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Research Paper completed for Arizona State University HST 498 course. Research was performed on Captain William Robert Broughton.


The Life, Travels and Global Impact of Captain William Robert Broughton

By Quentin Vaterlaus

HST 498 April 27th, 2012

Dr. Retha Warnicke


Introduction A. Source Intro B. Thesis / Summary Birth, Family and Joining the Royal Navy A. Birth and Family B. Royal Navy Beginnings C. Broughtons movement through the Royal Navy D. Brief History of Broughtons Travels including shipwreck and death Hazards at Sea A. Daily Issues Wind, Maggots and Sickness B. Deaths on deck and on land C. Fixing and drying ships outside of port Asian Hydrography A. Japan B. Korea C. Sakhalin Broughtons Interpretation and Evaluation of foreigners A. Hawaiians B. Japanese Conclusion A. Summary B. Aftermath and ripples C. Personal Interpretation







William Robert Broughton was fortunate enough to travel the world at the end of the eighteenth century by order of the British government. He was also unfortunate enough to have grounded his vessel and he was court-marshaled for the same infraction. Throughout his travels, Broughton documented many of his daily endeavors in his Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific 1795 1798. Broughton had his work published in 1804 to bring the English up to par with the French, whose own Jean-Franois de Galaup de la Prouse had travelled the very same waters a decade earlier.1 His writings describe the drive he had to push the English idea of dominating the world; his soil analysis of each location based upon which English plants would grow and how well are evidence of this. In addition,

Broughton took it upon himself to map much of the Japanese coastlines, especially the elusive western coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Broughtons work and its affect on the world are greater than what they appear to be at first glance. Broughtons travels included a voyage to America during the American War for Independence. He was also the commander of the HMS Chatham when he was sent with Captain George Vancouver to the northwestern coast of North America. He later was sent on his own voyage to the Pacific and the eastern coasts of Asia. In order to understand and visualize Broughtons analyses of the foreign cultures he encountered, knowing his upbringing and military life is essential. Additionally, Broughtons example of the extremes to which a crew must endure, including the wreck of his own vessel, showed how much a sailor must endure to accomplish his task. Finally, Broughton met many people on his travels and judged them like anBarry Gough, Introduction found in William Robert Broughton, Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific 1795-1798 edited by Andrew David, (London: Ashgate, 2010), xxii.1


Englishman would; he frequently called them savages and animals and treated them unequally. Broughton also understood that these people were not as advanced as the English yet he was marveled by some of their ingenuity.2 Broughtons primary goal, in his mind, was accomplished: he investigated, analyzed and reported back on new lands so that the English could pursue economical and nautical domination. William Robert Broughton was born on March 22, 1762. It is unknown if he was born in England or Germany, but it is clear that he was the son of Charles Broughton and Elizabeth Young Broughton. Charles had followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and was a wealthy merchant who sold goods in Hamburg, Germany. Charles father and grandfather, both named Charles Broughton as well, were members of the Merchant Adventurers.3 Their family descended from a long line of Broughtons, one that gained a baronetcy during the reign of Charles II. William Robert Broughtons line from the first Broughton baronet does not include the title. plentiful.4 Broughton lived in central England, with reports of him across the counties of Cheshire and Middlesex5. His family had roots throughout central England, from Broughton Castle in the southwhich no longer belonged to their family but was part of their origins nonethelessto Broughton Hall in the north. When his greatNevertheless, their family monetary supply appeared to be rather

William Robert Broughton, A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean...Performed in His Majestys Sloop Providence and her Tender, in the Years 1795-1798, (1804; repr., London: Da Capo Press, 1967), 183 (hereafter cited as Voyage in HMS Providence). 3 Darryl Lundy, ed, The Peerage: A Genealogical Survey of the Peerage of Britain as well as the Royal Families of Europe, www.thepeerage.com (accessed March 10, 2012). 4 Gough, xxvi. 5 Institute of Historical Research, The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Middlesex, edited by William Page, vol. 2, 9 vols, (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), 203.2


