doing so. 

He said that he had sailed from Calcutta on a boat 
which took on a cargo for Liverpool, England; this con¬ 
sisted of various things, among them several kegs of 
specie. After making several foreign ports en route , 
they turned and sailed eastward and at last sighted the 
coast of Southern California, where after the specie 
had been taken on shore by direction of the officers, the 
vessel was scuttled and sunk. A number of the crew 
had been paid off and left at foreign ports and only 
those absolutely necessary to handle the ship had been 
retained. The crew which remained, of whom there 
were only a few, were taken on shore and given some 
money and told to make their way up into California 
and on peril of their lives never to disclose what they 
knew. This also may sound like a rather incredible tale, 
but his friend certainly believed it, as, after telling it, 
Mr. MacDonald appeared rather disturbed that he 
had done so, and again cautioned his friend against re¬ 
peating it, as, he said, as long as he was living it might 
cause some trouble he feared, even at that late day. 

Another voyage, he said, was on board a ship that 
proved to be a slaver , and Ranald MacDonald stated 
that, after taking on cargo, they proceeded to the west 
coast of Africa and took on board a lot of negro slaves 
—men and women. On their return voyage they were 
chased by a British man-of-war, and, when it was seen 
that they would be overhauled, the brutal captain or¬ 
dered the negroes (who were all kept confined below 
decks) brought up and made them walk the plank 
overboard; so when the man-of-war later came up to 
them, to use MacDonald’s graphic expression—“Our 
decks were clean as a hound’s tooth.” Ranald Mac- 

Biographical Accounts 


Donald expressed his horror of the captain’s act and his 
own powerlessness to interfere with the execution of 
these ruthless orders. 

It is hard for us at this late period to believe that such 
things could be done, but we must remember that this 
was early in the last century, when such things were 
possible, if not common, and when many men, then con¬ 
sidered Christians and good citizens, regarded negro 
slaves as little better than cattle. Mr. MacDonald’s 
friends were convinced that he was absolutely truthful 
in telling of it. 

But little is known of Ranald MacDonald’s wander¬ 
ings prior to his re-shipping on board the Plymouth at 
Sahaina in the Sandwich Islands, in the fall of 1847, 
for his Japan adventure. From contemporary accounts 
it is apparent that he had, at that time, made at least 
two Cape Horn voyages, and had originally shipped on 
board the “Plymouth” when she sailed from the United 
States on December 6, 1845. 

In a contemporary letter to his father, Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald says: “I again shipped for another Cape Horn 
voyage with the intention of being discharged at some 
of the islands or on the Spanish main. These intentions 
I have altered, and, as Captain Edwards was going to 
China and from there to the Japan sea, I thought it a 
good opportunity to crown my intentions; that, if I went 
with him, I should be discharged before he left the sea. 
He tried to persuade me to give up the adventure, but 
I am going ” 33 

A shipmate (E. P. E.) in a contemporary account 
describes Ranald MacDonald as “a man of about five 
feet, seven inches; thick set; straight hair and dark com- 

33 The Seaman's Friend , Honolulu, S. I. See appendix herein, page 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

plexion. ... He was a good sailor, well educated, a 
firm mind, well calculated for the expedition upon 
which he embarked. His intentions were to stay at this 
island (Yezo) and learn some of the Japanese lan¬ 
guage, and from there go down to Yeddo, the principal 
city of Nipon, and, if the English or Americans ever 
open trade with the Japanese, he would find employ¬ 
ment as an interpreter. He had other intentions which 
I never mention only in a secret manner . 3,34 

Miner and Man. 

After leaving Nagasaki, the “Preble” touched at 
Shanghai and he reached Macao, China, on board the 
“Preble” in June, 1849. Little is known of Ranald 
MacDonald’s subsequent wanderings in China, India, 
Australia and elsewhere in the Orient. At this or a sub¬ 
sequent time he visited Calcutta, Madras, Bombay and 
Java ports and, according to an annotation in his Japan 
notes, arrived at Singapore Aug. 19, 1849, and sailed 
again Aug. 22, 1849. Presumably, he sailed on the 
“Sea Witch” of London for Madras, and was wrecked 
off the coast of India near Madras. He took part in 
the Australian gold-rush and mined for a time at Bal¬ 
larat, near Melbourne, Australia, where he described 
the formation as resembling chalk—specimens of which 
he brought back with him to Canada, and demonstrated 
and explained to the family and friends how they 
washed the gold from this chalk formation by crush¬ 
ing it. 

A contemporary has related an incident that occurred 
at Ballarat when there was some trouble among the 

3* The Seaman’s Friend, Honolulu, S. I. See appendix herein, page 

Biographical Accounts 


miners over the working of the claims. While Ranald 
MacDonald was naturally of a very mild and non-com- 
bative disposition, in the course of the difficulty and 
the melee which occurred thereover, Ranald was at¬ 
tacked by a man who was a total stranger to him, and in 
defending himself Ranald, to use the phrase, “knocked 
this man out,” then went on about his business and gave 
the matter no further thought. That evening he heard 
a rap on his cabin door and upon opening it he found 
some men who stated that they had been appointed a 
committee to interview him, and they then handed him 
a belt, and on Ranald MacDonald inquiring what they 
meant, they informed him that he was now entitled to 
the belt as champion of Australia, having “knocked 
out” the previous champion. The narrator stated that 
Ranald MacDonald informed the committee that he was 
not particularly interested in that branch of athletics, 
and declined the belt, shaking hands with the commit¬ 
tee and thanking them for the honor proffered him. 

Returning from Australia, he evidently sailed around 
the Cape of Good Hope, as he later remarked on having 
visited Rome, Paris and London on his way home to 
North America in 1853. At this time, on his way to 
British Columbia, Ranald MacDonald visited the fam¬ 
ily home at St. Andrews—his father had died a short 
time before. After a brief visit he set out for British 
Columbia, where he joined his half-brother, Allen Mac¬ 

The two brothers had a ranch on Bonaparte River, 
and conducted a supply-house and ran pack-trains to 
the gold mines on the Upper Fraser River in the Cari¬ 
boo district. 

In the year 1861 Ranald MacDonald associated with 
Mr. John G. Barnston, a barrister attorney of Lower 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Canada, and some capitalists of San Francisco con¬ 
ceived the idea of finding a shorter way to the gold 
mines on the upper Fraser River, and searched for a 
route from Fort Alexandria to a bay or inlet around 
Bentinck Arm, where boats from Victoria, Puget Sound 
and the Columbia could go up the Coast and land 
freight and passengers. Ranald MacDonald was suc¬ 
cessful in his explorations, and finally secured a per¬ 
mit from the Provincial Government to establish a toll- 
trail there. 35 Ranald MacDonald’s report to Governor 
Douglas of these explorations is among the archives of 
the Provincial Library at Victoria, B. C. 

In the course of this enterprise Ranald MacDonald 
explored a good part of the country west of the Fraser 
River, especially that called the West Road River to 
Chiskas’ House and on to the Coast, and from Ques- 
nelle to Chesecut Lake, British Columbia. 36 The trail 
was built and a small quantity of freight was packed 
in over it, but it was never a commercial success, and 
the promoters failed to secure a line of steamer connec¬ 
tion. The original grant was small, simply for a pack- 
trail. Soon after their enterprise was started other 
parties, perhaps more influential, persuaded the govern¬ 
ment into building a wagon road; this wagon road when 
built took all the business. 

In 1859-1861 Ranald and his brother, Allen, in addi¬ 
tion to their supply-store at Douglas, on Harrison Lake, 

35 The printed prospectus of the enterprise is in the Provincial Li¬ 
brary, Victoria, B. C., entitled “ Prospectus of the Bentinck Arm and 
Fraser River Road Company, Limited. The company is organized under 
the Joint Stock Company’s Limited Liability Act, 1860. Victoria, V. I. 
Printed at the British Colonist Office, 1862.” This route is described in 
Macfie’s Vancouver Island and British Columbia, London, Loughman, 
Green & Roberts, 1865. 

36 Letter Ranald MacDonald to Malcolm McLeod, May 24, 1889, in 
the Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 

Biographical Accounts 


secured a government license and ran a ferry across the 
Fraser River at Lillolet, B. C., charging one dollar a 
head toll. Ranald MacDonald now became interested 
in mining and was one of the pioneers in the Bonaparte 
and Horsefly districts, 1862-1863. He had great faith 
in the Horsefly Country, but the mines there never 
proved of any great value. In 1862 his brother, Allen, 
sold out and returned to Montreal, Canada, but Ranald 
continued prospecting and developing his mining claims 
in northern Biitish Columbia for some ten years more, 
spending his summers in the mountains and his win¬ 
ters on the ranch at Bonaparte. 

Ranald MacDonald’s father had been a close per¬ 
sonal friend and associate of Governor Sir James Doug¬ 
las of Vancouver Island, and the Governor’s wife was 
a distant relative of Ranald’s foster mother, Jane Klyne 
MacDonald. During his stay in British Columbia Ran¬ 
ald, as well as his brothers, Allen and Benjamin, was 
an occasional guest at the residence of the Governor in 
Victoria. While at St. Andrews, Quebec, in 1853, Ran¬ 
ald MacDonald was initiated into the Masonic order at 
the St. Andrews’ lodge, No. 516, A. F. A. M., and be¬ 
came a Master Mason. 

While in the Cariboo Country, the character of Ran¬ 
ald MacDonald as a dominant, red-blooded man, brook¬ 
ing no interference by bullies or “bad men,” is exempli¬ 
fied by a story told by Mr. J. M. Lynch—long familiar 
with the Rock Creek and Camp McKinley mining coun¬ 
try in British Columbia. During the gold-rush of the 
early ’60s a “tough bunch” came up to the Cariboo 
Country from San Francisco and tried to carry the 
camp by force and terrorizing the more peaceful and 
law-abiding element. Ranald MacDonald, being of the 
old school, resented their conduct and on various occa- 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

sions personally encountered and defeated several of 
them in the rough and tumble fights of that day. One 
bully—a prize-fighter named McCune, whom he en¬ 
countered—defeated him in a fist-fight. Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald took his defeat in good grace, but remarked to 
McCune that, as he had met McCune and had been de¬ 
feated at his game, McCune should accept a return 
match at his (MacDonald’s) game. McCune, who was 
plucky, impulsively consented. Ranald chose single¬ 
stick, and at once proceeded to make two large, stout 
clubs for the contest, in which McCune received a terri¬ 
ble beating. 

As the result of this contest, Mr. MacDonald ac¬ 
quired a nick-name which followed him during his resi¬ 
dence in the Cariboo District. After the contest Mc¬ 
Cune, in pique, remarked that he wouldn’t have cared a 
damn if he had been defeated by a white man, but that 
he hated like hell to be beat by a “siwash.” This title, 
used by the miners as a good-natured expression of 
their respect and approval, stuck to MacDonald and he 
was thereafter known in the section as “Siwash” Mac¬ 
Donald, to distinguish him from his brothers and other 
MacDonalds in the camp. Between such manly re¬ 
sistance by the individual miners and the strict enforce¬ 
ment of the law, the Cariboo became a peaceful mining 
camp, without resort to the “vigilante committees” of 
the early mining camps of California, Idaho and Mon¬ 

Gentle Man. 

There was another side of Ranald MacDonald’s char¬ 
acter; that of a courtly, old-school gentleman, with all 
the grace, courtesy and gayety of a Frenchman, which 

Biographical Accounts 


is best presented by the accounts of his niece and two 
cultured and accomplished ladies who met him in his 
later years. 

Mrs. Hannan, a niece at whose home Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald spent much time in the early ’80s, emphasizes 
his quiet, gentle, good-natured disposition and courtly 
manner and his insistance that his young nieces, then 
growing to womanhood on a remote frontier ranch, 
should learn and observe all the rules of etiquette for 
ladies of his day; painstakingly teaching them the old- 
fashioned minuets and polkas, how to mount to their 
side saddles from his palm, how to meet and address so¬ 
cial equals, and explaining the family “coat of arms” 
which his father brought from Glencoe, Scotland. 

Elizabeth B. Custer, widow of the gallant General Cus¬ 
ter, who visited our author's home in the 
summer of 1890, says: 37 

“The Hudson’s Bay Company’s fort (Fort Colvile) 
is another square surrounded by the low log-huts, but 
individualized by the block-house that still stands as 
firm as if it were a stone-tower. It has a four-sided 
roof, and below are three portholes for muskets and 
one, larger still, under these for a gun. 

When we drew up in front of the larger house of the 
group, an old man came out, bowing and smiling, while 
half-breed children, chickens and dogs scattered on 
either side. The men said: “Here comes old Ranald 
MacDonald himself,” but I had not heard his history 
and consequently could not account for his courteous 
manner and marked individuality. No one could have 
invited us to descend from our anything but dignified 

37 Harper’s Weekly, July 18, 1891. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

perch on the high seats with more grace than did this 
coarsely dressed antiquarian. We felt that if our des¬ 
cent was in keeping with the suave reception and the 
bared head, we ought properly to be picking our way, 
in brocaded gown and ruffed stomacher, down the old- 
time steps that were unrolled from the chariots of the 
time of the Louises. 

We were all presented, and this descendant of Scotch 
kings led the way about, showing us the huge logs held 
together with wooden pins, the great rafters with the 
mark of the ax on them still, and then a broken half of 
a little cannon covered with verdigris and rust. “This, 
ladies, was the great gun which defended his majesty 
King George’s subjects from the enemy, and this the 
ladle in which the bullets were melted for the huge two- 
inch bore.” As he stood laughing to scorn the little 
three-foot cannon, I discovered that his merry eyes 
missed no fun. “Nov/, ladies, can I escort you to our 
famous bastion?” And we followed him to the block¬ 
house that had a liberal sprinkling of bullet holes. “We 
had once a high stockade,” he said, “with a gallery in¬ 
side, about which the sentinel walked, and down there 
we made a charge for water. Think of it, ladies, a fort 
and no well! But then,” he added, “when the great 
gate was closed and the enemy were about, and it was 
necessary to start a man for the river, why he ran un¬ 
der cover of our guns from the block-houses; for there 
were two of them.” 

“Getting water under these circumstances must have 
enrolled a good many of you under the army of the 
great unwashed,” said we. 

His eyes twinkled, and he replied: “Fortunately, we 
were not always under siege, and daily the Indian serv¬ 
ants went and came from the river for all of us.” 

Biographical Accounts 


At last I was so overcome by this prince of paupers 38 
that I fell behind to question one of the men of our 
party, for I could not make the high-flown language, 
of which I can give but a faint idea, fit the man. Then 
I was told that his father was a man of great distinction 
—Archibald McDonald, chief factor in the Hudson’s 
Bay Company. He was forty-two years in the service, 
coming first as the secretary of the Earl of Selkirk, re¬ 
turning to Scotland, and after two years coming again 
with Sir George Simpson. The chief factor had mar¬ 
ried a squaw, as was the custom of the country, and 
Ranald was one of the several sons born to his father. 
He had all his early life been associated with English 
and Scotch, which accounted for the grandiose style of 
the old-school gentleman and the evidences of vivacity 
and foreign polish were traceable to the French Cana¬ 
dians who were in the employ of the company in its 
prosperous day. 

As I was receiving this hurried history, the old cour¬ 
tier, sans several articles of toilet that civilization might 
require, came back as hurriedly as his many years 
would permit. Uncovering his gray head he said, so 
that I could hear: “I must make my compliments if it 
is really she,” and such obeisance and lordly bending 
of his ancient back made me aware that he had not 
heard who I was at our introduction, and had come 
back to pay reverence to my husband’s name. I can 

38 In the Sept. 3rd, 1891, issue of the Kettle Falls (Wash.) Pioneer , 
our author called attention to some slight errors and mistakes in Mrs. 
Custer’s published interview with him. In this, she spoke of him as “The 
prince of paupers” and described his garb in rather disparaging terms. 
The article was seen by Mr. MacDonald, and it aroused his indignation. 
In recounting the matter afterward to friends, he said fn his stately old- 
fashioned way: “I will allow, I was rather carelessly garbed, and had 
moccasins on my feet; but in a chest on the other side of that very room 
I had clothes in which I could have appeared before the crowned heads 
of Europe.” 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

scarcely think of anything more incongruous than this 
aristocratic old man, with his high-flown expression, of 
which we knew nothing except in the literature of the 
style of Sir Charles Grandison, and the tumbled down, 
dilapidated, untidy old buildings around him. And yet 
the two clothes he wore and the straggling, gray hair 
and beard looked to me far more interesting than the 
dressed-up and commonplace looking man who occu¬ 
pied a panel of the family album, and represented Ran¬ 
ald when he was in the outside world. Then another 
incongruity was the slip he sometimes made into every¬ 
day talk and the introduction, in the very midst of his 
most lofty flights of rhetoric, of slang phrases, which 
seemed all the more absurd, associated as they were 
with the stately language of by-gone days. 

“Now,” said he, “that you have seen our monster 
guns”—and he rolled the little cannon with his foot— 
“and have viewed our lofty palisades”—there was still 
some of the log-stockade standing—“and have gazed 
upon the formidable bastions”—and here he waved his 
hand toward the block-house—“can I persuade you to 
go into my home?” 

We found a large living-room with poor and very 
shaky furniture, a long alcove on one side, half covered 
with a calico curtain, where, as it was twice as long as 
an ordinary bed, I concluded the whole family slept. 
Three of the presidents were on the walls, and there 
were a few books. Two cumbrous wooden chairs, held 
together with wooden pegs; one with arms and a slatted 
back, dated back to the chapters of Hudson’s Bay peo¬ 
ple. The adobe fireplace had an oval back, and it was 
so narrow there could be no way of burning logs except 
to stand them on end. Our host drew our attention to 
a trap-door, into the cellar, and his eyes danced with 

Biographical Accounts 


the memories, he recalled as he spoke of the good old 
Jamaica rum that was once there in abundance. There 
were guns and deer-horns on ths walls, and in this large, 
low, cheerful room I could picture the convivial party 
about the open fireplace brewing warm drinks and 
pressing the guests to “take a drop more.” One of the 
old Hudson’s Bay men has since told me that they al¬ 
ways expected the company they entertained to end the 
evening under the table. 39 

A bright-eyed, half-breed woman was presented to 
us as Mrs. MacDonald (wife of Duncan MacDonald— 
a cousin of Ranald’s); and of some dark-skinned chil¬ 
dren I asked about, the old man waved his hand over 
them and said: “They are all MacDonald”; and no 
chief of the clan could have referred to his aristocratic 
progeny in a more stately manner. Then I told him 
that I bad come out to this country representing an in- 

39 Our author’s cousin, Angus MacDonald, Chief Trader in charge of 
Fort Colvile in 1853 at the time of the arrival of the first territorial gov¬ 
ernor, Isaac I. Stevens, says: “I had full instructions as to the hospitality 
and the discretion of it entirely trusted to myself. The Governor had 
ample credentials from the east crossing the Rocky Mountains by the 
Hell Gate defile. McLellan met him here with an escorting party from 
Puget Sound. I had fifty imperial gallons of extra rations to entertain 
the gentlemen. McLellan drank but little; the Governor was rather fond 
of it and laid back about ten on the first night to sleep the darkness out. 
His last words were, ‘Mac, this is powerful wine.’ All hands had been 
steeped during the day and found the grass and their blankets the best 
way they could. As all the party had disappeared McLellan began to 
sip the juice of the vine more freely and we sat on the old sofa together 
as closely as space allowed. Having to undergo the hospitalities of the 
day to all hands, I felt my grog inviting me to go to my blankets, but I 
was well trained to that splendid brandy and in the prime of life, too, and 
hard to make me give in at it. Suddenly the General put his arm around 
my neck and whispered in my ear, ‘Mac, my proud father, too, was at 
Culloden,’ and he quietly slipped down off the sofa to the floor. I soon 
made the sofa an easy place for him and he and the Governor snored 
the night till daylight. This spree has been spoken of, God knows where 
not; McLellan spoke of it in the Crimean, when sent as one of the Com¬ 
missioners to observe the military arrays and genius of the France-Brit- 
ish and Russion armies.” A Few Items of the West, Washington His¬ 
torical Quarterly, viii, 196-197. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

terrogation-point, and would he tell me something of 
his life?” 

“Gladly, madam, gladly,” said he. “In my mind 
there was only one man born on the third day of Feb¬ 
ruary, 1824, and that man was Horace Greeley, but 
nevertheless I first saw the light on that same February 
3, at Astoria, the great trading post in Oregon, and was 
brought here at the age of 2 years. I flatter myself 
that I was the instigator of Commodore Perry’s expedi¬ 
tion to Japan.” 

I confess myself astonished at this, as it was hard for 
me to connect that distant world with this peaceful, old 
man, that seemed never to have left the green basin shut 
in by the mountains, about us. I found, however, that 
he had been a wanderer all his early days, and he said 
in the most pathetic tones: 

“I have been all over the world—India, Japan, 
China, Australia, everywhere—but no matter how far 
I roamed, my mind always reverted to this little amphi¬ 
theater. . . . Then he added, with his hands waving 
about him: It is my home.” . . . 

He went on to say that he was off on a whaler, and 
his spirit of adventure made him beg the captain to fit 
him out with a sail-boat and a few supplies and leave 
him as near the coast of Japan as possible. For this 
privilege he paid $2,000—his share in the whaling 
profits. He told us that the people there gave him to 
understand that they admired his courage, and paid 
tribute to it by heaping him with favors. 

“I had thirty or forty attendants,” said he, “one to 
arrange my bath, another to light my pipe, another for 
my wardrobe, another to be my majordomo and take 
me about, another to fetch coal for my fire. It was all 

Biographical Accounts 


luxury and magnificence, and I tell you, madam, my 
lord lay back and enjoyed it all.” ... He was so dra¬ 
matic, that I watched his movements with fascinated 
eyes. For instance, as he described how the natives 
brought a warm bath for his feet, he bent to imitate 
their humble movements, and then thew himself back 
in the most dolce far niente attitude, and expressed by 
gesture that he could be a high muck-a-muck if he had 

the opportunity.He was imprisoned there for 

eleven months.The expedition of Commodore 

Glynn resulted in his release. His depositions are now 
on file in Washington. 

As the quaint old man went on talking about the 
days when the Hudson’s Bay Company was in its most 
flourishing condition, the whole place became trans¬ 
formed to me. I saw the bustle of traffic, the industry 
of the' little community, the military discipline and pre¬ 
cision with which everything was conducted; for, 
though the governor of the company was not an officer, 
he was an autocrat, such as can scarcely be conceived in 
those independent days. The nearest court of justice 
was 600 miles away. There were forty servants of the 
company, including all kinds of clerks, artisans, inter¬ 
preters, and then a swarm of Indian domestics. It was 
a great distributing fort for the smaller agencies of the 
company. There were two mills, and the storehouses 
were bristling with furs, skins and merchandise to be 
given in exchange. Two brigades came in twice a year, 
consisting of about fifty men, bringing in eight or nine 
boats, the supplies of the company, and returned with 
furs to Vancouver, on the Pacific coast, where they 
were shipped to England. Whenever these brigades 
journeyed, gathering up furs from the different sta¬ 
tions, the few travelers who were daring enough to go 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

about in those days attached themselves to the column 
and received protection. 

The trails of the Pend d’Oreilles, Kootenais, the 
Flatheads, the Coeur d’Alenes, Cayuses, indeed all the 
coast and mountain Indians, centered in this valley, and 
here they came with pack-horses almost hidden under 
the loads of beaver, otter, mink, marten, lynx, bear, 
wolverine and buffalo hides, humps and tongues and 
the first salmon of the season, that, Mr. McDonald 
added, “was the royal fish, and his majesty, the gov¬ 
ernor, got it.” We asked if there were caribou, and he 
said yes, but only two elks had been seen in that part 
of the country in nearly thirty years. There was no 
money, but beaver was the standard of value. For in¬ 
stance, twenty beavers would be proffered for a horse, 
or “I’ll give a beaver for that skin”—meaning that the 
offer was from 5 to 6 bits, equivalent to $1 in the east. 
“Ah, madam,” he said, “those were halcyon days—no 
taxes, no money, no sheriff, no judge, no jury.” . . . . 

The Earl of Selkirk, on his return to Scotland to get 
recruits, tried to induce Scotch women to come out, but 
the only ones who were willing, Mr. MacDonald said, 
were induced to do so by the promise of all the tea they 
wanted. “For a while,” he said, “they came in hordes.” 
He explained that it was Labrador or Muskage tea, and 
grew about thirty inches up from the ground, having 
leaves an eighth of an inch in width, the outside hard, 
the inside yellow and downy. The missionaries offered 
$5 a pound for the flowers for medicinal purposes. He 
said “the aroma was delicious, and the Scotch would 
like it.” It would have been an article of commerce, but 
the East India Company had a monopoly of that trade 
at that time. 

It is impossible to describe the merriment in the nar- 

Biographical Accounts 


rator’s eyes and his most expressive gestures as he 
dwelt on the Scotch women who refused to come to the 
wilderness with their husbands, till the tea was offered 
as an allurement. It suddenly came over me how some 
people I knew in the east would enjoy this witty, dra¬ 
matic and versatile man, and how I should like to take 
the droll old fellow and set him in the midst of people 
who get so tired of each other and long for novelty. 
So I suddenly said: 

“Oh, Mr. MacDonald, how I should like to take you 
home with me!” 

In return I received such an impressive bow, and his 
hand went instinctively over his heart as he said: 

“Oh, madam, take possession of me. I am yours.” 

I glanced at the squaw, wondering if any of the sav¬ 
age instincts remained in her and how she would look 
upon this rather open trespassing upon her preserves; 
but she smiled upon me, and I hastened to lead my new¬ 
found friend back to his narrative. I found afterward 
that she was Mrs. MacDonald, but the wife of the older 
man’s cousin, so the tomahawks ceased to float in the 
air before my imaginative eyes. 

Mr. MacDonald’s education was a very serious ques¬ 
tion for his father, but he was determined, as the old 
man told me, that it should be “A No. 1. So my brother 
and I were sent a thousand miles or more to Winnipeg 
on snow-shoes. I know something of Romanism, but 
those Episcopalians at that church school knocked the 
spots out of the Catholics with their doctrines. We 
used to have pemican for our luncheon, and it was 
something of which a little goes a long ways. Buffalo 
meat is dried and pounded, mixed with fat boiled, ber¬ 
ries, sugar, raisins (if you had ’em), and then sewed up 
in a sack of buffalo hide; and if you are very hungry 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

you eat it raw; if you are delicate, why, put in a frying 
pan and cook it in slices.” Then he asked me if I would 
like to hear of his first naval engagement. By this time 
I found that it made little difference what he said, his 
manner of telling what he had to say was something 
that I was not likely to encounter every day. 

He left home with a brigade of the company to go to 
Vancouver to meet his father, who had traveled with 
Sir George Simpson 3,000 miles in a canoe, through the 
various rivers and lakes between Hudson’s Bay and the 
mouth of the Fraser River, on the shores of the Pacific 
Ocean. At Vancouver, while waiting, he met his ma¬ 
ternal grandfather, old King Com-Comly, a blind In¬ 
dian, who was very faithful to the whites. When the 
annual ships that came from England reached them, 
they took passage for Fort Astoria. Arriving, they 
found two or three other vessels of the Hudson’s Bay 
Company, all carrying guns, and they signaled to pre¬ 
pare to engage in a fight; for a short time before a ves¬ 
sel was wrecked and the captain came on shore among 
the Indians to get dry and find assistance, leaving his 
crew with orders not to follow him. A cowardly Indian 
shot him, and then all the village ran to the ship and 
plundered it. They filled their huts with bales of blan¬ 
kets, cases of guns, hogsheads of tobacco and every 
kind of merchandise. Governor Connolly, the father 
of Lady Douglas, was in command of the brigade, and 
at a signal from the ships all opened fire on the village. 
The Indians fled back into the forest, and the crews 
and Hudson’s Bay Company’s employes landed in 
small boats, under fire of the guns, and set a torch to 
the cabins and tents. They were stored with sturgeons’ 
heads and the tails and with oil, and there soon was lit¬ 
tle left of the village. “While the guns were firing, I 

Biographical Accounts 


was eager to have a hand/’ he said, “and so ran out 
from where I had been hiding and jumped on one of 
the guns, but what was my mortification, even at 6 
years of age, to be slapped by the captain and ordered 
off to the steward, and this was the ignominous end of 
my first engagement at sea.” 

When we came to say a reluctant goodby to this 
man, whose life had been crowded so full of adventure, 
he said so simply, but with admiring tones in his voice: 
“I wish, madam, you would speak of one man who 
loved this life and his duties here so well he did not 
want to return to England, even when offered knight¬ 
hood for having attained by his exertions the furtherest 
point north then known, and he was Peter Warren 

As soon as we had driven far enough away, we all 
fell to talking at once of his quaintness, his animation, 
his Scotch and French manner. The railroad official 
told us that the old man had said that he might per¬ 
haps come and see me, if he could be slipped on as bag¬ 
gage in the freight car, and was told by him that he 
would do better than that, he would ship him as an 
original package. The old Sir Ranald, however, was 
driven out of our minds soon by the grandeur of Kettle 
Falls, on which we looked from the banks of the Colum¬ 
bia, 200 feet above. 

Eleanor Haskins Holly has furnished the following 
reminiscences of our author :— 

I met Ranald MacDonald many times, but my first 
meeting with him is very vivid in my memory. It was 
on New Year’s day, 1893. I was living at the new town 
of Kettle Falls (Wash.) which had been started short¬ 
ly before on the Columbia River, just below the falls 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

of that name in the Columbia. On the flat above the 
upper fall were the old block-house and log-buildings 
built for a trading post of the Hudson’s Bay Company 
in 1826 and occupied 1835-1844 by Archibald McDon¬ 
ald, Esq., the father of Ranald, and later by Angus 
MacDonald, Ranald’s cousin, the last Hudson’s Bay 
Trader or Factor in this region. 

My maid, a German girl who spoke but little English, 
came to call me, saying: “There is a gross Mann’ wants 
to see you.” And when I entered the room, as the im¬ 
posing personage arose from his chair, I saw that her 
description was not amiss, for he was a ‘gross’ man. 
The height of his figure did not impress you at first 
glance, on account of comparison with the breadth of 
his shoulders and general proportions, but as he seemed 
to tower up beside his companion, who was quite an 
average-sized man, I realized how imposing a figure he 
really was. He wore a light-blue, army overcoat, made 
with capes and brass buttons, such as, I believe, was 
used during the Civil War, and where he could have 
obtained it at that late day I cannot imagine; but it cer¬ 
tainly added to his size and dignity. 

He carried a wide-brimmed hat of black felt, with 
which he made a sweeping bow—then crossing the 
room he clasped my hand and lifted it to his lips with a 
courtly obeisance. We women of this period not being 
accustomed to such ceremonious greetings, I saw that 
I was fortunate enough to have encountered an inter¬ 
esting character, although I did not then know who he 

His companion was a man who was then living on the 
Colville Indian reservation, and had married a half- 
blood Indian girl who had been educated at Walla Walla, 
He himself was a man of education, closely related (a 

Biographical Accounts 


cousin I believe) to one of the members of President 
Cleveland’s cabinet. He had, years before in the east, 
when a mere boy, been involved in an escapade which 
had had national notoriety, and had come to the west, 
and through some whirl of fortune’s wheel had landed 
up here on the Columbia River and there stayed. He 40 
was almost as interesting a character in himself as was 
Mr. MacDonald. 

My husband had been interested in starting the Town 
of Kettle Falls, and Mr. Ranald MacDonald and his 
companion had with old-fashioned courtesy decided to 
call upon me and extend their New Year’s greeting. 
Also, I found later, Mr. MacDonald, having learned 
that my mother, Mrs. L. C. P. Haskins, was a writer, 
wished to enlist her aid in the publication of the book 
which he had written of his experiences in Japan before 
Commodore Perry opened its doors to the western 

At that time Mr. MacDonald was about 69 years of 
age, but from his erect bearing and strong vigorous ap¬ 
pearance you would not have thought him more than 
60. His hair, worn rather long, was gray, thick and 
curling; he wore a full beard cut rather short, but not 
close, which was quite gray and also very curly. His 
features were rather rough-hewn, but the high cheek¬ 
bones and rather large and flat nose (with peculiarly 
wide nostrils) were the only featuies which would ap¬ 
pear to show his Indian ancestry. His complexion, 
while dark, was not more so than that of many men who 
have spent much of the time in the open. His rather 
small and deep-set eyes were gray , and peculiar in that 
the gray iris was encircled at the outer edge by a dis¬ 
tinct line of hazel-brown. 

40 This gentleman was at one time U. S. Customs Collector. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

I have seen eyes with that peculiar combination of 
colors a few times since, but it appealed to me then as 
being very odd, and I used to think of it as showing the 
two races to which he belonged, which in him met and 
harmonized, but did not blend. His face, while not 
handsome, had a look of power which interested. 

I saw him many times afterward as he used to come 
to see my mother, Mrs. Haskins, concerning his book 
of his experiences in Japan, which he was very anxious 
to have published, and she endeavored to assist him in 
interesting some one to do so, printing the first chapters 
in the Kettle Fall’s newspaper and copying out several 
long extracts from it for him and sending them off to 
parties who might bring it out; but she was not success¬ 
ful in having it done. 

I had many long and interesting talks with him of 
the early times there on the Columbia and his own early 
days. I remember his describing to me, one time, the 
festivities which would ensue when the boats of the 
“voyageurs” came back up the Columbia with supplies. 
The “bateaux” landed at the rapids about six miles 
below the Kettle Falls of the Columbia at what is now 
known as Rickey Rapids, from whence the supplies 
were carried by cart and pack to the trading post, Fort 
Colvile, just above the falls. 

The canoes and bateaux went down the river to Fort 
Vancouver and Fort George at the mouth of the Colum¬ 
bia in the spring and returned in the fall. Every white 
man and Indian in the employ of the Company, with 
their wives and children, were given their yearly ration 
at the time of their return, Mr. MacDonald said, and 
they were all there to receive it. In reply to my ques¬ 
tion as to what the rations consisted of, he enumerated, 
among other things, salt, molasses, tea, beans, cloth, I 

Biographical Accounts 


recall; so much, he said, was allotted to each man, 
woman and child in any way connected with the Hud¬ 
son’s Bay Company. The trappers and hunters, even 
those who were located at far-distant points for the 
trapping and to gather up the furs of the Indians at 
those places, would all be there at those times. 

He described the scene of festivity the night of the 
arrival of the boats; the long table which was spread to 
accommodate all those in any position of authority— 
his father at the head and the others seated according 
to the importance of their positions—the Indians at the 
foot; some of the squaws and childien at the very low¬ 
est end of the table; and others at another table in the 
same room. There, amid jollity and a buzz of con¬ 
versation, his father would read aloud items of interest 
from the letters received from the outside world or 
orders and instructions from the Company. 

One can fancy the scene: the great fire of flaming 
pitch logs glowing in the huge fireplace and throwing 
its red light over the low ceiled room, lighting up the 
curiously diversified company. 

His reminiscences had a great fascination for me, 
and I would always encourage him to talk, which was 
perhaps why he told me so much of his past. 

He also told me many curious anecdotes of the past 
up there on the Columbia River. Among one which I 
remember was that of the burning of the last “witch” 
among the Indians on the Columbia River at that point 
below the falls. My husband had a tract of land a mile 
in length along the river (where the town of Kettle 
Falls now is) and we were building a house at the 
southern end not far above where the Colville River 
flows into the Columbia, where the high bank curved 
back, making a point from where there is a beautiful 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

view far down the river. In speaking of that point one 
day Mr. Mac Donald said, “there is a curse on it.” In 
surprise I asked why? He replied that years before 
an Indian woman had been burned there as a witch. It 
seemed she was an Okanogan and had in some way 
caused a great deal of trouble (there was always much 
friction between the Okanogan and the Colville Indians, 
he told me) and at last she was burned as a witch. That 
point was selected because it could be seen far down 
and across the river. Dying, she cursed the ground, 
and he said that the Indians had a superstitious feeling 
in regard to it even then. 

One day shortly before I came away from there—it 
was in the summer just before Mr. MacDonald went 
up the Kettle River on the Reservation to make the visit 
from which he never returned—-he came down to see 
my mother about something concerning his book, and, 
as he was a little lame and walked with difficulty, I had 
my horse brought out to take him back home. The 
Colville Indian Reservation across the Columbia from 
the town of Kettle Falls was about to be opened and 
land allotted to all who had Indian blood entitling them 
to it. As we drove along the river bank, I looked across 
the river to the Indian Reservation where there were 
some beautiful tracts of farm land, and said to him: 
“Why do you not take a farm over there, Mr. MacDon¬ 
ald?” The old man drew himself up indignantly— 
“Why should I take a farm over there? I am not an 
Indian. I have no wish for any land there—let them 
have their farms.” 

It was curious how, with the pride which he in one 
way held in his Indian descent, he at the same time 
repudiated being classed in any way with them. When 
I heard that he was dead and had been buried up there 

Biographical Accounts 


on the Colville Reservation, I was sorry to know it, as 
I felt sure he would have wished some other spot for 
his final resting place. 

At one time I said to him: “Mr. MacDonald why 
did you never marry ?” 

“Well,” he replied with a little, whimsical smile 
which used to light up his face at times—“I suppose it 
was because the women I would have married would 
not marry me, and the women who would have married 
me, I would not marry.” The reply exemplified the 
old man’s pride very well. 

He told me many details of his stay in Japan, most of 
which, I think, are embodied in his book. He used to 
carry in walking, when he came down to our house, a 
handsome, ivory-headed cane which, he told me, was 
given to him by the son of one of his Japanese pupils; 
but I can not remember if it was sent to him at the same 
time the carved box which was sent to Montreal for 
him was received or at some other time. He valued it 
very highly and generally carried it when he went to 
make a ceremonious call. His manner always had a 
rather stately, old-time courtesy which was pleasing; 
and his language was well chosen and more than in¬ 
clined to grandiloquence.” 

During his twenty odd years’ residence in the Cari¬ 
boo mining country Ranald MacDonald was at all the 
various mining camps of that region and engaged in 
many different businesses and employments, and ex¬ 
perienced many vicissitudes of fortune. He is reported 
to have made $60,000.00 at one time in the Cariboo 
gold mines, but lost it all through ill luck and the dis¬ 
honesty of some of his associates. 

At one time he kept the Hotel at Hat Creek for 
George Dunn; at another time he was connected with 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

the Bonaparte House, owned by Semlin and Parke; at 
another time he was in the employ of the stage line 
operated by Steve Tingley and Bernard; and in 1875 
he worked for a time on the books in his cousin’s trad¬ 
ing post at Kamloops, B. C. Changes in fortune 
apparently had little effect on his character, and he was 
ever ready to assist, serve, or entertain his contempor¬ 
aries; whether this consisted of gallant attentions to an 
occasional lady visiting those crude settlements; or in 
joining his comrades in their amusements in the saloons 
and gambling houses which then furnished their sole 
means of recreation in western mining towns; or in 
performing his full share of the arduous duties on trail 
and in camp. In the latter 70’s he visited the Peace 
River country for a time. 

He is remembered in British Columbia as a jolly, 
likeable character, the friend of everyone and, notwith¬ 
standing his occasional grand manner and high-flown 
speech, he has been characterized by a few surviving 
contemporaries (all now over four score years) as a 
“good sport,” the ne plus ultra of frontier commenda¬ 

In 1877 he spent some time at the ranch of a second- 
cousin, Mrs. Christina MacDonald McKenzie, at Shus- 
waps Prairie on Thompson’s River, B. C. Having 
disposed of his mining and other interests our author 
returned to Washington Territory about 1882 and later 
moved to old Hudson’s Bay Company Fort Colvile 
where his second-cousin, Donald MacDonald resided. 
In September 1885 he settled on a preemption claim of 
153 acres adjoining the old fort, and embracing a part 
of the old fort grounds. Here he lemained, living in a 
rough board shack and engaged in farming, prospect¬ 
ing and similar pursuits. He secured a United States 

Biographical Accounts 


patent to the land Oct. 13, 1891 and sold six acres of 
his land to the Spokane Falls and Northern Railway 
Company for railway right of way. His homestead 
shack which burned down that spring was never rebuilt 
by him. Later he erected a log house on the Colville 
Indian reservation opposite the “big Island.” 

He never married, and spent much of his time with 
Donald MacDonald and his family at the old aban¬ 
doned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, where he 
was interviewed by Mrs. Custer, and made occasional 
visits to his cousins after they removed to Montana. He 
was delightful and interesting company, full of strange 
tales of adventure in many lands, in the telling of which 
he drew from both fact and fancy. He enjoyed the 
discussion of current topics and pioneer history and 
was an occasional contributor to the Kettle Falls Pio¬ 
neer. He refuted from personal knowledge of 
pioneer events the Whitman saved Oregon legend. 41 

He never desired to hoard or keep money, and the 
earnings and profits of his mining and business ven¬ 
tures in earlier years had been freely spent or loaned to 
improvident acquaintances. In his later years he spent 
much time planning to run a drift on Boundry Creek at 
the mouth of Norwegian Creek to catch the lost run of 
gold on the celebrated “Norwegian” placer ground. 

These later years were passed in comparatively 
straitened circumstances and his principal ambition and 
desire at this time was to see the story of his Japan ad¬ 
venture in print before he died. A number of his 
letters in the Provincial Library at Victoria, B. C., 
recite a pathetic attempt to raise money for this purpose 
by borrowing from friends and mortgaging of his home¬ 

41 Letter Ranald MacDonald to Malcolm McLeod, Feb. 25, 1891, Pro¬ 
vincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Prior to his death he felt the infirmities of old age, 
suffering from “pains in the joints” and partial deaf¬ 
ness, both probably attributable to the exposure and 
hardships of his pioneer life. He died near Toroda 
post office, on Kettle River, in Ferry County, State of 
Washington, about seventy-five miles northwest of 
Marcus or old Fort Colvile, on the 5th day of August, 
1894, while on a visit to the home of his niece, Mrs. 
Nelson, now Mrs. Jennie Lynch, a daughter of his 
younger half brother, Benjamin MacDonald. His 
remains are buried in a neglected Indian grave yard 
near Toroda, Washington; a spot unmarked by any 
monument and known and remembered by only a few 
near relatives and friends. 

His last words as he sank to eternal sleep in the arms 
of his niece were: “Sionara, my dear, sionara”. 42 

Ranald MacDonald was certainly a unique charac¬ 
ter, not only interesting in himself, but as a bond be¬ 
tween those early days and our own time, with the 
added interest we have in his early efforts in gaining 
access to the then inaccessible country of Japan and 
attempting to teach them something of the civilization 
and Christianity of the Occident. 

As to the motives impelling him to his great Japan 
adventure we have the following in the introduction to 
his autograph manuscript notes:—“My principal mo¬ 
tive in this way, it must be confessed the mere gratifica¬ 
tion of a love of adventure—the world within a 
mysterious veil which then hung, as it still hangs over 
Japan, unaccountably attracted my roving mind and 
at any risk I determined to solve it.” 43 

42 Sayonara, Japanese for “farewell.” This meaning of the term was 
not known to Mrs. Lynch until informed by the editors of its meaning. 

43 Original Manuscript of Ranald MacDonald, in the Provincial Li¬ 
brary, Victoria, B. C. 

Cabin (in center) in which Ranald MacDonald died on August 5, 


From a photograph by J. A. Meyers. 

Grave of Ranald MacDonald (indicated by small cross at left of 
enclosure) near Torodo P. O., Washington 
From photograph by J. A. Meyers. 

Biographical Accounts 


Offspring from a union of the best blood of the old 
and new world, Ranald MacDonald was of the stuff 
that heroes are made of. Why the promise and early 
achievements of his youth did not reach a greater frui¬ 
tion in his mature years his editors are unable to say. 

His father’s letters disclose that Ranald MacDonald 
early displayed some unusual traits of character, dis¬ 
tinguishing him somewhat from his half-brothers and 
the other boys at the Red River Missionary School. He 
was not only a promising, good natured lad, with a 
high chaiacter for application and good behaviour, 
concerning whom his instructors gave very favorable 
accounts; but he possessed “certain indescribable 
qualities” indicating that he would make “the kind of 
man best adapted for the world”. Archibald McDon¬ 
ald ventures this prediction concerning his offspring: 
“Who knows but a kinsman of King Concomly is or¬ 
dained to 'make a great figure in the new world.” 

In the carrying out of his bold design to enter the 
forbidden realm of Japan, our author displayed unusual 
enterprise, intelligence, courage, and steadfastness of 
purpose; a combination of qualities which, applied in 
the same measure to the ordinary pursuits of life, would 
have achieved more than average success for him in 
later years. 

Incidents at random in his life, occasional remarks 
to intimate acquaintances, a few paragraphs in his let¬ 
ters, and the pages of his narrative, here published, 
suggest that the bold and rugged exterior of Ranald 
MacDonald covered an unusually proud and sensitive 
spirit which was deeply wounded by occasional af¬ 
fronts to which he was subjected on account of his 
Indian blood from crude and self-satisfied people en¬ 
countered in the business and social life of his time; 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

causing him, as he himself has expressed it, “to with¬ 
draw from highly honorable enterprise”. 

His Scotch and Indian pride keenly resented, and 
his sensitive nature shunned the slight and implied 
inferiority of his Indian blood, and the man whose 
youthful exploit placed among the great adventurous 
spirits of his age was doubtless moved by the affronts 
of a few thoughtless and bigoted contemporaries to 
shun the centers of the business and social life of his 
compeers, and spend his remaining days in the more 
liberal atmosphere of the northwestern mining camps. 
In his Narrative [page eighty-four] he mentions this 
unreasonable hatred of race, acknowledges his Indian 
blood, and declares his quick resentment to any insult 
on that score. 

Whatever the cause, our author passed the remainder 
of his life in retirement from society, in the peace and 
contentment of simple ambition and accomplishment, 
among the crude and unpolished, but manly characters 
of the northwest frontier. 

His life was gentle, and the elements 

So mix’d in him, that nature might stand up 

And say to all the world, This was a man!’ 

— Shakespeare . 

From a photograph taken July 5, 1891, in possession of his 
niece, Mrs. Jennie Lynch, Toroda, Washington. 

Ranald MacDonald 

Story of Adventure 


Ranald MacDonald 

A. D. 1848-1849 

“The Gates, of Brass, Were Opened!” 


ranald Macdonald 

Original Manuscript 


This story, is now given, at the solicitation of many 
—most of them strangers to me—to meet what would 
seem to be a want in solution of the problem—mys¬ 
terious, and certainly exceptional in many regards—of 
Japanese national development. 

It was, and is, essentially internal; due to their own 
inherent sense of fitness in national life, a fact which 
the writer, in his accidental position of first teacher of 
English to them, had the singular opportunity of learn¬ 
ing. The statement may have been advanced by 
others, but the writer is not aware of the fact, and he 
feels it but right, and in justice to his old friends across 
the way, that they should have his testimony of that 

Ranald MacDonald. 

Old Fort Colvile , 44 Columbia River, 

State of Washington, U. S. A. 

September, 1893. 

44 The spelling of the name, conferred in honor of Andrew Colvile, 
has in later years been changed to Colville; the editors have adhered to 
the original spelling. 


First Connection of Whites and Natives—Columbia- 
King Com-Comly-Royal Marriage—Hudson’s Bay 
Company and Northwest Company—Pioneer Ex¬ 
ploration—David Thompson. 

Now verging on the alloted three score and ten of 
human life, but still alive to the events of the hour, it 
has struck me that it might be of some passing interest 
to the now fast increasing crowd of travel by this new 
western way to the “East”, to hear my humble story of 
pioneer development of it. I have often, in years long 
gone bye, when a wanderer in older countries, been 
advised to publish it; but circumstances—chiefly nar¬ 
rowed means; and with no ambitions in that way; and 
moreover, the loss of most of my notes—prevented me. 
Happily, nature has endowed me with a good memory; 
and in my oldening, I find no loss of it—at least not yet 
perceptibly; but, on the contrary, by some inexplicable 
natural process, those earlier incidents and scenes of 
my life come up, to my mind’s eye, with all the glow 
and vividness of recurring morn, as if sunlit for ever 
on my page of time. 

What I have to say in this way is, essentially, merely 
personal narrative, but, incidentlly, it may—so many 
have urged me on—be of more than mere personal in¬ 
terest. As to that I make no pretension. Like others, 
in common with my race, I have ever done what I con¬ 
sidered was my duty, when thereunto called in public 
or private behest. Native, and denizen almost through- 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

out life, of the great Columbia Valley of the Pacific 
Slope of America, I claim to be, in the broadest sense, 
a true American. 

True it was the British flag covered my cradle 45 but 
that makes no difference. The Oregon Treaty of 1845 
made me a citizen of the United States of America. But 
further: on this point I may state, that on my mother’s 
side, I am by direct legal succession, of the blood of the 
sole King (known to history as such) of the Columbia, 
and of the Pacific Slope in those latitudes, viz: King 
Com-Comly 46 of Washington Irving’s Astoria , the 

45 Astoria, mouth of the Columbia River. The Fort—within which I 
was born on February 3, 1824—had, in 1818, under the treaty between 
Britain and the United States, of that date, been formally “restored” to 
the latter—Commander Biddle of the U. S. Sloop of war, “Ontario,” 
formally hoisting the flag of the United States on the occasion. How, 
exactly, it was changed, and so remained changed for many years, is 
more than I can explain. The Northwest Fur Company (Canadian) 
bought out Astor in 1813, and in 1821 the Hudson’s Bay Company 
bought out (by coalition and absorption) the latter. That is the only 
explanation I ever heard of the matter.—[Original.] 

46The meaning of this Chinook name is unknown; it is of the type 
of birds’ names, common among the Chinook Indians and, according to 
Dr. Franz Boas of Columbia University, cannot be analyzed. Elliott 
Coues’ statement, [ New Light on the Early History of the Greater 
Northwest, ii, 750] “that the name has something to do with salmon, for 
a map before me letters ‘Con-con-ully or White Salmon on a certain 
creek,’ ” shows the danger of mere surmises. Con-con-ully, an Okanog¬ 
an Indian word now applied to the Conconully lake, creek and town in 
Okanogan County, State of Washington, is not of Chinook origin and 
has no relation whatever to the Chinook name, Com-com-le. This Chi¬ 
nook name has been variously spelled by early explorers and fur trad¬ 
ers as: Com-comly, Ross Cox, Adventures on the Columbia River, i, 67; 
Washington Irving, Astoria, chap, vii; Elliott Coues, op. cit., pp. 850, 750, 
Com-com-le, Gabriel Franchere, Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest 
Coast of America, 100; Te-cum-le, Pierre Jean de Smet, Life, Letters and 
Travels, ii, 442; Comcomli, Dr. John Scouler, Journal, Oregon His¬ 
torical Quarterly, vi, 165. Come-Comly, Alexander Ross, Adventures of 
First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, 68. Com-com-moly, 
Lewis and Clarke Journals, 716. Com-com-mo-ley, Reuben Gold 
Thwaites, Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, iii, 238, 
294. Com-comly and Kum-Kumly in our author’s correspondence. Kom- 
komle, in J. B. Tyrell, David Thompson’s Narrative of his Explorations 
in Western America, 505, and Com-comly, Maduse or Thunder, David 
Douglas, Journals Kept During His Travels in North America, 61, 147. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


truly royal host of the Astor expedition there in 1811- 
1813 and of all other whites since, in his realm. His 
palace was on the north side of the Columbia where the 

Madsu, Dr. Scouler, op. cit. See also Peter Corney, Voyages in the 
Northern Pacific, 27-68. 

Whatever his correct name, all visitors at the mouth of the Columbia 
make mention of the old Chief. On Nov. 20, 1805, Lewis and Clarke met 
the Chief with his sub-chief, Chil-lai-la-wil and gave them both medals 
in commemoration of the occasion, also presenting Com-com-mo-ly, as 
they called him, with a flag. Thwaites, op. cit., iii, 238. 

David Thompson described him in 1811 as “a strong, well-made man, 
his hair short, of dark brown, and naked except a short kilt around his 
waist to the middle of the thigh”; Washington Irving as “a shrewd old 

savage with one eye”; Corney, as “a short elderly man.the 

richest and most powerful chief on the River,” op. cit, 65; Dr. Scouler, 
in 1824, describes him as then being sixty years of age. Op. cit, vi, 167. 
Many interesting stories are told of the old chief. On one occasion he 
saved the lives of Messrs. McDougal and Stewart from drowning, enter¬ 
tained them in his lodge, and was in many ways of service to the 
Astorians, who were at first suspicious of him, but later acknowledging 
him a staunch supporter of the Americans, and even offering to fight 
the British in their behalf. Mr. Edward Ermatinger mentions his “march¬ 
ing into Vancouver with all his naked aids and followers, rigged out in a 
British general’s uniform”—minus the pantaloons. Washington His¬ 
torical Quarterly, v, 205. At a dinner given in his honor on board the 
“Pedlar,” March 5, 1814, he appears to have donned the trousers and 
to have been still more elaborately dressed. Coues, op. cit., 850. He 
was the principal chief of the confederacy of all the tribes of the lower 
Columbia (except the Clatsops) who spoke the Chinook language, be¬ 
tween the Cascade Mountains and Cape Disappointment. He had a 
wife, according to Indian custom, from nearly every tribe in the con¬ 
federacy, and some from the neighboring tribes. With these wives he 
possessed a considerable family and many slaves. See Corney, op. cit., 
65. Mr. Henry [Coues, op. cit., p. 750]mentions him as seated in his 
canoe alongside of his favorite woman, Le Blanche. 

Chief Com-comly was treated as an equal and often sat at the table 
with Dr. McLoughlin and (Sir) James Douglas. He was in high feather. 
His principal palace, or royal lodge, was at Scarborough head, where the 
new fort, Columbia, has now been erected. The bald place high up on 
the slope that catches the attention of all passers was the eerie from 
which he spied out the approach of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s ships 
which came every spring. Com-com-ly was made chief bar and river 
pilot for the company (the first on the Columbia, James Scarborough 
being the second) and wore the uniform of their service. When a ship 
came in sight, he had 20 of his slaves launch the royal canoe and take 
him out to meet the vessel. His canoe and all its crew would be taken 
aboard, and Com-com-ly would guide the craft up to headquarters at 
Vancouver.—Portland (Ore.) Oregonian, Dec. 17, 1899, p. 28. 

He had several sons. Ross, [op. cit., 83], mentions two; the eldest was 
Che-nam-us, a child by Com-comly’s Multnomah wife. A younger broth¬ 
er, the favorite son and intended heir of the old chief, was named Sha-la- 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

great river, at its discharge, is about six miles wide. His 
relations with the whites had ever been most amicable. 

pau. He learned to talk, read and write English fluently and was much 
beloved by the tribe. Among the men at the fort these two sons were 
known as the “Prince of Wales” and the “Duke,” respectively. Irving, 
[op. cit., Ivi] gives the name of another son as “Gassacop”; Corney, 
[op. cit. 65] gives the name of another as “Selechel.” See also Coues, 
op. cit., 890, 901, 906. Sha-la-pau and a younger brother died of sick¬ 
ness April, 1824; and Dr. Scouler states that another brother promptly 
assassinated the medicine chief under whose care they died. Op. cit., 
vi, 166, 277. A brother of Com-comly, named Tha-a-muxi, or Bear, was 
also a chief and resided in the vicinity. David Douglas, op. cit., 147. 

Chief Com-comly had several daughters; the eldest, “the Princess,” 
the daughter of Com-Comly’s Scappoose wife, married the Astor part¬ 
ner, Duncan McDougal; the second married our author’s father; a third 
married Calpso, a chief of the Chinook village near Cape Disappoint¬ 
ment. The Rev. Samuel Parker in his journal of an Exploring Tour, 
245, describes the latter as a “woman of more than common talents and 
respectability and relates that she slew two female slaves to attend her de¬ 
ceased daughter to the world of the spirits. He had still another daugh¬ 
ter named Car-cum-cum. E-lo-wah-ka was a daughter of Com-comly by 
a Willapa woman; she married into the tribe and died in 1861 at Ilwaco, 
a thriving village named for her. The “Princess Margaret,” Kah-at-lau, 
Com-comly’s daughter by his Chehalis wife, married Louis Rondeau, a 
Hudson’s Bay Company’s trapper in 1825. Another daughter of the old 
Chief married a Scotchman named McKay, also a Hudson’s Bay Com¬ 
pany’s employee. 

After his oldest daughter’s marriage to Mr. McDougal, the Chief ap¬ 
pears to have fully appreciated his position as father-in-law to the mana¬ 
ger of the establishment. Father de Smet, writing in later years says: 
“When he used to come to Vancouver in the days of his glory, 300 
slaves would precede him and he used to carpet the ground that he had 
to travel from the main entrance of the fort to the Governor’s door, sev¬ 
eral hundred feet, with beaver and other skins.” de Smet, op. cit., ii, 
442-443. His opposition to the surrender of Astoria to the British has 
been noted. Com-Comly’s tribe and immediate family fell easy victims 
to the measles, smallpox and other diseases of civilization brought to 
the Columbia River by the whites. Dr. Scouler [Op. cit., vi, 276] men¬ 
tions that Com-comly lost eight members of his family in the two years 
preceding September, 1825. The family burial place was near Point 
Ellis, and the Chief’s two sons, previously mentioned, were buried in 
canoes with fowling pieces by their side, with loaded pistols in each 
hand, and surrounded by all their possessions. The old Chief regularly 
visited their graves to see that their property and the remains of his 
relatives were undisturbed. 

Chief Com-comly died suddenly in 1830 of virulent intermittent 
fever, an epidemic that carried off about a thousand of his people at 
the same time, and his remains were buried with great ceremony as be¬ 
fitting his rank in life, in a canoe near Fort George, according to Chinook 
custom. Later, for greater security, his body was taken out of the canoe 

Chinook Indian Grave in Canoe 

From a drawing by H. J. Warre. 

King Com Comly’s grave 

From drawings in Wilkes’ Narrative , iv, 321 

Japan Story of Adventure 


A leading officer of the name of MacDougall 47 (Dun¬ 
can) on the Astor staff had, before the sale and transfer 
of the establishment to the North-west Company in 

by relatives and placed in a long box in a lonely part of the woods. The 
precaution to preserve his remains from molestation was, however, idle. 
James Dunn, who was either present or had first-hand knowledge, states 
in his History of the Oregon Territory (London, 1844), 132: “His head 
is now in the possession of some eminent physician in Edinburgh and, 
strange to say, although he had been buried about five years, his skin 
was quite dry and not decayed. It required a very sharp knife to pene¬ 
trate the skin and his hair was still on his head.” His grave was lo¬ 
cated by Commodore Wilkes in 1841 and a picture of it is preserved 
in The Narrative of United States Exploring Expedition, iv, 321, where 
mention is made of the skull having been carried to Glasgow by a Hud¬ 
son’s Bay Company’s agent. Father de Smet, who visited his grave with 
Mr. Birnie on Aug. 1, 1844, seems to have been among the last to do 
honor to the famous Com-Comly. 

Indian graves were frequently desecrated then and ever since. J. K. 
Townsend, in 1836, mentions his own acts of carrying off the mummy 
of an Indian woman and the taking of four skulls from another Chinook 
Indian cemetery in the vicinity of Fort George and near Fort William, 
Weyeth’s transient settlement on Wapato Island. John K. Townsend, 
Narrative of a Journey Across the Rocky Mountains (Phila., 1839), 236- 
238; 255-256. 

Chief Com-comly has several living descendants residing along the 
Columbia River, some of whom have grown wealthy from the develop¬ 
ment of the salmon fishing industry. Portland (Ore.) Oregonian, Dec. 
17, 1899, 28. Until the summer of 1888 a street in Astoria bore the 
old chief’s name, it was then changed to First street. 

47 Duncan McDougal was a clerk of the Northwest Company when 
he joined the Astor enterprise in 1810. Franchere, op. cit., p. 20; Irv¬ 
ing, op. cit., chap, iv., describes him as an active, irritable, fuming, vain¬ 
glorious little man and elevated in his own opinion by being the proxy of 
Astor, and as a man of a thousand prospects, and great though somewhat 
irregular ambition. Alexander Ross, op. cit., describes him as a man of but 
ordinary capacity, with an irritable, peevish temper; the most unfit man 
in the world to head an expedition or to command men. He was accused 
by Astor of betraying his interest; see letter from Mr. Astor to John 
Quincy Adams, January, 1823; Irving, op. cit., chap, xxix; Franchere, op. 
cit., appendix, 368; Horace Sumner Lyman, History of Oregon, ii, 298-301. 
His course in selling out to McTavish was defended by Hubert Howe 
Bancroft; History of the Northwest Coast, ii, 221-230; Alexander Ross, 
[op. cit., 252-3] states that the transaction was at the time considered 
fair on both sides. The bill of sale published in appendix “M,” 293, 
Gordon Charles Davidson, The Northwest Company (Berkeley, 1918), 
would seem to vindicate Mr. McDougal. See also Ross Cox, op. cit., i, 
190; Coues, op. cit. 747; Franchere, op. cit., 166, 192. After the trans¬ 
fer of the Pacific Fur Company (Astor) property to the Northwest Com¬ 
pany Duncan McDougal re-entered the service of the latter company as 
a wintering partner and remained on the Columbia until 1817, when he 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

1813, married 48 an elder daughter of his—a handsome 
woman; of proud queenly mien; reminding me of 
Egypt’s Cleopatra, as pictured to us. I distinctly re¬ 
member her, living in widowhood with her parents. 
Though my aunt, she was no friend of mine; seeming 
ever to have some pique against me, which however I 
did not regard, as I did not then understand our re¬ 
lationship. She was childless—if I mistake not— 
while, I believe, 1 was not only the baby favorite, but 
the heir presumptive of the old King, according to Chi¬ 
nook 49 and general Indian law. Some old people of 
the Columbia, after the old man’s death, used to call 
me, or speak of me, as Com-Comly, or shortly, Comly 
MacDonald; but why, I never enquired, nor knew, nor 

crossed the mountains. He died at Bas de la Riviere, Winnipeg. Fran- 
chere, op. cit., appendix, 368. Coues, op. cit., 739, 759, 775, 779, 783. 

48 This marriage took place July 20, 1813. For description of the 
wooing and marriage see Irving, op. cit., chap. lvi. In Coues [op. cit., 
901] we find: “April 26—McDougal this afternoon completed the pay¬ 
ment for his wife to Com-comly, whose daughter she was; he gave five 
new guns, five blankets two and one-half feet wide, which makes fifteen 
guns, fifteen blankets, besides a great deal of other property, as a total 
£ost of this precious lady.” See also Paul Kane, Wanderings of an 
Artist, [London, 1859], 177, and for other taking of wives by the fur 
traders at Astoria see Coues, op. cit., 910-911. McDougal deserted this 
Indian wife when he left the Columbia district in 1817. She afterwards 
became the wife of Cazenove, (Townsend’s Ke-ez-a-nos), who suc¬ 
ceeded Com-comly as head chief of the Chinook nation, and she was 
murdered in 1836 by Cazenove or some one of his retainers as a victim 
or sacrifice on the death of his son. Samuel Parker, op. cit., 251-252; J. K. 
Townsend, op. cit., 237-238. Chief Cazenove was living at an advanced 
age at Fort Vancouver in 1845 and was sketched by Paul Kane, op. cit., 
173-178. See also article in The Portland (Ore.) Oregonian, Nov. 29, 

49 The Chinook tribe proper, resided on the North bank of the Colum¬ 
bia River from Gray’s Harbor to Cape Disappointment, and on Shoal 
Water Bay; the stock also embraced a number of closely related tribes 
along both sides of the Columbia River from the Cascades to the sea and 
some distance up the Willamette River; all speaking a common language 
but in two dialects. The name Chinook (Ts’ inu’ k) is that by which the 
tribe was known to their northern neighbors, the Chehalis Indians, Prof. 
Franz Boas, Handbook of North American Indian Languages, 563. The 
word also signifies a jargon trade-language used on the Northwest Coast, 
composed largely of Chinook Indian words, still in use for intercourse 
between the whites and the Indians of the Northwest. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


cared to know. It was only in after life, that accident¬ 
ally—as hereinafter stated—I learn’t the esoteric of my 
birth and status in this Corona Borealis of our North¬ 
ern Hemisphere; gone alas! to the limbo of all vanities 
—Vanitas Vanitatum! The monumental brass of Irv¬ 
ing, in his immortal Astoria , alone bearing testimony to 
future generations, of this last of the Kings—of dyn¬ 
asty most ancient—of all America. 

My father was the late Archibald McDonald , 50 a 
leading officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and 
whose name, while in such service, is prominently as¬ 
sociated with the establishment of the Red River Set¬ 
tlement, and of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s interests 

so The elder MacDonald signed his name McDonald. His children, 
including our author, and their descendants, adhered to the original 
Scotch spelling. Clan Donald is the oldest and most famous of the 
Scottish clans. By local Highland tradition it is asserted that the- Mac¬ 
Donalds are coeval with the family of Noah and at the time of the flood 
had a boat of their own on Lock Lomond, independent of the Ark. L. R. 
Masson, Les Bourgeois de la campagnie d,u Nord-Ouest, etc. (Quebec, 
1890), ii, 3 and 4. Clan Donald claims immediate descent from Som- 
erled of the Isles, who died in 1164, leaving three sons, Dugall, Reginald 
and Angus. From Donald, the son of Reginald, the clan takes its name. 
The MacDonalds are very proud of their descent and their clan history 
fills a two-volume work entitled Clan Donald. A Clan Donald so¬ 
ciety exists with headquarters at Glasgow, Scotland. Our author’s fam¬ 
ily traced their descent back to the MacDonalds of Glencoe in the Four¬ 
teenth Century. Members of this family were prominently identified 
with both the Northwest Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company. 
Archibald McDonald, as he wrote his name, was born at Leechkentium, 
Northern Argyllshire, Scotland, on February 3, 1790, and entered the 
employ of Lord Selkirk in 1812. Under the Deed Poll of 1821 he was 
named as a clerk and his name appears as Nos. 303, 230 and 147, re¬ 
spectively, on the Lists of Employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 
America for the years 1821, 1822 and 1823. He came to the Columbia 
River district in 1823 and was one of the most capable and trusted offi¬ 
cers in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s service. He was in a great meas¬ 
ure responsible for the organization of the Puget Sound Agricultural 
Company, and first introduced to the Hudson’s Bay Company the idea 
of raising of cattle herds and flocks of sheep on the Pacific Coast, as a 
business project. While at Fort Langley he first inaugurated the busi¬ 
ness of salting and curing the Pacific salmon for market. He died at St. 
Andrews, Quebec, January 15, 1853, and his gravestone bears the leg¬ 
end: “One of the Pioneers of Civilization in Oregon.” For a brief bio¬ 
graphical sketch of Archibald McDonald see Washington Historical Quar¬ 
terly, ix, 93 et seq. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

generally throughout the Red River region, extending 
far southwards, into what is now Minnesota, and north¬ 
wards to the McKenzie basin. That was in 1813-1821. 

In 1823, following his old friend and associate in 
those troublous times of constant fight with the North¬ 
west Company, Chief-trader John McLeod ; 51 he was 
in Astoria (then called Fort George) assisting in the 
establishment of what had never existed, nor ever been 
tried before, viz., a British-American Pacific Ocean and 
Coast trade, on a basis to cope with its great natural 
difficulties. Amongst these difficulties, was the gen¬ 
eral character and conduct—truculent and ever hostile 
—of the coast Indians—the men who, in spite of all 
friendly approach and attempts at conciliation, seized 
Astor’s first ship there, the “Tonquin”—murdering her 
crew, and causing her to be blown up by the despairing 
hand of her last living man (wounded unto death) on 
board. That was in 1811. From that time to this 
(A. D. 1823) there had been no trade 52 with whites 

si John McLeod, a sturdy Scotch highlander was a Northwesterner 
clerk and trader. He was named a Chief Trader by the Deed Poll of 
1821. His name appears as Nos. 48, 19 and 18 in the List of Employees 
of the Hudson’s Bay Company in North America for the years 1821, 
1822 and 1823, respectively. 1822-1826 he was in charge of the Thomp¬ 
son’s River district at Kamloops, being succeeded there by Archibald Mc¬ 
Donald. His family left Fort Colvile for Red River Sept. 25, 1825; 
Washington Historical Quarterly, v, 165-166, and Mr. McLeod followed 
them in April, 1826; Idem., 284. In 1827-1828 he was engaged in re¬ 
building Norway House, which had been burnt. In 1831 he was granted 
a leave of absence to England for his health, and was never thereafter 
assigned as a wintering partner. For further biography see Malcolm 
McLeod’s Peace River and Oregon Indemnity, 27-30. McLeod’s Lake 
and Fort McLeod, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s post in New Caledonia, 
now British Columbia, are named after him. 

52 Our author is in error in this statement. The Northwest Company 
made an effort to carry on a trade along the coast by means of coast¬ 
ing vessels. After a brief attempt the scheme was abandoned. Alex¬ 
ander Ross [Fur Hunters of the Far West, i, 41] explains the cause of 
the failure and says: “Even the coast trade itself was far from being 
so productive as might be expected, owing to the great number of coast¬ 
ing vessels which came from all parts of the States, especially Boston, 

Japan Story of Adventure 


along those shores, except, in very desultory way by 
the Americans, Russians, and others, chiefly with a few 
specially friendly Chinooks at and about the mouth of 
the Columbia, and Vancouver’s Island. 

all more or less connected with the Sandwich Islands and China trade. 
Competition had therefore ruined the coast trade, and completely spoiled 
the Indians.” Most New England whale ships on the Pacific a century 
ago were fitted out for trade, the captains conducting on their own ac¬ 
count a lucrative “graft” known as “private trade.” 

The fact is that the American traders, “the Boston peddlers,” as their 
opponents called them, had, commencing with the “Columbia” and the 
“Washington,” outfitted in Boston for trade on the Northwest Coast un¬ 
der the respective commands of John Kendrick and Robert Gray in 1787, 
from 1792 downwards been gradually absorbing this coast trade, and by 
1810 or earlier, had completely monopolized it. David Thompson, the 
noted Northwesterner, in a letter published in Report of the Provincial 
Archives Department, (B. C.) 1913, VI15, states that 21 vessels engaged 
in the northwest coast trade in 1792, of which about one-third were from 
England, the rest from United States, mostly from Boston or New Eng¬ 
land. See also list of vessels employed in commercial pursuits on the 
northwest coast of America in the summer of 1792, in a report of Geo. 
Vancouver, Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, Sept. 26, 1792, published in 
The Report of the Provincial Archives Department, op. cit., V28-29; 
this gives the names of 11 English, 6 American, 1 Portuguese vessel, 
and states that two shallops are then building in Nootka Cove for the 
trade, and that seven Spanish vessels are then employed on the coast— 
a total of 27 bottoms. 

