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Endeavour journal, 3 June 1769 (Series 03.281)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Otahite'; 'Imao'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 3 June 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 3. Various were the Changes observd in the weather during the course of last night, some one or other of us was up every half hour who constantly informd the rest that it was either clear or Hazey, at day break we rose and soon after had the satisfaction of seeing the sun rise as clear and bright as we could wish him. I then wishd success to the observers Msrs Gore and Monkhouse and repaird to the Island, where I could do the double service of examining the natural produce and buying provisions for my companions who were engagd in so usefull a work. About eight a large quantity of provisions were procurd when I saw two boats coming towards the place where I traded; these I was told belongd to Tarróa the King of the Island who was coming to pay me a visit. As soon as the boats came near the shore the people formd a lane; he landed bringing with him his sister Nuna and both came towards the tree under which I stood. I went out and met them and brought them very formaly into a circle I had made, into which I had before sufferd none of the natives to come. Standing is not the fashion among these people, I must provide them a seat,, which I did by unwrapping a turban of Indian cloth which I wore instead of a hat and spreading it upon the ground; upon which we all sat down and the kings present was brought Consisting of a hog, a dog and a quantity of Bread fruit Cocoa nuts &c . I immediately sent a canoe to the Observatory to fetch my present, an adze a shirt and some beads with which his majesty seemd well satisfied. Tubourai and Tamio who came with us now came from the observatory; she said that she was related to Tarroa and brought him a present, a long nail and a shirt, which she gave to Nuna. After the first Internal contact was over I went to my Companions at the observatory carrying with me Tarroa, Nuna and some of their cheif atendants; to them we shewd the planet upon the sun and made them understand that we came on purpose to see it. After this they went back and myself with them. I spent the rest of the day in examining the produce &c . of the Island and found it very nearly similar to that of Otahite, the people exactly the same, indeed we saw many of the Identical same people as we had often seen at Otahite, and every one knew well every kind of trade we had and the value it bore in that Island. The hills in general came nearer to the water and flats were consequently less, and less Fertile, than at Otahite - the low point near which we lay was composd intirely of sand and coral. Here neither Breadfruit nor any usefull vegetables would grow; it was coverd over with Pandanus tectorius and with these grew several plants we had not seen at Otahite, among them Iberis [ ], which Mr Gore tells me is the plant calld by the voyagers scurvy grass which grows plentifully upon all the low Islands.

At sunset I came off having purchasd another hog from the King. Soon after my arrival at the tent 3 hansome girls came off in a canoe to see us, they had been at the tent in the morning with Tarroa, they chatted with us very freely and with very little perswasion agreed to send away their carriage and sleep in [the] tent, a proof of confidence which I have not before met with upon so short an acquaintance.