Woodes Rogers’ journal is most notable for its account of finding Alexander Selkirk after his four years spent as a desert-island castaway on the Juan Fernandez Islands west of Chile.
p. xiii, Introduction to the Dover edition: “When, however, the turn of the century brought such books as The Buccaneers of America , the account of Beauchesne Gouin, and, more particularly, the journals of Dampier, the English merchants and statesmen began to see what they had missed.” Goes on to describe Defoe’s influence on interests in South Sea commerce.
p. xix: Many of these stories of castaways and shipwrecks, on Juan Fernandez and elsewhere, would have been known to Daniel Defoe, so widely read in the voyage literature of his day.
p. 38: I had Newhoff’s Account of Brazile on board,….
p. 90, Jan. 26, 1709: We are very uncertain about the Latitude and Longitude of Juan Fernandez, the Books laying ‘em down so differently, that not one chart agrees with another; and being but a small Island we are in some doubts of striking it, so design to hale in for the main Land to direct us.
p. 92, Feb. 2, 1709, on the discovery of Alexander Selkirk: He had with him his Clothes and Bedding, with a Fire-lock, some Powder, Bullets, and Tobacco, a Hatchet, a Knife, a Kettle, a Bible, some practical Pieces, and his Mathematical Instruments and Books. … [In one of his huts] he slept, and employ’d himself in reading, singing Psalms, and praying; so that he said he was a better Christian while in this Solitude than ever he was before, or than, he was afraid, he should ever be again.
p. 117, April 16: About twelve we read the Prayers for the Dead, and threw my dear Brother overboard, with one of our Sailors, another lying dangerously ill. We hoisted our Colours but half-mast up….
p. 168-69: Aboard the buccaneer bark Duke. From a captured Galeon on Gorgona Road near the Gallapagos Islands , July 28, 1709: “We found aboard the Galeon a great Quantity of Bones in small Boxes, ticketed with the names of Romish saints, some of which had been dead 7 or 800 Years; with an infinite Number of Brass Medals, Crosses, Beads , and Crucifixes, religious Toys in Wax, Images of Saints made of all sorts of Wood, Stone, and other Materials, I believe in all near 30 Tun, with 150 Boxes of Books in Spanish, Latin, &c. which would take up much more Stowage than 50 Tuns of other Goods: All this came from Italy, and most from Rome, design’d for the Jesuits of Peru, but being of small Value to us, we contented our selves to take only a Sample of most Sorts to shew our Friends in England, and left the rest.”