Michael Mahonen as John Jewitt
Canada: A People's History
                                                                                   March 3, 2002

... To read about John Jewitt's exploits, read Hilary Stewart's book

Adventures and Suffering of John R. Jewitt, Captive of Maquinna, (Douglas & McIntyre, c1987)

                          John Jewitt's Diary:   Introduction   1803........

                               One of the best descriptions of native life on the West Coast came from John
                               R. Jewitt, who lived among the Nuu'chah'nulth Indians on Vancouver Island for
                                more than two years (1803-05) and kept a journal of his  experiences.

                               In 1803, when an American trading ship called the Boston sailed into Nootka
                               Sound, Jewitt was a 19-year-old English  blacksmith. He was employed by the
                               Boston as an armourer and would make trade goods for the Indians, whom he
                               had never met. Based in Massachusetts and captained by John Salter, the
                               Boston was the most extravagantly  laden trade vessel to sail out of America.
                               As was customary, the chief  Maquinna came aboard to welcome the captain
                               and assess the trading possibilities. He offered Salter fresh salmon as a welcoming
                               gesture. Jewitt's reaction was one of awe.


                               "I had never before beheld a savage of  any nation, it may readily be supposed
                               that the novelty of their appearance, so different from any people that I had
                               hitherto seen, excited in me strong  feelings of surprise and curiosity."

                             Maquinna            1803

                               John Jewitt, the young English blacksmith aboard the trading ship the Boston was struck
                               by the Nuu'chah'nulth people whom he met in 1803. He was particularly struck with the look
                               of one their chiefs, Maquinna, who had extended welcome to James Cook twenty-five
                               years earlier.

                               Maquinna was the chief of the Moachat group of the Nuu'chah'nulth and Jewitt describes him
                               in his journal as "a man of dignified aspect,  about six feet tall in height and extremely
                               straight and well proportioned: his features  were in general good, and his face was
                               rendered remarkable by a large Roman nose, a very uncommon form of feature among these
                               people; his complexion was of a dark copper   hue, though his face, legs, and arms were on
                               this occasion, so covered with red paint, that   their natural colour could scarcely be
                               perceived; his eyebrows were painted black in   two broad stripes like a new moon, and his long
                               black hair, which shone with oil, was fastened...   over with white down, which gave him a most
                               curious and extraordinary appearance.

                             "He was dressed in a large mantle or cloak of   the black sea-otter skin, which reached to his
                               knees, and was fastened around his middle by a broad belt of the cloth of the country, wrought
                               or painted with figures of several colours; this dress was by no means unbecoming, but, on
                               the contrary, had an air of savage   magnificence."

                               Maquinna initiated the trade for his own village  and acted as a wholesaler for other tribes,
                               taking their goods to the Europeans and making  impressive profits. European goods meant
                               status here, and Maquinna had grown rich trading sea otter pelts to white people for metal
                               goods. He was a shrewd bargainer and became adept at playing the Spanish against the
                               English. His influence stemmed, in part, from the wealth he attained and subsequently
                               redistributed in potlatches.

                               Through trading, Maquinna built up his base of  power, both within his own tribe and among
                               others on the coast. He now reigned over a  community that had been changed by contact.

                               When the American trading vessel the  Boston arrived at Nootka Sound in March 1803,
                               Chief Maquinna, chief of the  Nuu'chah'nulth Moachat had been trading with Europeans for
                               more than two decades. He greeted the new arrival as  was customary, coming aboard to  welcome
                               the captain and assess the trading possibilities. He offered Captain  John Salter fresh salmon as   a
                               welcoming  gesture and later received a gift, a double-barreled rifle. With it he shot some
                               ducks and made a gift of them to Salter in the ongoing escalation of business  protocol.

                               In the course of the hunt one of the locks  on the gun had broken and Maquinna told
                               Salter that it was peshak, that it was bad.  Salter assumed the chief had broken it with misuse
                               and called him a liar, among other insults, and gave the gun to the blacksmith John Jewitt to repair
                                it . Maquinna had acquired a rudimentary knowledge of English in his dealings with Europeans and Jewitt
                                realized that Maquinna understood the tenor of Salter's   slurs:

                               "Unfortunately he understood but too well the meaning of the reproachful terms that
                               the captain addressed to him. He said not a word in reply, but his countenance
                               sufficiently expressed the rage he felt though he exerted himself to suppress it.