In Hubert Hugh Bancroft’s History of the Northwest Coast, ii, 340, 
appears a list of numerous vessels trading on the northwest coast before 
the date mentioned by our author; see also list William Henry Gray, 
History of Oregon, (Portland, Ore., and New York), 13-14. In James G. 
Swan’s The Northwest Coast, (N. Y., 1857), appendix, 423-424, the names 
of some 63 vessels are given as engaged in the trade of the northwest 
coast of America for sea otter and other skins from 1787 to 1799, while 
most of the Pacific whalers, as stated, carried with them the various 
gewgaws which would please the savage eye for the purpose of trading 
with the natives of the Pacific whenever occasion offered. Alexander 
Starbuck, History of the American Whale Fishery, (Waltham, Mass., 
1878), 97. Iron and copper seem to have been among the most valued 
articles of barter. The great aim of Governor Simpson of the Hudson’s 
Bay Company, was to drive these itinerant traders from the field, a proj¬ 
ect which took many years. In 1831 Archibald McDonald, our author’s 
father, writing from Fort Langley says [Washingon Historical Quarterly, 
i, 258; also Report of Provincial Archives Department, (B. C.) op. cit., 
V82]. “In the face of two vessels our trade is not 150 skins less than 
last year. If the Americans are off this year I hope things will be bet¬ 
ter.” Two years later he writes again: “Here this year in the face of 
three American vessels we collected 2,000 skins. Nass, in opposition to 
no less than seven, got as much besides 1,000 picked up by each of our 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

It was a matter of public policy, therefore—apart 
from private considerations, in such remote isolation 
from other female help—to allow, and even encourage, 
the blood-bond of marriage by whites with the native 
women. It was followed up, in other like cases, even as 
to the men (mostly French Canadian, and some Brit¬ 
ish) in the service of the company. All with excellent 
effect; for the Chinook, though given to the singular— 
unique, I believe—custom of flattening , 53 in infancy, 
the cephalic region (forehead) of his intellectual facul¬ 
ties, is no “flat,” in any sense, but has proved himself, 

own vessels—but they cost dear, near two dollars for made beaver.” 
Washington Historical Quarterly, ii, 161. 

Duncan Finlayson, writing from Fort Vancouver, March 12, 1832, 
[Idem., ii, 42], says: “And we have in view to extend our settlements 
along the coast, the best and most judicious plan we can adopt for the 
purpose of wresting that trade from the grasp of the Americans who 
have so far monopolized it and no doubt derived considerable gain there¬ 

In a letter to the foreign office in February, 1837, [Hudson’s Bay 
Company’s Correspondence, part 2, p. 24], Sir John H. Pelly, the Gov¬ 
ernor of the company, speaks of “The difficulties arising from an active 
competition with the Americans”; and in the same volume, page 30, 
James Douglas writes under the date Oct. 18, 1838: “The respite from 
opposition we have enjoyed for the past and the present year induces a 
hope that our American friends are withdrawing entirely from the busi¬ 

The story of the maritime trade during the period referred to has 
never been written, and the references to the movement of these Boston 
vessels are scattered through many volumes both printed and unprinted. 

53 This custom had an aristocratic significance and was a mark of 
freedom; no slave was permitted to bestow this enviable deformity on 
his child. Apparently the practice caused no impairment of the mental 
faculties of the tribe. For contemporary descriptions of this practice of 
flattening the heads of infants see David Thompson, op. cit., 506; Alex. 
Ross, Oregon Settlers, 113; Franchere, op. cit., 324; Ross Cox, op. cit., 
i, 274-275; the Rev. Samuel Parker, op. cit., 249; J. K. Townsend, 
op. cit., 176; and for sketches of the appearance of these flattened heads, 
see Captain Lewis’s drawing, Thwaites, Original Journals, iv, 10; George 
Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, Etc., of the North American 
Indian, ii, 125-126, cut 210, and Paul Kane [op. cit., 205] where the pic¬ 
ture of a Flathead child and mother is given. Comey [op. cit. 63] after 
describing the Flathead custom, mentions a somewhat similar practice of 
another tribe in binding the head with cords, until an equally grotesque 
deformity was acquired. 

V *v; ’ 


Indian woman with infant undergoing the process of 
head flattening 

From Catlirrs North American Indian, ii, 125. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


in natural intelligence, and in general aptitude for civil¬ 
ization, morally as well as mentally, the most advanced 
on the American Pacific Coast. 

The remark applies, with full force, to their women; 
who, marrying—for no other connection was, by the 
laws, there, then, or while the Hudson’s Bay Company 
had sway, permissible—marrying, I say, with due so¬ 
lemnity, the employees of the company, proved in their 
Ruth-like fidelity to marital duty , 54 the gravitating ele¬ 
ment and factor of pioneer settlement throughout the 
great Columbia country—a region of about two hun¬ 
dred and fifty thousand square miles; the richest in the 
world; and of strongest healthful life. 

The womanhood of that world—world beyond the 
distant, dimly seen, or fancied golden glaciered “Moun¬ 
tains” of De La Verenderie” and, after him, of Carver, 
to the “Great South Sea,” was, in those early times, and 
until the arrival there, of my step and foster mother, 
Jane Klyne , 55 wholly native, as was that of the British 

54 Most of these Indian women proved capable and faithful wives to 
their white husbands, and, to their honor, many of the officers of the fur 
companies, who took to themselves wives from the women of the Colum¬ 
bia River tribes, displayed affection, loyalty and pride in their dusky 
partners and their offspring, and clung to them in their more mature 
and affluent years, after retiring from the company’s service. 

55 The editors have been unable to ascertain the date or place of birth 
of Dame Jane Klyne. Archibald McDonald’s autograph pedigree list 
places her at Fort Rae in 1813 a time and place which apparently pre¬ 
clude her birth in Switzerland. An article in the Portland (Ore.) Ore¬ 
gonian, Feb. 12, 1891, states that she was born at Jasper House. She 
was reputed to be a half or quarter breed Cree Indian. Deprived of any 
opportunities for early education, she studied with her children under her 
husband’s tutorship, and is referred to by Elkanah Walker in his diary of 
date Sept. 17, 1838, as “quite an accomplished woman.” She was 
through her husband’s training a Protestant of deep religious convic¬ 
tions and a constant Bible student, and able to defend the tenets of her 
belief in religious discussion with the early missionaries. After the fam¬ 
ily removed to St. Andrews she became a member of Christ’s Church 
and was known for her many acts of charity, and, in the words of a con¬ 
temporary, “went about doing little acts of kindness.” She was one of 
the last of the great native gentlewomen typified by the late Lady Strath- 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

when it became a Roman colony . 56 The Roman has 
passed the way of all flesh; has dropped into his Nir¬ 
vana, of ultimate nonentity. The Briton still lives! 
Mother of Nations! Mother of these United States of 
America; the grandest political brotherhood of Earth! 

I say brotherhood, yet must confess, that it, sadly 
lacks that, in its inherent hate of race; its castes; its 
doom of black and Red, and Yellow, and Brown, and all 
other shades of Heaven-painted humanity within its 
borders. How, or why it is so, I leave to the framers, 
rather, to the successors of the framers of the original 
Declaration of the United States of America—the first 
New England of America—to state. Are “all men 

For my part: proud, and with no reason to be 
ashamed of my native “blue” blood of Ind[ian] in 
America, I feel no contumely towards any of different 
hue of humanity. At the same time, I must plead guilty 
to the soft impeachment of being naturally quick to re¬ 
sent an insult on this score; or on any score. However, 
I have never had occasion to do so. 

To return to my narrative. While thus a bachelor , 57 
in Astoria, with much need of a housekeeper in trade- 
post duty elsewhere, to which, at any moment he might 
be called, my father married the youngest daughter, 

cona—fit consorts for the sturdy gentlemen of the fur trade. By her 
will she left her foster child, Ranald, our author, a legacy of $400.00 
as a token of her affection. She died at St. Andrews, Quebec, Decem¬ 
ber 15, 1879, and her remains are buried in the church yard there besides 
those of her husband. 

56 Our author overlooked Miss Jane Barnes, the buxom Portsmouth 
bar maid, who arrived at Astoria, April 17, 1814, on the “Isaac Todd.” 
Ross Cox, op. cit., i, 258-259. 

57 Archibald McDonald had, some years previous, formed an alliance 
with another Indian woman, and a son of this union, then two years old, 
was accidentally drowned in a mud hole at Norway House in 1816. 
Archibald McDonald pedigree list. 

Japan Story of Adventure 85 

then still in her teens, of “King Com-Comly”; the fa¬ 
ther and the maid, nothing loathe. Her personal name, 
in Chinook, signified Raven ; 58 probably from the color 
of her hair, for black in complexion she was not, but like 
her sister (Mrs. MacDougall) was rather of Egyptian 
brown. For her change in life—following a custom in 
this regard of, I believe, the Japanese and other old 
Asian peoples, and probably, in mark of courtesy to the 
Whites—she was named Sunday—Princess Sunday. 

The marriage ceremony, as described to me, many 
years afterwards by an eye-witness, Captain Thomas 
Butler 59 of Salem, Mass., would seem to have been a 
very imposing one; possibly the grandest, in its way, on 
the Pacific Slope of North America, up to that time. 

At this time, Astoria (Fort George) had received a 
large accretion of goods and men, for trade, by the ar¬ 
rival of ships (two or three) from London under the 
new management by the Hudson’s Bay Company, to 
which the interests of the Northwest Company had 
been transferred in partnership . 60 The gentleman in 

58 The Chinook word for raven is “Koale’ xoa.” 

59 The statement is repeated in our author’s letter to Mr. McLeod Jan. 
16, 1893, Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. The name is not a Salem 
name, and does not appear in the list of vessels registered at the Salem 
Custom House, nor does it appear in the list of vessels and masters 
touching on the northwest coast 1819-1840. H. H. Bancroft, op. cit., ii, 
340-342. Our author may have confused the name and meant Captain 
Seth Barker of the “Volunteer,” owned by Barker & Sturges, Boston. 
These owners had several vessels on the coast about the time mentioned, 
and Captain Barker was undoubtedly familiar with the incidents stated. 
Otherwise, our author’s Captain Butler was an out-of-town man, tempo¬ 
rarily in command of some Salem vessel during a single voyage; his his¬ 
tory and the name of the vessel are unknown to the editors. 

60 The partnership was by consolidation in the Hudson’s Bay Com¬ 
pany, under its charter, by deed-poll of March 26, 1821, by which the 
Northwest Company (the larger, by far, say three to one, in trade stock) 
became absorbed, in nominally equal shares, in the smaller chartered 
body. The transaction was peculiar in many respects—giving rise to 
litigation and claims in Parliament unsettled to this day—as set forth 
in a recent pamphlet under the caption of Oregon Indemnity by Judge 
Malcolm McLeod, of Ottawa, Canada.—[Original.] 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

chief charge of the post was Doctor John McLough- 
lin , 61 chief factor—formerly a leading partner in chief 
charge, on the Pacific Slope, of the interests of the 
Northwest Company—himself married to an Indian 
wife, and faithfully devoted to her as worthy of his 
esteem; a man of deep religious feeling, and imbued 
with highest respect for the canons of Christianity, 
and particularly of his own creed, the Roman Catholic 
—a very “Christ of the Pacific Slope,” as Bancroft 
(H. H.) in his British Columbia enthusiastically (but 
with, perhaps, questionable propriety) calls him. 

Under the provisions of the Company’s charter and 
license from the crown he held magisterial powers , 62 

61 Dr. John McLoughlin did not come to the Columbia River district 
until November, 1824. Describing Dr. McLoughlin, our author has said: 
“He and my father were the only two persons that I was in any way in 
fear of. Tall, with a venerable look, caused by his very gray hair, with 
strong, powerful, commanding voice, to be short, with the air of a major- 
general; with a strong if not obstinate will. The last I saw of him was 
at Red River, Manitoba. Then he was very kind to me. Those who 
knew him well say that he was of a very kind disposition—so was my 
father—and why I should fear them was always a mystery to me.” Let¬ 
ter July 25, 1892. Dr. McLouglin married the widow of Alexander McKay, 
the Astor partner killed by the Indians in the attack on the Tonquin. 
Several of his descendants reside in the Northwest. See Frederick V. 
Holman, Dr. John McLoughlin (Cleveland, 1907), biography, 22-25. 

62 This is scarcely correct. The company’s charter only gave the 
power of appointment of magistrates for the vaguely described region 
east of the Rocky Mountains, known as Rupert’s Land. The license of 
exclusive trade only applied to the lands west of the Rockies and gave 
no such powers whatever. In Sir George Simpson’s evidence before the 
Committee of the House of Commons in 1859 occur the following ques¬ 
tions and answers on this subject: 

1191— (Mr. Lowe) Have you any magistrates, justices of the 
peace? We consider all our factors as magistrates. 

1192— Do they hold any commission from the Crown or from 
the Governor? Their commission as factors is understood to 
answer the purpose of a commission as magistrates. 

1193— Have they power to imprison and to decide any mat¬ 
ter? We have never had any case of imprisonment. 

At Fort Vancouver Dr. McLoughlin caused his assistant to be ap¬ 
pointed a justice of the peace. See hereon Frederick Holman, op. cit. y 
38, 39. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


and was, in all matters thereto appertaining, for peace 
and good government, governor in chief, with full con¬ 
sular authority—for the land, then, still, was as no 
man’s land, except that of the King (Com-Comly) then 
there in primordial title. The native imposed its own 
laws as to this matter of marriage; a matter, with them, 
of ever rigorous social exigence; and, in some tribes— 
such as the Shuswhaps—with singular application, like 
that of the Jews as we have it in our Bible. I refer to 
the law, more particularly, which requires a brother to 
marry a deceased brother’s widow. Not, I hold, that 
such custom and law—or others like those of the Jews 
of old, traceable in American Indian tribes, are assign¬ 
able to such origin—for history and ethnic science, I 
think, preclude such conclusion—but are mere acci¬ 
dental similarities, arising from the nature of man with 
his inhering laws of social life, adapted and adapting to 
the varying circumstances of his case—his environ¬ 
ment. Of many such, from Arctic to Antartic, the 
world over, I have been an observer; and, in this re¬ 
gard, have remarked, that as a general law, man, in 
every form of social life, is a law unto himself, and is 
not given to borrow or adopt that of another. In that 
is his Adam title of life on earth, with his co-ordinate re¬ 
sponsibility to his Maker. 

In this sense, in Chinook realm, Chinook law (cus¬ 
tom sanctified) governed—the world over—as to any 
marriage, or any matter of personal contract, as mar¬ 
riage is. At the time in question, there was no law of 
any foreign country, not even of Britain, or England, or 
the United States, or any of such, of any force at the 
Gate of King Com-Comly; where, in fact his word was 

Had there been any clergy there, and such service 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

had been required, it would, no doubt, have been al¬ 
lowed and had; but there were none; none within two 
or three thousand miles. No Christian or missionary , 63 
Roman Catholic, nor Protestant, then, ever yet set foot 
in that region. Still, marriage there, was, and for ages 
had been, an institution—a sacred institution—a bind¬ 
ing together by God (the “Great Spirit ”) 64 which, ac¬ 
cording to the people’s own local law, no man could 
break asunder. 


The royal residence was, in the fashion of the coun¬ 
try, a long, one-story, gothic-roofed, very large house 
of wood with doors and windows and other conven¬ 
iences, and adornments outside, including a monumen¬ 
tal totem pole by way of royal flagstaff. All about— 
quite a town—were houses on scarcely simpler scale, 
for accommodation of all the retinue—at least five hun¬ 
dred men—of the King. Add to that some of his sub¬ 
jects, about, settled there—for they were not of no¬ 
madic habit—a population, altogether of probably four 
or five thousand. 

The locality was a striking one, and was the first se- 

63 Two Spanish priests made a trip into the Northwest from California 
about 1810. See letter from fm. Davis Robinson to the Hon. J. H. 
Eaton printed in National Intelligencer Jan. 21, 1821, and re-printed in 
the Niles Register, March 10, 1821, reprinted in the Washington His¬ 
torical Quarterly, x, 142-149. These friars reached the height of land 
at the sources of the Colorado, the Platte and the Snake River, but did 
not travel as far north as the Columbia River. Returning, they claim to 
have reached the coast of California about latitude 43:30; possibly via 
the Umpqua River on Coose Bay, State of Oregon. Spanish missionaries 
had also been sent to the settlement at Nootka prior to its evacuation 
under Signor Quadro, and had possibly touched at some point on the 
mainland. See Franchere, op. cit., 180, note. 

64 All North American Indians, as well as my friends the Moes and 
Japanese, I consider to be essentially Monotheists.—[Original.] 

Totem Poles of the Northwest Coast Indians 
From photograph in Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


lected for Astoria; but for special considerations, 
amongst others, better anchorage, the south side— 
Gray’s Harbor of 1792—was ultimately chosen, 
though itself far from being good for harbor purposes. 

In the rear was the grand forest of densely fronded 
lofty Douglas pine and other such arborage. In front 
the gently sloping beach, tide laved, of golden sand and 
pebbled shingle. 

From water marge to the King’s court, where in open 
heaven, the ceremony 65 was to take place—a distance 
say of about three hundred yards—was a path of gold¬ 
en sheen, of richest furs, 66 viz. of prime beaver, otter 
(sea and land), nothing less!—not even seal fur, then 
of no account in the fur trade. Along this golden path 
way, as a guard of honor, were three hundred of the 
slaves, so-called, of the King. 

On the arrival of the bridegroom and his party, 
headed by the chief of the whites, Doctor McLoughlin, 
at this landing, they walked the furried path; the yeo¬ 
men of the guard (all warriors taken captive in battle), 
retaining their statue stand, arrived at the King’s gate. 
With little preliminary of ceremony, the King, with roy¬ 
al grace and dignity, in silence, handed over the evi¬ 
dently not unwilling bride; not unwilling, for her true 
love in his young manhood was of the handsomest of 

65 This, according to Benjamin MacDonald, our author’s half-brother, 
occurred Sept. 12, 1823. 

66 Though Washington Irving in describing the wedding of MacDougal 
and Com-comly’s daughter, [op. cit ., London ed. 1838, iii, 189-193] 
does not mention any such great display as our author claims signalized 
the marriage of his mother and Archibald McDonald, yet Paul Kane, 
[op. cit., 177] speaking of the former wedding, which occurred long before 
he came to Oregon says: “Com-comly, however, acted with unexpected 
liberality on the occasion, carpeting her path from the canoe to the Fort 
with sea-otter skins, at that time numerous and valuable, but now scarce, 
and presenting them as a dowry, in reality far exceeding in value the 
articles at which she has been estimated.” See note 46, page 76, for de 
Smet’s reference to Com-Comly’s furs. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

the sons of men—and debonair; eagle-eyed, and with 
the thews and eclat of his mountain race; of most mag¬ 
netic touch, and look, and tongue; a truly princely man. 

Whether there was any ring, 1 cannot say. Prob¬ 
ably there was. They, in any case, joined hands and 
seemingly hearts; all with a patriarchal Godspeed from 
his majesty of the Pacific. 

And so, away from her home, away from her people; 
as Ruth of old, did Naomi, did the princess of the Pa¬ 
cific, cleave unto my father, and become my mother— 
mother in holiest wedlock; wedlock perfect in its sim¬ 
plicity, with no adventitious ceremony of man to mar 
its sanctity; with no epithalamium to proclaim or bless 
it—only the soughing of the breeze through the ever 
harping trees, and, grander still, the deep organ bour- 
den of the ever-sounding sea, by the shore, with “music 
in its roar.” 

To crown the occasion, soon as the last foot of the 
whites had retrod the fur path on their return, the whole 
was picked up by the three hundred slaves in waiting, 
and piled, at the boats on the river marge, and pre¬ 
sented in gift , pure and spontaneous to the bride’s 
man. 67 There was, of course, “cakes and ale”—Pot¬ 
latch 68 in plenty for all—white and black—on both 
sides of the river. 

67None of this, however, went beneficially to him; for, by rule of 
the company, no servant or officer of it, could take, even in gift, any fur; 
all passed into their maw. Such was the application of their motto, 
“Pro-pelle-cutem,” The pile was worth, probably, at least three thou¬ 
sand dollars. It should have come to me as sole heir of the mar¬ 

68 Chinook word for free feast with gifts.—[Original.] 

The prevalent idea among the whites, that the potlatch was an 
improvident act of profligacy on the part of the Indian, is erroneous. 
The Indian potlatch was nothing less than an investment; the money 
and property given away brought very large returns; as an insurance 
scheme it surpassed anything yet devised by the white man. The Indian 
who gave a potlatch expected every man who received a gift from him at 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Thus ran out the merry chimes of the wedding of the 
last of the Royal House of Com-Comly, last King— 
regent—of the Pacific realm of the Chinooks—head of 
the nations of Flatheads—so-called—of the Pacific 

How, with peerless bravery and persistence, they 
fought for their independence and ancient home 
hearths, against General Hearney and other United 
States military forces, till the final surrender, many 
years after, in all honor, for peace’s sake, of noble Chief 
Joseph 69 is now matter of history—too recent and fresh 
for more than bare allusion. 

To pass on! 

the time of the potlatch, would give back to him at least double the value 
of that gift, and he must have been a terrible miser who would not return 
at least three times the value of the gift received. Age-old custom, 
backed by general approval of the Indians, was a guarantee for proper 
payment by the recipient of the gift; and no disgrace was greater than 
that following the Indian who, being able, failed to pay his potlatch obli¬ 
gations. Fully aware of the fickleness of fortune, the Indian who had 
amassed wealth arranged a potlatch and by giving away all his property 
made his own and the neighboring tribes his debtors. By instituting the 
potlatch the Indian thus not only insured himself against loss of prop¬ 
erty, but left something to his children; because it stands to reason that 
a potlatch could not be given every day, nor could the gifts be repaid im¬ 
mediately. If the Indian who gave a potlatch died, the gifts were repaid 
to his children. A man by giving a potlatch often insured to his children 
the possession of a great deal of wealth, and much of the wealth of the 
wealthier families among the Northwest Coast Indians was accumulated 
that way. Potlatch gifts were always “Indian gifts.” 

69 This is scarcely correct. Aroused by the ill-advised and misunder¬ 
stood efforts of Governor Stevens to confine them to small reservations 
of his own choosing, the Flathead or Salesh tribes commenced hostilities 
against the Americans shortly after the great Walla Walla Indian council 
of 1855. After the miscarriage of Chief Kamiaken’s great plan for a 
concerted attack on the American settlements on the Coast and East of 
the Cascades, during the winter of 1855-1856, by the premature murder 
of Indian Agent A. J. Bolon and some miners in the summer of 1855, 
and the several defeats of the allied tribes of the Columbia River basin 
by the soldiers, culminating in Colonel Wright’s campaign during the fall 
of 1858, the Salesh Indian tribes made permanent treaties with the Gov¬ 
ernment and no further hostilities occurred. They refused to join Chief 
Joseph in the Nez Perce War of 1877. The Nez Perce (Shahaptin) 
tribe is an entirely distinct tribe, differing in language and history from 
the Salesh tribes to the north of them. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 


Birth and Infancy—Life in British Columbia 

In due time, and it would seem without loss of time 
in this regard, I was born: Date, as per account, Feb¬ 
ruary 3, 1824—the very day on which a much better, 
more useful, and in every respect a greater man was 
born, viz., Horace Greely, of the New York Tribune y 
almost President of the United States. 

As already stated, I was born under the British flag; 
in Fort George (formerly Astoria). In truth, I am and 
have ever felt myself to be a man of two flags; proper, 
in a way, to both. Yet, let me say, scarcely quite con¬ 
tent with either. Of this, more anon! 

My mother died a few days after my birth, 70 much 
to the sorrow of my father, who loved her sincerely, for 
her gentle ways and wifely devotion. 

On her death my father marked his grief in every 
way of respect to her memory; and to this day, there 
may, for aught I know to the contrary, be some monu¬ 
mental mark of that sorrow, in the old cemetery by the 
old Fort. 71 

These facts are not, of course, to my personal knowl¬ 
edge, nor were they even mentioned to me by any of 
my family, but have been told by one who was a per- 

Ranald’s half-brother, Mr. Benjamin MacDonald has given the date 
as “the salmon running time,” which is usually in the months of May 
and June. 

71 The buildings of the Astor post were apparently abandoned by the 
Northwest Company in 1819 and new quarters erected. By 1834 the 
site of the Astor post was overgrown with grass and weeds and marked 
by a single chimney. J. K. Townsend, op. cit. All traces of the old 
Northwest Company and Hudson’s Bay Company’s post, Fort George, 
and of the cemetery were long ago obliterated. The site is now occupied 
by the City of Astoria. Our author’s cousin, Christinia MacDonald Wil¬ 
liams, had the chimney bottoms of this old post pointed out to her in 
1865, Washington Historical Quarterly, xiii, 113. 

Japan Story of Adventure£3 

sonal witness of them, and as a close family (cousin) 
of the deceased—herself subsequently married to a 
gentleman of historic fame as a scientist , 72 a chief fac¬ 
tor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, living here, at the 
time—was cognizant of them. Herself, as fit com¬ 
panion for her husband, readily acquired, and ever 
showed the refinement and intelligence, with sincere 
piety, of the best of the purely white race—a lady in 
every respect. I have not permission to give, thus pub¬ 
licly, her name . 73 

On the death of my mother, I was, in course, com¬ 
mitted to the nursing care 74 of the royal household 
across the way; where, according to all accounts, I be¬ 
came the favorite, the “Toll, Toll ” 75 (Chinook for the 
(Boy! the Boy!) of Gran’pa. 

72 George Barnston, a contemporary of our author’s father, was a 
Scotchman born in Edinburgh—a man of good intellectual attainments 
and universally respected and possessing great energy. His name ap¬ 
pears as a clerk, Nos. 463, 357 and 291, respectively, on the Lists of Em¬ 
ployees of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in North America for the years 
1821, 1822, 1823 and 1824. He was in charge of Fort Nez Perce (Walla 
Walla) for some time up to the spring of 1831, and became a Chief 
Trader in 1840. Like many of his contemporaries he espoused a woman 
from the Columbia River tribes. Retiring from the service, he settled 
at Montreal, where he took an active interest in public affairs, and be¬ 
came president of the Society of Natural History, which probably ac¬ 
counts for the reference to his “historic fame as a scientist.” 

72 Have no objection to do so privately, on proper inquiry.—[Orig¬ 

In a penciled note on the MSS. our author has written the name, 
“Mrs. George Barnston.” Mrs. Barnston and our author were distantly 
related. Letter Ranald MacDonald to Malcolm McLeod Nov. 24, 1890. 
Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 

74 According to Benjamin MacDonald, Ranald was committed to the 
care of an aunt, his mother’s sister, Car-Cumcum, and they occupied a 
lodge at the fort at Astoria. 

75 The Chinook language is peculiar in its abundance of onomato¬ 
poeic terms; these include the names of birds, a few other animals and 
some miscellaneous terms. The term, “The Toll, The Toll,” is doubtless 
the result of an attempt to give an English equivalent for some such 
Chinook name or term as “qoe’ Iqoel,” meaning owl, or “Qul qul,” mean¬ 
ing heron. See Boas, Handbook of American Indian Languages, 655. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Later on in 1824, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s 
establishment of Fort George was removed to a more 
suitable place then named Vancouver 76 (Fort and 
Post) about eighty miles further up the Columbia, on 
the north side, within tide water, with ample depth and 
accommodation for shipping. 

There, 77 in 1825, after more than a year’s widow¬ 
hood, my father married a Swiss (German Swiss) 
young woman, or girl of 16 or 17—Jane, daughter 
(born in Switzerland) 78 of one Michael Klyne, 79 “Post- 

The Chinook word for boy is Ekass-cas, Alex. Ross, Oregon Settlers, 323, 
or ik-qsks, Prof. Franz Boas, op. cit., 597. It will be recalled that 
Ranald’s mother’s name was Raven; Toll, Toll, applied to the infant 
Ranald, is of the type of these bird names and probably signified some 
term like little “owl” or “heron” and applied to Ranald because of some 
infant characteristic. In a letter from our author’s father to Edward 
Ermatinger dated Colvile, April 1, 1836, we find: “Ranald, or if you 
will have it Toole, was removed there from Pritchard’s last summer.” 

76 The removal of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s headquarters’ 
from Fort George (Astoria) to the new post, Fort Vancouver, in April, 
1825, is reported in the Oregon Historical Society’s Quarterly, xx, 27. 
Sir J. H. Pelly, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in a letter to 
George Canning, Foreign Secretary, dated December 9, 1825, gives the 
following explanation of the founding of Fort Vancouver: 

“In compliance with a wish expressed by you at our last in¬ 
terview, Governor Simpson, when at Columbia, abandoned Fort 
George on the south side of the river and formed a new estab¬ 
lishment on the north side about 75 miles from the mouth of the 
river at a place called by Lieutenant Broughton Bellevue point. 
Governor Simpson named the new establishment “Fort Van¬ 
couver” in order to identify our claim to the soil and trade with 
Lieutenant Broughton’s discovery and survey.” 

77 Mr. Benjamin MacDonald states that the marriage occurred Sept. 
1, 1825. There was evidently some irregularity in the first ceremony 
or its record, and the parties, probably to avoid any complications for 
their heirs, such as arose in the Connolly case, afterwards went through 
the marriage ceremony again. This was performed June 9, 1835, at York 
Factory by the chaplain of that port, the Rev. Mr. Cochran. Letter 
Archibald McDonald to Ermatinger, Provincial Library, Victoria, B. C. 
The bride was but fifteen years old at the time of her marriage. 

78 This, if correct, would indicate that Michael Klyne and his family 
were among the Swiss emigrants of 1821, but see contra hereon notes 
79 and 81 following. 

79 The name of Michael Klyne appears in the Lists of Employees of 
the Hudson’s Bay Company in America for the years 1821, 1822 and 

Japan Story of Adventure 


master” (as the office was then called) of Jasper 
House , 80 a trade outpost of the Hudson’s Bay Com¬ 
pany, situated on the east side of the Rocky Mountains, 

1823 as Nos. 933, 749 and 545, respectively. He was probably identical 
with Michel Klein, one of the voyageurs attached to the Department of 
Athabasca in 1804 and mentioned in L. F. R. Masson’s Les bourgeois de 
la compagnie du Nord Ouest , i, 396. Archibald McDonald’s pedigree list 
mentions his wife, Jane Kline, daughter of Michael, as coming to Fort 
Rae in 1813, doubtless fixing Michael Klyne’s service at that time and 
place. He is the Michael Klyne mentioned in the list of grantees from 
Lord Selkirk and the Hudson’s Bay Company as the owner of Lot 227 in 
Register B of the Red River Colony; see Archer Martin, op. cit., 147. He 
was in charge of Jasper House when Alexander Ross passed through 
in the spring of 1825, and is spoken of by him as “a man by the name of 
Klyne, a jolly old fellow, with a large family.” He and his family then 
consisting of five children accompanied Edward Ermatinger from Edmon¬ 
ton to Jasper House in September, 1828. Ermatinger’s Journal, Trans¬ 
actions Royal Society of Canada, vi, sec. ii, 81, 103-108. Being an 
outpost it would appear that Jasper House was only occupied during 
the winter. By Minutes of Council for years 1830-1833, inclusive, he 
was still assigned as Postmaster for Jasper House, E. H. Oliver, op. cit., 
i, 645, 661, 678, 694. In the records of the Hudson’s Bay Company at 
Winnipeg his name appears on a registered contract dated June 1, -1827, 
evidently for services as Clerk and Trader at Lesser Slave Lake. He 
probably retired to Fort Garry about 1834. Michael Klyne’s mill is men¬ 
tioned by Alexander Ross, Red River Settlement, 121. The name some¬ 
times appears as Clyne and Michael Klyne’s name is doubtless preserved 
in Cline’s River at the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan, and in 
“Old Cline’s Trail” north of Kootenai Plain leading towards Jasper 
house. John Palliser, Papers Relative to the Exploration by Captain 
Palliser, (1858-1859), 112. The old family homestead on Euclid Ave¬ 
nue, at Point Douglas, Fort Garry (Winnipeg), was abandoned at the 
time of the flood, when the family moved to Morris, Minnesota. Mrs. 
Klyne died at Fort Garry about 1855. There were a number of children 
besides Jane Klyne, including a daughter, Angelique, and four sons; 
Michael, Adam, who at one time carried mail from Minnesota; George, 
a member of the Provincial Parliament at Winnipeg in 1870 or 1872, and 
John. All were mentioned and remembered in the will of their sister, 
Jane Klein McDonald, and presumably were living at the date of the 
last codicil thereof, dated December 14, 1879. 

80 Jasper House—the last support east of the Rocky Mountains on 
the regular Hudson’s Bay Company’s route overland from the head¬ 
waters of the Athabasca to those of the Columbia River by way of Atha¬ 
basca Pass—was situated at the outlet of Lake Jasper, an expansion of 
the Athabasca River, and so named after Jasper Hawes, a clerk of the 
Northwest Company, stationed in the Athabasca department, whose 
name appears in the list 1804 L. F. R. Masson, op. cit., i, 396; ii, 26, 
note. Coues [op. cit., 640], states that this house was built about 1800. 
It may be the post shown on David Thompson’s map, “Northwest Com¬ 
pany” at the headwaters of the Athabasca; if so, Thompson makes no 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

between the eastern ends of the Athabasca and Yellow 
Head passes. This Mr. Klyne, a person of good educa¬ 
tion and of responsible integrity, was one of the colony 
of Swiss, from Switzerland, whom the Earl of Selkirk 
had induced to try their fortune in his Red River Settle¬ 
ment , 81 and who, on arrival there, finding the difficul- 

mention of it when describing his journey to the Columbia River in 1810- 
1811, though upon the return trip he speaks of arriving in this locality at 
“the house of Mr. William Henry”; see David Thompson, op. cit., 557. 
This Henry's House was, however, evidently situated some distance 
above Jasper House, as known in later years, and was one of the sev¬ 
eral small outposts in the vicinity known as “Rocky Mountain Houses.” 
See hereon, Coues, op. cit., ii, 640, note: L. F. R. Masson, op. cit., ii, 26. 
According to David Douglas, [op. cit., 261] on May 3, 1827, Rocky Moun¬ 
tain House “consisted merely of a small hut.” These temporary houses 
or forts were often known by different names, and in course of events 
occasionally rebuilt. Ross Cox, who was at the post in 1817, speaks of it 
[op. cit., ii, 183] as “the melancholy hermitage of Mr. Jasper Hawes.” 
Further reference to this post will be found (inter alia) in Franchere, 
op. cit., 296; Ross Cox, op. cit., ii, 254; L. R. F. Masson, op. cit., ii, 52; 
John Palliser’s Further Papers, op. cit., ii, 25; de Smet, Missions de 
V Oregon, letters xiii and xiv; Paul Kane, op. cit., 154, which contains 
a wood-cut showing the appearance of Jasper House in 1846. As to the 
appearance of the post when Michael Klyne was in charge, David Doug¬ 
las, the botanist, who accompanied Edward Ermatinger across the moun¬ 
tains in 1827, in his Journal, [op. cit., 262] under date of May 4, 1827, 
says: “Arrived at Jasper House, three small hovels on the left side of 
the river, at two o’clock, where we put up to refresh ourselves for the re¬ 
mainder of the day.” In 1859 the place was described by Captain Pal- 
liser as “a little group of dwellings constructed in keeping with the pic¬ 
turesque situation, with overhanging roofs and trellised porticos.” These 
were probably the work of Michael Klyne. Paul Kane was not so fa¬ 
vorably impressed, describing the place in November, 1845 [op. cit., 155], 
as consisting of “three miserable log huts.” The name Jasper House is 
preserved in the name of a station on the Canadian National Railway 
in the vicinity. 

si In a memoranda of guidance to McDonell as agent for Selkirk’s 
Executors, under date 1821 under title Swiss Settlers, it is stated: 
“There will be 250 or 260 persons of all ages, of whom 60 will be under 
10 years of age or thereabouts.” E. H. Oliver, The Canadian North¬ 
west, 1, 211. These colonists were secured through the propaganda of 
Colonel de May. 

Archer Martin’s The Hudson's Bay Company's Land Tenures, Lon¬ 
don, 1898, gives in Appendix “G,” 194, a list of the Swiss who left their 
native land in May, 1821, and late that year arrived at the Earl of Sel¬ 
kirk’s colony. The list numbers one hundred and sixty-five in all—men, 
women and children. Michael Klyne’s name is not included. It must, 
however, be noted that on page 29 Judge Martin states the number of 
these Swiss settlers as one hundred and seventy-seven; no effort is made 

Japan Story of Adventure 


ties of such a life, scattered 82 —some going to the west¬ 
ern states then (A. D. 1820) approaching the higher 
reaches of the Mississippi, and some—as in Klyne’s 
case—taking service with the Hudson’s Bay Company. 

After a year or so, I was placed under her care; at 
an age so young that 1 took to her as my veritable moth¬ 
er, and she, a woman of fine feeling, and true Swiss 
fidelity to her trust, ever, to the last moment of her long 
life, kept up, with tenderest care and solicitude, the 
kind deception. 

She bore twelve sons and a daughter 83 to my father, 

to account for this difference; it is possible that Klyne’s family may have 
been included in the twelve not accounted for. The other Swiss settlers 
in the Red River colony were members of de Meuron’s disbanded regi¬ 
ment engaged at Montreal and Kingston. The de Meurons originally 
belonged to two mercenary regiments recruited in Switzerland and under 
the pay of the British Government. They saw service in Continental 
Europe and in the American War of 1812, and the regiment was dis¬ 
banded in Quebec, Canada, May, 1816. Four officers and a- hundred 
men of these came with Lord Selkirk to Red River, arriving in the spring 
of 1817 and settling opposite Fort Douglas on the Seine. Another au¬ 
thority gives their number as three officers and eighty men—who left 
Montreal in 1816. 

Michael Klyne’s rank (postmaster) and place on the List of Em¬ 
ployees of the Hudson’s Bay Company, for 1821, after the coalition, pre¬ 
clude his having been a member of the Swiss colony of 1821, which did 
not arrive until November of that year, and would seem to identify him 
with the Michel Klyne of the Northwest Company list of 1804, and ap¬ 
parently preclude Jane Klyne’s being born in Switzerland. 

82 The date given by our author for the departure of these Swiss is 
manifest error. The correct date is June, 1826. See hereon Alexander 
Ross’s Red River Settlement, 57, et seq. In a letter from D. McKenzie 
to A. Colvile, dated Red River, Aug. 1826, [E. H. Oliver, op. cit., 1, 261] 
we find: “Nothing important took place since he left us except the con¬ 
templated departure of Swiss and De Meuron’s, with some Canadians 
who, like them, preferred to quit the country than submit to the labor of 
re-establishing their farms. The former to the number of 50, bent their 
course to the States, and of the latter 25 embarked for the Canadas, 
making a total of 180, big and small.” A number of these settlers 
moved to the vicinity of Fort Snelling, near St. Paul. A few of these 
Swiss settlers appear to have left Red River as early as 1823; see here¬ 
on, E. H. Oliver, op. cit., 1, 228-230. 

88 For genealogy and biography of our author’s father and his fam¬ 
ily see Archibald McDonald, Washington Historical Quarterly, ix, 99-101 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

but, so it was said and I say, seemed to love me best of 
any. The love was certainly reciprocated. 

Late in after life, when far from her, I learned, by 
accident, from strangers living at and about the place of 
my birth, the real state of our relations, the disillusion 
pained me beyond expression. However, it brought no 
reflections against my father, then in his grave, nor 
against my still beloved step-mother, then in the distant 
East (St. Andrews’, Quebec), closing her lonely wid¬ 
owhood by the grave of her husband. In effect, the dis¬ 
covery made me, at the time, withdraw within myself, 
abandoning, at once, pursuits, in high honorable enter¬ 
prise in British Columbia, 84 which in course might, I 
flattered myself, have placed me in a better—i. e., con¬ 
ventionally higher, and more comfortable position, as 
to wordly means, than is now mine to command. But 
now, with that philosophy incident to age, and further 
—being thereunto much advised, I creep out of my her¬ 
mit shell and give, thus to the world, the little story of 
whence and how I came, thus to play my humble part 
in the drama of “Gates Ajar,” of west and east, in the 
world of the Pacific. 

To return to my narrative! 

Again with my father, after my babyhood in the pal¬ 
ace, I remained with him, his constant companion, save 
when out on expeditions of special danger—from trade 
post to trade post throughout the Columbia, and north¬ 
ward in the region now known as British Columbia. 
Much of that was in pioneer exploration and settlement, 
up to my twelfth year. The scenes and incidents of 
that life, up to my fourteenth year are, or at least most 
of them are, still distinct to memory. To give them 

84 Reference to enterprises in the Cariboo country in the early ’60s 
in association with Sir James Douglas, Mr. Barnston and others. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


tongue as I would wish, with full credit to those who 
took part in them, would fill volumes. Few of them 
are in any book; and then, only incidentally; generally 
wrongly; oft at second-hand; and sometimes with a dis¬ 
tortion of facts and suppressio veri in larceny of merit. 85 

In 1823, the first post 86 —a large and well fortified 
fort, one hundred and thirty-five feet by one hundred 
and twenty, with high picket walls, two bastions with 
cannon, and a gallery four feet wide all round, was built 
on the Pacific Coast, north of the Columbia. It was 
chiefly for the coast trade, but for convenience, also, of 
the immediate land trade thereabout was situated about 
thirty miles up the Fraser, on its left or south bank, 
within schooner navigation. It was called Fort Lang¬ 
ley, after a prominent stockholder of the Hudson’s Bay 
Company of that name. 

85 While little credit has been given to many intrepid first explorers 
of Northwest, in the Provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, Can¬ 
ada, the names, if not the deeds, of such old Northwesterners as Alex¬ 
ander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser, Alexander Stuart, John Finlay and 
others are fittingly preserved in the names of their rivers, mountains and 

86 Our author is here in error. The site of Fort Langley was selected 
on June 29, 1827, on the left bank of the Fraser River some 30 miles 
above the Gulf of Georgia. Construction was commenced on July 30th 
by a party under the command of James McMillan, that had come from 
the Columbia River via Cowlitz portage. During the greater part of the 
work the men were lodged aboard the schooner “Cadboro,” which had 
brought them from Puget Sound. By September 18th the post was suffi¬ 
ciently advanced to enable the “Cadboro” to discharge the trading goods 
and depart. On October 10, 1828, the post was inspected by Governor 
Simpson, when James McMillan accompanied the Governor to Vancou¬ 
ver, and the author’s father, Archibald McDonald, was assigned to the post 
in his place. For description of the post at this time see Malcolm Mc¬ 
Leod, Peace River, Journal of Archibald McDonald, 38-39, 118-119; 
H. H. Bancroft, op. cit., ii., chap. 21; Washington Historical Quarterly, 
vi, 181, 186. 

The fort was destroyed in April, 1840. So much had the northern 
posts begun to depend upon Langley for their salt provisions, that it 
was feared that they must be abandoned; in the end an agreement was 
made with the Russians whereby permission was obtained to purchase 
venison in their territory. When the fort was rebuilt the location was 
changed to a point some three or four miles further up the Fraser. Upon 
this site, at the present, two of the old fort buildings are still standing. 

100 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

My father was placed in charge of it the same year, 
on the termination of his remarkable canoe voyage, with 
Governor Simpson from Hudson’s Bay to that point as 
described from his manuscript journal of it in Judge 
McLeod’s book, Peace River * 1 aboundingly cited in 
Bancroft’s (H. H.) histories British Columbia and 
The North West Coast of America. The work, Peace 
River, published in 1872, covering, in its subjects (ge¬ 
odesy, climatology, agricultural and other economic re¬ 
sources) all the north and northwest of Canada, and 
the whole Pacific Slope north of Mexico, was, I have 
reason to know, a prime factor in the promotion of the 
present Canadian Pacific Railway. 

On this subject, I could give much, of some public 
moment to the world; and might very properly do so, 
as one of the strongest arguments for that scheme, as 
advanced in press (papers and pamphlets 88 A. D. 1869- 
1874) by its first practical promoter, my old fellow 
Columbian, Judge Malcolm McLeod, 89 was the import¬ 
s' 7 The person referred to as Judge McLeod is our author’s friend 
and collaborator, Malcolm McLeod, Q. C., of Aylmer and later of Otta¬ 
wa, Canada. So far as can be ascertained at present he never occupied 
the position of a judge; the title was one of courtesy. See note 89, post. 
The book referred to is really but the Journal of Archibald McDonald, 
our author’s father, covering a canoe voyage from Hudson’s Bay to the 
Pacific made by him in company with Sir George Simpson in 1828. Mr. 
McLeod has added many and voluminous notes. The volume was is¬ 
sued at the suggestion of Sanford Fleming as a part of the Canadian 
railroad propaganda; see McLeod’s Memorial, 1899, 4. Five hundred 
copies were printed; some fifty were sold by the publishers, the re¬ 
mainder were bought from the publishers by Mr. McLeod and distributed 
by him gratuitously. In his Memorial Mr. McLeod describes his book 
as “a sort of blue-book with dry statistical details” and as “not calcu¬ 
lated for general reading”; but this is merely the author’s reticence; 
the book is delightfully interesting from cover to cover. 

88 A quantity of his notes, memoranda and manuscript papers are in 
Provincial Library at Victoria, B. C. 

89 Malcolm McLeod, the friend and collaborator of our author was 
the son of Chief Trader John McLeod and his wife, Charlotte, half- 
breed daughter of John P. Purden, a Chief Factor. He was born on 
October 22, 1821, at Fort Green Lake on Beaver River in the Northwest 

Japan Story of Adventure 


ance of developing trade with Japan and China, as well 
as with Australia by such a railway; and in that connec¬ 
tion was given by him in one of these pamphlets, and 
in the local leading newspaper press of the day, briefly, 
the story of my adventure in Japan as he had it, twenty 
years before, from my own lips, when a guest with him 
in Canada. In this way, my Japan of 1848-1849 with 
the C. P. R. of 1885. We, McLeod and I (I put him 
first, for such is his proper place in the matter) as in 
fact, our respective fathers, each again in the same 

Territories. Until four years of age he lived with his parents at various 
trading posts, principally in the Okanogan district, and crossed the moun¬ 
tains with them in 1826. He left the West in 1830 for Scotland, there 
attending school under Dr. Boyd at Edinburgh and was in London for 
a short time in 1840. He was admitted to the Bar of the Province of 
Quebec in 1845, and practiced his profession for a while at St. Andrews 
in the County of Argenteuil; then moved to Aylmer, where he continued 
to practice his profession until about the year 1871, when he was ap¬ 
pointed District Magistrate for the District of Ottawa. This position 
he held up to the year 1879, when he resigned and resumed practice at 
the bar of Aylmer, moving subsequently to Ottawa, where he died in 
1897. The title Judge was given him colloquially only. He styled him¬ 
self a Presbyterian, but was buried from the Church of England. Three 
sisters lived with him a number of years, one of them marrying a Mr. 
Pierce, a bookseller of Ottawa, and the two others dying about the same 
time as their brother, unmarried. A friend and contemporary fellow 
barrister has described him in the following words: 

“He was a tall, spare, stern-looking man, but in conversation was one 
of the liveliest and most interesting men I ever met. His knowledge of 
the Northwest dated, as he was fond of telling, from the time he moved 
along the banks of the Mackenzie River on his mother’s back; and all 
that we now know goes to show that he had nature on his side when 
he advocated crossing the Rocky Mountains by the Valley of the Peace 
River, when the railway to the Pacific Ocean was first mooted. 

“He had an extensive knowledge of the law and had read even into 
the Laws of Scotland, which he was fond of quoting, but he seemed to 
lack the power to classify his knowledge and to make it applicable to the 
case at issue. 

“Vices he had none, and on the whole was one whom it was a pleas¬ 
ure to know and an advantage to chat with. He never did an unkind¬ 
ness to anyone. As far as this world’s goods were concerned he could 
not keep them with him, and when a wave of prosperity would come 
to him he was reckless as any Indian in squandering his money. He 
was quite an outstanding figure, and very much inclined to be very 
lengthy in his pleadings. 

In 1869 he began the Britannicus Letters to the Ottawa and other 
provincial newspapers in favor of the proposed Canadian Pacific rail- 

102 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

order 90 had, before that, A. D. 1822-28 practically pre¬ 
pared the way—were the first to solve that problem of a 
“North-west Passage”. 91 

The fact is of standard record: but, in its esoteric, has 
been studiedly ignored, and, to the world, even denied 
by the millionaire beneficiaries thereof. The subject is 
for other pages. 

In 1834 or 1835, 92 my father was assigned to the 

road. He also wrote and published a number of pamphlets, in addition 
to “Peace River,” i. e., Pacific Railway, Canada, Etc., 1875; Oregon In¬ 
demnity. Claim of Chief Factors and Chief Traders Hudson's Bay Com¬ 
pany, 1892, etc. 

so McLeod became a Chief Trader by the Deed Poll of 1821, while 
Archibald McDonald remained a clerk until 1828. 

91 In 1862, as the result of my own personal surveys of routes for 
transport of freight from the Ocean to the Cariboo mines in British Co¬ 
lumbia, I obtained a charter to myself personally (in association with the 
late John Barnston, barrister, member of the legislature of British Co¬ 
lumbia and other) from the Government of British Columbia for first a 
trail and then a wagon road from Bella Coola (Bentwick Arm) to the 
Cariboo mines with tollage. Ultimately I took a prominent part in the 
alternate route through the gorge of the Fraser, canoed by my father in 

The John Barnston, barrister, referred to is Mr. John G. Barnston, 
who was the second person to be admitted as a barrister in the Courts of 
Vancouver Island; then a separate colony from that of the mainland, 
known as British Columbia. Mr. Barnston appears to have been ad¬ 
mitted to practice in Vancouver Island, sometime towards the end of 
1858. His application to practice at the Bar of British Columbia was 
made on December 9, 1861, to Governor Douglas. He was not at that 
time a member of the legislature; indeed there was no semblance of a 
legislature on the mainland until 1864, and it did not become representa¬ 
tive and responsible government until 1871. Mr. Barnston was in 1873 
elected, at a by-election, as one of the three members for the Cariboo 
District. In May and June of 1861 our author, with Mr. Barnston and 
Messrs. Tompkins, Person and Ritchie, made a preliminary exploration 
from Alexandria to North Bentinck Arm on the Coast; report of which 
was made to Governor Douglas, July 24, 1861, and is on file in the 
Provincial Archives at Victoria, B. C. The route was afterwards opened 
for pack-trains, which, for a short time were conducted over the route 
by our author and his associates. The enterprise was never a financial 

92 Archibald McDonald left Fort Langley—where he had been sta¬ 
tioned for some years—for Fort Vancouver in the spring of 1833, and 
after selecting the site and laying the foundations of Nisqually House 
in June of 1833 ( Washington Historical Quarterly, vi, 179-188), he ac¬ 
companied Mr. William Connolly of New Caledonia up the Columbia 

Japan Story of Adventure 


charge of Fort Colvile, the highest trade post on the Co¬ 
lumbia; the centre then of a very extensive Indian trade, 
including the great Kootenaye Country and the upper 
Columbia to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The 
location was just above the Kettle falls of the Columbia 
—then, as still, a central resort of Indians, from all 
around, for their salmon fishery; their chief food sup- 

The site—a beautiful flat, of great extent, about ten 
square miles, 93 surrounded by mountains of moderate 
height, with (then) the celebrated “Buffalo grass and 
other finest herbage of cattle—was an admirable one 
for a farm in a large scale. 

On its establishment in 1826, 94 it was at once stocked 
with three calves and three pigs, 95 brought, by boat, by 

with supplies for the interior in July of 1833. In 1834 and 1835 he was 
absent on leave, during which time he visited in Scotland. See letter 
from himself dated Edinburgh, 20th January, 1835, set out in extenso in 
Oregon Historical Society’s Quarterly, vi, 308-309. From another of his 
letters appearing in Washington Historical Quarterly, ii, 254, it would 
appear that he did not take active charge at Fort Colvile until 1836. He 
was in this position when John McLean, the author of Twenty-five Years 
in the Hudson's Bay Company's Territory, passed through. McLean 
(op. cit. ii, 14) wrote: “We arrived at Colvile on the 12th (April, 
1837) where we met with a most friendly reception from a warm-hearted 

Gael, Mr. Med-.” He was at Vancouver, May 30, 1836. Parker, op. 

cit. 293. 

93 The site of Fort Colvile contained about five square miles of land. 
For a contemporary description thereof (1848) see inter alia Washing¬ 
ton Historical Quarterly, iii, 145. 

94 Fort Colvile was staked out by Governor Simpson on April 14th, 
1825, and part of the timbers framed during the summer and fall of 1825. 
John Work’s Journal, Washington Historical Quarterly, v, 105, 166, 169. 
For the abandonment of Spokane House on April 7, 1826, and removal 
of the employees and stores to Fort Colvile see John Work’s Journal, 
Idem, v, 276-283. 

93 In John Work’s Journal for April 11, 1826, we have the entry: “The 
express arrived in the evening, Messrs. McLeod, Ermatinger & Douglas. 
They brought three pigs and three young cows for the Fort,”—Colvile. 
Washington Historical Quarterly, v. 284. In a letter from Archibald 
McDonald to John McLeod, dated from Colvile, January 25, 1837, 
reproduced in Washington Historical Quarterly ii, 255, McDonald says: 
“Your three calves are up to 55 and your three grunters would have 

104 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Chief Trader John McLeod, from Fort Vancouver, 
about 800 miles below. The stock was from England; 
brought by the Hudson’s Bay Company ships, round 
the Horn, from London. 

From these three calves sprang, I believe, all the cat¬ 
tle—millions, since probably—literally on a “thousand 
hills” 96 —from California to Alaska, throughout the 
“Sea of Mountains”, with valleys, of utmost fertility, 
innumerable, now constituting the States of Washing¬ 
ton, Montana, Idaho, Eastern part of Oregon and cen¬ 
tral and eastern British Columbia. 

For gardening, the place, with a most favorable cli¬ 
mate, proved a very Eden. Truly a lovely spot, of 
God’s blessed Earth home for man! The Fort, a fine 
one in the model of the times in the Indian Country, 
with high wooden walls (of squared tree trunks 12 to 
18 feet in height) and bastions, with cannon, and gal¬ 
lery, inside, all round, was a veritable citadel of safety. 

Here, in its cherished ruins; with the old bull dogs— 
cannon, three pounders 97 —of watch and ward, the rust- 

swarmed the country if we did not make it a point to keep them down 
to 150.” And see generally upon this subject Malcolm MacLeod’s 
Peace River, 94, et. seq. Chickens, goats and pigs, brought from the 
Hawaiian Islands on the “Tonquin,” had been introduced at Spokane 
House as early as 1814. See Ross Cox, op. cit., i, 315-316. 

96 In a letter to the Kettle Falls (Wash.) Pioneer, dated August 31, 
1891, our author says: “Sixty-five years have we the first pioneers 
of civilization in this wild of wilds in early days; by the sweat of our 
brows and enterprises, filled or at least largely covered every valley and 
plain with the fruits of our industry in herds and flocks and bands of 
horses for hundreds of miles in every direction. In this respect I could 
refer to an article or a series of articles in the New York Century under 
the heading: The Bitter Root Valley and Montana, where my uncle 
Angus of the Flat-head post, who died two years ago last February, was 
mentioned together with his noble family as being the first pioneers of 
the country and exceedingly rich in several thousand head of cattle and 

97 This little cannon, now in the Museum of the Eastern Washington 
State Historical Society at Spokane, Wash., is reputed to have been 
one of two carried by the British to the Heights of Abraham in an attack 

The Northwest bastion of the stockade surrounding the Hudson’s 
Bay Company’s Fort Colvile 
From a photograph by Frank Palmer, 1901. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


ing “Woolwich infants” of England, with their “Tower 
mark” (the “broad arrow”) still by me, 1 sit, Marius 
like, 98 in my father’s veritable old arm chair; my bat¬ 
tles over; save with the wolf; and the last,—last of all— 
when it may come—in ready welcome! 

Here, during three or four years, 99 with younger half 
brothers, under the tenderest, and best, in every way, of 
parental care, I spent what I consider to have been the 
very happiest days of my life: in a world of our own; 
little; singularly isolated from the haunts of men; 
where only the occasional Indian, with silent step; with 
his furs for sale, and our (The Company’s) own “Des¬ 
patch” 100 to and from the East—in Spring and Fall—in 
hurrying way, with a single paddle boat (of eight for 
crew) with a passenger or two, broke the solitude. To 
that might be added the annual arrival from below, viz: 
Spokann 101 of the annual supplies (“outfit”) for the 
Post: always a joyous occasion. 

on Quebec during the French and Indian War. It is mentioned by our 
author’s cousin, Angus MacDonald, in his “A Few Items of the West ” 
published in the Washington Historical Quarterly, viii, 188-229. 

98 The reference here undoubtedly is to the celebrated words of Caius 
Marius, whose struggle with Sulla is familiar to all students of Roman 
history. Driven into exile to Africa, Marius is said to have used these 
words: “Tell him that you saw Caius Marius sitting on the ruins of 

99 Our author is in error. Young Ranald was at Thompson’s River 
in 1826-1828, at Fort Langley much of the time between 1828 and the 
spring of 1833. He was at Ball’s school at Fort Vancouver during the 
winter of 1832-1833 and left for Red River by the fall express of 1834. 
He could not have spent much time at Colvile. 

too Some mention of the brigades carrying the company’s dispatch 
appears herein. See pagees 55, 62, 63 hereof. 

tot Pronounced with accent of last syllable. It was the first trade 
post established by the Northwest Company, viz., in 1811, on the South 
Side of the Columbia River, after those (two) in the Kootenaye Country, 
by David Thompson in 1807-1808. Spokann was the first distributing 
centre of the whole Columbia fur trade and there its accounts were made 

The correct date is 1810. David Thompson built his Kellyspell 

106 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

In such life—where the good and evil in man were 
left to their own working and tendencies, unrestrained 
and unstimulated by external associations with human¬ 
ity, individuality becomes emphasized—to put it meta¬ 
phorically, man becomes, according to his bent and en¬ 
vironment, saint, or devil. 

Fortunately for our juvenile humanity (I speak of 
my brothers and self) we had guardian parents of high¬ 
est Christian character 102 and life—my father a Scotch 
Episcopalian; my mother (step-mother) born and bred 
of Geneva—a thorough woman of her Bible. Morn 
and eve, the Word! under their parental ministry, 
moulding the unalloyed clay of youth, for sterner vir¬ 
ility—a harder life—in combat with the world. 

After a home schooling 103 now calling for more ad¬ 
vanced studies and special scholastic discipline, I was 
in (or about) 1838 104 sent to the nearest school. That 

House on Pend d’Oreille lake in Sept, of 1809; Saleesh House in Oct. 
of 1809, and Spokane House was built by his clerk Jacques Raphael 
Finlay (possibly with Finan McDonald) in the summer of 1810. 

102 jane Klyne and her husband were Episcopalians and after retiring 
from the Indian Country became prominent members of the Christ’s 
Church at St. Andrews, Province of Quebec. While at Fort Colvile the 
Rev. Elkanah Walker and the Rev. Cushing Eells from the Tshimakain 
Mission were frequent visitors at Fort Colvile, and arguments were often 
had there on the different orthodoxic views of their respective churches; 
in the arguments Dame Jane Klyne, who was unusually well versed in 
the Bible and the creed of her church, is said to have held her own in 
religious argument with both of the missionaries. See note 55, page 83 
for further comment on Dame Jane Klyne’s character as a Christian. 

103 Writing to his old friend, John McLeod, from Fort Langley on 
January 15, 1832 [Washington Historical Quarterly , ii, 265-266] our 
author’s father, Archibald McDonald, says:—“What I regret is the con¬ 
dition of the boys—for there is nothing like early education—however, 
I keep them at it, mother and all. My Chinook now reads pretty well and 
has commenced cyphering.” In addition to this home schooling our 
author attended John Ball’s school at Fort Vancouver for a short time 
in the fall and winter of 1832-1833. 

104 in conversation in his later years our author stated that he went 
to the Red River school when nine years old. In a letter dated Fort 
Langley, February 20, 1833, our author’s father wrote: “I find it is high 

Japan Story of Adventure 


was, then, in Red River (Selkirk) Settlement, on the 
east side of “The Mountains”—an arduous voyage and 
journey of about two thousand miles. I went, in charge 
of the late Chief Factor Duncan Finlayson, 105 then, in 

time to get my little boys to school—God bless them—I have no less than 
five of them, all in a promising way.” {Washington Historical Quarterly, 
ii, 163). In another letter, dated Fort Colvile Jan. 25th, 1837 ( Wash¬ 
ington Historical Quarterly, ii, 254), the father writes: “We have as yet 
but an only girl, who with our boy is all the family we have—the other 
chaps are at R. R.—three with Mr. Jones, and one with the grandfather.” 
In another letter, addressed to Edward Ermatinger and in the archives 
of the Provincial Library at Victoria, B. C., the father says: —■“Before he 
went to Red River in ’34, I had him myself pretty well advanced in arith¬ 
metic, so that one would suppose he is now something of a scholar.” In 
the Elkanah Walker journals under date Colvile, Sept. 27, 1838, we find: 
“Some of his (McDonald’s) sons are at Red River.” From the foregoing 
it would appear that our author is mistaken in this date and that he left 
Fort Colvile for Red River at least by the fall express of 1834. 

105 Duncan Finlayson’s name appears as Nos. 143, 114 and 91, re¬ 
spectively, in the Lists of Employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 
America for the years 1821, 1822 and 1823. He was promoted from 
clerk to chief trader in 1828. He was at Fort Garry, Red River, in 
1830; at Fort Vancouver and elsewhere in the Columbia River district 
during 1831-1837, having been promoted to Chief Factor in 1832. He 
was on furlough for the period 1837-1838, and was re-assigned to Fort 
Garry from 1839 to 1844. He was appointed Governor of Rupert’s Land, 
March 20, 1839, and served as such until June, 1844. E. H. Oliver, 
op cit. i, 48. According to John Dunn [ History of the Oregon Territory, 
240] Finlayson in 1836 reconnoitered the northern coasts on the steamer 
Beaver; this being her first appearance in those waters. In 1837 he 
was at the Columbia when W. A. Slacum arrived. 

As an incident of this trip across the mountains with Finalyson, 
Ranald MacDonald writing for the Kettle Falls (Wash.) Pioneer of Nov. 
13, 1890, says that camp was pitched on the shores of Arrow Lake, on a 
beautiful sandy beach, at the back of which was a huge mountain of 
perpendicular rocks hundreds of feet in height frowning down upon them, 
and on the face of which were three cavities or holes about two or three 
feet in diameter that were completely filled with arrows. These holes 
were up about thirty feet from the shore, the arrows having no doubt 
been shot up from below, and were wedged in so tight that it v/as almost 
impossible to dislodge them. With his shotgun Finalyson at the request 
of Ranald fired into the holes and brought down quite a number of 
arrows in a broken condition. The local Indians, themselves, according 
to Ranald, could not account for the arrows being there. Sixty years 
later Ranald met Big Head Edwards, a chief of the Lake Indians, who 
told him he had frequently seen the arrows but, Indian like, had very 
little to say about them. It was from these niches filled with arrows 
that the Arrow Lakes derived their name, according to our author. 

Mr. A. D. Burnett, then editor of the Pioneer states that this 
account of the origin of the name, Arrow Lakes, was afterwards con- 

108 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

April, on his way to the East for annual general Council 
Meeting at Norway House, held in early July, and 
afterwards to assume, on appointment, the Governor¬ 
ship of Assiniboia, at the Settlement. 

The route was by the Athabasca Pass, the highest of 
the Rocky Mountain Range; since scientifically meas¬ 
ured and reported in railway survey 106 as 6025 feet 
above the sea, between the immediate heights of Mounts 
Browne and Hooker, both reported as over 16,000 feet 
above the sea. The approach to the Pass, to a point 
called “Boat Encampment”, at the western end of it. 107 
This approach was through the canyon of the Selkirks. 
This canyon—say from the “Big Eddy” just above 
Revelstoke to the “Great Bend” at the foot of the Pass 
—a distance, probably, of between fifty and sixty miles, 
is the most formidable, and at the same time most inter¬ 
esting piece of travel I have ever went through: and 
further, I never read of any like it. He, truly, must 
have been a brave man who first tried it, and lead such 
way. It was no native that did so; for none such had 
the means; but it was that greatest of explorers and 
mappers of northern North America DAVID THOMP¬ 
SON, Astronomer of the North West Company of Can¬ 
ada; originally a “Blue-Coat Boy”, 108 of London, Eng- 

firmed to him by one of the pioneer steam-boat captains opperating on 
the Arrow Lakes. The arrows were obliterated more than fifty years ago. 

lOGFleming’s Reprint of Survey 1874, for C. P. R.—[Original.] 

107 So called from the fact of the boat used, on the Columbia, to that 
point, arriving from below, generally at the end of April, being put into 
campment there, while the party went on, on foot, to the East, and the 
boat remained, where stored, till another party from the East, in October, 
used it for descent to Port Vancouver.—[Original.] 

to 8 This is a common error. In fact it was made by Mr. J. B. Tyrrell 
himself, who is the recognized authority upon David Thompson. See 
Mr. Tyrrell’s article in “Proceedings of the Canadian Institute,” October, 
1888. Mr. Tyrrell has, however, pointed it out and corrected it. It should 
read a “Grey Coat Boy.” See Tyrrell’s Introduction to David Thompson's 
Narrative, xxviii. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


land, engaged and brought by the Hudson’s Bay Com¬ 
pany. The story of the feat is in no book: probably 
not even in M. S. 109 —but I have it from an old intimate 
friend and family connexion of his 110 to whom, in fa¬ 
miliar converse, in his old age—with no heed to future 
fame—the Grand Old Man—grand in stature, erect, 
and of Herculean mould 111 was in the habit, when 
thereunto drawn, to modestly murmur his such battles 
over again. He, in his exploration in that terrible re¬ 
gion, in search for the Columbia River, was, for over a 
year, lost to the world 112 —even to his own people of the 
North West Company—in that “Inferno” of wild 
mountain rock. From the glacier sources of the Fraser, 

109 David Thompson’s own narrative did exist in manuscript and 
through the efforts of Mr. J. B. Tyrrell of Toronto, Canada, has been 
brought to light and fittingly published. See David Thompson’s Nar¬ 
rative, J. B. Tyrrell, vol. xii, The Publications of the Champlain Society, 
Toronto, Canada, 916. The history of the manuscript is given in the pre¬ 
face xvii, xviii. A very neat summary of Thompson’s work will be 
found in Mr. T. C. Elliott’s brochure “David Thompson, Pathfinder” 
Those who desire to go more deeply into the subject are referred to the 
published narrative with annotations by the two authorities, J. B. Tyrrell 
and T. C. Elliott. 

no My friend, Judge Malcolm McLeod, of Ottawa, Canada.—[Orig¬ 

in David Thompson’s figure was short and compact. See David 
Thompson’s Narrative, introduction ivi. He was evidently of strong 
physique, great endurance and tireless energy. Our author has possibly 
confused David Thompson with a contemporary associate—a gigantic 
Gael, Finan McDonald—and a distant relative of the author’s. 

112 Thompson was never lost for a year or a day unless by “lost” 
is meant hidden from public view. 

In a letter to Mr. Alex. Frazer, dated Dec. 21, 1810, Athabasca River, 
foot of the Mountain, among other things, David Thompson says: “I 
am always in such distant expeditions, that I cannot write my friends 
regularly. They think I slight them, but they are mistaken. It is my 

situation that prevents me, not negligence.If all goes well and 

it pleases good Providence to take care of me, I hope to see you and a 
civilized world in the autumn of 1812. I am getting tired of such 
constant hard journeys; for the last twenty months I have spent only 
bare two months under the shelter of a hut, all the rest has been in my 
tent, and there is little likelihood the next twelve months will be much 
otherwise.” L. F. R. Masson, op. cit., ii, 41, 42. 

110 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

he had, following the suggestions of his own previous 
explorations, further South, at last, late in the fall of 
1810, struck the great river at the very spot where— 
ten years before (A. D. 1800)—he had, via the Atha¬ 
basca Pass, from the East, found it, but was driven 
back by Indians. 113 

These two sentences and those which succeed them represent 
rather accurately our knowledge, or ignorance, of the explorations of 
this truly wonderful man—David Thompson, until Mr. J. B. Tyrrell 
began the work that placed the real facts before the world. Compare 
herewith the statements in H. H. Bancroft, op. cit., ii, 122-123. 

David Thompson’s Narrative apparently has one or more chapters 
missing of the dates 1800 to 1807; also his geographical notes of 1801. 
He says on page 375, “I have already related how the Peeagans watched 
us to prevent our crossing the Mountains and arming the Natives on 
that side, in which they succeeded.” The Narrative does not contain any¬ 
thing on this subject; details of this expedition are entirely missing. 
In a letter to Capt. Sir James Alexander, Montreal, reproduced in the 
Report of the Provincial Archives Department, of British Columbia, 
Victoria, B. C., 1914, V123, David Thompson says:—“In 1801 the North¬ 
west Company determined to extend their Fur Trade to the west side 
of the Rocky, and if possible to the Pacific Ocean; this expedition was 
intrusted to me, and I crossed the Mountains to the head waters of 
McGillivray’s River (the present Kootenay branch of the Columbiba 
named originally in honor of the N. W. Co. Agent, Mr. William McGil- 
livray); but an overwhelming force of eastern Indians obliged me to 
retreat a most desperate retreat of six days for they dreaded the west¬ 
ern Indians being furnished with Arms and Ammunition. The report of 
my attempt and defeat soon reached Washington and in 1804 the 
Executive of the U. S. organized a plan of discovery to be conducted 
by Captains Lewis and Clarke (the former a nephew of President Jef¬ 
ferson) of the United States Army, with a company of picked soldiers. 

. This expedition directed the attention of the Indians to the 

head waters of the Missisourie, and in 1807 gave me an opportunity of 
crossing the mountains and placing myself on the headwaters of the 
Columbia River, and built a fortified Post of Stockades, etc,, etc., from 

thence exploring the country, etc.” His subsequent movements 

west of the mountains are made familiar through his Narrative. 

