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12 November 1769
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12 November 1769

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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
12 November 1769

Sunday 12th PM had strong gales at NE and hazey rainy weather.   AM a fresh breeze at NW and Clear weather. In the morning got on board a turn of water and after wards sent the Long-boat into the River for Oysters to take to sea with us.   and I went with the Pinnace and Yawl accompaned by Mr Banks and Dr Solander, over to the North side of the Bay in order to take a View of the Country and the Fortified Village which stands their; we landed about a Mile from it and was were met by the Inhabitants in our way thether who with a great deal of good nature and friendship conducted us into the place and shewed us every thing that was there —

This village is built upon a high promontory or point on the north side and near the head of the Bay.   it is in some places quite inaccessible to man and in others very difficult except on that side which face'd the narrow ridge of the hill on which it sta^nds    here it was is defended by a double ditch a bank and two rows of Picketing    the inner row was upon the bank but not so near the Crown but what there was good room for men to walk and handle their arms between the Picketing and the inner dich; the outer Picketing was between the two ditches and laid sloaping with their unper [upper] ends hanging over the ^inner dit^ch, the depth of this ditch from the bottom to the Crown of the bank was [24] feet. Close within the inner picketing was erreted, by strong posts, a stage [30] feet high and [40] in length and 6 feet broad, the use of this stage was to stand upon to throw darts at the Assailants, and a number of darts lay upon it for that purpose —

At right angles to this stage and a few paces from it was a nother of the same construction and bigness, this stood likewise within the Picketing and was intended for the same use as the other. Viz. to stand upon to throw stones and darts upon upon the Enimy as they advanced up the side of the Hill where lay the main way into the place; it likewase might be inten[de]d to defend some little out woorks ^and hutts that lay at the skirt and on this side of ^the hill, these out woorks were not intended as advanced Posts but for such of the Inhabitents to live in as had not room in the main work but had taken shelter under it. Besides the works on the land side above described the whole Village was pallisaded round with ^a line of pretty strong picketing run round the edge of the hill   The ground within not having ^not been level at first but laid sloaping, they had divided it into little squares and leveled each of these; these squares lay in the form of an amphitheatre and were each of them pallisaded round and had a communication one with a nother by narrow lanes or little gate ways which could easily be stoped up, so that if any enimy had force'd the outer picketing he had several others to incounter before the place could be wholy reduced, supposing them to defend every one of the places one after a nother. The main way leading into this fortification was up a very steep part of the hill and thro' a narrow passage about 12 feet long, and under one of the Stages,    I saw no door or gate but it might very soon have been barricaded up. Upon the whole I looked up[on] it to be a very strong ^and well choose post and where a small number of resolute men might defend them selves a long time against a vast superior force, Arm'd in the manner as these people are - These seem'd to be prepared against a siege having laid up in store an immence quantity of firn roots and a good many dry'd fish, but we did not see that they had any fresh water nearer then a brook which runs close under the foot of the hill, from which I suppose they can at times get Water, tho besiged and keep it in Gourds untill they use it. Under the foot of the point on which this Village stands are 2 Rocks the one just broke off from the Main and other detatched a little from it, they are both very small ^and more fit for birds to inhabit than men yet there ^are house[s] and places of defence on bo each of them, and about a Mile to the Eastward of these is a nother of these small fortified Rocks which communicates with the Main by a narrow pathway where there is a small Village of the natives; ma^ny works of this kind we have seen upon small Islands and Rocks and Ridges of hills on all parts of the Coast besides a great number of fortified towns, to all appearences Vastly superior to this I have described —

From this it should seem that this people must have long and frequent wars, and must have been long accustom'd to it otherwise they never would have invented such strong holds as these, the errecting of which must cost them immence labour considering the tools they have to work with which are only made of wood & stone - It is a little strange that among with such a warlike people as these undoubtedly are no Omissive weapons are found a mong them such as Bows and Arrows, Slings, &ca things in themselves so easily invented and are common in every other part of the world. The Arms they use are Long spears or lances, a Staff about 5 feet long, some of these are pointed at one end like a Serjeants Halbard others are round and sharp.   the other ends are broad something like the blade of an oar; they have a nother sort about 41/2 feet long   these are shaped at one end like an Axe and ^the other is made with a sharp point; they have short Truncheons about a foot long, ^which they call Pattoo Pattoos some made of wood some of bone and others of Stone, those made of wood are variously shaped, but those made of bone and stone are of one shape, which is with a round handle a broadish blade which is thickest in the middle and tapers to an edge all round, the use of these are to knock mens brains out and to kill them outright after they are wounded: and they are certainly well contrived things for this purpose   Besides these weapons they throw stones and darts, the darts are 10 or 12 feet long, are made of hard wood and are boarded barb'd at one end. They handle all their arms with great Agility particularly their long Pikes or Lances, againest which we have no weapon that is an equal match except a Loaded Musquet


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