uncle obtained the baronetcy of Delves, the Broughton family expanded its footprint with Doddington Park and Doddington Hall in the west and eastern parts of central England, respectively. William Broughton appears to have travelled much in his youth and spent quite a while with the gentry of both Cheshire and Middlesex. The Church maintains records of his brother, Brian Broughton, as having been baptized in Hammersmith, a suburb of London. In addition to this, his distant cousin Jemima, daughter of the sixth Baronet of Broughton, was born at Broughton Hall. The two have a history that involves Doddington Hall after Williams return.6 These support the theory that William Broughton was raised in central England. William Robert Broughton decided at a young age to digress from his familial heritage of merchants and enter the navy. With his familys money and their moderate influence, Broughton volunteered for the navy and his first order was aboard a small yacht. Due to his volunteering and his familys monetary influence, Broughton was destined for the quarterdeck. His first major vessel, where he was rated as an able midshipman, was the HMS Falcon in 1774. During this time, Broughton travelled to the rebellious New England colonies and was taken prisoner in 1775. After being released, he was assigned to work under John Knight, soon to be Captain John Knight, to whom he paid close attention and learned much in the ways of cartography. Broughton soon had the opportunity to work under Captain Peter Rainier, during which he was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1782, Captain Knight a second time and then as Commander of the HMS Chatham under Captain


Gough, xxvi and liii; Lundy, www.thepeerage.com.


Vancouver. This voyage with Vancouver would lead Broughton around the world twice between 1793 and 1798.7 The Chatham was a storeship that was used to keep and provide resources for Vancouvers expedition to the Northwestern North American coastlines. In addition to this, Vancouver was to meet with the Spanish concerning the conflicts over Nootka Sound. Afterwards, he was to map the Western coast of South America. Broughton, being an excellent cartographer, was first sent up the Columbia River, approximately one hundred miles, surveyed the area and forwarded his drawings and knowledge to Vancouver upon his return.8 Here, Broughton mastered his craft and began his own hydrographic legend. Unfortunately, Broughton and Vancouver were unable to sway the Spanish concerning Nootka Sound; therefore, Broughton was sent back to England to report on the situation. He travelled with the Spanish to Mexico, crossed to the Gulf of Mexico, boarded a ship bound for Spain, and following his arrival in Spain, he travelled North to England. Here, he relayed the information and, upon Vancouvers recommendation, was promoted to Master and Commander of the HMS Providence. His new assignment was to meet up with Vancouver and complete the surveillance of the western coast of South America. It was odd to have the Providence sail alonemost voyages include two or more vesselsbut Broughton and the crew ventured on nevertheless. Upon reaching Hawaii, Broughton discovered that

Vancouver had either completed his task or was on his way to complete it.Gough, xxvii; Nicholas Tracy, Who's Who in Nelson's Navy (London: Chatham Publishing, 2006), 623; The U.S. Naval Department, Naval Documents of The American Revolution edited by William Bell Clark, vol. 1, (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964), 1114. 8 Gough, xxvii [still awaiting source that Gough used to verify in ASU storage stacks]7


Consequently, Broughton, verifying this news when he travelled North to Nootka Sound, had the choice of his next assignment. Along with his lieutenants, Broughton made the decision to investigate and chart the little-known waters North of Japan and West of both Japan and Korea. From this point on, their goal would change from rallying with Vancouver to expanding Englands knowledge of the Asiatic coasts.9 As Broughton began his work in Asia, the season and the winds were not on his side; so he travelled to Macau for the winter. Broughton fell on deck and fractured his arm.10 During a large wind gust, During their visit at Macau,

Broughton remained on the ship due to his arm and heard of a vessel for sale. He thought it silly to continue his dangerous work on only one vessel; therefore, when he had gained further use of his arm, Broughton purchased the small schooner for 1,500 sterlingapproximately 125,000 in 2010. 11 He later penned a letter to the Admiralty concerning the vessel and the name he had given to it, the Prince William Henry.12 This ship ended up being more important than Broughton expected. While Broughton was below deck on the Providence marking his maps, white water was seen a-head and upon each bow, and reported to the officer of the watch... and almost directly after, the ship struck upon a reef of coral rocks. 13 The Providence had run into the coral reef just north of the island of present day Miyako-Jima. The crew was able to move to the small schooner and also had the ability to save Broughtons maps and works already completed. No life was lostWilliam Robert Broughton, Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific 1795-1798, edited by Andrew David (London: Ashgate, 2010), 50 (hereafter cited as Voyage); Gough, xxxv-xxxviii; Tracy, 63-64 10 Broughton, Voyage, 90-2. 11 Broughton, Voyage, 107-8. 12 Broughton, Voyage, 215-6. 13 Broughton, Voyage in HMS Providence, 195.9


