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Endeavour journal, 8 October 1769 (Series 03.409)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Searching for the Southern Continent'; 'Taoneroa or Poverty bay'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 8 October 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 8. This morn the land very near us makes in many white cliffs like chalk; the hills are in general clothd with trees, in the valleys some appear to be very large; the whole of the appearance not so fruitfull as we could wish. Stood in for a large bay in hopes of finding a harbour; before we are well within the heads saw several Canoes standing across the bay, who after a little time returnd to the place they came from not appearing to take the least notice of us. Some houses were also seen which appeard low but neat, near one a good many people were collected who sat down on the beach seemingly observing us, possibly the same as we saw in the canoes as they landed somewhere near that place. On a small peninsula at the NE head we could plainly see a regular paling, pretty high, inclosing the top of a hill, for what purpose many conjectures were made: most are of opinion or say at least that it must or shall be either [a] park of Deer or a feild of oxen and sheep. By 4 oclock came to an anchor near 2 miles from the shore. The bay appears to be quite open without the least shelter: the two sides of it make in high white Cliffs, the middle is low land with hills gradualy rising behind one another to the chain of high mountains inland. Here we saw many great smoaks, some near the beach others between the hills, some very far within land, which we lookd upon as great indications of a populous countrey.

In the evening went ashore with the marines &c . March from the boats in hopes of finding water &c . Saw a few of the natives who ran away immediately on seeing us; while we were absent 4 of them attackd our small boat in which were only 4 boys, they got off from the shore in a river, the people followd them and threatned with long lances; the pinnace soon came to their assistance, fird upon them and killd the cheif. The other three draggd the body about 100 yards and left it. At the report of the musquets we drew together and went to the place where the body was left; he was shot through the heart. He was a middle sizd man tattowd in the face on one cheek only in spiral lines very regularly formd; he was coverd with a fine cloth of a manufacture totaly new to us, it was tied on exactly as represented in Mr Dalrymples book p.63; his hair was also tied in a knot on the top of his head but no feather stuck in it; his complexion brown but not very dark.

Soon after we came on board we heard the people ashore very distinctly talking very loud no doubt, as they were not less than two miles distant from us, consulting probably what is to be done tomorrow.