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Endeavour journal, 14 October 1769 (Series 03.415)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Hawks bay'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 14 October 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 14. This morn high mountains inland were in sight on the tops of which the snow was not yet melted, the countrey near the shore low and unfavourable; in one place was a patch of something yellow that bore much resemblance to a corn feild, probably some kind of flaggs decayd as is common in swampy places, at a distance some detachd groves of trees upon the flat that appeard very high and tapering. Several canoes had put off from shore in the morning and came towards us, about 10 O'Clock 5 were together seemingly holding a consultation after which they pulld towards the ship in a body as if resolvd to attack her, 4 more were coming after them from the shore. This manoevre was not to be disregarded: the canoes were large, we judgd that they could not contain less than 150 people, every one armd with a sharp pike of hard wood and their little hand instrument calld patoopatoo; were they to attempt any thing daring there could not fail to be a dreadfull slaughter among such a croud of naked men were we nesscesitated to fire among them; it was therefore though[t] proper to fire a gun over their heads as the effect of that would probably prevent any designs they might have formd from being put into execution. They were by this time within 100 yards of the ship singing their war song and threatning with their pikes; the gun was levelld a little before their first boat and had the desird effect, for no sooner had they seen the grape which scatterd very far upon the water than they paddled away in great haste. We all calld out that we were freinds if they would only lay down their arms. They did so and returnd to the ship; one boat came close under the quarter and taking off his Jacket offerd it to sale, but before any body had time to bid for it she dropd astern as did the rest, refusing to come to the ship again because they were afraid that we should kill them, so easily were these warriors convincd of our superiority.

Before noon we plainly saw that there was a small river ashore but no signs of shelter near it. About this time 6 more armd canoes came off from the land, they got together about ½ a mile from the ship and threatned most furiously with their lances paddles &c . After they had done this for some time they came nearer and Tupia talkd with them from the stern; they came into better temper and answerd his questions relating to the names of the countreys kings &c . very civily; he desird them to sing and dance and they did so. He often told them that if they would come to the ship without their arms we should be freinds with them; at last one boat venturd and soon after 3 or 4 more, they put all their arms into one boat which stayd at a distance while the others came to the ship and receivd presents, after which they went away. One of these men had hanging round his neck a peice of Green stone seemingly semitransparent, some of our people imagind it to be a Jewel, myself thought it no more than the green stone of which most of their tools and ornaments are made.

In the evening the countrey flat: upon it were 3 or 4 prodigiously pretty groves of tall trees; near one of them was a square inclosure made with close and very high rails, what was within it we could not guess. Some thunder and lightning this even, weather otherwise vastly moderate. Many shoals of small fish about the ship.