during the sinking of the Providence, but it was now extremely uncomfortable on the Prince William Henry. Approximately 110 men were now onboard a vessel of 87 tonsopposed to the 406 ton Providenceand some were even dragged behind in the lifeboats.14 They returned to Macau and sent off or discharged the entire crew, except for thirty-five men. These men, along with Broughton, were to complete the task of surveying Korea and western Japan before returning to England. Between May 19-22, 1798, Broughton was called before a court martial and had to defend himself. He was acquitted of the charges, as his lieutenant had not kept a proper watch, as Broughton had instructed15. After his acquittal and his return to England, with a post-date of January 20, 1797, Broughton was awarded the rank of Captain. 16 He soon began to compile his writings on his explorations for publishing. During this time, he married his distant cousin Jemima Broughton at Doddington Hall and together they had four children; three girls and one boy17. His son, also named William, followed his father into the navy. Broughton returned to service in the Royal Navy after the publishing of his book, not returning home for any extended period of time until 1818, when he retired and moved to Florence. He is said to have died suddenly of heart problems and possibly coronary artery disease.18 He died on March 12, 1821 and was buried at the English Burial Ground at Leghorn. He was given an honourable obituary in The Gentlemans Magazine, an

Broughton, Voyage, 131. Gough, li. 16 Tracy, 63. 17 George William Collen, Debrett's Baronetage of England: Revised, Corrected and Continued (London: William Pickering, 1840), 77-8; Lundy, www.thepeerage.com; Sylvanus Urban, "Captain William Robert Broughton Obituary" The Gentleman's Magazine: and Historical Chronicle 91, no. 1 (June 1821): 376-7 18 Tracy, 64.14 15


honour in itself.19 Broughtons legacy lives on in the twenty-first century in the form of Broughtons Bluff, Broughton Islands, Broughton Archipelago, Broughton Lagoon and even Broughtons Club, a bar located within the British Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.20 Broughtons travels across the high seas were a prime example of the types of issues that the sailors in the Royal Navy had to endure. Broughton described several times throughout his work the death of sailors, the plagues on their food and the constant possibility of scurvy. The crew of the Providence, in addition to dealing with these problems, had to repair a hole in their ship while on the journey along the Northwest Coast of North America. Furthermore, they had to deal with the indigenous people who could change their attitudes from day to day and posed a threat to the crew and the ship. The irony here is that those same indigenous peoples were needed to sustain the crews and help keep them from scurvy and food infestations21. Through all of this, Broughton painted a picture of the labour of love that was service in the Royal Navy. The Providence and her crew were unlike many others on expeditions of discovery. They were sent alone and, therefore, had to maintain their own cargo, stove and other necessities for sailing. Broughton and his crew often had to search through the food supply to ensure the other storage containers were not contaminating the food or vice versa. He specifically noted that in Hawaii, with clear weather and time to obtain more stores as needed, the crew parsed through19 Urban, 376-7. 20 Hyun Ye-rim, Visit to the British Embassy, May 3, 2007,

http://annals.yonsei.ac.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=433 (accessed 2012 13-March). 21 Several references in Broughton, Voyage, 17, 25-26, 55, 129, and others.


the bread to destroy as many of the weevils by fire... as lay in our power. Still we cou[l]d only destroy a part & many remain[e]d to our mortification for our daily consumption.22 Apparently, the weevils were an unappreciated source of protein. During both stays of the Providence and Prince William Henry in Macau, Broughton again evaluated the health of his men. By the end of 1796, only one man had been killed due to sickness. Broughton noted that even though they had been away from England for two years, they were without the appearance of the Scurvy and the Ships Crew were in perfect health.23 Broughton again stated, before the solitary launch of the Prince William Henry, that his crew of thirty-five men was in good health and they departed to finish their quest.24 It is interesting to note that Broughton, prior to the initial launch of the Providence, procured several medicines to counter scurvy, yet there were no cases reported on either the Providence or the Prince William Henry.25 Unfortunately, other sicknesses did occur on board and were met with dread. Broughton noted specifically one occurrence of dysentery that afflicted nearly every member of the crew. It was unknown if the plague was due to the water they took on board in the Typa or for other reasons. Broughton claimd it was due to the prevalence of the easterly winds and foggy weather, which concurred materially to have affect the health of our people, who were universally afflicted with the dysentery.26 Either way, no one on board was happy.

