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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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Introduction

I Have in the General Introduction to this work mentioned the reasons why the Narratives of the several Voyages are written in the person of the Commanders, upon what ground liberty has been taken to introduce such sentiments as the events suggested to me, and what the materials were from which my work has been drawn up. It has also been said, that with respect to the Voyage of the Endeavour, I had still farther assistance, and of this I am now to give an account.

On board this vessel embarked Joseph Banks Esquire, a Gentleman possessed of considerable landed property in Lincolnshire. He received the education of a scholar rather to qualify him for the enjoyments than the labours of life; yet an ardent desire to know more of Nature than could be learnt from books, determined him, at a very early age, to forego what are generally thought to be the principal advantages of a liberal fortune, and to apply his revenue not in procuring the pleasures of leisure and ease, but in the pursuit of his favourite study, through a series of fatigue and danger, which, in such circumstances, have very seldom been voluntarily incurred, except to gratify the restless and insatiable desires of avarice or ambition.

Upon his leaving the university of Oxford, in the year 1763, he crossed the Atlantic, and visited the coasts of Newfoundland and Labradore. The danger, difficulty, and inconvenience that attend long voyages are very different in idea and experience; Mr. Banks however returned, undiscouraged, from his first expedition; and when he found that the Endeavour was equipping for a voyage to the South Seas, in order to observe the Transit of Venus, and afterwards attempt farther discoveries, he determined to embark in the expedition, that he might enrich his native country with a tribute of knowlege from those which have been hitherto unknown, and not without hope of leaving among the rude and uncultivated nations that he might discover, something that would render life of more value, and enrich them perhaps in a certain degree with the knowlege, or at least with the productions, of Europe.

As he was determined to spare no expence in the execution of his plan, he engaged Dr. Solander to accompany him in the voyage. This Gentleman, by birth a Swede, was educated under the celebrated Linnus, from whom he brought letters of recommendation into England, and his merit, being soon known, he obtained an appointment in the British Musum, a public institution which was then just established; such a companion Mr. Banks considered as an acquisition of no small importance, and to his great satisfaction the event abundantly proved that he was not mistaken. He also took with him two draftsmen, one to delineate views and figures, the other to paint such subjects of natural history as might offer; together with a secretary and four servants, two of whom were negroes.


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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243,, 2004
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