Posts Tagged ‘john jewitt’

Young English seaman John Jewitt was one of only two survivors after the crew of the brigantine The Boston was attacked by Mowachaht warriors in Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, one fateful day in 1803.

Jewitt after the massacre…years later.

We capture the horror of that bloody massacre in the following excerpt from our true-life novel Into the Americas. (Keep in mind what’s not shown in this excerpt is the provocation the Mowachahts had received from European traders prior to this awful event):

As Toowin related what happened, Peshwar and the other warriors gathered around. They grew increasingly angry, glaring at the crewmen concerned, as they learned what had transpired ashore. Jostling broke out between the warriors and some of the crew.

Those crewmen who were armed brandished their muskets threateningly.

“Hold your fire, men!” Delouissa ordered. He didn’t want some trigger-happy sailor sparking a pitched battle on deck.

Maquina and his warriors were now highly agitated. Peshwar in particular wanted blood. He approached the crewmen who formed a protective wall in front of Brown and Waters.

Seventeen-year-old, fresh-faced English sailor Thomas Newton happened to be closest to the fierce headman. Newton visibly shook as Peshwar stopped in front of him. Sweating profusely, the youth’s finger tightened around the trigger of his musket.

“Steady lad,” Delouissa cautioned.

Looking on, Salter and Maquina were equally concerned that events were escalating out of control.

“Do not let them provoke us!” Maquina shouted to his warriors. “We are here to trade. Not fight.”

Peshwar ignored the chief and continued to eyeball Newton. The young sailor pissed his breeches, so fearful was he.

Maquina pulled Peshwar back just as Newton fired his musket. The musket ball meant for the headman struck a warrior standing behind him, killing him instantly.

The Mowachahts and Salter’s men couldn’t believe what had just happened. Time seemed to stand still as they stared at the dead warrior.

Still fearing for his life, Newton frantically began to prime his musket. His actions sparked the others to life. Armed crewmen prepared to use their weapons.

Angered by the death of one of their own, the Mowachahts drew clubs, knives and tomahawks from beneath their capes. Their chilling war cries filled the air, causing the crewmen to open fire. Several warriors went down in that first volley.

“Stop shooting!” Salter shouted. His order was lost in the chaos.

Crewmen fired at point-blank range and several more warriors went down. Incensed, the remaining warriors, with Maquina and Peshwar leading the way, flailed at their attackers with their weapons. Dorthy and three crewmates were hacked to death before they could even react.

Newton dived over the brig’s side into the water where he was clubbed to death by one of a dozen more warriors who had just arrived alongside The Boston by canoe. The canoe’s occupants, most of whom carried muskets, scaled the brig’s side. As they poured over the rail, The Boston’s remaining crew found themselves fighting for their lives. 

Brown and Waters fled as Toowin made straight for them. The chief’s son threw his tomahawk, which lodged dead center in Brown’s back, felling him. He then drew his hunting knife and threw it at Waters with equal effect. It struck the young steward between the shoulder blades, causing him to sink to his knees, badly wounded. Toowin hurried over to Waters, retrieved his knife then used it to unceremoniously cut the young man’s throat.

Delouissa shot dead a Mowachaht headman. The chief mate turned around too late to avoid a spinning tomahawk, which lodged between his eyes, catapulting him overboard.

A tall warrior with knife in hand lunged at the unarmed rigger Kelly. The poetic Englishman evaded the flashing blade and scrambled up the nearest mast. His attacker put the blade between his teeth and climbed after him.

Jupiter Senegal ran to intercept the tall warrior. An arrow thudded into Jupiter’s chest, killing him instantly. Around him, crewmates were bludgeoned and shot as still more Mowachahts arrived on The Boston’s deck.

Drawn by the sounds of conflict, John had hurried topside to investigate. A quick glance through an open hatch had told him all he needed to know. A full-scale battle was under way. Realizing he wasn’t armed, the horrified young man returned below to grab a musket. He returned moments later, having located and primed a new musket from the armory.

The brig The Boston.