                               "I observed him, while the captain was speaking, repeatedly put his hand to his
                               throat and rub it upon his bosom, which he afterwards told me was to keep down his
                               heart, which was rising into his throat and choking him."

                               The next day, Maquinna returned with  several of his chiefs, bringing their usual
                               gift of salmon. He was wearing a wooden  mask that had been carved to resemble a
                               fierce animal. The natives danced wildly for the Boston's crew then stayed for
                               dinner. Shortly after they finished, Jewitt, who was at his bench in steerage cleaning
                               muskets, heard a commotion above him and ran up the stairs. One of the chiefs
                               grabbed Jewitt by the hair, but lost his hold as he swung an ax toward it. Jewitt
                               missed being decapitated but was hit in  the forehead, a clean gash that
                               penetrated his skull and he collapsed unconscious into steerage.

                               "I fell stunned and senseless upon the floor. I was, however, soon recalled to my
                               recollection by three loud shouts or yells from the savages, which convinced me
                               that they had got possession of the ship. It is impossible to describe my feelings at
                               this terrific sound."

                               After the capture of the Boston on March  22, 1803, when the ship's blacksmith John Jewitt
                               came to, he crawled up to the deck where six blood streaked, naked natives pointed dagger
                               at him. Maquinna addressed Jewitt by name, having observed him at his trade during visits to
                               the Boston. "John - I speak - you no say  no; You say no - daggers come!" he said.

                               He asked Jewitt a series of questions:  Would he be Maquinna's slave for life; would he fight for him
                               in battles would he repair the muskets and make knives for him. It was this last quality
                               that caused Jewitt to be spared; Maquinna recognized his practical worth.  Jewitt carefully answered yes
                               to each  question and Maquinna led him to the   quarter-deck where the twenty-five heads of the
                              Boston's captain and crew were arranged in a neat line on a thick lamina of blood. Each head was brought
                               to Jewitt for identification. One of his eyes was swollen shut from a wound in his forehead and he blinked
                                through the other, offering the grim roll call.

                               A second man, John Thompson, the ship's sail-maker, was found alive and spared after Jewitt convinced
                               Maquinna that Thompson, who was twenty years older than Jewitt, was in fact his father. Jewitt
                               threatened suicide if his "father" was killed and reminded Maquinna that he would lose his services.
                               Maquinna reluctantly spared Thompson.

                               The Boston was emptied and scuttled. And the people held a potlatch - a feast
                               and a triumphant show of power where a chief welcomes his guests by handing out
                               armloads of his excess wealth.

                               Twenty coastal tribes came to join in the feast. They put on dresses from the ship's trunks,
                               put stockings on their  heads, slung cartridge belts around themselves and danced on the
                               shore There was a feast of whale blubber, smoked herring spawn and dried fish.

                               Jewitt noted, "On this occasion Maquinna  gave away no less than one hundred
                               muskets, the same number of looking glasses, four hundred yards of cloth, and
                               twenty casks of powder, besides other  things."

                               It was the largest potlatch ever seen in   that area and helped cement Maquinna's
                               position as the dominant force on the  island.

                               Following the Boston massacre, Maquinna took John Jewitt and the ship's sail-maker John Thompson as
                               slaves. Thompson, an American born in Philadelphia,  despised the natives and was a bitter, resentful,
                               occasionally violent slave. But Jewitt learned the language and did his best to endear himself.

                               "I had determined from the first of my capture to adopt a conciliating conduct towards them, and
                               conform myself, as far as was in my power, to their customs, and mode of thinking, trusting that
                              the  same divine goodness that had rescued me from  death, would not always suffer me to languish
                               in captivity among these heathens."

                               Jewitt made fish hooks and knives for the various chiefs and ornaments for their wives and children.
                               Maquinna's wife liked Jewitt and her eleven-year-old boy  became devoted to him. Maquinna prized
                               him  both as an armourer and as a novelty that he sometimes put on display during trade missions to
                               other tribes.

