Tonquin


Tonquin
   An American vessel, which brought out the Astorians from New York to the Columbia in 1810. She was commanded by a domineering officer, Captain Thorn. The following year, accompanied by Alexander McKay, one of the partners of Astor's company, Thorn sailed north on a trading expedition. At Nootka, while trading with the natives, he struck one of the principal chiefs and turned him out of the ship. A few days later a large party of Indians came on board, ostensibly to trade, but carrying concealed weapons. At a preconcerted signal, they fell on the officers and crew, killing all but five seamen, who escaped into the hold. Four of these escaped the following day in a boat, but perished at sea. The natives, believing the ship deserted, come on board in a crowd to pillage her. Suddenly, while four or five hundred were huddled together on the deck, the ship blew up with a frightful noise. The sailor who had remained behind, probably wounded, is supposed to have taken this terrible revenge. An Indian of Gray's Harbour, who had been among the crew, managed to escape during the massacre, and brought the news to Astoria.
   Index: D Attacked by natives at Clayoquot Sound, June, 1811, and entire crew massacred, 37; sent to the Columbia by Astor, 71; murder of crew, 71.
   Bib.: Franchère, Voyage to the North-West Coast of America; Irving, Astoria; Bryce, Hudson's Bay Company.

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