His heart beating wildly, John cautiously poked his head through the same open hatch. Unfortunately for him, Peshwar happened by at that exact moment. The headman grabbed John by the hair and raised his tomahawk. Just as he brought the weapon down, he lost his grip on the young Englishman’s hair. The tomahawk’s cutting edge clipped John’s forehead. It was only a glancing blow, but it sent him crashing down the steps.

John lay, unmoving, down in the steerage. Blood flowed freely from an ugly head wound.

Peshwar prepared to go down the steps after him, but was prevented by Maquina who lowered a heavy hatch cover and locked it to seal John in. The headman looked strangely at the chief, as if seeking an explanation.

“We need him,” Maquina said simply.

Peshwar was about to argue when he was distracted by the fighting around them. He and Maquina rejoined the fray.

Further along the deck, a desperate Salter tried to rally his remaining crew. “To me!” he shouted. “Form a circle!”

The surviving crewmen fought their way to reach their captain. Not all made it. Those who did, formed a tight circle and faced outward with their muskets and pistols ready.

Salter did a quick headcount. He estimated not a dozen of his men remained alive. Only half a dozen had made it to his side, and those who hadn’t were rapidly being overcome by the Mowachahts’ superior numbers.

At the bow, riggers Wood and Burton tried to keep half a dozen warriors at bay. The pair were armed only with knives, which they used to good effect. Each felled a warrior with deft thrusts of their blades before the inevitable happened and they went down beneath swinging tomahawks and clubs.

Toward the stern, John’s friend William Ingraham flailed at two warriors with a grappling hook he’d managed to grab as he’d been chased along the deck. Blood from a head wound flowed freely, nearly blinding him.

One of William’s assailants was Keno, the warrior whose musket had malfunctioned on shore. Keno threw a tomahawk at the young American’s legs. Its blade lodged in William’s right kneecap, felling him. The second mate rolled around on deck, screaming in agony, as Keno prepared to finish him off. Rather than finishing him quickly, Keno retrieved his tomahawk and, using his foot, pushed his victim through the railing into the sea where waiting sharks tore into him. The sharks had been attracted by the blood of others who had gone overboard.

As they had with the other crewmen who had ended up in the water, warriors in one of the waiting canoes pulled William into their craft before he could be completely devoured. His lifeless body was heaped on top of the others. The victims’ blood turned seawater in the bottom of the canoe red.

Above deck, Kelly was still being pursued up the mast by the tall warrior. Now high in the rigging, Kelly looked down as his pursuer lashed out at his legs with his knife. The rigger lifted his knees to his chest to narrowly avoid the flashing blade then continued climbing for all he was worth.

When he’d climbed as far as he could, he lifted his knees up once more then brought both feet down hard on his pursuer’s head. The tall warrior fell to his death.

From his vantage point, Kelly could only watch as still more warriors swarmed over The Boston’s sides. Arrows, tomahawks and musket-fire struck down more of his crewmates.

By now, only Salter and three of his crew remained alive on deck. They fought with the desperation of men who knew they were about to die.

Salter was the first to fall, an arrow through his throat. He lay rolling about the deck as he struggled to breath. One of the boatswains was next. He went down beneath a flailing club, leaving only Norwegian sailor Peter Alstrom and Irish sailor James McClay still on their feet. A well placed musket ball finished off McClay.

Maquina charged at Alstrom and decapitated him with one swing of his tomahawk. The Mowachaht chief held his victim’s head triumphantly aloft, and his warriors howled war cries at the sight.

Not to be outdone, Peshwar stood over Salter who was still alive although now obviously breathing his last. The headman swung his tomahawk, decapitating the captain. Peshwar then kicked Salter’s head, sending it rolling along the deck to the accompaniment of more war cries. The head came to a rest against the same mast that Kelly had scaled.

Only now did the Mowachahts turn their attention to the wounded English rigger high above them. Two warriors fired arrows at him. One landed in Kelly’s chest, another in his right thigh. Blood flowed freely from both wounds and Kelly had to fight against feelings of faintness.