Broughton, Voyage, 25. Broughton, Voyage, 107. 24 Broughton, Voyage, 137. 25 Gough, xxxi. 26 Broughton, Voyage in HMS Providence, 176.22 23


Although no man was stricken with scurvy, the expedition was not without its deaths. As previously mentioned, at least one man was killed by an unnamed sicknessapart from having a fever27. Several others died due to hazards of the reckless sea; Broughton himself had broken his arm in a violent wind gust. The first death came to Hugh MacDonald merely four months after embarking on the high seas. MacDonald had fallen from the mast riggings, hit the deck and was killed on the spot.28 Almost a year after that first death, another man, Patrick Sherry, fell upon the Quarter Deck & was found dead upon the Spot.29 Another accident beset the crew of the Providence when Hans Oldson fell from a tree and passed a few days later from infection.30 Even though the crew fought off disease, the mighty sea and the coral reef that sank their vessel, they could not overcome the harsh mistress known as gravity. Gravity was not Broughtons primary concern, however. Indigenous people were a constant threat and curiosity of the Providence. Broughton, in need of supplies and curious to know more about the Hawaiians, went to shore to procure goods and information. During his stay, he spent time walking and talking with the local people and had not the smallest fear respecting [his] own safety.31 The very next day, when he sent his officers and armed men to shore to obtain additional supplies for their trip to Japan, a scuffle broke out, leaving two marines dead and the officers fleeing back to the Providence on their small boat. Broughton soon gave the

Broughton, Voyage, 7. Broughton, Voyage, 10-11. 29 Broughton, Voyage, 48. 30 Broughton, Voyage, 78. 31 Broughton, Voyage, 59.27 28


order of vengeance: destroy everything. They sent a small party on shore, which set fire to their entire village and all of their canoes. While they did this, others collected the bodies of the deceased marines and gathered other belongings. An inspection of the bodies revealed one marine was stabbed several times, presumably with his own bayonet, while the other was knocked unconscious by a blow to the head and drowned.32 Broughton did not note the number of deaths his men inflicted on the natives, however, it appears that the destruction was retribution enough. Interestingly, Broughton seemed rather disturbed by this

encounter, as he said Of all the Murders which have been committed at these Islands this seems to be the most unprovoked as it was to me unexpected.33 The ships unforgiving deck and the unpredictable natives both added to the hardships that seamen were required to endure. Alternatively, the first major issue that all vessels had to overcome was the water itself. Broughton and the crew of the Providence had a major issue to handle first: water was leaking into the ship. He noted the water was becoming unbearable when they first passed near Hawaii. His crew would not get a chance to inspect the leak until they reached Nootka Sound, so they relied on pumping the water out for several months. While at Nootka,

Broughton ordered the arduous task of taking the 406-ton ship out of the water to repair it. Upon review, the carpenters found that the original manufacturers had used iron bolts to secure parts of the copper sheathing.34 This was unfortunate the combination of iron, copper and sea water creates a chemical reaction that

Broughton, Voyage, 59-61. Broughton, Voyage, 60. 34 Broughton, Voyage, 41.32 33


causes the copper to corrode the ironand left several holes in the copper that allowed water in.35 In addition to the manufacturer cutting costs, the Providence was a victim of either poor craftsmanship or a forgetful carpenter. After discovering the corroded iron, the crew was able to locate the reason for the leak into the boat: an empty auger hole.36 This, combined with the holes in the copper, caused unsettling amounts of salt water to pour into the Providence and required nearly immediate repair by Broughton and his men. After repairs, they dried the ship with controlled fires and, with the help of the HMS Lady Washington, righted the vessel and brought her back into the water.37 Apart from grounding on the reef later on the voyage, the Providence did not have additional leakages. Broughtons published work tells how much men had to endure during their explorations abroad. All members on board were subject to the whims of the sea and many lost their lives for carelessness or random accidents. Broughton was also part of a strange uprising by the Hawaiian people against his own men; an uprising that he met with force and fire. Finally, Broughton showed the English literate how a Royal Naval Man handled a leak while away from port: by the removal of his vessel from the ocean and repairing it on shore. He truly was the adventurous type. His adventures did not stop there. Broughton fulfilled his plan to survey the eastern coast of Asia. While on this mission, he scouted the western coasts of mainland Japan, the entire island of Hokkaido, Japan, the coasts of Korea, and investigated Sakhalin, an island north of Japan that is extremely close to the RussianHarry A. Morton, The Wind Commands: Sailors and Sailing Ships in the Pacific (Vancouver: The University of British Columbia Press, 1975), 209. 36 Broughton, Voyage, 41. 37 Broughton, Voyage, 41-2.35


