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than half this price, but still no purchasers* were to be found, nor could he procure even tallow or any other kind of Icelandic produce in exchange for it; so, entirely foiled in his expectations, he was under the necessity of determining to remain himself in the country, and take care of his valuable
* It is but fair to remark, that the time of year, in some measure, prevented so ready a sale of the cargo as Mr. Savigniac seems to have expected, though Count Tramp attributes the failure to a different cause, and asserts that the ship was loaded with luxuries instead of necessaries.—To use his words, "this little town (Reikevig) was now overstocked with luxuries of all descriptions, that could not but find a slow and tardy sale, at a season of the year when the commerce could only be carried on with the inhabitants of the town, and its immediate vicinity; for it is only in the month of June that a degree of communication, intercourse, and barter between the more distant towns and parts of the country begins to take place in Iceland. Of real necessaries, on the contrary, such as the country wanted, and for which there was at that time in particular a demand, only a very inconsiderable quantity was imported, so that, partly owing to these causes, and partly to extravagant sacrifices and expences, and to rash and imprudent speculations and general mismanagements, it was not long before it was reported that this new establishment turned out a losing concern. "— Count Tramp's Narrative.
charge, hoping for more favorable times, while Mr. Jorgensen returned to England with the Clarence in ballast, having previously restored the Danish brig to her owners.
The governor, Count Tramp, who had been absent at Copenhagen during these transactions, was apprised of them on his return to Iceland on the 6th of June, 1809, and he observes, upon the subject, in his statement, that, "mortified as he felt at a convention of this kind, concluded with an armament unauthorised to enforce it; yet, nevertheless, acknowledging the sacredness of contracts, he had no idea of curtailing in any respect the rights thereby granted to British subjects, though Mr. Savigniac himself, by acting contrary to the convention, had long since given him sufficient cause to have dissolved it."—In the early part of the same month, Captain Nott, of his majesty's sloop of war the Rover, arrived in the country, and an opportunity was thus offered to Count Tramp, as well to prove the sincerity of his intentions, as to render the most essential service possible to Iceland, by fixing all matters in dispute upon a permanent basis with an officer whom he looked upon as no less qualified to enter into an agreement than able to enforce the observance of it *.
On the l6th of June a convention was accordingly concluded between Captain Nott and Count Tramp, by which it was stipulated that British subjects should have a free trade on the island during the war, but that they should be subject at the same time to Danish laws. The governor proceeds in his
* The feelings of the governor I cannot express better than in his own words, "I must beg leave to remark that, from the existing warlike relations, I did not view with indifference the arrival of an armed force belonging to his British Majesty, with the objects of which in these parts I was unacquainted, and the peaceable proceedings of which no convention secured. My duty, therefore, imposed upon me to take every possible means of precaution; but, having been assured that Captain Nott was far from intending any hostility against the country, I could not but wish, under the existing circumstances, that a compact entered into with a man acting under public authority should establish a firm and understood relation between the inhabitants of Iceland and those British subjects who were settled there already, or who might come hereafter for the purposes of trade."
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narrative to assure us, that he immediately gave orders that a number of copies of this convention should be printed, and circulated throughout all parts of the island, and moreover that, as this was an operation that required some time, the country affording but one press, which was situated many miles distant from Reikevig, he, still farther to assist its publicity, and to cause it to be known in the vicinity of the residences of the following officers, issued a notification to both the Amptmen in the country, Mr. Thoransen and Mr. Stephensen *, and also gave orders to the Landfogued, Mr. Frydens* I should fear that the tardiness of these officers in executing the count's orders must be accounted one of the principal causes of the events he afterwards complained of; for, among other papers with which I have been furnished by Captain Jones, is one containing a narrative of the revolution, by the Etatsroed Stephensen, in his own hand writing, in which, after mentioning the circumstance of the imprisonment of the count, he speaks of the convention with Captain Nott. From this, it does not appear, although he acknowledges the receipt of the copies of the convention, both by him and his brother, that they took any pains to make the contents known in their neighborhood. His words are, "on the same day berg, and to Mr. Koefoed, a Sysselman, to make the contents public in their neighborhood. The convention was likewise shewn to Mr. Savigniac for his perasal.
(Sunday, the 24th of June) the said convention with Captain Nott, left the press, to which Count Tramp, about six days ago, delivered it, for the purpose of having it printed; and at the same time communicated a copy of the convention to myself and the bailiff Stephen Stephensen, but the count was already confined, before a printed copy could be received by him." It will be remembered, that the convention was concluded on the 16th. The press is indeed a long day's journey distant from Reikevig by land, but it is possible to go by water to within a few miles of the spot, and half a day is sufficient time for the voyage.—Perhaps the disposition of the Etatsroed towards the English cannot be better explained than by giving the following translation of an extract from that gentleman's pamphlet, containing a history of the Sol of the Icelanders (Fucus palmatus), printed at Copenhagen, 1808. I have noticed the work in one or two places in my journal, without any reference to the political matters with which it is interspersed.
"To the good Inhabitants of Iceland."
"Odin's Goddesses, Bellonae, afflict our northern countries. They have at last shot their murderous and fiery arrows into our king's residence, in a manner