You have been reading an excerpt from INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story). The book is available on Amazon:

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)



“Many paddles, one canoe” –First Nations saying

In the following excerpt from our top rating new release adventure novel Into the Americas, we describe a bloody clash between two warring First Nations tribes of the Pacific Northwest during a hunting expedition in the territories of the fearsome Mowachahts. 

IntoTheAmericas ebook cover

Maquina led a six-strong hunting party into the hills behind Nootka village. His five companions included Peshwar, a forbidding headman whose reputation as a fearsome warrior rivalled that of the chief and extended far beyond the borders of the Mowachahts’ territory. All six hunters carried shiny, new muskets acquired in the previous day’s trade, and they were keen to put them to good use.

Ahead of them, in dense forest, an elk grazed. Something spooked him. He wasn’t sure what – a scent or a sound perhaps – and he took off.

Soon after, Maquina spotted the elk’s tracks and knelt down to study them. He then led his fellow hunters deeper into the trees at a fast trot.

Elsewhere in the forest, the same elk burst into a clearing, disturbing a twelve-strong war party of Haachaht warriors, traditional enemies of the Mowachahts. They carried bows, tomahawks and other traditional weapons, and wore the grotesque wolf’s brow mask associated with their tribe.

The Haachahts’ chief, Callicum, a stocky man who wore a large nose-ring, stared into the surrounding trees. He flashed a hand signal at his warriors and they quickly dispersed. Now hidden from sight, they could hear the Mowachaht hunters moving through the undergrowth in pursuit of the elk.

Reaching the forest clearing, the Mowachahts stopped to study their quarry’s tracks. Maquina’s eyes were drawn to an eagle circling high above. He stared at the bird for a few seconds before returning his gaze to the trees. Sensing danger, he primed his musket. His fellow hunters followed suite.

A Haachaht bowman stepped out from behind a tree and aimed an arrow directly at Maquina. The bowman held his bow horizontal, in the manner of the indigenous people of the west coast. Maquina dropped to one knee and swung his musket up just as the bowman loosed his arrow. The arrow lodged in the throat of a tall Mowachaht standing directly behind Maquina. Mortally wounded, the warrior collapsed, choking on his own blood. Maquina killed the bowman with one well placed shot.

Haachaht war cries rang out as Callicum led his warriors out from the trees. Another arrow found its mark, killing a young Mowachaht. Reduced to four, the remaining Mowachahts fought like men possessed.

Two Haachahts closed in on Peshwar. He aimed his musket at the nearest of the two. A hollow click signalled it had malfunctioned. Cursing, Peshwar threw his musket aside and drew his tomahawk. “Peshak!” he swore as he grappled with his enemies. With two mighty swings of his tomahawk, the two Haachahts lay dead at his feet, their heads almost severed from their bodies.

As the fight escalated, a short Mowachaht aimed his musket at a burly Haachaht who rushed him, club in hand. His musket also misfired and he was clubbed to the ground. The Haachaht finished him off before he was felled by a musket shot.

Nearby, Maquina found himself fighting alongside Peshwar. “The muskets are faulty!” Maquina shouted.

Peshwar nodded. “The White-Faces have deceived us!”

The chief found himself face-to-face with Callicum who charged him with a tomahawk in each hand. Maquina raised his musket and pulled the trigger. This time his weapon misfired. Before he could reload, the Haachaht chief was onto him. Maquina was forced to back-peddle and use his musket to block his attacker’s blows. Peshwar came to his aid, wounding Callicum with his own tomahawk.

Seeing their chief in trouble, the other Haachahts seemed unsure what to do next.

Maquina and Peshwar took advantage of their enemies’ indecision and fled, dragging with them the other surviving hunter.

As they made good their escape, Maquina was consumed by the anger he felt toward the European traders. Yet again his people had fallen foul of the traders’ unscrupulous ways. On this occasion, faulty muskets had contributed to the deaths of three of his finest warriors.

