Endeavour journal, 13 April 1769 (Series 03.230)
|Notes:||Page header reads: 'South Sea'; 'Georges Land'|
|Author:||Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820|
|Date:||13 April 1769|
|Series title:||Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771|
|Transcript:||13. This morn early came to an anchor in Port Royal bay King George the thirds Island. Before the anchor was down we were surrounded by a large number of Canoes who traded very quietly and civily, for beads cheifly, in exchange for which they gave Cocoa nuts Bread fruit both roasted and raw some small fish and apples. They had one pig with them which they refus'd to sell for nails upon any account but repeatedly offerd it for a hatchet; of these we had very few on board so thought it better to let the pig go away than to give one of them in exchange, knowing from the authority of those who had been here before that if we once did it they would never lower their price.
As soon as the anchors were well down the boats were hoisted out and we all went ashore where we were met by some hundreds of the inhabitants whose faces at least gave evident signs that we were not unwelcome guests, tho they at first hardly dare aproach us, after a little time they became very familiar. The first who aproachd us came creeping almost on his hands and knees and gave us a green bough the token of peace, this we receivd and immediately each gatherd a green bough and carried in our hands. They march'd with us about ½ a mile then made a general stop and scraping the ground clean from the plants that grew upon it every one of the principals threw his bough down upon the bare place and made signs that we should do the same: the marines were drawn up and marching in order dropd each a bough upon those that the Indians had laid down, we all folowd their example and thus peace was concluded. We then walkd into the woods followd by the whole train to whoom we gave beads and small presents. In this manner we walkd for 4 or 5 miles under groves of Cocoa nut and bread fruit trees loaded with a profusion of fruit and giving the most gratefull shade I have ever experienced, under these were the habitations of the people most of them without walls: in short the scene we saw was the truest picture of an arcadia of which we were going to be kings that the imagination can form.
Our pleasure in seeing this was however not a little allayd by finding in all our walk only 2 hogs and not one fowl. The Dolphins people who were with us told us that the people who we saw were only of the common sort and that the bettermost had certainly removd, as a proof of this they took us to the place where the Queens palace formerly stood of which there was no traces left. We howev[e]r resolved not to be discouraged at this but to proceed tomorrow morning in search of the place to which these superior people had retreated, in hopes to make the same peace with them as we have done with our freinds the blackguards.