Thompson was driven back from Hawes’ pass in 1810, which had 
been used by him since 1807. He had had trouble with the Piegans 
since 1808, occasioned by their resentment at his arming their enemies, 
the Kootenais, with fire-arms. It is now well known that from Boat 
Encampment, David Thompson in the spring of 1811, did not descend 
but ascended the Columbia to his original Kootenai House, and did 
not again reach the river until Kettle Falls, where he prepared a new 
canoe and descended the river from that point. As noted, Thompson’s 
writings make little mention of finding a pass and crossing to the 
Columbia River in the fall and winter of 1800-1801 when he was long 
at Rocky Mountain House. There is reason to believe that a number 
of the Northwestern half breeds and employees were across the moun- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Here, in 1810-1811, at the mouth of the mountain 
torrent which he had, in 1809-1810 been following from 
glacier heights of the Cariboo Mountains, afoot he win¬ 
tered with his little band— a remnant, probably half a 
dozen or less—of faithful French Canadian voyag- 
eurs. 114 Here they made a canoe 115 (of cedar bark) 
wherewith to descend—if possible—the great mys¬ 
terious river, to those greater waters which, according 
to Indian account, were “not good to drink” —the salt 

With such frail craft; without knowledge or guide of 
route; with certainty, however, of many dangers all 
along, Thompson, on the rising spring flood (April) 
committed himself, with his peerless crew of paddle 
men, to the plunge—a thousand miles of swift surging 
river course, with rapids, dalles , (some, most deadly!) 
cascades, Falls, and worst of all maelstrom eddies 
wherein no skill or force of man, as a rule, could prevail 
against the monster gulp. 

On July 5, 1811—so the unquestionable record 
runs—he arrived, safe and sound, without the loss of a 
man, at Astoria 116 then just established, in its primitive 

tains into the upper Columbia River basin as early as 1800-1801. 
Thompson does not state the strength of his force on the west side of 
the mountains in 1801. 

u^The names of these men are:—Michel Bourdeaux, Pierre Pareil, 
Joseph Cote, Michel Boulard, Francois Gregoire, and Charles and Ignace, 
two good Iroquois Indians: Charles Legasse and (Pierre?) Le Blanc, 
paddle men. Coues New Light , 704. Two Sanpoil (Thompson’s Sim- 
poil) Indians accompanied the party from Ilthkoyape (Kettle) Falls, 
July 3, 1811. David Thompson, op. cit., 472, 473. 

1^5 Hence the name Canoe River given to it by Thompson in his 
mapping (primal and still standard) of that region; so marked in the 
maps to this day. The river (a continuous mountain torrent) is not 
navigable, not even to an Indian canoe.—[Original.] 

For David Thompson’s own account of this trip, see his Narrative, 
501. For other contemporary accounts see: Ross, Adventures of First 
Settlers, 85; Ross Cox, op. cit., i, 77, 78; Gabriel Franchere, op. cit., 
120; Irving, op. cit., Chapter x. 

112 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

It was a peerless feat of travel! The same season he 
retraced it: back to his Pass of 1800; and thence home 
east to old Canada; a track, I— but under very differ¬ 
ent conditions—followed in all safety. Part of it, viz: 
from the “Big Eddy” just above the second crossing by 
C. P. R. of the Columbia, to the “Big Bend”, and the 
Athabasca Pass itself, has been totally abandoned as a 
route of travel, since the Hudson’s Bay Company, in 
sequence of the Oregon Treaty, gave it up. 

From the Bend to the Big Eddy (foot of Lower or 
Smaller Dalles in the upper reach of the Columbia) is 
the Canyon of the Selkirks, with its deadly—most 
deadly— Dalles aux Mods, 111 with its pathetic little 
cemetery; churches, save by the towering rocks 
around, above, heaven roofed; its rude monumental 
wooden crosses, “petits Calvraires ”, gaunt and weird, 
o’er the shallow graves, stone laid of cherished com¬ 
rades, brave fellow voyageurs—many—there drowned! 

There are no such men now-a-days! The “Old 
Nor’Westers”—masters and men—are all things of the 
past!—now, alas! little wot of: forgotten; unheeded, in 
the rush of the hour: over fields they so bravely won, 
and many died on. 

They , really were the founders of the Greater Can¬ 
ada of today: and in Greater Canada, the so called 
“Great Britain” of Britain’s pen prophets of the day. 

Thompson—ever true to his “Blue-Coat” training 
—was ever, to his last hour, a man of highest principles, 

117 This tragic spot is mentioned by most of the early writers; see 
Ermatingers Journal, Transactions Royal Society of Canada, 1912, vi., 
107; David Douglas, op. cit., 252; Alexander Ross, Fur Hunter’s, ii, 180; 
Paul Kane’s, op. cit., 328, 333; also Father Blanchet, Historical Sketches 
of the Catholic Church in Oregon, and Angus McDonald’s “A Few Items 
of the West, 3 * in the Washington Historical Quarterly. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


and purity and integrity of life; a goodman, and 
worthy of all esteem in the best sense. In his old age 
(87), in the extreme poverty—pitiable distress (but 
from no fault of his own) he was left to die utterly un¬ 
heeded by the Governments—Provincial and Imperial 
—he had so magnificently served. His grave—un¬ 
honored and possibly unmarked—like that of others in 
like vicarious service—is as the dust of the highway to 
those now enriched by his work and that of his associ¬ 
ates. Pity! Shame! it should be so. The world of 
Mammon heeds not such call. 

In this connection there are many names and instan¬ 
ces—some in like neglect and undeserved misery—that 
come to my mind, but it would be useless to mention 
them. There is I suppose—I believe—a Providence 
in these as in all things; and that, ultimately, for good. 
So mote it be! 

Chapter III 

School at Red River—Bank Clerk, Canada—Aspira¬ 

Arrived at Red River Settlement, I was there placed 
in the charge, as a board pupil, of the Rev. Mr. Coch¬ 
ran, 118 of the Church of England, who then, there, con¬ 
ns The Revd. Mr. William Cochran, who arrived at the Red River 
Colony in October, 1825, was soon made assistant chaplain under the 
Revd. Jones. He was much interested in educational matters and was 
the first clergyman of his church in Rupert’s Land to undertake anything 
like aggressive missionary work among the Indians. See E. H. Oliver, 
op. cit., i, 60. For further particulars of his life see Alex. Ross, Red 
River Settlement, 181-222. In 1846 he retired for a time to Toronto, but 
resumed chaplaincy of the Upper Church and settlement at Fort Garry 
in 1847. He was a Councillor of Assiniboia until 1853, and in 1855 he 
was appointed Archdeacon of Assiniboia. Captain Palliser, [op. cit., 60], 
under date of March, 1857, says:—“Many young fellows, halfbreeds 
that were educated by him, bore testimony to his abilities as a missionary 

114 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

ducted a school 119 for advanced as well as elementary 
education. The School was well endowed, and amply 
supported by the Hudson’s Bay Company, principally 

clergyman, for all agreed in testifying to the untiring zeal and energy 
of this estimable clergyman who, I was informed on all sides, was 
competent not only to teach school and preach fine sermons, but to 
teach his disciples to wield an axe and drive a plough.” See also S. 
Tucker, op. cit. He died in 1865. 

Writing to our author’s father in the fall of 1838, the Rev. Mr. Coch¬ 
ran says: “I preached at the upper church last Sunday and saw the boys, 
they were all well then .... Ranald has certain indescribable qualities 
which lead me to imagine that he will make the man that is best adapted 
for the world.” Mr. Colin Inkster, sheriff of Manitoba, Canada, is 
engaged in writing a life of the Rev. Mr. Cochran. 

The Minutes of Council of 1822 [E. H. Oliver, op. cit., i, 638, 640] 
indicate that this school was commenced under the auspices of and was 
supported in part by the Hudson’s Bay Company, and was first in charge 
of the Rev. John West who arrived on Oct. 14, 1820, as chaplain to the 
Company and took up his residence at Fort Douglas. Alex. Ross, Red 
River Settlement, 277; E. H. Oliver, op. cit., i, 59. Mr. West’s name 
appears on the lists of employees of the company in N. America for 
the years 1821 and 1822 as numbers 405 and 321 respectively. He left 
the colony on June 10, 1823. Governor Simpson in a letter to Andrew 
Colvile, May 31, 1824, says that the boys’ school is kept by Harbridge 
who is “stupid, ignorant, consequential and illiterate,” Idem., 259; also 
that “Miss Allez is planning a school for females,” Idem., 259. 

The Rev. David T. Jones came out in 1823 as successor to Mr. West, 
and was appointed chaplain to the company in 1825. Alex. Ross, Red 
River Settlement, 74, 128, 181, 222; George Bryce, Remarkable History 
of the Hudson’s Bay Company, 300, 420. In the course of time several 
schools were developed. During the Rev. Mr. Jones’ absence on a visit 
to England the boys’ school appears to have been in charge of the Rev. 
Mr. William Cochran. The Rev. Mr. Jones returned from England in 
1838. From correspondence of our author’s father it appears that Ranald 
was first sent to Pritchard’s school in 1834 and removed to Jones’ in the 
summer of 1838, where he was a boarding scholar at £30 per year. 

In the Minutes of Council for 1833 [E. H. Oliver, op. cit., ii, 697] 
we find:—“The cause of education and religion is much advanced in 
Red River Settlement by the establishment of sundry schools under the 
superintendence of Rev. Mr. Jones and the Rev. Mr. Cochran, and Mr. 
Pritchard has rendered his valuable services gratuitously to that effect 
for several years past; moreover that gentleman has established a day 
school for education of the youth of both sexes in his neighborhood, 
which is attended by many children whose parents cannot afford to pay 
for their instruction.” 

In the Minutes of Council for 1837 [E. H. Oliver, Idem, ii, 769] we 
find:—“The Revd. Mr. Jones having by his letter of the 17th June, 1837, 
given notice of his intention to discontinue the management of the Red 
River Boarding school, and Mr. McCallum having expressed a willing¬ 
ness to undertake that charge provided the Company become the pur- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


by Chief Factors and Chief Traders of it having child¬ 
ren there, of both sexes; for there was also a Mrs. Coch¬ 
ran (an English lady) to look after the female depart¬ 
ment. The School—open to all denominations—was 
admirably conducted, and proved satisfactory not only 
to parents but to the pupils themselves, both Mr. and 
Mrs. Cochran, in their kindliness, making it a home— 
or feel as a home—as well as a place of intellectual and 
moral discipline, to those in their charge. 

After about four years here, I was sent, 120 by way of 
finish to my education, thence to Upper Canada, where, 
in the good Town of Saint Thomas, in the County of 
Elgin (an important commercial centre) I was installed 
in the comfortable mansion house of my father’s old 
friend, of the Columbia, Mr. Edward Ermatinger, 121 

chasers of the buildings and will grant him a lease of the same for the 
term of five years at a rent of 10 P. cent per annum on the purchase 
money; and it being highly desirable that that institution should not 
be broken up, it is Resolved: &c. &c.” Our author had a “high character 
for application and good behavior” from Mr. MacCallum. An out-of- 
print little volume: The Rainbow in the North, A short account of the 
First Establishment of Christianity in Ruperfs Land by the Church Mis¬ 
sionary Society, S. Tucker, 1861, deals with the history of these mission¬ 
ary schools in the Red River colony, and on page 75 thereof appears a 
cut showing the school our author attended. 

120 See biography pages 25-33, ante. 

Our author’s father gave each of his children the best educational 
advantages his circumstances and the times permitted. Other sons, John 
and Benjamin followed our outhor in apprenticeship at Mr. Ermatinger’s 
after schooling at Red River. 

12 1 The Ermatinger family, founded by a Swiss merchant of that 
name, were among the first settlers in Canada after the conquest of the 
French. Members of the family were early connected with the fur trade. 
Fred’k W. Ermatinger, a son, was connected with the North-West Com¬ 
pany and his name appears as a witness to the Agreement of November 
5, 1804; Charles Oakes Ermatinger, another son, was also in the employ 
of the North-West Company. Lawrence Edward Ermatinger, another 
son, entered the Surveyor-General’s Department and attained the rank 
of Assistant Commissary General. Edward Ermatinger and Francis 
(Frank) Ermatinger here mentioned were grandsons; children of Law¬ 
rence Edward Ermatinger. 

On May 13, 1818, at London, England, the two boys were bound 

116 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

formerly Chief accountant of the North West Com¬ 
pany, 122 and afterwards on the coalition of the two 
companies, holding the same office in the Hudson’s 
Bay Company’s service in the Columbia. 

Mr. Ermatinger having retired from the service with 
considerable means in hand, had opened a Bank there 
(in St. Thomas) under the name of the Bank of 
Elgin 123 —the region being one of the richest—if not 
the richest—in agricultural and other natural resources 
in the Canada of that day, and then much in need of 
local banking facilities. 

At that time, there was, I think, only one other Bank 

out to the Hudson’s Bay Company as clerks for a period of five years, 
and they reached York Factory August 14th of that year. They remained 
in the company after the coalition of 1821. 

Edward Ermatinger’s name appears as Nos. 122, 94, and 83 re¬ 
spectively on the List of Employees of the Company in America for 
the years 1821, 1822 and 1823, respectively. He remained in the em¬ 
ployee of the Company until the summer of 1828. In 1830 he settled 
at St. Thomas in the Upper Province, where for many years he carried 
on the business of merchant, banker and postmaster of the town, in 
which he spent the remainder of his days. He was a member for Mid¬ 
dlesex in the Parliament of United Canada. 

In the 30’s he married a daughter of the Hon. Zaccheus Burnham of 
Coburg. Edward Ermatinger died in 1876 and his remains rest in the 
old churchyard at St. Thomas. 

He was the author of The Hudson's Bay Territories; a series of 
Letters on this important Question, Maclear, Thomas & Co., Printers, 
King Street, Toronto, 1856. Also a Life of Colonel Talbot and the Talbot 
Settlement.—Its rise and progress with sketches of the Public characters, 
and career of the most conspicuous men in Upper Canada .— St. Thomas, 
1859, VI 230. In 1912 his son, Judge C. O. Ermatinger of St. Thomas, 
Ontario, edited Edward Ermatinger’s York Factory Express Journal, 
published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, vi, Sec¬ 
tion 2, 67-123, where a more comprehensive biography is given. See 
also brief biographical sketch of Francis Ermatinger, note 15, page 24. 

122 Our author has confused Edward Ermatinger with his uncles, 
Frederick W. and Charles O. Ermatinger, both connected with the North 
West Company. Edward Ermatinger, himself, was a clerk and later an 
auditor or accountant for the Hudson’s Bay Company. 

t23 it was probably the Bank of Montreal in which our author was 
employed, of which Mr. Ermatinger had a branch or agency in the 
same building in which the Bank of Elgin was afterwards organized in 
1854. Our author is also in error in stating that the Bank of Upper 
Canada was the only other bank then in Upper Canada. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


in Upper Canada, viz: “The Bank of Upper Canada.” 
Mr. E. also occupied the very honorable position of 
Member for the County of Elgin 124 in the first Parlia¬ 
ment of Canada on the Union of the two Provinces in 

A gentleman of fine culture and high public spirit, 
with a practical ability in his special line of work and 
study, viz: finance, he proved himself a very useful 
member in such discussion. At the same time, like 
most Nor’Westers, he was, by habit, unselfish and un¬ 
obtrusive in his ambition—if such he had, beyond that 
of simply doing his duty. 

In his private life, and domestic, I ever found him 
most estimable. To me he was ever considerately 
kind: and in the manner of his kindness—marked, 
ever, by a gentle reserve—there was nothing to hurt my 
feelings in any way. 

Done with schooling, the time had come to betake my¬ 
self to preparation for some line of life. As to a Uni¬ 
versity education there was, in the first place, no fa¬ 
cility, then, in Upper Canada, except perhaps—and 
that in a very perfunctory way—in Toronto and King¬ 
ston. For such, the habit of the time, in Canada, and 
the North West, among Protestants, was to send youths 
to England or Scotland. But that was only for the 
professions of Divinity, Medicine and Surgery, and lit¬ 
erary and scientific professorships; in some of which, 
native born Nor’Westers have made their mark, with 
highest honor, even in London, England. 

I had no inclination, however, in that way. In fact, 
had no inclination for any particular mode of life—for 
bread. Did not think of bread :but in vague, fatuous 

124 The County of Elgin was not set apart from Middlesex until 
about 1850. 

118 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

sort of way, had an abiding feeling that it would always, 
when needed, come to me—come, as did the quails and 
manna to the Israelites in the Wilderness. To me, in 
feeling—feeling as of the very web and woof of my 
nature—the world was a wilderness. Home, in the 
strict and ordinary sense, I had not. My father, with 
his family, was still a denizen of that, then, other world 
beyond the terrible—to me, all dividing—Mountains of 
the West; still in a service which, at any moment, might 
send him to its Dan and Beersheba—Alaska or Labra¬ 
dor, or anywhere else within its four million square 
miles of Siberian field work. To my mind’s eye, and 
to that of the heart, there was no resting place, yet, in 
my moving world of waters; no olive branch yet, to the 
winged search. 

Further than that: In spite of all my training for 
civilized life—so called: in spite of all magnetism of 
comfortable and endearing hospitality—sweets of a 
home, but which, still, is not home; and in spite of all 
possible influences and suggestions to win to such 
“higher life”, I felt, ever, and uncontrollably in my 
blood, the wild strain for wandering freedom; im primis 
of my Highland father of Glencoe; 125 secondly, and 
possibly more so (though unconsciously) of my In¬ 
dian mother, of the Pacific Shore, Pacific Seas, in 
boundless Dominion. 

For a while, just before arriving at the age of ma¬ 
jority, I was put, by way of trial, to a Bank stool. It 
was done kindly and from motives I was bound to re- 

125 The ancestral home of our author’s father—a deep valley in 
Northern Argyllshire, Scotland, commemorated in Scottish history as the 
scene of the “Massacre of Glencoe,” where about forty MacDonalds 
were slaughtered by royal troops in February, 1692. On the tragic 
night our author’s great grand father, John MacDonald, with his mother 
and a younger brother, Donald, escaped with difficulty from William’s 
troops, Washington Historical Quarterly, ix, 94. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


spect. I made no resistance. There was nothing bet¬ 
ter, before me; that I could ask for; and I submitted to 
the ordeal as best I could. The time had arrived for me 
to cease from being a burden to my kind father, whose 
large and increasing family—most of them in costly 
educational institutions—had better claims on him. 

But banking; or dealing with money in any way, was 
not to my taste: I hated the—to me—“dirty thing” ! I 
had no ambition for riches. “Give us our daily 
bread”! was prayer enough for me: It has—so far— 
never failed me—the abiding faith in it having ever, in 
God’s own way, been bread and strength to me. 

Thus situated: above; with no one to consult in con¬ 
fidence, I resolved to follow my own bent; 126 to go 
forth,—out; to see the world; with no staff in hand, but 
with the firm purpose of trying an adventure, long 
thought of, and the evolution of which had deeply en¬ 
gaged me. Like other youth, with the spirit of adven¬ 
ture which leads “forlorne hopes”—“ Excelsior /”—in 
battles of progress in the world, I panted to dare even 
the impossible, or seeming impossible. 

It was foolish, no doubt ! a mad scheme ! as the 
world, in its smug common prudence, gauges such ac¬ 
tion. Be it so, or not! I did it: Did it—not for, or from 
any vainglory to myself that might arise from it, but 
merely that some good to my fellowmen in general 
might be the result. As to self, for self, in all truth I 
can sincerely say it was not there: no more so than in 
the case of many thousands of our race, who in thous¬ 
ands of ways, in peace, as in war, voluntarily breast 
danger for something good in itself, and without hope 

126 From a letter of his father, Archibald McDonald, it appears that 
in 1840 our author desired to secure a commission and enter the British 

120 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

of reward other than the consciousness of having done 
well: merit being, in such case, “its own best reward”. 

Such avowal may seem in itself vainglory, an incred¬ 
ible: but it is not so. My whole life since—much of it 
public record, official, and otherwise—my silence, 
since as to the matter—abstaining from claiming any 
reward or acclamation for such service, is some evi¬ 
dence, I think, of the fact that there was no thought of 
self in the matter. Standing now on the verge of my 
grave I solemnly say so. 

And further: I declare in all truth, that my story, 
now, after many years, of what I did and went through 
in and about Japan, is literally true in every particular; 
without exaggeration, or coloring; and imperfect only 
in the fact, that in the nearly half century since the 
events occurred “Times effacing finger” has blotted 
out, more or less, many little incidents, which otherwise 
might have given body and life, in more perfect truth, 
to the picture of the story. 

Chapter IV 

First Suggestion as to Japan—Accounts of it—Wan¬ 
derings in the United States—Voyage to Sandwich 
Islands—Incidents There 

How I came to think of Japan was from the follow¬ 
ing circumstances: 

When in the Columbia and northwards on the Pa¬ 
cific Coast, as above stated, Japan was our next 
neighbor across the way—only the placid sea, the 
Pacific, between us. 

Then—as it had been for two hundred years or 
more—it was, by its own laws, barred to the world, ex- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


cept—and that with very close restrictions—to the 
Chinese and Dutch. It was death to any other for¬ 
eigner, or even to any Japanese who had been, from any 
cause, absent in any foreign land, or ship, to touch its 
shores: even shipwrecked mariners, unless fortuitously 
speedily relieved by some foreign warship of sufficient 
force, had to pay the penalty of death, sooner or later. 

This fact was well known to us of the Hudson’s Bay 
Company in the Columbia. On one or two, if not more 
occasions the Company had to deal with Japanese cast, 
in shipwreck, upon their shores, there and northwards, 
they had been carried thither by the periodically pre¬ 
vailing winds, such as the South West Monsoon, and 
by the great “Gulf Stream”, Kuro Siwo (the Great 
Black River, of Japanese nomenclature) of the Nor¬ 
thern Pacific. 

Amongst other instances was that of a Japanese 
Junk, a small, fish laden, or partially so, disabled, cast, 
with three of its crew still alive, on Queen Charlotte 
Island. That was in 1836. 127 The natives of the Island 

127 Should read 1834. In March of 1833 a Japanese junk laden with 
crockery of the flowerpot or willow-ware pattern, blown across the 
Pacific, was wrecked about 15 miles south of Cape Flattery (N. W. 
Coast of Washington), and all of the seventeen men on board lost except 
three who were seized and held as slaves by the local Indians. News 
of this disaster was conveyed to the Hudson’s Bay officials at Fort 
Vancouver in the form of a piece of china-paper on which was a drawing 
showing the shipwrecked persons, the junk on the rocks and the Indians 
engaged in plundering it. Thomas McKay with thirty men was sent 
overland to Cape Flattery to rescue them, but got only as far as Point 
Grenville, when they gave up the task as impossible. These Japanese 
were subsequently rescued from the Indians in May, 1834, by Captain 
William McNeil—the Boston skipper—on board the Hudson’s Bay Com¬ 
pany ship “Llama” and taken to Fort Vancouver. Francis Heron in keep¬ 
ing the Journal of Occurances at Nesqualie House, under date June 9, 
1834, mentions seeing Japanese on board the “Llama” at that date 
Washington Historical Quarterly, vii, 62. The Revd. Samuel Parker saw 
them at Fort Vancouver on Sept. 28, 1834; see Journal of an Exploring 
Tour, 152. These unfortunate Japanese were sent to England in October, 
1834. For other accounts see: Sir Edward Belcher, Narrative of a 
Voyage Around the World, i, 304; Lee & Frost History of Oregon, 
107-108, wherein Mr. Lee mentions securing from the wreck of some 

122 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

had, in their fashion, made “slaves” of them; and in the 
course of their peregrinations had brought them to Van¬ 
couver Island. There they were redeemed and taken 
in charge by the chief agent then in charge of Hudson’s 
Bay Company’s interests in the Columbia and of the 
Pacific Slope generally within British “influence,” viz: 

dishes and beautiful china tea cups; Charles Wilkes, Narrative of the 
United States Exploring Expedition, iv, 315-316; Bancroft, op. cit., ii, 
341, 533. In a footnote on the latter page a list is given of numerous 
Japanese junks wrecked on the Coast of Kamchatka and America. 
Among the most noted of these vessels was the so-called “Japan beeswax 
junk” reported to have been wrecked on point Adams [Bancroft, Idem., 
ii, 341] or according to James G. Swan, [The Northwest Coast, 206], on 
the shores of Clatsop beach, south of the Columbia. Beeswax from this 
vessel is still being washed up by the waves according to Lewis & Dry- 
den [Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, E. W. Wright, ed. 
Portland, Ore., 1895, 2, 14], who describe the vessel as not Japanese, 
but one of Spain’s Oriental fleet laden with beeswax and Chinese 
bric-a-brac, blown northward and wrecked near the mouth of the 
Columbia. We quote: “Most writers have given the location of the 
wreck as being on the north side of the Columbia, but there is a strong 
probability that the scene of the wreck was near the mouth of the 
Nehalem River, at which place large quantities of beeswax have been 
and are still being found. Aside from the presence of the beeswax, and 
other traces of the wreck, the Tillamook Indians have had the story 
handed down with considerable accuracy. Adam, a Tillamook chief who 
died a few years ago, and who was a remarkably intelligent Indian, told 
the writer that his father, when a young man had witnessed the wreck, 
and that all the crew were drowned. (Other native accounts state that 
the survivors were massacred by the natives.) As Adam was over one 
hundred years old at the time of his death, there is no reason to doubt 
that the Nehalem beeswax ship, of which so much has been written, 
was identical with the one wrecked in 1772.” Among blocks of beeswax 
washed up, some are inscribed with the Latin abbreviations I. H. S. 
and the wrecked vessel is supposed to have been the Spanish ship “Jan 
Jose,” which left La Paz, Lower California, June 16, 1769, with supplies 
for the Catholic Mission at San Diego, Upper California, and was never 
heard of again. See Mr. Smith’s Address Portland (Ore.) Oregonian, 
Dec. 18, 1899, 9; also The Wax of Nehalem Beach, Oregonian, January 
26, 1908, reprinted Oregon Historial Quarterly, ix, 24-41. Another in¬ 
teresting wreck was that of the unknown Spanish vessel wrecked two 
miles south of the mouth of the Columbia about 1725, of whom all of 
the crew but four were massacred by the Indians, the latter married 
native women. These were the first white men seen by the Chinooks 
and ever since the Chinook name for all white people, without respect 
to nationality, is “Tlo-hon-nipts”; that is, “of those who drifted ashore.” 
The names of two of these waifs have been preserved, “Doto” and 
“Kanapee.” See Franchere, op. cit., 113; Mr. Smith’s Address, Portland 
(Ore.) Oregonian, Dec. 18, 1899, 9. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Doctor John McLoughlin already referred to. Moved 
by their distress, he, in sheer humanity—as was his 
wont in such case—took every kindly care of them, 
bringing them to his own hearth at Port Vancouver on 
the Columbia; thence shipping them, by one of his 
Company’s ships, via the Horn, to London, England; 
thence to Macao, China, where they were placed in 
charge of the Reverend Mr. Gutzlaff, 128 the celebrated 
English Missionary there, with instructions and means 
for restoration to their country, soon as possible, by 
Chinese or other vessel trading to Japan. 129 

128 Karl Gutzlaff, a German missionary, was born at Pyritz, Pomer¬ 
ania, Prussia, July 8, 1803, and went to Siam as a Christian missionary 
in 1828. He later settled in Macao, China, where he assisted in trans¬ 
lating the Bible into Chinese, and where he later served as chief in¬ 
terpreter for the Superintendent of British Commerce. He died at 
Hong Kong, China, August 8, 1851. See Frederick Wells Williams, 
Life and Letters of S. Wells Williams, G. P. Putnams’ Sons, New York, 
1889. He was the author of a Sketch of Chinese History, 2 vol., London, 
1834, and China Opened, 2 vols., London, 1838. 

t29 To Captain Mercator Cooper of Southampton belongs the honor 
(in 1845) of flying the first American Flag in a Japanese port (see 
Capt. Stewart note 263, page 234), from the whale ship Manhattan, 440 
tons burden, owned by John Budd of Sag Harbor, N. Y. Mr. Budd 
bought her from New York in 1843, and Captain Cooper sailed on 
November 8, that year, for the Northwest Coast, and in the course of his 
cruise near Japan rescued eleven shipwrecked Japanese sailors from 
St. Peters, an outlying island of Nippon, early in April, 1845, and 
proceeded with them to the Japanese capitol, Yedo, although knowing 
that foreigners were forbidden to enter any Japanese ports. On the 
way to Yedo (Tokyo) eleven more Japanese were rescued from a sink¬ 
ing junk. The Manhattan entered the Bay of Kago-sima, in the prin¬ 
cipality of Satsuma. Mrs. W. Buck, Manners and Customs of the 
Japanese, 271. At Yedo the twenty-two Japanese were taken ashore, 
but neither the captain nor the crew of the Manhattan was allowed to 
land, and during the time the ship remained in harbor it was surrounded 
by a guard of Japanese boats. The Manhattan remained in port four 
days and was given necessary supplies without charge. When she was 
ready to sail, the natives towed the ship to sea with their boats. Having 
taken 3600 bbls. of oil, the Manhattan sailed for Amsterdam, Holland, 
where her cargo was sold and a load of emigrants and freight loaded 
for New York. Arriving home on Oct. 14, 1846, the Manhattan dis¬ 
charged a valuable cargo and was withdrawn from the whale fishery in 

Captain Cooper on his return was offered a mere trifle by the United 
States Government for valuable charts of Japan owned by him. Later 
the Washington authorities paid a very large sum to the Dutch Govern- 

124 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

All this was at the sole personal cost of the good Doc¬ 
tor; for the Company (H. B.) in its “money-bag” stock 
proprietary in London, formally repudiated all such, 
and such like outlay out of their resources, and every 
mouthful in such charity had to be paid by, and was 
rigidly charged, to the account of such agents, though 
by the terms of the bond of their partnership (Deed Poll 
of 1821) then still in force, they were partners—sole 
actual working and creative partners of the whole 

In this way it is a notable fact; and Bancroft, in his 
special chapters on the theme, in his “British Colum¬ 
bia”, has glowingly, and with much credit for the noble 
candour of the avowal, given the details in proof—that 
this same Doctor John McLoughlin was the means of 
saving many—very many—destitute immigrants from 
the United States when, say up to 1848 there was no 
provision for them in that region. He spent thousands 
of dollars, out of his own really far from abundant 
means in relief of such distress. He actually gave 
away his store for his old age and family, in such 
charity, and died a poor man! saving other, regardless 
of creed or nationality, or race, from fatal distress,— 
Samaritan to the core!—it was in this sense, that, in 
truth, the historian (Bancroft, aforesaid) calls him 
“The very CHRIST of the Pacific Slope”. 130 Exception 

ment for similar charts. Mrs. Robert R. Kendrick of Southampton, 
N. Y.—a granddaughter of Captain Cooper—has in her possession the 
Japanese compass, charts and curios obtained by her grandfather from 
the shipwrecked Japanese and at the port of Yedo. An early account of 
the Manhattan’s call at the Japanese port appeared in the Seaman’s 
Friend, Honolulu, Oahu, S. I., February 2, 1846. For a full account see 
Entering a Forbidden Port, and The Manhattan’s Log near Japan, in vol. 
i, no. i, of the Southampton Magazine, Southampton, N. Y., 1912. Also 
see Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 141, 406. 

130 h. H. Bancroft, [op. cit., ii, 704-707] pays a splendid tribute to 
the character of Dr. John McLoughlin; on page 705 he says:—“In 

Japan Story of Adventure 


may be taken to such application of such Name, but, in 
light of the facts of the case, as given by Bancroft, the 
term—as designative of such abounding charity and 
practical love to fellowmen—is—intelligible. In any 
other sense, the term is, of course, unacceptable to 
Christian sentiment. 

While in Macao, in Mr. Gutzlaff’s charge, four other 
Japanese, who had been wrecked on the Philippines, 
were, by an American vessel, brought to the same port, 
and were kindly taken in charge by Dr. Parker , 131 an 
American Missionary Physician, and also a partner of 
an American mercantile firm there. 

With these seven pitiable castaways of Japan on 
their hands, these two worthy missionaries determined 
to do everything in their power to restore them to their 
country—hoping, at the same time, that some approach, 
if not ingress might be made, with their mission, to and 
into Japan. 

Other considerations, of a mercantile nature, legiti¬ 
mate and even laudable, may have weighed with others 
in the venture. A vessel (brig Morrison ) 132 was char¬ 
tered for the purpose; and in due course, with the two 
Missionaries Gutzlaff and Parker) on board, accom¬ 
panied by Mr. S. W. Williams , 133 one of the editors of 

writing any volume I have ever written I have encountered few characters 
which stand out in such grand and majestic proportions. Few persons 
have done him justice. His life should be written by the Recording 
Angel and pillared at the crossings of the two chief highways of the 

131 Dr. Peter Parker. A couple of pamphlets written by him on 
hospital conditions in China are familiar to us—one published in Can¬ 
ton,, 1839. 

132 The brig “Morrison” of Boston, King owner, named after the first 
Protestant English missionary to China, was chartered at Macao, China. 
The vessel was later sold and transferred to Spanish registry under the 
name of the “Carmine,” and was in the oriental trade in 1859. 

133 Samuel Wells Williams of Utica, N. Y., who went to China in 

126 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

the “Chinese Repository ” Macao—a gentleman 
thoroughly “up” in Chinese, an official Interpreter of 
the language, proceeded to “Jeddo” 134 (now Tokio— 
Capital of Japan), and there, in face of cannon mouth, 
presented, with appeal in intelligible Chinese, the seven 
unfortunates for restoration to their homes and people. 
They were peremptorily refused, and driven back under 
fire . 135 

The effort was repeated, about a month afterwards, 
at a port further South, in the principality of Satsuma, 
where, though received at first with more courtesy, they 
were repulsed in like manner. Nagasaki was not tried, 
because being neither Chinese nor Dutch, it was closed 
against them, and moreover, some of the Japanese, on 

1833 and studied the Chinese language, later publishing several diction¬ 
aries and vocabularies thereof. He was editor of the China Mail in 
1849 and was engaged as interpreter by Commodore Perry for his 
negotiations with the Japanese. Returning to the United States, he 
was lecturer on Chinese at Yale University from 1876 to his death, 
February 16, 1884. See Life and Letters of S. Wells Williams by his 
son, Frederick Wells Williams, cited supra. His book on the Chinese 
Empire, The Middle Kingdom, New York, 1848, passed through several 

134 Yedo. 

135 This voyage, to Uraga, bay of Yedo and Kagoshima in Satsuma, 
which took place in the months of July and August, 1837, occupied 56 
days and cost the missionaries about $2,000. The seven unfortunate 
Japanese who were brought back to China were for some time em¬ 
ployed about the mission at Macao. One of these, Sam Patch, joined 
the Perry expedition in China and went to Japan where he was invited 
by the Japanese Commissioners to remain in Japan and join his family, 
and guaranteed safety, but, having full knowledge of the dire penalties 
existing under the laws of the Empire, Sam Patch was afraid to leave 
the protection afforded by the American vessels. He afterwards returned 
to the United States in the “Mississippi” with another of the Morrison 
waifs, named Dan Ketch by the sailors. Another of these waifs, Kiki- 
mats, went to Nagasaki with Admiral Sterling as his interpreter in 1855. 
See Frances L. Hawks, op. cit., i, 340, 450, 342, 485, and Frederick Wells 
Williams, op. cit., 93-99, 226, 255, 258, 298. A prior Russian attempt to 
return shipwrecked Japanese sailors, undertaken by Lt. Laxman in the 
“Catherine” in the fall of 1792, resulted in a similar repulse. Mention of 
this is made in Hawks, op. cit., i, 45. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


board emphatically declared that on no account would 
they land there. 

1 refer to this incident at fuller length than is perhaps 
proper to a mere introductiion, but being of direct bear¬ 
ing, and historical; and, moreover, being in evidence of 
the fact that there were others besides myself thus bent 
on effort to open the gates of Japan, I venture to pre¬ 
sent it. 

However, I must admit, that when I started on my 
own mission, I had not heard, nor knew of this Morri¬ 
son episode: but of the Queen Charlotte Island waifs I 
did know, being in the country at the time. 

The following was the ultimate 136 Imperial Decree of 
expulsion of foreigners from Japan—date A. D. 1837 
(or 1838, for accounts differ). 137 

Japanese Decree of Exclusion 

The whole race of the Portuguese, with their mothers, nurses, 
and whatever belongs to them, shall be banished forever. 

No Japanese ship or boat or any native of japan shall hence¬ 
forth presume to leave the country, under pain of forfeiture and 
death. Any Japanese returning from a foreign country shall be 
put to death . 138 

136 There were others less rigorous, before, back about twenty years, 
from time to time.—[Original.] 

137 This edict is given in Richard Hildreth’s Japan i4s It Was and Is, 
pages 191-192, and is taken from Dr. Engebrecht Kaempfer’s History 
of Japan, book iv, chapter v. The order of the articles and the wording 
of some of the articles are somewhat different from what is given here. 
The decree was issued in June, 1636 (the 5th month of the 13th year of 
Kwauei (Qwanje as Kaempfer spells it). Hildreth is mistaken in saying 
that it was issued in 1638 and that all the Portuguese were then banished. 
It was the descendants of the Portuguese and Spaniards, called by the 
Japanese “Nambu Jim” (Southern Barbarians)—about 280 in number— 
and the Japanese parents who adopted such children, who were banished 
by this edict. Portuguese merchants, although comparatively few in 
number, were allowed to stay at Nagasaki on the Island of Deshima. 
The Portuguese trade was forbidden in 1639. 

138 Our author’s high-minded and courageous effort to enter Japan 
was contemporary with several equally brave and self-sacrificing efforts 

128 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

No nobleman or soldier shall be suffered to purchase anything 
from a foreigner. 

Any person presuming to bring a letter from abroad, or to re¬ 
turn to Japan after he had been banished, shall die; with all his 
family; and whosoever shall intercede for such offenders shall be 
put to death. 

All persons who shall propagate the doctrines of the Christians, 
or bear that scandalous name, shall be seized and imprisoned in 
the common gaol. 

A scale of rewards is then offered for the discovery 
of priests and natives of the condemned religion—the 
whole winding up with the terrible anathema : 

“So long as the Sun shall warm the earth, let no Christian dare 
to come to Japan; and let all know, that the King of Spain himself, 

by some Japanese themselves to leave their country or, having visited 
foreign lands, to return thereto. Among the outstanding characters of 
this class is Nakahama Manjiro. A boy of 14, he went fishing with four 
companions, sailing from Nishihama, in Takahama, in Tosa, on the 5th 
day of January, 1841, and was wrecked on a desert island off the south¬ 
east coast of Japan. On June 27, 1841, Captain fm. H. Whitfield of 
the New Bedford whaler, “John Howland,” in latitude 30°, 31', rescued 
the shipwrecked Japanese fishermen from their desert island. Finishing 
the whaling season, the “John Howland” touched at Honolulu, S. I., where 
the four Japanese fishermen were landed. The boy was brought home 
to Fairhaven by Captain Whitfield who had grown much attached to him, 
and he was given the American name of John Mung. He remained in 
Fairhaven about six years, going to school, receiving a good English 
education, and acquiring the customs and habits of American civilization, 
and learned navigation from his benefactor, Capt. Whitfield, whom he 
accompanied on whaling voyages. An overpowering desire to return to 
Japan and see his mother finally moved him to ship on a whaler for 
Honolulu where he found three of his countrymen—one having died— 
and he shipped with them on the whaler “Sarah Boyd,” Whitmore captain, 
in 1850 for the Japanese fishing grounds. They purchased a whale-boat 
and left ship near the Loo-Choo Islands where they landed and remained 
six months, and finally made their way north to Japan in 1851. Im¬ 
mediately on landing in Japan they were imprisoned and held in con¬ 
finement for thirty months. Shortly before Commodore Perry’s expe¬ 
dition, Nakahama was released and he became one of the Japanese in¬ 
terpreters in the negotiations with Commodore Perry. See herein: 
The Seaman's Friend, Honolulu, S. I., October, 1884. In 1870 he went 
to Europe as a member of the Japanese commission to observe military 
maneuvers. He translated Bowditch’s Navigation into the Japanese 
language and took an important part in the “New Era” in Japan. He 
an important manuscript narrative of Nakahama’s experiences, written 
was made a Samurai. In 1912 Mr. Stewart Culver of the Brooklyn In¬ 
stitute Museum, Brooklyn, N. Y., procured at a book sale at Tokyo, Japan, 

Japan Story of Adventure_129 

or the Christian’s God, or .... , 139 if he violate this command, 
shall pay for it with his head.” 

The only modification of this, up to my time there, 
was the following—probably suggested by the incident 
of the Morrison. The Edict bears date 1843; promul- 

and illustrated by Kanata Koretazu, from drawings made by Nakahama 
Manjiro. The manuscript has been translated into English by Genjiro 
Kataoka, the Japanese painter, and is being prepared for publication by 
Mr. Culver, to whom we are' indebted for some of the facts stated. In 
this narrative Manjiro gives an account of his rescue and an intimate 
and lively picture of life in the New-England town; then tells of his 
whaling voyages, of his adventures in California where he dug gold, and 
then describes finally his return to Japan and the details of his reception 
in his native country in 1851. His sane reflections upon conditions in 
America seem to have made a deep impression on his countrymen, and 
their influence is still felt in Japan. The simplicity of his character, his 
reasonableness and his vigor are impressed on the reader of his narrative, 
and it is pleasant to think that he took his place at last as a man in the 
world, and does not occupy a neglected grave like the author of the 
present narrative. 

Nakahama Manjiro left five sons and a daughter, to honor his name. 
On July 4, 1918, a celebration was held at Fairhaven, Mass., in honor 
of Nakahama Manjiro at which Viscount Kikujiro Ishii, Imperial Japan¬ 
ese Ambassador at Washington, attended and presented the City of Fair- 
haven with a rare Samurai sword of the 14th century, the gift of Dr. T. 
Nakahama, one of Nakahama’s sons. Another son, Keisaburo Naka¬ 
hama, is a paymaster in the Japanese Navy. Fairhaven (Mass.) Star, 
Friday, July 5, 1918. 

In this connection the editors feel constrained to mention the abortive 
exploit of two adventurous and brave countrymen of Nakahama, re¬ 
ferred to by Frances L. Hawks, op. cit., i, 420-422. 

The adventurers were Yoshida Torajiro, son of a hereditary military 
instructor to the house of Choshu—himself a poet and learned in the 
Chinese classics, then 24 years of age—and a common soldier, unim¬ 
proved in learning but of enquiring mind, attracted equally by the ad¬ 
venture and by Yoshida’s inspiring personality. With the sympathetic, 
though secret, support of Sakuma Shozan—hereditary retainer of one of 
the Shogun’s counsellors, and armed with a letter in Chinese setting 
forth their intentions signed by Yoshida as “Urinaka Manji” and by 
the soldier as “Ichiki Kota,” they attempted on April 25, 1854 to 
board one of Commodore Perry’s ships with the object of reaching 
America and studying in foreign lands. Repulsed by the American 
officers, who could not officially transgress the laws of the Empire, they 
departed with great reluctance, and were last seen by the Americans 
in a prison-cage and their subsequent fate unknown. The prisoners 
were sent to Choshiu and after a long and miserable period of im¬ 
prisonment, during which the soldier died, Yoshida, who, though in 
prison, had gained some privileges, became involved, some six years 
later, in a conspiracy against the Shogun‘s government and was executed 
in Yedo January 31, 1859 at the age of 29, a martyr to the New Japan. 

130 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

gated by agency of the Dutch, from their Factory (Des- 
sima) at Nagasaki. 

EDICT. A. D., 1843 

“Shipwrecked persons of the Japanese nation must not be 
brought back to their country, except on board of Dutch or Chinese 
ships, for, in case these shipwrecked persons shall be brought back 
in the ship of other nation, they will not be received. 

Considering the express prohibition, even to Japanese subjects, 
to explore or make examinations of the coasts or Islands of the 
Empire, this prohibition, for greater reason, is extended to for¬ 
eigners.” 140 

Such was the wall of fire around their own loved 
Isles, of this people. People!—oldest of existing na¬ 
tions: most concrete: most potent in patriotic unity, 
Eminently a warrior race, they had signally repelled all 
powers on earth—from Kublai Khan (A. D. 1271- 
1292) to the present—from hostile touch. 

These incidents are mentioned not for the individuals, but as repre¬ 
sentatives of an enquiring, heroic people whose vision and aggregate 
efforts and sacrifices and indomitable spirit have produced the Japan 
of today. Read Robert Louis Stevenson’s fine tribute to Yoshida in 
Familiar Studies of Men and Books. In the language of the Chinese 
classic, quoted by a fellow prisoner of Yoshida’s, when led to execution: 
“Better to be a crystal, though shattered, than lie as a tile unbroken on 
the housetop.” 

139 Too blasphemous for expression.—[Original.] 

140 The intercourse of the leading European nations with Japan prior 
to 1849 may be briefly summarized as follows: The Portuguese, first 
landing 1543-5, were finally expelled in 1639. The Dutch, arriving in 
1600, were in 1641 sent to Deshima, and thenceforth continued to enjoy 
a limited commerce with Japan. The English, arriving in 1613, were 
forced to leave Japan in 1623. Attempts to renew trade relations were 
made in 1636, 1673, 1791 (Argonaut), 1803 (Frederick) 1808 (Phaeton’s 
visit under Pellew), 1813-1814 (Sir S. Raffles, two attempts), 1818 
(Gordon’s attempt), 1849 (the “Mariner’s” visit). The Russian visit of 
Lt. Adams Laxmann in 1792 was followed by Resanoff’s mission in 
1804, the Descent on the Kuriles in 1807, and the captivity of Captain 
Golowin in 1811. The French attempt under Admiral Cecile in 1846 
was repulsed. 

The repulse of the American boat “Morrison” in 1837 was followed by 
the visit of Captain Cooper of the “Manhattan” April 16-21, 1845; the 
repulse of the “Columbus” and “Vincennes” under Commodore Biddle in 
July, 1846; and the visit of Commander Glynn in April, 1849. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


“Utopia” of the hoary East! : “Wak-Wak” —my- 
thic—of old Arabian tale: most ancient, living of the 
families of Man: an “Easter-Isle” empire laved and 
sustained by lone teeming seas: Wonder in an ocean of 
wonders!—to us, on its opposite shore, gazing search- 
ingly into the far, far offing, it was ever, an object of 
intense curiosity. What, of such people?—What of 
their manner of life?—What of their unrivalled 
wealth with its gleam of gold and things most 
precious ?—What of their life, social, municipal, 
and national?—What of their feelings and tendencies 
—if any—towards associatiion or friendly relations 
with other peoples, especially us, neighbors of their 

These and such like questions and considerations ever 
recurring; the subject, oft, of talk amongst my elders 
—elders then the actual governors in administration of 
North American, as well as world wide larger interests 
on the Pacific Slope and Ocean—entering deeply into 
my young, and naturally receptive mind; breeding, in 
their own way, thoughts and aspirations which domin¬ 
ated me, as a soul possessed. 

I resolved, within myself, to personally solve the 
mystery, if possible, at any cost of effort—yea life it¬ 

Mad! or not—I did so—at least in measure of my 
aim and power. 

The present is the story of it. 

Satisfied in my own conscience with my purpose, I 
never abandoned it. That purpose was to learn of 
them; and, if occasion should offer, to instruct them of 

My plan was to present myself as a castaway; and 

132 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

with all seeming confidence—without seeming to court 
it—to rely on their humanity. 

1 could not believe them wholly lost to it. It would 
have been cowardice to have done so. “Have faith in 
one another” is a motto I early learnt, and have ever 
cherished. Its application, of course, requires caution, 
and there is ever an element of risk in it: but in that is 
a very spice of life. 

Man is born unto trouble, conflict, and danger in 
many ways; and in his mastery of them, in their risk 
and peril, when for good, is the merit of his life, hu¬ 
manly speaking. 

My main difficulty—I assumed—would be to effec¬ 
tively disguise my motive, viz: to learn of them, and, if 
possible, to be their teacher as to things external to them, 
against which they had encased themselves, and as to 
which, especially the English, and all of that nation¬ 
ality, they had been studiedly prejudiced by the Dutch 
and Chinese, for their own ends. I knew, moreover, 
that their condemnation of Christinanity was more par¬ 
ticularly of that form of it known as Roman Catholic, 
which, previous to the decree first above cited, had 
shaken the Throne itself, in Japan, in treasonable con¬ 

Keeping this in view, I limited the collection of books 
I had determined to take with me, to my simple English 
Bible, prayer book (Church of England), a dictionary, 
grammar, history (English) and geography &c—all 
in compact form. 

I was not a man of learning, but always a lover of 
books: of these I was master enough for my purpose. 

I knew that such freight—so strange for a mere cast¬ 
away from a whaling ship—would naturally excite sus¬ 
picion; but I had my story, ready, for the nonce. Them- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


selves even of the middle and lower classes, being a 
people of literature and books, I thought I might pass 
on this score. The sequel proved so. In fact it was that 
that saved me: for seeing me ever reading, a man of 
books, they drew to me: the books 141 magnetized them: 
and they (books and Japanese) made me their teacher! 

How the Design Was Carried Out 

To carry out this design while sitting, like a Simon 
Stylites, 142 on my high stool in the Bank of Elgin, with 
little money or means of any kind to aid me; and with 
no friends or influence to appeal to in such endeavor, I 
felt as a stranger amongst strangers, with no hope—not 
the slightest—of sympathy from any quarter, in such a 
scheme. In the monomania of the project I had saga¬ 
city enough to keep it to myself. I had resolved on it; 
that was enough. For means to carry it out, I simply, 
with grip sack in hand, walked forth into the darkness 
of an unsympathetic world; alone, telling no one; with 
barely scrip for the hour. 

That was in 1845, when I was just twenty one; in the 
freedom of manhood; with full vigour of youth; for for 
any honest work for the needs of the moment. I im¬ 
mediately went West to the Mississippi. Got occupa¬ 
tion as a boat hand on one of its palace steamers. The 
work suited me: was apprenticeship for graver work, 
somewhat in the same line, before me. Thence, after 
much wandering, but ever holding my own, without fall 
or stumble; ever buoyed up with the hope of reaching 
my cynosure at some time, I made the port of New 

141 See Appendix II, pages 273, 277, for reference to the number of 
books taken into Japan by our author. 

142 A reference to the “pillar Saint”; a Syrian ascetic who passed 
the last thirty years of his life on a pillar near Antioch. 

134 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

York, where vessels, to and from the world over, most 
do congregate. 

Here, late in 1845, 143 1 shipped before the mast on 
board the ship “Plymouth”, Lawrence B. Edwards, 
Captain, for the Sandwich Islands, where I expected to 
find a favorable opportunity of shipping on board a 
“Whaler” for the Japan seas—a general resort for such 
service. 144 

143 The whale ship, “Plymouth,” 425 tons, of Sag Harbor, N. Y., Cook 
& Greene, owners, was bought from Boston in 1845 and sailed for the 
Northwest Coast on December 6, 1845, with Captain Laurence B. 
Edwards, Master. She returned on April 30, 1849, after an absence of 
over three years. This was the “Plymouth’s” only whaling voyage from 
the port of Sag Harbor, which then had 63 vessels in the whaling fleet. 
The last whaler cleared from Sag Harbor in 1871. Captain Charles P. 
Cook of Sag Harbor, son of one of the owners of the “Plymouth”—then 
a boy ten years of age—still recalls visiting the ship with Capt. Edwards’ 
wife, just before its departure, with our author on board, in December, 
1845. See Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 432; Walter S. Tower, op. cit., 
69, 124, table II. 

144 The Pacific whale fisheries opened in 1780, and for sperm-whale 
fishing in 1787 by the “Amelia,” Capt. Shields, an English-fitted ship 
manned by Nantucket whalemen. The “Beaver” of Nantucket, built in 
1791 and sailing in August of that year under Captain Paul Worth, was 
the first American whaler in the Pacific. She was followed that same 
year by five Nantucket and one New-Bedford whaler. Alexander 
Starbuck, op. cit., 90, note, 186-187; Walter S. Towers History of the 
American Whaling Fishery, 53, 93. 

American whaling boats now rapidly spread in their courses to all 
parts of the Pacific, and hundreds of islands received their first visit 
from white men from the New-England whalers. Much of the Pacific 
waters was then unknown and the existing charts were full of inac¬ 
curacies. Hundreds of small islands in the Pacific were first located 
on the charts and made known to civilization by American whalemen. 

The Kadiak, Alaska, grounds were discovered in 1835 by the “Ganges” 
of Nantucket, Captain Folger; and the celebrated Kamchatka coast 
grounds, along the Siberian Coast and Kuriles, were discovered by the 
“Hercules” and “James,” both of New Bedford, in 1843, Alexander Star- 
buck, op. cit., 98. By 1839 the majority of vessels on the Pacific were 
taking right and bow-head whales. 

So large a portion of the American whaling fleet eventually visited 
the Pacific, that the United States was finally forced, after repeated 
petitions to Congress, to send an exploring expedition to these seas. 
Both Commodore Wilkes (1838) and Commodore Perry (1853) were 
indebted to these hardy mariners, and Maury in compiling his great 
work on Ocean Currents made constant use of the information sup¬ 
plied by them. Alexander Starbuck, op cit., 97. 

The first vessel in the Bering sea grounds was the bark “Superior,” 

Japan Story of Adventure 


In due time (five or six months) I arrived and land¬ 
ed there. The place was of special interest to me, as 
during my life in the Columbia our (Hudson’s Bay 
Company) trade relations with the Islands were very 
intimate, and many of the men in the Hudson’s Bay 
Company’s service, as boatmen (and excellent they 
were) were from there. 145 

275 tons, of Sag Harbor, Captain Royce, in 1848. The next year saw 
154 ships whaling in that sea. Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 148. 

The American whaling fleet reached its greatest tonnage in the 
period of 1845-1850, when in one year 680 ships, 34 brigs and 22 
schooners, aggregating some 235,000 tons, were in the fishery. The 
fleet also reached its greatest production of whale-oil during this period, 
when an annual production of 330,000 barrels was approximated. This 
was worth, retail, about $2.50 a gallon. See Alexander Starbuck, op. 
cit.; Walter S. Tower, op. cit., 51-53, 67; Dr. J. Arthur Harris, Graphics 
of the American Whale Fishery, Popular Science Monthly, July, 1914, 

The development of the petroleum industry sealed the fate of the 
whaling industry by furnishing a cheaper and more satisfactory oil 
for illuminating and general purposes. The decline of the whale fishing 
was, however, hastened by other events: During the gold rush of ^49 
to California whalers offered an easy means of reaching California 
and its gold-fields, and whole crews shipped apparently merely as a 
cheap means of reaching the mines. Desertions from ships were so 
numerous, as to leave them insufficiently manned and many whalers 
were wholly abandoned by officers and crews; other whalers, chartered 
to carry Argonauts to the promised land, rotted on the California beaches 
after their arrival. Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 112; Walter S. Tower, 
op. cit., 74. 

During the American Civil War many New-England whalers fell a 
prey to Confederate privateers. The “Shenandoah” alone captured and 
burned 34 whaling ships and barks, besides bonding four others. Forty 
ships from the Pacific whaling fleet were purchased by the United 
States government and formed a large portion of the two famous stone 
fleets, which, in 1861, were sunk off the harbors of Charleston and 
Savannah to prevent the entrance of blockade runners and the ingress 
and escape of privateers. Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 101. 

Further serious disaster met the fleet ten years later. In the fall of 
1871 a terrible fate overtook the Arctic fleet when 34 vessels were 
caught in the ice and crushed off point Belcher. See account in 
Harper’s Weekly, December 2, 1871; also Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 
101. A similar disaster met the fleet in 1876 when 12 ships and barks 
were lost. Thus the glory of the American whale fishery passed. 

145 Many of these islanders had acquired a knowledge of English 
from the crews of trading and whaling vessels visiting their shores. 
Geo. H. von Langsdorff in 1806 [Voyages and Travels, 187] says of 
them: “The Islanders are becoming very fond of a seafaring life, and 

136 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

In the service they went by the general appellation of 
“Owhyees”, from Oawhu , one of the principal islands 
of the group. 

The place had also been always an objective point 
with me for immediate preparation for my contact with 

Besides that, among other adventitious attractions 
to me, it had been the last field of work of my dearly 
loved friend and companion in the wild woods of the 
Columbia and Fraser, David Douglas , 146 botanist, of 

they make excellent sailors. While on the Northwest coast of America, 
I saw and talked with several natives of Owyhee serving as sailors on 
board vessels from Boston.” Archibald Campbell, writing in 1810, says: 
“He (King Tamaa-Hmaat) encourages them (his subjects) to make 
voyages in the ships that are constantly touching at the Islands, and 
many of them have been as far as China, the Northwest Coast of 
America and even the United States. In a very short time they become 
useful hands.” Archibald Campbell, A Voyage Around the World, 213. 
The first of these Owyhees were brought to the Columbia River on the 
“Tonquin” in 1811. The first Owyhee to go into the interior was “Coxe,” 
who was a member of Stuart’s party from Astoria in the summer of 
1811 and for whom David Thompson exchanged one of his voyageurs. 
Thompson took him to Spokane House. See hereon David Thompson, op. 
cit., 510-511; Alexander Ross, Fur Traders, i, 114; Coues, op. cit., 868. 
These Owyhees became an important part of the brigades west of the 
mountains and, intermarrying with local Indians, have left some of 
their physical traits impressed on their descendants among the Salesh 
tribes. Their name is commemorated in the Owyhee Mountains, Owyhee 
County, the town of Owyhee and Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon, 
where three of them, outfitted by Donald McKenzie for trapping upon 
that stream, were murdered by the Indians in 1819. 

146 David Douglas first arrived on the Columbia River, near Astoria, 
April 9, 1825, and after a few days in the vicinity of that post, spent 
the next two years in the interior leaving the Columbia District May 2, 
1827, for England via Hudson’s Bay. He returned to the mouth of 
the Columbia River for a few months in the spring of 1830, and again 
in the fall of 1832 until his departure October 18, 1834. See his Journal 
published a few years ago. It is probable that young MacDonald—then 
an active boy between nine and ten years of age—may have been a 
youthful “friend and companion” of the great botanist while in and 
about the trading posts at Astoria (Fort George) and Fort Vancouver. 
In any other sense, our author’s statement is misleading. Our author’s 
father writing to his friend John McLeod on Feb. 20, 1833, says: “I 
was at Vancouver last fall (1832). Mr. David Douglas just returned 
from California, via. Sandwich Islands.” Washington Historical Quarter¬ 
ly, ii, 161-162. Our author’s recollections of Mr. Douglas were prob¬ 
ably from being with him 1832-1833. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


“Douglas Pine” fame. After his wanderings for many 
years—six or seven if I remember right—on the Pacific 
Slope of the mainland, he came here; where, while ga¬ 
thering specimens on the edge of a “cattle hole”, he 
slipped into it, and was gored to death, in it by a wild 

That was in 1833. Everybody who had known him 
lamented him; for with all his enthusiasm in his pursuit, 
he was ever the most sociable, kindly, and endearing of 
men. A sturdy little Scot; handsome rather; with head 
and face of fine Grecian mould; of winning address, 
genial, and with all, the most sincerely pious of men. 
He walked the terrible wilds of the West, generally 
alone! from the Pacific shore to the Rocky Mountains, 
midst wild beasts, and savages fiercer: in danger oft; 
but ever equal to the occasion. He, literally, feared no 
evil. The Lion in the man awed all. 

The heroism of his work has not—that I am aware 
of—been made known to the world. Hence these few 
words in such reference. 

Ready and eager to go on, I looked out for a Whaler 
bound for the northern seas of Japan. I found one be¬ 
fore long; and therewith my story, proper begins. 

Chapter V 

Ship on Board Whaler for Japan Seas — Sandwich 

Islands— Ladrones— Castaway Settlers —Treasure 

Trove—China and Japan Seas—Whale Fishery— 

At the Port of Sahina in Mowhu (one of the Sand¬ 
wich Islands) after a sojourn of a few days through- 

138 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

out the group, 147 I looked out for a vessel wherein to 
ship for my purpose. 

Accidentally meeting, in port, my old Captain of the 
“Plymouth”, which had lain over in Kalakakna Bay to 
repair, I applied to him for reshipment, again before the 
mast, on the ordinary partnership terms of whalers— 
of payment on share profit—but with the special stipu¬ 
lation on my part, that I was to be free to leave the ship 
off the coast of Japan wherever and whenever I should 
desire, when the ship would be full, or be on the eve of 
returning or going elsewhere, and that in the meantime 
he was to teach me to make observations for latitude 
and longitude in navigation. 1 had provided myself 
with Hadley’s quadrant and nautical almanac for the 
purposes. The captain objected at first to such a con¬ 
dition, but finally agreed to it, on terms which will 
hereafter appear in the narrative. I believe he thought 
the condition would never be exacted; and certainly he 
never manifested any desire that it should be. 

We left the Sandwich Islands, for Hong Kong, in 
company with the Whaler “David Paddock” 148 of 

On our voyage we sighted some small islands, and 

147 The Sandwich Islands became the general rendezvous of all the 
whale ships employed in the North Pacific Ocean. As early as 1825 
Capt. F. W. Beechey stated that in the spring time whaling vessels to 
the number of fifty or sixty sails assembled in the harbour of Honoruru 
(Honolulu) at one time. These vessels made repairs and took on board 
large supplies of vegetables and fruit, as sea stock, to enable them to 
remain upon their fishing ground until autumn, when many of them 
returned to the port. Capt. F. W. Beechey, Narrative of a Voyage to the 
Pacific, ii, 117. See also note 157, page 150. 

148 “David Paddock” of Nantucket, 352 tons was built at Rochester in 
1841 and sailed on its first voyage Oct. 7, 1841, Chas. B. Swain 2nd., 
Master; David Jones, owner. Returning October 17, 1845, the ship 
again sailed from Nantucket for the Pacific whaling grounds on De¬ 
cember 8, 1845, and accompanied our author’s ship, the “Plymouth,” from 
Honolulu to the Japanese coast. She separated from the “Plymouth” in 
June, 1847, and was later wrecked at La Perouse Straits off the Jap- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


touched at Gregan and Pegan, two of the Ladrones, 149 
where we got wood and a large number of hogs. Gre¬ 
gan is the most northern of the group. 

We here met with an adventure which I thought very 
little of at the time, but since in hearing, or rather read¬ 
ing of the report of vast buried treasure in the old Span¬ 
ish times, it has recurred to me, with a passing thought 
of what might have been done, with such like trover, by 

anese coast. Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 276, 426. We quote from the 
Nantucket (Mass.) Inquirer, February 2, 1849: 

Wreck of the Ship “David Paddock” of Nantucket. “On the 20th 
of July at half past 9 o’clock in the evening this vessel being full, 
and bound out of the Japan Sea, in North Latitude 45, 28, and East 
Longitude 141, 5, struck on a sunken rock not laid down on any chart. 
The ship’s company took to the boats and lay under the lee of the 
vessel until the morning, when she had six inches of water on the 
cabin floor, but she could not get off, although the spars were cut away. 
Land was discovered about 15 miles off, which proved to be Feeshee 
Island. They landed upon the southwest cape of Saghalen, and remained 
there three days. The inhabitants treated them with great kindness, 
but would not allow them to go back into the country. A house and 
food were furnished gratuitously, and when they left they were pre¬ 
sented with four or five hundred pounds of rice. The inhabitants, who 
were few, appeared to be Tartars under a Japanese governor. After 
three days residence they all left in their boats to cross the Matsmai 
Straights, but fell in with the “Globe,” Dagett, of New Bedford, in 
the passage. All hands were saved. The following ships succeeded 
in obtaining a portion of the “David Paddock’s” cargo; “Caravan” of Fall 
River, “Bridgeport” and “Neva” of Greenport. Reuben Andrews, first 
officer of the “David Paddock” reached Honolulu on the “Samuel Robert¬ 
son,” Turner, Captain, at the time the barque “Don Quixote” arrived 
from San Francisco with the news of the discovery of gold. He joined 
the “stampede” for California, and was one of the 60 passengers 
arriving in San Francisco in October, 1848, on the schooner “Sagada- 
hock.” His daughter resides at Nestor, California. 

149 This course from the Hawaiian Islands—westward to the Ladrones 
—was the usual one to keep within the limits of the trade winds which 
are more variable in a higher altitude. 

The Marianne, Ladrones or Thieves’ Islands—so named by the crew 
of Magalhaes’ fleet on account of the thieving propensity of the in¬ 
habitants—comprise a group of 16 islands lying north of the Caroline 
Islands in the North Pacific Ocean. They were discovered and named 
by Fernao de Magalhaes in 1521. Guagan or Guam, the largest of the 
islands, is a station of the Pacific Cable, and interesting as ceded to 
the United States by Spain in 1898. The chief inhabitants of the Is¬ 
lands are descendants from settlers from Mexico and the Philippines. 
Pagon and Guagan mentioned by our author are among the northern 
islands of the group. 

140 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

myself as well as others with me at the time and who 
were personally cognizant of the facts. The story, 
briefly, is this: 

Gregan and Pegan With Their “Robinson Cru- 
soes” and Treasure 

On our way to the Ladrones, we approched, uncon¬ 
sciously, a rock in mid-ocean known as “French—Frig- 
ute—Shoals”. Here we experienced the severest gale 
during the entire voyage, blowing our mainsail and 
some of our fore and aft sails clean out of the bolt ropes, 
but by bending new ones, and good management, we 
weathered all danger. It was touch and go with us, for 
we have found ourselves in the bight of the shoals. We 
calculated the shoal to be from ten to fifteen miles in 

When the weather moderated we shaped our course 
for the Island of Gregan, for wood and water. On ar¬ 
riving at the Island with our consort the “David Pad- 
dock”, we came to, under the lee of the Island, by back¬ 
ing our main yard. Each Captain went ashore in his 
own boat. I was one of the party. 

The Island was fringed with cocoa nut trees near the 
beach. On landing we discovered—Robinson Crusoe 
like—human foot prints on the sand. We were sur¬ 
prised; having been assured that the Island was not, 
and never had been inhabited. On ascending the beach 
we saw a naked man dodging from tree to tree. By 
following him we came to a clearing, with a yard, and 
three or four thatched cottages, and eight other men, 
with several women, and a few children. Before ar¬ 
riving at the place, we were met by the mysterious dod¬ 
ger; but now in full dress, wearing a shirt—just a 
shirt—nothing more!—He introduced himself as 

Japan Story of Adventure 


“Liverpool Jack ”. 150 He told us that there was another 
white man, living about a mile north of him, named by 
him “Spider Jack”, living with a sickly wife. He gave 

150 First Officer Andrews of the “David Paddock” also makes mention 
of these two English sailors. 

Many British and American sailors who had deserted or been dis¬ 
charged from their ships were eventually to be found upon the various 
Pacific Islands. Some of these, scoundrels under any circumstances, 
became leaders of the natives in their attacks upon trading and whaling 
vessels; some of them became influential men upon the islands, both 
by reason of their superior civilization and through marriage with dusky 
maidens—daughters of the chief men of the islands. One of the 
most marked cases of this latter kind was that of David Whippey, who 
left a Nantucket whaling vessel while at the Fiji Islands about the 
year 1824 and, making himself friendly and useful to the chiefs, soon 
became a most important man among them. According to the custom 
there he acquired several wives (albeit he is said to have left one 
behind him in Nantucket) and became the father of a numerous family. 
He was appointed one of the United States vice-consuls, and for many 
years was of great service to our government. 

Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 98 note. The editors have found two 
accounts of Whimpey: William S. Cary of Nantucket, sole survivor 
of the ship “Oeno,” wrecked on Turtle Island, one of the Fiji, April, 1825, 
in his log book published in the Nantucket (Mass.) Journal in 1887, 
after giving an account of the shipwreck and massacre of the rest of 
the crew of “Oeno” by the natives, tells of meeting Mr. David Whippey 
whom he saw while he (Cary) was on the island of Motosick, coming 
in a canoe from Ambow, about fifteen miles away. On landing Whippey 
reached out his hand, addressed Cary by name and asked him if he 
didn’t know David Whippey. Mr. Cary answered that he formerly 
knew Dave Whimpey and that he was a fellow townsman and an old 
playmate of his. “Well,” said Whimpey, “I am David Whippey.” As 
it was about a year since Cary had seen a white man, this meeting must 
have been in 1826. David Whippey told Cary that he had left the brig 
“Calder” some thirteen months before, bearing presents from the captain 
to the king of Ambow, together with a request that he would collect 
all the turtle shell he could; the captain promising to return in a few 
months and trade with him for it. But now the time was so long that 
Whimpey had given up all hope of seeing the brig again. In fact, he 
stated that he had no desire to leave the island, as he was a particular 
favorite with the king and chiefs and was a chief himself. He informed 
Cary that there were two other white men who lived with him; one of 
whom had come in the Manilla brig, while the other had lived at the 
Fijis ten or twelve years. The king of Ambow valued the white men 
highly, as his people had previously been troubled very much by the 
mountaineers coming down and committing depredations on their sea- 
coast villages. These mountaineers were very much afraid of the 
white men’s muskets, however, and had not troubled the king since the 
white men had been with him. Cary visited Whippey on his island 
quite a number of times, and finally got away from the islands in a 
ship which chanced to stop there. 

There is another account of David Whimpey in the Charles Wilkes, 

142 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

me to understand that they had a falling out about a 
child they both claimed. 

Their wealth consisted of pigs and chickens: the 
more wives they had, the more pigs and chickens they 
could attend to. 

From Liverpool Jack’s account of himself, he had 
been fourteen or fifteen years on the Island; and that 
Spider Jack had been about four years longer. The 
Spider, after hoisting the Spanish flag—for he sup¬ 
posed we were Spanish men of war—soon joined us. 
From an account I afterwards learnt of them, it 

That twenty one years previous to our visit, a whale 
ship, the “Peruvian” 151 of New London, Connecticut, 
cruising in those seas for sperm whale, had picked up a 
large canoe with twenty one living souls on board, in a 

Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition during years 1838, 
1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, published in five volumes in 1845. In volume 
iii, page 48, appears an account of meeting David Whippey in 1840. He 
told Capt. Wilkes that he went out there in his brother’s ship, but 
left the ship on account of ill treatment. He also told him that he had 
then been on the island eighteen years, and, when first seen by the 
Wilkes party, was arriving in a canoe with some of his children. David 
Whimpey was of great aid to the American officers, acting as in¬ 
terpreter, and they mention him at intervals all through the volume. 
There is a foot-note saying that after the expedition left the islands 
he was made an American vice-consul. 

151 The ship “Peruvian” of New London, Conn., 388 tons, appears 
on the New Bedford whaling lists for the first time as sailing for the 
Crozette Island fisheries Oct. 15, 1841, Brown Captain, Fitch & Leonard, 
owners, returning in July, 1843. It continued in the fishery until 1849 
when it was broken up. Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 378, 564. 