                               "I became quite an object of curiosity to these people," Jewitt  wrote in his diary, "very few of
                               whom had ever seen a white man. They crowded around me in numbers, taking hold of my
                               clothes, examining my face, hands and feet, and even opening my mouth to see if I had a
                               tongue...  having undergone this examination for some time, Maquinna at length made
                               a sign to me to speak to them. On hearing me address them in their own language, they were
                                greatly astonished and delighted... "

                               Jewitt was a gifted amateur ethnographer, noting every detail of Nootka life, measuring the lengths
                               of dwellings and canoes, observing the complex social hierarchy and recording odd parallels with
                               his own culture:

                               "In decorating their heads and faces they place their principal pride," he wrote, "and
                               none of our most fashionable beaus, when preparing for a grand ball can be more particular: For I
                               have known Maquinna after having been employed for more than an hour in painting his face, to
                              rub the whole off and recommence the operation anew when it did not entirely please him."

                               Maquinna was vain and complex, both political and principled, a charismatic chief whose vanity was
                               balanced by a strict asceticism. His relationship with Jewitt eventually took on a  familial tone
                               Thompson, on the other hand, remained sullen and combative. He punched Maquinna's son
                              on one occasion,  an offense that would have cost him his life had Jewitt not   argued strenuously
                              on his behalf. To ensure survival, Thompson needed Jewitt, who in turn depended on the
                              capricious Maquinna. In his happier moments, Maquinna had promised Jewitt that should a ship come,
                               he could leave with them. But news of the Boston massacre had traveled among
                               traders, likely gathering horrific embellishments, and no one came to trade.

                               Maquinna's interest in his slave Jewitt wasn't shared among  the 1,500 Nuu'chah'nulth villagers. "As for the
                               others," Jewitt wrote in his meticulous journals, "some of the chiefs  excepted, they cared
                                little what became of me, and probably would have been gratified with my death." Many felt that
                               despite their marquee value and practicality, the two white     slaves -- Jewitt and Thompson
                               -- were liabilities; they were witnesses to a massacre and could bring ruin on the village.
                               On one occasion, Maquinna had to use his club to defend Jewitt against angry chiefs.

                               When John Jewitt had been at Nootka Sound almost two years, the chief Maquinna held a
                               council where it was decided that Jewitt should marry one of their women; it was time he was fully
                               integrated into the tribe. If Jewitt didn't want one of the local women, Maquinna said, they would go
                               to another tribe and buy a bride. If he decided not to marry, he would be killed.

                             "Reduced to this sad extremity," Jewitt wrote,  "with death on the one side, and matrimony on the
                               other, I thought proper to choose what appeared to me the least of the two evils, and consent to be

                               Jewitt didn't want any of the local women so he and Maquinna and fifty men loaded two canoes and
                               set out for the A-i-tiz-zart tribe, bringing muskets,  cloth and sea-otter skins to buy a bride for Jewitt.
                               They were feted with herring spawn and whale oil and Maquinna asked Jewitt if he saw a woman he
                               liked. He chose a seventeen year-old beauty, Eu-stoch-ee-exqua, the daughter of the chief

                               "Maquinna rose," Jewitt recounted, "and in a  speech of more than half an hour, said much in my
                               praise to the A-i-tiz-zart chief, telling him that I  was as good a man as themselves." Maquinna told
                               the chief that despite the fact that Jewitt was white and looked like a seal, he would make a good

                               His new wife was beautiful; small and well formed, with soft black hair and teeth of a whiteness rarely
                               seen in Europe. Yet Jewitt wasn't happy.

                               "A compulsory marriage with the most beautiful and  accomplished person in the world, can
                               never prove a source of real happiness," he wrote, "and in my  situation, I could not
                               but view this connection as a chain that was to bind me down to this savage
                               land, and prevent me ever again seeing a civilized country... "

                               Marriage was a psychological burden to Jewitt, an incremental step to actually becoming native.
                               Maquinna used it as wedge, arguing that Jewitt should adopt other customs now that he was
                               married. He had to paint himself in their customary red and black. His European clothes were
                               abandoned and he wore a breechcloth, suffering constantly from the cold. His European self was
                               being slowly eroded. One of the last bulwarks was  his faith; on Sundays he retreated to the forest
                               and prayed to his god in solitude.

