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Endeavour journal, 15 April 1769 (Series 03.232)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Georges Land'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 15 April 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 15. This morn we landed at the watering place bringing with us a small tent which we set up. In doing this we were attended by some hundreds of the natives who shewd a deference and respect to us which much amazd me. I myself drew a line before them with the butt end of my musquet and made signs to them to set down without it, they obeyd instantly and not a man attempted to set a foot within it, above two hours were spent so and not the least disorder being committed. We propos'd to walk into the woods and see if today we might not find more hoggs &c . than when we last visited them supposing it probable that a part of them at least had been drove away on our arrival: this in particular tempted us to go away, with many other circumstances, as our old man (an Indian well known to the Dolphins) attempted by many signs to hinder us from going into the woods. The tent was left in charge of a Midshipman with the marines 13 in number. We marchd away and were absent above 2 hours. A little while before we came back we heard several musquet shots. Our old man immediately calld us together and by waving his hand sent away every Indian who followd us except 3 every one of whoom took in their hands a green bough: on this we suspected that some mischeif had happned at the tent and hastend home with all expedition. On our return we found that an Indian had snatchd a sentrys musquet from him unawares and run off; the midshipman (may be) imprudently orderd the marines to fire. they did fire into the thickest of the flying croud some hundreds in number several shot, and pursueing the man who stole the musquet killd him dead but whether any others were killd or hurt no one could tell. No Indian was now to be seen about the tent but our old man, who with us took all pains to reconcile them again; before night by his means we got together a few of them and explaining to them that the man who sufferd was guilty of a crime deserving of death (for so we were forcd to make it) we retird to the ship not well pleasd with the days expedition, guilty no doubt in some measure of the death of a man who the most severe laws of equity would not have condemnd to so severe a punishment.