There was an earlier whale ship of the same name: The “Peruvian” 
of Nantucket, Mass., a ship of 334 tons, built at Scituate, N. Y. in 1818; 
sailed from Nantucket for the Pacific Whale Fisheries on Sept. 25 of that 
year, returning Sept. 15, 1820. It was under the command of Capt. Ed¬ 
ward Clark Jan. 9, 1822, to April 2, 1824; under Capt. Alex. Macy June 
8 , 1825, to Dec. 14, 1827, and from June 8, 1828, to Oct. 21, 1831, and 
owned by C. Mitchell & Co. Its last voyage was under Capt. Edward B. 
Hussey, Jr., to the Indian Ocean whale grounds Dec. 6, 1852, to Oct. 19, 
1856, and the ship was broken up at New Bedford in 1857. Alexander 
Starbuck, op. cit., 226, 242, 254, 266, 498-499. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


destitute condition. Out of pure humanity the Captain 
took them on board and supplied them with necessaries. 

In giving an explanation of their condition it seems 
that they were blown out of sight of land in going from 
one island to another in the Kingsmill Group, so that 
they were left to the mercy of the winds and waves. 

Not wishing to encumber his decks the Captain land¬ 
ed them on Gregan, after seeing that it was fit for habi¬ 
tation, giving them a sow with pig, a cock and a couple 
of hens. They had then a vast number of each kind. 
We were not long in getting a supply on leaving the 

I conversed with both Jacks. Neither of their stories 
could I trust. In making the observation that I thought 
it strange that the pigs and chickens had increased, 
while the men and women had not—for they were little 
more than the original number—they both agreed about 
having plenty of arms, and of having had a larger com¬ 
munity of white men and negroes among them at one 
time. That they manufactured a kind of whiskey from 
the cocoa nut with a tea kettle and a gun barrel. That 
they had several fights; and murders had taken place 
among them. Then peace would be declared each 
party would make a show that he had destroyed the 
only weapon he owned, but on the next occasion of a 
carouse out would come the weapons. Both told me 
no one would trust another. No doubt the poor Kings¬ 
mill Islanders were the greatest sufferers. 

Both spoke confidently of a large amount of treasure 
buried in the Island of Pegan, near Gregan: that they 
knew the exact spot; and to corroborate this, one of our 
men who had time to accept Spider Jack’s invitation to 
visit his hut or house reported seeing there half a chest¬ 
ful of silver dollars: and that Jack tried to persuade 

144 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

him to desert the ship. He declined; from fear of be¬ 
ing murdered. At that time, I had no cause to doubt the 
man. What puzzled me was, that there being no trade, 
how he (Jack) came to have so much money. We 
were the only visitors they had had since they were on 
the Island: so they said. 

The Story of the Buried Treasure 

At the time of one of the great revolutions in South 
America, the wealthy, to escape, had chartered a vessel, 
and put on board, their money and valuables, church 
plate and pictures &c; in fact she was loaded with 
wealth. In an unguarded moment she was taken 
possession of by a desperate gang; who escaped, and 
made for the Ladrones; where they buried the treasure, 
after appropriating enough for their present need. 

That, in time, they separated: some died; or all may 
have died except three. That, in time, these three 
visited the treasure. That the Captain or Chief called 
one of the party aside as if for consultation, but instead 
of consulting, murdered him: then turning to his sur¬ 
viving companion murdered him also. That, alone, he 
returned to Manilla, where, after a while, he, in remorse 
gave himself up to the authorities, telling the story. 
That on his representations, the Manilla Government 
sent to the place, a man-of-war with the man on board 
to show the spot. 

That on arrival at Pegan, the boat was along side of 
the ship ready for the passenger. That on going over 
the side to embark in the boat, to land, he fell between 
the ship and the boat, never to rise again! The two 
Jack’s pointed to the side of the mount where the man- 
of-war sailors had turned up the ground in a fruitless 
search for the buried treasure. Our informants told us 

Japan Story of Adventure 


that we were nearer to the spot than they (the man-of- 
war’s men) had been, for—said they—“we are within 
a quarter of a mile of the place”. 

They might as well have told us that we were less 
than a hundred miles, for we never had a thought of 
losing a moment for it. It may be there yet! 

This conversation occurred on the Island of Pegan 
(uninhabited) where we were for wood. We made 
the best of our way back to Gregan to get our pigs and 

From there we steered generally West, keeping a 
little North some-times, so as to sight the Bonin Islands, 
thinking we might find sperm whale. 

From there we went to the Bashee Islands, Spanish 
Possessions, South of the Island of Formosa. 

In the Straits of Formosa we landed on the two 
principal Islands of the Bashee Group. 152 One of these, 
viz: Battan, was apparantly under fair cultivation, and 
possessed a good though small harbor. Its Capital 
consisted of very miserable huts, but the “Governor’s 
Palace” and a place of worship—both in a state of ruin 
—were built of stone. Here we got some yams, a few 
onions, and some beef. 

Late in the afternoon of the day on which we left the 
Bashees, we fell in with the first school of whales— 
sperm whales—and killed a great many. 

We experienced very heavy gales in the China Sea, 
and they were heavier at this time than at any other. 

152 The Bashee, Bashi or Batan Islands are a small group in the 
China Sea, lying north of the Philippines, and discovered by Dampier in 
1687. They came under American control in 1900. They were fre¬ 
quently visited by American whalers. First Officer Andrews of the 
“David Paddock” mentions both visits to the island of Battan, and adds 
in his log book that “the Governor gave a grand dinner” for them; that 
“each captain and mate received a present of a ton of black ebony,” and 
that at the Governor’s request each of the captains took away a young 
native boy, about 10 years of age, as a servant. 

146 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

While cruising about the Bashees we fell in with a 
French Ship, the first we had seen since our departure 
from the Sandwich slands. We thence steered for 
Hong Kong, where, arrived, we stript, and laid over for 
a month, fitting out for a cruise in the Japan Sea fur¬ 
ther North. 

From Hong Kong we returned to Battan to get some 
vegetables, but, unfortunately, were too early. On our 
first visit there, we gave the natives potatoes for seed: 
they had not had any for some years. We also fur¬ 
nished them with some beans and Indian corn, 
though they had plenty of each, but our grain was lar¬ 
ger than theirs and they preferred it. 

Leaving the Bashees we sailed by the Loo-Choo Is¬ 
lands 153 to the Tonghai Sea, and thence by Quelpert Is¬ 
land, 154 to the Sea of Japan. 

Quelpert Island 

Quelpert is a beautiful Island; situated near the 
Straits of Corea, about 120 miles from Nagasaki in Kin 
Sin, one of the Japanese Group, in the South, about 
250 miles from Shanghai; about 300 miles from Nan¬ 
kin; about 400 miles from Pekin; in the direct line of 

153 The Ryu-'kyu or, variously spelled, Riu-kiu, Liu-kiu, Lu-chu or 
Loo-choo Islands are a chain of 37 small islands extending southwesterly 
from Kiu-shiu (the most southerly of the larger Japanese Islands) 
toward Formosa. They were then, as now, under Japanese control, but 
owing to their remoteness the Japanese Government was not able to 
strictly enforce there its decree forbidding intercourse with foreigners. 
American and other whaling vessels occasionally touched at the Loo Choo 
Islands when distressed for provisions, vegetables or fruit. Capt. 
Beechey (1825) states that relations between the natives and the sailors 
had ever been estranged. Commander Glynn who touched at Napa 
Keang in the Islands on his way to Nagasaki in the spring of 1849 says: 
“Foreigners there mingle with natives, because there are no means to 
prevent it.” 

154 This island, now under Japanese control, lies some 60 miles off 
the southern extremity of Korea. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


communication with the Capital of China and the Pa¬ 
cific; and within about 250 miles from the mouths of 
the Hoangho and Yang-tzse Rivers, streams draining 
upwards of fifteen hundred thousand square miles of 
land teeming with almost every staple of food for man, 
cultivated, to the utmost, by upwards of three hundred 
millions of the industrious—most industrious it might 
be said—the cradle, home, and cemetery of nearly one 
fourth of our fellowmen on earth: a people of a high 
civilization; with aptitudes moral, intellectual, and 
physical requiring but the sympathetic touch of our 
more utilitarian dynamics of life to win them to a closer 
comity in the family of nations. On this theme, my 
ideas may seem wild, but to myself, they are the con¬ 
clusions of personal observation. What the future, 
under the Providence of the Great Father of all, may 
have in store for us in this score, I undertake not to say, 
but leave to the logic of events to develop. As a 
traveller bye the way, within the area defined, I note the 
abounding economic resources on which men and na¬ 
tions live, move, and have their social being. These re¬ 
sources—many of them scarcely touched—such as 
coal, iron, and other economic skill and machinery for 
the improvement of the material welfare of our brethern 
beyond the sea—our Western neighbors of the Asian 

We sailed about the Island, fishing, for about a week, 
off and on, in a summer sea, in good view of it. I 
would say that it is about twenty five miles in length, 
and, on average, about half that in breadth. I have 
little doubt but that it has good natural harbours: we, 
however, neither sought nor saw any. 

Its position is a commanding one for a naval depot. 
It is Lat. 33 deg. 30 min. N. Its temperature is mod- 

148 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

erate: cooler, and healthier much than Hong Kong, and 
evidently, with abundant vegetation—forest clad 
throughout, so far as we saw; and with every resource 
and facility for ship supplies. Fortified, and held by 
a naval Power it might be made the Malta of the great 
Eastern Asiatic Archipelago, and even of the vaster 
Northern Pacific—the Greater Atlantic of these latter 
times. Russia may take it. That rising power has, 
grasped all it dare of the Kurile Chain, 155 but that, nor 
even her Vladivostok (ice bound in winter) does not, 
and cannot secure her anchorage in the Junk thronged 
seas of China and Japan. 156 

The Trident of the Pacific has yet to be raised. God 
forbid! that it should be so by other hands than such as 
may, under Providence be missionary of a Christianity 
at one with us: a Christianity whose natural fruits will 
be peace on earth and happiness to man in the widest 
and highest sense. 

During our cruise about this “Isle of Beauty” we 
saw many whales, and captured some. 

At length we left it, and on March 6th entered the 
Japan Sea. 

Here we had fine weather; seas comparatively calm. 
During our stay in the Japan Sea proper, between the 
Islands of Japan and the Mainland—which lasted about 
three months—we had, invariably, calms or very light 
breezes, scarcely enough to fill our top sails; we, how¬ 
ever, experienced a good deal of fogs, especially while 
in the Channel of Tartary or western part of Sagalhien, 

155 So named from the Russian word “Kuril,” meaning “to smoke,” 
on account of the smoking volcanoes on the Kurile Islands. Charles 
Peter Thurnberg, Travels in Europe, Africa and Asia, iii, 240. 

156 An early appreciation of Russia’s need for the later developed out¬ 
let through Manchuria to the Yellow Sea at Port Arthur—lost to Japan 
in the Russian Japanese War 1904-1905. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


where we took our last whale. The wind—when we 
had any—was variable; blowing from different direc¬ 
tions, but never with any force while we were in this 
sea: currents and tides it must have, but I did not re¬ 
mark them sufficiently—nor could—to be able to give 
a correct account of them. There was no difficulty in 
the navigation of that sea during the months we were 
there: Yet, I would say; that at the Equinoxes, it may 
be dangerous from want of sea-room, if a vessel was 
not fortunate enough to make a harbour of refuge; and 
there are few such. 

We had no monsoons, though to the south (the Yel¬ 
low Sea) they have them. The China traders take ad¬ 
vantage of these winds to go to Nagusaki in their larg¬ 
est junks, and with the exchange to return to their 
country. Monsoons are winds that blow six months 
from the North East (April to October) and six months 
(October to April) from the South West. 

Whaling was so easy in the Japan Sea; the fish were 
so numerous that we had no occasion to chase them 
with our ship: we had nothing to do but to lower our 
boats, harpoon them, and bring them alongside for 
stripping. In the forepart of the season we took sev¬ 
eral whales. Towards the latter part of it—the fish 
having run north—we sailed into the Channel of Tar¬ 
tary, where we captured four whales. 

Leave Ship 

The ship being now nearly full, I asked the Captain 
to go back towards Japan, where, on the Island of Timo- 
shee, off its northern coast, I intended to land. On our 
way, we captured more whales; some of the fish were 
very small, while others were as large as large North 

150 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Western ones. On the last ground of fishing we sight¬ 
ed from 25 to 30 whaleships. 157 

At length on June 27th, 1848, the ship being then full 
and lying off the coast of Japan, about five miles from 
the nearest Island, I asked the Captain to let me leave 
the ship. With much reluctance, he consented—ac¬ 
cording to our bargain. I then bought from him a small 
boat, specially made for himself, rigged for sailing, a 
quadrant—for I could take an “Observation” for lat¬ 
itude and longitude—provisions for thirty six days &c. 
I also assigned to him, in trust, the balance of my share 
in the whaling adventure, say about six hundred dol¬ 

Against the strong and earnest remonstrances of 
the Captain and crew, I stepped into my boat, taking 
with me my box of books and stationery, a few clothes, 
quadrant, &c, but I had no chart. My comrades re¬ 
fused to unloose the knot which bound me to them. 
One of them (McKay) offered to accompany me. I 
refused him. A sailor’s feelings are ever warm and 
true. The companionship of peril forges a masonic 

157 The discovery of the Japanese whaling grounds has been at¬ 
tributed to Captain Joseph Allen of the Nantucket whale ship “Maro” in 

Dr. P. F. Von Siebold (1822-1830) states that 68 square rigged ships 
were then counted by the Japanese as passing Hakodate and Matsmae in 
one year, most of them engaged in the whale fishery. By 1829 one 
hundred whalers annually visited the Sandwich Islands, the great 
rendezvous of the Pacific whale fleet. Charles S. Stewart, A Visit 
to the South Seas , etc. (1833 ), 365. The year 1848 was near the height 
of the whaling boom. The Seaman’s Friend , of Honolulu, Oahu, S. I., 
under date of December 1, 1848, says: “During the last season for 
ships to cruise in the Japanese seas, not scores, but hundreds of vessels 
spread their canvas within full view of the coast.” Starbuck (p. 98) 
gives the total American whale fleet in 1848 as 678 ships and barks, 
37 brigs, and 22 schooners, a total of 737 vessels with an aggregate 
capacity of 233,189 tons, and valued at $21,075,000.00. Of this great 
fleet nearly 600 vessels were cruising on the different whaling grounds 
in the North and South Pacific. The foreign whaling fleet at this 
time numbered but 230 vessels. See ante note 144, p. 134, 135; also 
Walter S. Tower, op. cit., 52-53, 121. 

Japan Story of Adventure 151 

bond stronger than the tinsel chain of mere worldly in¬ 
terest. Life for life is the motto of his comrade heart. 
“Happy to meet; sorry to part”, is ever truth with him. 
I sorrowed for their sorrow, expected not to meet them 
again!—A sailor, in his manhood, has tears!—Myself, 
with averted face, had to cut the rope by which I hung 
to all them. I felt in the cord the strong electric sym¬ 
pathy bursting from the true friendly hearts of my com¬ 
rades. With a quivering “God bless you, Mac !” they 
bade me a long, and, as they thought, a last adieu!— 
It may have been so, for I have seen none of them since, 
save one, the Captain. 158 

158 While in San Francisco in 1859 (eleven years after the above 
incident) I accidently met my old Captain (Lawrence B. Edwards) of 
the “Plymouth.” He recognized me first; and was overjoyed to see me; 
took me to his elegantly furnished mansion, and introduced me to his 
young wife (his first had died), and to his family. He insisted on giv¬ 
ing me fifty dollars on our account. I told him I did not need it then 
and refused it. He told me he had never had a settlement about that 
voyage with the owners on his return home—for he left, as soon as pos¬ 
sible, for California, where the gold excitement was then at its height. 
He told me there was some kind of litigation going on with regard to 
the ship and cargo, etc. The cargo was a rich one; estimated by us at 
about five thousand barrels of oil—say worth about $150,000—and even 
my share was quite a little sum, say about $750. He said that as soon 
as it was settled, he would let me know. I never, however, had a word 
about it since, from any quarter. To me it is lost. 

I cast no reflection, in this matter, on the good Captain; and none is 
called for; for I never applied for the thing and my address was ever un¬ 
known to him and the parties with whom such settlement rested.—[Orig¬ 

Owners and outfitters were, during these years, in almost con¬ 
stant litigation with captains, shareholders, creditors, etc., over the 
partnership returns from these whaling voyages. During this cruise 
the “Plymouth” sent home 13,000 lbs. of whale-bone, and returned home 
April 30, 1849, with 4,873 bbls, of whale-oil and 16,000 lbs. of whale¬ 
bone. This catch was worth, at prices then prevailing, $71,000.00. 
This was among the largest returns of any vessel for that year and one 
of the most profitable voyages in the entire history of the American 
whaling fleet. See Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 147, 432-433. 

On the 28th of August, 1849, Captain Edwards sailed from Sag 
Harbor for San Francisco on the “Sierra Nevada,” a schooner built in Sag 
Harbor, N. Y., and the first vessel of that name afloat. She is reputed 
to have been one of the fastest vessels of her class ever afloat. The 
“Sierra Nevada” made the voyage from Shanghai to San Francisco in 
thirty-three (33) days, the shortest on record by a sailing vessel. She 

152 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

We parted! They “Homeward bound!” I, for the 
mysterious dread Japan! But my mind was fixed; as 
the needle to the pole; and my hot heart, full of its pur¬ 
pose of years, rose in swell in unison with the Pacific 
billow. There I floated!—like a bird on the ocean of 
fathomless chance: wild and free as the roving sea gull: 
at home on its heaving bosom. 

Chapter VI 

Dropped on Ocean Out of Sight of Land—Situation— 
Landmarks—Night in Boat—Nights (Two) on Is¬ 
land—Upset—Afloat—Rescue — Ashore — Treat¬ 

When I left the ship, it was in a dense fog; with no 
land in view. The Captain, however, gave me the bear¬ 
ing for the nearest Island, 159 which, he said, was about 
five miles distant; course Northeast. After bidding 
adieu to my shipmates, the ship went one way, and I 
the other; she hoisted the Stars and Stripes, dipping in 
several times, which I answered by dipping a little white 
flag which I had provided. 160 

was later sold to the Government for revenue purposes. Captain 
Edwards settled in California. From The Corrector, Sag Harbor, March 
7, 1874. Our author probably met the Captain in 1859 when he stopped 
at San Francisco on his way to the Cariboo gold fields in British 

159 Rishiri Island. 

160 “All hands gathered aft to see the last of the bold adventurer. 
He took off his hat and waved it, but in silence. The same was re¬ 
turned by the ship’s company. Soon the order was given to brace the 
main yard, and the gallant ship was going in an opposite direction. 
From our ship’s mast he was viewed with the naked eye as long as he 
could be seen; then the spy-glass was passed from one to another that 
they might have a last look at the little vessel. He was watched from 
our masthead until he was gone from our sight forever.” Statement of 
a shipmate in the Seaman’s Friend, Honolulu, S. I., issue of December 
1, 1848. 

Map of northern Yezo, showing MacDonald’s route on leaving ship 
and landing on the island of Yankeshiri, off Yezo, Japan, June 27-30, 
1848, compiled from Mr. MacDonald’s original sketch, imposed on a map 
of Yezo of 1854 


A leave ship 

B ship’s course in parting 
C my course towards nearest land 
E first land seen, where I slept in 
boat and spent two days 
F course thence, and my first view 
of Tomashee 

G where I overturned my boat 

H where I met Ainu boat 
I where landed 
J village 

K snow-capped mountain 
L line of march to Tootoomari 
M Tootomari 
N Junk’s anchorage 
O course thence to Soya 

Japan Story of Adventure 


The nearest land was an uninhabited Island called, 
in our maps Timoshee, but by the natives of the neigh¬ 
borhood, Dessery or Desserai , 161 in, or near, the Straits 
of La Perouse, off the coast of Yesso. The wind was 

When I had gone about half the distance, I saw a 
reef and breakers—then changed my course to East 
to avoid the breakers, when the southernmost of two 
Islands loomed up out of the fog. I was afterwards, if 
I recollect right, told that it was called Tootoomari . 162 
I did not land in it, but steered for an Island South of 
these two . 163 In attempting to get the weather-gage of 
the Island I fell in with rocks and surf, and in trying 
to tack, missed stays, and was drifting on a lee shore. 
I succeeded, however, in getting to the leeward of the 
Island by wearing round my boat and setting the aft sail 
all square. Here I fell in with a herd of sea lions, mak¬ 
ing a great noise. Their call—wo! wo!—was a com¬ 
pound of the bark of a large deep-mouthed dog and the 
bellow of a bull. I shot one with a pistol. These ani¬ 
mals were somewhat like overgrown seals, about twelve 
feet in length; weighing probably about ten or twelve 
hundredweight. There I left my spoil, and steered for 
the bight of the bay of an Island, where I landed. 

Ascending a neighboring height for a view, I found 
the Island to be uninhabited; about five miles in circum¬ 
ference. I was “Lord of all I surveyed,” but, after all, 

161 Reibun Island lies about 10 miles northwest from Rishiri Island. 

162 Pontomari, a village on the northern coast of Rishiri Island. In 
a map of Yezo of 1868, the village is called Kotontomari. 

163 Jo the south of Richiri Island lies Yankeshiri Island, about 6 
miles in circumferance. The sea near the island is said to abound in 
sea lions. “Shiri” in Yanke-shira and Ri-shiri means “island” in 
Aino, but in use by the Japanese is usually followed by “Jima,” the 
Japanese word for island. 

154 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

poor indeed. Naught was there to welcome the stran¬ 
ger, My boat on the strand; my ship out of sight, save 
the tip of her mainmast pointing heavenward out of a 
distant fog bank; the lonely Isle!; the ceaseless sullen 
dash of waves on the beach; the looming realm of dread 
Japan!—all, in the reaction, weighed like lead upon my 
soul. But the die was cast; and I felt that even then, if 
at the gangway of a homeward bound, 1 would not turn 
from my purpose. 

Unable to find a suitable resting place on the Island, 
I slept in the cuddy of my boat. Next morning (June 
28th) I awoke refreshed, and after a breakfast on beef, 
biscuit and chocolate, I started on an exploration of my 
new dominion, which, so far as I could see, was con¬ 
tested only by innumerable ducks, geese and other wa¬ 
ter fowl. 

I found the Island covered with small trees and 
bushes (of names unknown to me), cane brake, and 
sward, the whole picturesquely dotted with lakelets and 
ponds, full of ducks, geese and other water birds. 

On it I spent a Robinson Crusoe life for two days, 
(28th and 29th); maturing, during that time, my plan 
of invasion, which will appear in the sequel. 

My object in this delay, was to allow sufficient time 
to elapse between the departure of the ship and my con¬ 
tact with the Japanese, to obviate the suspicion of my 
having voluntarily sought their shores. I thought that 
the vessel might have been seen by the natives; and ex¬ 
pected a rigid inquiry as to the how and why of my 
leaving the ship. 

At the distance of about ten miles in a northerly di¬ 
rection, I perceived another Island, 164 with a snow- 

164 This must be Rishiri Island with Rishiri Mountain, “the Fuji of 
Yezo,” but the distance from Yankeshiri Island is about 45 miles. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


capped mountain, rising as if from the centre of the Is¬ 
land. The snow rested from the crown to a short dis¬ 
tance down; it was old snow; I am not prepared to say 
how long it remained, whether the year round or not; 
I should say it might disappear in July or August. 
Roughly guessing I should say the mountain was fif¬ 
teen hundred to two thousand feet high. 165 

Before going further on my voyage, I landed my car¬ 
go,and then, intentionally capsized my boat, to ascertain 
whether I could right her again. My design in this was 
to present myself in distress; for, with all their reputed 
cruelty to foreigners, I assumed, or half believed, that 
even Japanese would have some compassion on such of 
their fellowmen as storm or uncontrollable circum¬ 
stances should cast upon their shores. Misfortune, if 
not a passport in all cases, is certainly so in some; with 
it, or its counterfeit, I determined to try the brazen gates 
of Japan. 

After clearing the small bay which had served me for 
a harbor, and when I was in deep water between the two 
Islands, I shook out the reefs, and purposely capsized 
my craft, with sail set. I then cast adrift the back stays, 
and unstepped the mast, making, the sheet fast to the 
painter, then taking hold of the centre board, I righted, 
and then bailed her. When righted, the only things in 
the boat were two barrels of water, a small keg of pro¬ 
visions, and my bed; my chest, oars and rudder were 
afloat; my chest and an oar I recovered with some diffi¬ 
culty—the latter for steering as I had to let the rudder 
go. Satisfied with the result, I returned to, and spent 
another night (June 30th) on my island. 

Next morning (July 1st), early, I started for the 

165 Rishiri Mountain is 5637 feet high; viewed from a distance of 
45 miles it naturally appeared much lower. 

156 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

large Island already referred to, and being in high spir¬ 
its hoisted my little flag. Supposing the Island to be 
inhabited, I designedly upset my boat about five or 
six miles to the leeward of it, and lost nearly all my 
clothing, some books, and all my bedding, pistols and 
bailer; my chest had been heedlessly left unlocked. 
After much work, I righted my boat. 

During this time a ship, which, years afterwards, I 
learned was called the “Uncas”, 166 approached within 
about eight miles of me, and according to the account 
of the incident which I read in an American paper, 
picked up, or merely saw—I forgot which—my lost 
“tiny rudder” as the account called it. The trover gave 
rise to a report in the newspapers by or through the 
Rev. Mr. Damon, 167 then of the Sandwich Islands, of 
my adventure, and to the surmise of my having been 
lost at sea. In time, some way or other, this came to 

166 The “Uncas,” a ship of 410 tons built at Falmouth, Mass., in 
1828 and first owned by Elija Swift of Falmouth, was one of the famous 
vessels of the American whale fishery. Sailing for the Pacific grounds 
on November 17, 1828, under Capt. Henry C. Bunker, she returned 
July 15, 1831, after an absence of two years and eight months with a 
cargo of 3468 bbls. valued at $88,000.00—one of the largest returns in 
the history of the fishery. She was sold to New Bedford in 1843 and 
was owned by A. H. Howland, C. W. Gelett, Captain, at the time here 
mentioned, having sailed from New Bedford August 27, 1846. She 
returned May 11, 1849, and was sold for the merchant service in 1862. 
Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 268, 146, 436, 550. The incident of the 
“Uncas” picking up the rudder of MacDonald’s boat was reported in The 
Seaman's Friend, under date Dec. 1, 1848; see appendix II-A, page 273. 
This was copied by American newspapers of the day. 

167 The Revd. Samuel C. Damon, Seaman’s Chaplain, publisher and 
editor of The Seaman's Friend, a semi-monthly journal (4to) devoted 
to Temperance, Seaman, Marine and General Intelligence, published at 
Honolulu, Oahu, S. I., 1843-1878. He is not to be confounded with 
Joseph Damien—known as Father Damien—born in Belgium on January 
3, 1840, and admitted to holy orders at the age of nineteen. In 1873 
Father Damien voluntarily sought the leper colony at Kalowao, Molokai, 
Hawaiian Islands, and for 12 years was a general aid to the unfortunates. 
Attacked himself by the disease he died on April 14, 1889, after a life 
of remarkable self-sacrifices. Read Robert Louis Stevenson’s fine tribute 
to him, or C. W. Stoddard’s South Sea Idyls and Lepers of Molokai. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


the knowledge of my father, then in Canada, who be¬ 
lieved it. 

Thus to my family and friends I was, for a while— 
two or three years—as one dead. I refer to this story 
of me, as further corroboration of this narrative. 

To proceed! 

Now drifting from ashore, I stepped my mast, set 
sail, and steered with a scull—the recovered oar. 

While standing at the stern I accidentally fell over¬ 
board. With difficulty I swam up to the boat, which 
quickly heaved to, in the wind. Before striking for the 
boat, however, I captured my chest which (pitched out 
by the same heave, of wave, which upset me) was 
afloat—so was my bread (a barrel of biscuit), but, it 
I had to abandon; my chest being, carelessly again, still 
unlocked and unfastened, was partially emptied, my 
compass was gone, but the quadrant, books and writing 
materials, etc., were to the fore. I then tacked towards 
the large Island, but stood off all night; not sleeping 
a wink, from fear of rocks ahead, indicated by break¬ 

At dawn next morning (July 2nd) I saw smoke on 
the Island, and men launch a boat like a rather large 
skiff, and row it towards me. On their approach, I 
raised the plug of my boat and nearly half filled it with 
water. When about a hundred yards from me they 
hove up and began to salaam me, throwing out their 
arms, palms up, 168 bowing, stroking their great beards, 
and uttering a gutteral sound in respectful salutation, 
as indicated by their look and manner. There were 

168 “They saluted us by rubbing the palms of their hands together 
and then raising the hand slowly several times towards heaven; after 
which they stroked their beards from chin to breast, and then threw 
themselves on their knees exactly in Japanese fashion, repeating a 
compliment in like manner,” George H. van Langdorff, op. cit., 328. 

158 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

four in the boat. When near enough I accosted them 
with a “How do you do?” with a salute with the right 
arm. They seemed to take it in compliment, in re¬ 

Soon as they reached me, I fastened my boat to theirs, 
and jumping on board signified to them that I wished 
them to bail my boat, and also to row me ashore. While 
one of them set to bail (with my cap, or little sailor 
hat, my only bailer now) the rest continued their salu¬ 
tation. They did not seem to be afraid of me; but to 
be wonder struck as to who or what I was. Becoming 
impatient of their mummery, to make them desist, I 
took hold of the pair of sculls which had been used by 
the man now bailing my boat (now in tow) and pulled 
about a ship’s length. They immediately followed my 
example, but from sheer inability to keep stroke with 
them (though fairly smart at the oar) 169 I gave up. 
They also, with one accord, dropped their oars and 
looked earnestly in my face, as if asking further or¬ 
ders. I again pointed to the shore, and directed them, 
by sign, to row thither. 

One of them, inquiringly, pointed to one side of the 
Cove, and another to the other. In reply to their re¬ 
spectful question, I pointed to the village 170 which I 
had seen them start from. The village (a large wooden 
house surrounded by a few miserable huts) was situ¬ 
ated at the foot of a very high mountain. 

On landing, I was greeted as I had been by the boat- 

169 Their oars were peculiar with hardly any blade [Orig.] Hawks, 
Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron, etc., i, 450, gives 
a description of these boats and the Japanese manner of rowing with 
these oars, and a lithograph thereof appears opposite the page cited. 
Oars ordinarily used by the Ainus, shown in contemporary drawings, 
had a broad blade. 

170 The village was called Notsuka. It is on Oshitomari Bay at the 
Northeastern part of the island. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


man—the people—about a hundred men, women and 
children—being seated cross-legged on the beach. Two 
of the boatsmen got me a pair of sandals from one of 
the women, and put them on my feet. 

They then took me, gently by the wrists and helped 
me to ascend the steep rocky bank. 

I found that what, at a distance, I had supposed was 
a farm, with farm house and well cultivated country, 
was in fact, a barren waste of coarse rank grass and 
ferns. In proceeding through it my feet came several 
times in contact with the stumps of brushwood, and not 
being accustomed to the use of sandals, I very often 
stumbled. When about halfway to the large house, I 
spoke sharply to my conductors for hurrying me over 
the ground. Perceiving from my gestures and coun¬ 
tenance that I was dissatisfied with something, they 
commenced rubbing their hands together as if implor¬ 
ing pardon. To avoid further hurting their feelings, I 
stooped as if to adjust my sandals, but they would not 
allow me to do so—doing it themselves and appearing 
to be glad of an opportunity of performing an act of 
kindness to me; the rest of the way they adjusted their 
pace to mine. 

On approaching the house—the large one above al¬ 
luded to—we were met by a Japanese whose exterior 
denoted consequence. The front part of his head was 
shaved, and the hair was gathered into a top or queue 
which projected slightly over the forehead. His dress 
consisted of a long cotton clerical looking gown, kept 
round the body by a wide belt. Thinking that he might 
be a priest I touched my hat to him. He gave some or¬ 
ders to the men. My conductors thereupon took hold 
of me by the hand, while the rest scampered off. I was 
followed to the house by the priestly looking personage. 

160 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

In entering the house—which was of one story, with 
paper windows—we had to walk about twenty feet on 
bare ground, we then ascended two steps, each about 
one foot in height, and found ourselves on a flooring of 
boards about twenty feet in length; further on was an¬ 
other flooring about a foot higher; to this, the supposed 
priest conducted me. He then busied himself in spread¬ 
ing out mats, stirring the fire and giving orders. He, 
by signs, requested me to put off my sandals. 171 I, for 
the first time, then perceived that he had none on. 
Placing mine in a particular spot, he gave me to under¬ 
stand that I would always find them there. He then 
led me to a bedroom, offering me a gown, and advising 
me to change my clothes—then still wet—then left me. 

Seeing several books in the room, I opened some of 
them and found amongst them an almanac, on the last 
page of which (beginning of book according to Japa¬ 
nese) was a mariner’s compass, with twelve points, but 
with the needle headed to the South. 

All the points, except the South, were marked in 
black; the South being in red characters, which, I sub¬ 
sequently learned, constituted the Japanese word for 
a horse, one of their signs of the zodiac. The Japanese 
word for a horse is Ma or Doura, both signifying that 

Here I may give—as I afterwards learned them—the 
Japanese signs of the zodiac: 1, Ne y a rat; 2, Ouss, an 
ox; 3, Tor ad, a tiger; 4, Ov, a hare; 5, Tatz, a dragon; 
6, Mie (Mn), a serpent; 7, Ma (or Doura), a horse; 8, 

i7i “The Japanese never enter their houses with their shoes on, but 
leave them in the entry or place them on a bench near the door, and are 
thus always barefooted in their houses, so as not to dirty their neat 
mats.” Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 273-274. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Tsitzuse, a sheep; 9, Sar, an ape; 10, Torri, a hen; 11, 
In (or Yeagan ), a dog; 12, / (ie), a boar. 172 

I give the words according to the sound as I best 
could catch it from my informant Tangaro , 173 further on 
referred to. 

To resume the narrative! 

After a short interval, my host invited me to partake 
of a repast which he kindly provided. It consisted of 
boiled rice , 174 some good fish (broiled), ginger, pre¬ 
served shell fish, and a variety of pickles. Before, and 
during the meal, mine host several times offered me a 
bottle of something which he called “grog-yes.” 

On smelling it—for being then a temperance man (a 
teetotaller) I did not taste it—I found it very like whis¬ 
key. The liquor is a distillation from rice, called by the 
Japanese saki. The name “grog-yes” puzzled me; but 
on inquiry afterwards, I learned that it arose from the 
fact of the crew of the “Lawrence ”, 175 who had been in 

172 The Japanese compass is divided into twelve points named ac¬ 
cording to the twelve signs of the zodiac. Charles Peter Thunberg, op. 
cit., iii, 122-123. 

The signs are INe, 2 Ushi, 3 Tora, 4 U, 5 Tatsu, 6 Mi, 7 Uma, 8 
Hitsuji, 9 Saru, 0 Tori, 11 Inu, 12 I. Mn, Doura and Yeagan, mentioned 
by Mac Donald, are neither Japanese nor Ainu words. Compare with 
Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 90, 122. 

173 Nasal pronunciation. Taguro? Takuro? Takaro? 

174 Among Japanese dishes mentioned by Golownin are; stewed rice, 
pickled radishes, fresh and salt fish, boiled or fried in oil of poppies 
and seasoned with grated radish and soya; soups with herbs or macaroni, 
also white fish and mussel broth; barley meal fish patties, etc. Captain 
Vasilu Mikhaiforich Golownin, Memories of a Captivity in Japan, i, 206. 

175 The “Lawrence” of Poughkeepsie, New York, under command of 
Captain Baker, sailed on July 10, 1845, for the Pacific whaling grounds. 
On May 27, 1846, in latitude 44 degrees 30 min, north, longitude 153 
degrees east, in the vicinity of the Japanese coast, the vessel encountered 
a heavy gale, and late in the evening struck on some rocks. Captain 
Baker, First Mate Meyers, and part of the crew were lost in taking to 
the boats. George Howe, Second Mate, and seven of the crew succeeded 
in getting off safely, but one of the men, Hiram Yates, died before 
reaching land. George Howe and the remaining six men landed at 

162 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

that quarter, answering “Grog? Yes! fetch it on.” when 
it was offered to them. 

(I may here mention, that when in China, on my way 
to Japan, I was told that one of the men of this same 
“Lawrence” was killed by the Japanese for attempting 
to escape while a captive with them. I never knew the 
particulars 176 of the case. It did not frighten me.) 

After breakfast I took a short walk out of doors— 
the only freedom I had in Japan; and that under close 
watch. On my return I found that my kind host had 
provided me with a bed and a good mosquito bar. There 
was no bedstead. I saw none in the country. The bed 
clothes consisted entirely of a large cotton gown, thick¬ 
ly wadded with cotton wool. 

Not having slept the night before, I turned in and 
now did so most comfortably. 

In the meantime they brought up my sail, anchor, 
kegs and chest to the house. At my request, my clothes 
were washed in fresh water, and dried. All communi¬ 
cation so far was by sign language. 

Etrofu Island, Japan, on June 2, 1846, and were detained on the island 
by the Japanese from June 4, 1846 to May 31, 1847, when they went 
on board a Japanese junk and were taken first to Hokadate, and thence 
to Nagasaki, where they arrived on August 20, 1847. At Nagasaki one 
of the men, who tried to escape, was killed by the Japanese. The ex¬ 
periences of these men were similar, in many respects, to those of our 
author, and the crew of the “Lagoda.” The Dutch ship, “Hertogen- 
bosch,” took them on board and left Nagasaki in the beginning of 
December, 1847. The Dutch ship delivered the men to the United States 
consul at Batavia. A contemporary statement by George Howe in the 
Singapore Free Press, January 6, 1848, is reprinted in U. S. Senate, 
Executive Doc’t. 59, 32nd. Congress, 1st Session, 70-73. Their experi¬ 
ences are also noted in Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 141-142. See also 
hereon, note 219, pages 196-197. 

176 The particulars are given in George Howe’s statement U. S. Sen¬ 
ate, Executive Doc’t No. 59, 32nd Congress, 1st. Session, 70-73. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Chapter VII 

Examination of My Outfit—Inoes Tributary to Ja¬ 
pan—Japanese Officers—Worship—Religious Cer¬ 
emony of Inoes at Meals—Drink Habits—Writing— 
Map—Inoes Character, Origin, Etc.—Nootska— 
Tootoomari—Arrival of Junks. 

On the following day, two Oyakata (Ketchinza and 
Kemon, the former an aged man) chiefs or overseers of 
the Island, visited me. They took a minute inventory 
of everything brought ashore. Everything seemed to 
excite their curiosity—especially my books and letters. 
They looked intensely at every article, first one way 
then another, and then would talk about it. Last of all, 
they opened my keg of provisions. Being religiously 
abstainers from meat, they were horror struck in find¬ 
ing the beef and pork. After a long consultation they 
examined the pieces with a long fork. 

I spent the afternoon in writing Ino words on my 
slate; an occupation which seemed to amuse the on¬ 

The people I was now among were not Japanese 
proper, but Inoes 177 pronounced (Eye-nose) who are 
tributary to the former. 

177 Francis L. Hawks [op. cit. i, 454-455] describes the Ainu or 
“Hairy Kuriles” as the indigenous race on the island of Yesso and a wild, 
dirty people whose chief occupation was fishing. Dr. P. F. von Siebold 
remarks on the analogy between the Japanese and Koreans and those 
Kurilians who occupy the islands of Yesso and Tarakai or Karafto. 

In Golownin’s time the boundry between the Kurile and the Japanese 
villages on the Island of Yezo lay 150 or 200 versts (between 100 and 
134 miles) distant from Chokodade. Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., 
i, 122. 

The Japanese called the other part of the island Ainu-Kfumi or 
country of the Ainu. Also Einzo-zi or Einso—this in time became the 
Es-so or Yezo of today. Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., iii, 237-238. 

G. H. von Langsdorff, [op. cit., i, 333] says: “The proper name of 
the island, is Jesso, and the inhabitants are called Ainu. It is very 
probable that in ancient times Jesso was the name given to the whole 

164 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

The two Oyakatas, on leaving, gave me a present of 
preserved ginger. 

In the evening I reconnoitered the outbuildings, and 
amongst them, remarked a small one, which I was told, 
was a place of worship. 

There was nothing in it; and I never saw anyone en¬ 
ter it. The only acts of worship I witnessed here were 
performed, morning and evening, by the Japanese, at 
an altar in the dwelling house. The altar was some¬ 
what like a small book case, placed against the wall, and 
decorated with very hideous images of fantastic shape. 
The ceremonies were simple: 

Before saying prayers, saki was placed on the altar; 
a bell was then rung to call the attention of the god or 
gods; the worshippers, kneeling then clapped their 
hands, and with the fingers up-turned, assumed the atti¬ 
tude and look of devotion. Sometimes, however, I re¬ 
marked that the hands were clasped and the thumbs 
crossed. They appeared to be very particular as to the 
manner of holding their hands in the act of prayer. 

island; but since the Japanese have driven the Ainu to the north and 
possessed themselves completely of the southern part of the island, 
the northern part only has retained its original appellation.” “In the 
language of all the people who belong to the Kurilian tribes, Aino or 
Ainu signifies Man, and is the name they give themselves. According 
to my investigations as a linguist, the Kurilian tribes seem to be spread 
from the southernmost point of Kamchatka to Japan, over all of this 
range of, and the whole coast of what is falsely called Chinese Tartary 
below the Amur, to the place where the Ussuri-Uka falls into the sea.” 
G. H. von Langsdorff, op cit., 328, note by von Klaproth. “The ex¬ 
pression of their countenance was friendly and benevolent; they had 
tolerably large eyes, rather high cheek bones, a somewhat broad and 
compressed nose, and among most the cheeks and chin were overgrown 
with long black beards. They had a language of their own, but under¬ 
stood some Japanese words, and, as far as we could comprehend them, 
seemed to disavow being Japanese or belonging to Japan.” G. H. von 
Langsdorff, op. cit., i, 328. 

Ainu (plural Ainues), used by Von Langsdorff, is now the accepted 
spelling rather than Ino, Inoes and Ainos, as used by our author. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Only the Matsmai people , 178 so far as I saw, go through 
this form. I never saw the Inoes worship at any altar; 
but before commencing their meals (consisting gener¬ 
ally of rice, fish and saki) they pour the liquor into a 
bowl, and, with chop stick, sprinkle it in four directions 
—first, towards heaven, as an offering to the sun; then 
to the right, to the god of the Sea; then to the left, to the 
god of the Earth; and forwards, to the god of Fire. 
This explanation was given me by the—I believe—ever 
veracious Tangaro; of whom, more anon. 

Inoes—I may observe—are very fond of saki, and 
their employers are not backward in supplying them 
with it, so long as there are wages out of which it can 
be paid. However, I must say that I never saw any of 
them intoxicated. 

On the third day after my arrival, Kechinza, ac¬ 
companied by a number of men, returned, and told 
me that he was going to Soya , 179 the nearest military 
station—about twenty miles off—to report me. Be¬ 
fore his departure he went to the altar; rang the bell, 

178 Matsumai is the name of the principal town on the Island of 
Jesso; it signifies the “Town of Firs,” Von Langsdorff, op. cit., 323, note. 
Capt. V. M. Golownin stated that it was named from one of the titles of 
the Japanese prince who originally bought the site and a part of the South¬ 
west coast of the island from the Ainu. Golownin, op. cit., iii, 239-237. 
Matsumai now appears on the map as “Fukuyama.” Yezo (Mac Donald’s 
Jesso) in Japanese now signifies “uncivilized” or “barbarous” from the 
Ainus or “hairy Kuriles,” who originally inhabited the entire island. 
Yezo is now called Hokkaido on recent maps of Japan. 

179 Soya is on the main Island of Yezo near the northernmost cape 
of the same name. The distance from the Island of Rishiri is about 30 

“At Soya, the most western point of land, some Japanese are 
established under a civil officer. They are here by order of the Japanese 
government to watch the coast; and the officer, with two sabres at his 
side, came in virtue of his office on board our ship to enquire who we 
were .... he appeared to be a sensible man, and, as far as we could 
judge, well informed; he showed a great deal of geographical knowl¬ 
edge . He knew the name and situation of Kamschatka, and 

talked about Ochotsk and America” G. H. von Langsdorff, op. cit., i, 

166 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

clasped his hands, remained some time in the attitude 
of prayer, and then bade us farewell. 

I remained here, when I first landed, about ten 
days; under what I may call hospitable restraint, with 
the privilege of rambling in the immediate vicinity. 

There was nought in or about the place of man’s 
work or of nature to delight the eye or please the 
taste. The two villages, already alluded to, consisted 
each, of a poor looking one story house, of wood, and 
poorer huts. The inhabitants—Inoes—were nearly 
all, by occupation, fishermen. The large house was 
occupied by the Japanese in charge. 

Tangaro, a very intelligent Japanese, one of the staff 
in charge, in duty, and apparantly con amore, was my 
constant companion. His desire to learn English 
seemed to be intense. If ever man could be compared 
to a point of interrogation he certainly could. Pointing 
to objects, with eye, and mouth and ear open, and in¬ 
tent, he would ask the names in English, which he 
received with avidity, and seemed, in a way, to deep¬ 
ly impress upon the tablet of his memory. I could 
not impose upon him: there was too much of that 
child like credulity and faith in him that averts the 
shafts of even idle ridicule. I was perhaps equally 
anxious to learn his language. On the principle of 
fair reciprocity, I insisted on his giving me Japan¬ 
ese, or whatever was his vernacular, for my English. 
He did so. 

Making—to the surprise of all; for we had comp¬ 
any at all times—a pen of a crow quill, I commenced 
a phonographic vocabulary of his words and common 
colloquial expressions, Japanese. I continued this af¬ 
terwards, at intervals, during my imprisonment in the 

Japan Story of Adventure 


I was soon given to understand that it was con¬ 
trary to rule and desire for me to do so. Still 1 man¬ 
aged to keep up my notes, and the habit. 

Tangaro wrote with a brush, Japanese fashion, in 
vertical columns, from top downwards, the columns 
ranged from right to left. 

The characters of his writing I would take for Chi¬ 
nese, mainly, with others (their own) of simpler form. 
However, I don’t know Chinese, but when I see it, rec¬ 
ognize it, or think so. 

During my stay at this place, after Kechinza had 
started for Soya, this Tangaro (or Tankaro—it is dif¬ 
ficult to express in letters, the precise pronunciation 
of the consonants, though not so of the vowels, which 
are all broadly Roman—this colloquial attendant let 
me call him) one day led me into a field of long 
coarse standing grass near the sea shore, some distance 
from the village. Squatting down he invited me to do 
the same; which I did. He then pulled from its con¬ 
cealment in his dress, a map of Japan, coloured, and ap¬ 
parently well executed, but lacking the lines of lati¬ 
tude and longitude. Before proceeding to the exam¬ 
ination of it, or rather of me on it, he cautiously rose 
a little and peered over the friendly grass. Why he 
did so, I will explain hereafter when speaking of the 
secretiveness and system of espionage of the Japanese. 

Directing my attention to the map, he asked me to 
point out where my ship was when I left her or last 
saw her. He also enquired whether I had been at the 
Southern ports of Japan. We were now at or rather 
beyond the extreme North of Japan proper. Yesso— 
the homeland of the Inoes—being (as before said or 
intimated) merely tributary to Japan, with a certainly 
distinctive people in physique and mental and moral 

168 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

characteristics—stronger in body on the whole; heav¬ 
ily bearded and very hairy generally—which the Jap¬ 
anese are not, in general—but morally inferior, in the 
sense of being a subject race; but in that way only, 
so far as I know, for I had no opportunity of judging of 
their domestic life. To me they seemed a simple kind¬ 
ly people ; 180 and I shall ever gratefully remember their 
Samaritan kindness to me. 

Origin, Etc. of Inoes 

I have been asked as to my idea of the origin and 
racial features of these Inoes or Ainoes as the word 
is also spelt in the books. I have never read up, spec¬ 
ially, on the subject of human races, but have seen a 
great many of them in the course of my travels through, 
I may say, every habitable zone of the globe, in both 
hemispheres. I am specially familiar with the inhab¬ 
itants—natives and other—of the west and northwest 
coasts of North America from San Francisco to Sit¬ 
ka. Amongst these, especially the Hydras and Bella 
Coola coast Indians 181 of British Columbia, I remark 
a striking similarity of physical type with my sturdy 
friends of Yesso; but in disposition they differ much: 

iso “They were extremely free and sociable in their behavior.” G. H. 
von Langsdorff, op. cit i, 32. 

18 iThe Bel-houla (Mayne, 1862), or Bellaghchoolas (Dunn, 1846) 
are a branch of the great Hydra or Haidah Indian stock or family inhab¬ 
iting Queen Charlotte’s Island and the adjacent coast from Prince of 
Wales Archipelago south to Bentnick Arm; a territory three hundred 
miles long by one hundred fifty broad, including many separate tribes or 
nations. They were great rovers and the vikings of the Northwest Coast. 
Mackenzie named the Indian village at the mouth of the river “Rascals’ 
Village” on account of the hostile manner in which his party was re¬ 
ceived. They were exceedingly warlike and made frequent raids on the 
more peaceful Indians to the south of them. Vessels trading among them 
had to exercise extreme vigilence to protect both life and property. This 
resemblance is merely superficial; see note 257, page 227. 

Female Ainu 

Headman Ainu Male Ainu 

From a picture of 1854 in the “Tour of Yezo by Muragaki, Awajinokami.” 

Japan Story of Adventure 


The North West Coast Indians being all more or less 
warlike, and of an independence of spirit which neith¬ 
er force nor kindness can subdue. Not that they are 
unsusceptible of kindness or amity from the Whites, 
but they will bend to no man, and are exceedingly 
lordly, in their own, to all comers . 182 

As to the origin—whence they came—of these Inoes, 
my idea is that they came from the mainland of Asia, 
by way of the peninsula of Sagalhien—the Tartar 

When I got amongst them first my feeling was that 
I had got into a nest of pirates of Tartars, with their 
heavy beards, uncombed long hair, and unwashed 
faces; they looked uncouth and wild, both in person 
and dress, comparing very unfavorably in this respect, 
with the clean, refined, and cultivated Japanese. 

To return to the map. 

The map, as one of Japan, was fuller and more 
elaborate than any I had, or, in fact have ever seen. 
Distances on it were indicated by marks of a day's 
journey from the great bridge of Jeddo—or “Bas” 
(Japanese for bridge) of Nipon 183 —the theoretical cen¬ 
tre of the country. What “a day’s journey” of Japan 
is, I cannot say, but from the general slowness of Jap¬ 
anese movement, including travel, I would suppose it 

182 Alexander Ross, an early Astorian and North West Company fur 
trader, for nearly fifteen years in the Columbia River district, says: 
“From Chili to Athabasca, and from Nootka to the Labrador, there is an 
indescribable coldness about an American savage that checks familiarity. 
He is a stranger to our fears, our joys or our sorrows; his eyes are 
seldom moistened by a tear or his features relaxed by a smile; and 
whether he basks beneath a vertical sun on the burning plains of 
Amazonia, or freezes in eternal snow on the ice bound shores of the 
Arctic Ocean; the same piercing black eyes and stern immobility of 
countenance equally set at naught the skill of the physiognomist.” 

183 Nippon-bashi; our author’s “Bas” is the short form for bashi- 

170 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

to be about ten or twelve of their miles— ri —which 
are about two and a quarter of our miles—say about 
twenty five of our miles, for a day. 

In the location of the principal cities, and the gen¬ 
eral coast line, the map seemed to correspond with 
ours of that part of the world. I remarked, how¬ 
ever, that in this Japanese map, what in our maps is 
laid down as the Island of Yesso (large) is divided 
into two islands 184 by a narrow strait. The parts rel¬ 
atively North Eastern and South Western. In the 
latter is the City and port of Matsmai, the capital of 
these and other neighbouring Ino Islands. This cap¬ 
ital is the residence of a Governor Vice-roy (Tajo ) 185 
in Japanese government. 

The Inoes, so far as I saw and could learn, have no 
Government of their ov/n, but seem to be simply scat¬ 
tered individualities, in families, without any ostensible 
communal organization; though there seems to have 
been such, from the uniformity of their manner of life, 
and subordination to their distinctive customs and re¬ 
ligion and to their Chief, so called; but how so consti¬ 
tuted, or being, I cannot say. 

I may here state that this was the only purely Jap¬ 
anese map I ever saw. 

The others which subsequently fell within my notice 
appeared to me to be merely copies of European ones. 

About the tenth day of my sojourn in this village— 
which I now knew to bear the name of Nootska— 

184 The reality is that Yezo and Saghalin are divided by the Straits 
of Tsugaru. In some early maps published during Behring’s absence 
Russian Kamchatka was delineated with so long an extension towards 
the south that this peninsula was shown connected with Yezo. 

18 5The Daimyo of Matsumae. “Tajo” is, correctly pronounced, 
“Taisho,” meaning a general. In the bulgar language “taisho” is fre¬ 
quently used in the sense of “chief.” 

Japan Story of Adventure 


while standing at the window of my quarters, two 
Junks passed Nootska Cove, and sailing round towards 
Tootoomari, anchored at a considerable distance from 
the village. (See sketch) 

In the evening, the officers of the Junks came over 
to Nootska. Like true Jacks ashore, they were jolly, 
and, as shown by a present of sweet meats to myself, 
were also generous. 

Chapter VIII 

Examination—Departure for Tootoomari—Residence 

Confinement—Interpreters—Stay—Start, in Open 

Boat, for Matsmai—Return to Soya. 

On the following morning, my hosts told me to keep 
within doors; and by way of impressing me with a due 
sense of my position, they placed mats before my win¬ 
dow: a proceeding which rendered my then present 
and future dark indeed. 

Soon afterwards, half a dozen officers from the 
Junks, with some soldiers visited me. These officials 
were seated on the highest floor. I was provided with 
a stool made for the occasion. To their questions as to 
my name, and the whereabouts of my ship, etc., I an¬ 
swered, as I had done before to Tangaro, to the effect, 
that the Captain and I did not agree; that I left his ship; 
and that it had started for its port home. 

My stores were again minutely examined, and in¬ 
ventoried, and a sketch made of every article of in¬ 
terest, such as my quadrant boat, kegs, and anchor. 
They measured everything, even the thickness of the 
chest. They scrutinized most particularly my woolens, 
and took the height and dimensions of my person. 
Being five feet eight inches in height, and very broad 

172 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

shouldered and large chested—even stout in propor¬ 
tion, and muscular, I was something of a giant amongst 
them, their average height being, I would say, about 
five feet four inches or even less . 186 

The examination being ended, we proceeded, on foot, 
from Nootska to Tootoomari, by an apparently new 

My place in the march was between two officers 
and two lines of Inoes. The chief of these Inoes was 
dressed in a plain faded silk gown. As to myself, I 
felt that ! was then in an awful state. I wore a cot¬ 
ton gown, which being too short by several inches was 
a poor make shift for a dress of ceremony. One car¬ 
ried my pipe, another my tobacco pouch, and others 
my mat and brazier with live coal for smoking. They 
had no matches, nor flint and steel or anything of the 

The Japanese are great smokers, and pride them¬ 
selves on the quality and variety of their tobacco. It 
is a stock subject of conversation with them. 

But to return to our march. 

Ever and anon I was respectfully asked if I was 
tired. Notwithstanding my response in the negative, 
they stopped at about two miles from our starting point; 
and spreading mats, squatted and smoked. More, of 
course, was thought than said. Conversation by signs 
—our only means of conversation then, in our unbliss¬ 
ful ignorance of each other’s language—was incon¬ 
venient to the dignity of our smoking: but if looks did 
not belie, we were as one in the friendly calumet— 
the magic weed giving forth its incense of peace and 

186 Golownin records that he and his companions were like-wise 
carefully measured by the Japanese. Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., i, 
255. See appendix II-B, page 275, for Japanese record. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


soothing solace on the motley crowd of the prisoner 
and his keepers. 

At about five miles from Nootska we arrived at Toot- 
oomari . 187 Here we were met by a band of Inoes. On 
approaching the village they took off my hat. They all 
went bareheaded except the two officers. Curtains of 
cotton, striped, of various colours , 188 were put up along 
each side of the street or way on our line of march. 
Why these curtains were so used I never could find 
out . 189 If intended for concealment from my view 
they certainly did not answer the purpose, for I could 
see over them. 

The colours on the curtains were principally black, 
red, and blue, according—so I afterwards learnt to the 
insignia of the different feudal families. 

I was led into the principal house, and into a room 
about twelve feet square, with a grating of wooden 
bars about four inches in thickness, and the same apart. 

The place—an ordinary dwelling—was clean. Be¬ 
ing well fed, kindly attended, and amply supplied with 
all conveniences, with the luxuries of tea and tobacco 
ad libitum, I had no reason to complain of my quar¬ 

187 Pontomari is about 3 l / 2 miles from Notsuka. 

188 The stripes are usually red and white, black and white, or blue 
and white, put alternately and the number of stripes five. These cur¬ 
tains are hung in order to conceal from sight ugly things on the way- 
side. See next note, also Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., i, 47, 125, 179, 
275; also Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 122. 

189 “The houses, as well by the water-side as all along the place, 
with the fortresses and guard houses, were covered with hangings, on 
which were the imperial arms and those of Fisi, so that we could see 
nothing of the houses or the people, nor could they see anything of us 

. The reason of this, the interpreters told us, was, that the 

common people might be kept off, since they were not worthy to see 
so Great a Man as the ambassador face to face.” G. H. von Langsdorff, 
op. cit., i, 303-305. This curtaining of the house, etc., was the mark of 
authority—government—civil or military and an old and universal cus¬ 
tom. The common name of the Yedo Government was Bakufu—that is 
General’s Court. The vulgar were not supposed to know—only obey. 

174 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

A day or two after our arrival at Tootoomari, the 
officers left me, with the exception of Meyanzima, 190 
a young man about twenty-two years of age. He and 
Tangaro were then my special guardians. 1 remained 
in this prison about thirty days, during which I quit¬ 
ted the room or cage only thrice, and then solely for 
a bath in the house. 

It was a beautiful day in the forepart of August that 
I left Tootoomari: without regret; with high hopes 
that in a month or two, I would be released, and be at 

On leaving the house, I went to my friend Kemon 
who was kneeling on a mat by the door, where it was 
for the occasion. He rose up, and I gave him my 
right hand, using the word (which I had picked up) 
Sionara / 191 (farewell). 

He appeared to be much affected. Our conversa¬ 
tion did not last long, for the officers appeared to be 
anxious to see me on board the Junk. I was escorted 
by two officers and six soldiers. The road leading 
down to the water was lined on each side by a great 
many Inoes—men, women, and children, who saluted 
us as we passed them on our way to the junk. The 
procession was led by two Inoe chiefs; then Kechinza 
and Kemon; next a soldier, then myself with two at¬ 
tendants behind me; then followed the rest of the sold¬ 
iers, the officers bringinig up the rear. It might have 
been about ten o’clock in the forenoon when the two 
Junks left the little bay. 

One of the Junks having a small covering was al- 
loted to the guard and me: the other had our baggage; 
it also had my boat, for the Japanese would not suf- 

I90 Shonosuke Miyajima, a foot Samurai. 
191 Sayonara. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


fer it to touch the water. Our crew consisted of an 
Oyakata from Soya who acted as Captain, a Chief of 
the Inoes whose dress consisted of a faded silk frock 
trimmed with gold, distinguishing him from the rest—- 
and nineteen men. Twelve of these had oars, using 
them as we do, but with a dip action rather than a 
pull: six used sculling oars, aft, two men to each. 
These sculling oars were peculiar, large, broad in the 
blade—blade and shaft not in line, but the former, at 
an angle, downwards, in the water, where worked by 
a lateral alternate movement—true sculling — with 
great power; on the principle of our ship screw pro- 
pellor; the blade slightly concave. On the way, the 
crew, when at work, were constantly singing or utter¬ 
ing some refrain to time their movements: the scull¬ 
ers, with their quicker action, did not sing, but ex¬ 
claimed, rapidly, something like “I see you, I see you !” 
or “Yos in yo ! Yes in yo !—-those in forward, rowing, 
sang a great variety of songs—pretty much as we 
do—one singing a piece, then all joining in chorus. 
They all had fine, pleasant voices. 

About one o’clock, dinner was served. The Inoes 
collected round their noon meal. 

In eating and drinking they observed the same cere¬ 
mony, on board, as they did on shore. 

About two o’clock the officers’ dinner was served, 
and I was invited to share it with them. 

It consisted of boiled rice, fish cooked in different 
ways, and a variety of pickles. Everything was served 
in beautifully japanned wooden bowls on wooden trays 
which were also japanned. 

At the time of my embarkation at Tootoomari, I was 
desired by the Officers to occupy the covered part of 
the Junk. I entered it, crawling on my hands and 

176 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

knees. It was with great difficulty that I could sit 
straight although sitting cross legged. I told the of¬ 
ficers about it; and asked them to give me permission 
to go out; but they objected to this, so that I had to 
make myself contented. During the time I was in, I 
suffered a great deal of pain, so it was with joy that I 
saw the table laid outside, for then I knew I would 
have an opportunity to get out, and be able to stretch 
my legs. However, after dinner, I was told by the of¬ 
ficers 1 could go out and in as I pleased. 

On the passage we had very light and variable winds 
—the sails sometimes set, and sometimes not—but by 
incessantly applying the oars we entered the Bay of 
Soya about 6 P. M. On approaching the coast we 
saw but few boats. When any were seen, the officers 
would direct my attention towards them and say “Am¬ 
erican Ship !” but on looking I could easily distinguish 
them from such and would answer “No! No!” with 
a shake of the head. 

As soon as we were observed entering the Bay, a 
number of boats, manned by men and women, came 
off and towed us in. We were received on the land¬ 
ing by a number of soldiers dressed, not in uniform, 
as I expected, but in mantles, 192 generally of black silk, 
with their coat -of-arms figured on the back and on each 
sleeve; 193 they also had on a pair of wide trousers. 194 
The officers were armed with two swords, 195 and the 
privates with one. 

192 The “haori.” 

193 The Japanese always have their coat of arms put on their cloaks. 
Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 277. 

194 The “hakama.” 

195 To the lower orders, a sword was strictly prohibited. The next 
in rank, tjonen, were permitted to wear one sword. The higher orders— 
Samurai—wore two swords—on the same side, one above the other— 

Officers and Foot-soldiers—Captain, on horseback 
From a picture of 1853. 


Japan Story of Adventure 


Before we left the Junk, Omibia Shegune 196 came on 
board, and appeared to be very glad to see me. He 
inquired after my health, by pointing to the head and 
making use of the word “sick”, which he had learnt 
when with me in Dessery. After being assured of my 
good health, he arranged the order of procession. 

On marching up to my prison I remarked the order 
or march: first, went eight men, two abreast; then 
Simeza, 197 then myself, next followed by two attend¬ 
ants, then a number of soldiers; the rear brought up 
by the Officers. 

The sides of the streets through which we passed 
were all curtained off. I also saw some, at a short dis¬ 
tance, painted in imitation of forts. On the landing, 
the Inoes were seated on each side of the road, and 
bending to the passers bye with their accustomed civ¬ 
ility. In the Square where the Government House 
is situated, were a number of Officers with their men 
holding their flags and lances, to whom each person 
bent, in passing, so as to touch the feet with the fin¬ 
gers. Not wishing to follow their manner, I only 
touched my hat. The officers seeing this, sent word 
to Tangaroo to tell me to take off my cap, which I 

I was then taken to the door of Government House,, 
where I saw the Commandant 198 seated on the mats, 

these were never, by any chance, laid aside. See Mrs. W. Buck, op. cit., 
21; also Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 123. 

196 Oba was one of the superintendents of foot-Samurai, stationed 
at Soya in 1848 and his name appears among the escort of MacDonald 
and frequently in the following pages of this book. 

197 Teikichi Shimizu, a soldier who was also stationed at Soya in 
1848 and became a member of MacDonald’s escort. 

1 98 Captain Toyoshichi Sato who commanded the Soya military sta¬ 
tion in 1848. His name appears in the “Memoranda of the foreigners 
forewarded to Nagasaki and their escort.” 

178 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

with an officer on each side of him. No word, nor 
salutation passed between us. I was told by Ombia 
to enter the house; which I did, and was conducted 
to a newly built prison: it was slightly put together, as 
if built in a hurry. According to appearances, 1 thought 
it was not their intention to keep me there long. It 
had two apartments; one for the guard, and one for 
me. Both rooms were carpeted with clean mats. They 
wished to know whether 1 was satisfied. 

I told Tangaro to tell them that a prison was not 
good for me: that I would not make compliments to 
any body with the bars and gratings between us. The 
officers told me to seat myself on a bench which they 
kindly provided for me. They then asked me whether 
I did not suffer from the heat, that if 1 did, they would 
make alterations to suit me. I told them I wanted 
room to walk, the room allotted to me being only 
about twelve feet long and eight wide, with a wash 
room &c. They told me that whenever I wished to 
walk 1 could also use the other room, so that by having 
my door open I could have a range of about twenty 
feet. 1 also told them that I wanted more air. They 
—through the interpretation of Tangaro — informed 
me, that they would, on the morrow, have the win¬ 
dows open during the evening. 

A great many officers came into my prison: no 
doubt from curiosity. After they left me, Tangaro 
came in with a small box containing sweetmeats, which 
he offered me in the name of the Oyakata : 199 nothing 
was sent or offered in the name of Saddo, 200 the Com¬ 

The next day, an inventory of my goods and chat- 

J99 The Daimyo of Matsumae. 

200 x. Sato of the previous note. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


tels was taken in the presence of Saddo, (Saddo Sama 
as his proper title was) 201 in the guard room; most of his 
officers were there: they were mostly young men. 

He himself was a person of seventy-four years of 
age (as I was informed), but has the appearance of 
only fifty. 

On his entering the guard room, all the officers— 
who had ranged themselves round the room and my 
prison—bowed their faces to the ground. 

Bars being between us, I kept my seat on the bench, 
silent and still. Nothing was said to me. Everything 
was closely inspected. My Quadrant, some India rub¬ 
ber, and my slate appeared to excite their special cur¬ 

At this place, the Officers very often cautioned me 
against drinking too much water, and, instead, gave my 
keepers tea for my use. I also got from the soldiers 
parched rice boiled in water. 

By Meanzima and other officers who were one day 
collected in my prison to hear the wonders of the 
world, from me, I was told that there were five can¬ 
non in Soya, and about a hundred officers and soldiers, 
but that in case of need they could be reinforced from 
other stations. 

They told me that there was only one doctor in the 
place; attached to the military force there; that he was 
at the time visiting in the neighborhood, and would not 
return for some days. 

They also told me that the second in command had 
left, but that I would see him, for he was expected 
daily. Shortly after, one afternoon, while looking out 
of the window, Meanzima touched me lightly on the 

201 Sama is a mere honorific address, corresponding with our Mr. 
(Mon Siuer), or “Esquire” in its common application, or even “Lord” in 
its lower and purely complimentary sense.—[Original.] 

180 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

shoulder, which made me turn round, and see a figure 
before me, whereupon I turned to Meanzima for an ex¬ 
planation. In answer he pronounced the word (in 
English) “Doctor!” 202 I then guessed he was the 
person expected. His head was thoroughly shaved. 
Noticing me, he was in the act of saluting me in his 
own (Japanese) fashion, but not seeing me go on my 
knees like him, but standing, giving only a formal bow, 
he also bowed, 203 but only when on his knees. He 
brought me some sweet-meats. Asked where I had 
come from: what was my name, and age. I told him. 
Before leaving, he wished to know whether I was sick. 
I answered him, No !—but he would not be satisfied 
till he felt my pulse. I put out my tongue, but that 
frightened him. Japanese don’t regard the tongue in 
such case. 

He, and several other officers also asked me wheth¬ 
er America, England, and France were larger than Yes- 
so. Being answered that they were larger, one of them 
replied that he could not believe it; but that, in any case 

202 The doctor was called Yoseki Kakizake. In those times priests 
and physicians of the higher class shaved the head quite bald, while 
surgeons retained all their hair gathered into a knot at the top of the 
head. Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., iii, 122; Charles Peter Thunberg, 
op. cit., iii, 175-179. Mrs. W. Buck, op. cit., 21. 

203 The Japanese are very rigid in requiring the same (equal) atti¬ 
tude, courtesies, salutations. “In their intercourse with each other, the 
Japanese, of every rank, are extremely polite; their mutual obligingness 
and polished behavior, attest the real civilization of the people. Capt. 
V. M. Golownin, op. cit., iii, 35. “With respect to courtesy and submis¬ 
sion to their superiors, few can be compared to the Japanese. Their 
equals they always salute with great politeness both at meeting and 
parting.” Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 254-255. Their behavior, 
from the meanest peasant up to the greatest prince and lord, is such as 
the whole Empire might be called a school of civility and good manners.” 
Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., iii, 110, 111. We found the people of 
distinction here uniformly polite and courteous in their manners, but for 
their language and costume, we might have supposed ourselves among 
the most polished Europeans. A. H. von Langsdorff, op. cit., i, 241. 
Hawks, [op. cit., i, 247, 249] mentions their studied politeness. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Japan was larger—his words being “Tevan toghin tchn- 
sin and datur were”, 204 or something like that. Under¬ 
standing very little Japanese, yet, the conversation was, 
mainly, through the interpreter. 

One day—a week before I left—I noticed the Offi¬ 
cers were all dressed in their holiday clothes. 

I enquired the cause of it. They informed me it 
was Sunday (Tsitase or Ositats). I said I thought 
they had no Sunday. They told me they had two ev¬ 
ery month, viz: on the first and fourteenth of every 
month. 205 They told me also, at the same time, that I 
was to go away in a few days: that they were going 
to pray for fair and prosperous winds. 

The same afternoon, Saddo-Sama attended with of¬ 
ficers, paying me a visit. He inquired after my health. 

He also formally told me that I would leave, soon as 
the wind was fair, in a small Junk which he had pro¬ 
vided: that he would not detain me any longer, be¬ 
cause he was aware that I would like to go away; but 
he hoped that the large Junk would arrive while we 
were waiting for a fair wind. Before leaving, he came 
up to the bars (of my cage) and made me a formal 
bow, which I returned, with my thanks for their trou¬ 
ble. From these officers, I received every attention; 
tea, sugar, pipe, tobacco, all such luxuries being sup¬ 
plied by them without my asking. I was allowed to 

204 These words are so corrupted that little meaning can be made 
out of them. The Japanese name for Formosa Island is Taiwan, and 
the probable sense of the remark was that Japan with Formosa and 
other Islands, whose names are corrupted beyond recognition, was cer¬ 
tainly larger than America, England and France. 

