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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
         SKETCH OR BIOGRAPHY OF MY LIFE.                283

officers, he gave them to understand their positions, with res-
pect to me. That day he also told me I could take anything (ex-
cept liquor), for sale to the crew during the expedition. I was
now at liberty to go on shore at any time, to make any prepara-
tions for sea. All the ship's stores being in by the 15th of
March, and the cabins and commander's rooms and the survey-
ing officer's cabin all ready by the 25th, the commander gave me
five pounds sterling, which, with what I had, I spent for soap,
tobacco, clothes, caps, boots, etc., which I felt sure would be
  Everything being ready for sea, the well-known Blue-Peter
was hoisted at the fore-mast, on the morning of the 2d of
April, 1867, and we steamed out of the harbor at 3 P.M., amid
great cheering from the other government vessels that wished
us a safe return.  We arrived at New Castle on the 3d of
April, and left on the 5th for Brisbane. After staying at Bris-
bane a few days, taking in live stock, we steamed away for Port
Denison, and then to Cleveland Bay. Here we spent Easter
(22d). We left Cleveland Bay for Cape York. After we left
Cape York, we called at Palm Island. After leaving Palm Is-
land, we met a schooner short of provisions, having been three
months at sea. We anchored every night while going through!
Torres Strait. On the 27th, we called at Hardy Island, where I
first saw the aborigines of Australia.  They are a curious race;
no clothing on, of any description; long sticks through their
noses; some carrying spears, others the celebrated boomerang,
with which they are such experts when fighting or hunting.
The boomerang is a flat piece of wood, about three to four inches
broad, very sharp at the outer edge. They are about two feet
in length. I have seen one of these men cut an apple off a
very tall pole with a boomerang. They do not throw it towards
the object they intend to strike, but almost in an opposite di-
 After a day or two, we sailed away across the Gulf of Car-
pentaria. A few days after, our ship got grounded at a place
called Castlereagh, but no damage was done; she was easily
gotten off. We then steamed away for the Liverpool river, in
the Northern Territories of Australia. This river not having
been previously surveyed, our steam tender was sent ahead for
sounding. The next day, after entering the river, we reached a
distance of about 30 miles from its mouth, where the surveying
officer had the horses landed. A surveying party then went for.
five days inland, we cheering them from the ship as they started.
The following day, a coasting party, under the first officer, left
to explore the coast in the steam tender "Firefly," thus leaving
only about twenty men, all told, with, the chief engineer in
charge. The next day, a terrible storm came on, and we were
almost wrecked; but the chief engineer and the men just man-
aged to save her. The thought of being wrecked so far from
civilization, amongst savage nations and out of the track of any
ship, made every man work with a will for his life.


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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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