coasts at certain points. Through all his exploration, Broughton continued to document his experiences and he created an accurate map of the areas he surveyedexcept for one flaw that would haunt the English fleet years after Broughtons death. Hokkaido is the northern island just off the coast of the Japanese mainland. This was the first stop for Broughton and the Providence after they left Hawaii. This part of Japan was elusive due to the odd shape of the island, the relative closeness to Japan on the southern shorethe small channel between them can be easily missed by explorersand the rocky coasts approaching the island. Broughton described the first coast they approached as having several Rocks above water and the land as being low & flat which would be hazardous if a vessel were to travel in the dark.38 Here, Broughton met with the local people of Hokkaido called the Ainu, and also their Japanese peers. Broughton stayed here for some time, marking his maps and calling this area Volcano Baypresent day Uchiura Wan.39 Even though this area had active volcanoes that were billowing great quantities of smoke, Broughton created a plan for a harbor and port on the island.40 Before leaving, he had the opportunity to trade a map from Captain James Cook for two maps held by the Japanese: one drawn by the Russians and the other by the Japanese themselves. Noting that the weather would soon be changing and becoming colder, Broughton ordered the Providence south along the eastern coast of Japan. During this venture, Broughton fractured his arm and was unable to continue his survey

Broughton, Voyage, 71. Broughton, Voyage, 74-5. 40 Broughton, Voyage, 74.38 39


work, but attempted the best he could through a proxy cartographer.


Providence continued south and Broughton made several new discoveries that had not been previously recorded on English maps. One specific place he mentioned and correctly assumed was the southern tip of Japan were two islands south of the Japanese mainland known presently as Yaku Shima and Tanega Shima. 41 During the trek to Macau for the winter, the Providence passed on the southern side of Miyakojima, an island east of mainland Taiwan. Conversely, when travelling back out to sea, they travelled on the northern side of said island, which was much more hazardous than the southern side as is evident with the wreck of the Providence.42 After sending a large portion of his crew away on other vessels, Broughton gathered his thirty-five mates and continued his voyage toward western Japan and Korea. His first goal was to chart the Gulf of Tartary and determine if Sakhalin was an island or a peninsula. They travelled around the eastern side of Japan, finishing the maps that Broughton could not finish due to his broken arm. They stopped at Tokyo Bay for a short while to build up their stores and proceeded north.43 During this trip into the gulf, he sent the master of the vessel, William Chapman, to investigate in their small dingy. Chapman reported there was a channel he thought to be deep enough for their vessel. Broughton disagreed, but attempted to verify his claim by pushing his smaller ship, the Prince William Henry, up the coast. He turned back when they measured only three fathoms of depth, or approximately 18 feet. Broughton assumed that it would only get worse, so he turned back and marked hisBroughton, Voyage, 101 (also, see footnote by editor). Gough, xlvi. 43 James E. Hoare, Captain Broughton, HMS Providence (and her tender) and his Voyage to the Pacific 1794-8 Asian Affairs 31, no. 3 (October 2000): 303-312, 308-310.41 42


maps accordingly.44 Unfortunately, during the Crimean War with Russia in the 1850s, the Englishusing Broughtons flawed mapsattempted to blockade this gulf and were humiliated when their plan failed.45 There was in-fact a passage through that Broughton had missed nearly fifty years prior. After mapping the Gulf of Tartary, Broughton proceeded to Korea and towards the Yellow Sea. He continuously mapped their route without stopping as the season was not in his favor. He stated that rain and very dark gloomy weather [was] increasing.46 The land around him was also not a friendly place to stop as they passed along the coast of Siberia towards Korea; the land was very mountainous and they saw no signs of Inhabitants.47 They soon rounded the tip of Korea and headed north again to continue observations. Broughton noticed some natives and wished to meet and speak with them, but the turbulent waves and bleak weather discouraged any attempt to land. He did steer his vessel towards a port that was located on the Japanese maps he had acquired previously; however, he was unable to pinpoint the exact position of the port. Broughton did write that he charted the assumed location of the port on his own maps based upon a deep cove they found, but the weather inhibited further exploration.48 Broughton continued his venture south to Macau, charting along the way. His major accomplishments were completed when he left the coast of Japan and Korea. Broughton and his crew added a wealth of information to the generalBroughton, Voyage in HMS Providence, 298-301, See map before title page. Ian R. Stone, W.R. Broughton and the Insularity of Sakhalin The Mariners Mirror 82, (1996): 7681, 78-80. 46 Broughton, Voyage, 179. 47 Broughton, Voyage, 179-80. 48 Broughton, Voyage, 182.44 45


