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James Morrison's Account of TahitiIndigenous Histories
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Notes to Morrison's Account by Owen Rutter


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Notes to Morrison's Account by Owen Rutter

No. 19, page 139. This note has apparently been added by another hand.

No. 20, page 153. Two Spanish ships had visited the island in 1774 and had left two priests, who had been taken back on the return of the vessels a year later.

No. 21, page 162. See p. 234 for a description of this society.

No. 22, page 166. The vocabulary to which Morrison refers here and elsewhere is not with the manuscript. Whether it was ever written, and if so what became of it, there is nothing to show. Lady Belcher mentions that. in 1792 Peter Heywood gave the Missionary Society a vocabulary of the Tahitian language written by himself (Mutineers of the ’ Bounty’, p. 4, note) and it may be that he collaborated with Morrison. But Mr. David Chamberlin, the Managing Editor of the London Missionary Society, informs me that there is no trace of the Vocabulary in the catalogue, though it may possibly be attached to one of the early MS. letters, or it may have been given to the Rev. T. Haweis, who was the South Sea enthusiast among the founders of the Society.

No. 23, page 179. The description of this moral is given in Captain Cook’s First Voyage, under the date of June 27, 1767. It consisted of ’an enormous pile of stone work, raised in the form of a pyramid, with a flight of steps on each side, and was nearly 270 feet long, about one third as wide and between 40 and fo feet high... In the centre was the representation of a bird, carved in wood; close to this was the figure of a fish, which was in stone. This pyramid made part of one side of a wide court or square, the sides of which were nearly equal; the whole was walled in, and paved with flat stones. . . .’

No. 24, page 201. Roggewein called the island on which his ship was wrecked (in 1722) Schaadelyk (Pernicious Island), in what was afterwards known as the Palliser Group, the north-west islands of the Tuamotus, in about 16S, I46½W. This seems to be the group to which Morrison refers, while Myetoo is apparently Maitea (also known as Osnaburgh), which is approximately in the position given in the text.

No. 25, page 240. See note 22.

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© Derived from the 1935 Print Edition edited by Owen Rutter, page 242, 2004
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