205 The first and the fifteenth, not the fourteenth, were ceremonial 
holidays. See Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit iii, 88. The first day is 
called “tsuitachi,” but as MacDonald left Soya on the 26th of the 7th 
month “Ositats” a week before that day, cannot be the first day of the 

182 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

read my books, but they did not allow me to keep 
my own key. 

Their reason was that the common people should not 
see anything 1 had, but whenever I wanted any clothes 
or books out, all I had to do was to mention it, and I got 
them. On such occasion, Ombia, who kept the key, 
and four or five others used to be present to see what I 
took out, and what 1 returned into the chest. 

The following day, Tangaro left me, to return to 
Dessery or Desserai. There were tears in his eyes while 
he was saying he was sorry he would never see me 
again. We shook hands warmly, at parting. (“Sio- 
nara.”) His place, as interpreter, was taken by the 
person who had been keeper of Inoes over George 
Howe 206 and his party. He was so appointed on ac¬ 
count of his slight knowledge of English. Musko 201 
the boy attendant, often expressed his wish to go to 
Matsmai and Nagasaki with me. Liking the bright boy, 
I spoke to Ombia to get permission from Saddo to al¬ 
low him to go, which he did and succeeded, so far as 

The next day, at dawn, I was called up by the boy. 
There was a fair wind. The baggage was all taken on 
board. After breakfast the officers came into my pris¬ 
on to bid me farewell. Each shook hands with me on 
parting. Meanzima stayed with me till the last. He 
said that he also was going to Matsmai, as well as the 
rest of the soldiers. I asked him at what time they 
would leave. He told me in about fifteen days, but that 
they were going overland, and that it would take them 

206 George Howe was the second mate of the whaler “Lawrence,” 
shipwrecked May 27, 1846, see note 175, page 161. 

207 Mus(moos)ko means “son” and sometimes “young boy”; musume 
means “daughter” or “girl.” 

Japan Story of Adventure 


thirty days, whereas as I was going by water in the 
Junk, if we had a fair wind I would reach Matsmai in 
eight or ten days; if contrary winds, in fifteen or twenty 

All the soldiers were dressed in uniform, and 
marched down to the jetty. Along side of it was the 
Junk—another similar to the one I had come in from 
Dessery. They made me go on board of her first, then 
followed Ombia, the Doctor, and five other officers be¬ 
sides a number of private soldiers. All of those remain¬ 
ing testified their regret, by one after another coming 
to me to bid me “sionara” (farewell!). 

At about one o’clock we arrived at a small fishing vil- 
age called after my second keeper—I forget his name 
—who, I believe, was the owner of the fishery, and 
probably of the Junk we had. 

While at dinner on shore a large Junk was observed 
to pass. It was the long expected Junk. Every one of 
the party appeared to be pleased, except myself; for by 
continuing the voyage in the small Junk I would have 
had an opportunity of seeing towns and other places 
on the way, it being impossible to sleep in the little open 
Junk—one of about twelve or fifteen tons, open for 
rowers, of whom there were twelve or fifteen—with no 
accomodation for sleeping on board. We would have 
had to put ashore every night, to sleep; even for meals 
we had to do so. 

After dinner we returned to Soya, there to await the 
sailing of the large Junk, as she had to take a cargo of 
fish. The following day the Captain of the Junk came 
to see me. He told me I would be pleased with the 
cabin and be comfortable; that I would have plenty of 
room. He had learned how I was discommoded in the 

184 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Chapter IX 

Embark on Junk for Matsmai—Description of Junk 
Voyage—Stop on Way—Arrival at Matsmai-—Re¬ 
ception—Display on Vessel—Harbor—Crowd of 
Boats—Crowd of People—English Terms, Etc.— 
Informed of Transport to Nagasaki—Asked to Stay 
—Refused—Kindly Treated on Board 

After a week spent in discharging and reloading the 
Junk, I was shipped on board of her with a number of 
officers and soldiers. The streets, as before were cur¬ 
tained along my line of march. Some of the curtains, 
this time, were pure white, with the coat of arms of the 
Prince of Matsmai and Yesso, and some were painted 
with port holes in black. 208 I was told again there were 
some cannon in Soya; but I saw none. 

The Junk, now ready, was covered with white cur¬ 
tains (cotton sheeting) with painted port holes repre¬ 
senting the grin of war—the false teeth 209 of a people 
who have long and happily chewed the cud of a fancied 
and certainly traditional invincibility, who cannot yet 
be said—so far as I know—to have felt the touch of 
any naval power, ancient or modern. 

They have never yet been conquered. Arrived where 
they are, in the van of the movement of our scattered 
humanity from its traditional cradle in Mesopotamia, 
by wanderings beyond records, and with scarce trace, 
they have ever remained there , in their impregnable 
fortress of a well-guarded Ultima Thule. 

On the quarter deck of the vessel, for banners, along 

208 This notion—so common among foreigners—of portholes is a mis¬ 
conception of the crests or heraldic patterns on the curtains. 

209 Our author did not know the facts as indicated in the preceeding 

Japan Story of Adventure 


the guards, was a forest of spears, upright, with glitter¬ 
ing steel heads, shining shafts, ornamented with gold 
and silver and mother of pearl, and appended were 
elaborate sheaths, of finest fur, for the spear heads; and 
—strangest of all—suspended from the high prow of 
the vessel, almost to the water, was an enormous swab, 
apparently of hair or fibre, or fine strips like such, a 
veritable Neptune’s shaving brush. 

I am not imaginative—at least not abnormally so-— 
but I must confess that that huge black swab of hair, 
etc.—large as a tar barrel—did puzzle me not a little. 
There was no other figure head. Painted port holes 
for imaginary cannon, and uncovered spear heads were 
plain enough, and spoke for themselves; but an enor¬ 
mous ugly dangling “what you may call it,” swinging 
and dipping with the motion of the waves, into the 
limpid sea, was beyond my comprehension. Utility 
condemned it—called not for it; unless, indeed, it were 
an offering to Yebis, the Neptune of Japan. 

Left to myself, oft and long to meditation free, I 
often, idly, thought of it, when lying in my cabin, 
cribbed and thought-weary, in the solitude of my prison 
on the ever-rocking sea. To ask about it I knew, from 
experience, would be useless—so, there, I left it, hang¬ 
ing, like Mahomet’s coffin, between sea and sky—in¬ 
tangible to my fancy’s utmost stretch. 

We embarked by crawling through a port hole about 
three feet in height, opening directly into a main saloon, 
where I found a number of officers seated, Japanese 
fashion, on mats. The highest military officer seemed 
to have supreme command on board. 

Tea and refreshments were served, in compliment, to 
such as were to return to shore. 

Map of west coast of Yesso (now called Hokkaido), showing route 
by which MacDonald reached Matsmae (now 
called Fukuyama) 

From Perry’s map of 1855, compiled from Von Siebold’s 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Ombia, who on my first landing acted as director, 
now rejoined us, and was my welcomed guard. 

They put me into a small cabin towards the stern of 
the vessel. Pointing to the lines hanging up, and to an 
iron rod over a foot in length and an inch and a half 
in diameter, they gave me to understand that prisoners 
attempting to escape are knocked with the latter and 
bound with the former. 

Though a prisoner, they gave me the run of the deck. 
As a Japanese Junk is not a thing of every-day sight to 
foreigners, I shall try to give a description of this one. 

Description of Junk 

It was of about two hundred tons burden; a size 
above the ordinary. The bow was high and sharp; poop 
still higher; the general longitudinal section an ellipse; 
deck not flush, but with a rise amidship, for cargo; 
stern, square above water; probably rounded with due 
water lines, below—I could not see on this point; rud¬ 
der, large and heavy, with tiller about twenty feet in 
length; no rudder chains nor wheel for steering. 

Generally, there was only one man at the tiller, steer¬ 
ing, in the day time by compass, in view, and at night 
according to the watch, the calls being made from below 
by the watch at the compass there. 

There was only one mast, about forty feet in height; 
one yard; a square and a lug sail, of course, canvas. 
Sometimes a temporary mast was rigged. 

The sails were reefed from below by securing the 
points to transverse bars on deck. The crew consisted 
of about twenty-four sailors. The anchor was a grap¬ 
pling iron with four flukes, not sharp but square. The 
hawser was in no respect extraordinary. The operations 
of weighing anchor and hoisting the main sail were per- 

188 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

formed with a sort of Spanish windlass or capstan be¬ 
tween the lower and upper decks, fixed to each, the 
beam being perforated with two holes through which 
the working poles were put; they had no pauls or 
ketches. The haulyards were rove through the upper 
deck, and secured on the lower to bitts for the purpose. 

With such a rig, in such a vessel, freighted with fish 
salted and dried, and with kelp, did I enjoy a lubberly 
voyage from one prison to another. 

Our general course was from point to point. Some 
of the bays were so large and deep that land was out 
of sight for ten or twelve hours at a time. Having run 
short of provisions and water, we dropped anchor off 
a village of about forty houses. They refused to tell 
me its name, and also to allow me to land. 

The Oyakata (Mayor or Chief) of the place came 
on board. He kindly gave me a present of some fruit. 

About noon of the fifteenth day of our voyage (Sep¬ 
tember 7th) we entered the port of Matsmai. Its dis¬ 
tance from Soya, as we sailed, I estimated at about 
three hundred and fifty miles. We were much re¬ 
tarded by calms. 

Before entering port I was summoned into my cabin. 
In the main cabin—I should have stated—there was an 
altar, of wood like cedar, about three feet in length and 
four in height, two feet of this being like a box, the 
other two feet draped with silk curtains. 

It was adorned with pictures of man with heads 
shaven, and surrounded with a circle of glory. Devo¬ 
tional services were performed before this altar, at rise 
and set of the sun, by the Captain and cabin passen¬ 
gers. They did so by kneeling before the altar, at open¬ 
ing the door of it, clapping hands to summon to prayer, 

Japan Story of Adventure 


and calling out “Namma noa-soe, Namma noos!” 210 
All then joined in prayer, telling their pea-sized black 
beads, in a mumbling tone for about twenty minutes. 
The sailors went into a place like an alcove, with chec- 
quered board over head, and there prayed, in the same 
way. Such was the Japanese manner of prayer which, 
as at Nootska, came under my observation. 

I have described what I saw in this way at Nootska. 
On all these occasions the worshippers seemed earnest¬ 
ly devout. 

But to return to our voyage! It was in the beginning 
of September that we arrived at Matsmai. We passed 
a number of small Islands on the Southern part of the 
Island of Matsmai. 

The vessel on arrival was dressed out with a number 
of small flags and the Government flag of Matsmai; 
the lances of the officers planted as before described, 
at regular distances round the poop. We seemed to ex¬ 
cite the surprise of a number of fishing boats. 

On entering the Bay—a magnificent one—we lost 
the wind and nearly lay becalmed. Previous to this, I 
was told by the officers to keep below, and was con¬ 
fined in the officers’ apartment; but I could hear the 
sail flap and the noise cease. Soon afterwards I heard 
the sound of boats, and was told that they came to tow 
our Junk into harbor. 

During the afternoon I could hear the noise of sev¬ 
eral boats around us and the voices of many strangers. 
Through a chink in the partition I could see a number 
of strange sailors who had come to assist, but no offi¬ 
cers besides our own. I saw one of our own make his 

210 Namu Amida Butsu—Sacred Eternal Buddha—the usual petition 
and ejaculatory response. Namy miyo ho henge kyo—another petition 
or ascription of the Nichiren sect. See Wm. Elliott Griffis’ The Mikado's 
Empire, chapter XVI. 

190 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

exit through a port hole into a boat and direct its head 
towards the shore. I was told that he had gone to re¬ 
port our arrival to the chief. I saw him return shortly, 
and not long after he was followed by a great many 
boats full of Japanese officers. Two of them appeared 
to have excited a great deal of confusion among our 
officers. They appeared to be superior. For their re¬ 
ception, mats were spread on the steps and all around 
the cabin. 

Then all were silent; not a whisper could be heard, 
nothing but the noise of the water occasioned by the 
arrival of the boats struck the ear. They first passed 
up a couple of camp stools, and then followed, these 
two distinguished officers who exchanged compliments 
with the military officers of the Junk. Then followed, 
some thirty or forty inferior officers and soldiers who 
made their compliments in coming in and took their 
seats on the mats provided for them. 

I now noticed all eyes turned in the direction of my 
door, and saw two men rise to go to it, no doubt to re¬ 
move—as I supposed—the sliding doors, for my pre¬ 
sentation. I moved myself from my place of observa¬ 
tion, and waited for them to call me out. But I was mis¬ 
taken. The partition was removed, and I was at once 
in their presence. The manner of such exhibition—so 
dramatic—annoyed me. I felt, however, I had to do 
something; though no one spoke, nor moved, in the 
way of formal presentation or direction to me. Rising 
with as much dignity as I could command to one knee, 
1 made my compliments on one knee, with wave of 
hand and with dignified respect to the assemblage gen¬ 
erally. It was received stoically. 

The officer on my left appeared to be the Chief—a 
person about five feet six inches in height with remark- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


ably large eyes, plump, and with healthy countenance. 
His first exclamation was “Nipongin !” 211 —whatever 
that was. He was dressed in a pair of wide silk trou¬ 
sers, of large pattern, with garters below the knees, the 
bottoms inserted in the tops of his v/hite linen mocas¬ 
sins, and a mantle of black silk with the coat of arms 
or “Mondogro” 212 of the Government of Matsmai. After 
a little while, of silent regard of me, he turned towards 
and he nodded in the direction of the other officers 
and said “ Nagasaki” (pronounced Nangasaki) “go 
away Tajo!”—(or Tasho—pronounced with a slight 

From that I inferred that the officer thus addressed 
was to be the chief of the party that was to take me to 
Nagasaki. The first officer then spoke to one of the in¬ 
ferior officers, who slid on the mats, on his knees, and 
took a position along side of me. He, by odd words of 
English and signs made himself understood to me, and 
interpreted to his superior what he said to me in Eng¬ 
lish and what I said. He commenced this way: 

Pronounced the word “Carpenter”; then made a 
sign, namely the act of hitting with a hammer with the 
right hand, and bringing the left thumb and forefinger 
together, as if holding a nail, said “Ship.” By which, 
I understood that they would repair a ship for my con¬ 
veyance to Nagasaki—at the other end, almost extreme 
south of Japan, about a thousand miles away, by sea. 

I then asked—“Why take all that trouble? Why not 
allow me to remain among you?” 

Anxious to have the answer of the Chief man to this, 

211 “Nipponjin” (nippon jin) means a Japanese. The officer struck 
by MacDonald’s resemblance to the Japanese, used the word with an 
exclamatory inflection—“A Japanese!” 

212 Mondokoro. 

192 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

I asked the interpreter to interpret to him what I said. 
Which he did. The only result was a loud laugh, and 
answer of “No! No!—Nagaski!—go away!” 

The Chief again spoke to the interpreter, who inter¬ 
preted to me, but very obscurely. The purport, as I 
gathered was, that I should not sleep on board, but on 
shore in a house provided by the chief. 

They left me with the assurance that they would 
come for me as soon as they had every thing prepared. 
The sliding doors were again closed; but after they had 
left the ship one of the doors was removed for the ad¬ 
mission of air. 1 whiled away the time by smoking my 
Japanese pipe and tobacco, talking to Musko; pacing 
my room; and sipping tea giving Musko employment 
to supply me. It was a close room; and the weather 
sultry. In regard to creature comforts I certainly had 
no reason to complain, but on the contrary, they were, 
all, aboundingly kind and ever kindly to me. 

Chapter X 

Crowd on Disembarkment—Carried in Palanquin— 
Arrive at a Small Town—Singular, but Kindly Re¬ 
ception—Signs of Former Occupants, Prisoners— 
McCoy and Others, Crew of Ladoga—Fate—Er- 
maetz, Sea Port—Departure in Larger Junk— 
Friendly Farewell—Kind Treatment—Manner of 
Eating—All Writers and Readers—Paper, Etc.— 

At about half past six in the evening, the officers who 
had come with me, came to me, all dressed, and told me 
that the boats were ready to take us ashore. On getting 
to the gangway, I saw the harbor—a large bay—liter- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


ally covered with boats—junks and boats covered with 
flags and lights (paper lanterns). 

A sign was made to me by Ombia to enter a boat next 
the vessel, and to occupy the centre, where a number of 
clean mats were spread. The six officers followed me, 
forming a circle around me. It was with great diffi¬ 
culty we could extricate ourselves from the junks and 
boats. We several times came in contact and got en¬ 
tangled with other boats; but happily no accident oc¬ 

We all landed safely on shore, where a line of sol¬ 
diers were drawn up for our reception. 

Ombia and another officer conducted me to a sedan 
chair (or palanquin)—in Japanese, norimon. 213 The 
whole neighborhood was crowded with human beings 
to catch a glimpse of me. I really believe that every 
person had a lantern; it looked so. They gazed at me 
as if I were a wild beast, I could not stand it. I made 
good my retreat into the palanquin, which I made to 
answer a double purpose—for what the Japanese had 
provided in order that I should not see the country I 
made use of that I should not be stared at. 

After taking the precaution to lash the palanquin 
with cords, the bearers and soldiers marched forward at 
a rapid pace; street after street was passed; soon the 
city of Matsmai was left behind; but onwards the sol¬ 
diers "(bearers, etc.) marched; hills, valley and streams 
were passed; this I knew from the movement of the con¬ 
veyance, boxed up though it was without even a peep 
hole. Occasionally, at different villages, there was a 
halt, to exchange the bearers of the palanquin, and to 
take some refreshments. 

At such times the officers would gather round me, 

213 The “kago.” 

194 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

and try to converse. Eatables were brought to me, but 
1 was not inclined to eat anything. The march then 
would continue. It was sometime after midnight that 
they came to a halt in a small town. The palanquin 
was gently put to the ground. It was unlashed, and an 
officer opened it, and beckoned me out. He and an¬ 
other then conducted me through a file of soldiers into 
a large room; but not before I got sight of a dead wall 
topped with sharpened spikes of iron and bamboo. 

We entered a building by a gate in the wall; went 
through a long passage into a room where we found a 
personage who was represented to me as the Governor 
of Matsmai; 214 all alone. My conductors retired. The 
Governor (so called) took me by the hand in a friendly 
manner, and led me to the other end of the room. It 
seemed to be an apartment for dwelling, without any¬ 
thing to give it a prison look. Its floor was covered with 
mats; it had two fireplaces, one in the centre, and one 
at the end to which the Governor conducted me, and 
where a glowing fire, tea kettle, cup, saucer, etc., of¬ 
fered a cheerful welcome. The room was large, with 
partitions of paper on sliding frames. The Governor 
requested me, by signs, to be seated; the seat offered 
was something between a form and a table—a short 
board bench. 

On the wall, I perceived two English letters, J and 
C—J on one side and C on the other, evidently written 
with charcoal. 

At the sight, a long train of conjectures flashed 
through my brain. 

On looking round for some more, and casting my 
eyes overhead, I saw a patch of new boarding over a 

214 This must be Gorogoro Imai, commander of the escort at Erama- 
chi. He was captain of a company in rank. See appendix II, page 244. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


hole about eighteen inches square scuttled in the roof. 
The houses are of one story and low. My host then 
took me to a stanchion in the middle of the room, sup¬ 
porting the ridge pole of the roof, and showed me there¬ 
on written, apparently with lead pencil, the following 

names—Robert McCoy, John Brady, and John-. 

The rest of this name and the other names 1 could not 

Pointing to the hole above boarded up, “His Ex¬ 
cellency” gave me to understand, by ingenious signs, 
and by uttering the word, “America,” that fifteen 
Americans had made their escape by that hole; had 
been caught, hand-cuffed, dragged back, and “had 
their throats cut”—so said the sign language and man¬ 
ual of the narrator, who drew one of his two swords 
(the larger one) and made the sign of cutting the 
throat. He also pointed to the iron bludgeon hanging 
in the guard room; mentioned McCoy; and made the 
sign of striking. 

All this made me reflect. The reported murder, or at 
least death of the Captain of the “Lawrence” 215 re¬ 
curred to me, and I believed that my “fifteen” prede¬ 
cessors had shared the same fate. 

However, I afterwards learned that this was the 
same American crew that was delivered up at Nagasaki 
when I was. The story of them, as I got it on board the 
“Preble,” 216 when with them, and as given in Hildreth’s 
History of Japan , 499 to 503, is as follows: 

215 See notes 175 and 219. George Howe was the second mate of the 
“Lawrence” of Poughkeepsie. 

216 The American sloop-of-war “Preble,” Commander Glynn. The 
ship came to Nagasaki in April, 1849, to receive the ship-wrecked Ameri¬ 
cans detained there. For full account of the voyage see the official re¬ 
port April 12, 1852, U. S. Senate Ex. Doc’t 59, 32nd Congress, 1st Session. 

196 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

They were the crew of the whaler “Lagoda,” 217 who 
had deserted her near the Straits of Sangar 218 near 
Matsmai, and on landing with their boat were taken in 
charge by the authorities, and were really kindly treated, 
while waiting an opportunity of being sent to Nagasaki, 
where, according to law, all foreigners were to be dis¬ 
posed of. There were fifteen of them, viz., eight Amer¬ 
icans of the United States and seven Sandwich Island¬ 
ers. 219 

217 The “Lagoda,” John Finch, Master, sailed Aug. 5, 1846, for the 
Pacific Ocean and North West Coast and returned home June 13, 1849. 
The “Lagoda,” a ship of 371.15 tons burden, principally owned by Jona¬ 
than Bourne, Jr., of New Bedford, Massachusetts—father of Ex-U. S. 
Senator Jonathan Bourne of Oregon—was one of the famous vessels of 
the New England whale fishery. She was what is known as of billet 
head, square stern, two decks and three masts; 107.5 feet in length, 26.8 
feet beam and 18.3 feet deep, and was built by Seth and Samuel Foster 
at Scituate, Mass., in 1826. Mr. Bourne purchased the ship in Boston, 
August 3, 1841, and in 1860 changed her rig to that of a bark. Mr. 
Bourne sold her in 1886 and she was condemned as unseaworthy at Yoko¬ 
hama, Japan, August 7, 1890. A half-size replica of the ship stands in 
the Jonathan Bourne Whaling Museum at New Bedford, Mass. From 
October 9, 1841, to July 10, 1886, when she was sold, the vessel, in 
twelve whaling voyages, made net profits for her owners of $651,958.99. 
The bark “Lagoda,” Stephen Swift, Captain, was one of the five ships 
“in clear water south of Icy Cape” selected to bring down the 1200 sea¬ 
men from the thirty-three vessels, wrecked in the Arctic ice in the early 
days of September, 1871. See note 144, p. 135. The cost to the owners 
and crew of the “Lagoda,” in bringing down these wrecked seamen was 
approximately $51,000. After 20 years a benevolent Congress in a bill 
approved by the President on February 21, 1891, awarded $23,611.30 to 
the vessel. Taken from a " History of The Jonathan Bourne Whaling 
Office” by Benjamin Baker. 

218 The Straits of Tsugaru. 

219 In the New Bedford Whalingmen’s Shipping List of January 16, 
1849, we find the following: “Capt. Malherbe of the French whaling 
ship, ‘Eliza’ of Havre, at Hong Kong, spoke on September 5th in the 
sea of Okhotsk the ‘Lagoda,’ Finch, New Bedford, who reported that 18 
of her men had deserted in three boats and are supposed to have landed 
on the Japanese coast.” The names of the Americans: John Bawl of 
New York, chief mate; John Waters of Salem, 2nd mate; John Bull of 
Kempville, N. Y.; Jacob Boyd of Springfield, N. Y.; John Martin of 
Rochester, N. Y.; Melcher Biffar of New York City, Robert McCoy of 
Philadelphia and Ezra Goldthwait of Salem, all seamen, and eight Sand¬ 
wich Islanders, a total of fifteen men, are given in a letter of the Brit¬ 
ish Consul at Canton, China, January 25, 1849; Senate Ex. Doc. 59, 32nd 

Japan Story of Adventure 


They were all young, violent, habitually quarreled 
amongst themselves, and gave much trouble. They 
preceded me here by about a month. As to the attempt 
to escape from the very room in question there were 
only two of them in that, and they were speedily re¬ 
captured. There was no “throat cutting,” nor even 
corporal punishment, they were simply caged, and more 
closely guarded than the others. McCoy was one of 
the two. In fact, McCoy made a second or even third 
escape. He was then tied, and put into a sort of stocks. 
They were taken to Nagasaki. 

All this time, and throughout their whole detention 
—a period of twelve months—they were according to 
their own account, well and certainly not cruelly treated; 
as prisoners ever, however. No punishment was in¬ 
flicted. One American died; a natural death, and not¬ 
withstanding all medical care and humane treatment; 
the only other death among them was that of a Sand¬ 
wich Islander, who, in the manner of his people, with¬ 
out compunction, hung himself. 

To proceed with my narrative. 

This monitory exhibition being ended, the Tajo or 
principal man of the place, with others, entered and 
went through the ceremony which had taken place on 
board the Junk. One of them, by making signs, of eat- 

Congress, 1st Session, p. 3. On account of alleged harsh treatment of 
the captain, they deserted the “Lagoda” about June 5th, 1848, in three 
boats at the Straits of Sangar. near Matsmai. Landing on the island of 
Yesso, in a couple of days they were taken into custody by Japanese 
soldiers and held prisoners until their release through the efforts of 
Commander Glenn of the United States ship “Preble.” During their 
imprisonment several attempts to escape were made, and in consequence 
the prisoners were roughly treated by their jailors. Ezra Goldthwait 
died on January 24, 1849, and Marrii (or Maury), one of the Sandwich 
Islanders, becoming despondent, committed suicide. For full account see 
statements of these men: U. S. Senate Ex. 59, supra, pp. 9-25. See also 
Alexander Starbuck, op. cit., 142, 434. 

198 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

ing, and saying “Coojeen” 220 (Boiled rice) asked me 
whether I wanted to eat something. I said Yes!—nod¬ 
ding at the same time. They, thereon, brought in a 
tray with a shallow bowl of rice, and chop sticks, I did 
not use the chop sticks, though I could, having learned 
to do so before I got to Soya. The two principal men 
talked together. 

The Governor (as I called him) gave an order, and, 
immediately, a bamboo spoon 221 and a wooden fork 
were brought in. I brought them away, from Japan, 
with me, but in subsequent wanderings, left them on 
board the “Sea-Witch,” 222 when wrecked on her; on 

220 Gozen. 

221 This rude wooden spoon was cut out and left behind by one of 
the crew of the “Lagoda.” 

222 There were several contemporary vessels named “Sea-Witch” at 
least two of which were lost at sea. The “Sea-Witch” of London was 
lost in 1848 or 1849. The editors have been unable to learn the date or 
exact place of this disaster. The “Sea-Witch” of Melbourne, 273 tons, 
formerly the “Samuel M. Fox,” built in New York in 1840 and trans¬ 
ferred to Melbourne Registry from Sidney, N. S. W., in May, 1858, 
foundered off the east end of Timor at Torres Straits in Timor Sea in 
August, 1859. An account of the disaster is found in The Age (Mel¬ 
bourne) of Thursday, Nov. 17, 1859—TOTAL LOSS OF THE SCHOON¬ 
ER “SEA-WITCH.” Intelligence has been received in Melbourne of 
the total loss of the schooner “Sea-Witch” in Torres Straits. This ves¬ 
sel, which was the property of Messrs. Young & Martin of this city, 
left this port on the 11th day of July (1859) for Timor and Sourabaya 
(on the N. E. Coast of Java), with a general cargo and 8,000 sovereigns. 
On the 29th day of July she struck on a reef and was, after some diffi¬ 
culty, got off by throwing over some fifty tons of ballast, and after los¬ 
ing both anchors, the Captain then endeavored to obtain fresh ballast 
at Booby Island, but could not succeed. The vessel was at this time taking 
a considerable quantity of water. On the night of August 5th, when 
off the east end of Timor, the vessel was pumped dry, and the mate, 
whose watch it was, gave the alarm that the vessel was sinking. All 
hands were immediately called, and the crew had just time to throw 
some provisions into the boat and get clear when the vessel went down.” 
The names of the crew and passengers (if any) are unascertainable. 
Another vessel, the “Sea-Witch” of New London, Conn., a schooner of 
109 tons, W. A. Reed, owner; Reed, captain, was added to the whale 
fleet in 1856. After a couple of short voyages the schooner was with¬ 
drawn in 1857. See A. Starbuck, op. cit., 544-545. At this late day it 
is impossible to determine to which of the three vessels our author re¬ 
fers, but he was probably aboard the “Sea-Witch” of London. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


which occasion, I may observe, I lost all I had save the 
clothes I had on and a little bundle, in a handkerchief, 
containing, with other little precious things, only a few 
of my notes in Japan. 

That was in the Indian Ocean, near Madras, where, 
for dear life, I had to swim ashore amongst the sharks, 
knife in belt for them, with my little bundle on my head. 
When in Soya, they made a spoon and fork for me of 
brass. I left them there. 

My supper consisted of nice fish, pickles and boiled 
kelp. There were several (four or five) waiters on me. 
Before partaking of it a person tasted of all the dishes. 
These tasters—for there were more of them—wore 
mantles of a peculiar color, like orange, the distinguish¬ 
ing color, I believe, of the Tajo (Prince) of Matsmai. 
I said grace before supper, in their presence, to be 
Christian like before heathens. 

Whilst I devoured the viands they devoured me with 
their eyes, just in simple curiosity, and with a kindly 
look of approval, rather than otherwise. 

After supper, the Governor gave me a present of 
clothing, Japanese, consisting of four garments, like 
gowns, with large wide sleeves, viz., one, the widest of 
silk; one of light grayish cotton, of native manufacture 
evidently; one of some material—I don’t know what 
to call it—lined with white cotton; and another of blue 
cotton, stuffed with cotton wadding; also a pair of Jap¬ 
anese trousers of cotton; two knives, a large and a small 
one, and a box of confectionery, with a presentation 
card 223 consisting of a piece about the size of half a 

223 This card is called “noshi”; even at present all presents have 
“noshi” with them. 

“Presents are presented with ceremony and covered with a paper 
folded in a particular way.” Thunberg, iii, 72. “On top of the present 
was laid a folded paper, tied over with red and gilded paper thread at the 

200 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

sheet of note paper, folded up in a peculiar form, the 
ends tied with bows of paper—paper very thin, fine and 
glossy. I was also presented with a bed and covering, 
a large gown thickly padded, and a pillow, varnished, 
of wood, about eight or ten inches long, bottom three 
inches wide, upper part two inches, and on that, a small 
pillow about the size of a man’s wrist, apparently of 
rice husk; it had a drawer also. The Governor kindly 
made a sign to me to sleep, and said “Noo ”—the Japa¬ 
nese, probably, for snooze. It was now about three 
o’clock in the morning, and I gladly did so. I slept 
well, in perfect confidence in my kind host. 

Next day, I asked for my chest, to get at my books. 
It was refused at first. I then made a sign of adoration 
and said “Kameni” 224 their word, as I understood, for 
worship, at the same time saying “God!” Thereupon, 
they gave me my Bible. I had kept my Bible apart and 
told them it was the book of my worship. 

At my request, they made a shelf (tokiwari) 225 for 
it. They seemed to respect it; in taking it up paying 
it their usual compliment to books of a good character 
by putting it up to the forehead. 

I remained here about twenty days; with every com¬ 
fort under the circumstances, but always a strict pris¬ 

On the eve of my departure I wrote my name on the 
wall where my Bible had been. They asked me to erase 
it; which I refused, inducing them at the same time to 
suppose that there was something sacred in it. They 

end of which was pasted a strip of sea-weed. Around it were also sev¬ 
eral square pieces of the same sea-weed. All this is according to 
etiquette; and is a demonstration of the highest respect. Idem, iii, ISO- 
131. See Capt. V. M. Golownin, op cit., iii, 112. See A. H. von Langs- 
dorff, op. cit., i, 259. 

224 Kami-ni; Kami, “God” or “Superior” and ni, “to,” i. e. to God. 

225 tokowaki. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


allowed it to remain—at least while I was there. 
Throughout, in all matters, they treated me with very 
great kindness and gentle delicate consideration. I 
asked them for the name of the place, but they declined 
giving it. I think it was Erametz or Eremetz. 226 

Before leaving, they brought me a portion of my 
sail wherewith, myself, to make a bag for my cloth¬ 
ing: which I did with twine and needle which I had 
among my things. 

I ought to have mentioned that they sealed my chest 
by putting on seals 227 on the top and sides, connected 
with strips of paper, so that it could not be opened 
without discovery; when opened—as it had to be, when 
I got anything out of it—it was always in the presence 
of a large number of persons, and was resealed, when 
closed, before the same. 

The official order for my departure was formally 
received and handed about in the company in my pres¬ 
ence. On my asking what it was, they unrolled the 
scroll containing the order, and showed the representa¬ 
tion of a long procession, each man’s place being writ¬ 
ten where he was to take part in the procession ac¬ 
companying me. 

They shook hands with me at parting, and expressed 

We all walked down to the beach, about a quarter of 
a mile. The place was a village of about fifty houses. 
I saw a large village 228 not very far off. 

226 Eramachi. 

227 Everything was officially sealed lest trading or pilfering of the 
foreigner’s goods might transgress the rules of the Government. The 
personal effects of the “Lagoda” crew were likewise inventoried care¬ 
fully according to the statement of Robert McCoy. See also Golownin, 
op. cit., ii, 207. 

228 None of the villages near Eramachi had as many houses and in¬ 
habitants. Our author perhaps saw Matsumae, miles distant. 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

All—and there were many—who turned out to take 
part in the demonstration at our departure, were dressed 
in gay or honour attire: some of the Officers wearing 
chain armour on the body and legs: soldiers arrayed 
in different colours, principally red and blue: their 
coats reaching down a little below the knees; with one 
sleeve of one color and another of another. Their head 
coverings were caps apparantly of paper or japanned 
leather, perfectly flat except a small space in the middle 
for the queue (“ori”) on the top of the head; they were 
padded, and fastened by a string passing round the 
chin and ears. It not being etiquette, generally, to wear 
them on the head, even out of doors at times, they, 
on this occasion, bore them suspended behind their 
backs, like shields. The only weapons I there saw in 
the hands of the soldiers were swords and lances. Each 
soldier had his own Chief’s coat of arms (“ mondog- 
ro”) worked on each breast and on the back. Very 
many of these bearings were representations of the 
sun and moon, and a good many of diamonds (diamond 
shape) and flowers. 

The flag or mondogro of the Prince of Matsmai was 
a square with diamond quartered. 

The soldiers seemed to be ranked in different comp¬ 
anies, under their respective feudal chiefs, and under 
distinctive standards: the companies also varying in 

We embarked in an open boat, somewhat similar 
to the one I started in from Tootoomari, with this dif¬ 
ference, that there were no oars other than that of the 
steersman. It was towed by several lines of boats, of 
which there must have been two and three hundred 
Our barge was full of officers and soldiers. Thus we 
made for a large Junk about three miles off. 

The junk “Tenjinmaru” 

From a picture illustrating the “Tour of Yezo by Muragaki, AwajinO' 

kami, in 1854.” 

Japan Story of Adventure 


The Junk 229 was adorned like the one I before de¬ 
scribed: it was larger however. Arrived at her side, 
we found her surrounded by upwards of a thousand 
boats. The curtains with painted port holes, the big 
swab, the glittering lances, and the flaunting flags of 
varied colors and designs, the whole floating on the 
heaving, changing sea was, to my gaze, more a phan- 
tasmorgia than an actual scene of human life. 

We went on board by the port hole “man-gangway”. 
On the lower deck, I remarked a pile of matchlocks, as 
long as our muskets, but lighter. 

The vessel seemed to have been newly repaired. Hav¬ 
ing entered the cabin we all—that is to say, officers and 
myself—squatted ourselves on the mats which covered 
its floor. 1 found the position to be awkward. It con¬ 
sists in kneeling, crossing the feet, and sitting on the 

I would mention as a trait, not uncommon, of the 
character of my “barbarian hosts”—not that I consider 
them so—-that on our leaving the place, I received from 
the Officer in whose charge I had been since my arrival 
at Matsmai, a present of some small apples, sweet and 
slightly acid, like our own. 

When the parties from the shore had left, I was put 
into a small cabin, grated: was, in fact, caged. There 
I remained all the rest of the voyage, with a pile of 
arms at my door, unable to see anything outside ex¬ 
cept on two or three occasions. 

I remonstrated against such close confinement, and 
on the following day the Captain ordered the removal 
of the grating, but I was told not to go on deck. 

My cage—as I may call it—opened into the main 

229 This vessel was called “Tenjimmaru” and sailed from Eramachi 
on the first of October. 

204 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

cabin, where the inferior officers and soldiers messed. 
At meals they squatted; eating, and supping with chop 
sticks, from delf dishes, wooden bowls (varnished), 
and drank out of a cup and saucer. Even for soup, 
the chop sticks alone were used. 

The dishes were generally placed in trays about fif¬ 
teen inches by twelve. In the centre bowl—generally 
the largest—was fish, boiled or broiled; in a smaller 
one, rice; in another of the same size, soup; in another 
vegetables; and in a smaller one, pickles. 

The vegetables used on the voyage were principally 
pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, and cabbage. Further to 
the South, I saw, and myself ate onions, carrots, and 
potatoes like those called Irish, but smaller. Tea was 
taken by them regularly; sometimes mixed with rice. 
They used no sugar at their meals, though they have 
it, as I found by the sweetmeats given me. The aver¬ 
age quantity eaten by each man, at a meal, I consider 
to be about three pounds in weight, soup included. 
They had four meals a day. 

Before eating, they—as all classes of the Japanese 
do—so far at least as I saw—put the chop sticks to 
the forehead, as if saying grace. They were talkative 
at meals, ate fast; and seemed to enjoy themselves, 
especially at supper, when they had a greater variety 
of dishes, and about a pint of their grog (saki) each. 

They were communicative to me, so far as they dared, 
and were able. I had picked up a smattering of Japan¬ 
ese, sufficient for some conversation: there was no in¬ 
terpreter between us then. 

All said prayers, morning and evening, and some 
at noon also. 

They had books, covered somewhat like ours, with 
boards of paper. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Some contained wood cuts, fairly well executed. The 
leaves were thin, doubled, and printed only on one 
side. Every person had a portfolio covered with cloth, 
with pockets containing paper for writing, and also for 
blowing the nose or use generally as we do a pocket 

Their finer paper—more like gossamer than any¬ 
thing else I know of—is much thinner and more trans¬ 
parent than any of European manufacture that I ever 
saw. I speak of the finer kind used for writing, and 
fine art purposes. There are coarser kinds, for waste 
and windows, partitions and such ruder uses. It is 
manufactured, generally, out of the inner bark of the 
mulberry tree 280 —which is extensively cultivated also 
for their silk worms: silk with them—as it is gener¬ 
ally known—is a staple of production, and its man¬ 
ufacture is one of the principal industries of the coun¬ 

All persons in Japan—men, women, and children of 
all classes from highest to lowest carry—or have at 
hand borne for them—paper, pen (brush), and ink. 
All are educated to read and write: and the people, 
even the lower classes, habitually write—their com¬ 
munications by letter being more general than amongst 

Their pen is, in fact, a hair pencil or attenuated 
brush of fine hair, of rabbit, hare, fox or other small 
fur animal. Their ink is like our India ink or that of 
the cuttle fish. Their writing is generally made up in 
rolls—beginning at the right hand or outer end of the 
roll, (or sheet), in vertical lines, from above to below, 

230 it is not from the mulberry, but from the “kodsu” tree the Japa¬ 
nese paper is made. See Dr. Englebreckt Kaempfer’s History of Japan, 
Appendix III, thereof on the manufacture of Japanese paper. 

206 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

arranged from right to left. In the books the “foot 
notes”—as we call them are at the top of the page; 
and the title page—as before stated is at what we would 
call the end of the book. 

Chapter XI 

Voyage—Doctor—View of Country—Fruit—Arrive 
at Nagasaki—Officials, Magistrates, and Interpre¬ 
ters—Examination on Board—Murayama—Ques¬ 
tions and Answers—Disembark—Description of Bay 
and Harbour—Enter City—Procession, Streets, 
Houses, Etc. 

On board the Junk, numbers were sea sick. A doc¬ 
tor, 231 with an attendant waited on them every morn¬ 
ing, feeling the pulse, and immediately dipping his hand 
into a basin of water. I had no need of them, being 
neither sea sick, nor sick in any way. 

I was, on the whole, well, and even kindly attended. 
The military commander 232 visited me twice. I asked 
him for leave to go on deck, but he refused. 

The voyage from Eramets (or Eramatz) lasted about 
ten days: the first three days were very stormy; the ves¬ 
sel pitching and creaking a great deal. She was rigged 
like the other Junk, the big one, from Soya to Matsmai. 

These Japanese Junks though strongly put together 
are not taut like our vessels. 

We stopped twice or thrice on the voyage. On 
these occasions only, while on board, did I get a sight 
of the outside world, and that was only through the 

231 The Doctor’s name was Hosai Tani. 

232 The Commander of the escort was Tanemon Ujiie, Captain of a 

Japan Story of Adventure 


port hole of the entrance which, of course, had to be 
opened, and when in port, had merely a curtain; at 
sea, it was closed with boards. In my peeps, I saw 
junks, fields, and cultivated hill sides, and, of course, 
the cluster of houses about the port. In port we al¬ 
ways got fruit, principally a kind like mangoes with 
large stones. 233 Its taste, to me, was nauseously sweet. 

In the voyage from Soya to Matsmai we stopped 
as before stated, at only one place, for wood and water. 
We sailed along the West side of the Island of Yesso. 
We had frequent calms and headwinds on that voyage, 
which accounts for its comparative length in time to 
that from Eramatz to Nagasaki. 

What of the West coast of Yesso I saw was high and 
even mountainous; wild; the sides of the hills and moun¬ 
tains covered with a dense forest of pine and other 
northern woods, with level parts only here and there. 
Of habitations, I saw only a few small villages, fishing 
stations, along the shore. 

On the East coast of the main Islands of Japan— 
along which we sailed from Eramatz—the aspect was 
altogether of a better and more habitable country. 


At length we anchored in the outer harbour of Nag¬ 
asaki. A great number of the inhabitants—officials, 
I presume—came on board; among them “Sherrei 
Tachachien 234 Sama’\ one of the five men who assisted 

233 The fruit seems to be the kaki (persimmon). 

234 Given as Serai Tasnosen (Shivai Tatsunosin) in Commodore 
Glynn’s report and described with Matsmora Schall and Hagewara 
Matasak (Hagiwara Matasaku) as “a Japanese high military Chief of 

208 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

the Governor, (“Obigue Sama”) 235 in the government 
of the District of Nagasaki. 

He, and another of note, sat, in Japanese fashion, in 
the middle of the cabin, with two pale faced secretaries 
by them, with writing materials, books of apparently 
English or European binding, and a large book like an 
atlas. Saxtuero, 236 interpreter, a very old gentleman, 
with a benignant expression of countenance, rising a 
little asked me, in a very kind tone, what my name 
was. I told him and he repeated it to Sherrei. 

The latter then asked me through Murayama 232 an¬ 
other interpreter, where I was born. 

I answered that I was born in Oregon: lived in Can¬ 
ada: and last sailed from New York. 

Murayama—whose full name, 1 may state, was Mur¬ 
ayama Yeanoske—interpreted all this. 

235 Obugyo-Sama, governor. 

23 6 Sakushichiro Uemura, see page 226. 

237 Moriyama Einosuke (Mr. Mountain Grove) was a Japanese Samu¬ 
rai or two-sword retainer of a damio; he is frequently mentioned in the 
following pages of our author’s narrative. Moriyama Einosuke was 
frequently with Robert McCoy and the imprisoned crew of the “Lagoda” 
from September 2, 1848, on, and in April, 1859, with seven assistants 
acted as chief Japanese interpreter during Commodore Glynn’s negotia¬ 
tions for their release when he was officially described as “one who 
spoke tolerably good English, but understood only as much as he wanted 
to.” U. S., Senate, Executive Doc’t 59, 32nd Congress, 1st Session, pp. 
11, 46. He officiated as the principal interpreter during the negotiations 
of the Japanese Commissioners with Commodore Perry on his second visit 
to Japan. His name first appears on page 396, i, of Frances L. Hawks 
Narrative of the Expedition of the American Squadron as “Moryama 
Genoske, who spoke a little English, which he is said to have acquired 
from an American sailor who had been a captive in Japan, and who was 
one of those taken away by the “Preble.” It is evident that Moryama 
did not feel free to disclose his intimate knowledge regarding the names 
and experiences of the various shipwrecked American sailors who had 
been held in Japan. See Francis Hawkes, op. cit. He was a frequent 
visitor to Townsend Harris, the 1st American Envoy to Japan, who 
seems to have grown peevish at Moryama’s temporizing and evasions. 
See fm. Elliott Griffis, Life of M. C. Perry and Life of Townsend Har¬ 
ris, the latter pp. 59, 89, 91-2, 95. From the Japanese record it appears 
that he saved our author some embarrassment by failing to render literal 
translations of his statements regarding his Christian faith. See appen¬ 
dix IIB, p. 280. 

Murayama and Tokojiro 

Pupils of Ranald MacDonald, Chief Interpreters in negotiations 
with Commodore Perry 
From Hawks’ Narrative, i, 348. 

Japan Story of Adventure 



Of this young man a few special words are called 

He was, by far, the most intelligent person I met in 

He had a pale cast of thought, piercing black eyes 
which seemed to search into the very soul, and read 
its every emotion. He spoke English pretty fluently, 
and even gramatically. His pronunciation was pecul¬ 
iar, but it was surprisingly in command of combina¬ 
tions of letters and syllables foreign to the Japanese 

He was my daily companion—a lovable one—ever 
afterwards, during my sojourn in Japan. When with 
me he always had books in Dutch, 238 and a Dutch and 
English dictionary. The Dutch factor at Nagasaki 
John Livessohn, 239 told me that Murayama spoke 

238 During the period of exclusion Occidental knowledge of Japan 
was derived through the Dutch. Three physicians attached to the Dutch 
factory at Nagasaki contributed principally to this knowledge of Ja¬ 
pan: Englebrecht Kaempfer (Japan 1690-1692), author of a “History 
of Japan and Siam,” London, 1727; Charles Peter Thunberg (Japan, 1775- 
1776), author of Travels in Europe, Africa and Asia; and Philip Franz 
von Siebold (Japan 1822-1830), author of Nippon, an Archive towards 
the description of Japan. In addition to these, three directors of the 
Nagasaki factory, Isaac Titsingh, J. F. van Overmeer Fisscher and G. 
F. Meijan, furnished further information. Additional information was 
received through Russian sources from the published account of Georg 
Heinrich von Langsdorff, a German physician attached to the Reasanoff 
expedition (1804), and from Captain Vasili M. Golownin’s Memoirs of 
His Captivity in Japan, 1811-1813. 

In like manner whatever Japan received of the material civilization 
of the Occident during these years was obtained principally through the 
Dutch. After the Shogun Yoshimune (1716-1745) did away with the 
proscription of European books, so far as they had nothing to do with 
Christianity, the Japanese doctors, scholars and interpreters secured a 
number of European books, charts, etc. European books obtained 
through the Dutch leavened the mind of the Japanese and prepared it 
for the transformation of today. 

239 Joseph Henry Levyssohn, director of the Dutch factory at Naga¬ 
saki, 1846-1850. He later wrote and published a little book on Japan 
in the Dutch language entitled “Blader Over Japan.” 

210 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Dutch better than himself. The books were on dif¬ 
ferent subjects, but principally on the commerce and 
customs of European nations. 

I asked him whether he, Murayama, had ever been 
out of the country, to which he replied in the negative. 
He told me that he had a large library; and also, that 
he was studying Latin and French. 

But to return to my examination before the grandees: 

In answer to their questions, I gave them to under¬ 
stand that 1 was, by birth, a British subject, but that 
I belonged to the Commercial marine and a citizen of 
the United States. I was desirous that they should 
regard me as belonging to both nations (British and 
American) in order that in the event of a vessel of 
either of them visiting Japan my case might attract 
their special attention. I mentioned Oregon, in as 
much as it was then in dispute (so then I thought) be¬ 
tween the United States and Great Britain, and I 
thought it possible that a war might arise therefrom, 
and that some of the vessels of either side might ap¬ 
proach the Japanese coast. 

I was next asked whether I had a father, mother, 
brother, or sister then living. I told them I had. 

They then asked me where my ship was. I told 
them I left her and went ashore; and that she went 
out to sea. 

They then asked me my object in leaving the vessel 
in an open boat. 

I told them I had some difficulty with the Captain. 
This I said, apprehending that if I told them that I 
had done so from curiosity and adventure, that they 
would treat me badly and perhaps kill me. When I 
said “difficulty”, Murayama—who was then inter¬ 
preting—seemed to be a little at loss, and handed me 

Japan Story of Adventure 


the Dutch and English dictionary to show him the 
word. Turning to the English-Dutch part I did so. 
They seemed to believe me. They said I must have had a 
great heart—so it was interpreted to me. 

Then they asked me whether I believed in a God 
in heaven. They seemed to be satisfied with my an¬ 
swer in the simple affirmative. 

They then told me that I would be taken to the Town 
Hall, before the Governor, on the morrow. 

On the following day it rained and we did not go. 
The weather was mild, though then October: no fire in 
the cabin. 

On the day following innumerable boats arrived. 
Sherrei, with a large company entered by' the main 
gangway at the porthole. When they touched the deck 
(floor of the cabin) they knelt, salaamed to the Com¬ 
pany, and, without rising, slid to a position at the sides 
on mats. Sherrei walked dignifiedly to his position, 
and as he sat down the rest salaamed to him, and he, 
in response, slightly bowed and uttered a low grunt in 
polite acknowledgment. 

I was then taken out of the Junk; walked along a 
bridge of boats; and with two interpreters and four 
soldiers entered a boat. The people here (more accus¬ 
tomed to strangers) did not appear to be so curious 
about me as those further north. When we reached 
the inner harbour, all the boats except three dispersed. 
We stood off a little from the beach, and there waited 
about half an hour for somebody. In the meantime, 
tea was served out to all but me. 

On the left of the harbour, looking towards the shore, 
was a bold steep bank, about a thousand feet in height. 
On the other side where in a valley, lay the Town, the 
shore slopes more. 

212 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Nagasaki is a Town, or City rather, of, I should say, 
about ten thousand houses. The houses, though small 
compared to ours of our cities, seemed, on the whole, 
to be of a better class than any I had seen elsewhere 
in the country. 

The streets were about fifty to sixty feet in width, 
and were paved, in the middle, with stone. 

In the inner harbour—which is about four miles in 
length and about a mile and a half in average width, 
with an Island (Papanberg) 240 at its entrance, was a 
Dutch ship anchored about two hundred fathoms from 
the small Island Dessima 241 with its Dutch Factory. 
There were also in port three large Chinese Junks, 
armed with cannon. Of the Junks of the country there 
was a large fleet. 

While waiting, a large boat load of officers and sol¬ 
diers approached us from the outer bay and passed on 
to the beach. We followed, and landed on a jetty with 
stone steps. Within about fifty yards from these steps 
we entered the City by one of its gateways. I saw 
no gates . The gateway , which was similar to those I 
saw at Tootoomari and Soya, was about fifteen feet in 
width and about thirty feet in height, with large cross 
beam or entablature, of wood, on the top. From it, 
along the street, soldiers, with side arms, were standing 
in a row on each side. Close to the gateway was a 
palaquin, into which I stepped. It being kept open, 
I had a good view as I was borne along between the 
files of soldiers. They and the citizens fell in behind 
and formed a procession. We passed through several 
streets, which were all of small wooden houses, nearly 

240 Takaboko, called Papenberg by the Dutch. 

241 De-shima, Outside or Jutting Island; shima meaning island in the 
Japanese language. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


all of only one story, with peaked and projecting roofs, 
like ours, windows of oiled paper, on a sliding frame, 
and roofs, some of wooden covering like American 
shingles (but larger), some of reddish tiles. The 
houses were neither painted nor whitewashed. 

There were, however, houses larger and of a better 
class; and I remember seeing two of brick or stone, two 
stories in height. These had gardens in front, sheltered 
by a stone wall, surmounted with broken glass or what 
looked like it. Vines and creeping plants were in great 

There were not temples or pagodas, so far as I saw, 
although there were, I was told, many in the city; but 
on the rise of a hill a little out of the city, I saw white 
objects like monuments to the dead. The shops were 
merely open windows, with goods exposed. There 
were no shop signs that I remarked. 

Chapter XII 

Governor’s Residence—Court—Reception—Plan of 
Court—“Devil of Japan”—Refuse to Bow to the 
Ground (Kotow) Before the Governor—Compli¬ 
ment by the Governor—Description of Things and 
Procedure—Examination—Answers Satisfactory— 

Arrived at the foot of a hill, where the palanquin 
rested, I stepped out. We ascended by large stone steps 
to the Governor’s residence, three or four hundred 
yards off. Entered by a gateway. There were thous¬ 
ands of spectators. There was a porter’s lodge. The 
porters at the entrance, in salute, bowed so as to touch 
the ground with their fingers. In front of the lodge 

2 i 4 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

was a stand of arms, with a guard of soldiers, seated. 
We turned to the right and entered a narrow alley be¬ 
tween houses. A sliding low gate was shoved aside, 
by which 1 was conducted to a place railed in. Entered, 
by a small wicket gate, into a sort of a shed; where the 
flooring—elevated about two feet-—was covered with 
dirty matting. 

I was desired, by the Dutch interpreter to sit down. 
The soldiers retired and were replaced by men in long 
black dresses, looking grim, with inferior swords and 
daggers—looked like jailers. 

The walls of the shed were plastered, covered with 
caricature and writing—it was altogether a filthy place. 

After remaining there some time I was asked wheth¬ 
er I wished to eat. I refused. However, they brought 
in and spread out some dishes for me. Not from hun¬ 
ger—for I had no appetite under the circumstances— 
but to show that I was not afraid, I ate. There was 
rice, pickled onions, fish, etc. 

In half an hour after this repast Murayama came 
in and told me that in half an hour I would appear 
before the Governor to answer questions that would 
be put to me. He told me not to be afraid, “to take 
courage”; that he would interpret for me, and that he 
would be sworn. He instructed me also, that before 
seeing the Governor I should see an “image, on a metal 
plate; 242 at the foredoor”—these were his words—and 
further, that this image was the Devil of Japan and 
“that I must put my foot on it”. I told him I would 

242 This was the efumi-e or image of the Christ-child and the virgin. 
Since 1669, after the expulsion of the Portuguese and the suppression 
of Christianity, bronze plates with the image of the Virgin and Child, 
Christ on the Cross, etc., were used to detect Christians by making them 
put their feet on the plates. In Nagasaki all the citizens in single file 

Japan Story of Adventure 


do so, because I did not believe in images. “Very 
good ! Very good!” said he, and then retired. 

While waiting, I saw several persons enter by the 
gateway. I had entered but instead of going into the 
shed where I was, they passed through a small opening 
with a panel—D in plan—of which, as best I can from 
memory, I now give a sketch of the whole place, with 
description references. 


A. Gateway 

B. Shed 

C. Wicket 

D. Small opening in panel 

E. Panel slid aside, by which I 
entered the court 

F. Magistrate trying criminal 

G. Criminal 

H. Goods on shelves 

I. Metallic plate, Virgin and 
Child (bronze) 

K. D o o r w a y—Governor’s en¬ 

L. Windows of paper 

M. Steps, broad, occupied by men 
in silks, sitting Japanese fash¬ 

N. Murayama—Interpreter 

O. My position, when examined 

P. Governor 

QQ. Soldiers on guard 
RR. Gentry, sitting on heels 

S. Secretary 

T. Court yard 

oooo. Pebbled pavement 

had to put their feet on such plates once a year in the first month to 
show that they were not Christians. These images were made of cast 
copper and the ceremony was performed on the 4th day after the Japanese 
New Year (February 22) and following days. Everyone but the gov¬ 
ernor and his train participated and overseers were present to see that 
everything was duly performed, even the feet of infants and the infirm 
being pressed against the metal plates. See hereon Charles Peter 

216 Ranald MacDonald ( 1824 - 1894 ) 

Through this opening at D they passed into a large 
building with walls painted black. Several were brought 
out of that opening, handcuffed. The walls of the 
court yard were also painted black. 

About an hour after Murayama had left me, sold¬ 
iers entered and formed a double line to the small open¬ 
ing E in the plan, to which I was directed to go. On 
approaching it, a large part of the partition was slid 
aside. Beyond it, was a pavement of large gravel, 
perfectly clean and dry, being under a roof. 

Before me was a platform, F in plan, on which one 
of the officers whom I had seen, and one Tashna- 
sheen 243 were, as magistrates, trying a prisoner stand¬ 
ing before them. On the left—H in plan—were goods 
on shelves. Why they were there, I know not—prob¬ 
ably they were stolen goods. 

When in the act of entering this court, I was touched 
on the shoulder, and ordered to take off my boots 
(gaiter boots)—at the same time a pair of sandals 
being handed to me. I had on Japanese socks which 
are open at the big toe to admit of the fastening of the 
sandals. These were of matted grass. 

In entering I looked for the plate, with image, “in 
the foredoor” of Murayama, and there—I in plan— 
saw it. 

It appeared, to me, to be a bronze plate, round, about 
six inches in diameter, flat on the ground, with some¬ 
thing delineated on it which—stooping to examine— 

Thunberg, op. cit., iii, pp. 89-93, see Mrs. W. Buck, op. cit., 41. Mac¬ 
Donald did not know at first what it was, nor the purpose in requiring 
him to step on it. George Howe and party were forced to tread and 
spit on a similar figure in 1847; and the “Lagoda” crew in 1848. See 
U. S., Senate, Executive Doc’t No. 59, 32nd Congress, 1st Session, pp. 20, 
72. This custom of figure-treading has been referred to by Mr. Griffis 
and other writers on Japan; Richard Hildreth, op. cit., i, 352. 

243 Tatsnosen of Commodore Glynn’s report, U. S. Senate Ex. Doc’t 59, 
supra, p. 35. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


I took to be the virgin and child. Told to put my foot 
on it, being a Protestant, I unhesitatingly did so. 

Looking around, I saw, towards the right hand, in 
front of me, broad steps serving as platforms—M M 
in plan—-on which a number of Japanese, apparantly 
of the highest class, dressed richly and principally in 
ample stiff silk gowns, with projecting shoulder pieces 
were kneeling (or sitting) on each side of the Govern¬ 
or’s place—P in plan. 

My place, on the floor or ground, paved, was at O 
in plan, in front of, and at a considerable distance from 
the Governor. The Secretary of the Governor was 
close beside him, while Murayama, about midway, but 
to aside, knelt on one of the platforms. All these were 
on fine clean mats. For me there was only a shabby 
dirty old mat. It aroused my ire; but I said nothing, 
till, when directed by Murayama to sit down on it, I re¬ 
fused, at the same time kicking away, or at, the dirty 
mat, saying I saw no chair nor seat for me. He then 
desired me to sit as they did. Being at the time dressed 
in my European sailor clothing, I answered 1 could not 
well do so. Seeing that he persisted in his request, 
with a friendly expression, I, after a little, made the 
attempt on one knee; but that did not seem to satisfy 
them. I was told by Murayama that I must sit as they 
did before I could see the Governor. He appeared to 
be annoyed at my hesitation. I finally complied; he 
showing me how. 

Pointing to the door, K in plan, he said—“You will 
see the Governor enter by that door, but you must not 
look at him but bow low”. I then heard a low rustling 
sound approaching toward us, as if by a given signal 
every one fell flat on his face. Behind me, close, and 
all about were soldiers, at arms—letters Q Q in plan. 

218 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

The Governor 244 entered: Murayama repeated his 
injunction to bow low. Still angry, / didn't. I “ Kitu ” 245 
(or Kotow) to no man! It required no effort to re¬ 
frain, I just would not do it. Curious to read my fate 
at the hands of His Excellency, I looked him fearlessly 
but respectfully, full in the face. So did he me. I had 
just quickly, before that, looked around, and saw every 
one, even the soldiers, flat on their faces, the hands 
being placed on the ground, and the forehead resting 
on them. They all remained in this position for quite 
a time, say ten or fifteen seconds during which, in dead 
silence, the Governor and I stared at each other. 

At length, rising from his sitting position, slowly, 
on his knees, and stretching forth his arms, resting on 
his hands on his knees, leaning towards me, the Gover¬ 
nor addressed me a few words, deep toned and low, 
which though I did not understand them, I took, from 
his manner and look, not to be unfriendly. Afterwards 
—for I could not at the time—I asked Murayama what 
he said. He answered: “He said you must have a 
big heart”. Had I known it at the time, I certainly 
would have acknowledged the compliment with a spec¬ 
ial bow, in true freeman’s style, with a wave of the 
hands—“hats off !”. 

The ceremony of his entrance was impressive. In 
entering he was preceded by three or four soldiers, 
the foremost carrying a naked sword, hilt up, holding 
it by the point. The sword was like the ordinary Jap- 

244 Ido, Tsushima-no-kami, who was one of the Governors of Naga¬ 
saki when MacDonald was there, was one of the Japanese commisson- 
ers who signed the first treaty with the United States. Hawke says 
[op. cit., 404] “Ido, Prince Tsushima, was probably fifty or thereabout, 
and was corpulent and tall in person. He has a rather more vivacious 
expression than the elder Hayashi.” 

245 “Koto” means making an obeisance. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


anese sword, about two feet of blade, with a circular 
bronze guard; blade about two inches broad, slightly 

The Governor was distinguishable by his portly bear¬ 
ing and bold look: Age, apparantly, about thirty-five 
years: Head shaved like other Japanese, except the top 
knot as before described. He was dressed in a pair 
of wide trousers of figured silk, greenish ground with 
flowery pattern; white lines socks; no sandals; a silk 
open gown to the ankles, and a belt: a blue overgarment 
of fine cotton, like two pieces sewed together behind, 
open in front, stiffened with starch or some such stuff, 
projected at the shoulders like enormous epaulettes. 246 

Features: — Nose, short, straight; mouth,' well 
formed, indicating good nature; eyes, large, black, open 
to the utmost, not oblique: round full face, very florid 
—healthy looking; bearing, upright, majestic; hands, 
small delicate and white; nails not long. 

He had a large plain fan of palm leaf like those in 
common use among us. In figure he was rather short 

He knelt without crossing his feet. He stared very 
hard at me. I made my salaam to him without, how¬ 
ever, touching the ground. After the lapse of a few 
seconds, when people had raised their heads he talked 
to Murayama: seemed to be swearing him. 

There were writing materials before the Governor, 
and paper with writing, probably the questions to be 
put. My answers were written down by the Secretary 
as interpreted. His Excellency asked me, through 
Murayama as follows:— 

My name ?—Where born ? etc. 

246 The usual ceremonial dress, Kami-shimo, for all officials, or on 
festal occasions. 

220 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

In fact, the former questions already reported. 

Murayama, always interpreted to him—addressing 
him in a full distinct tone, respectfully—bowing at the 
end of each sentence, resting on his hands on the 
ground, leaning over them, his eyes cast down, and at 
the conclusion of every sentence inhaling audibly 
through his teeth, as if afraid of offending. 247 

The Governor uttered not a syllable, except in put¬ 
ting the questions. Acted with great dignity. 

One of the questions—as on a former occasion— 
was whether I believed in a God in Heaven. I said 
Yes!—Then I was asked what was my belief as to a 
God in Heaven. 

I answered, first, that I believed in One God, and 
that He was constantly and everywhere present. 

Then Murayama—as if not satisfied with the answer 
—asked what I believed in respect to God in Heaven. 
I answered by beginning to recite the “Apostles’ Creed” 
—in my English prayer book—having been brought 
up an Episcopalean—my father’s creed and my own; 
but when I had said “And in Jesus Christ, his only Son,” 
born of the Virgin Mary”; 248 Murayama suddenly 
stopped me, saying, quickly, in whisper “that will do ! 
that will do !” He then proceeded to translate my an¬ 
swer, to the Governor, or, at least, so much of it as he 
thought necessary—refraining—I believe—from any 
mention of the “Virgin Mary,” or “Christ.” In that, he 
was my friend, indeed! After some conversation among 

247 This inbreathing or drawing in of the breath is an ancient custom 
of politeness, that one should not offend in any way neither by one’s 
breath nor what might possibly fly out of the mouth of the person. 
Gradually the custom became a mark of respect. 

248 The account concerning MacDonald’s views on religion given in 
the Appendix shows that the interpreters did not fully translate the 
prisoner’s words. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


themselves, viz: between the Governor, Murayama, and 
others, the grandees about, the Governor told me by 
Murayama, thai a house would be prepared for me, and 
that—as it was expressed—“If I was good, I should 
live better and better”—so my friend Murayama put 
it, probably in his own kindly way. 

I thereupon, in thanks, salaamed to the Governor, 
on my knees, and when on my feet, also bowed. His 
Excellency, however, did not return the compliment. 

I was then conducted outside: went down the steps, 
entered a palanquin, and was carried through the streets 
to a place surrounded with a stone wall about six feet 
high, topped with broken glass. 

There was a cluster of houses within the wall, and in 
the spaces between them and the wall were bamboo 
railings. There was a little garden in front. The house 
I was put in appeared to be an old building newly 
repaired: everything appeared neat and clean; flooring 
covered with mats. Entered by a lobby which commun¬ 
icated with my prison. 

This, my prison, was partitioned off with bars about 
four inches thick and the same distance apart. 249 

Extent, Seven Feet By Nine 

The wall of the house had been removed and these 
high bars substituted, and a wooden screen about twenty- 
five feet high made in front of the bars about twelve 

249 The usual prison compartment all over Japan. This “roya” or 
cage was reasonably light and airy, with provision for cleanliness and 
warmth; and all prisoners confined therein were reasonably well fed ac¬ 
cording to the dietary of the country. Overmeer Fisher in his Bydrage 
tot Kentis van het Japansche Ryk (Contributions toward the Knowledge 
of the Japanese Realm, quarto, 1833) describes another form of prison 
—the “gokuya” for heinous offenders. These are dungeons within the 
walls of the government house, lighted and ventilated only by a small, 
grated window in the roof, and fully on a par with similar chambers of 
horror familiar in Europe prior to the middle of the nineteenth century. 

222 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

or fifteen feet off. Off this, to one side, was another 
room, for washing, and other conveniences, including 
bath, hot or cold. All these were at my service. 

There was nothing in the room (den, 9 feet by 7) but 
mats, a brazier, tea pot, and cup. The mats—ordinary 
ones—were six feet by three—with a selvage of gauze¬ 
like stuff: mats of rice straw, three inches thick. 

The Japanese bed and clothes, and a looking glass 
which 1 had got from the Governor of Matsmai were 
returned to me. I had the use, also, of a mosquito bar 
(curtain) which was necessary even then—October— 
the weather being fine and mild, even warm, with the 
South West monsoon just set in. 

In the evening, a tray with bowls of soup and rice, 
and a kettle of tea were brought in. The tray—an or¬ 
dinary one—was of light wood, varnished—japanned. 

I supped alone. 

On the following day I got a small table, about a foot 
and a half high, without having asked for it. They don’t 
use tables. 

I asked Murayama, the first time he visited me after 
my examination, for my books. He said I could not get 
them. I then asked for my Bible. He answered: “Don’t 
mention name of Bible in Japan, it is a bad book”. I 
replied I was lonsome. To which he rejoined—“If 
vou be good, the Governor will give you everything 
you want”. 

There was a guard over me, night and day; and my 
room was always locked. I was treated coolly: Even 
Murayama being distant. 

There were, at first, nine interpreters—Dutch—be¬ 
sides Murayama and Saxtuere—with me, by turns, one 
a day. They were there then, merely to attend to my 
wants. There was no conversation between us. They 

Japan Story of Adventure 


looked: I looked. When I expressed my wants, they 
referred to their dictionary, 250 —Dutch-English—and 
I had the thing. 

Chapter XIII 

Second Examination in Court—Complimented—Third 
Examination in Our House—Information; Suggest¬ 
ions for Trade, Etc.—Sympathy—More Friendly— 
School for English, Fourteen Pupils, Interpreters— 
Language—Intelligence of Pupils—Religions—Mor¬ 
als—Eagerness for Information—Curiosity—Wom¬ 
en, Dress, Etc.—Guards, Friendly—Interpreters, 
Reticence, Etc.—Fate of the Captain of My Guard. 

About twenty days after my first trial—for indeed 
it was that—I was again taken to the Court. This 
time I was examined before Sherrei and another per¬ 

They questioned me particularly as to the cause, 
means, and object of my leaving my vessel. I answered 
as I had before. They had asked me whether I did not, 
with the quadrant, intend to survey the coast. I said 

They asked me again what relatives I had: Whether 
the Captain would be punished: what was the business 
of my father; what, my own business: and whether on 
arrival of my vessel in port there would be an enquiry 
instituted about me. 

On all these points I gave them answers which seemed 
to be satisfactory. 

250 The third English edition of Charles Peter Thunberg’s Travels 
(London, 1796) contains an English-Japanese vocabulary of approxi¬ 
mately 1500 words; this was probably the first English-Japanese vocabu¬ 
lary published. It seems to have been unknown to our author and his 

224 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Again, they observed. “You must have a great 
heart to leave in a little boat, etc. I could only smile 
at the compliment, given, I believe, in all the sincerity 
of their good nature. 

About a fortnight after that, I underwent another 
examination; but this time in my own “house”, as the 
Governor called my cage. 

They then produced before me, a Japanese copy of 
an English Atlas. They asked me to point out the 
course we had taken; what points we stopped at; and 
all about the people, products, etc., at these places. I 
told all I knew. 

They seemed to be pleased. 

When I pointed out Battan in the China Sea, as the 
last port at which the vessel I left had touched they 
observed that it was a “bad place”. They conversed 
a long time about it, using often the word “padre”. 251 

They enquired particularly about whaling: the num¬ 
ber of vessels engaged in it. I gave them to under¬ 
stand, as delicately as possible in the way of suggestion, 
that for such business particularly, Japan would be a 
good place for supplies; and that if Japan were to fur¬ 
nish them there would be no necessity for going to the 
Sandwich Islands or Hong Kong. I asked them wheth¬ 
er in the event of the English, Americans, French, or 
Russians seeking to open trade with them they would 
consent. They said No! Murayama, with some em¬ 
phasis, stating—“No ship can approach the Coast: No 
ship can enter our harbours: It is against the law”. 
I often, after that, spoke to him on the subject. His 
answer was invariably the same. He assigned, as the 
cause of the law, the revolutionary conduct of the Por- 

251 “Padre” or more commonly “bateren” the common native term 
for a Roman Catholic priest. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


tugese Christians early in the seventeenth century, for 
which they were expelled, and those remaining utterly 
annihilated in the land. 

