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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
6 May - 20 July 1771

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

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Home from Batavia (continued)

Twelve days after we left St. Helena, our first lieutenant, Mr. Zachariah Hicks, died. About a month after we fell in with a schooner from Rhode-island, who was whaling off the western islands. We sent a boat on board for news; and were informed, to our great joy, that all was peaceable in England when she left it. Through our heavy sailing in the night, we lost sight of the fleet, and, in a few days, saw another whaling schooner, who confirmed the account which we had received from the former, and told us, that two days before they had chased a large whale into a harbour of St. Michaels Island, and that, while they were pursuing it, they were fired upon by the Portuguese, and obliged to retreat, leaving the whale a prize to them, who, doubtless, made sure of it. We bought, of the master of the schooner, some fine salt cod, with some fresh fish; also some New-England rum. This vessel, it seemed, had been out twenty-one days, and was in want of beef, and seemed distressed.

About sixteen days after we left the schooner, we got into soundings; and, in a few more days, beat into the Chops of the Channel; and the wind, which had been before at N. E. coming about to the S.W. we proceeded directly to the Downs, where we arrived on the 12th of July, 1771, after having been absent from England within a few days of three years. We immediately sent our sick on shore; and, after staying three days, received orders to proceed round to Woolwich, where we anchored on the 20th of the same month.

It may not be amiss to inform the curious in natural subjects, that Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander have discovered, in the course of this adventure, many thousand species of plants heretofore unknown: among the rest, one that produceth a kind of white silk flax, which, as it grows under the same parallel of latitude with England, it is presumed, will also thrive here, if properly cultivated. They have also brought over with them a quantity of seed, which, if it succeeds on this island, may, in all probability, be of much national advantage to Great-Britain.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, page 211, 2004
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