Page:The Pathfinder of the Seas.djvu/41

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15
HIS THREE CRUISES

pursuits were compelled by necessity to resort to the harbors of the islands for refreshment and supplies; to reclaim those who from improper motives had remained among the islanders; and by exhibiting the moral advancement of America to so raise the American national character in their estimation as to induce a praiseworthy imitation of it on their part. The ship arrived at one of the islands, Nukahiva by name, on July 26, and in order to carry out the spirit of his orders Captain Finch made his vessel a "tabu ship" that he might prevent the gross licentiousness to which ships from Christian lands were usually surrendered in those ports.

For an account of Maury's experiences on this cruise little is to be derived from his extant letters, but fortunately Chaplain C. S. Stewart wrote a book entitled "A Visit to the South Seas in the U. S. Ship Vincennes during the years 1829 and 1830", in which he mentions Maury as a member of the shore party which visited the Valley of Taioa and as one of t hose who went on various other expeditions on the island of Nukahiva under the d irection of the chaplain. That these were unforgettable experiences is evident from Stewart's rapturous descriptions of the people and the scenery of the island which, he declared, "seemed almost a fairy land, scarceless fascinating in its features than the imaginary haunts pictured by the pens of genius as the abode of Calypso, or the happy valley of the Abyssinian prince".

Before leaving this island Maury had an experience of peculiar interest. It was here that his brother John had spent two years practically cut off from civilization. Just before the War of 1812, he had secured a furlough from the navy and had gone as first officer in a merchant man on a voyage to China. On departing from Nuka-