The matter is one of general history. 

At every examination of me the Secretary (Govern¬ 
or’s) was present with papers containing my former 
answers; and on each answer to a question, reference 
was made to my answer as taken down on a previous 

They appeared to be satisfied. 

A few days afterwards I was again questioned in the 
Town Hall: this time before Mr. Livessohn, the Dutch 
Factor. His questions were a mere repetition of former 
ones at my previous examinations. He was seated on 
a chair, on one of the broad steps, and had a small 
round table before him. 

He told me that the Dutch ship 252 had gone, and that 
1 would have to wait another year before I could be 

I said nothing. 

He expressed disapprobation at the conduct of the 
Captain for allowing me to leave the vessel under such 
circumstances. I told him that it was my wish. 

After this examination they were more friendly. Mur- 
ayama and Saxtuero almost daily with me. They would 
not consciously give me any information, but were very 
inquisitive 253 on several subjects; on which I told them 
all I knew. 

In fact, during nearly all my confinement, and near¬ 
ly daily, Murayama and others were my pupils. There 

252 This was the “Josephine Catherine” which arrived at Batavia in 
the fall of 1848. U. S. Senate Ex. Doc’t 59, 32nd Congress 1st sec., p. 4. 

253 “They were continually asking questions for information upon 
every subject.” Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 256. Hereon see 
Frances L. Hawks, op. cit., i, 464-465. 

226 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

were fourteen of them. I give their names, phonetically, 
as pronounced to me by themselves:— 

Names of pupils—interpreters 254 ( Tsoose-Gada ) 255 
—Nagasaki 1848-1849 of Ranald MacDonald. 

1. Nish Youtchero, (Nishi Yoichiro). 

2. Wirriamra Saxtuero, (Uyemura Sakuschichiro). 

3. Murayama Yeanoske, (Moriyama E-inoske). 

4. Nish Kataro, (Nishi Keitaro). 

5. Akawa Ki Ejuro, (Ogawa Keijuro). 

6. Shoya Tanasabero, (Shioya Tanesaburo). 

7. Nakiama Shoma, (Nakayama Hyoma). 

8. Enomade Dinoske, (Inomata Dennosuke). 

9 Sujake Tatsuetsero, (Shizuki Tatsuichiro). 

10. Hewashe Yasaro, (Iwase Yashiro). 

11. Inderego Horn, (Hori Ichiro). 

12. Shegie Taganotske, (Shige Takanoske). 

13. Namra Tsenoske, (Namura Tsunenoske). 

14. Motoke Sayemon, (Motoki Shosayemon). 

Their habit was to read English to me: One at a 
time. My duty was to correct their pronunciation, and 
as best as I could in Japanese explain meaning, con¬ 
struction, etc. It was difficult to make them catch some 
of our sounds especially the consonants, and some of 
the combinations, particularly were impracticable to 

254 fn Thunberg’s time (1770-1779) there were 40 or 50 interpreters 
attached to the Dutch Factory, who spoke Dutch with more or less ac¬ 
curacy and were extremely fond of European books, among which he 
noted an ancient dictionary in the Latin, Portuguese and Japanese lan¬ 
guages. Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, pp. 32-37. The Japanese 
kept Golownin and his companions constantly busy translating with the 
view of familiarizing themselves with the Russian language, and 
Golownin mentions their having charts and maps showing Russia, Eu¬ 
rope, England, etc., and many European books in their possession, in¬ 
cluding some English books. See Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., i, 259- 

255 Tsuji-kata. 


Pupil of Ranald MacDonald, Second Interpreter in the negotiations 
with Commodore Perry 
From Hawks’ Narrative, i, 485. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


For instance: They cannot pronounce, except very 
imperfectly, the letter l . 256 They pronounce it r. So 
that they rendered my name Ranardo Macdonardo, 
with a strong burr of the r . They also had a habit of 
adding an i (short i) or o at the end after a consonant. 
As to the vowels there was no difficulty: They have all 
the full ore rotundo sound, and are all pronounced, 
even the final e (oe). 

They were all well up in grammar, etc., especially 
Murayama; that is to say, they learned it readily from 
me. They were all very quick, and receptive. It was a 
pleasure to teach them. 

The discussions as to signification and different ap¬ 
plications of words were, at times, a little laborious, but, 
on the whole, satisfactory, by aid of the dictionaries, 
and my own natural aptitude in that way—of which 
I had no idea till developed by the effort. Without 
boast, I may say, that I picked up their language eas¬ 
ily, many of their words sounding familiar to me—pos¬ 
sibly through my maternal ancestry . 257 

However, having no grammar, nor any book of in¬ 
struction about their language; and they all (except one 
or two of my guards) being studiedly reticent on all 
subjects pertaining to the country, it was only a smat¬ 
tering that I managed to pick up. Still, in the nature 
and unavoidable effect of our converse, it was a good 
deal; and on a variety of subjects; many of public mo¬ 

256 The Japanese have no 1, and every consonant is followed by a 
vowel or the liquid u. 

257 On the question of the Japanese origin of the North American 
Indians, correspondence In language, vocabulary, etc., see the appendix 
to the 1st ed. of fm. Elliott Griffis The Mikado's Empire. A close ex¬ 
amination under the miscroscope shows the hair and muscular arrange¬ 
ment of the eyes is different and denotes the North American Indian a 
distinct race from the Japanese and other Asiatic people. 

228 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Amongst my visitors were some priests, some dressed 
in black, some in dark olive green and some in reddish 
or Spanish brown. Their garments differed from the 
ordinary Japanese dress only in the sleeves being wider, 
and the dress (robe) being longer. 

They were perfectly bald—without the ordinary tuft 
(ori). They appeared to be intelligent. Though fat, they 
had no signs of high living. They are nearly strict 
vegetarians; not eating even fish. I believe they do 
not marry ; 258 so I was told. 

All I could learn regarding their religion—I speak of 
the Japanese people proper, and their original native re¬ 
ligion was that they worship Deity (Sin 259 as their term 
is, but which strictly, means Way —The Way —to God, 
creator and father of all) in the abstract, as represented 
by material nature, chiefly the Sun—a pure Natural Re¬ 
ligion ; and they believe, that when they die good, they 
go to Heaven. What that Heaven may be, according 
to their conceptions, I cannot say. I never heard them 
speak of hell or purgatory. They have a Devil 
(“Onie ”), 260 whom they fear; and when they imagine 
he comes across their course, they kneel, rubbing, at the 
same time, the palms of their hands together in sign of 
supplication to be spared from misfortune or evil. They 
are superstitious in signs; while having much faith in 
prayer for material blessings and purity of heart. 

As to what is good (moral), and what the contrary, 
I know of no standard among them, acknowledged as 
such; no dogma, in our sense, no code, like that of Con- 

258 Priests do not marry except in the Shinshiu Sect. See hereon 
V/m. Elliot Griffis The Religions of Japan. 

259 Shin or Sin, as Shintoism; i. e. “Shin” or Kami, Superior or 
“God,” and “to,” the way or path. See hereon Wm. Elliott Griffis Re¬ 
ligions of Japan. 

260 Oni. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


fucius, or system of “Golden Rules” as amongst the 
Chinese; but, so far as my observation and experience 
went, it is as high, as pure, as humane, as loving of all 
Nature, guileless and innocent as any out of Eden;more 
Christian, in its beatitudes, in many aspects, than 
Christianity itself (so called) in the world since its 
primal purity . 261 

Where they got such religion; and how they so kept 
it since they left the cradle of our (and their) race, it is 
not for me to say; nor, so far as I know from my little 
discursive reading, had anyone—historian, or chron¬ 
icler, or savant—assumed to say, with any authority. 
Themselves don’t say; don’t pretend to know. 

The expression, given in a preceding page, of Mura- 
yama as to our Bible shows that they do not acknowl¬ 
edge a record of revelation from Deity. But on the 
other hand, the approval, by the Governor and Court of 
my emphatic belief in God, Omniscient, Omnipresent, 
Omnipotent, Maker of all things, etc., shows clearly 
their pure Theism—Monotheism—the Highest avowed 
by man. Its avowal by me was my Shibboleth, in my 
straits. It saved me! 

We—of the so-called Christian Church, may regard 
such Theism as an imperfect religion, and, in effect, 
essentially heathenism, like that—said—of the Chi¬ 
nese, Quaere! Are we right? By what rule—law— 
should we so condemn our brother? As God made 
him; and has ever in his wanderings through the desert 
of life, from generation to generation been his Preserver 
and “Way of life,” so he is today! Is it for us to con¬ 
demn our fellowman? 

261 The Japanese told us that these principles (Christian) were not 
peculiar to Christians, but were common to all individuals who had good 
hearts. Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., i, 264-265. 

230 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

I am no controversialist in religion. What I have 
in this way, I cherish, and try in my own weak humble 
way to live up to, in faith in Christ—as a Christian in 
profession and heart—and I thus speak because this 
have 1 learned my duty to Man as to God. 

My place of residence, though really a prison—for I 
had no liberty beyond the bars of my cage—was the re¬ 
sort of quite a variety of people. Men of all sorts—stu¬ 
dents, officers, priests and people in general of the re¬ 
spectable classes, except women, came to stare at me, as 
a natural curiosity. The only exception as to women, 
was in the case of one of my guards, the Captain of 
them. He asked me for my consent to bring his wife 
and daughter and three of their females to see me. 

Of course, ! gave it, for I was anxious also to see how 
their women looked. They came; entering the guard 
room, and squatting there like men. I invited them, if 
they wished to see me, to enter my apartment—the 
“Lion’s den.” They all did so; giggling. 

I cannot say that they were beautiful; nor, on the 
other hand, that they were ugly. Their general expres¬ 
sion of countenance was that of smiling good nature 
and artlessness calculated to make a favorable impres¬ 

Their dress, especially the head gear, was strange to 
me. After they left me, I made an attempt to sketch it, 
but found I was not equal to the artistic effort. In lieu, 
I attempt a description. 

They were dressed alike, or nearly so. Wore a gown 
similar to that of the men, but longer, of cotton, striped, 
with wide sleeves, wider than those of the men; dress 
bound round the waist, loosely, by a very broad belt, of 
stuff like raw coarse silk. As to their under and foot 
dressing I cannot say. They shuffled in and out, and 

Japan Story of Adventure 


squatted in such a manner that they looked more like 
moving bundles of loose clothes than any thing else. 

I had, however, a good view of their heads. Their com¬ 
plexion was a light brown; eyes black and slightly 
oblique; nose short, and almost straight, nor prominent 
but well developed. Face more round than oval, with 
well-proportioned mouth, cheek bones protrusive but 
not prominently; broad and intellectual forehead, fully 
exposed. Their hair black—intensely black—long, 
rolled up and tied on the top of the head, fastened with 
bodkins or hair pins (or arrows) about fifteen inches in 
length, apparently of wood inlaid with silver. The mar¬ 
ried woman (the Captain’s wife) had blackened 
teeth; 262 the unmarried women, apparently young, had 
very red lips, and teeth slightly tinged with red; lips 
flattish, not large; the girl had white teeth and natural 
color in all her features. 

So far as 1 could judge of their figures, they were 
short and not unshapely; bearing themselves with a 
graceful modest dignity. To judge of their general dis¬ 
position, I should say it was a prevailing amiability. 

Being nothing of a “lady’s man”—poor at small talk 
—I had no conversation with them—merely, in “Lion 
roar,” addressing them, on their entry and departure, 
with a few words—Japanese—in compliment. There 

262 “Among the women, the married were easily to be distinguished 
from the unmarried by the black front teeth, which from their delight 
and laughing so frequently, were often shown.” von Langdorff, 248. 
See also Francis L. Hawks, op. cit., i, 395, and Richard Hildreth, op. cit., 
ii, 121-122. 

Japanese ladies wore no jewelry or trinkets or ornaments other than 
their hair-combs and long hair-pins. They, however, painted their faces 
red and white, and the unmarried ones also painted their lips red and 
violet with a golden glow. Married women in addition to painting their 
teeth black, as noted above, sometimes extirpated the eyebrows. See 
Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 77-78; Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. 
cit., iii, 101-102; Mrs. W. Buck, op. cit., 22. 

232 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

was no tell-tale interpreter bye at the time—at least 
none that I saw—yet, the result proved that some 
“Peeping Tom,” must have seen and told. 

As to this incident I would state. That missing the 
Captain shortly afterwards—for we were close friends 
—I inquired about him, and was informed that his head 
had been chopped off—that was how they expressed it 
—for breaking the law, forbidding what he had done in 
bringing women to my prison. If so—which I could 
scarcely believe—the law seemed to me to be a very 
harsh one. I was sincerely sorry to lose, thus, the kind- 
hearted companion of many of my lonely hours. I used 
to talk to him as I could not to any one else; and he re¬ 
sponded with marked intelligence and sympathy. 

During the seven months and more of my close con¬ 
finement in my cage in Nagasaki, I drew more comfort 
and sustaining companionship from my pupils the Offi¬ 
cial Interpreters. I picked up more of the colloquial 
language of the country, or of the place from them than 
from scholars. 

In the higher matter of intellectual study and discus¬ 
sion I could draw only from the latter; but as before ob¬ 
served, they were ever studiedly on their guard against 
saying too much in exposition of their affairs and gen¬ 
eral public or even private life. Of this, more anon, per¬ 
haps, before I close. To proceed with my narrative. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


Chapter XIV 

Kindness, Effusive—Place of Honor for My Bible— 
Food—Sundays, Specialties—Foreigners in the City 
—Acquire Language—Change of Governor—Sys¬ 
tem of Government—Harra-Karri—Sense of Honor 
—Sacrifices to It—Personal Reflections on Ethics of 
Such Course, and Japanese Life—Empire: How 
Ruled—Character of People—Feudal System— 
Laws—Aspirations—Kindness—Arrival of “Pre¬ 
ble”—Military Display—Arms, Etc.-—Liberation— 
Departure in “Preble” 

The above was the last examination I underwent in 
Japan. After that, I was more kindly treated. I liter¬ 
ally had-—as the Governor had promised—everything 
I wanted—except liberty outside. They even gave me 
up my Bible; and seeing—as they expressed it—that “I 
made a God of it,” they made a neat shelf (“tokiwari”) 
at a corner of my room, to put it on, as a place of honor. 

And further, they even at my request, did violence to 
their religious prejudice against meat as food, so far as 
to give me pork every seventh day. I was, by nature 
and habit a meat eater. There was no beef, though they 
had bullocks for work; no mutton; but I knew that, for 
the Dutch, they raised pigs, and had pork. At the same 
time I wanted to keep the run of our weeks—which are 
different from theirs—and called pork day my Sunday. 
According to my count of time I made it so. 

The only thing I complained of was the smallness of 
my cage, but in this I got no satisfaction; not even a rea¬ 
son for the refusal. It was, according to their ideas of 
a “House to live in,” good enough for a single man, who 
had to be watched as an intruder; and, as I afterwards 

234 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

learned, I was better off in this respect than other for¬ 
eign prisoners then, in the same city, in confinement. 

This fact of other foreign prisoners being in the city 
was, I may explain, not voluntarily told me by any one, 
but in course of conversation with my guards and vis¬ 
itors, I caught at certain sailor terms used by them 
which I suspected they must have picked up from Brit¬ 
ish or American sailors 263 about the place. They used 

263 From the days of Will Adams (1600-1620); Richard Cocks, the 
English factor (1614-1623) and James Turner down to the time of our 
author’s visit there was more or less opportunity for the Japanese to 
pick up some knowledge of England and America and of the English 
language; especially after the withdrawal of the ban against foreign 
books in 1720, which permitted a limited introduction of books of gen¬ 
eral knowledge through the Dutch. For 60 years prior to MacDonald’s 
visit British and American sailors had been somewhat familiar with 
Japan and the inhabitants along its coasts. In addition to the official 
attempts by vessels of Great Britain and the United States to open in¬ 
tercourse with Japan (mentioned in note 140, ante, p. 130,) it may be 
stated that in 1796 Captain Broughton landed and buried Olason, one 
of his sailors, on an island at Enderino Bay. 

The war with England having deprived the Dutch from trading di¬ 
rectly with Japan, they freighted ships in the United States with cargoes 
for Japan, and these ships entered Nagasaki under the Dutch flag. The 
first of these was the “Eliza” of New York, Stewart, captain, which 
took the place of the regular Dutch ship in 1797 and again in 1798. In 
1803 Captain Stewart again appeared in the Bay of Nagasaki on a pri¬ 
vate venture under the American flag with a cargo from Bengal and 
Canton, but he was compelled to depart without trading. Mrs. W. Buck, 
op. cit., 268; Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., i, 289. 

Other American ships visited the Dutch factory at Nagasaki in the 
years 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1806, 1807 and 1809, when the “Re¬ 
becca” entered. Archibald Campbell, a Scotchman, a common sailor on 
board the ship “Eclipse” of Boston, Captain Joseph O’Kean, in his “Voy¬ 
age Around the World” page 28, gives an account of the ship which, 
chartered at Canton by the Russian American Company, entering the 
bay of Nagasaki under the Russian flag in 1807. 

Dr. Ainslie reached Nagasaki on one of the two ships dispatched to 
the Dutch factory by Raffles in 1813, and the Japanese interpreters then 
possessed some knowledge of the English and Russian languages. Mrs. 
W. Buck, op. cit., 288, 294, 295. The interpreters interviewing Capt. 
Gordon in June, 1818, already knew a little English. 

Dr. Phillip Franz von Siebold speaks of the frequent squabbles, in his 
time, between the Japanese and the English and American whalers who 
necessarily or unnecessarily violated the Japanese harbors, and adds that 
since 1830 interpreters who had some understanding of English and 
Russian were stationed at different points all around the exterior coast 

Japan Story of Adventure 


—without telling me whence they got them—to ask the 
meaning of these terms, for by this time, I could speak 
a sort of “pidgin”—Japanese, or, at least, had the repu¬ 
tation for it. 

Many of the terms I could not literally translate, as 
they were simply sailor objurgations, meaningless and 
innocent generally—such as “shiver my timbers!” etc. 
The Japanese don’t swear; have no oaths—so far as I 
know. In such case, I paraphrased the expression, as 
best I could, for in common politeness, I had to answer 

In all these communications to or with me each one 
seemed afraid of another informing on him. I was, 

of Japan in preparation for the possible approach of any strange ship. 
Mrs. W. Buck, op. cit., 294, 295. 

In 1826 English convicts on the way to Australia in the brig “Cyprus” 
landed on the coast of Japan, and, according to an account in the Sidney 
(Australia) Gazette, February, 1842, the crew of the “Lady Rowena” 
destroyed a Japanese village in latitude 43. 

During the period of exclusion much actual intercourse of necessity 
occurred between the Japanese of the Coasts and the British and Ameri¬ 
can seamen, especially those in the whale fishery. The Seaman’s Friend, 
Honolulu, Oahu, S. I., December 1, 1848, after commenting on the num¬ 
ber of whaling vessels cruising within full view of the Japanese coast, 
says: “Several whale ships have fallen in with junks, exchanged civili¬ 
ties with them, and in some instances relieved those in distress.” 

Numerous British and American boats were wrecked on or touched 
the coast of Japan in the years preceeding MacDonald’s visit. The ship 
“Tobey,” Capt. Charles, which sailed for the Northwest Coast on March 
11, 1822, was supposed to have been wrecked on the Coast of Japan and 
all on board lost or imprisoned. Starbuck, 242. The “Lady Adams” 
was wrecked off the Japanese coast in 1823— Idem., 141; the “Lawrence” 
of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., Baker, captain, which sailed on July 10, 1845, 
was also wrecked, see note 175, p. 161; the English brig “Catherine” in 
1847 was wrecked and the captain and crew imprisoned; the “Pocohan- 
tas” of New York, S. Carter, captain, and crew who re-shipped on the 
“Trident,” were left on the island of Otatoe, North of Yezo, in July, 
1850; Capt. H. H. Lovitt of Hobarttown and the crew of the English 
ship “Edmond” were wrecked on the coast near Yezo in 1850; the “David 
Paddock,” which accompanied MacDonald’s ship, was also wrecked on 
the Japanese coast. See note 148, pages 138-139, Reuben Andrews, first 
officer of the “David Paddock,” states that the Japanese governor and 
the natives on the southwest cape of Saghalen, where the crew landed 
and remained there three days, knew several English words, such as 
“Jack,” “Joe,” “Grog Oh,” “America,” etc., and were friendly and sup¬ 
plied them with a hundred weight of rice when they left. 

236 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

therefore, always careful never to tell tales against any¬ 
one; and they seemed to remark this, evincing perfect 
confidence in me. The people proper are, 1 would say, 
naturally trustful. Their spy system seemed to me more 
artificial than otherwise—an incident of governance in 
a country where, from the habit of intrigue in the gov¬ 
erning classes, watch and ward have become the “order 
of the day.” 264 

Towards the close of my confinement I was in¬ 
formed, one day, by one of my guards, that there was 
a change of Governor. 

Governors, 1 understood, are (or were then) ap¬ 
pointed by the secular Emperor (Siogoun) 265 and hold 
office for one year—the family of each Governor being 
retained, at Yeddo, as hostages for good conduct, dur¬ 
ing office. 

In case of misconduct in office, and conviction for 
it, it is left to the guilty one, to kill himself, or allow him¬ 
self to be killed, for die he must. The act of suicide is 
deemed the more honorable alternative, and is generally 
resorted to. 

It is done with a short sword, always worn (for the 
purpose) in front, in a belt, with another, a longer 
sword, the two together as a sign of rank. 267 This 
smaller sword, is a blade about eighteen inches in 

264 “We made our remarks to each other upon the nation with whom 
we were endeavoring to form new connections, upon their excessive 
closeness, upon the circumspection with which each step was taken; it 
seemed as if the least error would cost the life even of the person high¬ 
est in rank. Every thought, every question, every word, was weighed 
in the nicest manner, and appeared to have some particular aim in view.” 
G. H. von Langsdorff, op. cit., 239. See also hereon Wm. Elliott Griffis, 
op. cit., 295. See hereon Hawks, op. cit., i, 15, 16. 

265 Shogun. 

267 of the Samurai; sometimes colloquially called or named “two- 
sword men.” 

Japan Story of Adventure 


length, covered with paper to within two inches of its 
point. This bared part is drawn across the belly (rip¬ 
ping the bowels) and across the wind pipe—cutting the 
throat. The act is called “Harra Karri ” 268 —sounded 
as two words, which may be translated “Happy dis¬ 

It is quite frequent: an ancient social habit. Most 
honorable in their regard, it is considered a perfect ex¬ 
piation for misconduct or guilt, and saves from confis¬ 
cation of property, and imputation of disgrace to the 
family of the self-executioner. 

Further than that: Sometimes, at the requisition of 
the Emperor, a number of them—high officers chiefly 
—have been known to thus execute Harri Karri to avert 
or check a public calamity; thus appeasing—as they 
imagine—by sacrifice of life blood—atonement—of¬ 
fended Deity. 

These are things hard to believe of such a people, so 
far as I could judge of them from my own observation. 
Thus to find—or rather to hear—amongst themselves, 
of such superstition and “heathen darkness,” is repug¬ 
nant to our sense of the moral relations of God and 
man. I could not believe, and I don’t believe, that such 
was, then , (when I was with them) still their code or 
creed in such matters. The tone and line of thought ex¬ 
pressed by them—I mean particularly my pupils—for¬ 
bade such belief. They were not Christians; but in 
their sense of Deity—regard and acknowledgment, at 
heart, of One Father of All, and of His infinite good¬ 
ness and providential care to and over all men and all 

268 Hara-kiri, literally “belly-cut”; the polite word is seppuku, “ab¬ 
domen incision.” MacDonald’s expression “Happy dispatch” is purely 
factitious. The term, however, appears in Mrs. W. Buck, op. cit., (1841), 
241; in Francis Hawks, op. cit., and is used by Dr. Wm. Elliot Griffis 
in his Life of Townsend Harris, 82. 

238 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

life they, certainly are not below any Christian people 
of any time or place, that I ever knew or read of. I may 
have said as much before, but as the occasion, now, 
here, presents itself, I repeat it. In my heart I cannot 
say enough on this score. 

Living as I then was—a stranger amongst strangers 
—with no familiar converse on such themes save with 
my Bible—the Word (in it) ever speaking to me in 
aversion to such gross error and sin, while at the same 
time inculcating love to man, in his every aspect and re¬ 
lation, it strained my heart that I could not preach, then, 
and there, unto them, that Word as given unto me. My 
own proper sense of my situation as to them forbade 
any effort in the way of teaching a new or other faith 
to them. Moreover, I had no special aptitude, nor train¬ 
ing for the purpose; and it did not enter into my per¬ 
sonal aims to incur any martyrdom for any Church’s 
sake. I went of the broad “platform” of a common 
humanity—thoroughly imbued with the idea that, truly, 
“The things of Christ are not of this world,” or to put 
it briefly—Church and State are not one , whatever 
their accidental relations may be. Pulpits, polls and 
parliaments have each, in the order of things, their ap¬ 
propriate functions. I belonged to none of them. I was 
simply a wanderer, for knowledge—an adventurer in 
the broad field of adventure, for adventure’s sake. 

Feudal System A. D. 1849 

From what I saw and learned, the basis, then, of their 
government, was the feudal system; abolished since. I 
should say a feudal system, for, so far as I know it was 
not to be identified, precisely, with our general idea of 
the feudal system, as we read of it in Europe in the old- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


en time. I am not sufficiently familiar with the subject 
to offer any definition of it, or discuss it. 

The Country, I understand, was then (in my time 
there) divided into twenty-eight feudal Lordships or 
Principalities (Daimios), acknowledging, as a canon of 
faith (political) the Mikado (as he is called) as their 
Supreme, and Divine Head in government. 

In theory, and really, he was—and is still—the Em¬ 
peror in the sense of Civic and national governance; for 
there cannot, in the nature of things, be two “Emper¬ 
ors” (Imperium in imperio) of the same country, and 
people. From the theocratic character of this Imperium 
the Executive—functional—-was placed in a Chief Min¬ 
ister of State—“Premier or Grand-Vizier”—with an 
Assistant Council, of highest Nobles, about a dozen, 
with separate Departments. In the course of time, acci¬ 
dentally and abnormally, this Chief Minister—original¬ 
ly also Generalissimo—while, ostensibly even admitting 
the theocratic supremacy of the Mikado, assumed the 
secular attributes of soverignty under the name of 
Koboe, or Siogoun —-practically, Emperor. 

This began in the twelfth century of our era, and 
eighteenth of the Mikado Dynasty, and has continued 
ever since till A. D. 1868—twenty years after my time 
in Japan. 

The consequence of the Koboe 269 system was a 
chronic state of internecine strife amongst the Daimios 
—some claiming, in internal government, to be utterly 
independent. Now the Mikado, as sole Emperor, with 
a Parliament of his people, on essentially of British 
model, reigns, supreme, by divine right of kingship. To 
what their march in the progress of nationhood will ulti¬ 
mately attain no man can tell. In this they may yet lead 

269 Kubo; a 16th century appellation of the Shogun. 

240 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

the world; their autonomy being of the strongest among 
men; and, now, the most active in national progress. 


As to their Laws I don’t know much; and cannot en¬ 
ter into details. 1 know that in general character, they 
are very severe, and are rigorously enforced in defense 
of life and property. 

The principle of compensation (Lex taliotiis) obtains 
amongst them. In case of murder the family of the de¬ 
ceased is allowed to kill the murderer if he runs away 
or attempts to do so. If he does not run away, nor at¬ 
tempts it, he has to be duly tried. 

In case of theft and other crimes, trial is had before 
a Magistrate or Governor. The latter has the power of 
life and death. Government—in my time there—was 
essentially despotic; though practically not cruel ac¬ 
cording to general standards civilized or uncivilized. 


In the above cursory statements, I have given only a 
mere skeleton sketch of what—in spite of difficulties— 
I managed to pick up in the way of information. 

My imprisonment, though close, allowed me daily 
communication with people—many sorts—who, from 
curiosity, came to see me; in this regard I did not remark 
any special restraint on the part of the authorities. Nat¬ 
urally sociable, I always made friends; and at the same 
time managed not to excite any suspicion of the extrac¬ 
tive (“pumping”) process which, as occasion offered, I 
applied to my visitors, and attendants, and even pupils. 

The Japanese, I would observe, are naturally chatty; 

Japan Story of Adventure 


always in a vein of good humor. 270 In this respect I 
was en rapport with them. In look, facial features, etc., 
I was not unlike them; my sea life and rather dark com¬ 
plexion, moreover, giving me their general color—a 
healthy bronze. I never had a cross word with any of 
them; and I think I passed rather as a favorite amongst 
them—eliciting, ever and anon, the compliment of the 
Governor, as to my “heart/’ 

Naturally, they are brave—I should say—utterly 
fearless of death; their instincts markedly military. I 
believe they would suffer annihilation rather than sur¬ 
render in defense of their country. Unconquered; un¬ 
conquerable: 271 that is their proud position. 

Enjoying a well-guarded liberty 272 in their social life, 
and a perfect toleration of creed, except as to that form 

270 “Of their friendly disposition and good nature towards foreigners 
I have frequently with astonishment seen manifest proofs.” Charles 
Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 258. Capt. V. M. Golownin, [op. cit., 89, et 
seq .,] records many expressions of sympathy and benevolent acts by the 
Japanese. See also Hawks, op. cit., i, 267, 327, 512. 

National characteristics change slowly, and for a proper understand¬ 
ing of the Japanese people observations made by Charles Peter Thun¬ 
berg 125 years ago might bear repeating: “This nation is lofty, it is true, 
but good-natured and friendly with all; with gentleness and kindness it 
may be soothed and brought to hear reason, but it is not to be moved in 
the least by threats or anything like defiance. . . . Pride is the prin¬ 
cipal defect of the Japanese. Whatever injury a Japanese might be in¬ 
clined to put up with, he can never bear to have his pride touched.” 
Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 258, 260. “The point of honor is 
extremely lively in all ranks.” Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., iii, 36. 

Hawks, [Op. cit., i, 17] states: “Among a people so sensitive. 

it is obvious that a great deal now depends on the fairness, good sense, 

and good temper of our consular representative.almost every 

writer describes them as naturally frank in manner, communicative and 
open in speech on ordinary topics, and possessed of a very high sense of 

271 Charles Peter Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 261, likewise comments upon 
the unconquered nation and the valor and unconquerable spirit of the 
Japanese people. 

272 “The rights of the highest and lowest class of people alike are 
protected by its laws. No nation in the whole expansive tract of the 
Indes is more vigilantly attentive to their liberties.” Charles Peter 
Thunberg, op. cit., iii, 254. 

242 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

of Christian Faith known as Roman Catholic, banned, 
for reasons of State, over two hundred years ago—(I 
speak of the time I was then there)—they had nothing 
to complain of. 

Yet, under that mask of placidity which they pre¬ 
sented, I could see the inner v/orking of aspirations for 
a higher life amongst the nations of the earth. I per¬ 
ceived this more particularly in Murayama and some of 
the younger of my pupils (all grown men), with minds 
of keenest search; acute enough to pierce the veil of their 
old traditional life, which, to them, was as the rotting 
shroud of a dead past. 

During the full seven months and more I was thus 
immured, I never once stepped outside my prison. Yet 
I never suffered in bodily health. Of active habit, full 
blooded; great vitality; it was hard for me to be thus 
cooped up. 

In the earlier part of the restraint, when, from my 
ignorance of their vernacular, I could not freely con¬ 
verse with my guards and visitors, and only with some 
difficulty with my pupils, time hung heavily on me. 
Yet I was content, as all being in the line of my venture. 
I had, moreover, some distractions, pleasant rather than 

In the first place, I was served with almost lordly 
state: with five or six waiters to attend on me at every 
meal—four a day—with special extra ceremony at my 
Sunday feast, on the pork (“good-so” 273 as they called 
it with its accompaniment bread (“pan ” 21 *—as they 

273 Gochiso, often pronounced “got-so.” 

274 From the Portuguese pao—one of the indelible traces of the in¬ 
fluence of Portuguese commerce with Japan prior to their exclusion in 
639. In the Japanese language there are numerous other words of 
Portuguese origin, some of which, are so perfectly naturalized that their 
foreign origin is not at once apparent. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


called it). They don’t use bread, and very little flour, 
which they make up, only as a rarity, into sweet cakes. 

I had also butter, which they call boutre 215 —from the 
Dutch. They don’t use butter, nor milk in any way from 
animals. All these (to them) rarities they seemed to 
take a pleasure in procuring for me, and were effusively 
demonstrative in, most regularly, laying before me, 
with the appropriate table service of knife, fork, etc. ! 
forgot to mention that they made me a “comfortable” 
according to order and directions from myself. They 
are singularly expert in such work. 

In the course of time came our New Year’s day (Jan¬ 
uary 1st, 1849) 276 and with it, a present from the kind 
Dutch Factor (John Livessohn) of a bottle of exquisite 
coffee, some small loaves of wheaten bread—also, more 
precious still to me—sixty-eight numbers of the Lon¬ 
don Atlas newspaper, and Weekly Dispatch, the whole 
with his polite card of compliments. 277 

275 Botoru, from the Dutch boter. The Japanese do not use butter. 
Charles Peter Thunberg, (1779), op. cit., iii, 73. 

276 The Japanese New Year begins, generally, in our February.— 

277 Levyssohn, in his Bladen over Japan, 55, mentions MacDonald on 
this occasion: 

“Ter gelegenheid van het nieuw ingetreden jaar werd op den 1 Janu¬ 
ary, door my aan den avonturier Ranald Macdonald eene hoeveelheid 
levensmiddelen en andere benoodigdheden, na alvorens dienaangaande 
van den gouverneur van Nagasaki verlof gevraaged en verkregen te heb- 
ben, ten geschenke gezonden, hebbende gezegde Macdonald voor wyn 
of sterken drank bedankt.” 

Levyssohn also says that Macdonald was suspected of being a mis¬ 
sionary or spy, and attributes his kind treatment to his affability and his 
having taught English to some interpreters: “Dit verhaal (account of his 
arrival at Notsuka) veroorzaakte veel wantrouwen of argwaan by het 
Japansch bestuur, dowyl men hem voor een zendeling of spion 
beschouwde, en het was alleen aan zyn goed gedrag, aan zyne fatsoenlyke 
manieren en doordien hij aan eenige der tolken voor het Hollandsch 
onderwys in de Engelsche taal gaf, toe te schryven, dat hem wederkeerig 
eene beleefde en goede behandeling te beurt yiel.”— Idem., 53. 

The Dutch superintendent also extended his generosity to the “Lagoda” 
crew, sending them sugar, coffee, Holland gin, some flasks of wine and 
also some white cotton for John Bull, who was destitute of clothing. See 
U. S., Senate, Executive Doc’t, No. 59, 32nd Congress, 1st Sesson, 1. 

244 Ranald MacDonald ( 1 824- 1 894) 

In fact, every one was kind to me; and I must say, 
that whether or not I was “good,” the Governor—good, 
kind soul!—kept his word to me to the letter and to the 
spirit in this respect. 

Much—if not all—of this must, no doubt, have been 
due to the kind report of me by my pupils. In this, I 
feel ample reward for all the service—such as it was— 
I rendered them. 

They improved in English wonderfully, for their 
heart was evidently in the work, and their receptiveness 
quick and comprehensive aptitude in learning was, to 
me, extraordinary; in some of them, phenomenal. Their 
minds are exceptionally acute—far more so than mine, 
though, in my conceit, I did once lay some pretension 
to “seeing as well through a mill stone (with its hole) 
as most people.” 

They, I would say, are naturally, the cleverest people 
I know of: I say “cleverest” not in the sense of deceit, 
but in its highest and purest meaning. All they require 
is light from without; the (to them) mystery of their 
now fast rising East, with its cumulative wisdom of 
Western life. On this head I could say much as the re¬ 
sult of my experience and reflections, but refrain, and 
confine myself to my narrative. 

To proceed—At last, about the end (26th) of April, 278 
3 heard, for the first time in the country, cannon shots. 
I asked whether the new Governor had arrived. With 
a leer, they said Yes—at the same time looking at each 
other. At this time, I had several or all of the inter¬ 
preters with me. I did not know, at the time, what made 
them crowd in then. 

They, and all my guards except one, then suddenly 

278 The ship arrived at Nagasaki on the 26th of the third month or on 
April 18th. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


went out. This one, when they had gone, came up to 
the bars of my cage and told me that a foreign ship had 
arrived, and that the guns were fired as a signal for 
troops from the interior. 

On the following morning there was a pile of papers 
displayed beside my then single guard. On asking him 
what the papers meant, he said that they were lists of 
soldiers that had arrived that night; he mentioned the 
precise number; it was about three thousand five hun¬ 
dred. I thought it singular that the lists should be left 
at my door. Was it for effect? Of course it must have 
been! viz., for me, afterwards to tell others, and like a 
singed rat, to warn them of the “danger” of getting into 
such a trap. 

On my inquiring, he (my guard) told me that the or¬ 
dinary garrison of Nagasaki was from three to four 
hundred. He also told me, spontaneously, that on such 
occasions as this they always called troops from the in¬ 

They have a few real forts, and always put up sham 
ones 279 in the shape of canvas curtains with embrasures 
painted on them, when demonstration is called for. 
They have the idea also that a duplication of these cur¬ 
tains would keep off cannon balls; as no doubt they 
would, with enough of them. The cannon and mortars 
which I saw represented in their books, and which they 
told me they used, were very inferior to ours. I saw 
none of their real forts, except possibly, at Soya, Mats- 
mai and Nagasaki, where, however, I did not notice 

279 For a similar account of sham forts see statement of George 
Howe, U. S. Senate Ex. Doc. 59, 32nd Congress, 1st Session, 1; Richard 
Hildreth, op. cit., ii, 217. This idea of canvas sham forts, undoubtedly 
true of old China, was incorrect as to the Japanese, and arose in part 
from that confusion of ideas as to China and Japan and misconception 
of the character and purpose of these military curtains—a very old cus¬ 
tom in Japan. See notes 188 and 189, page 173. 

246 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

them. Their powder is black, dusty and bad; they pre¬ 
fer our’s. 

Their matchlocks are of steel barrels, well finished; 
with a smaller bore than our old muskets. They showed 
me a target they had been firing at, from which it would 
appear they were good shots. 

The foreign ship which had just arrived was the 
American Corvette, “The Preble,” of eighteen guns, in 
command of Captain (technically commander) Glynn. 

About three days after her arrival, the Official Ser- 
rei, Murayama, and others told me that a ship had ar¬ 
rived from my country, and that the Captain had asked 
for my liberation. (Here let me say, this was not strict¬ 
ly true, for the Captain knew nothing about me; nor, 1 
presume, had heard of me as a prisoner; it was the crew 
of the “Ladoga” that he was after.) 

That—Serrei and Murayama went on to say—on the 
following day, I would have to go to the Town Hall to 
pay my respects to the Governor. 280 Went next morn¬ 
ing, accordingly; carried thither in palanquin. 

The new Governor had arrived since the arrival of the 
“Preble,” and in the interval since, had immediately vis¬ 
ited me, in my cage, incognito. I did not know that he 
was the Governor until I saw him in the Town Hall, 
seated afterwards, beside the old Governor. While I 
was in the shed—BB in the plan—thirteen American 
seamen were brought in. They had on their ordinary 
sailor dress. I had on my best Japanese dress, plain 
and respectable. They appeared very pale and thin. 
We all appeared, at the same time, before the Govern¬ 
ors. They made me kneel apart from the rest. 

The Governor, through interpreter, then told us of 
the arrival of the ship; and that they had, after consul- 

280 Qya, Totomi-no-kami. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


tation, decided on allowing us to depart by her; but that 
it would be necessary for us to go to the Dutch Factory 

We returned our thanks through the interpreter. 

On leaving, each was borne in a palanquin. The 
streets were crowded. The other seamen singing 
“Cheery men, Oh!” 281 

We crossed, by a covered bridge about sixty yards in 
length, to the Factory, which is on the little Island of 
Dessima. 282 At the further end of the bridge, at the 
Factory, we were searched. 

Taken, before the Chief Factor (John Livessohn) he 
told us not to kneel, observing—“This is a Christian 

We, were entertained with a good dinner, with 
knives, silver table service, chairs, pork, bread, etc.— 
all which we duly relished, with a parting cup of best 
Dutch Java coffee, and then, with a true “Cheery Men 
Oh!” embarked in the good ship “Preble”; warmly 
welcomed; and with her noble Captain and right good 
crew, sailed for freer and more genial shores. 

Chapter XV 

Sequel—Official Record: Historical—Treaties—New 


On board the “Preble,” a statement, at considerable 

281 _ 

“O o-ly-i-o cheerly man 
Walk him up O cheerly man, 


O-ly-i-o cheerly man.” 

Found in “English Folk-Chanteys” by Cecil Sharp (London), 50; also 
in Capt. W. B. Whall’s Ships, Sea-Songs and Shanties, 111, and Miss 
Smith “The Music of the Water,” 22. 

282 This was on April 26th. 

248 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

length, of my experiences in Japan was made by me to 
an officer named Wilson. It was taken down by him 
in writing and signed by me, and possibly sworn to, for 
official record. It is, I understand to be found, printed 
or alluded to in blue book, in Senate Documents of 
1851-1852, ix. “Executive Document 59,” of the 
United States. 

Historical reference to it is to be found in Hildreth’s 
History (American) of Japan, 503, where, alluding to 
the rescue, by the “Preble,” of a shipwrecked American 
crew detained, at the same time, in Nagasaki, he says: 

“At the same time with these men, another seaman, from an 
American whaler, was delivered up, who had landed a month or 
two later, on some still more northerly Japanese Island. As this 
man, named MacDonald, and who described himself as twenty- 
four years old, and born at Astoria in Oregon, had made no at¬ 
tempt at escaping, he had no occasion to complain of severity. 
In fact he lived in clover, the Japanese having put him to use as a 
teacher of English. The very interpreter who boarded the “Preble” 
had been one of his scholars. 

Hildreth—as he states in his book—got this informa¬ 
tion from the official report above referred to. 

As he truly says in his work, there was no demand 
made for me on the occasion—for there was no knowl¬ 
edge or report of me, or of my position; but the Japa¬ 
nese authorities at Nagasaki were afraid to keep me: a 
fear arising not so much from any apprehension from 
the American Government, as from their own Imperial 
Government, in its policy in such case. This is herein¬ 
after explained in comment by a very intelligent Japa¬ 
nese gentleman on the subject. The default of such 
surrender might have been fatal to the governor of Na¬ 
gasaki, and even to his predecessor who, in the first in¬ 
stance, had so put me “in clover.” 

Here I may state, that on the arrival of the “Preble” 

Japan Story of Adventure 


in Chinese waters, I—a penniless waif on the ocean of 
life—took ship again before the mast. Thence, after 
many adventures, the world over, including Australia 
during the first “gold diggings,” 283 1 returned, after sev¬ 
eral years, to my native land, or rather to that portion 
of it (British Columbia) which had been left to the Old 
Flag by the Oregon Treaty. Of this portion of my life 
—matter for a book, and of some public moment as 
pioneer work, in close connection with my old and ever 
good friend, Sir James Douglas, first Governor of that 
Colony—I shall not here speak: confining myself, 
strictly as possible, to my story of Japan, briefly, mere¬ 
ly stating what followed in the way of immediate se¬ 


On April 26th, 1849, after ten months of sojourn in 
Japan, including about seven months of teaching of 
English to a class of fourteen government interpreters, 
I was, as stated, delivered over to the American (U. S.) 

Evidently there was no relaxation, then, of the Japa¬ 
nese rule of exclusion of foreigners. 

On March 31st, 1854, the first “Convention”—first 
in all history, I believe—was made by Japan with a 
foreign power. 

That was with the United States of America. 

It was followed with a similar one with Great Britain 
on October 14th, 1854—the same year. 

283 While gold was first discovered in Australia in 1823, it was not 
until 1851 and 1852 that the important discoveries were made in New 
South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, attracting the great 
rush of gold miners. Shortly afterwards important gold discoveries were 
made in Queensland. 

250 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

These conventions—so called—were not Treaties in 
the ordinary sense; were not for a commerce; but were 
merely to provide ports of refuge and means of relief 
to vessels and crews in distress in the navigation of Jap¬ 
anese waters. Certain of their seaports were, under 
these conventions, opened for the purpose; and a re¬ 
stricted trade for necessary commodities—such as wa¬ 
ter, coal, wood and food—was allowed. 

Four years after that, on August 26th, 1858, a sol¬ 
emn “Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Commerce”— 
such is its heading—was made between Great Britain 
and japan. It is, I believe without alteration, in force 
still; and, if I be not mistaken, is the basis, still, of com¬ 
munication between these two Powers. 

This Treaty, with its incidental trade and postal reg¬ 
ulations was—so far as I know—the first Act of State 
of the kind which Japan had ever entered into. 

It was soon followed by others, in like tenor, with 
other foreign powers, including the United States of 

Now, not only in commerce, but in general interna¬ 
tional comity, qualified only by general consular rela¬ 
tions, Japan is open to the world. 

By a social revolution since; unexplained, in the his¬ 
tory of the world, in its depth, force and effect, it now 
stands practically abreast of the most advanced nation¬ 
alities of Europe in political status. 

With a Constitution framed upon the best exemplers 
in Europe, 284 but au fond essentially Prussian with the 

284 The Occidental constitutions of Europe and America were the out¬ 
growths of popular uprisings against despotic rulers and a declaration 
of popular rights, while the Japanese constitution emanated from the 
Emperor as the fountain of power. The Japanese constitution was 
therefore to some extent framed on the Prussian model in making the 
Ministers responsible not to the Diet, but to the Emperor. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


English language as a subject, amongst leading classes, 
largely of private, and even, to some extent, of public 
education, it promises, fairly, to soon become—and is 
now fast becoming—the New England of that further 
India which Columbus sought and led to. In this ac- 
ceptiveness by furthest Eastern of furthest Western 
civilization is the resurrection of Aryan Asian death to 
the Lux Mundi of a “Better Day”; the completion of 
that globe chain of humanity in the bonds of peace, 
when, sooner or later, all Waterlooes, and Armageddon 
itself shall have dropped their trail of sword, forever! 

Chapter XVI 

Suggestion for Change in International Policy. Agency 
of Author in It—Japanese Appreciation of His Serv¬ 

Here, in reference to this incident of my having been 
the first, during their hermit seclusion, to be teacher of 
English to the Japanese, and in that was the first in¬ 
structor—apostle in a sense—of English thought, in¬ 
fluence, and power for good, to this people—then in 
darkness in such matter—the following questions sug¬ 
gest themselves. I give them as they present them¬ 
selves to me; though with diffidence, from their seem¬ 
ing egotism: 

1. What moved the Japanese to thus, exceptionally, 
make me a teacher of English to them? 

2. Was there any pressure brought to bear upon 
them by Great Britain, or by the United States of 
America, or any other foreign power, for such action? 

3. Was there any special inducement, external, or 
internal, held out to them for it? 

252 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

4. If it was their own spontaneous act—as seems to 
have been the case—what enlightened or prompted 
them to it? 285 

In answer, from my knowledge of them, I would 

1. That their own self-enlightened appreciation of 
their position, in the family of nations so moved them. 

2. That there was no external pressure brought to 
bear on them in that direction; and that in receiving my 
teaching and its incidental advocacy of international 
relations on the general principles of comity of nations, 
they but followed their own spontaneous desire for 
that. 286 

This covers questions 2 and 3. 

3. To question 4, I would say, in all sincerity, but 
with all proper diffidence: 

That that enlightenment with its own inherent sug¬ 
gestions, probably prompted them to the course taken 
by the Conventions and Treaties referred to. 

The Chinese and Dutch, with whom alone they held 
communication, were naturally, and in actual public 
polity, opposed to such opening of their ports. 287 It 
took time—a little—for my humble teaching to ma- 

28 5 See hereon Dr. Tuazo Ota Nitobe’s The Japanese Nation, on in¬ 
tercourse between Japan and the United States; also fm. Elliott Griffis, 
The Japanese Nation in Evolution. 

286 “From their insatiate curiosity respecting European affairs noth¬ 
ing but the absurd jealousy of the government prevents them from rising 
high in the scale of science, and should a revolution in manners once 
take place and the ports of Japan be opened, we may anticipate changes, 
both moral and political of the most extraordinary nature through all 
the oriental region.” Note Capt. V. M. Golownin, op. cit., (1824 ed.), 
iii, 34-35. 

287 The Dutch King, William II., in 1844 sent a letter to the Emperor 
of Japan advising the opening of the country, and later recommended 
that the American Expedition be well received. See Wm. Elliott Griffis, 
Townsend Harris, First American Envoy to Japan,” for further light on 
this question. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


hire: its inculcations had to reach the Imperial Execu¬ 
tive itself, far off, high, on its Throne of State. Under 
Providence, in time, it did so. So at last, I flatter my¬ 
self: and so, in generous concession, have intelligent 
Japanese themselves declared. 

In this connection, in evidence of the appreciation of 
these facts by them, I take it upon me to give the fol¬ 
lowing communications and incidents. 

The first I shall give (with permission) is a letter, 
in form of a critical report, in English, from a very in¬ 
telligent Japanese gentleman, the Reverend Mr. K. T. 
Takahashi (a Presbyterian Clergyman) a resident of 
Montreal, Canada, to whom had been submitted by my 
friend Judge McLeod, of Ottawa, Canada, with the 
story of my adventure there. After a prolonged and 
critical reading of the M. S. Mr. Takahashi wrote of 
it thus: 

“This story of Mr. MacDonald’s adventure in Japan is of im¬ 
mense interest to me, and the Japanese generally as it is a story 
hitherto unknown in our Country.” (After narrating, briefly, 
the leading facts, he proceeded to say.) 

“The special reason for which the narrative is interesting to 
us Japanese is the light which it throws upon the inner current 
of thought which was gradually changing its course then, in Japan. 
It will be seen from his narrative, that though a prisoner, he was 
a teacher, much beloved and respected, over fourteen scholars, 
quick and intelligent, ever zealous of gathering information of 
Western nations. Such information the Country needed at the 
time very badly; although the Government was jealous that it 
should be shared by the people, and even made it the subject of 
very severe punishment if they dared to do so. In all proba¬ 
bility it was these fourteen scholars in turn who made themselves 
invaluable, when, later on, Japan had become involved in foreign 

“Moreover, it was no doubt through these fourteen that the 
foremost intellects of the country had gathered better knowledge 
of foreign countries, and better prepared themselves to formulate 
the future plan of their national course. Yet it is remarkable 
that today, in Japan, there is hardly any one who can recount 

254 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

the names of those fourteen, and possibly none who know of this 
seven months’ study under MacDonald. Such was the secrecy 
of the Government of the day kept in regard to all foreign af¬ 
fairs. Severe comment is apt to be passed on such secrecy, but it 
has done good to the country in one sense; for, under the cir¬ 
cumstances, none but sincere patriots, of far sight and high in¬ 
tellect, cared to seek access to such secret; and, indeed, it was 
through them only, that Japan has been safely steered through its 
crisis—beginning with the ports opening, and ending with the 
revolution and reformation of twenty years ago 288 and landed on 
to the present state of progress. 

“It is not in vain that Mr. MacDonald should flatter himself 
the fact that he has been the first instructor and propagator of 
the English language in Japan, and much that was needed to en¬ 
hance their notion of Western nations to the Japanese of the time. 
We, of today, would gladly acknowledge his immense service, so 
long cast into cruel oblivion; and if he should happen to revisit 
the Country now, our people will not be slow to show him their 
sincerity in this respect.” 

Such is the comment and intelligent criticism of one 
who is an utter stranger to the writer. It shows a keen 
and far searching appreciation of the circumstances in 
question. In this, he, from his particular stand point as 
a Japanese, is not alone. 

In the incident of Mr. Oda’s visit to my friend Judge 
McLeod in Ottawa, in this connection, as the bearer of 
a special present from the son of my dearly beloved pu¬ 
pil Murayama Yeanoske, as hereinafter related, I flat¬ 
ter myself with the same generous appreciation of the 
service in question. That was done when I was sup¬ 
posed to be dead: a fact which but enhances the merit 
of the act. The whole—in its “In Memoriam”—pre¬ 
sents a phase of Japanese character which touches the 
finest feelings of the human heart. The communica¬ 
tion through Mr. Oda came in this way, and I have it 
from his host at the time Mr. McLeod. 

In 1869, the story of my adventure in Japan had, 

288This was written in 1888.—[Original.] 

Japan Story of Adventure 


briefly, been given in one of a series of articles in the 
public press of Canada by Mr. McLeod, under the pen- 
name of Britannicus, advocating, from personal know¬ 
ledge and special authentic data, a feasible line of 
transcontinental railway through British North Ameri¬ 
ca—the whole as already stated in introduction. 

Many years afterwards, in November 1896 or about 
then, on the establishment of postal communication di¬ 
rect with Japan by the Canadian Pacific Railway, hap¬ 
pening to see in the newspapers the name of Murayama 
(pronounced Moor-ei-ama, with accent on second syl¬ 
lable) as that of one of the proprietors of a leading 
newspaper bearing the name Hi-shim ” 289 (mean¬ 

ing literally, “Rising Sun News”—Morning Chroni¬ 
cle) published in Osaka, Japan, Mr. McLeod, thinking 
that he might be the Murayama of my story, sent him, 
by the C. P. R. a copy of one of his Railway pamphlets 
containing the account, in brief, of my adventure in 
Japan, in which special laudatory notice was made of 
my said favorite pupil. 

At the same time he wrote Mr. Murayama a letter 
explaining the circumstances, and stating that he be¬ 
lieved that I had been dead several years. He also en¬ 
closed a list—taken from my original one in his hands 
—of my fourteen pupils in Nagasaki. The packet was 
duly received; but Mr. Murayama being unfamiliar with 
English, it was handed to his partner and co-editor, Mr. 
Oda, who, as an English barrister of thirteen years 
standing, and collegiate (during three years) of Edin¬ 
burgh University, Scotland, and the translator of sev¬ 
eral standard English books into Japanese, was perfect¬ 
ly competent to translate the communication. 

289 The Asa Hi Shimbum—Rising Sun Newspaper —is one of the 
great newspapers of Japan. 

256 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

It turned out that my Murayama had died, and that 
this was his son. 290 

None of the other pupils named in the list were 
known to them, but in a searching enquiry they traced 
them. All had died: but they found out their heirs; 
who, however, knew nothing of me —had never heard of 
me or my teaching. However, Messrs. Murayama (the 
son) and Mr. Oda were convinced of the truth of my 
story, and they published it in their paper just as it 
was given in Mr. McLeod’s railway pamphlet. 

Some months after that—the occasion arising—Mr. 
Oda received a request from his friend His Excellency 
Minemitsu Mutsu 291 (a nobleman of princely standing; 
closely related to the Emperor; and a leader of the party 
of progress) to accompany him to Washington, as new¬ 
ly appointed Ambassador, there, for Japan. He did 
so; not in any official quality, but simply as a friend. 

Mr. Murayama availed himself of the opportunity of 
learning more, if possible, about me and my story. 

Mr. McLeod and myself had ceased in our corres¬ 
pondence for twenty-five years or more, and—as he 
wrote to me afterwards—had supposed me to be dead, 
and so informed Mr. Murayama. 

Mr. Oda kindly offered to go to Mr. McLeod to make 
further enquiry on the subject; and at the same time 
to be the bearer to him of a testimonial from Mr. Mura¬ 
yama (the son) for such mention of his father. In 

290 Moriyama and Murayama are two different family names. Mr. 
Murayama, proprietor of the Asa-hi-Shimbun, is not related to the in¬ 

291 Munemitsu Mutsu, afterwards Count Mutsu, was appointed Japa¬ 
nese Minister at Washington in February, 1888. It is not true that he 
was related to the Emperor. He was a great friend of the United States. 
He was afterwards Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs. A bronze 
statue in memory of him stands before the Department of Foreign Af¬ 
fairs buildings in Tokio. His son, Count Mutsu, is still living. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


due time, in the summer of 1888, Mr. Oda—making a 
digression for the purpose on his way to Berlin—ar¬ 
rived at Ottawa, and for three or four days was the 
welcomed guest of my friend Judge McLeod. 

The testimonial—carefully packed in two boxes, one 
within the other—was an ancient despatch or letter (in 
roll) box; in form, peculiarly double, in that one open 
box fitted in, or over another; dimensions, about twelve 
inches in length, five in depth, and four in width; of 
papier-mache, with a mixture of gold dust—composi¬ 
tion technically called, in Japanese, Kahamashee. 

The sides, inside and out inlaid with plates of gold, 
in different arabesque forms; the top having a specially 
deep rich moulding, all in gold, in different and appro¬ 
priate hues, of a perfectly natural scene, of lake (or 
sea), river, land, trees, herbage, flowers, and foliage 
in most minute and exquisite detail. Mr. Oda said it 
was the work of a Lost Art—lost for two hundred and 
fifty years back. Yet it looked, in its bright sheen, as 
fresh from the artist’s hands, save, (a little) in its time 
shaded silk cords with tassels. A princely testimonial 
truly!—Princely! not only in its intrinsic value; but, 
more still, in the motive of its giving. 

To Mr. Oda, in evidence of my story, were handed 
all my papers which, now forty years ago, I had left in 
the hands of Mr. McLeod when his guest in Canada. 
Amongst these were little scraps of Japanese paper— 
quite different from our own—on which, with a crow 
quill, I had written, while in the country, a glossary of 
Japanese words and colloquial terms, with English. 
This alone was very strong evidence, and was accepted 
as such. Mr. McLeod also as already stated, showed 
my original list of pupils. As to my Journal proper, 
there were only a very few pages, scarcly a dozen. 

258 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 


A word as to this gentleman: it is due to him. As my 
friend (M) wrote me of him, he seems to have been a 
personage of highest culture and finest feeling; and 
deeply interested in my story. According to his own ac¬ 
count, he had received a thorough English education; 
and, as before stated, had then been an English barrister 
of thirteen years’ standing. My friend being himself an 
old lawyer—a Queen’s Counsel—a retired Judge in 
fact—and, in his earlier days, an active and influen¬ 
tial politician, had much to say to his brother in the 
law, about law and politics, and remarked to me after¬ 
wards, when we had resumed correspondence, that 
while thus conversing with this stranger from strange 
Japan, and unaware of his position, in these matters in 
his own country, he was surprised to find in him such 
a grasp of intellect—grasp beyond far, what my friend 
(himself of much advanced views in our higher law and 
politics in national life) had found in Canada: but 
with all, there was such a modesty in the bearing of 
the gentleman with his abnormally large head (on a 
small body, and large eyes (scarcely Monghol) glow¬ 
ing in their intelligence, there was no gauging the in¬ 
tellect thus touched. 

Aryan, or not, I regard the Japanese intellect the 
most subtle—finest and keenest—in the world. 293 My 
friend says he considers it pre and supra Aryan, with a 
literature pre—or ante Aryan, and has a theory of their 
genesis which—he contends with much learning and 

293 “The inquisitiveness, the readiness at learning and the memory 
of these people surprised us exceedingly.” G. H. von Langsdorff, op. cit., 

Japan Story of Adventure 


force—naturally and logically explains it. On that 
question I cannot here enter. 

It was only on leaving, when, in return for certain 
books (chiefly on law and political constitutions) which 
my friend had presented to him, he offered, and insist¬ 
ed on my friend’s acceptance of a present from him¬ 
self, viz: of three thick volumes (duod) gleaming in 
gold; all in Japanese “black letter”—which he called 
“The Codes of Japan”—Codes Civil, Criminal, and— 
as he expressed it “Administration of Government”, 
that my friend accidentally learnt who and what he 
was. Accepting with all thanks, my friend turned at 
once to the title page, which, in Japanese is at the end 
(as we would call it) of the work. There, he saw, and 
knew well enough to recognize, the full name, viz: Oda- 
Ian-Icki-Ro 294 printed in Japanese characters, which 
some of the ladies of the house had, before that got 
him, in pleasantry, to write down for them, to keep as 
a curiosity. Asked whether that was his name and 
whether it meant himself, he answered “Yes”. As 
what? asked Mr. McLeod. “As editor”, was the answer. 
“Editor for revisal, or for Composition?” asked M. 

There being two names at the same place—his first 
—my friend asked him what that was. “Name of the 
other editor” was his answer. 

It is to be explained—that in Japan all public or of¬ 
ficial function by twos, or generally so; one as a check 
on the other, an old custom. 295 Mr. M. then got him to 
write his “presentation” on the title page, “J. Oda, 
chief Editor of Code of Japan.” 

29 4 The name correctly spelled is Oda Jun-ichi-ro. 

295 This was pursuant to an old Japanese custom. 

260 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Thus, in grateful recognition of my humble service 
to Japan, had I, after my supposed death, “In Memor- 
iam”, the grateful homage of its Gamaliel 296 and possib¬ 
ly, of its ambassador to Washington. 

Mr. Oda, I understand, went direct from Canada to 
London, by the St. Lawrence, promising my friend to 
return by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Delicate, 
and taking ill in London, his physician advised him not 
to risk, at that season (October-November) the rigours 
of such a northern route, but to hasten home by the 
warmer one by the Suez Canal. Starting, on it, from 
Marseilles, in Steamer named “Le Caledonien” of the 
French Line (“Messagerie’ , ) to the East, he seems to 
have died on the way. 297 We have learnt nothing of 
him, since: Enquiry has totally failed on the subject. 
Probably his body was “buried at sea”, dropt into 
Ocean !—unhonoured; unknown! 

Chapter XVII 

Retrospect : Conclusion — Dutch Friends —A 

Last Word. 

It is long, nearly half a century—since my adventure 
here sketched: Yet even now, after the vicissitudes, var¬ 
ied and wearing, of my life, I have never ceased to feel 
most kindly and ever grateful to my fellow men of Jap¬ 
an for their really generous treatment of me. In that 

296 The Elder Gamaliel was a descendant of the family of David and 
a grandson of Hillel, the celebrated president of the Sanhedrin and 
patriarch of the Jewish community in Palestine. Gamaliel was a teacher 
of the apostle Paul and dissuaded the Jews from taking strict measures 
against the apostles. (Acts, v, 34.) Our author’s allusion is due to the 
well-known characterization of Gamaliel as “a doctor of the law, had 
in honor of all the people.” 

297 He returned to Japan, and died shortly after at Kyoto. 

Japan Story of Adventure 


long journey and voyage from the extreme North to the 
extreme South—fully a thousand miles—of their coun¬ 
try; throughout my whole sojourn of ten months in the 
strange land, never did I receive a harsh word, or even 
an unfriendly look. Among all classes, a gentle kind¬ 
ness to the fancied cast-away—the stranger most 
strange—pervaded their general regard and treatment 
of me. From the time I landed on the beach of Tom- 
assey in the Straits of La Perouse , when Inoes took me 
gently by the wrist, one on each side, to assist me to 
the dwelling of their employer, while others put sand¬ 
als to my feet, to the time of my joining the United 
States Sloop of War “Preble,” it was ever the same uni¬ 
form kindness. Truly I liked them in that congenial 
sympathy which, left to itself—unmarred by antagon¬ 
ism of race, creed, or worldly selfishness—makes us 
all, of Adam’s race “wondrous kin”. 

Among them were individualities which particularly 
attracted my regard. First I would mention the Gov¬ 
ernor (Obigue) in Nagasaki, before whom I was 
brought and tried, surrounded by his officials in the 
Town Hall or Court, he assumed all the dignity of a 
Chief Justice. When presiding he assumed as much 
gravity and austerity as his good sound heart would 
allow—for I know that it was through his clemency and 
favor that I was well provided with all the comforts 
and accommodations I enjoyed. It was not treason, ac¬ 
cording to their laws, I suspect that he, at least, exceed¬ 
ed his prescribed duty in such leniency towards me: 
for by the then existing laws of the Empire—laws then 
unalterable in such matter as those of the Medes and 
Persians of old—my landing in Japan soil was—I re¬ 
peat—an offense that might; in course, have consigned 
me to a dark dungeon for life, or to the more speedy 

262 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

fate of summary execution. So I was told, at parting, 
by the Obigue himself: and that, not in reminder of 
favor shown, but in warning, friendly and kindly, 
against running such risk again. At the close of my 
first interview with him, in full court, as already de¬ 
scribed, he encouraged me by saying that I had a “big” 
heart, without adding a sound heart. At the close of 
my last interview with him, his advice was—and that 
in tone and manner more tenderly, warmly friendly— 
“Never to put my foot on Japan soil again, or it would 
be worse for me”. 

Really, I don’t believe that he meant it in reproof for 
my having done so, but in pure friendly warning. 

Whether or not he had the secret approval of the 
Emperor in his course towards me; or that the Emperor 
or the Ministers of State had any knowledge of my po¬ 
sition, I cannot say. As there was no time then, by 
any means at their comand, to communicate with the 
Emperor 298 at Yeddo, 299 about 500 miles distant 
from Nagasaki—between the time of my first trial 
and the Governor’s order for employment of me as a 
teacher of English, I infer that the thing was done on 
the responsibility of the Governor himself. It was a 
bold, brave deed, involving deep peril to his own life, 
for public law—I mean law of administration of govern¬ 
ment—was then—as it had ever been in Japan—essen¬ 
tially draconic. The considerations in public policy— 
for there could have been no other—that so weighed 
with His Excellency of Nagasaki must have been 
weighty indeed. In this vicarious heroism, for purely 
national weal, the deed is worthy of historical record. 

298 The only Emperor (Mikado) was at Kyoto; the Shogun-chief de- 
facto ruler—was in Yedo. 

299 Since called Tokio.—[Original.] 

Japan Story of Adventure 


There were other individualities who, although sub¬ 
ordinates, specially attracted my attention, and won 
my regards. 

Among them was a gentleman, evidently a high of¬ 
ficial, at Nagasaki. I forgot his name. He was the 
tallest person I saw in Japan. He frequently visited my 
quarters with books, maps, etc., accompanied always by 
my friend Murayama. He showed great interest in me; 
and appeared to be anxious to learn something of the 
outer world. Soft and gentle in his conversation, this 
fine old dignitary showed all the refinement of a gent¬ 
leman. It was to him, I suspected, that I owed the 
completeness, regularity, and perfect comfort of my 
quarters. I owe him many thanks for lightening many 
hours of my prison life. 

The next person still impressed on my mind was 
the distinguished venerable Mr. Sjerrei, one of the 
Chief, if not the chief interpreter. He was aged: sev¬ 
enty-four years, if I remember right, as he then told 
me. His face was dark; features good; aquiline or 
rather so; nose long and chin long: with the habit of 
mumbling his words before speaking. He was fre¬ 
quently the medium of conversation between officials 
and myself. 

The next-—the dearest to me in every regard, and 
most esteemed, and ever loved—was the brilliant Mur¬ 
ayama Yeanoske, of medium height among his people, 
say five feet six inches; of delicate and finely cut fea¬ 
tures; with signs of great intelligence; eyes intensely 
black, brilliant, and penetrating, yet with an expression 
mild and loving—truly magnetic: of very light com¬ 
plexion—like the white of the Southern States of Am¬ 
erica, lighter much than the average Japanese. His 


Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

countenance, when in repose, had the air of mild dig¬ 
nity, such as is observable in our clergy, as a class. 
When speaking to me before officials it was always 
with a smile, as if to give me encouragement and con¬ 
fidence. He showed a great desire to learn English, 
and displayed much aptitude in doing so. He was 
fluent in Dutch, for he was one of the official inter¬ 
preters of that language: and I take it for granted that 
he was well grounded in the history and musty tradi¬ 
tions of his country: of which, however, he never spoke 
to me; nor did I ever ask him. His general appearance 
was that of a studious and earnest scholar; and a re¬ 
fined gentleman. 

He was my favorite. 

My Dutch Friends 

Whatever influence a European resident might have 
had with the Government I don’t know. It was evident 
to me in my case, that that influence was given in my 
favor, for I have the assurance of Mr. John Livessohn, 
the Dutch Chief Factor resident at the time at the 
Port (Nagasaki), that they would give me a passage 
in the next annual ship, subject of course to permission 
from the authorities of Japan. He, as stated in my 
narrative, was ever most kindly attentive to me in the 
way of relieving the monotony and wants of my for¬ 
eign confinement. I can say the same of the good 
Doctor (Dutch also) of the Establishment. They were 
all good and clever: and we all esteemed each other. 

A Last Word 

In my old age; while living out, still in sweat of 
brow, the fast falling evening shades of life, in my na- 

Japan Story of Adventure 


tive homeland of the Columbia, after having, in my 
wanderings, girded—1 may say—the Globe itself, and 
come across peoples many, civilized and uncivilized, 
there are none to whom I feel more kindly—more 
grateful—than my old hosts of Japan; none whom I 
esteem more highly. 

As to their wonderful progress in civil life and gov¬ 
ernment within the last few years, I am not surprised. 

From what I saw of them, their aspirations—scarce 
concealed though studiedly covered—were, to my view, 
even then, in that direction. I felt at the time, that some 
such change, possibly soon, would come—come, not 
over them, as from some external force, but from with¬ 
in themselves—in process of that inherent principle 
of progressive national life, in evolution, which from 
the very origin of their nationhood has—uniquely, as 
a sort of “chosen people”, but not “Jew”—preserved 
them throughout our ages of human life, in their sin¬ 
gular integrity. Whence their origin, we know not. 
Themselves don’t know. History, even legend, on that 
point, is a myth. From my own limited observation 
and study I can advance no satisfactory theory on that 
point. Suffice it for the present to say, that they are 
truly a wonder among the nations; commanding, in 
their present position, the respect and admiration of 
the world. 

Often in conversation with my pupils—pupils them¬ 
selves infinitely superior to me in intellectual power 
and learning—I was struck with the readiness with 
which they grasped what I told them of the principles 
of Constitutional Government of Great Britain and of 
the United States respectively. 

As to the former, there was no difficulty; being some- 

266 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

what like their own, save in its electoral franchise and 
larger individual liberty. They seemed to understand 
it perfectly, and approvingly. 

As to the latter, however, with its repudiation of the 
doctrine of the “Divine right of kings,” it was evidently 
mystery to them—mystery in that they could not ac¬ 
cept the principles of government from and by the peo¬ 
ple: governor and governor in one and the same. Still, 
since my time among them, I note that their relations 
with Republican Powers, such as the United States, 
France, Mexico, and other American Republics have 
been most amicable. The spirit of popular sympathy 
—though scarcely demos itself—is there; in the Nobles 
as in the Masses. This silver cord is the very bond of 
their New Constitution. In that Constitution is the 
“Golden Bowl” of—if not a new—certainly a better 
life in national existence: in consonance, more, with 
our later times; in dawn—let us hope—of a better day 
—for Peace on earth! Good will to all men! 


