ABEBooks Description: First edition. Delano, an American mariner and author from Duxbury, Massachusetts, made several voyages to various parts of the Pacific including Hawaii, Palau, the Galapagos Islands, Manila, Canton and Macao, New Guinea, Australia, the East Indies, Chile and Peru. His “.opportunity for fame and fortune came in 1790. A new ship, the “Massachusetts”, weighing 900 tons and 116 feet long, had been built at Quincy to engage in the recently opened and much-talked-about China trade. Delano booked on as second officer and began keeping the journal that would form the basis of his [this book]. He published this lengthy–about 600 pages–yet readable and frequently exciting story in Boston, and it was reprinted several times in the nineteenth century” (DNB). “A Narrative.” reveals Delano’s open-minded curiosity and respect for the diverse cultures he encountered. It includes a unique account of the “Bounty” and Captain Bligh, accompanied by the map and views of Pitcairn’s Island. The source for Herman Melville’s short story, “Benito Cereno” is taken from one of Delano’s adventures in which a Spanish ship is overrun by the slaves it was transporting.
The first voyage is that of the Massachusetts in 1792 from Boston to Batavia and Canton China.
p. 17: In undertaking this work, I was aware of the difficulties which I should have to encounter, in consequence of my want of an early and academic education, although I have always seized every possible opportunity during my whole life for the improvement of my mind in the knowledge of useful literature and those sciences that are immediately connected with the pursuits to which I have been professionally devoted.
p. 141, on Pitcairns Island in 1792: Smith had taken great pains to educate the inhabitants of the island in the faith and principles of Christianity They were in the uniform habit of morning and evening prayer, and were regularly assembled on Sunday for religious instruction and worship. It has been already mentioned that the books of the Bounty furnished them with the means of considerable learning. Prayer books and bibles were among them, which were used in their devotions. It is probable also that Smith composed prayers and discourses particularly adapted to their circumstances. He had improved himself very much by reading, and by the efforts he was obliged to make to instruct those under his care.
p. 245: I have been told by learned men that the Greeks borrowed much of their philosophy from the Bramins. Although I dislike to quote from any book much, yet this is a subject with which I have no acquaintance, and must therefore use the language of others. In the article brachmans, the Endinburg [sic] Encyclopedia says, “It is now pretty well ascertained, that the arithmetical characters now employed in Europe are of Indian, and not of Arabian origin as was long supposed.”
Contains a great deal about Pitcairn’s Island and the survivors of the Bounty Mutiny.