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in excursions at a distance from Reikevig, I am of course ignorant of much that passed there, and it must be remembered that the portion of my narrative that rests upon my own authority is far from great; but the remainder I have been enabled to fill up in a manner at least equally authentic, having been furnished with various documents through the kindness of Captain Jones, as well as with a complete statement * of the whole by Count Tramp, drawn up with the view of being laid before the British government, and with a similar, but more
* This statement was originally accompanied by a considerable number of letters, protests, &c, to which it refers in almost every page, but which I have never seen, and I may, probably, from this cause, have been led to do less justice to the count than would have been the case, had I had an opportunity of consulting them. It is necessary at the same time to remark, that, of the events which took place after the imprisonment of the count, he only speaks from these documents, or from information which he received verbally from the inhabitants of Reikevig, a few days previous to his leaving Iceland, and this may account for some passages which appear to me to be exaggerated, and which, had the circumstances been related from the count's own knowledge, would not have crept into his narrative.
extended, statement by Mr. Jorgensen *, detailing at full length, not only the things that occurred, but the causes that preceded and gave birth to them. Thus, then, pro* This gentleman I have already had occasion to mentioned more than once in my journal; but, as he has, in what follows, to appear as the principal actor, it is right to give some farther account of him; that the transaction may be shewn in its proper light, and that it may not be thought that Mr. [Phelps, a subject of Great Britain, has, by taking a part in a matter unauthorised by his country, transgressed her laws.— Mr. Jorgensen, though born of respectable parents at Copenhagen, at an early age entered into the British service as an apprentice on board a collier; after which, he employed himself in such other vessels of various descriptions as he thought most likely to promote the object he had in view, that of attaining the highest perfection in seamanship. He then entered our navy, in which, after much hard service and many long and difficult voyages, he made himself complete master of navigation, as well as of the naval laws of Great Britain; and imbibed, according to his own words, together with his knowledge of nautical affairs, the maxims, the principles, and the prejudices of Englishmen. At the age of twenty-five, having been absent from his native coun|try ten or twelve years, the whole of which he had spent in the British service, he returned to Copenhagen in the year 1806. In that city he was at so little pains to conceal his political sentiments respecting England, that he
- vided, I proceed without farther preface to the sketch of a revolution, which so far differs from all others of our times, that, in accomplishing it, only twelve men were emcreated himself a number of enemies by declaring his partiality towards a country, under whose flag he had so lately and so long served, and by reprobating in the most open manner the tyranny and usurpation of the French) a nation, whose opinions and principles he found were approved of by the greater part of his countrymen. Shortly after the late expedition, sent by Great Britain against Copenhagen, the Crown Prince entered into an alliance, offensive and defensive, with France; which was followed by a decree, calling upon persons of all ranks and descriptions, from the age of eighteen to fifty, to serve, in some capacity or other, in support of their country; in consequence of which, Mr. Jorgensen took the command of the Admiral Juul, a privateer of twenty-eight guns, in which, proceeding towards Flamborough Head, he fell in with two British ships of war, the Sappho and the Clio. The former he immediately engaged; but, after an action of forty-one minutes, was obliged to strike his colors, and was landed as a prisoner at Yarmouth; whence he was taken to London, where he signed his parole, and remained, till the circumstances, of which the following narrative is intended to convey an account, induced him twice to leave the kingdom, without permission from the British government, and consequently to break his parole;
ployed, not a life was lost, not a drop of blood was shed, not a gun fired, nor a sabre unsheathed.
The island of Iceland, from its climate and situation, and from the exceeding barrenness of its soil, is necessarily compelled at all times to depend for a considerable part of its supplies of provisions upon foreign countries; so that, even in those seasons which may be accounted the most favorable, it does not produce sufficient for the maintenance of its scanty population; and, as often as an unusually severe winter proves destructive to the cattle of its inhabitants, or an unproductive fishery prevents them from laying up their winter stores of dried cod and salmon, nothing but the most abundant imports can avert an actual famine. Such imports in time of peace the parent state of Denmark has found no difficulty in
though he did so, not only without any intention of serving against Great Britain, but, as was shewed by the event in the first instance, and in the second by the proclamation issued in Iceland, with the full determination of returning to England.
furnishing from her numerous ports in Norway, as well as from Copenhagen, but since the breaking out of the present unfortunate war between this country and Great Britain, the naval superiority of the latter has rendered all communication between the former and her colonies most precarious, and the wretched Icelanders have experienced the greatest difficulty in procuring even the poor supplies necessary for their bare subsistence. Sensible of the miserable and defenceless state of this island, it has therefore been the generous wish of the British government that it should be suffered to remain in a state of virtual neutrality, and they have of late gone much farther, and even granted licences to protect vessels belonging to the Danes employed in the conveyance of provisions and other articles of necessity, and to permit English ships to carry similar cargoes thither. "An humane interest," to use the words of Count Tramp, "has been shewn by the English in the fate of the inhabitants, for which they will ever with gratitude remember the exalted philanthropist, Sir Joseph Banks, who on this occasion undertook to advocate their cause."