cartographic knowledge of England and her allies. Even though la Prouse had travelled very similar waters earlier in the decade, he did not have the extensive knowledge and additional maps of the Asian coasts that Broughton had procured.49 Broughtons work not only included cartography, but was supplemented by ethnological investigations. Broughtons voyage therefore signified a shift in

British... inquiry from one side of the North Pacific to the other.50 Broughton interacted with every group of people that he could find. He spent time off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and traded goods with many of them before he proceeded south of Africa. On the other side of the world, he stopped at Port Jackson in Australia to deliver escaped inmates he picked up while investigating the areas around Port Stephens. Broughton spent quite a while with the Hawaiians and Japanese, and their Ainu cousins, and took considerable notes about them all. His ethnic survey, although not scientific, was one of the first introductions for Englishmen on how to work with the Asian cultures, especially the Japanese. Broughton first wrote of the Hawaiians in detail when he first stopped at the islands for supplies and to pump water out of his vessel. On Oahu, Broughton spoke of several warchiefs that were fighting amongst themselves. Some of these had European support. He stated that one of the chiefs, Ta maah maaha, was furnishd... with such quantities of Musquets & Ammunition... that he does not think himself equal to the strongest chiefs. It is interesting that Broughton passively wrote about a foreign war in which other Europeans had such a heavy hand; he did attempt to

49 50

Gough, lv. Gough, xxii.


persuade Ta maah maaha into stopping his war, to no avail.51 Ta maah maaha, also known as Kamehameha in Hawaiis history, used these resources to overthrow and control the Hawaiian islands for over two decades.52 When Broughton returned to Hawaii from Nootka Sound, he met a British Seaman named John Young and was given notice that Vancouver had proceeded on with his task of surveying South America. Therefore, Broughton had time to spend at the island and determine his next course of action. While there, he wrote more on Kamehameha and their dealings together. Broughton stated that Kamehamehas power had increased much since their last visit.53 He took a survey of the island and noticed that while Kamehameha had conquered several other islands, he left his own relatively unprotected: It appeard extraordinary that Tai-maah maaha shoud neglect his own island [and] by Pursuing his Conquests leave it entirely exposd to an Usurper....54 Leaving ones home unprotected while conquering another did not seem appropriate to Broughton. Broughton gave the English an insight into the Hawaiians that supplemented the work done by previous travelers. On his second trip around the islands, he made specific mention of the Hawaiians and their ability to grow food. Even though they were war-like, they knew that their soil was rich and took advantage of it. He wrote of horse radish, cabbage, roots, seeds, potatoes, coconuts and many fruits. Along with all the vegetation, Broughton had the luxury to pick and trade for goats,

Broughton, Voyage, 29-30. Linda Menton and Eileen Tamura, A History of Hawai'i (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989), 5. 53 Broughton, Voyage, 55. 54 Broughton, Voyage, 55.51 52


ducks, hogs and even cattle. He wrote that trading was easy when they used Sheets of Copper, Iron Hoops [and] Nails. Copper was much esteemd in preference to any thing else.55 He spent much of the following days on the islands himself, walking and talking with the natives, unmolested.56 They collected yams, potatoes and hogs for little in exchange. He was the central curiosity of Men, Women [and] Children on the island, which gave him pause and consider the situation [he] was thrown into by the absence of the Boat.57 The next day, his own men were killed and he destroyed a Hawaiian village in vengeance. The swing from friend to enemy surely surprised Broughton and his men. The Hawaiian experience was exciting yet limited. As he travelled to Japan and Hokkaido, Broughton was fortunate to report on a fairly new ethnic group for the British. His first real encounter with the Japanese occurred in September of 1797. Here, he described them as light copper Colour with dark Hair very thick [and] cut short behind [and] all of them with Long beards, fine Black Eyebrows, tolerable Teeth with expressive good naturd countenances.58 After some time attempting to converse with them, Broughton noted that they may have never seen a Ship before of that size.59 This was Broughtons first and only uninterrupted encounter with Ainu people of Hokkaido, Japan. Each subsequent visit, either on shore or upon his own vessel, was interrupted by the Japanese, who sent the Ainu people away. Broughtons first note of this was a few days later when he stated, We

