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6 June 1769
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6 June 1769

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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
6 June 1769

Tuesday 6th This Day and for some days past we have been inform'd by several of the Natives that about 10 or 15 Months ago, Two Ships touched at this Island and stay'd 10 days in a Harbour to the Eastward calle'd Ohidea   the Commanders name was Toottera so ^ at least they call'd him and that one of the Natives / call'd Orette Brother to the Chief of Ohidea, went away with him;  they likewise say that these Ship[s] brought the Venerial distemper to this Island where ^ it is now as common amongst them here as in any part of the World and which the ^ people bear with as little concern as if it ^ they had been accustom'd to it for ages past. We had not been here many days before some of our people got this disease, and as no such thing happen'd to any of the Dolphins people while she was here that I ever heard off, I had reason / notwithstanding the improbability of the thing / the to think that some in the Endeavour had brought it here we had brought it along with us which gave me no small uneasiness and I did all in my power to prevent its progress, but all I could do was to little purpose ^ for I may safely say that I was not assisted by an one person in ye Ship, and I was oblig'd to have the most part of the Ships Compney a Shore every day to work upon the Fort and a Strong guard every Night and the Women were so very liberal with their favours, or that else Nails, Shirts &Ca were temptations that they could not Withstand, that this distemper very soon spread it self over the greatest part of ^ the Ships Compney; but now I have the satisfaction to find that the Natives all agree that we did not bring it first here. However this is little satisfaction to the poor Natives them who must suffer by it in a very great degree and may in time spread it self over all the Islands in the South Seas, to the eternal reproach of those who first brought it among them   I had taken the greatest pains to discover in any of the Ships Company had the disorder upon him for above a month before our arrival here and order'd the Surgeon to examine every man the least suspected who declar'd to me that only one man in the Ship was the least affected with it, and his complaint was a carious shin bone; this man has not had connection with one woman in the Island-

We have several times seen Iron tools and other articles with these people that we suspected came not from the Dolphin and these they now say they had from these two Ships —


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© Transcription of National Library of Australia, Manuscript 1 page 67, 2004
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