You have been reading an excerpt from INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story). To read more go to Amazon:

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

 ★★★★★ “Highly recommended.” –Amazon reviewer Cheryl Long


In the following excerpt from our new adventure novel Into the Americas, we describe trading between the Mowachaht tribe and unscrupulous white traders in Nootka Sound, on Vancouver Island, in the early 1800’s.

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

In the skies above North America’s west coast, amongst the clouds, a bald eagle glided in lazy circles. With her magnificent white head and tail feathers, and her six-foot wingspan, she was the queen of her domain as she made use of the thermals that rose from the unseen terrain below.

The clouds parted to reveal a village – one of many populated by the indigenous people of the remote Northwest Pacific region. Nootka village was bordered by rugged, forest-covered hills which rose up out of the sea. Comprised of twenty or so large, wooden lodges, it was home to the Mowachaht tribe, one of the twenty-five Nuu-chah-nulth indigenous groups that occupied the region’s craggy coastline. A two-masted schooner lay at anchor offshore, safe for the moment in an inlet with the unlikely name of Friendly Cove.

Distance was no problem for the eagle whose sharp eyesight could distinguish any object from another, even if those objects were little bigger than a pinhead. Right now, her eyes were focused on a Chinook salmon swimming between the schooner and shore. The eagle flattened her wings and dove head first, extending her wings moments before she struck the water. Talons extended and now in a shallow dive, the eagle grasped the salmon and, with a few mighty beats of her wings, rose sluggishly skyward with her catch.

The eagle’s labored flight took her directly over the village. If any of the villagers had been waiting for her, with bow or musket primed, they’d have shot her down easily for she was as yet barely higher than the colorful totem poles that lined the shore. Fortunately for her, eagles were sacred to these people and so they ruled the skies with impunity.

A trade was going down with a dozen crewmen from the schooner. Unkempt and ill disciplined, the crewmen were typical of the freebooters who visited these shores in increasing numbers. They carried with them an assortment of weapons and were clearly no strangers to violence.

Armed Mowachaht warriors, ever-mindful of bad experiences they’d had with other European traders, kept a wary eye on the visitors. Most were armed with muskets, some carried blunderbusses and a few bore traditional weapons, including clubs, spears and tomahawks.

The traders had come to exchange muskets for sea-otter pelts. Much sought-after, the beautiful pelts fetched a princely sum in the civilized world – especially in London and in Macau, China. Consequently, Nootka village and the sound named after it was an increasingly popular port of call for traders intent on filling their ships’ holds with the bounty of the New World.

Most of Nootka’s fifteen hundred residents were present to observe the trade, which was being conducted on a sandy beach in front of the village. Trading, especially with visiting Europeans, was a highlight of their short, hard lives. More so after the long winter months – as was the case on this pleasant spring day.

Among the Mowachahts, the common or untitled people wore sealskin and coarse cedar bark clothing, which afforded protection from the constant rain in these parts. The chiefs and men and women of high ranking wore animal skins and colorful capes or, in rare cases, the pelt of the sea-otter.

Headmen invariably wore the striking black sea otter pelt. It extended to the knees and was fastened around the waist by a wide band of colorful, woven cedar bark. The warriors wore square-cut, yellow mantles with holes cut for the arms – similar to those worn by the commoners except theirs were dyed red and were more basic.

Absent from the trading activities were the Mowachahts’ slaves. Acquired in raids on neighboring tribes, the slaves were readily identifiable as such as they collected firewood and performed other menial tasks in and around the village. Though they spoke the same Wakashan language as their Mowachaht masters, their appearance was quite different: each bore the physical characteristics of his or her tribe. Some were lighter skinned, others darker; some were tall and slender, others short and stocky; some male slaves were bald or wore their hair short, others wore their hair in long ringlets; most wore raggedy sealskin clothing while some were near-naked. Their number included almost as many females as males – the former more often than not serving as sex slaves as well as manual workers.

Above the beach, the Mowachahts’ lodges extended to the tree line. They were a sprawling collection of wooden dwellings, the remnants of a Spanish trading outpost vacated some years earlier. Smoke from cooking fires curled up into the sky from strategically placed openings in the lodges’ roofs.