                               Despite his Christian misgivings, Jewitt grew closer to Maquinna. He even came to rationalize the
                               massacre of his crew mates on the Boston as the result, he believed, of the white man's

                               "These injuries had excited in the breast of Maquinna an ardent desire of revenge, the
                               strongest passion of the savage heart...  Unfortunately for us, the long-wished-for
                               opportunity at length presented itself in our ship...

                               "And here I cannot but indulge a reflection that has frequently occurred to me on the manner in
                               which our people behave towards the natives.

                               "For, though they are a thievish race, yet I have  no doubt that many of the melancholy disasters
                               have principally arisen from the imprudent conduct of some of the captains and crews of the ships
                               employed in this trade, in exasperating them by insulting, plundering, and even killing them on
                               slight grounds."

                               Jewitt's life among the Nootka was changing from an adventure to a permanent existence, which
                               depressed him. Maquinna told him and Jewitt agreed that his wife would have to be sent back to
                               her tribe as he could no longer care for her in his depressed state. He was able to conquer his
                               melancholy long enough to father a child, a son who is mentioned only in passing in his published
                               journal. His wife pleaded to stay, saying that she would nurse him back to health.

                               "I told her she must go," Jewitt wrote, "for that I   did not think I should ever recover, which in
                               truth I but little expected, and that her father would take  good care of her...
                               I was greatly affected with the simple expressions of her regard for me, and could
                               not but feel strongly interested for this poor girl, who in all her conduct towards me, had
                              discovered  so much mildness and attention to my wishes; and   had it not been
                               that I considered her as an almost insuperable obstacle to my being permitted to
                               leave the country, I should no doubt have felt the deprivation of her society a real loss."

                             Leaving Nootka Sound,  July 19, 1805

                               John Jewitt lived among the Nuu'chah'nulth in Nootka Sound for nearly three years. He had almost
                               resigned himself to his fate when suddenly, everything changed.

                             "On the morning of the nineteenth of July, a day that will be ever held by me in grateful
                              remembrance, of  the mercies of God... my ears were saluted with the   joyful sound
                              of three cannon, and the cries of the  inhabitants, exclaiming... strangers -- white men."

                               The Lydia, a trading ship out of Boston, had anchored  in the sound. Its captain, Samuel Hill,
                               was aware that  Jewitt and his shipmate John Thompson might be    there. Jewitt had written
                               letters describing his plight and left them with a few chiefs during trading visits,  asking them to
                               pass them along to any ship that came  by. Hill had been given one of these letters by a native
                               chief named Ulatilla. In it, Jewitt outlined the fate of the Boston and said there were two survivors,
                               awaiting rescue.

                               Jewitt feigned indifference at the ship's arrival. The villagers were alarmed though and argued for the
                               deaths of him and Thompson. At the very least, they should be taken fifteen miles into the bush until the
                               ship had left, they said. The chiefs adopted a surprisingly conciliatory tone and said the two should
                               be released. Maquinna, who had so often been Jewitt's protector, was now reluctant to let him go. The
                               captives sat in limbo, unsure whether they would be rescued or killed.

                               Maquinna decided to go aboard the Lydia and assess the trading potential, a decision that
                              was met with strong opposition among both villagers and chiefs. They said it was dangerous
                               and unnecessary; he  would be killed by the white men. Maquinna replied
                               that he had no fear and asked Jewitt to write him a letter of recommendation stating that he and
                               Thompson had been well treated.

                               As Maquinna watched, Jewitt wrote, "Dear Sir, THE   bearer of this letter is the
                               Indian king by the name of Maquinna. He was the instigator of the capture the
                               ship Boston, of Boston in North America, John Salter   captain, and of the murder
                               of twenty-five men of her  crew, the two only survivors being now on shore -
                               Wherefore I hope you will take care to confine him  according to his merits, putting in your
                               dead lights, and keeping so good a watch over him, that he cannot  escape from you.
                               By so doing we shall be able to obtain our release in the course of a few hours."

