14 November 1768
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14 November 1768

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Joseph Banks



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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
14 November 1768

Monday, 14th Moderate Sea and Land breezes and fine plasent weather. At 5 PM anchor'd in 5 fathom water just above the Isle of Cobras which lies before the City of Rio de Janeiro: a little before we anchor'd the Pinnace return'd and inform'd me that the Viceroy had thought proper to detain the Officer untill I went a shore - soon after we anchor'd a boat came on board bringing several of the Viceroy's officers who asked ma[n]y questions in respect to the Ship, from whence She came, Cargo, number of men Guns &Ca. all of which was answerd to their satisfaction - they told me it was the custom of the Port to detain the first officer that came from any ship on her first Arrival until a Boat from the Viceroy had visited her, that my officer would be sent on board as soon as they got a shore, which was accordingly done. About this time a Boat fill'd with soldiers kept rowing about the Ship, which had orders, as I afterwards understood, not to suffer any one of the Officers or Gentlemen except my self, to go out of the Ship. In the Morning I waited upon the Viceroy and obtain'd leave to purchase Provisions, Refreshments, &ca for the Ship, but obliged me to employ a person to buy them for me, under a pretence that it was the custom of the place, and he likewise insisted / notwithstanding all I could say to the contrary / on puting a Soldier into the Boats that brought anything to or from Ship, aledging that it was the Orders of his Court and they were such an ^as he could not despence with, and this indignity I was obliged to submit to other wise I could not have got the supply I wanted, and being willing as much as in me lay to avoid all manner of disputes that might cause the least delay, and at the same time to convince him that we did not come here to trade as I believe he imagined for he certainly did not believe a word about our being bound to the South ward to observe the transit of Venus but look'd upon it only as an invented story to cover some other design we must be upon, for he could form no other Idea of that Phanomenon / after I had explained it to him / then the North Star Passing thro. the South Pole (these were his own words.) He would not permit the Gentlemen to reside a shore during our stay here, not permit Mr Banks to go into the Country to gather plants, &ca but not the least hint was given me at this time that no one ^ of the Gentlemen was to come out of the Ship but myself, or that I was to be put under a Guard when I did come; but this I was soon convinced of after I took my leave of His Excellency and found that an Officer was to attend upon me where ever I went, which at first the Viceroy pretended was only meant as a compliment, and to order me all the Assistance I wanted. This day the people were employ'd in unbending the Sails, in fiting and rigging the spare topmasts in the room of the others, and getting on Shore empty water casks.

Places in South Seas Companion: Ilha das Cobras

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© Transcription of National Library of Australia, Manuscript 1 page 17, 2004
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