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15 January 1770
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15 January 1770

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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
15 January 1770

15. In the course of the last night we were drove to the Eastward more than we had any reason to expect, so much that we found ourselves in the morn past the harbour we intended to go into. Another however was in sight into which we went: the land on both sides appeard most miserably barren till we got pretty deep in when it began to mend by gradual degrees. Here we saw some canoes who instead of coming towards us went to an Indian town or fort built upon an Island nearly in the middle of the passage, which appeard crowded with people as if they had flockd to it from all parts; as the ship aproachd it they wavd to us as if to invite us to come to them but the moment we had passd by they set up a loud shout and every man brandishd his weapons which none of them were without. The countrey about us was now very fertile to appearance and well wooded so we came to an anchor about long cannon shot from the fort, from whence 4 Canoes were immediately dispatchd to reconoitre I suppose and in case they were able to take us, as they were all well armd. The men in these boats were dressd much as they are represented in Tasmans figure, that is 2 corners of the cloth they wore were passd over their shoulders and fastned to the rest of it just below their breast, but few or none had feathers in their hair. They rowd round and round the ship defying and threatning us as usual and at last hove some stones aboard which we all expected to be a prelude of some behaviour which would oblige us to fire upon them; but just at this time a very old man in one of the boats express'd a desire of coming on board, which we immediately encouraged, and threw a rope into his canoe by which she was immediately hawld up along side and the old man (contrary to the opinion of all the other Indians who went so far as to hold him fast for some time) came on board, where he was receivd in as freindly a manner as we possibly could and had many presents given to him, with which he returnd to the canoes who immediately joind in a war dance - whether to shew their freindship or enmity it is impossible to say, we have so often seen them do it upon both those occasions. After this they retird to their town and we went ashore abreast of the ship where we found good wood and water and caught more fish in the Seine than all our people could possibly destroy, besides shooting a multitude of Shaggs. The countrey however did not answer so well to Dr Solander and myself as to the ship, we finding only 2 new plants in the whole even.


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© Derived from State Library of NSW 1998 Transcription of Banks's Endeavour Journal page (vol.2) 119, 2004
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To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-jrnl-banks-17700115