The totem poles – some even taller than the surrounding fir trees – towered over the lodges.

On the beach, there was an air of tension as the schooner’s master, Captain Alvin Walsh, an abrasive New Yorker with a well deserved reputation for dishonest trades, bargained with a group of headmen. Foremost among the latter was Maquina, chief of the Mowachahts. Tall, bronze and muscular, the middle-aged Maquina cut an impressive figure in his ceremonial cloak. Feathers protruded from his long, black hair, which he wore as a bun on top of his head. Like all the headmen, white down covered his head and shoulders, conveying the impression of falling snow.

Captain Walsh’s steely gaze was fixed on the bundles of pelts that lay at his feet while Maquina’s hawk-like eyes were fixed on a dozen new muskets stacked end-to-end in an open casket. The casket lay on top of five identical unopened caskets.

Hard-nosed bartering had begun soon after the traders had stepped ashore earlier in the day and, to both parties, it seemed a successful trade was no closer. Tempers were becoming frayed.

Maquina pointed at the caskets and, in broken English, said, “Maquina say…five pelts…one musket.”

Walsh shook his head. “One musket…ten pelts.” He appeared ready to depart, a shrewd strategy he’d fine-tuned years earlier when trading watered-down whisky to the East Coast tribes.

The chief quickly nodded to his opposite, indicating they had a deal. Walsh gestured to his men who immediately began scooping up bundles of pelts.

Maquina intervened. “Try musket first,” he said.

Walsh cursed under his breath as he motioned to his men to hold off for the moment. He then selected a musket from the open casket and handed it to Maquina. The shrewd chief ignored the offering and selected another musket. He expertly primed it and fired it into the air. The shot echoed throughout Nootka Sound. Still suspicious, Maquina broke open another casket. He tested a second musket with the same result. Satisfied, he made the faintest of hand gestures to his warriors who immediately uplifted the caskets and carried them away.

A relieved Walsh motioned to his men to resume gathering up the pelts. Under Maquina’s penetrating gaze, the captain appeared tense and he exhorted his men to hurry.

There was good reason for Maquina’s suspicion. The Mowachahts – like all members of the wider Nuu-chah-nulth community – had been short-changed, and worse, by European traders. As the number of visiting trading vessels increased, so too had the number of unsavory incidents. The indiscriminate shooting of villagers by drunk or disgruntled traders was becoming almost commonplace and the rape and mistreatment of women even more so.

And so it was with some malevolence that Maquina and his people observed these latest traders as they ferried their trade items back to the waiting ship.

You have been reading an excerpt from INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story). To read more go to Amazon:

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)



Our new release historical adventure INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story)  resonates with readers if the early reviews on Amazon are anything to go by. “An intriguing tale,” says one reviewer; “A gripping adventure story,” according to another.

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

A sample of reviewers’ comments follows:

“The Morcans create a gripping tale of intrigue and high adventure from an historical fact of an unusual pairing that must surmount many obstacles and differences as John straddles the fence deciding whether to remain with the Mowachaht, or return to his former life, which will be a major culture shock for his bride if he is successful.” –Yvonne Crowe

“With a great plot and storyline, plenty of exciting action, a diverse cast of colorful and believable characters and the authors well researched detail that brilliantly captures the atmosphere, customs, sights, sounds and surroundings of the period, you quickly become immersed into the world the authors have created for us.” –Pat O’Meara

“Now that I’m done reading I wish there was a sequel.” –Cathy

“If you like American history, or that of the new world, you will enjoy this book. I was sucked right into the “old” new world. I highly recommend it to lovers of the genre.” –Livinginthealohaestate

“Bravo and well done!” –J.Rogers Barrow

“Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great sea-faring adventure movie, or mini TV series.” –Tony Parsons

“I found this book very appealing. The history of how our European culture clashed with the native Americans was fascinating. Highly recommended for a good read.” –Kindle Customer

INTO THE AMERICAS  is available via Amazon:

Happy reading! –Lance & James


Into the Americas, the latest novel by New Zealand father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan, provides an insight into an intriguing, but surprisingly little known event in in North American history. It’s based on the true account of young English seaman John Jewitt’s enslavement by one of the native tribes of the Pacific Northwest in the early 1800’s. 