                               When Maquinna asked Jewitt to read what he had written, he went over each line, fabricating a new
                               narrative, saying that he had instructed the captain to give Maquinna molasses, biscuits and rum and
                               that he had always been well treated.

                               "He said 'John, you no lie?'

                               "Never did I undergo such a scrutiny, or ever experience greater apprehensions that I felt at that
                               moment, when my destiny was suspended on the slightest thread, and the least mark of
                               embarrassment on mine, or suspicion of treachery on his part, would  probably have
                               rendered my life the sacrifice."

                               After closely examining Jewitt's face, Maquinna said he believed Jewitt and left in a canoe, carrying the
                               letter to the Lydia's captain. The chief presented Jewitt's   letter to Captain Hill along  with a
                               gift of sea-otter pelts. Hill invited him into his cabin, gave him biscuits and rum and had him
                                arrested. Maquinna was surprised but offered no resistance. The canoe returned to
                               shore without the chief, the paddlers conveying the message that Jewitt had betrayed him.

                               The women in the village wept and sank to their knees, begging Jewitt to stop the white men from
                               killing Maquinna. The men took another approach, threatening to cut him into pieces the size of his
                               thumbnail or slowly roast him alive. A trade was finally arranged and Jewitt and Thompson were taken
                               out to the Lydia.

                               Jewitt was dressed almost exactly as Maquinna had been when he had come aboard the Boston. His hair
                               hadn't been cut in more than two years and was piled on his head and held with a spruce twig. His face
                               and entire body were painted in red and black and he was  wrapped in a bear skin. Hill said he
                               had never seen any human in so wild a state.

                               Maquinna was in irons but welcomed Jewitt. They spent a sleepless night together in the cabin as
                               Maquinna reviewed their relationship.

                             "John," he said, "you know when you [were] alone, and more than five hundred men were your
                              enemies, I  was your friend and prevented them from putting you and Thompson to
                               death, and now I am in the power of your friends, you ought to do the same by me."

                               Jewitt had in fact already convinced Hill to release Maquinna and he assured the chief that Thompson,
                               who probably wanted to kill him, would be restrained. Jewitt felt a duty to recover what remained of the
                               Boston's cargo and arranged for a final trade. In the morning, the cargo was brought on board in exchange
                               for the great trader, Maquinna.

                               Before getting in his canoe, Maquinna presented the captain with his mantle of four sea-otter skins, which
                               was greatly appreciated. Hill said he would be back a  Nootka Sound in November and suggested
                               Maquinna  have more skins ready for trade; they could do business.

                               "Then, grasping both my hands with much emotion, while the tears trickled down his cheeks, he
                              bade me  farewell, and stept into the canoe, which immediately  paddled him on shore," wrote Jewitt.

                               The Englishman was unexpectedly moved as well. "Notwithstanding my joy at my deliverance,"
                               Jewitt wrote, "...I could not avoid experiencing a painful  sensation on parting with
                               this savage chief, who had preserved my life, and in general treated me with   kindness,
                               and considering their ideas and manners, much better than could have been expected."

                             Return to civilization

                               Having recovered the two captives from the Boston and after returning Maquinna to his people,
                               the Lydia headed north along the coast to trade with other tribes. Among them were the Haida, who
                               John Jewitt refers to in his diary as the Wooden-lips. Jewitt notes that the women did all their trading.

                               In November of 1805, the ship returned to Nootka Sound and Maquinna was overjoyed to
                               see Jewitt, who came ashore, once several chiefs had gone out  to the Lydia to insure his safety.

                               Jewitt's son by Eu-stoch-ee-exqua was now five months old and Maquinna said  that once
                               the child was weaned he would take him from the mother and raise him as his own.

                               The Lydia next went to China and Jewitt didn't get back to Boston until 1807, five  years after
                               he had left England. But civilization didn't prove as welcoming as the former captives had hoped.

                               John Thompson, who had been held captive along with Jewitt, died in 1815 in Havana, Cuba,
                               or in 1816 in Philadelphia according to differing historical accounts. Jewitt married a woman named
                               Hester Jones with whom he had five children. They settled in Connecticut, but Jewitt  never shook
                               the effects of his time among the Nootka. He published his diary as A Journal Kept at Nootka Sound,
                                and peddled the book around New England in a horse drawn cart.

