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Te Pito Te Henua, or Easter Island, by William J. Thompson, [1891], at


The Mohican came to anchor in the roadstead of Hanga Roa (Plate XVI) on the morning of Saturday, December 18, 1886. The individual's most interested in the exploration of the island went on shore without delay, and the work was pushed forward as rigorously as possible until the hour appointed for the sailing of the ship for Valparaiso on the evening of the last day of the year.

Messrs. Salmon and Brander boarded the ship upon her arrival and extended the hospitalities of Easter Island, placing their limited resources entirely at our command with a heartiness that won our immediate esteem, and which ripened into sincere friendship before our departure. These gentlemen are closely connected with the royal family of Tahiti, and we had been intrusted with letters and various articles from relatives and friends who desired to embrace the opportunity for communication offered by the Mohican.

Upon landing at Hanga Roa we found nearly all of the natives on the island congregated to receive their unknown visitors. The men inspected us closely and were profuse in friendly demonstrations, while their wives and daughters gazed curiously from a little distance, and the children's manner plainly showed the enjoyment of an occasion of infrequent occurrence in their quiet lives. Surrounded by this crowd we walked about a mile to the house of Mr. Brander, where the baggage, tools, and impedimenta in general were deposited. During the afternoon a reconnaissance was made to the crater of Rana Kao and the ancient stone-houses in the vicinity, and in the evening we crossed the island in a light wagon with Mr. Salmon to his residence at Vaihu.

That gentleman has, during his long residence on the island, accumulated

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a valuable collection of curios and relies of the former inhabitants. Nearly all of our first night on shore was devoted to the purchase and cataloguing of specimens from Mr. Salmon's collection, all of which will be referred to and described elsewhere. Duplicates were obtained of all articles furnished Lieut. Commander Geisler, of the Hyane, for the museum at Berlin, and of those collected by the Topaze for the British Museum, together with original tablets and other relics of great interest and value that had escaped the attention of former collectors.

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