Identification of Manuscript. 

Malcolm MacLeod, Q. C., 172 Wellington Street, 

Ottawa, March 24, 1894. 

Ranald MacDonald Esquire, Old Fort Colvile, Columbia River, 

Very Dear Friend: Your’s of the 13th inst. with required sketch 
came duly to hand; for which please accept thanks. I have, 
thereon, made up a nice, and, to me, interesting looking sketch. 
That of the Court, etc. of trial I have also filled up. The M. S. 
thoroughly revised, is now off to England by parcel post with 
accompanying letter to my good friend there, viz: Rev. H. M. 
Fletcher, Grasmere Co. of Westmoreland, England—a cousin (2nd) 
of Marquis of Lorn & intimate with many of the leading nobility 
of Engd. & Scotland. In my letter to him is the following for 
use with the publishers. 

“Memo of Offer of Ranald MacDonald. M. S. (Japan) to pub¬ 
lishers in Britain. 

1. Copyright for British Empire only. 

2. Copyright for British Empire and U. S. A. 

3. Copyright if not to for both B. & U. S. author to be at liberty 
to sell to latter, as well as to former—each independently. 

Address of author holding copyright 
Mr. Ranald MacDonald, Old Fort Colvile, Columbia River, 
Marcus P. O., Stevens County, State of Washington, U. S. A. 

Or, to his agent ad hoc : 

Malcolm McLeod Q. C., City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 

Agent in England: Rev. H. M. Fletcher, Rectory } Grasmere Co., 
Westmoreland, England. 

M. McLeod, Agt. for said MacDonald. 

In my letter (private) to Mr. F.—as to price, I limit, to a 
minimum copyright to Br. Emp., to LI00 Stg. say $500 and for 
both B: Emp. & U. S. to double that. I tell my friend we are 
both too poor to pay for publication. On this head I feel assured 
of my friend doing his best for you in the matter. 

Much—if not most—will depend on his own impression from a 
reading of the work, but, I think, that in any case, he will try 
the publishers. I am aware that he is intimate—or acquainted 
with Mr. Murray at the head of the great publishing house of that 
name. On this score I leave all to him. What use he may make of 
the thing in the way of pushing it into notice in high quarters— 
the very highest—as he, spontaneously, used to do with my 
pamphlets and even private letter for C. P. R. & N. W. I cannot 

268 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

say. Possibly, even Roseberry & Co. may have their notice 
drawn to it, especially yr chap. V with the Quelpert Wand sug¬ 
gestion. 1 note your report as to Mrs. Haskin’s failure to find a 
publisher. I am not surprised. You ask my advice as to Mr. Bur¬ 
net’s offer to look at the M. S., with a view (if advisable) of try¬ 
ing to find a publisher on the Pacific slope, who would take it 
up, on purchase, or even on his own risk. As to that as financial 
matters are, there, as elsewhere in the U. S. and as such matters 
are conducted in the typo world of the U. S. I have, now s no faith. 
Cash on the nail—as you put it—and high at that is their motto. 

At the same time, if convenient to you and Mr. Burnet, it would 
do no harm to show him the M. S. Candidly—with the present fast 
increasing antagonism between U. S. & B. I think he would con¬ 
sider it too British for American Press. In any case I would ad¬ 
vise you to take no less than $500 (“Cash on nail’ ) for copy¬ 
right in the U. S. only. This won’t interfere with present ar¬ 
rangements as proposed by me through Mr. Fletcher. 

The British version is framed for Br. interests and sentiment. 

I expect to be able to report progress in—say abt. 6 weeks. With 
all best wishes, in which my sisters join me. Yours ever sin- 
cere l y> Malcolm McLeod 

Marcus P. O., Stev. Co., Wash., May 7, 1894. 

A. D. Burnett Esqr., Spokann. 

Dear Friend: 

Dear Friend: Some time since Donald showed me a letter he 
had received from you wherein you stated with regard to my 
manuscript on Japan that you thought that after reading and judg¬ 
ing of the matter it contained if of sufficient merit that there 
would be a chance to have it published in our immediate neigh¬ 
bourhood on the Pacific Slope. So I herewith forward you the 
M. S., also last letter from my friend Mr. Malcolm MacLeod, 172 
Wellington St., Ottawa, Canada, from which you will learn what 
he has done, also the terms. You will please advise and what 
you think of it. Should there be an impossibility to do anything 
with it I will send stamps for the return of the M. S. 

The amendments which I received at different times I stuck as 
you will observe for safe keeping. If I have done wrong it was 
with the best intentions. 

The M. S. was in the hands of Mrs. Haskins of Kettle Falls with 
her best efforts had failed to get a publisher. Should you find 
anything of sufficient interest to publish you may do so. I would 
suggest the article about Doctor McLaughlin and my connection 
with Canadian Pacific Rail Road should that, or anything in the M. 
S. be published you would favor me much were you to send a 



copy or two to Mr. MacLeod. I know he can make good use of 
them to forward the interest in the Book. 

I would have gone to Spokann and had a personal interview 
with you long before this but I have been very unwell during the 
winter and getting over it slowly, now the weather is milder. 

I will expect to hear from you at your earliest convenience. I 
am, yours sincerely, Ranald MacDonald 

Marcus P. O., Stev. Co., Wash., May 20, 1894. 
Alex’r. D. Burnett Esquire, Review Office, Spokann. 

Some time since say about the 7th May I wrote advising you 
that I had sent you my M. S. on Japan. 

i am not a little anxious to know whether you got it. The let¬ 
ter and parcel were addressed as above to the Review office. I 
sincerely hope that you got it all right. I would not like to lose 
it, a loss to me. Yours sincerely, Ranald MacDonald 

Marcus P. O., Stev. Co., Wash., June 15, 1894. 
A. D. Burnett Esquire, Review Office, Spokann. 

Dear Friend Your letter found me sixty or seventy miles up the 
Kettle River on the Colville Reservation, being on a visit to a 
Niece, who was left a widow and desired my immediate presence, 
ever since I may say I am shut out of the world, our nearest Post 
office is at Boundary Creek, British Columbia 4 miles from my 
niece’s Ranch which is a fine one and well stocked. Your letter 
relieved me of great anxiety when I learned that you received the 
precious document all right, for I had neglected to tell the person 
who posted it also to register it. 

Knowing the hard times, I hardly expect you will succeed in 
finding a publisher. To date I have not received a line from my 
friend Mr. MacLeod altho; letters may await me at Marcus. 

Communication with the rest of British Columbia is open with 
Boundary Creek, but with Marcus it quite different all the Bridges 
and Ferry boats are either carried away or damaged. I am dear 
Friend. Ranald MacDonald 

Spokane Public Library, Spokane, Wash., Jan. 16, 1913. 

George W. Fuller Librarian: This manuscript was left in my 
care, by Mr. A. D. Burnett, of this city. It is the property of the 
heirs of Ranald MacDonald, and it is their wish, as they want to 
sell it, not to allow the public to read it, without their permission. 
I consider this a very valuable document. Read the article in the 
Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, XII, 220. (Sept. 
1911). Caroline Hathaway 


Authentication of Manuscript 

SEAMAN’S FRIEND, (Honolulu, S. I.) December 1, 1848 

“There is a growing conviction throughout the civilized world 
that the time is rapidly approaching when the exclusive policy of 
the Japanese will be done away with, and a commercial intercourse 
be opened between that and other nations of the earth besides the 
French and the Dutch. Occasionally the rumor reaches us that the 
British East India Squadron is hovering upon the coast of Japan, 
but no sooner have we begun to credit the report than we learn 
that it is a mere rumor. The report flies around the world that 
an American commodore, on board a Tine of battleship’, is bound 
for Japan. Now something will be done. The stately vessel 
anchors near Jeddo. Communication is attempted with the Jap¬ 
anese authorities. The emperor sends word to supply the ‘big 
junk’ with what she wanted, up anchor, be off and never return. 
All this was done in the most genteel and civil style, and what 
could a gallant commodore do? He had fought the British, 
but he must not fight the Japanese. 

“While the great commercial and naval nations of the world 
are meditating upon some great expedition, our numerous whale 
ships are really doing something in the way of opening inter¬ 
course with the Japanese. The ‘Manhatton’ made a far more 
satisfactory visit to Japan than the ‘Columbus.’ (See Friend, 
Feb. 2 and Sept. 2, 1846.) During the last season for ships to 
cruise in the Japan sea, not scores, but hundred of vessels spread 
their canvas within full view of the coast. Several whale-ships 
have fallen in with junks, exchanged civilities with them and in 
some instances relieved those in distress, 

“As the reading world is not likely, for some time to come, to 
be favored with an account of the conquest or opening of Japan 
by the naval forces of England, France or the United States, our 
readers on ship and shore may not be uninterested in the following 
facts and documents relating to the adventure of a sailor belong¬ 
ing to the American whale-ship ‘Plymouth’, of Sag Harbor, Cap¬ 
tain Edwards. If his plans were not upon so gigantic a scale as 
those which might emanate from a board of admiralty or a naval 
bureau, yet to answer his purpose they certainly indicate some 
head-work. It appears that a man named Ranald MacDonald 

272 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

shipped on board the ‘Plymouth’ when she sailed from the United 
States. After remaining in the vessel two years, while in Lahaina 
in the fall of 1847 he requested his discharge, unless Captain 
Edwards would consent to leave him the next season somewhere 
upon the coat of Japan. Young MacDonald is a son of Archibald 
MacDonald, Esq., formerly in the employ of the Hudson’s Bay 
Company, Fort Colvile, Columbia. On application to the agent 
of the company in Honolulu we learned that this young man 
received a good education, but instead of pursuing a mercantile 
life on shore, betook himself to the sea. Soon after the ‘Ply¬ 
mouth’ left Lahaina, he began to make arrangements for pene¬ 
trating the hermetically sealed empire of Japan. Captain Edwards 
allowed him to make choice of the best boat belonging to the 
ship. The carpenter partially decked her over. Having gath¬ 
ered his all together, he embarked upon his perilous and adventur¬ 
ous enterprise. One of his ship-mates has furnished us an ex¬ 
tract from his journal giving an account of MacDonald’s em¬ 
barkation : 

“Thursday at 4 o’clock this morning all hands were called, the reefs 
shook out, the top gallant sails were set. We had a fine breeze on our 
starboard beam, steering for the Tee Shee Islands. It was a beautiful 
morning; a light mist hung around the island, but as we neared the island 
we could see plainly the green covered hills. We stood in until 9 o’clock, 
when all hands were called and the mainyards were hove aback. We 
launched a boat, put water and provisions of different kinds into her. 
She was a centre-board boat, partly decked over and very strong for one 
of her kind. One of our crew was to be her only navigator. After all 
these things were in the boat he was towed astern by a line; two men 
stayed to help him trim her. After the boat was trimmed they came on 
board. He let go the line and was clear from us forever. His little ves¬ 
sel dashed over the waves like an arrow. All hands had gathered aft to 
see the last of the bold adventurer. He took off his hat and waved it, but 
in silence. The same was returned from the ship’s company. Soon the 
order was given to brace the main yard, and the gallant ship was going 
in an opposite direction. From our ship’s mast he was viewed with a 
naked eye as long as he could be seen; then the spyglass was handed 
from one to another, that they might have a last look at the little vessel. 
He was watched from the masthead until he was gone from our sight 

Every man on board felt sad to see a shipmate leave the ship under 
such circumstances. He was a good sailor, well educated, a firm mind, 
well calculated for the expedition upon which he had embarked. His in¬ 
tentions were to stay at this island and learn some of the Japanese lan¬ 
guage and from there go down to Yeddo, the principal city of Nepon, and 
if the English or Americans ever open trade with the Japanese, he would 
find employment as an interpreter. He had other intentions which I nev¬ 
er mention only in a secret manner. The last we saw of the little vessel 
she was standing in for a small bay on the north side of the island. 

He was a man of about five feet seven inches, thick set, straight hair 
and dark complexion. It was his wish to be left here and he agreed for 



the same before we left port a year before. He had a good voyage in the 
ship which he forfeited for his boat and his little cargo, such as a quad¬ 
rant, epitomy, two pistols, two small kegs of water, keg of meat, barrel 
of bread, anchor, thirty-five fathoms of tow line and oars. His own chest 
was nearly full of books of various kinds. No one can blame Capt. Ed¬ 
wards for leaving the man in such a manner, for he advised him until his 
boat was launched over the side not to go on such a hazardous voyage, 
but no, his mind was not to be changed.” 

E. P. F. 

The following is a copy of a pass or certificate of a discharge 
furnished by Capt. Edwards: 

“Ship ‘Plymouth,’ Japan Sea, June 20, 1848. 

“To Whom It May Concern: This will certify that Ranald MacDonald 
has been duly discharged from the ship ‘Plymouth,’ for the adventure to 
the Japan Islands, and that the boat and apparatus fairly and honestly 
belong to him.” 

L. B. Edwards, Master of Ship “Plymouth.” 

“Captain Edwards allowed us to peruse two unsealed letters 
which MacDonald had written to his friends, one to' his father 
and the other to a relative with whom he had resided. They 
were well written epistles and bespoke a young man of good in¬ 
formation and education. We took the liberty to copy a few lines 
from the letter addressed to his father which reads as follows: 

“I again shipped for another Cape Horn voyage with the intention of 
being discharged at some of the islands or on the Spanish Main. These 
intentions I have altered and as Capt. Edwards was going to China and 
from there to the Japan sea, I thought it a good opportunity to crown my 
intentions, that if I went with him I would be discharged before he left 
the sea. He has kindly undertaken to teach me navigation—he allowed 
me the choice of a boat out of seven—he has also furnished me with a 
sail and anchor, quadrant and compass, bread, meat and water—in fact, 
everything to insure my reaching the shore. He tried to persuade me to 
give up the adventure, but I am going.” 

Everyone who reads the account of MacDonald’s adventure 
will no doubt be anxious to learn the fate which attends him. 
The letter to his father closes with an emphatic . . . We 
can furnish only a single item of intelligence to fill up that blank. 
Some days after his embarkation, while the ship ‘Uncas’ was cruis¬ 
ing in that region, she picked up the rudder of his tiny craft which 
we will venture to name the ‘Young Plymouth’. Whether she 
reached the shore or was swamped in the surf remains a profound 
mystery. We shall not fail to make all necessary inquiries, when 
ships return after the next Japan season; and hence, should any 
cruisers on that coast gather the least intelligence of the young 
MacDonald’s weal or woe, they will do us a favor and perhaps 
relieve the minds of anxious parents and friends. Oh that the 

274 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

same unseen hand which conducted the ‘Mayflower to the rock of 
Plymouth might now conduct the ‘Young Plymouth’ and preserve 
the life of her adventurous commander! Who does not fervently 
hope that a successful issue may crown the bold, daring and haz¬ 
ardous enterprise of Ranald MacDonald, an adventurer in the 
Japan Sea. 

In The Seamen’s Friend of October 1, 1849, we find the fol¬ 
lowing related to Ranald MacDonald: 

“We will now furnish some facts relating to that American who was 
none other than Ranald MacDonald. It may be recollected by some of 
our readers that this young man left the American whaleship ‘Plymouth’ 
and was furnished with boat, sextant, compass, etc., by Capt. Edwards. 
On landing he intentionally capsized his boat and was kindly received by 
the Japanese. After being on shore eight days he was taken under the 
charge of four Matsmai officers. At Matsmai he was imprisoned from 
the 6th day of September until about the first day of October. Subse¬ 
quently he was removed to Nagasaki and brought before the governor in 
the town hall. On entering he saw upon the pavement a crucifix and an 
image of the Virgin Mary, and the Savior when an infant. He was com¬ 
pelled to tread on these when he entered with the crowd into the town 
hall. Then he was questioned in regard to his coming to Japan and 
whether he believed in the God of Heaven. To which he replied that he 
did. He was given to understand that the images he had trampel upon 
was the devil of Japan. During his imprisonment he had several schol¬ 
ars among the Japanese interpreters which doubtless contributed to the 
kind treatment which he generally received. MacDonald for the first 
time met the other captives on the 26th day of March at the town hall, al¬ 
though they had been prisoners for months in the same city. 

“Knowledge that these young men were imprisoned in Japan led Com¬ 
modore Geisenger, Commander of the East India U. S. Squadron, to dis¬ 
patch the ‘Preble,’ Commander Glynn, for their rescue. This vessel ar¬ 
rived in the Japanese waters about the first of April. On her approach, 
Japanese officers warned her commander off, but he pushed forward and 
came to anchor near the city of Nagasaki, where the prisoners were in 
confinement. The report of the ‘Preble’s’ guns inspired hope in their 
bosoms, although the Japanese evidently designed to keep from them all 
knowledge that an American man-of-war was in port. McCoy reports 
that he had threatened the Japanese with the visit of such a vessel if he 
was not treated better, but they only laughed at his threats. They hold 
foreigners in supreme contempt. 

“Several interviews were held between Commander Glynn and the au¬ 
thorities. The Japanese evidently intended to evade any direct communi¬ 
cation between the commander of the ‘Preble’ and the Emperor. He was 
put off from day to day and given to understand that ‘by and by he might 
expect to have the business attended to.’ The prompt and decisive ac¬ 
tion of Commander Glynn seemed to infuse some new ideas into the 
minds of the Japanese. He distinctively told them the object of his visit 
and if the Japanese authorities were determined not to surrender the pris¬ 
oners, that he should leave immediately and report to his superior offi¬ 
cer. A time was appointed for their delivery, but if they were not forth- 



coming the ‘Preble’ would sail. Before the time had elapsed they were 
delivered over to the Dutch merchants and transferred to the ‘Preble.’ 

“During their captivity these young men gathered much interesting 
information respecting the country and Japanese government. MacDon¬ 
ald, but more especially McCoy, succeeded in acquiring a tolerable 
knowledge of the colloquial Japanese language. We hope that ere long 
a more full report of these young men will be spread before the world, 
together with the visit of the ‘Preble.’ It opens a new chapter in the in¬ 
tercourse of foreigners with the exclusive Japanese. 

“The ‘Preble’ returned to China where the Americans were left to be 
sent to the United States, but the Sandwich Islanders were brought to 

“In our next we intend giving some account of the Loo Chooans and 
the visit of the ‘Preble.’ ” 

A further article in The Seaman's Friend of December 20, 1849, men¬ 
tions MacDonald. 


Entries in the “Memoranda of the foreigners forwarded to Nag¬ 
asaki and their escorts 

On the second day of the sixth month of the same year (the first 
year of Kaei, i.e. July 2, 1848) a foreigner landed at Notsuka in 
Rishiri Island; on the twenty-fifth day of the seventh month 
(August 23) he was forwarded in a fane (Japanese junk) from 
Soya (to Esashi). 

The name and the age of the foreigner and the escort are as 

Makiton, about 23 years of age, 5 shaku 7 sun 5 hu (about 5 
feet 8% inches) high. 

The escort in the fune: 

(Samurai) . 

(Superintendent of foot -samurai) 

(Foot -samurai) . 





.. .Togoro Shinagawa 

..Kujuzo Oba 

. ...Kumanojo Taketa 

.Yoseki Kakizaki 

Tokusaburo Kawasaki 
... .Zenji Shibayama 
.Teikichi Shimizu 

As the fune arrived at this town (Matsumae) the foreigner was 
forwarded in a kago (Japanese Palanquin) to the village of Eram- 
chi. The escort were: 

(Captain of a company)—Katoda Araida with five foot samurai, ten 
soldiers and Kujuzo Oba (superintendent). 

The escort in the village of Eramachi were: 

(Captain of a company)—Gorogoro Imai. 

{Samurai)— Shunzo Nakashima, Zenji Shimura, Matsugoro Kubota. 

276 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

In place of Zenji during his illness. 

Superintendent of foot -samurai —Eijiro Yokoi. 

Foot -samurai —Kozo Tahara. Asaichiro Kamada. In place of Kozo 
during his illness. Mineji Okumura. 

Foremen—Matasaburo Mikami, Bangoro Ono. 

Soldiers—Nesaburo Sasamori, Yokichi Kakemura, Tettaro Takahashi, 
Kotaro Amamoto. 

Purveyor’s assistant—Renzo Ito, with one soldier. 

Two secretaries who asked to serve in turn—Tokusaburo Yoneda, To- 
kubei Yamada. 

The foreigner was forwarded to Nagasaki in the “Tenjinmaru” 
and the escort were: 

Captain of a Company—Tan-emon Ujiye. 

Superintendent—Bansaku Murata. 

Superintendents of foot-samurai—Nazaemon Saito, Katsugoro Nagae. 

Samurai—Kyogoro Tamura. 

Physician—Hosai Tani. 

Foremen—Koji Yamamoto, Hyotaro Miyamoto. 

Soldiers—Tatsuyemon Tamura, Wajiro Mori, Kyusaku Sato, Zengoro 
Honda, Kintrao Ikeda, Rokusaburo Yoshida. 

The escort on the shore on the foreigner sailing from the port 

Tatsunoshin Wada, Eitaro Murakami, Teita Etagaki, Tsunetaro Mura- 
yama, Renjiro Makita, Gonzaburo Tsuji, with six soldiers.30i 

Report to the Shogun’s government from Shima-no-kami, Daim- 
yo of Matsumae and Yezo. Matsumae, July 22, 1848. 

On the 2nd inst. about the hour of ape (4 p. m.) a foreigner 
was driven in a boat to the shore of Notsuka in Rishiri Island in 
my domain of Western Yezo. As he had wet clothes on and 
seemed very tired, he v/as immediately taken to the guard-house 
at Notsuka and given food, etc. On being informed of the 
event some of my retainers at the Guards station of Soya went 
to Notsuka and tried to get information (from the foreigner). As, 
however, they could not understand each other the questions were 
put by signs and the foreigner also answered by signs, so that 
the precise facts could not be ascertained, but he was understood 
to say that he left the mothership alone in the boat and after 
some time the wind and the sea getting high his boat capsized 
twice; that his compass dropped into the sea and he was drifting 
aimlessly when he saw a high mountain and rowing towards it 

300 The “Memoranda” from which the above entries are taken is a 
manuscript from the archives of the Daimyo of Matsumae and Yezo. 



landed on the shore. As the boat had suffered 301 no damage 
he was told by signs to sail home, but he seemed to hesitate to 
go out into the wide sea in that small boat. He was therefore 
told by signs that he would be allowed to stay and as he nodded 
assent he was taken to the guards station of Soya and was well 
treated and escorted. The preceding is the report of my retainers 
at the station: 

According to the report the boat in which the foreigner came 
is about 4/4 ken (26 feet 9/4 inches) long and about 6 shaku (5 
feet 11 /4 inches) broad. The boat and all the gear are kept in 
the station. They have also sent the appended list of articles in 
his possession. I inform you of the above and wish to know what 
is to be done with this foreigner. 

On the 22nd day of the 6th month, Matsumae, Shima-no-kami. 

Draft of instructions affixed (to the above report.) 

The foreigner whose landing is here reported ought to be examined 
at Nagasaki. He should, therefore, be forwarded to that place as you did 
with the foreigners who arrived some time ago. All the books in the 
foreigner’s possession should be put under seals in presence of your of¬ 
ficials and care taken that no one should see them without leave. 

The articles in the foreigner's possesson are as follows: 

One small firearm, about 4 sun 5 bu (5 1-3 inches) long and the 
diameter of the muzzle about 3 bu (one-third inch). 

One boat, about 4*4 ken (26 feet 9^4 inches) long, about 6 shaku (5 
feet 11^4 inches) broad at the widest part and about 3 shaku (3 feet) 

One mast, about 2J4 ken (14 feet 11 inches). 

One sail, of white cotton cloth. 

One oar. 

One article like the handle of a rudder, about 5 shaku (4 feet 11*4 
inches) long. 

Two ropes, of which one is about 50 fathoms long and the other 6 
fathoms long. 

One article like an anchor. 

One article like a buoy for an anchor. 

Two water casks. 

One bag with all sorts of clothings. 

One cask containing animal flesh. 

Twenty-three large and small books with covers. 

Fifteen books without covers. 

One bundle of different kinds of books. 

One map of the world. 

One box containing an article like a telescope. 

301 The materials contained in the following pages, are taken 
from the “Tsuko-ichiran” (collection of documents relating to foreign re¬ 
lations), 2nd series. 

278 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

One leather hat. 

A kind of dagger. 

A kind of knife. 

A kind of flint. 

Two articles like round chisels, one large, one small. 

A kind of pincers. 

A kind of spear. 

One article like the cover of a kettle. 

A kind of pot with a silver chased cover. 

A kind of copper ladle. 

A kind of borer. 

A kind of comb-brush. 

A kind of comb. 

Two balls of white cotton thread. 

One article like tusk. 

One packet of sulphur. 

Two balls of pine resin, large and small. 

One ball of pitch. 

A little tobacco. 

A kind of spectacles. 

A kind of candle-stick, silver colored. 

One small box with lock. 

One varnished board. 

A kind of mat. 

A kind of broom. 

A pair of boots. 

The articles are as given above. 

A letter from the officials of the Daiymo of Matsumae and 
Yezo at Yedo to the Shogun’s government requesting instructions. 

August 9, 1848. 

Concerning the foreigner detained at the guards station of 
Soya, about whom our master Shima-no-kami has sent a report. 
As it is a little more than 190 ri (1 Japanese mile equals 254 
miles) from Matsumae to that place and as every year the sea 
becomes gradually rough after the 210th day (from the 1st of the 
1st month; on this day frequently occurs typhoons) and the voy¬ 
age is stopped an4 as also the place is very cold two of the sol¬ 
diers (stationed there) go to winter at Mashike and the remain¬ 
ing officers of the station return to Matsumae every year in the 
end of autumn. If the foreigner is taken to Ishikari, a little 
more than 113 ri distant there will be no difficulty even in autumn 
and winter. It might seem too presumptuous on our part, but if he 
is likely to be forwarded to Nagasaki it will be possible to make a 
voyage early next spring if he is taken to Esashi. We should 
prefer to take him to Esashi if that is permissible. As it con¬ 
cerns a place which is very distant and whence the sea must be 
crossed we take liberty to request your instructions in order to 
notify our master at his residential town. 

On the 11th day of the 7th month. 



Orders given on the 19th day of the same month. (August 17.) 

The drifted foreigner mentioned in your letter should be first taken 
to Esashi and forwarded to Nagasaki at the earliest convenience. 

(Extract from the “Nagasaki Kiji,” (Record of Nagasaki.) 

On the 2nd day of the 6th month of the 1st year of Kaei a 
foreigner drifted in a boat to the shore of Notsuka in Rishiri Is¬ 
land in Western Yezo governed by Shima-no-kami of Matsumae, 

The news reached the residential town of the Daimyo on the 22nd 
of the same month and on the same day a report was sent to 
Yedo. On the 11th day of the 7th month of the same year they 
requested instructions of Abe, Ise-no-kami, (member of the Sho¬ 
gun’s cabinet) and Shima-no-kami was told to send the for¬ 
eigner to Nagasaki, treating him as the foreigners of some time 
ago. Ise-no-kami informed Inaba Dewa-no-kami, (governor of 
Nagasaki) resident at Yedo of this order. The latter accordingly 
sent a notice to Ido, Tsushima-no-kami, (governor of Nagasaki) 
resident at Nagasaki. 

Report to the Shogun’s government from Shima-no-kami, Daim¬ 
yo of Matsumae and Yezo. Matsumae, October 2, 1848. 

The foreigner who landed at Notsuka in Rishiri Island and con¬ 
cerning whom you instructed me on the 19th day of the 7th month 
sailed from Eramchi for Nagasaki yesterday the 5th inst. (Oct. 
1), the wind being favorable. As my retainers sent there informed 
me of the fact, I hasten to report the same. 

On the 6th day of the 9th month. Matsumae, Shima-no-kami. 

As you instructed me to take the foreigner mentioned in the 
other report first to Esashi and at the earliest opportunity to for¬ 
ward him to Nagasaki, I sent an express messenger to the guards 
station at Soya with the necessary orders. The foreigner accord¬ 
ingly sailed from that place on the 26th day of the 7th month 
(August 24), but as the wind was not good the fune came to the 
road of this town on the 10th of last month (September 7). The 
fune ought to have gone to Esashi, but the wind not being fav¬ 
orable it had to put into the port of Eramachi. While waiting 
for a favorable wind at that port preparations for the voyage (to 
Nagasaki) were finished and he sailed yesterday. I mention this 
fact as it was not the place In your instructions. 

On the 6th day of the 9th month. Matsumae, Shima-no-kami. 

Report from the resident officials of the Daimyo of Matsumae 
and Yezo to the Shogun’s government. Yedo, November 7, 1848. 

The foreigner, who landed at Notsuka in Rishiri Island and con- 

280 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

cerning whom you gave instructions on the 19th day of the 7th 
month, was forwarded to Nagasaki. The officers who accompa¬ 
nied him there have notified us by an express messenger that 
without any accident during the voyage he arrived in safety (at 
Nagasaki) on the 15th of last month (September 12) and that on 
the 17th of the same month (September 14) Ido, Tsushima-no- 
kami, received the foreigner in charge at his own office. Although 
Shima-no-kami, who is now in his residential town, will report on 
hearing the news we hasten to inform you of this. 

On the 12th day of the 10th month. 

Report, from Shima-no-kami, to the Shogun’s government. 

Matsumae, December 8, 1848. 

As my officials have already reported to you the foreigner, who 
drifted to Notsuka in Rishiri Island and concerning whom you in¬ 
structed me on the 19th day of the 7th month, was forwarded 
to Nagasaki. Without any accident during the voyage the for¬ 
eigner arrived (at Nagasaki) on the 15th day of the 9th month 
and on the 17th of the same month Ido, Tsushima-no-kami, received 
him in charge. This is to report the said fact. 

On the 13th day of the 11th month. Matsumae, Shima-no-kami. 

Extract from the “Nagasaki Tomegaki”, (Nagasaki notes). 

Ranarudo Makudonaruto, fisherman of Canada, 24 years old, 
has been received in charge. 

He said that there was no god nor Buddha. He cultivated his 
heart and will and worshipped heaven in order to get clear under¬ 
standing and enjoy happiness. He has nothing else to repeat. 


Contemporary deposition of Ranald MacDonald. 302 

Before me, James Glynn, commandinig the United States ship 
“Preble,” personally appeared, this 30th day of April, 1849, Ranald 
MacDonald, who, being duly sworn, deposes as follows: 

I was born at Astoria, in Oregon; I am twenty-four years of age. I 
shipped at Sag harbor in the whale ship “Plymouth,” Captain Edwards, 
on a whaling voyage, on the second day of December, 1845. Being off 
the island of Japan, I left the ship at my own desire, agreeably to a pre¬ 
vious understanding with the captain. He was to furnish me with a boat, 

302 u. S. Senate, Executive Docket , 32nd congress, 1st session, No. 
59, pp 25-28. 



etc., and drop me off the coast of Japan, under favorable circumstances 
for reaching the shore. 

Ranald MacDonald further deposes that on the 28th day of June, 
1848, after losing sight of the “Plymouth,” I hauled on the wind, standing 
to the northward and eastward for the land. In entering a bay I observed 
some rocks ahead. I endeavored to tack, but failed. I then wore to the 
southward and westward, just clearing the rocks. I kept on the wind 
until I cleared them. I then ran free to the northward and westward, 
standing for the opposite side of the bay. I passed through a channel in 
the reef, and anchored under a shelter, where I tried my pistols by shoot¬ 
ing a sea-lion. I then got under way, and stood for the bottom of the bay, 
where I landed, having understood from the captain that it was inhab¬ 
ited; but finding no inhabitants I made an experiment of a premeditated 
design, which was to see if I could capsize my boat and right her again. 
In this I succeeded to my satisfaction. 1 then ascended the heights to 
take another look at the ship. With a view to lengthening my absence 
from the ship, I remained two nights in this bay. In the meantime I 
made an excursion into the interior, but I saw nothing of interest. 

That knowing there were inhabitants on the island of Timoshee (or 
Dessey of the Japanese) about ten miles distant, I put to se,a on the third 
day to go there, with a view of representing myself as destitute. 

That between the two islands, about ten o’clock in the morning , I 
turned out the reef in my sail, capsizing my boat intentionally, making 
no effort to save anything but my chest, which I wanted for ballast, and 
for trimming my boat. My rudder was let go also. Unstepped my mast, 
righted my boat, re-stepped my mast, set my sail, and stood towards the 
land. I saw a vessel that day about six p. m., to the northward. That 
night I spent in the boat, lying off and on. Next morning early I ap¬ 
proached the land, and was becalmed. I first discovered smoke, and 
when day broke, saw some natives launching a boat. They came towards 
me, within a hundred yards. On my beckoning they approached me tim¬ 
idly, and I jumped into their boat, fastening the painter of my boat to 
theirs, and made signs to go ashore. 

On my landing they took hold of my wrists, one on each side, in a 
gentle manner, put sandals on my feet, and led me to a house. Here a 
breakfast was provided for me in their best manner; and they also gave 
me dry clothes. I remained in this house eight days, when four Matsmai 
officers arrived from Soya. These officers took me to the capital of the 
island situated on the seashore, to the northward and westward. There I 
was imprisoned. At first my apartment was quite small; but on my re¬ 
monstrating, they enlarged it by moving the partitions. 

After remaining here thirty days, an officer arrived, and took me to 
a town called Soya, on the island of Yesso, distant about twenty-five 
miles. I was placed in prison in Soya, and remained there about fifteen 
days, waiting for a junk, which I was secretly told they expected from 
Matsmai. This vessel not arriving, I was placed in a small boat, and 
after a day’s journey met a junk, and was taken back to Soya, where I 
was delayed four or five days longer; after which I was put on board this 
junk and sent to Matsmai. On the passage, stopped to get wood and wa¬ 
ter. On board this vessel I was permitted to go about abaft the mast. I 
arrived at Matsmai, after a passage of fifteen days, on the sixth of Sep¬ 
tember. Here they put me in confinement, where I remained until the 
first of October. Whilst here I learned that I had been preceded by 
other fifteen Americans, who had made attempts to escape. Here they 

282 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

gave me sweetmeats, and in all other respects treated me kindly. I was 
given a rude spoon, which had been manufactured and left by one of the 
party of fifteen Americans who had been imprisoned here before me. On 
the first of October I left in another junk for Nangasacki; arrived at 
Nangasacki on the 15th; remained on board two days, and landed on the 
17th. I was taken, in the first place, to a small enclosure adjoining the 
town hall. Here I was met by an interpreter, (Morreama Einaska), who 
told me that in front of the first door of the town-house I would see an 
image, and to put my foot on it, telling me that this image was the “devil 
of Japan.” In passing the door I put my foot on it, but was not able to 
see it clearly, in consequence of the crowd, who pressed me forward. It 
appeared to be a metallic plate, of about a foot in diameter, on which I 
thought I could see a representation of the Virgin and Infant Saviour. In 
the town-house I was requested to kneel, after the Japanese fashion, 
upon a mat. I attempted one knee, but they insisted upon my getting 
down on both knees; which I finally assented to. Soon after this I heard 
a hissing noise, and was told by the interpreter that the governor was 
coming, and that I must make “compliments to him;” which was to bend 
low, and not look up. I made a low bow to the governor, though not be¬ 
fore I had taken a look at him. 

The Japanese inquired my name, my place of birth, and port from 
whence I sailed, and my place of residence. I answered them Oregon, 
New York and Canada, with the hope that in the event of an American or 
English vessel arriving here, either of them would taken an interest in 
me, and that I might be restored to my own liberty, and for the oppor¬ 
tunity of giving information to the people of the United States that some 
of their countrymen were imprisoned in Japan, and in all probability 
would remain in prison for life. They then inquired the name of the ship 
I had left, the name of her captain, and my reasons or motives for leav¬ 
ing the ship. I told them I had some difficulty with the captain. They 
finally asked me “if I believed there was a God in Heaven.” I answered, 
yes; that I believed in the “Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and in our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ.” I was then told that I had permission to 
leave the hall; and I was then taken in a cago, attended by a number of 
soldiers, to my prison, which I was told was a sort of temple or priest’s 
house. I remained in this prison up to the present time. During this 
time I was taken to the town-hall twice, and also questioned on several 
occasions at my prison. The day after being put in this prison I asked 
for my books, particularly my Bible. The interpreter told me, with a good 
deal of fervor or interest, “not to speak of the Bible in Japan; it was not 
a good book.” During these interviews the object of their questions ap¬ 
peared to be to ascertain if I had any influential friends at home who 
would seek for me. If I had, they would send me away; if I had none, 
then they would imprison me for life in Japan. 

About the seventeenth day of April I heard signal guns. (About three 
months before, I was told that when the Dutch ship, or any ship ap¬ 
peared approaching the coast, the guns would be fired.) I was told by 
my guard, secretly, that these guns announced the approach of a yearly 
Dutch ship, and they were also fired to call in the troops from the neigh¬ 
boring towns and districts. On this occasion there were fired six guns; 
two were in close succession, being repeated at longer intervals. In the 
hands of the same soldiers, the next morning, I saw sheets of paper, with 
writing on, which did not appear to be a letter. On inquiry, he told me 
it was a list of soldiers who had arrived at Nangasacki from the neigh- 



boring cities. The number he gave me was “three thousand five hun¬ 
dred and four.” I asked how many soldiers there were in Nangasacki on 
ordinary occasions. He said that the ordinary number was six hundred 
and fifty; but on this occasion he thought there were about six thou¬ 
sand, besides an unknown number of attendants or followers—an extra¬ 
ordinary force. 

On the afternoon of the 24th, the chief “Serai Tatsnosen,” accom¬ 
panied by the interpreter, “Morreama Einaska,” came to me in my prison, 
and told me that as a new governor and a number of gentlemen had ar¬ 
rived from Yedo, they had concluded to send me to the Dutch factory. 
After a while, they asked me if I knew the reason of this. I replied, 
“No.” Then they told me that a vessel had arrived from my country. As 
I had hailed from three different countries, I asked if the ship was from 
Oregon; that having been assigned as the place of my birth. They said 
“No, from New York.” I told them that was the place I sailed from. 
From thence I was taken to the Dutch factory at Decima, and delivered 
over to the Dutch superintendent of trade, where I was kindly treated. 
The superintendent sent me to the ship. I have heard other cannon fired 
oefore the arrival of the “Preble,” which I suppose was a salute on the 
arrival of the winter fleet of Chinese junks. I was told there were five 
cannon in Soya, but I never saw any except those I saw on coming from 
Nangasacki. The troops that I have seen in Japan were clothed in a coat 
of mail, with hats of paper, japanned, broad-rimmed, low-crowned, and 
fitting close to the head. These hats did not appear to be worn for de¬ 
fense. They were armed with two swords, and, in addition to these, with 
bows and arrows, and also with match-locks, (the ignited match being 
carried at the waist.) I never saw any mounted cavalary, but heard of 
such being in the country. The match-locks were with very short breeches 
to the stock, which was brought against the cheek in firing, as shown to 
me by one of the soldiers. In firing, they kneel upon the right knee, 
throwing the left foot forward, keeping both eyes wide open. 

The common people appeared to be amiable and friendly, but the gov¬ 
ernment agents were the reverse. 

During my imprisonment I had a number of scholars among the 
Japanese interpreters, which probably procured me more kindness than I 
would have otherwise met with. Morreama speaks better English than 
any of the Japanese I heard attempt it. Two or three of the other inter¬ 
preters speak a little English. I was told that there was an abundance 
of mineral coal in Japan, and some not far from Nangasacki. 

That I was fully under the impression that the fifteen men, whoever 
they might be, who had preceded me from Matsmai, were still in Japan, 
and doomed to perpetual imprisonment; and that I believed that their lib¬ 
eration depended entirely upon the success of my efforts to return to civ¬ 
ilization, and send them relief. 

Upon the arrival of the ship there appeared to be a general excite¬ 
ment among the government agents. On the morning of the 26th of 
April, the interpreter came to my prison, and exhibited a letter, trans¬ 
lated into English, purporting to be a communication to the commanding 
officer of the “Preble,” requiring him to leave the harbor of Nangasacki, 
on the reception of the fifteen men. 

The interpreter wished me to give him the relative rank of the captain 
of the ship, by counting in the order of succession from the highest chief 
in the United States. First, I gave the people, which they could not com- 

284 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

prehend, then the President of the United States, the Secretary of the 
Navy, commodore, post captain, and commander. This rank appeared 
to be sufficiently elevated to excite their surprise. 


Sworn and subscribed before me, this 30th day of April, 1849. 


Commanding the U. S. ship “Preble." 

Narrative of the shipwrecked seamen in Japan, as furnished by 
the Japanese authorities at Nagasaki. Presented to Commander 
James Glynn by Mr. Bassle, on the 25th day of April, 1849, and 
orally translated by him. (The original is written in Japanese 
Dutch.) 303 

Fifteen men from an American whale ship, said to be wrecked near 
Matsmai. As customary, the men were taken into the custody of Japa¬ 
nese officers, and the edict of the Emperor orders that all foreigners 
shall be taken to Nangasacki; and these men were accordingly placed on 
board a vessel and transported to that place. (This paragraph was sup¬ 
plied by me.) 

At Matsmai they were placed in confinement. John Bawl and Robert 
McCoy escaped by breaking through a water-closet. They ran into the 
mountains, but, after a short time, were recaptured. 

John Martin and Robert McCoy afterwards made a successful attempt 
to run, by breaking through the roof of the house. They were retaken. 

These three men, John Martin, Robert McCoy and John Bawl, were 
then placed in a boat by themselves. They afterwards asked forgiveness. 
It was granted on their promise to behave better. They were then re¬ 
stored to their companions. 

On the 27th day of August Robert McCoy again escaped by breaking 
through the side of the house. He was retaken and put in solitary con¬ 
finement. He was questioned as to his reasons for running away, and 
his reply was well received by the governor. He was again cautioned as 
to his conduct, pardoned, and placed with his companions. At this time 
all the men were warned to keep still and to behave properly. 

Their wants were supplied. The superintendent wrote a letter to the 
Americans, requesting that they would keep quiet, and show a proper be¬ 
haviour towards those who had them in charge. The men replied in Eng¬ 
lish, promising that they would behave themselves. 

On the 18th day of October, John Bawl, Robert McCoy and Jacob 
Boyd escaped, by burning through the floor. They were retaken, being 
discovered in a farmer’s house. They were questioned, but the reasons 
they gave proved unsatisfactory. They begged to be forgiven; it was 
again granted. But they were separated from their companions. 

The men gave so much trouble that the Japanese authorities scarcely 
knew what course to pursue towards them. 

Sick .—Makea was taken sick with a fever on the evening of the 6th 

303 U. S. Senate, Executive Docket , 32nd Congress, 1st session, No. 
59, pp. 38-39. 



of August, 1848, and received medical advice. 

Robert McCoy was seized with a pain in his stomach on the 19th of 
August, and received medical advice. 

Makea, James Hall, Manna and Steam took cold on the 19th of Au¬ 
gust and received medical advice. 

John Martin, on the 19th of August, was seized with a pain in his 
teeth, and by fever. He was given medicine. 

Maury and Hiram, on the 20th of August, were attacked with cold, 
and received medical advice. 

John Waters, on the 1st of October, was atacked by fever, and seized 
with cramps in the stomach. He got well by the use of medicines. 

Steam, on the 4th of October, was attacked by cold and swelling of 
the face. He recovered of this, and was afterwards seized with a cough, 
and threw up much phlegm. He got well by using medicines. 

Jacob Boyd, on the 25th of January, was taken sick with a pain in his 
stomach. He recovered. 

John Bawl, on the 8th of January, was seized with a pain and swell¬ 
ing of the face. He recovered. He was afterwards taken with the same 
kind of disease, but used medicine and got well. 

John Waters, on the 5th of January, was taken with a cold, but re¬ 

Melcher Biffar was seized with a pain in the face on the 19th of 

James Hall was seized with a similar pain on the 24th of March. 
These two men have been under medical treatment ever since, and are 
yet upon the sick list. 

Henry Barker and Jack have not been sick. 

Ranald MacDonald (the sixteenth man) has never complained of be¬ 
ing ill. 

Deaths .—Maury committed suicide by hanging himself on the night 
of the 12th of November, whilst his companions were asleep. This state¬ 
ment was made by the men to the officers, who instituted an inquiry into 
the cause of Maury’s death. His associates begged and obtained permis¬ 
sion to bury him. 

Ezra Goldthwait and James Hall, on the 16th of December, were both 
seized with a swelling of the face. They recovered of this; but on the 
21st of December Goldthwait was taken down with a fever. He had med¬ 
ical advice and attendance; but became worse and worse, and on the 1st 
of January died. His companions asked and were given permission to 
bury him. 

The narrative concludes by stating that the wants of the above 
men have been at all times supplied them by the government of 
Nagasaki, as is well known to Mr. Levyssohn. 






The following glossary is inserted to permit the curious reader 
an opportunity to judge our author’s aptitude and success in learn¬ 
ing something of the Japanese language. The glossary has neither 
philological value or accuracy, as our author’s hasty autograph 
notes are hard to decipher, and neither the late Malcolm McLeod 
who compiled the glossary from the notes, or the Amercan 
editor who is responsible for their appearance here had any fit¬ 
ness for the tasks they assumed. 

Prior to the restoration, the language of Kyoto, the ancient 
capital of Japan, was considered the standard of language, and of 
highest authority, but since the restoration and the removal of the 
capital to Tokyo, the dialect of the latter place has taken pre¬ 
cedence. Other dialetical differences are numerous and the lan¬ 
guage abounds in provincialisms and vulgarities: moreover in 
many Japanese provinces the pronunciation is so varied that it was 
a very difficult task for an uneducated person speaking only one 
local dialect to make himself thoroughly understood by another 
native speaking an entirely different dialect. It should also be 
borne in mind that our author, even in his limited intercourse 
with the Japanese people, doubtless heard and noted down a num¬ 
ber of provincialisms, which in his phonetic rendering are now 
well nigh unintelligible. Since MacDonald’s time, through the in¬ 
troduction of a standard system of schools and Japanese text 
books, the Japenese language has become standardized. Many 
words in use at the time of MacDonald’s visit are now obsolete. 
Notwithstanding all this, a glance through the following pages 
will disclose that a high percentage of the words, so imperfectly, 
transcribed from Mr. MacDonald’s notes are either identical with, 
or closely approximate the present standard Japanese word. 

. A 

Standard or 







Fene Tajo 

Suishi teitoku 














Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Standard or 











(or) Negur 









(or) Kista 






Hie (or) hae 





Autumn (next) 



Awake (or get 









placed after noun, 
Tremara, not good. 


Senaka and Tamasha 





Bathe (to) 

You or Me 

Yuami, Yu 




Beans (Dumpling 




ground beans) 




Feto or Ftone (quilt) 











Belly, to cut the 

Shepuk, and Harra 







Kweetsko and 



















Soefo Kasera 






Nie tatsu 




Bow (to) 



Bow, a 



Bow, string 

Yomme tsure 







Breathe (to) 



4^*4 ■*<*** / ' 

-5 - /^^XL 

J/XL- I /U 2X r /?- 

xxXy S ^fc, v v 

Xfa^ytXXtX -. :'X& 



/s-StX .. 

tS. 'Xlc 9-1,'Zi- 

-/Vv*_ ■+.'** —■ - 

-a^^ v- —— ' 

~ts / isrf^*-~' ■~~~~ 

&^JtL H2' 


^tT^yyt--' t*~~ - 

J^**-*' c^+^y 'd/-^ 

itX X'^''- 



G^y e^^-- 


i/ir ^ - — ~~ 
^/fogy-pts — 

‘^As-isi.- S t &~ &■> — 

^yo-' </ j£-<&L.. 

j //tc/<^ /^i-J -MjL~ 

I! / <£, 

tPl-f/pC- j 






4 ; ^ 

Mf'-sz r-X-e-rt./- 


, y^*c ///1’-^ ^~. 




Photographic copy of a page of MacDonald’s glossary of English- 

Japanese words 

From his original notes made in Japan, 1848-1849, now in the Provincial 
Library, Victoria, B. C. 






Standard or 







Bring (back) 


Motte Kaeru 









Otoko Kyodai 







By and By 



By and By warm 

O-tagki atse 

Sugu Atsukunaru 


Cabbage (Pickled) 





Nagu, Nagi 




Capital, The Sacred 



of Japan 

Capital, The Secular 

Ieddo (Yeddo) 


of Japan 

Captain (Chief) 


Taicho or Taii 








Catsu, or 


fenow (on shoulder) 


(on back) 



















Ho or Hoho 


Agi or Ake 






Kerce or Kreen 

Kirei na 


Kibac Kogin 

Kirisuto, or 
Yaso Kurisuto 


T Kusho 






Come here 




Holly, and 









Taku, Ryo-rinin 

Cover (to) 



Cover (to) un(cover) Ftatoru 








Cut (to) 

Kure or Korri 


290 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 


Standard or 









Odoru, buto 








Musme and 




Shear, and 



Day, to 

Quo, or 




Day yester 



Day fine 



Deliver (to) 



Dear Me! 






Different affair 
















Ma (horse) —Oy akoonu 





























Hatch and 


Yoka Yoka (days) 



Ju hatoinai and 

Juhachi-ban (18th) 

Ju Hatch 





Eldest (born of woman) Ane (daughter) 



Ju itch 

Ju estinge 


Emperor, before 






Emperor, Spiritual 


Emperor, Temporal 

Kobo. Ziogoun 




Nyo-tei, Ko-go 



Hata jirushi 




Entertaining—days for 








Standard or 


















Eiaka (Highaka) 




Chichi, Teteoya 


Ju-jwonge or Jugo 


Fight (to) with both 






Fire place 






Fish—Dumplings of 



Fine day 




Goka, (elements) 



Go jo 






Flowery pattern 



Follow (to) 



















Yoka, or 


She-yoka (footed) 








Full—to overflowing 

Epae or Epe 





Kawa, Kegawa 









Kunshi, Shinshi 




Ghost, Holy 







Vetro (probably from 
French vitre, intro¬ 
duced by French 

Biidoro, Gurasu 


Ego, or 


Youkfla (?) 



Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 



God (of the Shinto) 








Great deal 













Hit—knock to 

Hold—to with finger 
and thumb 
Hook (a fish) 




How do you do? 





Kamoui or Kami- 
Weya Timi 

Bougio, or 




Hoska Musme 

Hoska Musko 

Oke (Same in Cree) 

Oka or Oke 


Standard or 


Koeru (by) 



Yoi, Yoki 
Yokunai, Aku naru 
Gan (wild) 


O-ju-san, Sofu 

Baba, or obaa-san, sobo 




Yohodo, Takusan 










Konata (applied also 
to personal pronoun 







Negor and Negeem 
Tsema mu 









Kami, kami-no-ke 
Zashiki, Yashiki 

Tenugui, Hankachi 
Isogo, Hayai 
Hiku, Hakobu 
Aru, Motsu 
Kono okato, Kare 









Ie, lye 

Do, Ikani 




Standard or 







Watakshewa, also 




Iummo Kul 












Hizen, Kayui 




Tob or Toeb 





Kobu, Kombu 

0, Tenno 


















Toshin, Toshimi 




Lantern Box 




Futoi, O-ki 

Last Night 


Yube, Saku-ban 






Okite, Horitsu 

Left—side or direction Hedier 

Hidari no, Hidarigawa 




Lend me 

Okash nasaramosh 

Kashite Kudasai 


















Light day 

Hera Shear 

Akarui Hi 




Little—size or 




Little, a small 






Chitto, Chotto 




Long ago 





Toku, Tokeru 

294 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 


Lord—Highest term 
of address to all of 
superior rank in so¬ 
ciety, correspond¬ 
ing to the term 




Standard or 

Sama, Kami 



Itsukushimu, Ai 







Tsukuru, Koshi-n 













Shu jin 









Au, Matsu 



Oboe, Kioku 

Memory bad 

Oboye waig 

Oboye Warui 




Mile—one of ours 


Jushicho Amari 

Mile—their mile 



about 2V 2 ours 



Mekake, Oyeran 

Mistress pleasure for 

You joe 

Yu jo, Jujo, Joro 




Kin (ready) 







Tsuki, Hitotsuki 









Okka-san, Haha 










Moyat—a kind of 


water vegetable 











Cubee and 




Neck—to stab thru the Gegii 


Necessary (Water 


Setsuin, Bengo 














Not any 

Now—at present 


Obliged, greatly 
Obliged, greatly for 

Onions, pickled 















Post Captain 
Pot—kettle or 






Yousii or Usii 

Quoo a koo, or 


Juquinge, or 


Eya, and 




Naka or Naran 
Fadima, or 


Kam Hatm Rama 
Okearin gado 


Ga, and no (affix) 
Sto, ege, itch 
Awkur, mow 










Go otts, (checkers) 




Tesak (detective) 
Buda “good-so” 
Nabee (T?) 

Standard or 









Iiye, lye 



Ro, Kai 
O-kini Arigato 

Taiyo Kai 

Shitomogi, Hitomoj i 


Itai, Itaka 

Hito, He-min 



Ita, Ita wo haru 

Go wo uts 

Asobu, Tawamureru 


Seiji, Junsa 


Buta no niku, Buta Niko 




Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 


Standard or 









Potatoes, a veg- 



etable like 









Ottsuke, sugu 










Wakahime, Himegini 




Pull or Haul 



Put—to put on 

Kier, or 

Kiru, Oku 








Neo O’ 

Nyotei, kogo 

Quiver—Arrows of 


Ya, Yugi 

Queue—on top of 

Ore, bach 



Quy—a vegetable 



like a potato 
















Kaeru, Modoru 




Right—side or direction Megie 


Right—a little to the 


Sukoshi Migi 









Heya, Shinshitsu 





Row os 













Run away, to 















Same, the 
Sauce, of dark 
colored fish 

Seal (mark or stamp) 



Seen, not, you for 

Service—at your 



Fenagada (Sailor’s 




Shon (“Son”) 

Oome or Owme 



Zance, guo 



Kawdra Kotonika 











Shut (a port) 


Sister second 




Small pox 


Soldier (common, 
not impl.) 
Soldier, Imperial 



Ju stinge, Ju sitsh 







Fore ante 

Fushets kateota, or 
futs kate 
Hea, hea, hea 
On a Qudae 

Rock, Muyouca 

Ju Rockinge, Ju Roste 




Siode, Sonotor 
So so (probably from 



Standard or 

Onaji, Onajikoto 



Karu, hikkaku 
Umi, kai 
Ingyo, Han 
Mitai, Miru 

Omeni Kakaranai 
Kerai, Yatoinin 
Anatano Kotode, Katte 
ni otsukai nasare 
Hichi, Shichi 
Ju hichi 


Soru or sogu 



Hadagi, Juban 

Yu-Dachi, Niwaka ame 







Roku, Mutsu 



Nemui, Nemutai 

Komayaka na 

Chiisai, chi-sana 





So So 



Konoe Hei 
Ashi no ura 

298 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 



Son, second 





Spit box 

Stab, through the 



Straight along 







Sword, to draw the 
Sword handle 
Sword blade 






Hesabesa Oshasu 




Koo, zkee 





















Meech? (Matz) 





Standard or 

Kono Aida 



Kanashi, Kuchi-oshii 

Kokoro, Hanasu 



Tusba, Tsubaki 
Tantsubo, Haifuki 

Kanjya, Metsuke 



Inshi, Han 





Mate, Tomaru 






Tabi no hito, Tanin 
Machi, Michi 

Natsu, Natsu or ka 
Hi, Taiyo 

Hinata, Taiyo Kagayakw 
Yuhan, Yu-gohan 
Nomu, Nomi-komu 

Katana, ken 
Nuku, Ken o nuku 
Ken o Tsukau 
Saya, Yaiba 

Shokutaku, Zen 







Tea cup 
Tea Tray 

Thank (you) 















To—up or towards 








Tsua—a kind of wat¬ 
er herb much used 
by natives 





Twist, to 


MacDonald) s 





Ju, Tokatoka 




Ju Tange, Ju Tan 
Kenata san ju 
Eto (applied also to 
the third personal 
pronoun in eastern 
style of address 
Camarare, Rye 
Ni, ye 


Asno yoube 

Asta, Munege 




Di or Dy 



Ju ne 

Hatska or (years) 
Ju Hatska 




Standard or 




Ju, To 

Kara, Shikaraba, 



Watakishi, Kangoern 







Mi, Mitsu 

Oya-yubi, Oyubi 

Kaminari, Rai 




Ni, ye 





Ashi no yubi 

Ashita, Myo-nichi 




Dai, Bon 


Choseicho, Hichimencho 




Nejiru, Nigu 



300 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 







Wash, to, the face 














Who is it? 



Wife, second 

Will—I, not 

Wing (feather) 
Winter, next 
Wipe, to dry up 

Wish I, you joy 









Grotsu Tajo 












Wara ware 





















Oyaro cobee (much 



Standard or 




Sotoku Taishu 

Sentaku, Arau 
Kao Arau 
Hoko suru 
Atsui, Atataka 

Michi, Michikai 







Izure, Dochira 



Tare, Dochira 

Doshite, Naze 

Oku-sama, Tsuma 



Daro, dozo 


Kaze, Kaje 

Negau, dozo 
Oyoro Kobi 





Standard or 












Myo-nen, Rainen 



Kyonen, Saku-nen 


















(Including magazine and newspaper articles containing men¬ 
tion of MacDonald’s Japan Adventure.) 

Astorian (Astoria, Ore.), February 8, 1891. The oldest Native 

Britannicus Letter No. 7, Ottawa Times, Ottawa, Canada, 1869. 
Contains Ranald MacDonald’s Adventure in Japan. 

Canadian Pacific Pamphlets; 1875-1880; some contain mention 
of Ranald MacDonald’s story. 

Century Magazine, New York, Aug. 1913, vol. 86, pp. 597-605. 
Wm. Elliot Griffis. American Makers of the New Japan. 

China Mail, May 31, 1849. Vol. 5, No. 224, p. 86. Report of 
return of the Preble with men from the Lagoda, and Mac¬ 
Donald from the Plymouth. 

Chinese Repository, S. Wells Wiliams, ed., June, 1849, vol. 18, 
pp. 315-323. Cruise of the United States Sloop of War, 
Preble, commander James Glynn, to Napa, and Nagasaki. 

Corrector, (The) Sag Harbor, L. I., N. Y., H. D. Slight, editor, 
various dates, 1905; A History of Sag Harbor’s Whaling 

Same article, reprint, Brooklyn Times, (various dates) 1905. 

-Sag Harbor’s Whaling Fleet, various dates. 

Dye, Eva Emery. MacDonald of Oregon; a tale of two shores. 

395 p. Chicago, A. C. McClurg & Co., 1906. 

Griffis, William Elliot. America in the East; a glance at our 
history, prospects, problems and duties in the Pacific 
Ocean. 236 p. New York, A. S. Barnes & Co., 1889. Ran¬ 
ald MacDonald p. 103, 167-168. 

-The Japanese Nation in Evolution, New York, Crowell & 

Co., 1907. pp. 226, 308-309. 

Harper’s Weekly Magazine, New York. July 18, 1891. Vol. XXXV, 
No. 1804, pp. 534-535, Elizabeth B. Custer. An Out of 
the Way Outing. ; 

Same article, Kettle Falls Pioneer, Haskins ed., Kettle 
Falls, Wash., Aug. 6, 1891. 

Hildreth, Richard. Japan As it Was and Is; a handbook of old 
Japan, 2 vols. Chicago, A. C. McClurg & Co., 1906. Ran¬ 
ald MacDonald; Vol. 2, p. 271-272. 

304 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

Kettle Falls, (Wash.) Pioneer, Aug. 6, 1891, Mrs. Custer’s article 
copied from Harper’s Weekly of July 18, 1891 

-Sept. 3, 1891. Was Uncalled For—A cutting rebuke to 

Mrs. General Custer’s criticism. The Oldest of Pioneers. 
An interesting letter from our honored and respected Pat¬ 
riarch, Ranald MacDonald. 

-Nov. 16, 1893; Nov. 23, 1893; Dec. 7, 1893; Dec. 21, 1893; 

Jan. 4, 1894; containing the first chapters of MacDonald’s 

-Aug. 30, 1894. Notice of death of Ranald MacDonald. 

Levyssohn, John H. Blader ubs Japan, ’s Gravenhage: Belinfante, 
1852. MacDonald, pp. 53, 55. 

Littell’s Living Age, Boston, E. Littell &. Co., Oct. 27, 1849, vol. 23, 
No. 284, pp. 145-152. Americans in Japan. Cruise of the 
U. S. Sloop of war Preble. 

McLeod, Malcolm, Pacific Railway, Canada. Britannicus Letters, 
etc., Thereon, p. 36. Ottawa, Canada. A. S. Woodbury, 
1875, Ranald MacDonald p. 18. 

Morning Courier & New York Enquirer (N. Y. City) Thursday 
morning, Sept. 18, 1849. 

Niles National Register, Philadelphia, May 30, 1849, vol. 75, p. 340. 
Intercourse with Japan. (Referring to the Seamen’s Friend, 

Nitobe, Inazo Ota. The Japanese nation, its land, its people, and 
its life, with special consideration to its relations with the 
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Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, H. G. Yoring, ed., vol. VII, 
Dec., 1906, pp. 435-437. Review of Eva Emery Dye’s 
MacDonald of Old Oregon. 

-Sept., 1911, vol. XII, pp. 220-223. A Hero of Old Astoria, 

Eva Emery Dye. 

Providence (R. I.) Journal, Thursday, Sept. 18, 1849. 

Portland Oregonian, (Portland, Oregon) February 12, 1891, page 
5. The Oldest Native Astorian. A brief sketch of the 
Life of the Grandson of King Kum Kumly, the old Indian 
Chief, copied from the Astorian. 

-Nov. 27, 1893; Nov. 29, 1893, Chinooks’ Lawful King. 

Scott, Harvey W., History of Oregon. Leslie M. Scott, ed., 2 
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Spears, John R. The Story of the New England Whaler, New 
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Spokane (Wash) Review, Nov. 24, 1890. Old Com-Comly’s 
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-Nov. 27, 1893, vol. X, No. 191, p. 2, col. 1, Long Live 

King Com-Comley, copied from Kettle Falls Pioneer, and 
copied in the New York Sun and various other papers. 

Spokesman Review, (Spokane, Wash.) Aug. 31, 1894, vol. ii, No. 
116, p. 1, col. 1. Old MacDonald Dead. Link broken that 
Bound us to the Savage Post. 

Starbuck, Alexander. History of the American Whale Fishery 
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142, note. 

(The) Seaman’s Friend, Honolulu, Oahu, Sandwich Islands, Rev’d 
Samuel C. Damon, seamen’s chaplain, editor, Dec. 1, 1848; 
A Salior’s Attempt to Penetrate Japan. Appendix herein. 

--October 1, 1849. 

-December 20, 1849. 

Tyrrell, J. B., ed.; David Thompson’s Narrative of his Explora¬ 
tions in Western America. Toronto, Champlain Society, 
1916. p. 505, note 2. 

Victoria (B. C.) Times, Sept. 21, 1888. An interesting Visitor. 
(Visit of Mr. Ada to Ottawa contains brief mention of 
Ranald MacDonald’s Japan adventure as told in Britannicus 

Same Article: Ottawa Daily Citizen, Ottawa, Canada, Sat¬ 
urday, Sept. 1, 1888. 

Same article: (copied) Colville (Washington) Miner. 

United States Senate Executive Documents, 59, 32nd Congress 
1st session. President Message . . . communicating . 

. . . certain official documents relative to the empire of 
Japan, and serving to illustrate the existing relations be¬ 
tween the United States and Japan. April 12, 1852. 

Story of Ranald MacDonald as told by himself; in 1849. 
pp. 25-28. 

Story of Ranald MacDonald as told by James Glynn, com¬ 
mander United States Ship Preble, pp. 55-57. 


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308 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

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Kane, Paul. Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of North 
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Langsdorff, George Heinrich von. Voyages and Travels in var¬ 
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Martin, R. M. Hudson’s Bay Territories .... with an Ex¬ 
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Macfie, Mathew. Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 574 p. 
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Martin, Archer. The Hudson’s Bay Company’s land tenures, 238 p. 
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Masson, D. R. (les) bourgeois de le compagnie, du Nord-Ouest, 
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-Oregon Indemnity, Claim of Chief Factors and Chief Trad¬ 
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Nantucket Inquirer, (Nantucket, Mass.,) February 2, 1849. 

Nantucket Journal (Nantucket, Mass.,) 1887. 

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New Bedford, (Mass.,) Whalingmen’s Shipping list, January 16, 

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-Dec. 17, 1899 p. 28. Comcumly’s Followers, Their Empire 

about the Mouth of the Columbia, etc. 

310 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

-December 18, 1899 p. 9. Mr. Smith’s Address. He tells of 

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Provincial Archives Department of Province of British Columbia, 
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Ditto .... 406 p. Paris, 1848. 

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Stevenson, Robert Louis. Familiar Studies of Men and Books. 
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Stoddard, C. W. South Sea Idyls. (Any edition.) 339 pp. New 
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(“n” following page indicates footnote) 


ABBOTT, Mr., 33. 

ADAM, Tillamook Chief, 122n. 

ADAMS, John Quincy, 77n. 

ADAMS, Will, 234n. 

AFRICA, 42. 

AIN'SLIE, Dr., 234n. 

AINU, 163, 163n, 165, 261; Pro¬ 
nounced “eye-nose,” “Inoes,” 
163; Islands, 170; Meaning of 
name, 164n; A Mongol people 
from Chinese Tartary, 163n, 
164n, 169; Indigenous to Yezo, 
163n; A subject people, 167, 
168; Simple and kindly, 168; By 
occupation, fishermen, 163n, 
166; Differ physically, mental¬ 
ly, morally from Japanese, 167, 
168; No government of their 
own, 170; Physical characteris¬ 
tics, 164n, 168, 169; Resemble 
Hydras and Balia Coola indians, 
168; Uncouth in person, wild 
in person, in dress, 169; Un¬ 
combed beards, unwashed faces, 
169; Very hairy, 168; Fond of 
saki, 165; Abstain from meat, 
163; Offer “grace” before 
meals, 165. 

ALASKA, 104. 

ALEXANDRIA, (B. C.), 102n. 

ALEXANDRIA, Fort, 46. 

ALLEN, Joseph of the ship, Moro, 

ALLEZ, Miss, 114n. 

ALTAR, Japanese, 164. 

ALMANAC, Japanese, 160. 

AMBOW, Island of, 141 n. 

AMELIA, whaler, 134n. 


BAKER, Capt., 161, 235n. 

BAKUFU, 173n. 

BALL, John, 25, 39n. 

BALL’S School, 25, 25n, 105n, 

BALLARAT (Australia), 44. 

BANCROFT, H. H., 86, 124, 124n. 

AMERICAN crew, 195; Corvette, 
the Preble, 246; Indians, 227n, 
169n, characterization of, 169n. 
Sailors, 195, 196; Sailors from 
whaler Lagoda, 195, 196, 246; 
Ships, see ships; Words used 
by Japanese, see English. 

AMERICAN Fur Co., 32, 33. 

AMERICAN Publishers, 19. 

AMUR, 165n. 

ANDREWS, Ruben of David Pad- 
dock, 139, 141, 145, 235. 

APPLES, Japanese, 203. 


ARROW Lake (B. C.), 107n. 

News-Morning Chronicle), 255. 

ASSINIBOIA, appointment to gov¬ 
ernorship of, 107. 

ASTOR, expedition, 75; First ship, 
the Tonquin, 80; Staff, Leading 
officer of, 77. 

ASTOR, Mr., (John Jacob), 77n. 

ASTORIA, 74, 77n, 78n, 80, 85, 
92, 111; D. Thompson’s arrival 
at, 111, 32. 

ATHABASCA, 169n; Pass, 26, 96, 
108, 112; Highest in Rocky 

Mountains, 108. 

ATHABASCA River, 109n. 

ATLAS, Japanese copy of English, 

AUSTRALIA, visited by Ranald 
MacDonald during “first gold 
diggins.” 44, 45, 249; Champion 
of, 45; Gold rush, 44; Gold 
discoveries, 249n. 

BANCROFT, History of British 
Columbia, 100, 124. 

BANK of Elgin, 116, 116n; Of 
Upper Canada, 116, 116n, 117; 
of Montreal, 116n. 

BARKER, Capt. Seth of Boston, 
85, 85n. 

314 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

BARKER and Sturges, 85n. 

BARNES, Miss Jane, 84n. 

BARNSTON, George, 93n. 

BARNSTON, Mrs. George, 93n; 

BARNSTON, John G., 45, 102n. 

BASSIE, Mr., 284. 

BAS, (hashi) Japanese word for 
bridge, 169, 169n. 

BAS de la Riviere, 30, 78n. 

BASHEE (or Bashi) Islands, 145, 
145n. 146. 

BATAVIA, 161, 162n. 


BATTAN Island, 145, 146, 224. 

BAWL, John, 196n, 284, 285. 

BEADS for prayer, 189. 

BEAR, brother of Com-com-ly, 

BEAVER river, lOOn. 

BEAVER skins, 56; Unit of ex¬ 
change, 56. 

BEAVER, steamer, 107n. 

BEAVIT’S sledge, 28. 

BED and covering, Japanese, 200, 

222 . 

BEESWAX Junk, 121, 122n. 

BELCHER, Point, disaster, 134, 

BELLA Coola Coast Indians, 168, 

BENGAL, 234n. 

BENTNICK Arm, 46, 46n, 102n. 

BIFFAR, Melcher, 196n, 285. 

BIG Bend of the Upper Columbia 
River, 108, 112. 

BIG Eddy of Upper Columbia, 
108, 112. 

BIG Head Edwards, Indian chief, 

BIRTH of Ranald MacDonald, 92. 

BLACK bear, 37. 

BLUE Coat Boy, 108, 108n. 

BOAT Encampment on Upper Co¬ 
lumbia, 108, 108n, 11 On. 

BOATS, (see ships post.) 

BOLON, Indian Agent A. J., 91n. 

BOMBAY, 44. 

BONAPARTE River, 45. 

BONAPARTE mining district, B. 
C., 47. 

BONIN Islands, 145. 

BOOBY Island, 198n. 

BOOKS, foreign possessed by Jap¬ 
anese, 226n; Japanese, 204; 

Japanese footnotes in, 206; 
Japanese manner of noting re¬ 
spect for, 200; Wood cuts in, 
205; Binding, 204. 

BOSTON, vessels of in Northwest 
trade, 80, 8In. 

BOULARD, Michel, 11 In. 
BOUNDRY Creek, B. C., 67. 
BOURDEAUX, Michel, 11 In. 
BOURNE, Jonathan of New Bed¬ 
ford, 196n. 

