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Endeavour journal, 19 April 1769 (Series 03.236)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Georges Land'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 19 April 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 19. This morn Lycurgus and his wife come to see us and bring with them all their household furniture and even houses to be erected in our neighbourhood, a circumstance which gave me great pleasure as I had spard no pains to gain the freindship of this man who seemd more sensible than any of his fellow cheifs we have seen. His behavior in this Instance makes us not doubt of having gaind his confidence at least.

Soon after his arrival he took me by the hand and led me out of the lines, signing that I should accompany him into the woods, this I made no dificulty of dooing as I was desirous of knowing how near us he realy intended to settle. I followd him about a quarter of a mile when we arrivd at a small house or rather the awning of a canoe set upon the shore, which seemd to be his occasional habitation; here he unfolded a bundle of their cloaths and cloth'd me in two garments, one red cloth the other very pretty matting, after this we returnd to the tents. He eat pork and bread fruit which was brought him in a basket using salt water instead of sauce, and then retird into my bedchamber and slept about half an hour.

About dinner time Lycurgus's wife brought a hansome young man about 22 to the tents whoom they both seemd to acknowledge as their son. At night he and another chief who had also visited us went away to the westward, but Lycurgus and his wife went towards the place I was at in the morning which makes us not doubt of their staying with us for the future.

Mr Monkhouse our surgeon walkd this evening into the woods and brought back an account of having seen the body of the man who was shot on the 15th. It was placd on a kind of Bier supported by stakes and coverd by a small hut which seemd to have been built for the purpose; the body was wrappd up in cloth and near it were plac'd war instruments a hatchet some hair a cocoa nut and a cup of water. Farther he did not examine on account of the stench of the body which was intolerable. They also [saw] two more huts of the same kind in one of which they saw the bones of the person who had lain there quite dry. A custom so new as this appears to be surprized us all very much, but whether all who die are thus disposd of or it is a peculiar honour shewn to those who dye in war is to be cleard up by future observation.