                               The account was later rewritten by Richard Alsop, a writer of some note, and   appeared in
                               1815 with the impossible title, A Narrative of the Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt; Only
                               Survivor of the Crew of the Ship Boston, During a Captivity of Nearly 3 Years Among the Savages
                               of  Nootka Sound with an Account of the Manners, Mode of Living, and Religious Opinions of the
                               Natives. Despite the awkward title it received critical praise and was a modest commercial success,
                                selling 9,000 copies. Jewitt sold the book door-to-door in the towns along the eastern seaboard and
                               sent what money he could back to his family in Connecticut.

                               Jewitt's literary success was parlayed  into a dramatization. He collaborated with playwright
                               James Nelson Barker and the result, The Armourer's Escape; Or, three  years at Nootka Sound
                               was a two act  melodrama/musical that ran for three performances at the Philadelphia Theatre
                               starting March 21, 1817. Jewitt played himself and sang two songs, one of them in the
                               Nootka language. After the play's brief run, he returned to his life as a traveling salesman, constantly
                               on the road, peddling his retailed adventures.

                               In January of 1821 at the age of thirty-seven, Jewitt died of unstated causes.

                               Maquinna was last seen in 1825 by a Hudson's Bay trader visiting Vancouver Island. The chief was
                               nearing seventy and hobbled by rheumatism but he still greeted the ships, anxious to trade.

(From CBC's web site... " Canada: A People's History " October 22, 2000)

  BC Folklore Society collection
                                John R. Jewitt   Nootka Sound

                                I speak to you as one who has, by the blessings of fate herself, survived an ordeal
                                such as few have ever been subjected to. I, a poor Englishman from abroad seeking
                                no more than to live out a proper and decent Christian life, found first my fellow
                                noble men set upon and murdered - yes, ladies and gentlemen, murdered - by those
                                most uncivilized inhabitants of the Pacific North West. Then, myself and but one
                                other lone soul enslaved, our very lives dangling precariously upon the merest whims
                                of the very leader of those who had killed our brethren!

                                But make no mistake, my good people. While they were of decidedly passionate and
                                malevolent intent, they were also quite wily in this enterprise. They made use not
                                only of their pitiful captives' defenceless bodies (details of which you must, for
                                the sake of your very sanity, be spared.

                                I would, however, draw your attention to the deep scar still to be seen upon my
                                forhead as a most minute example of their barbarism!), but also—being by now much
                                more revealing as to their truer purpose!—of their poor talents and skills as well!
                                Ladies and gentlemen, they forced us, ever by threat of impending and assuredly
                                torturous death, to disclose to them our simple yet honest knowledge in the
                                honorable arts of smithing and sailmaking—then corrupted them to their diabolic
                                purposes! Oh, those horrid memories!

                                Gentle folk, forgive me. It is not my intention to cause you undue alarm over my
                                misfortunes, horrific as they may have been. Ah, many a day I consoled myself—in
                                those all too infrequent moments when I would perhaps cease to be appropriately
                                entertaining to my captors; laying huddled up in a corner on the frozen ground;
                                perhaps being indifferently mistaken for dead—by bringing back to my mind a small
                                piece of this civilized land I had once known and still dearly loved.

                                Of all the charms civilization has presented, none are more endearing to me than her
                                songs! And, being employed upon a merchant ship, one of course was quickly
                                acquainted with the jolly "sea shanty". One melody in particular remained in my
                                mind—an invention of Mr. Charles Dibdin, I believe. With your permission, I should
                                like to take the liberty of using this fine song to deliver to you a brief account of
                                my experience. I trust you will find it satisfactory.


                                John Rodgers Jewitt was a young Englishman at the end of the eighteenth century.
                                Having decided to emmigrate to America, he was now looking for a way to make
                                some money so as to allow him a good start in his new life. At this time the American
                                sea otter trade was booming, and it was in this enterprise that Jewitt put his hopes.
                                In the late summer of 1802 the American ship Boston, prior to making its way to the
                                Pacific Northwest, was taking on trade goods in the North Sea port of Hull. It was
                                here that Jewitt signed on for his fateful voyage as the ship's armourer or
                                blacksmith, having acquired the skills of that trade in his youth.

