The Narrative of Captain David Woodward [Adventures and Suffering in the Celebes] -1805
An extremely scarce account, we can only find one other copy available.
The lengthy full title explains … The Narrative of Captain David Woodward and Four Seamen Who Lost their Ship while in a Boat at Sea and Surrendered Themselves up to the Malays in the Island of Celebes … containing an Interesting Account of their Sufferings from Hunger and Various Hardships, and their Escape from the Malays. After a Captivity of Two Year and a Half: Also, an Account of the Manners and Customs of That Country, and a Description of the Harbours & Coasts etc. Together with An Introduction and an Appendix containing Narratives of Various Escapes from Shipwrecks, under Great Hardships and Abstinence; holding out a Valuable Seaman’s Guide. And the Importance of Union, Confidence and Perseverance in the Midst of Distress.
Printed by Johnson, St Paul’s Church-Yard a second edition 1805 and despite this truly scarce. Octavo, 236 pages, rough cut edges as issued. Contemporary half calf with marbled paper covered boards showing some wear.
Frontispiece a profile of Woodward, folding chart of the Island of Celebes, larger folding chart of the Western Part of the Island (Celebes) visited by Captain Woodward and a two page plate of Proas, Canoes and Implements of War of the Malays.
The first 143 pages comprises Woodward’s narrative the events of which commenced in March 1791. Woodward had departed on an American Ship from Batavia to Manilla. There was a scarcity of provisions and Woodward along with five sailors (one died soon in the events if you are curious about the title) set off on a quest to find supplies. They got separated from their ship and after many adventures and near death with thirst and starvation surrendered themselves to the Malay of the Celebes. They were treated as slaves and suffered many hardships. Eventually they begin to find help and after a failed attempt to escape finally make it to safety at Macassar. From there they are engaged on an American ship, Woodward as Chief-mate and sail for Calcutta. There Woodward meets Captain Hubbard with whom he sails to Mauritius and there Woodward is given Command of the Ship. From there to Bourbon, round the Cape of Good Hope to St Helena for repairs. Then to Ascension and on to England.
Woodward follows this adventure with a description of the Celebes its climate and natural history, religion and manners and a brief vocabulary of the Malay language.
The other misadventures described include … Captain Inglefield’s Narrative; William Boys’s Narrative of the Luxembourgh Galley; Lieutenant Bligh’s Narrative; Loss of the Lady Hobart Packet; Loss of the Pandora Frigate and several more.
Appendices include several useful articles including …. Case of Thomas Travis – seven days in a Pit; Experiment of a Physician; Remarkable Case of the Effects of Long Abstinence, List of a Number of Accidents, Shipwrecks, Escapes etc.
Captain Woodward’s incredible hardship is the Celebes among the Malay’s