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

An excerpt from Into the Americas  follows. It describes 19-year-old John Jewitt’s arrival in Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, aboard the brig The Boston  in 1803:

A noise resembling the beating of drums signaled to the men of The Boston that their arrival at Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, had been noticed even though rain and mist had reduced visibility to less than thirty yards. The mist hung over the sea and the surrounding hills like a white shroud, adding to the eeriness of the occasion.

In fact, the drumming noise came not from drums but from the beating of sticks and branches against the timber roofs and walls of the Mowachahts’ lodges.

John was standing at the starboard rail. Through the mist he caught an occasional glimpse of a forbidding, rocky shoreline. Forest-covered hills rose up from the sea, and low cloud clung to the treetops. Fir trees abounded – spruce and pine being especially prominent – along with groves of beech and cedar trees, and other varieties John couldn’t identify.

A totem pole rose even higher than the trees around it, its top hidden by mist. The mist cleared momentarily to reveal its top resembled the head of an eagle.

Soon, other crew members joined John. They included Dorthy, second mate William Ingraham, black sailor Jupiter Senegal, steward Abraham Waters, sailmaker Jonathan Thompson and his namesake Edward Thompson, the boatswain. All shared John’s excitement as more than five months had now passed since their last landfall.

As the brig negotiated the unchartered waters of the inlet, regular depth soundings were taken to ensure her safe passage.

Gradually, the rain eased and the mist cleared. For those who had never visited the Northwest Pacific region before, it was a sight to behold: the forest-covered hills rose higher and higher toward distant horizons; beyond them, the snow-capped peaks of unnamed mountains could be seen rising above the clouds; smoke from unseen cooking fires spiraled into the sky; seals dozed along the rocky shore, squawking seagulls hovered above a rotting sea lion carcass, and a bull elk grazed on lush grass between the rocks and the trees.

“Look!” William shouted.

John turned to see the second mate pointing behind the brig to where dozens of bald eagles were diving into the sea to snare fish. Most, it seemed, succeeded at their first attempt. Those who didn’t immediately launched another sortie. They were joined by more eagles and within minutes scores of the magnificent birds of prey were plunging into the sea.

Those witnessing the spectacle for the first time couldn’t believe their eyes. They marveled at the eagles’ speed of descent, how hard they hit the water and how successful they were at this spectacular food-gathering method.

John and the others returned their attention to the shoreline ahead as The Boston entered Friendly Cove. Nootka village came into view and the drumming sound that had heralded the brig’s arrival earlier intensified.

Mowachaht villagers could be seen drumming sticks against the exterior of their lodges. To John’s eyes, those employed in such a way appeared to be working themselves up into a frenzy.

On the sandy beach in front of the village, warriors were in the process of launching some of the twenty or so canoes resting there. John could see the Mowachahts were intent on approaching The Boston and he hoped they meant the brig’s crew no harm. The fact that all were armed and most carried muskets did nothing for his confidence.

Dorthy, who stood alongside John, noticed his assistant’s interest in the activity ashore. “Them the Mowachahts,” the armorer said. “Savages every one of ’em, so watch your scalp.”

John hoped Dorthy was joking. The expression on his face indicated he wasn’t. John turned his attention to the villagers’ European-style lodges. He counted twenty-three of the impressive dwellings. The lad pointed to the nearest lodge – a huge structure that looked like it could accommodate up to sixty or more people. “How did these people build those?” he asked.

“They didn’t,” Dorthy replied. “They were left behind by the Spaniards some years back.”


“Aye. Settlers and merchants. The Spanish had a monopoly on trade in these parts for many years.” Dorthy managed a rare smile. “Then it all changed and Britain reminded Spain, France and the rest of the world who really rules the waves.”

At the bow, the two sailors performing sounding duties conferred with each other under the watchful eye of Delouissa. One of them, Norwegian Peter Alstrom, shouted, “Twelve fathoms, Chief!”