Broughton, Voyage, 55. Broughton, Voyage, 59. 57 Broughton, Voyage, 59. 58 Broughton, Voyage, 72. 59 Broughton, Voyage, 72.55 56


had several visitors but a Japanese coming off soon sent them away.60 The Ainu, Broughton soon realized, were at the lower end of the social class in Japan. These people were not part of the civilized world of Japanese people. But neither were they considered fully part of the barbaric world of foreigners.61 He later noted that the people were tributary to the Japanese and in great subjection to them. They were prevented as much as was possible by the Japanese officers from having any intercourse with us, and were instantly driven away.62 Broughton happened upon something he did not fully understand, yet he had to deal with. Nevertheless, Broughtons first few encounters with the Japanese proved fruitful. He obtained maps from the Japanese, some created by the Japanese themselves and others from the hands of the Russians. He returned the favor with a map from Captain Cookes General Chart of the World which appeard to gratify them exeedingly.63 Broughton continued his journey down the coast of Japan towards Macau for the winter, stopping and investigating the natives along the way. He wrote of their food production, cooking, clothing, boats, how they fished and some differences between men and women. Broughton stated that both men and women enjoyed smoking tobacco and that the society appeared patriarchal with women being tasked with sewing clothing and cooking food. The men, with their long beards, hunted and dealt with the British for trading. Broughton gave the fullest

examination of the islands on this path towards Macau: he described the types of

Broughton, Voyage, 75. Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present, Second Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 19. 62 Broughton, Voyage, 81. 63 Broughton, Voyage, 77.60 61


trees that grew on shore, the fish they caught in the ocean, the birds they found and spotted, domesticated animals, such as horses and dogs, as well as the indigenous bears, foxes, rabbits and deer. He had the opportunity to see whales, sword fish and turtles off the coast of Japan. This full survey gave readers and the British a better understanding of how the islands of Japan could support trade and colonization.64 William Robert Broughton travelled around the world on the ocean, wrecked his 406-ton vessel and survived. During his voyage, he wrote about his endeavors and published his work shortly after his return to England. He showed the world that traveling by ship is hazardous; death occurs where it is least expected. Additionally, the work his crew performed in order to maintain their vessel showed their dedication and the hard labour required for sailing in the eighteenth century. His skill at cartography proved beneficial to the English charts and the Royal Navy, almost too much so. Broughtons maps were advantageous to future English sailors, yet the results of his failure with Sakhalin was a major inconvenience for the Royal Navy in the 1850s. Luckily, his initial work with the Japanese prompted additional research and assisted future explorers on their voyages. Broughton added crucial information about the Hawaiians and Japanese, especially in a time when European focus was shifting towards Asia. In 1815, Captain Basil Hall of the HMS Lyra, had a copy of Broughtons Voyage with him, and... he found Broughtons account of the natives... to be of considerable interest.65 Captain William Robert Broughton changed the world, but not in a way that most people are aware. Broughtons work along the coast of Japan was the initial64 65

Broughton, Voyage, 79-81, 90, 94. Gough, lv.


push from the British into new territory. He served with many of the best captains and admirals in the Royal Navy, surveyed rivers in North America, the coasts of Japan and met hundreds of new people along the way. He spent forty-three years in the Royal Navy, from 1774 to 1818, fought in the American War for Independence, travelled the world and then fought against Napoleon in the early 1800s. The places that hold his name show the true impact he had on the world: Broughtons Bluff, in the Lewis and Clark Recreation Site, Oregon Broughton Islands, off the east coast of Australia Broughton Island, one of the Snares Islands, New Zealand Broughton Arm, Dusky Sound, New Zealand Broughton Streets in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia Broughton Island, British Columbia Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia Broughton Lagoon, British Columbia Bukhta Broutona in Ostrov Simushir, one of the Kurile Islands Broughton Bay, which did not survive, but is now Zolotoy Rog, Vladivostok66


Gough, liv.


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