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Endeavour journal, 14 June 1769 (Series 03.292)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Otahite'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 14 June 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
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Transcript: 14. I lay in the woods last night as I very often did. At day break I was calld up by Mr Gore and went with him shooting, from which party we did not return till night when we saw a large number of Canoes in the river behind the tents, of which we had this account. Last night an Indian was clever enough to steal a Coal rake out of the fort without being perceivd. In the Morning it was missing and Captn Cooke being resolvd to recover it, as also to discourage such atempts for the future, went out with a party of men and seizd 25 of their large sailing Canoes which were just come in from Tethuroa, a neighbouring Island, with a supply of fish for the inhabitants of this. The Coal rake was upon this soon brought back but Captn Cooke thought he had now in his hands an opportunity of recovering all the things which had been stolen: he therefore proclaimd to every one that till all the things which had been stolen from us were brought back the boats should not stir, a list of these was immediately drawn up and read several times to the Indians, who readily promisd that every thing should be brought back. Great application was made to me in my return that some of these might be releasd. I did not till I got to the fort understand the reason of their being detaind, and when I did nothing apeard so plain as that no one of them should on any account be let go from favour, but the whole kept till the things were [returnd] if ever they were, which I much doubted as the Canoes pretty certainly did not belong to the people who had stolen the things. I confess had I taken a step so violent I would have seizd either the persons of the people who had stolen from us, most of whoom we either knew or shrewdly suspected, or their goods at least instead of those of people who are intirely unconcernd in the affair and have not probably interest enough with their superiors (to whoom all valuable things are carried) to procure the restoration demanded.