THE AUCKLAND ISLANDS, SOUTH
IN our last issue we noted the arrival at Inver- cargill of Captain Musgrave, late of the schooner Grafton, after being shipwrecked and compelled to stay nearly two years on these islands. On
that occasion, Captain Musgrave left behind him two seamen, whom, by the liberal aid of the people of Invercargill, he has since been enabled to rescue, Captain Musgrave recently returned to Melbourne, and reported that on the occasion of his second visit to the Islands, he was compelled by stress of weather to run into Port Ross, the principal harbor of the largest island, and on going ashore he found lying on a rude bedstead in a dilapidated frame building the corpse of a man apparently dead for three or four mouths. Beside the body lay a slate on which was some illegible writing. From the appearance of the place he had evidently died alone, and the place had not been visited by any person until Capt. Musgrave's party arrived there. Smoke also having been seen on a distant part of the island induced a belief that the ship- wrecked crew of some vessel other than their own were living there. Unfortunately the means at Captain Musgrave's disposal would not permit of making even a cursory examination of the locality; consequently, it was considered advis- able to return to New Zealand as speedily as possible, and endeavour to induce the Government to institute a search. Failing in this he sailed for Melbourne with the slate found at Port Ross, laid the facts before the Victorian Executive, by whom they communicated to Sir John Young, with a request that the services of one of the men of war on this station should be availed of to examine the islands. Captain Musgrave's story evoked great public interest as to the pos- sibility of some hapless unfortunates being alive there. It was thought that, perhaps, the sur- vivors of the Fiery Star might have reached there, and speculations were rife as to whether some tidings of the missing ships Jack Frost, J. E. H., Lord Raglan, and Invercauld, or the missing steamers Citizen and Comet, might not yet come to light. There were two war steamers, to the expenses of which the colony contributes, lying idle in this port, but, by some red-tapeism, neither was available, and the only alternative was to make use of the Victorian Government war steamer Victoria, the expenses of which will be defrayed jointly by the colonies of Vic- toria, New South Wales, and Queensland. The Victoria sailed on Wednesday week, under the command of Captain Norman, who was accom- panied by Captain Musgrave, by whom a thorough search will be made. Some goats and other useful animals, and a quantity of seeds, were taken for distribution on the islands, so as to be useful to any other persons visiting the Aucklands at any future time.
The slate found by the dead body on the Auckland Islands has undergone a microscopic examination at the.instance of the Victorian Government. The greater portion is illegible, but the. following words are apparent:—
"Maria, or Maori * * Hodges.
White. . . . Captain ship
. . . . . . . . feet
. . . . James Stephens."
The Auckland Islands are barren and un- inhabited. The Messrs. Enderby endeavoured to form a settlement there in 1841, but after- wards abandoned them; and since then they have been resorted to only by whalers and sealers.
By the mail just received from England we learn that the missing ship Invercauld, from Melbourne for Callao, was wrecked on the Auck- land Islands in May last year. Six seamen were drownecl, nineteen, reached the shore, and for some time subsisted on roots, which failing to support life, they died off until only Captain Dalgarno, Mr. Smith, chief mate, and one sea- man survived. These were taken off by a Por- tuguese ship and conveyed to Callao.
I THK AUCKLAND ISLANDS, SOUTH PACIFIC-SCENE OF THE WRECKS OF THE "GRAFTON " AND " INVERCAULD."
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