BOURNE, Jonathan Jr. of Ore¬ 
gon, 196n. 

BOURNE, Jonathan Whaling Mu¬ 
seum, 196n. 

BOY, Chinook word for, 93. 
BOYD, Dr. of Emburgh, lOln. 
BOYD, Jacob, 196n, 284, 285. 
BRADY, John, 195. 

BRAZIER, 222. 

BREAD, Japanese word for, pan, 


BRIDGEPORT, whaler, 139. 
BRIGADES, 26, 55. 

BRIGADES of H. B. Co., 55, 62, 
63, 105. 

BRITANNICUS, pen name of 
Malcolm McLeod, 255. 
BRITANNICUS, letters, lOln, 255. 
BRITISH Columbia, 98, 104; 

Bancroft’s History of, 100, 124; 
Indians of, 186; Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald’s return to, 249; Source 
of cattle in Central and Eastern 
part, 104. 

BRITISH flag over Ft. George, 92. 
BRITISH Man of War, 42. 
BROTHERS, Canadian steamer, 33. 
BROUGHTON, Captain, 234n. 
BROWN, Capt. of the Peruvian, 
142, 142n. 

BUDD, Capt. John of Sag Har¬ 
bor, 38. 

BUFFALO grass, 103. 

BULL, John, 196n. 

BUNKER, Capt. Harry C., 156n. 
BURIED treasure, 42, 43, 144, 

BURNETT, A. D., 20. 

BUTLER, Capt. Thomas of Salem, 
Massachusetts, 85, 85n. 
BUTTER not used by Japanese, 

243, 243n; called boutre by Jap¬ 
anese after Dutch, 243, 243n. 




CADBORO, 99n. 

CAKES, 24, 243. 

CALCUTTA, 42, 44. 

CALDER, brig, 141n. 

CALIFORNIA, 104; Southern, 42; 
Lower, 122n. 

CALPSO, Chinook chief, 76n. 

CALVES and pigs brought around 
Horn to N. W. coast, 103, 104. 

CAMP McKinley, B. C., 47. 

CAMPBELL, Archibald, 234n. 

CANADA, 101, 116, 157; Bank of 
Upper, 117; First Parliament 
on union of two Canadas, 116n, 
117; Limited early educational 
facilities in, 117, 26. 

CANADIAN in Japan (A) 19. 

CANADIAN National Railroad, 

CANADIAN Pacific Railroad, 
Fleming’s report and survey, 
1874, 108n; Crossing above Big 
Eddy, 112. 

CANADIAN Publishers, 19. 

CANNING, George, Foreign Sec¬ 
retary, 94n. 

CANOE River, 11 In. 

CANNON at Old Fort Colvile, 50, 
104, 104n, 105. 

CANYON of the Selkirk, 112. 

CAPE Horn, 24. 

CAPE Horn vessels, 36. 

CAPE Horn voyages, 43. 

CAPITOL of China, 147. 

CARAVAN, whaler of Falls River, 

CAR-CUM-CUM, daughter of 
Com-com-ly, 23, 76n, 93n. 

CARIBOO District (B. C.) 45, 47, 
48, 65, 102n. 

CARIBOO Mines (B. C.), 65, 

CARIBOO Mountains, 111. 

CARTER Capt. S., 235n. 

CARVER, Jonathan, 83. 

CARY, William S., 141n, 142n. 

CASSACAS, Prince, 29. 

CATTLE first introduced into the 
Northwest, 103, 104, 103n. 

CAYUSE Indians, 56. 

CAZENOVE, a Chinook Chief, 79. 

CELESTE, 39n. 

CHANNEL of Tartary, 148, 149. 

CHANT, “Yes in yo, Yes in yo,” 

CHANTIES, 175, 247, 247n. 

CHARLES, Captain, 235n. 

CHARLES, an Iroquois, 11 In. 

CHARLOTTE Island waifs, 121, 
121n, 122, 122n, 123, 123n, 125, 
126, 126n. 


CHIEF Joseph, 91, 91n. 

CHINOOK language, 25. 

CHE-NAMUS, 75n. 

CHERRY men, Oh, chant, 247. 

CHESECUT Lake, B. C., 46. 

chief, 75n. 

CHINA, 43, 44, 101. 

CHINA, Dr. Gutzlaff, English 
missionary at Macao, 123, 123n. 

CHINA sea, 145, 148. 

CHINA traders, 149. 

CHINESE and Dutch oppose op¬ 
ening of Japan, 252. 

CHINESE Repository, newspaper 
of Mocao, 126. 

CHINOOK proper names: Capso, 
chief, son-in-law of Com-com- 
ly, 76n; Car-cum-cum, daugh¬ 
ter of Com-com-ly, 76n; Caz- 
enove, son-in-law of Com-com- 
ly, 78n; Che-wam-us, a son, 
75n; Chil-lai-la-will, a chief, 
75n; Coboy, or Cobaway, 39n; 
Com-com-ly, 24, 28, 58, 69, 
74, 74n, 78n, 85; Gassacop, 
son of Com-com-ly, 76n; Med- 
use (Thunder), another name of 
Com-com-ly’s, 74n; Raven, 
daughter of Com-com-ly, 85, 
85n; Selechel, son of Com-com- 
ly, 76n; Sha-la-pan, favorite 
son of Com-com-ly, 75n, 76n; 
Tha-a-muxi (bear) a brother of 
Com-com-ly, 76n. 

CHINOOK Jargon, 78n. 

CHINOOK, Indian tribe, 78n; 
Custom of flattening heads of 
infants, 82, 82n; House, des¬ 
cribed, 88; Law, 87; Last king 
of, 91; Word for boy, Toll, Toll, 
93, 93n; Potlatch, 90, 90n; Qua- 
ame, Qua-ame, grandson; White 
person, Tlo-hon-nipts, 122n. 

316 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

CHINOOKS, 23, 28, 39, 78n, 81. 

CHISKA’S House, B. C., 46. 

CHOP sticks, 198, 204. 

CHOSIN, Japan, 129n. 

CHOSU, house of, 129n. 

CHRIST, 220, 282; Child and Vir¬ 
gin, image of, 214 217. 

CHRISTIE Alexander, 30n. 

CLAIR’S store, John, 37. 

CLARK, Capt. Edward . 


CLATSOP beach, 121n; Chief, 
39n; Plains, 39n. 

CLINE’S trail, 95n. 

COAST, trade along the North¬ 
west, 80n. 

COAT of arms, Japanese word for, 
191, 202. 

CO-BOY or Coba-way, 39n. 

COCHRAN, Mrs., 115. 

COCHRAN, Rev. M., head of 
school at Red River settlement, 
113, 113n; Character of, 113n; 
Letters of, 30, 23, 26. 

COCKS, Richard, 234n. 

CODES of Japan, 259. 

COEUR d’Alene Indians, 56. 

COLUMBIA, King of, 74. 

COLUMBIAN clerks, 26. 

COLUMBIA River District, 23. 

COLUMBIA River: Big Eddy of, 
108, 112; Boat Encampment on, 
108, 108n; Dalles aux| Mort, 
112, 112n; Great Bend of, 108, 
112; Smaller Dalles, 111; 
Thompson’s search for, 109, 
109n, 110, 111; Travel on Upper 
Columbia abandoned after Ore¬ 
gon treaty, 112; Fur trade, 25. 

COLUMBIA Valley of the Pacific, 

COLVILE, A. (Andrew), 19, 72n, 
97n, 104n. 

COLVILLE Indian Reservation, 
60, 64, 67. 


DAGETT, master of the Globe, 

DAIMOIS, (Diamyes) Japanese 
word for Principalities, 230. 

COLVILE, Fort, 24n, 25, 26; Old 
cannon at, 104, 104n; Grist mill, 
24n; Occupied by Donald Mac¬ 
Donald, after abandonment, 53, 
66; Hudson’s Bay Post, 103, 
103n; Description of, 50, 52, 53, 
104; Mills at, 24, 55; Life at, 
56, 63, 104, 105; Site of, 103, 
103n; Exterior of, 49; Interior 
described, 52; Indian trade of, 

COM-COM-LY, 24, 28, 40, 41, 58, 
69, 74n, 78n, 85; Meaning of the 
name, 74n; Biographical sketch 
of, 74n; Gifts of fur by, 
89; His residence, 88; His ser¬ 
vants, 88. 

COMLY, name for Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald 78. 

COMMANDER Glynn of the Pre¬ 
ble 55, 246, 284. 

COMPASS, Japanese, 160; needle 
of points to South, 160. 

CON-con-ully, Okanogan Indian 
name, 74n. 

CONNOLLY case, 94n. 

CONNOLLY, Mr. Wm, 102n; 
Governor conducts attack on In¬ 
dians, 58. 

COO-JEEN (gozen) Japanese 
word for boiled rice, 198. 

COOK, Capt. Charles B., 134n. 

COOPER, Capt. Mercator, 123n. 

COREA, straits of, 146. 

COTE, Joseph, 11 In. 

COXE, an Owyhee, 135, 135n. 

CRASMERE, England, 19. 

CREE Indian tribe, 83n. 

CROZETTE Island fisheries, 

CULVER, Stewart, 22n, 128n, 


CUPS, Japanese tea, 121, 121n, 

222 . 

CUSTER, General, 49. 

CUSTER, Elizabeth, B., 49, 67. 

DALLES aux Morts of the Co¬ 
lumbia, 112, 112n. 

DAMIEN, Father Joseph, 156n. 
DAMON, Rev. Mr. Samuel, 156, 



DAVID Paddock, whaler, 138, 
138n, 140. 

DAVID Thompson (see Thompson 

DEAN, G., Master of Tuscany, 38n. 

DEASE, Peter Warren, 39, 59. 

DEITY of Japanese “Sin”, 228. 


DENNOSUKE, see Inomata, an 

DESPATCH, the H. B. Co.’s, 105. 

DESSERY (Reibun Island) 153, 
177, 153n, 183. 

DESSIMA, (De-shima) island of, 
212, 212n, 247. 


DEVIL of Japanese “Onie”, 228. 

DISHES, Japanese, 204. 

DIX, Edwards & Company, 18. 

DOCTOR, Dutch, at Nagasaki, 

DOCTOR, Japanese, 180, 180n. 

DOTO, shipwrecked waif, 122n. 

EAST India Company, monopoly 
of, in tea trade, 56. 

EASTERN Washington State His¬ 
torical Society, 17, 20. 

EATON, HON. J. H., 88n. 

EBBERTS, Captain, 33. 

EDINBURGH, University of, 25. 

EDITOR of Codes of Japan, 259. 

EDUCATION of Japanese, 205. 

EDWARDS, Captain Lawrence B. 
of the Plymouth, 43, 134, 134n, 
138, 151, 151n, 152n, 271, 272, 
273, 274. 

EELLS, Rev. Cushing, 106. 

E-INOSKE, see Moriyama, an in¬ 
terpreter, 226. 

EFUMI, (figure treading), 214, 
214n, 215. 

EJURO, see Keijuro, 226. 

ELGIN, Bank of, at St. Thomas, 
Ontario, 116, 116n; County, On¬ 
tario, Canada, 115, 117n. 

ELIZA, French whale ship, !96n. 

ELLIOTT, T. C., 109n. 

EMPEROR of Japan, (Siogoun), 
236, 239; at Yeddo, 262. 

ENDERINO Bay, 234n. 

ENGLAND, stock shipped from, 

DOUGLAS, B. C., 46. 

DOUGLAS, David, botanist, 136, 
136n; Death of, 137; Descrip¬ 
tion and character of, 137. 

DOUGLAS, Governor Sir James, 
47, 75, 102n, 249. 

DOUGLAS, H. B. Co. Fort, 114n. 

DOUGLAS, Lady, 58. 

DOUGLAS pine. 89, 137. 

DUTCH and Chinese opposed op¬ 
ening of Japan to commercial 
intercourse, 252, 252n. 

DUTCH-English dictionary used 
by Japanese interpreters in 
1848, 209, 211. 

DUTCH factory (Das-shima) at 
Nagasaki, 130, 212, 234n, 247; 
Factor at Nagasaki, John Lives- 
sohn, 209, 225, 243, 243n, 264; 
King William II, 252n; Friends, 

DYE, Mrs. Eva Emery, 20, 20n. 

ENGLISH words and phrases 
known by Japanese, picked up 
from British and American sail¬ 
ors, 234, 234n, 235, 235n; 

America, 195; American ship, 
176; Carpenter, 191; Doctor, 
180; “Go away,” 191; “Grog, 
yes,” 162; No, 192; Ships, 191; 
“Shiver my timbers,” 235. 

ENGLISH taught Japanese interp¬ 
reters by MacDonald, 133, 226, 

ERAMACHI, (variously spelled 
Erainetz, Eremetz, Eramatz), 
194n, 201, 20In, 206, 207. 

ERMATINGER, Edward, 26, 33, 
39, 40, 75n, 95n; Member of 
Council from Elgin, 117, 117n; 
Character of, 115n; Former chief 
accountant N. W. Co., 116; Had 
same office with H. B. Co., 116; 
Home of at St. Thomas, 115; 
Opened bank at Elgin, 116, 116n; 
Letters to, 26. 

ERMATINGER, Charles Oakes, 

ERMATINGER, Frances, 24, 24n, 
25, 26, 115n. 

318 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

ERMATINGER, Frederick W., 




FITCH & Leonard, owners of Per¬ 
uvian, 142n. 

FAIRHAVEN, Mass., 128n, 129n. 

FALL River, the Caravan of, 139n. 

FALMOUTH, Mass., 156. 

FEESHEE Island, 139. 

FENCHURCH Street, 36n. 

FIGURE treading, (E-fumi), 214, 
214n, 215. 

FI Ji Islands, 141n. 

FINCH, John of Lagoda, 196n. 

FINLAY, Jacques Raphael, 105, 

FINLAY, James, 99n. 

FINLAYSON, Chief Factor Dun¬ 
can, 26, 34, 36, 40, 107. 

FLAG of Prince of Matsmai, 202. 

FLATHEAD Country, 24n. 

FLATHEAD Indians, 82, 82n. 

FLATTERY, Cape, 121n. 

FLEMING, Sanford, lOOn. 

FLEMING’S report in survey C. 

P. R., 1874, 108. 

FLETCHER, Rev. H. M., 19. 

FLOUR, 24, 24n. 

FOLGER, Captain, 134. 

FOODS, Japanese: Fresh and salt 
fish, 161n; Boiled fish, 161, 
161n, 165, 198, 199; Boiled 

Kelp, 199; Boiled rice, 161, 165, 
198, 222; Ginger, 161, 164; 
Pickles, 161, 161n; Preserved 
shell fish, 161; Sacki, 161, 164, 
165; Soup, 222, 161n; Tea, 222. 
165; Soup, 222, 161n; Tea, 222; 
Cakes, 243; Vegetables, 204; 
Fish patties, 161 n; Don’t use 
meat, butter, milk, or bread, 
163, 243. 


GAMALIEL, 260, 260n. 

GANGES, whaler, 134n. 

GARRY, Fort, 23, 24, 107n. 

GASSACOP, a son of Com-com- 
ly, 76n. 

GEKUYA, a dungeon prison, 221 n. 

GELETT, Capt. C. \V., 156n. 

ERMATINGER, Lawrence Ed¬ 
ward, 115n. 

ERMATINGER, Mrs. Edward, 35. 

FOOD tasters of Matsmai, 199. 

FOOTNOTES to Japanesee books, 

FOREIGNERS excluded from Jap¬ 
an, reasons for, 120. 

FORKS of wood, 198. 

FORTS, sham Japanese, 245, 245n. 

FORTS, trading posts and houses: 
Bradley, 32; Colvile, 24, 25, 50, 
52, 53, 54, 56, 63, 66, 103, 103n, 
104, 104n; Douglas, 114n; Gar¬ 
ry, 23, 25; George, 80, 85, 92, 
92n; George moved to Vancouv¬ 
er, 25, 94; Green Lake, lOOn; 
Jasper’s House, 95, 95n; Kully- 
spell House, 105n; Langley, 25, 
99, 99n, 105n, 106n; McLeod’s, 
80n; Nisqually House, 102n; 
Norway House, 30, 84; Okanog¬ 
an, 31; Saleesh House, 106n; 
Spokann, 105, 105n, 103; Wil¬ 
liam, 32. 

FORMOSA, Island of, 145, Straits 
of, 145. 

FOSTER, Brown & Co., 19. 

FOSTER, Seth and Samuel, 196n. 

FRASER, Alex, 109n. 

FRASER, River, 99, 99n. 

FRASER, Simon, 99n. 

FRENCH and Indian war, 104n. 

FRENCH Canadian vovageurs, 

111 . 

FRENCH frigate shoals, 140. 

FRENCH Line, Messagerie, 260. 

FRENCH ship encountered, 146. 

FEUDAL system in Japan, A. D. 
1848-1849, 238, 239. 

FUJI of Yezo, 154n. 

FUKUYAMA, formerly Matsmai, 

GENJIRO Kataoka, the painter, 

GEORGE, Fort, 23, 80, 85, 92; 
New management of, 85. 

GEORGE Howe, 162n, 182, 182n, 



GIFTS to MacDonald: Fruit, 188; 
Sweetmeats, 178, 180; Tea, sug¬ 
ar, pipe and tobacco, 181. 

GLENCOE, 118, 118n. 

GLOBE, whaler of New Bedford, 

GLYNN, Commander of the Pre¬ 
ble, 147n, 246, 274, 280, 284. 

GODBEY, Capt., 38. 

GODS, Japanese, of earth, of fire, 
of sea, of sun, 165. 

GOLDTHWAIT, Ezra, 197n. 

GOOD-SO, Japanese name for 
pork, 242, 242n. 

GORDON, Capt., 234n. 

GOVERNMENT of Inoes, 170; of 
Japan, 238, 239. 

GOVERNOR of Nagasaki, 218, 
219, 220, 261, 262; Description 
of, 219, 229. 

GOVERNOR, (Oblique) or Vice- 
Roy (Tojo), 170. 

GOVERNOR Marcy, steamer, 32. 

GOVERNOR’S Palace, Battan Is¬ 
land, 145. 

GOVOGRO Imai, Capt., 194, 

GRACE said at meals by Jap¬ 
anese, 204; by Ainus, 165. 

HAGEWARA Matasak, (Hagai- 
wara Matasaku, 207n. 
HAIRPINS, Japanese, 231. 
HALF-breed, 24, 27. 

HANNAN, Mrs., 49. 

HAPPY Despatch, (Harra Karri) 
237, 237n. 


HARNEY, General, 91. 

HARRA-Karri, custom of, 237, 

HARRISON, Lake, B. C., 46. 
HASKINS, Mrs. L. C. P., 19, 20. 









137n, 138n, 146, 



Throne of, 


HAWES, Jasper, 95n. 
HAWES’ Pass, 11 On. 
HAYASHI, the elder, 218n. 
HEIGHTS of Abraham, 104n. 

GRANDISON, Sir Charles, style 
of, 52. 

GRAY’S harbor of 1792, 89. 

GREAT Lakes, 40. 

GREELEY, Horace, of the New 
York Tribune, 92. 

GREELEY, Horace, 54, 92. 

GREEN Lake Fort, lOOn. 

GREENPORT, whalers from, 139n. 

GREGAN, (Guagan) Island, 139, 
139n, 140, 143, 145. 

GREGOIRE Francois, 11 In. 

GRENVILLE, Point, 121n. 

“GREY Coat Boy,” 108n. 

GRIFFIS, Wm. Elliot, 22n. 

GRIST mill, pioneer, 24n. 

GROG (Saki), 161, 164, 165, 204. 

“GROG-YES”, Japanese name for 
Saki, 161, 162. 

GUAGAN Island (see Gregan.) 

GULF of Georgia, 99n. 

GULF Stream, “Kuro Siwo.” or 
Black River of the North Pa¬ 
cific, 121. 

GURNEY, Mr. Ralph, 32. 

GUTZLAFF, Rev. Dr., 123, 123n, 

HENRY, Alexander, 75n. 

HENRY, William, 134n. 

HERCULES, whaler, 134n. 

HERMIT Kingdom, 38. 

HERON, Francis, 121n. 

HILDRETH’S History of Japan, 
195, 240. 

HOANGHO River, 147. 



HOLIDAYS, Japanese, 181. 

HOLLEY, Mrs. Eleanor Haskins, 

HONG Kong, 138, 146, 148. 

HORI, Ichiro, an interpreter, 226. 

HORSEFLY Mining District, B. C., 
47; Country, 47. 

HOSAI Tani, a Japanese doctor, 

HOUSES (see forts or trading 

HOWAY, Hon. F. W., 22n. 

320 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

HOWE, George, second mate of 
the Lawrence, 161n, 162n, 182, 

HOWLAND, A. H. of New Bed¬ 
ford, 156n. 

HUDSON’S Bay, 26, 100. 

HUDSON’S Bay Company: Ab¬ 
andonment of travel on upper 
Columbia by, 112; Annual coun¬ 
cil of at Norway House, 84; Co- 
lation with Northwest company, 
85, 85n, 116n; Despatch, 105; 

ICHIGI Koda, 129n. 

ICHIRO, see Hori, an interpreter, 

ICY Cape, 196n. 

IDAHO, source of cattle in, 103, 
103n, 104. 

IDO, Tsushimanokami, a Governor 
of Nagasaki, 218n. 

IGNACE, an Iroquois, 11 In. 
ILTHKOYOPE (Kettle) Falls, 

11 In. 

IMPERIAL University, Tokyo, 

INO or Inoes, see Ainu. 

INDIA, 44. 

INDIANS: American, characteriza¬ 
tion of, 169n; Chinook, 78, 78n, 
91 n; Flathead, 91, 91 n; Hydras, 
168, 168n; Nez Perce, 91 n; Of 
Bella Coola coast, 168, 168n; Of 
North West coast, 169, 169n; 
Piegan, 11 On; Shaptain, 91 n; 

JACK, Liverpool, 141, 142. 

JACK, Spider, 141, 142, 143, 144. 

JAMES, Whaler, 134n. 

JANE Klyne MacDonald, see 

JAPAN, 17, 20, 21, 22, 38, 39, 
40, 43, 44, 54, 65, 66, 101, 120, 
126, 127, 148, 149, 150, 152, 154, 
162, 167, 169. 

JAPAN barred to the world, 120; 
Reasons for excluding foreign¬ 
ers, 120; Chinese and Dutch in¬ 
tercourse with, 121; Condem¬ 
nation of Christianity by gov- 

Forts, see ante forts; Knowledge 
of Japan’s trade restrictions by 
121; Rescue of shipwrecked 
Japanese by, 121, 121n, 122, 
123, 124; Claims against the U. 
S., 40, 41; Governor in chief of, 
34n; 41. 

HUSSY, Capt. Edward B. Jr, 

HYDRAS Indians, 168, 168n, 169. 

HYOMA, see Nakayama, 228. 


Salesh, 91n; North American, 
39; Pend d’Oreille, Kootenais, 
Flatheads, Coeur d’Alenes, Cay- 
uses, coast and mountain Indi¬ 
ans, 56. 

INDIAN blood, 38, 39. 

INDIAN country, 31, 37. 

INDIAN lodge, 23. 

INDIAN Ocean, 199. 

INDIAN title to Old Oregon, 40. 

INKSTER, Colin, sheriff of Mani¬ 
toba, 114n. 

INOMATA, Dennosuke, an interp¬ 
reter, 226. 

INTERPRETERS, names of, 226; 
Used Dutch-English dictionary, 
209 211 

IRVING, Washington, 74. 

ISLAND of Ino, see Ainu, 170; Of 
Yesso, 170, 170n. 

IWASE, Yashiro, an interpreter, 


ernment, 127, 127n, 128, 214n; 
Laws on, 240; Ports closed to 
Mossison, 126, 126n; Decree ex¬ 
cluding foreigners, 127, 127n, 
128, 129, 130; Prejudice against 
foreigners fostered by Dutch and 
Chinese, 132. 

JAPAN, map of, 167, 169. 

JAPAN Sea, 43, 146, 148, 149. 
JAPANESE, 39, 44, 163, 166, 167, 
168, 169. 

JAPANESE culture; Almanac, 
160; Altars, 164; Apples, 203; 
Books, 100, footnotes in, 209; 



respect for, 200; Chop sticks, 
198; Dishes, 204; Doctor, 180, 
180n, 181; Dress and habits of, 
176, 199, 228; Foods, see under 
Foods; Forts, 245, 245n; Oars, 
158, 158n, used in skulling, 

175; Harra-Karri, custom, 237, 
237n; Matchlock guns, 246; 
Palanquin, 193; Paper, 205; 
Pens, 205; Pillows, 200; Bed¬ 
ding, 200; Powder, 246; Prison 
cage, 221, 221 n; Priests, 228, 
don’t marry, 228, 228n; Sand¬ 
als, 159, 160, 161n; Silk man- 
tals, 176; Swords, 177; Educa¬ 
tion, 205; Mode of writing, 205; 
of worship, 164; Religion, 228, 
228n, 229. 

JAPANESE government; Consti¬ 
tution, 250, 251; Forts„245, 245n; 
Feudal system, 238, 239; Gov¬ 
ernment, 170, 238, 239; Laws, 
240; Principalities, 239; Revo¬ 
lution in foreign policy, 251, 
251 n; Spy system, 236, 236n. 

JAPANESE junks, description of, 
187; Wrecked off Northwest 
coast, 121, 121n; Other wrecks, 

JAPANESE language, 44; see 
Appendix III, 287; also under 
Japanese Words. 

JAPANESE national aspirations, 
22, 22n. 

JAPANESE people; Average 
height of, 172; Aspirations, 
242; Acuteness of intellect, 
244, 244n; Cleverness, 244; 

Character of, 22, 240, 241, 

24In, 242, 244; Courtesy, 180, 
180n; Fearlessness, 241, 241n; 
Good humor, 241, 241 n; Very 
chatty, 240; Great smokers, 
172; Improvement in English by, 
244; Intellect of, 244, 258, 258n, 
259; Inquisitiveness, 253; 
knowledge of Russian and Eng¬ 
lish languages, 235, 235n; Mode 
of saluting, (Ainu), 157, 157n; 
National characteristics, 241, 
241 n; Never swear, 235; Offi¬ 
cers armed with two swords, 176, 
!76n; Politeness of, 180, 180n; 
Pronunciation of, 227. 

JAPANESE proper names, appear¬ 
ing in Narrative; Ainu, 163 et 
seq.; Asa-Hi Shimbum (Rising 
Sun News), 107; Hori, Ichiro, 
an interpreter, 226; Hagiwara, 
Matasaku, a military chief, 207; 
Hayashi, the elder, 218n; Iwase, 
Yashiro, an interpreter, 226; In- 
omata, Dennosuke, an interpre¬ 
ter, 226; Kuro Siwo, Gulf 
Stream, 121; Kemon, an Oya- 
kata, 163; Ketchinza, an Oya- 
kata, 163; Matsumai, Straits, 
Town, Port, Prince etc., 165 et 
seq.; Matsmora, Matsumura, 
Schall, 207n; Mikado, Emperor, 
239; Mutsu, Munemitsu, 256; 
Miyajima, Shonosuke, a suma- 
rai, 174; Motoki, Shosayemon, 
226; Moriyama, E-inoske, an 
interpreter, 208 et. seq.; Musko, 
(boy), 182; Nakayama, Hyoma, 
an interpreter, 226; Nagasaki, 
town of, 44 et seq.; Namura 
Tsunenosuke, an interpreter, 
226; Nippon, Japan, 169; Nip- 
pon-jin, a Japanese, 191n; Ni- 
shi, Keitaro, an interpreter, 
226n; Nishi, Yoichiro, an interp¬ 
reter, 226; Nootska village, 170, 
171; Oba, a superintendent of 
foot sumarai, 177; Oda, Jun- 
ichi-ro, 254, 258; Ogawa, Keij- 
uro, an interpreter, 226; Osaka 
town of, 255; Shimizu, Teikichi, 
a soldier, 177n; Satsuma, prin¬ 
cipality, 126; Shige, Takanoske, 
an interpreter, 226; Shizuki, 
Tatauichiro, an interpreter, 226; 
Shioya, Tanesaburo, an interp¬ 
reter, 226; Serrei, Tashnasheen 
(Tashinoshin) an interpreter, 
and acting magistrate, 216, 246; 
Simeza, 177; Soya, town, cape, 
and bay, 165 et seq.; Takaboka, 
(Papenburg,) Island, 121; Tai¬ 
wan, Formosa, 181; Takahashi, 
Rev. K. Y., 253; Tangaro or 
Tankaro, 161 et seq.; Timoa- 
shee, Island, 148, 261; Uyemu- 
ra, Sakuichiro, an interpreter, 
226; Yebis, (Yebisu), Neptune 
of Japan, 185; Yeddo, Tokyo, 
169, 236; Yesso, Island of, 153. 

322 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

JAPANESE religion; Deity, 228, 
229; Devil, 228, 228n. 

JAPANESE, shipwrecked, 121, 
121n; Sent to Maceo, China, 
123; Attempt to return to Jap¬ 
an, 123, 123n, 125, 126, 126n, 

JAPANESE Treaties; First, March 
1854, 17, 249; Second, October, 
1854, 249; Third, 1858, 250. 

JAPANESE women: Dress and ap¬ 
pearance, 230; Teeth of married 
painted black, 231; Of unmar¬ 
ried, painted red, 231; Of girls 
painted white, 231; Lips paint¬ 
ed red, 231; Long hairpins worn 
by, 231; Character of, 231. 

JAPANESE words, appearing in 
MacDonald’s Narrative (See 
also Glossary, appendix III, p. 

JAPANESE words, appearing in 
MacDonald’s Narrative, (See 
also hereon appendix III, p. 
287.) Abdomen incision, Harr a 
Karri, or Seppuku , 237; Ape, 
Saru, 161; Boar, I, 161; Boiled 
rice, Gozen, 198; Boy, Musuko, 
182; Bread, pan, 242; Bridge, 
hashi, 169; Butter, Botoru, 243; 
Call to prayer, Namma Naosoc, 
etc., 189, 189n; Catholic priest, 
Bateren, 224; Ceremonial dress, 
Kami-shimo, 219; Chief, Oya- 
kata, 163, 188; Coat of arms, 
Mondokoro, 198, 202; Daughter, 
Musume, 182n; Diety, Shin or 
Shinto, 228; Devil, Oni, 228; 
Dog, Inu, 161; Dragon, Tatsu, 
160, 161n; Dungeon prison, 

Goicuya, 221 n; Emperor, Sho¬ 
gun, Kobe, or Mikado, 237, 230 
262; Farewell, Sayonara, 68, 
174, 183; First of month, Tsui- 
tachi, 181n; God (Superior) 
Shin or Kami, 228n; Governor, 
Obugyo-Sama, 208n; General, 

KADIAK Alaska whale fishery, 

KAGOSHIMA in Satsumae, 126n. 
KAKAMASHEE, a paper mache 
mixture with gold dust, 257. 

Taisho, 170; Grog, Saki, 161; 
Gulf Stream, Kuro Siwo, 121; 
Hare, U, 161; Horse, Uma, 161; 
Hen, Tori, 161; Interpreters, 
Tsuji-kata, 226; Island, Shima, 
212; Japan, Nippon; Japan¬ 
ese, Nippon-jin, 191; Kneel, 
Koto, 218; Mantels, Haori, 176; 
Mayor or chief, Oyakata, 163; 
Mr. or Esquire, Sama, 179n; 
Obeisance, Koto, 218; Ox, Us hi, 
160, 161n; Path or Way, To, 
228; Persimmon, Kaki, 207n; 
Pork feast, Gochiso, 242; Pris¬ 
on cage, Roy a, 221; Presenta¬ 
tion card, Noshi, 199n; Princi¬ 
palities, Daimios, 230; Palan¬ 
quin, Kago , 193; Que, Ori, 202; 
Rat, Ne, 160, 161n; Serpent, Mi, 

160, 161 n; Sheep, Hitsuji, 161, 

161n; Shelf, Tokowaki, 201, 
201 n; Snooze, Noo, 200; Sun¬ 
day (Holiday), Ositats, 181, 
181 n; Sedan chair, Kago, 193; 
Southern barbarians, Nambu 
Jim, 127n; Trousers, Hakama, 
176; Tiger, Tora, 160, 161n; 

Viceroy, Taisho, 170n; Worship, 
Kamini, 200; Zodiac, signs of, 


JASPER’S House, N. W. Co., and 
H. B. Co., post, 95, 95n. 

JAVA ports, 44. 

JEDDO, bridge of, 169; Now To¬ 
kyo (Capitol of Japan), 169. 
JOHN Howland, whaler, 128n. 
JOHN Livessohn (see Livessohn 

JOINTER plane, 28. 

JONES, Rev’d Mr., 27n, 28, 28n, 
29, 107, 114. 

JONES, David, owner of the David 
Paddock, 138n. 

JOSEPH, Chief of the Nez Perces, 
91, 91n. 

JUNK, Japanese, description of, 

KALAKAMA Bay, 138. 
KALOWAO, Molokai, S. I., 156. 
KAMCHATKA, 164; Coast, 122; 

Whaling grounds, 134. 
KAMIAKEN, Chief, 9In. 



KAMENI word for worship), 

200, 200n. 

KAMLOOPS, 23, 24. 

KANAPEE, shipwrecked waif, 

KANATA Koretazu, a Japanese, 

KARAFTO, Island of, 163n. 

KATARO, see Keitaro, 226. 

KECHINZA, a Japanese, 163, 165, 
167, 174. 

KEITARO, see Nishi, an interpre¬ 
ter, 226. 

KEIJURO, see Ogawa, an interp¬ 
reter, 226. 

KEITH, James and George, 30, 

KEMON, a Japanese, 163, 174. 

KETCH, Dan, 126n. 

KETTLE Falls, Wash, 38, 56, 
11 On. 

KETTLE FALLS, (Wash.) Pion¬ 
eer, 20, 67, 104n. 

KETTLE River, Wash., 68. 

KIKIMATS, a Japanese, 126n. 

KING of the Columbia, 74, 78, 
79, 91; Com-com-ly (see Com- 
com-ly) 74, 87, 88, 91; Hands 
over bride, 89. 

KINGS Court, 89; Residence, 83. 

KINGSMILL Group, 143; Island¬ 
ers, 143. 

KINGSTON, Canada, 177. 

KINGSTON, Upper Canada, early 
educational facilities, 117. 

KITO (or koto) to kneel, 219. 

KIU-SHIU, 146n. 

KLAPROTH, von, 164n. 

KLYNES, 29. 

KLYNE, Jane (MacDonald), 23, 24, 
39, 83; Place of birth, 94, 106; 
Marriage with Archibald Mac¬ 
Donald, 94, 94n; Religion of, 
106, 106n; Bore twelve sons 
and a daughter, 97, 97n; Wid¬ 
owhood, 98; Sketch of her life, 

KLYNE, Michael; Born in Swit¬ 
zerland, 94n, 96; Father of Jane 
Klyne, 94; Postmaster at Jasper’s 
House, 94, 95; A person of 
good education, 96; Sketch of, 

KOBOE (Kobo), Siogoun or Em¬ 
peror, 239, 239n. 

KODSU tree, 205n. 

KOOTENAI Country, 103; House, 
llOn; Indians, llOn; Branch of 
Columbia, 11 On. 

KOTONTOMARI, 153, 153n. 

KULLYSPELL House, 105n. 

KURILE chain, 148, 148n. 

KURILES, hairy, 157, 163n, 168. 

KURO Siwo (Black River, or 
Gulf Stream), 121. 

KYOTO, 260n, 262n. 


LABRADOR, or muskeg tea, 56. 
LADRONES, 139, 139n, 144. 
LAGODA, whaler of New Bedford, 
Mass., crew of, 196, 196n, 246, 
247, 284 285. 

LACHINE (Canada), 34, 35. 
LAKE Superior, 32. 

LAKE of the woods, 32. 
LAGASSE, Charles, 11 In. 
LANGLEY, Fort, 24, 25, 99, 99n; 
102n; 105n. 

LA PEROUSE, Straits of, 139n, 

LA PLAZ, Lower California, 122n. 
LAWRENCE (Geo. Howe’s boat) 
195, 195n. 

LAWS of Japan, 240. 

LE BLANC, 11 In. 


LE CALENDONIEN, a French line 
steamer, 260. 

LEPER colony, 156. 

LEX Talonis, 240. 


LILLOLET, B. C., 47. 

LIPS of Japanese women painted 
red, 231. 

LIVERPOOL Jack, 141. 


LIVESSOHN, John, Dutch factor 
at Nagasaki, 209, 209n. 225, 
243, 247, 264; presents from, 
243; Sketch of, 209. 

LLAMA, ship, 121n. 

LLOYD’S Register, 38. 

324 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

LONDON, 37, 37n, 40; Atlas 

Newspaper, 243; Birthplace of 
David Thompson, 108; Sea 
Witch of, 198, 198n; Shipment 
of stock from, 104; Shipwrecked 
Japanese sailors sent to, 123. 

LOO-CHOO Islands, 128n, 146, 

LOST art of Japanese, 257. 
LOVITT, Capt. H. H., 235. 
LYNCH, James M., 47. 

LYNCH, Mrs. Jennie, 48. 


MACAO, China, 44; Shipwrecked 
Japanese sent to, by H. B. Co., 

MACY, CAPT. Alex., 142n. 

McCALLUM, 29, 29n, 114n. 

McCLURG & Co., Chicago, 19. 

McCOY, Robert, 195, 196n, 284, 

McCUNE, a prize fighter, 48. 

MacDONALD, Allen, 45, 46, 47. 

MacDONALD, Angus, 53n, 69. 

MacDONALD, Benjamin, 47, 89n, 
93n, 94. 

MacDONALD, Donald, 66. 

MACDONALD, Ranald, birth and 
childhood, 23, 24, 25, 54, 58, 92, 
93, 97, 105; Named “Little Chin¬ 
ook, 39, 106n; Little chief, 39; 
Comly, or Com-com-ly, 78; 
Toole, 27; or Toll, Toll, 93; Si- 
wash, 48; Early education, 25, 
26, 106; and Christian training, 
32, 57, 106; At Red River school, 
113, 115; Apprenticed at St. 
Thomas as bank clerk, 32, 38, 
115, 117; Early character and 
disposition, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 
34, 69; Dislike for banking and 
desire for freedom, 117, 118, 
119; Motive, 119, 120; First in¬ 
terest in Japan, 120, 121, 122, 
131; Resolve to enter Japan, 
131, 132; How design was car¬ 
ried out, 133, 134, 135, 137, 
138, 150, 151, 152; Sailor and 
adventurer, 40-44; Japan adven¬ 
ture, 152-246, appendix, 271- 
286; Miner, 44-48, 65; Explor¬ 
er, and promoter, 45, 46; Makes 
a fortune of $65,000.00, 65; 
Rancher, 45, 66, 67; Hotel 

keeper, 65; With stage company, 
66; Character and disposition, 
66, 67, 69, 70; Physical cour¬ 
age and prowess of, 45, 47, 48; 
Polished gentleman, 49-65; Ne¬ 

ver married, 67, reason given, 
65; Writing of his Japan story, 
17-21; Ambition to publish ac¬ 
count of his Japan adventure, 
19, 20, 67; Last years spent in 
comparative poverty, 67; Death, 
68; Place of burial; Cause of 
his retirement from the world, 
69, 70; Descriptions of manner, 
person and dress, 49, 51, 52, 59, 
60, 61; Was a master mason, 47; 
Characterization of, 69, 70. 

MCDONALD, Archibald, 23, 26, 40, 
79, 79n, lOOn; Marriage of to 
Princess Raven, 88, 89, 90, 91; 
Death of wife, 92; Marriage to 
Jane Klyne, 23, 94, 94n; A 
Scotch-Episcopalian, 106, 106n; 
A Highlander of Glencoe, 118, 
118; Letters of, 26-38; Secre¬ 
tary to Earl of Selkirk, 51. 

McDONALD, Finan, 105n, 109n. 

McDONALD, Jane Klyne, (see 
Jane Klyne) 83n, 94. 

McDONALD of Oregon, 21. 

McDOUGAL, Duncan, 77; Sketch 
of, 77n; Wife of, 77, 78, 89n. 

McGILLIVRAY, William, a NW 
Co. agent, 11 On. 

McGILLIVRAY River, llOn. 

McKAY, Thomas, 121n. 

McKENZIE, Alexander, 99n; D., 
97n; Donald, 136n. 

MACKENZIE River, lOln. 

McLEOD, John, 103n, 104, 106n; 
Chief Trader of H. B. Co., 80, 
101 n; His wife, lOOn; Sketch 
of, 80n. 

McLEOD, Malcolm, son of John, 
100, lOOn, 104n, 109n, 253, 254, 
255, 256, 257, 259; Judge of 
Ottawa, Canada, 100, lOOn; His 
book, 100, lOOn; Non deplume 
“Britannicus,” 255; Letters of, 
255; A queen’s counsel, a re¬ 
tired judge, 150, lOOn. 



McLEOD’S Fort, 80n. 

McLEOD’S Lake, 80n. 

McLEOD, Roderick, 32. 
McLOUGHLIN, Dr. John; Chief 
Factor H. B. Co., 88; Married 
an Indian wife, 88; Wife, 24n; 
“The Christ of the Pacific slope” 
88; Led Archibald’s wedding 
party, 89; Care of shipwrecked 
Japanese by, 122, 123, 124; 

Character of, 123, 124, 124n; 
Characterization of by Ban¬ 
croft, 86, 124, 124n. 
McLOUGHLIN and old Oregon, 
21 . 

McMILLAN, James, 99n. 

McNEIL, Capt. fm, 121n. 

MADRAS, 44. 


MAKEA, 285, 286. 

MALHERBE, Capt. of Eliza, 196n. 
MANHATTAN, ship, 123n. 
MANILLA, 144. 

MANILLA, brig, 141n. 
MANITOBA, province of, 23. 
MARCUS, Wash., 68. 

MARO, Nantucket, whaler, 159n. 
MARIANNE (or Ladrones) Is¬ 
lands, 139n. 

MARINER’S compass of Japanese, 

MARIUS Cams, 105n. 

MARO, whale ship of Nantucket, 

MARRIAGE; of Ranald MacDon¬ 
ald’s parents, 85, 88, 89, 90, 91; 
Described by Captain Thomas 
Butler, 85; Royal, 88, 89, 90; 
Potlatch, 90, 90n; Gift, 90. 
MARRII, (or Maury), 197n, 286. 
MARTIN, John, 196n. 

MASONIC Order, Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald initiated into, 47. 

MATS of rice straw, 222, 285, 286. 
MATSMAI, 165, 182, 184, 189, 191, 
193, 194, 196, 199, 20In, 206, 
207, 245; City and Port of, 193; 
Governor of, 194; Government 
flag of, 189; People, altar of, 
164; manner of worship, 164; 
Prince of, 202; Straits of, 139n. 
MATSMORA Schal, 207n. 

MAY, Colonel de, 96n. 

MEAT not used by Japanese, 234. 

MEDDLESEX County, (Ontario), 
117, 117n. 

MELBOURNE, Australia, 45. 


MEURONS, the de, 97n. 

MEYERS Falls, Wash., 22n. 

MEYERS, Jacob A., 22n. 

MEYERS, mate of Lawrence, 161n, 

MEYANZIMA, (Shonosuke Miaji- 
ma), a young Japanese officer, 
174, 179, 182. 

MIKADO, 239. 

MIKADO dynasty, 239. 

MILK not used by Japanese, 243. 

MINEMITSU, Japanese Ambass¬ 
ador to Washington, 256, 256n, 

MISSION at San Diego, Cal, 

MISSIONARIES; Dr. Gutzlaff, 
celebrated English, at Maceo, 
China, 123, 123n, 125; Dr. Park¬ 
er, American missionary at Ma¬ 
ceo, 125. 


MISSISSIPPI River, 40; Boats, 
40, 133. 

MITCHELL, C. & Co., owners of 
Peruvian, 142. 

MODE of worship by Japanese, 
188, 189. 

MOLOKAI, Sandwich Islands, 

MONDOKRO, “coat of arms” 191, 

202 . 


MONTANA, source of cattle in, 

MORRISON, brig, 125, 125n, 

126n; Attempt of, to enter port 
of Tokyo, 126. 

MOTOKI, Shosayemon, an interp¬ 
reter, 226. 

MOTOSICK Island, 141n. 

MOUNTAINS, 107; Cariboo, 111; 
Rocky,, 103, 108; Selkirks, 108. 

MOUNT Brown, 108. 

MOUNT Hooker, 108. 

MOWHU, (one of Sandwich Is¬ 
lands) 137. 

MUNG, John, 128. 

MORIYAMA, E-inoske, (Muraya- 
ma Yeanoske), 208, 208n, 209, 
210, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 

326 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

220, 221, 222, 224, 225, 226, 
227, 229, 246, 254, 255, 256, 
256n, 263, 264; Description of, 
209, 263, 264; Spoke Dutch 
fluently, 209, 210; Studied Lat¬ 

in and French, 210; Name pro¬ 
nounced Moor-ei-ama, 255. 
MURAKAMI, Naojiro, 22n. 
MUSKEG Tea, 56. 

MUSKO, (a boy attendant), 183, 


NAGASAKI, 44, 126, 146n, 149, 
162n, 183, 191, 197, 207, 244n, 
245, 248, 255, 261, 262, 263, 264; 
Description of in 1848, 211, 212, 
213; Dutch Factor at, 209, 247; 
Dutch factory at, 247; Govern¬ 
or’s residence and court at, 213, 
214, 215; Interpreters of, 226. 

NAHALEM River, 122n. 

NAKAYAMA, Hyoma, an interpre¬ 
ter, 226. 

NAKAHAMA, Keisaburo, 129n. 

NAKAHAMA, Nanjiro, 128n. 

NAKAHAMA, Dr. T., 129n. 

“NAMMA Noasoc, Namma Noos,” 
Japanese call to prayer, 139, 

NAMURA, Tsunenoske, an interp¬ 
reter, 226. 

NAMU Amida Butsu, 189n. 

NAMU miyo ho nenge Kyo, 189n. 

NANKIN, 146. 

NANTUCKET, 141 n; Whaler, Da¬ 
vid Paddock 138, 138n; Whal¬ 
ers, 134n. 

NAPA Keang, 146n. 

NASS, 81n. 

NEW Bedford whalers, 134n. 

NEW Bedford whaler, Dagett, 

NEW Caledonia, 24n, 102n. 

NEVA, whaler, 139n. 

NEW London, (Conn ) whale ship 
Peruvian, 142, 142n. 

NEW Orleans, 40. 

NEW York City, 40. 

OARS, Japanese, 158, 158n, 175. 
OAWHU, one of Sandwich Islands 

OBA, (see Omba.) 

OBLIQUE Sama (Governor) 208. 
OCHOTSK, 165. 

NEW Year’s Day, 1848, 243. 

NICHIVEN Sect., ?S9n. 

NAMURA, see Tsunenoske, 226. 

NIPON (Japan), 44. 

NIPON, bridge of, 169, 169n. 

NIPONGIN, Japanese, 191, 191n. 

NISHIHAMA, Japan, 128n. 

NISHI, Keitaro, 226. 

NISHI, Yoichiro, 226. 

NISQUALLY House, 102n. 

NOO, Japanese word for snooze, 

200 . 

NOOTKA, 88n, 169. 

NOOTSKA Cove, 171. 

NOOTSKA village, 170, 172, 173, 

NORTHWEST Coast, 25, 39. 

NORTHWEST Coast Indians, 18, 
24, 88, 169; History of, H. H. 
Bancroft, 100; Passage, 102; 
Territories, 100, 101. 

NORTHWEST Company, 77, 80, 
85, 85n, 109, llOn; Founders of 
“greater Canada,” 112; David 
Thompson in employ of, 108, 
109; Edward Ermatinger chief 
accountant of, 116n. 

of, 112, 117. 

NORWAY House, 30, 84n; Annual 
council at. 

NORWEGIAN Creek, B. C., 67; 
Placer ground, 67. 

NOTSUKA village, 158. 

NOURSE, William, 30, 30n, 32. 

NOURSE, William, 30, 35n. 

NOBLE, Dr. Frederick Perry, 22n. 

QDA-IAM-ICKI-RO, Japanese des¬ 
ignation of Oda as editor, 259. 

ODA, Mr. J., 254, 255, 256, 257, 
258, 259, 260; Chief editor 

Codes of Japan, 259; Death and 
burial, 260, 260n. 



OGAWA, Keijuro, an interpreter, 

OKANOGAN House, 24n, 31. 

OKANOGAN Indian witch, 64; 
Words, 74n. 

OKHOTSK, sea of, 196. 

OLASON, one of Bronghton’s 
crew, 234n. 

OMBA (Oba) 177n, 178, 182, 183, 
187, 193. 

ONIBA Shegune, a Japanese, 177. 

Oregon Eastern, origin of cattle 
in, 103, 103n, 104; Treaty of 
1845, 74. 

OREGON Historical Society, 20n. 

ORI, Japanese word for queue, 

202 . 

OSAKA, Japan, 255. 


OSHYEES, natives of Owyhee, 
Sandwich Islands, 135, 135n, 


OSITATS, Japanese word for Sun¬ 
day, 181. 

OTATOE, Island of, 235. 

OTTAWA, Canada, 18. 

OWYHEES on northwest coast, 
135, 135n, 136; Mountains, 

136n; County, 136n; River, 
136n; Town of, 136n. 

OYA, Totom-no-kami, 246, 246n. 

OYAKATA (chiefs overseers or 
mayors), 163, 175, 178, 188. 

“PADRE” word used by Japan¬ 
ese to designate Catholic priests, 

PAGON Island, (see pegan). 

PALANQUIN of Japanese, 193. 

PAN, Japanese word for bread, 

PAPENBERG, island at entrance 
of Nagasaki harbor, 212. 

PAPER, Japanese, 205, 205n. 

PAREIL, Pierre, 11 In. 

PARKER, Dr. American mission¬ 
ary physician at Maceo, 125, 

PARKER, Rev. Samuel, 76n. 

PATCH, Sam, 126n. 

PEACE River, title of book by 
Judge Malcolm McLeod, 100, 

PEACE River, valley of, lOln. 

“PEDLAR” H. M. S., 75n. 

PEGAN (Pagon) Island, 139, 
139n, 140, 143, 144, 145. 

PEKIN, 146. 

PELLY, Gov. J. H., 94n. 

PEMICAN, manner of making and 
eating described., 57. 

PENINSULA of Sagalhien, 169. 

PENROSE, Mr., president of 
Whitman college, 29. 

PENS, Japanese, 205. 

PEND d’Oreille Indians, 56. 

PEROUSE, La., Straits of, 138, 

PERRY, Commodore M. C., Treaty 
of with Japan, 17, 55; Indebted 
to whalers for information, 134n. 

PERSIMMON (kaki), 207, 207n. 

PERUVIAN, a New London whale 
ship, 142, 142n. 

PIEGAN (Blackfeet Indians), 
11 On. 

“PILLAR” Saint, 133n. 

PILLOW of Japanese, 200. 

PLAN of court of examination at 
Nagasaki, 215. 

PLYMOUTH, a Sag Harbor, N. Y. 
whaler, 43, 134, 134n, 138, 151n. 

PLYMOUTH returns from, 151n. 

PORTLAND, Maine, 38. 

PORTLAND Oregonian, 41. 

PONTOMARI, 153n, 173n. 

PORK, Japanese word for “good- 
so” (gochiso), 233; Not used by 
Japanese, 233. 

POTLATCH, definition of, 90n; 
Marriage, 90. 

PORTUGESE banished, 127, 127n, 
244, 245; Influence of, 242n. 

PRAYER beads of Japanese, 189. 

PREBLE, U. S. Sloop of War, 
44, 195, 261, 274, 275; American 
Corvette, 246, 249; Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald embarks on, 247; Ran¬ 
ald MacDonald makes statement 
aboard, 247, 280, 281, 282. 

PRESENTS from Japanese; of 
preserved ginger, 164; Of cloth- 

328 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

ing, 199; Of Pillow, bed, 200; 
Of sweetmeats, 171. 

PRINCE, C. of New York, 38. 

PRINCE of Matsmai and Yesso, 

PRINCE Tsushima-no-kami, 219. 

PRINCESS “Sunday” Ranald Mac¬ 
Donald’s mother, 24; marriage 
of, 88, 89, 90, 91; Death of, 93. 

“Daimios”), 239. 

QUEEN Charlotte Island, 121, 
121n; Waifs, 127. 

QUELPERT Island, description 
of, 146, 147. 

RAINY Lake, 32. 

RAE, Fort, 95n. 

RAE, W. Glen, 41, 41n. 

RAFFLES, 234n. 

RANALD MacDonald, (see Mac¬ 
Donald, ante) 

Raven, Chinook name for Ranald’s 
mother, 85, 85n. 

READING taught to all Japanese, 

RED River Colony, 96, 96n; Dis¬ 
trict, 79n; Region, 80; Settle¬ 
ment, Lord Selkirk’s, 79, 96, 
96n, 107; Missionary School, 25, 
106n, 113, 114, 114n, 115; En¬ 
dowed by H. B. Co., 114n; 
Conducted by Rev. Cochrane of 
Church of England, 113, 114, 

RED River (R. R.), 26, 29, 30, 
33, 36. 

RED River Academy, 27. 

REED, Capt. W. A. of the Sea 
Witch, 198n. 

RELIGION of Japanese, 228, 229, 
237, 238. 

SACRED Eternal Buddha, 189n. 
SADDO Oblique (governor), 178, 
179, 181, 182, 208. 

SADDO Sama, commandant at 
Soya, 177, 178; At Nagasaki, 

PRISON, Japanese, 221. 
PRITCHARD, Mr., 27n, 114. 
PRITCHARD’S school, 27. 
226, 227. 

PROVINCIAL Library, Victoria, 
B. C., 17, 19, 20, 21, 67. 
PUPILS, names of MacDonald’s, 


QUESNELLE, B. C., 46. 

QUEUE, Japanese word for, 202. 
QUA-AME, Qua-ame, grandchild, 

REVELSTOKE, British Columbia, 

RISHIRI Island, 152, 152n, 154n, 

RISHIRI Mountain, 155, 155n. 

RISING Sun News, (Morning 
Chronicle), published at Osaka, 
Japan, 255, 255n. 

ROBINSON, Wm. Davis, 88n. 

ROCK Creek mining country, B. 
C., 47. 

ROCKY Mountain House, 96n, 
11 On. 


ROYA, a prison cage, 221, 22In. 

ROYCE, Captain, 135n. 

REIBUN Island, 153n. 

RUPERTS’ Land, 27; Governor of, 
86n, 107n. 

RUSSIA, invasion of Quelpert Is¬ 
land by conjectured, 148. 

RUSSIAN American Company, 

RYU-KYU Islands, 146n. 

SADDO Sama, 179. 

SAGALHIEN, (also Tarakai and 
Karafto), 148, 170n. 
SAGALHIEN Peninsula, 69. 
SAGALHIEN Southwest Cape, 



SAHAINA, Port of, 43, 138. 

SAKI, Japanese grog, 204. 

SAKUMA Shozan, 129n. 

SAKUICHIRO, see Uyemura, an 
interpreter, 208, 222, 225, 226. 

SALEESH House, 106n. 

SALEESH Indians, 91 n. 

SALMON, first packed, 79n; Run¬ 
ning time, 23. 

SAMA, 179. 

SAMUEL M. Fox, 198n. 

SAMUEL Robertson, whaler, 139n. 

SAMURAI, 177n. 

SANDWICH Islanders, among im¬ 
prisoned crew of Lagoda, 196, 
196n, 197n, 284, 285; See also 
Owyhees and Hawaiians. 

SAN Diego, California, 122n. 

SANDWICH Islands, 41n, 43, 

138, 138n, 146, 156. 

SAN Francisco, 41. 

SANGAR, Straits of, 196. 

SANPOIL Indian, 11 In. 

SARAH Boyd, whaler, 128n. 

SATO, Toyoshichi, commander of 
the Soya Military station, 177n, 

SATSUMA, Principality of, 126n. 

SAULT, St. Mary, 28, 30, 32. 

SAYONARA, farewell, 174, 174n. 

SCARBOROUGH, James, 75n. 

SCOTCH Highland, 38. 

SCOTT, Harvey W., 41. 

SEA Witch, wreck of, off coast 
near Madras, 44, 93, 93n. 

SEDAN chair, 193. 

SELKIRK, Earl of, 96; Colony of, 
96n; Red River Settlement, 96, 
97n, 107. 

SELKIRK, Swiss Colonists of, 96, 
96n; Mountains, 108, Canyons 
of, 108, 112. 

SENATE Documents, 1851-1852, 
Vol. IX, Ex. Dock’t Mo. 59, 248, 

SERREI, Tatsmosen, a Japanese, 
216, 216n, 246. 

SHANGHI, 146. 

SHELF, Japanese word for 
tokowaki, 200, 200n. 

SHENANDOAH Confederate pri¬ 
vateer, 135n. 

SHERREI Tachachien Sama, ass¬ 
istant governor, 207, 211. 

SHIELDS, Capt., 134n. 

SHIGE, Takanoske, an interpreter, 

SHIOYA, Tanesaburo, an interpre¬ 
ter, 226. 

SHIPS (brigs, barques, steamers, 
whalers, etc.): Amelia, whaler, 
134n; Beaver, H. B. Co. steam¬ 
er on Northwest coast, 107n; 
Beaver, whaler, 134n; Cadboro 
99n, Brothers, Canadian steam¬ 
er, 33; Calder, brig, 141 n; Cara¬ 
van, 139n; Carmine, brig, (form¬ 
erly the Morrison), 125n; Cath¬ 
erine, English Brig, 235n; Cy¬ 
press, brig, 235n; David Pad- 
dock of Nantucket, 138, 138n, 
140; Don Quixote, barque, 139n; 
Eclipse, of Boston, 234n; Ed¬ 
mond, English ship, 235n; Eliza, 
of Harve, 196n; 'of New York, 
234n; Ganges, whaler of Nan¬ 
tucket, 134n; Hertogenbosch, 
Dutch ship, 162n; Hercules, 
New Bedford whaler, 134n; Is¬ 
aac Todd, 84n; James, whaler 
of New Bedford, 134n; John 
Howland, of New Bedford, 128n; 
Josephine Catherine, Dutch ship, 
225n; La Caledonien, French 
line steamer, 260; Lady Adams, 
235n; Lady Rowena, 235n; La¬ 
goda, of New Bedford, Mass., 
162n, 196, 196n, 246; Llama, H. 
B. Co. ship, 121n; Lawrence of 
Poukhkeepsie, N. Y. (Geo. 
Howe’s vessel, 161, 161n, 162, 
182n, 195; Manhattan of South¬ 
ampton, N. Y., 123n; Manilla, 
brig, 141n; Morrison, brig 
of Boston, (renamed “Car¬ 
mine”) 125, 125n; Oeno, ship, 
141 n; Peruvian, ship of Nan¬ 
tucket, 143, 143n; Peruvian, 

barque of New London, Con¬ 
necticut; 143n; Pocohontas of 
New York, 235n; Plymouth of 
Sag Harbor, N. Y., 43, 134, 134n, 
138, 158n; Rebecca, 234n; Sea 
Witch, schooner, of London Mel¬ 
bourne and New London, 198, 
198n; Sarah Boyd, whaler, 128n; 
Sagadahock, schooner, 139n; 
Samuel M. Fox of New York, 

330 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 

198n; Samuel Robertson, whaler, 
139n; Shenandoah, Confederate 
privateer, 135; Sierre Nevada, 
schooner, 151 n; Superior, whal¬ 
er of Sag Harbor, 134n, 135n; 
Tenjinmaru, a Japanese Junk, 
203, 203n; Tobey, ship, 235n; 
Tonquin, 80, 86n, 104n; Trident, 
234n; Tuscany, brig of New 
York, 37, 37n; Tuskeny, 37; 
Uncas, whaler, 156; Moro, Nan¬ 
tucket whaler, J50. 

SHIRI, Ainu, word for Island, 

SHIZUKI, Tatsuichiro, an interp¬ 
reter, 226. 

SHOGUN, Japanese title for Em¬ 
peror, 236, 239, 239n. 

SHONOSUKE Miajima (Meanzi- 
ma) 174, 174n. 

SHOSAYEMON, see Motoki, an 
interpreter, 226. 

SHUSHWAP Indians, 87. 

SIERRA Nevada, schooner, 151n. 

SIGNS of the Zodiac, Japanese, 
160, 161, 161n. 

SIMEZA, (Teikichi Shimizu), a 
Japanese soldier, 177, 177n. 

SIMPSON, Governor of H. B. Co., 
34, 34n, 38; Great aim of, 81n; 
Testimony of, 86n. 

SIMPSON, Fort, 34n. 

SIMPSON, Port, 34n. 

SIN, Japanese word for Deity, 

SINCLAIR, Catherine, 24, 26. 

SINCLAIR, Wm., 24. 


SINGLE stick, contest with, 48. 

SIONARA, Japanese for farewell, 
183, 183n. 

SIWASH, nickname applied to 
Ranald MacDonald, 48. 

SJERRI, Chief interpreter, 263. 

SLAVER, 42. 

SMITH, Mr., Secretary, 36, 38. 

SMITH, Solomon H., 39n. 

SNELLING, Fort, 97n. 

SOLDIERS, American, 32; British, 


SOUTH America, flight of wealthy 
residents from during revolu¬ 
tions, 144. 

SOYA, 165, 165n, 167, 175, 176, 
179, 183, 184, 198, 206, 207, 
212, 245. 

SOYA, Bay of, 176. 

SOUTHERN California, 42. 

SPOKESMAN-Review, (Spokane, 
Wash.), 20. 

SPANISH Main, 43. 

ST. Paul, 40. 

SPANISH possessions, 145. 

SPANISH Priests, 88n. 

SPIDER Jack, 141, 142, 143. 

SPOKANN House, 24; An old N. 
W. Co. Post, 103n, 105n. 

SPOKANN, route by, 105. 

SPOON, bamboo, 198, 198n. 

SPOON, brass, 199.n 

SPY system of Japan, 236. 

STEVENS, Gov., 91. 

STEWART, Dave, 75n. 

STEWART, Alexander, 99n. 

STEWART, Capt of Eliza, 234n. 

STIRLING, Admiral, 126n. 

“STONE Fleet,’’ 135n. 

STRAITS of Corea, 146. 

STRAITS of La Perouse, 153.n 

ST. Andrews, Quebec, home of 
Archibald MacDonald, 98, 101. 

ST. Paul, 40. 

ST. Peters, isle of, 123n. 

ST. Thomas, Elgin County, home 
of Edward Ermatinger, 24n, 33, 
36, 38, 40, 115, 116, 116n. 

STUART’S party, 136n. 

SUGAR, 24. 

SULLA, 105n. 

SUNDAY, Princess, 23; Marriage 
of, 88, 90; Death of, 23, 92. 
516, A. F. A. M. of, 47. 

SUNDAYS, Japanese, 181. 

SUPERIOR, whaler, 134, 135n. 

SWAIN, Chas. B. Master of Dav¬ 
id Paddock, 138n. 

SWISS from Switzerland, 96. 

SWISS colony brought out to Red 
River by Lord Selkirk, 96n. 

SWISS, some members of, take 
service with H. B. Co., 97; oth¬ 
ers go to the western states, 97. 

SWIFT, Eliza, owner of Uncas, 

SWIFT, Stephen, Captain of the 
Lagoda, 196n. 

SWORDS, 176, 176n. 



TABLE, Japanese, 222. 

TABSUETSERO, see Shizuki, 226. 

TAJO, (governor, viceroy or 
prince:, 170, 170n, 191, 199. 

TAKABOKE, Island of, 225, 225n. 

TAKAHAMA, 128n. 

TAKAHASKI, Rev. K. T. Presby¬ 
terian clergyman, 253. 

TAKANOSKE, see Shige, an in¬ 
terpreter, 226. 

TAMAA-HMATT, King of Owy¬ 
hee, 136n. 

TANASABERO, see Shioya, 226. 

TANEMON Ujiie, a company cap¬ 
tain, 206n. 

TANESABURO, see Shioya, an in¬ 
terpreter, 226. 

TANGARO (Tankaro) very intel¬ 
ligent, 166; Intense desire to 
learn English, 161, 165, 166, 

167, 171, 174, 177, 182. 

TANI, Hosai, a doctor, 180, 180n. 

TARAKAI, Island of, 163n. 

TARTARY, Channel of, 148, 149. 

TARTAR Country, 169. 

TASHNASHEEN, acting magis¬ 
trate, 216. 

TATSUICHIRO, see Shizuki, an 
interpreter, 226. 

TEA, 24. 

TEA pots and cups, Japanese, 
122n, 222. 

TEETH of Japanese women paint¬ 
ed, 231, 23In. 

TEIKICHI Shimizu, soldier, 177. 

TENJIMMARU, a junk, 203n. 

“TEVEN toghin tsnsin and datur 
were,” corruption of Japanese 
words, 181. 

THA-A-MUXI, 76n. 

THIEVES, (Ladrones) Islands, 
139, 139n. 

THOMPSON, David trades for 
Coxe, 136n. 

THOMPSON, David: A grey coat 
boy, 108, 108n; Astronomer for 
N. W. Co., 108; Character of, 
109, 112, 113; Greatest explorer 
and mapper of North America, 
108; Description of, 109, 109n; 

Descent of Columbia by, 109, 
111; Arrival of at Astoria, 111, 
11 In; Old age of, 113; Search 
of for Columbia, 109. 

THOMPSON’S River, 105n. 

TILLAMOOK Indians, 122n. 

TIMOR Sea, 198n. 

TIMOSHEE, Island of, 149, 261. 

TOKIO (Yeddo) 22n, 262. 

TOKIWARI (tokowaki) Japanese 
word for shelf, 200n. 

TOLL, Toll, Chinook nome for boy, 
boy, 93, 93n; Toole, 27. 

TOMASSEY (Timosheee), 261. 

TONGHI Sea, 146. 

TONQUIN, Astor’s first ship, 80, 

TOOTOOMARI (Pontomari), 153, 
153n, 171, 173, 174, '202, 212. 

TORRES, Straits, 198n. 

TORO DA, Ferry County, Wash., 

68 . 

TORONTO, Upper Canada, 29; 
Early educational facilities at, 

TOTEM pole at Com-comly’s resi¬ 
dence, 88. 

TOYOSHICHI Sato, military 
commandant at Soya, 177, 177n. 

TRADE along Northwest Coast, 
80, 80n. 

TRAY of Japanese wood, 222. 

TREASURE, buried 144, 145. 

TREATIES of Japanese, 1854, 
1858, 249, 250 

TREATY of 1846, 41. 

TSENOSKE, Namura, 226. 

TSOOSE-GADA, (Tsuji-Kata), 
Japanese word for interpreters, 

TSUGARA, Straits of, 170n, 196. 

TSUNENOSKE, see Namura, an 
interpreter, 226. 

TURNER, Capt. of Samuel Rob¬ 
ertson, 139n. 

TURNER, James, 234n. 

TURTLE Island, 141. 

TUSCANY, 37, 37n, 38n, 40. 

TUSCAN, 38n. 


TYRRELL, J. B., 109n. 

332 Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894) 


UJIIE, Tanemon, captain, 206n. 
UNCAS, 156, 156n. 

URAGA, bay of Yedo, 126n. 

USSURI-UKA, 164n. 

UYEMURA, Sakuichiro, an interp¬ 
reter, 226. 


VANCOUVER Island, 31; Port, 

VANCOUVER Fort, 31n; 104. 

VANCOUVER, 25; Fort estab¬ 
lished, 94, 94n. 

VEGETABLES, Japanese, onions, 
carrots, potatoes, cabbage, cu¬ 
cumbers, squash, 204. 

WALKER, Elkanah, 83n, 106n. 

WALLA Walla council of 1855, 

WALTER, John, 196n, 285. 

WASHINGTON (State) origin of 
cattle in, 103, 103n, 104, 104n. 

WEEKLY Despatch, newspaper 
supplied by Ranald MacDonald, 

WEST, Rev. John, 114n. 

WEST Road River, 45, 46. 

WESTMORLAND, County of, 19. 


WHALE fishery, American, 134n, 
135n, 150n. 

WHALERS, English and Ameri¬ 
can, 234n, 235n; Pacific engaged 
in coast trade, 80n, 81 n; Fishery 
graphics of, 134n, 135; Return 
of, 151n, 156n. 

WHALES and whaling in Japan 
Sea, 150. 

WHALING fleet, American, 151n, 

WHALING fleet, see ship’s 

VESSELS, engaged in Northwest 
Coast trade, 80n, 81 n, 82n. 
VICE-ROY, or governor (Tajo), 
170, 170n. 

VICTORIA, B. C., Provincial Li¬ 
brary at, 17, 29, 21. 

VIGILANTE committees, 48. 
VOYAGEURS, 111, 112. 

WHIMPEY, David, 141n, 142n. 

WHITFIELD, Capt. Wm. H., 128n. 

WHITMORE, Capt., 128n. 

WILKES, Capt., 142n. 

WILLIAM II. of Holland, 252n. 

WILLIAMS, S. W., one of the ed¬ 
itors of “Chinese Mail,” 126n. 

WILLIAMS, Mrs. Christina Mac¬ 
Donald McKenzie, 66. 

WINSOR, Canada, 33. 

WIVES, Indian, 83n, 84n. 

WOMEN, Japanese; Dress and ap¬ 
pearance of, 230, 230n, 231, 
23 In. 

WORDS, Japanese, see Japanese 
words, ante.) 

JOHN Work, 24n; Journal of, 

WORSHIP, mode of by Japanese, 
164, 188, 189. 

WORTH, Capt. Paul, 134n. 

WRITING of Japanese, 205; 
taught to all Japanese, 205. 



YANG-TZSE River, 147. 
YANKE-SHIRI, 153n, 154n. 
YASHIRO, see Iwase, an interp¬ 

YATES, Hiram of the Lawrence, 

YEBIS, the Neptune of Japan, 185. 
YEDDO (Tokio), 44, 236, 262. 
YELLOW Head Pass, of the Rocky 
Mountains, 96. 

YELLOW Sea, 149. 



YESSO, (now Hokkaido) Island, 
43, 44, 153, 163n, 167, 168, 170; 
West coast of, 207; Habitations 
confined to small fishing vill¬ 
ages, 207. 

YEUBA Buena, 41. 

YOICHIRO, see Nishi, an interp¬ 
reter, 226. 

YOSEKI Kakizake, Dr., 180n. 
YOSHIDA Torajiro, 128n, 129n. 
YOSHIMUNE, Shogun, 209n. 



1824 -1894 

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