Delouissa relayed the information to Salter who anxiously paced the quarter-deck. “Twelve fathoms, Captain!”

“Drop anchor!” Salter ordered.

“Aye, Captain.” Turning back to the two sailors, Delouissa said, “You heard the captain.”

“Yes, Chief,” Alstrom said. He and his companion then hurried off to drop anchor.

Delouissa turned to John and the others who were still observing their new surroundings. “Back to your stations, you layabouts,” he ordered. “Plenty o’ time for sightseeing later.”

The crewmen returned to their duties. As the rain was holding off, John opted to work on deck. He quickly set about firing up the forge. At the same time he kept an eye on the Mowachahts who were rapidly closing with the brig in their canoes.

Salter was keeping a close eye on the approaching Mowachahts, too. He ordered Delouissa to ensure that an armed reception party awaited the visitors.


Within minutes of the brig dropping anchor, she was surrounded by canoes whose occupants observed her in silence. The canoes, which ranged in size from four to twenty-man vessels, were dugouts fashioned from the giant red cedar trees found in these parts. Their occupants handled them with no small amount of skill.

On board The Boston, a dozen armed crewmen lined the near rail, their muskets primed and at the ready. Salter was taking no chances.

John couldn’t decide whether the Mowachahts were pleased to see the traders or whether they meant them harm. The natives’ expressions seemed benign to his eyes, though he sensed an underlying resentment.

One canoe – bigger than the others – drew up alongside The Boston. Maquina, the Mowachaht chief, stood, arms folded, at the prow. Ever-impressive, he wore the same ceremonial cloak he always wore when the occasion demanded. His hawk-like eyes swept over the brig and over the men who manned her, finally resting on the armed detail lined up along the brig’s starboard rail.

Looking on, John guessed this was the chieftain he’d so often heard his crewmates talking about. From where he stood, the muscular Maquina looked all of six foot tall and was clearly not a man to cross. The natural dark copper hue of his skin contrasted with the white eagle down that covered his long, black hair and his broad shoulders. His warriors were similarly adorned, though few matched the chief’s physical presence.

By all accounts, Maquina had a fearsome reputation. However, he presided over a territory in which the valuable sea-otter abounded, so it was financially expedient for traders to deal with him……

Product Details

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)  is available on Amazon:



Two civilizations — European and First Nations — clash in the top rating new release novel INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story).

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

The novel was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

The storyline:

Nineteen year-old blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest.

John Jewitt.

A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

Mowachaht chief Maquina.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose defiance leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.

Nootka village where Jewitt was held captive.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.

To view INTO THE AMERICAS  on Amazon go to:


The countdown has started for the launch of our latest book, INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story), with publication scheduled for next week. Twelve years in the making, it’s a gritty, real-life adventure based on what must be one of history’s greatest wilderness survival stories.

IntoTheAmericas ebook cover

Cover reveal for Into the Americas.

Into the Americas was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

The book’s description follows:

Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The World Duology and The Orphan Trilogy sets of novels), Into the Americas is a tale of two vastly different cultures – North American Indian and European civilization – colliding head on.

Young John Jewitt is one of only two survivors left alive after his crewmates clash with fierce Mowachaht Indians on the west coast of North America. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose belligerence leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.


Into the Americas has been adapted to a feature film screenplay and is in early development with Morcan Motion Pictures. In the tradition of classic historical films such as The Last of the Mohicans, Gladiator and Braveheart, it has epic themes that will appeal to mainstream audiences everywhere.

The novel’s Goodreads link is:



I just finished filming OZ-Bollywood feature films MY CORNERSTONE and LOVE YOU KRISHNA, which I wrote the screenplays for and acted lead roles in. We filmed both features simultaneously. It was a massive job and sleep has been at a premium of late! We just finished the Indian leg of the shoot in Mumbai after filming for two months before that here in Sydney. -James

James on the set of LOVE YOU KRISHNA.


Here are the IMDb links for both films:



More news about these two films to follow!




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