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Endeavour journal, 28 April 1769 (Series 03.245)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Georges Land'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 28 April 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 28. Many of our freinds were with us very early even before day, some strangers with them. Terapo was observd to be among the women on the outside of the gate, I went out to her and brought her in, tears stood in her eyes which the moment she enterd the tent began to flow plentifully. I began to enquire the cause; she instead of answering me took from under her garment a sharks tooth and struck it into her head with great force 6 or 7 times. a profusion of Blood followd these strokes and alarmd me not a little; for two or 3 minutes she bled freely more than a pint in quantity, during that time she talkd loud in a most melancholy tone. I was not a little movd at so singular a spectacle and holding her in my arms did not cease to enquire what might be the cause of so strange an action, she took no notice of me till the bleeding ceas'd nor did any Indian in the tent take any of her, all talkd and laugh'd as if nothing melancholy was going forward; but what surpriz'd me most of all was that as soon as the bleeding ceas'd she lookd up smiling and immediately began to collect peices of cloth which during her bleeding she had thrown down to catch the blood. These she carried away out of the tents and threw into the sea, carefully dispersing them abroad as if desirous that no one should be reminded of her action by the sight of them; she then went into the river and after washing her whole body returnd to the tents as lively and chearfull as any one in them.

After breakfast Mr Molineux came ashore and the moment he enterd the tent fixing his eyes upon a woman who was setting there declard her to be the Dolphins Queen, she also instantly acknowledg'd him to be a person who she had before seen. Our attention was now intirely diverted from every other object to the examination of a personage we had heard so much spoken of in Europe: she appeard to be about 40, tall and very lusty, her skin white and her eyes full of meaning, she might have been hansome when young but now few or no traces of it were left.

As soon as her majesties quality was known to us she was invited to go on board the ship, where no presents were spard that were thought to be agreable to her in consideration of the service she had been of to the Dolphin. Among other things a childs dol was given to her of which she seemd very fond. On her landing she met Hercules who for the future I shall call by his real name Tootahah. She shewd him her presents: he became uneasy nor was he satisfied till he had also got a doll given to him, which now he seemd to preferr to a hatchet that he had in return for presents, tho after this time the dolls were of no kind of value.

The men who visited us constantly eat with us of our provisions, but the women never had been prevaild on to taste a morsel; today however they retird sometime after dinner into the servants apartment and eat there a large quantity of plantains, tho they could not be persuaded to eat with us, a mystery we find it very dificult to account for.