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Endeavour journal, 4 November 1769 (Series 03.436)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Opoorage or Mercury Bay'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 4 November 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 4. Our freinds meant to be still better than their word for they visited us twice in the night intending I suppose to wake us if we should be asleep, but as they found us not so they went away as they came without saying a single word. In the morn they returnd with the earlyest day break, about 150 men in 10 or 12 Canoes all armd with pikes lances and stones. We all got up to see the event. An hour and a half was spent in conversation sometimes civil sometimes otherwise: our resolution was that as we had in vain shewd them the power of musquets by firing near them and killing the bird yesterday we would on the first provacation they gave us fire at them with small shot, the last resource we had to shew them our superiority without taking away their lives. They at lengh offerd to trade for their arms and sold two weapons very fairly, but took a price for the third and refusd to send it up but offerd it for a second; the second was sent down but a third was requird instead of the weapon being parted with; this was a convenient time for the execution of our project as the man who had thus cheated us swaggerd prodigiously, having paddled the boat a few yards from the ship. Accordingly a musquet ball was fird through the bottom of the boat and small shot at the offender which struck him and another who sat next him, on which the canoe was immediately paddled off and remaind about 100 yards from the ship; but what was truly surprizing was that tho the men who were shot bled a good deal not one of the other boats went near them or enquird at all how much or in what manner they were hurt. They returnd to the ship and renewd trade for their arms, a large quantity of which they sold without attempting to play any tricks; at last however one gentleman padled off with two different peices of cloth which had been given for one weapon, he got about 100 yards from the ship and thought himself safe. A musquet was fird after him which fortunately struck the boat Just at the waters edge and consequently made 2 holes in her; the people in her and the rest of the Canoes padled hard, as a finishing stroke to convince them of our superiority a round shot was fird over them and not a boat stoppd till they got ashore. Soon after this the Captn went in the boats to seek a place for the ship to stay that she might observe the transit of Mercury; it raind and as we were sure of staying 5 days Dr Solander and myself stayd on board. The Indians ashore were neither freinds nor foes, they shewd however much fear whenever our boats approachd them. After dinner the ship removd to the place he had found where were great plenty of birds, much Celery and good hopes of fish.