                                To put it simply, the Boston ended up being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
                                Their destination was Nootka Sound, a by now traditional location for trade
                                between the local Native inhabitants and the Americans, Spanish and English since
                                Captain Cook's initial visit some twenty-five years earlier. However, the Nootkans
                                had by this time found themselves outraged and betrayed on numerous occassions in
                                their dealing with these "White" men - so much so that they had decided to seek out
                                their revenge on the next ship to enter their waters. That ship was the Boston. In a
                                well planned attack, the Nootkans - under the leadership of their Chief, Maquinna -
                                managed to kill all but two of the crew of twenty-seven. The two spared were the
                                sailmaker, John Thompson, and our blacksmith, Mr. Jewitt. Maquinna was distinctly
                                aware of their worth as tradesmen, and they ended up spending over two years
                                (1803-1805) as captive employees, all of which was well documented by John
                                Jewitt in his personal journal, and followed up on by his book, Narrative of the
                                Adventures and Sufferings of John R, Jewitt.

                                Though it would seem that Jewitt personally managed to get on well with his
                                captives - he adapted himself so much to their way of life that Chief Maquinna,
                                treating him almost like an adopted son, arranged a marriage for him! - he decided,
                                upon his eventual rescue and disembarkment in Boston, to exploit his experience for
                                a livelihood. He played upon the sympathies and prejudices of the day, and
                                delivered it all in an entertainment package appropriate to the time. He lived out the
                                rest of his life in New England, finally settling down in Connecticut, where he
                                passed away in 1821.

The Poor Armourer Boy (Philip Thomas SOCAN )
No thrush that e'er pip'd its sweet note from the thorn
 Was more lively than I, or more free,
 'Till lur'd by false colours, in life's blooming morn
 I tempted my fortune at sea.
 My father he wept as his blessing he gave,
 When I left him "my time to employ"
 In climates remote on the rude ocean wave,
 Being but a poor Armourer Boy.

 Whilst amidst each new scene these "maxims of old"
 Upheld me when grief did oppress;
 That a fair reputation is better than gold,
 And courage will conquer distress:
 "So contented I brav'd the rude storm, dry or wet,
 Buoy'd up with hopes" light painted toy,
 In thinking that Fortune would certainly yet
 Deign to smile on the Armourer Boy.

 From slav'ry escap'd, I, joyful once more
 Hail'd a civiliz'd land, but alone
 And a stranger was I on a far-distant shore
 From that which my childhood had known.
 "If such be life's fate, with emotion I cried,"
 Of sorrow so great the alloy;
 "Heaven grant the sole blessing that ne'er is denied,"
 To the friendless Poor Armourer Boy!

 With our ship, on return, with riches full fraught,
 We hop'd soon for Boston to steer,
 My heart it with ecstacy leap'd at the thought,
 "My eyes dropp'd through pleasure a tear."
 "But, alas! adverse fate so hard" and unture
 "Did all these gay prospects destroy,"
 For burn'd was our ship and murder'd our crew,
 And wounded the Armourer Boy.

 For a long time in pain and sickness I pin'd,
 With no one to feel for my woe,
 No mother, my wounds, as she sooth'd me, to bind,
 No sister her aid to bestow!
 By savages fierce for years held a slave,
 Did affliction my poor heart annoy,
 Till Hope dropp'd her anchor at last on the grave
 As the birth* of the Armourer Boy.

 "birth" in this case is the old spelling of "berth".
 The text is as it appears on Jewitt's broadside. The quotation
 marks are puzzling but suggest that the phrases thus marked were
 taken from "The Poor Cabin Boy," the song which Jewitt's song

 Source: Philip, Thomas J. (SOCAN) Songs of the Pacific Northwest. Saanichton, B.C.:
 Hancock House Publishers Ltd., 1979, pg. 88. Used with permission from the author.
 Midi arrangement by T. Whitbread