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Endeavour journal, 1 May 1770 (Series 03.615)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Botany Bay'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 1 May 1770
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 1. The Captn Dr Solander, myself and some of the people, making in all 10 musquets, resolvd to make an excursion into the countrey. We accordingly did so and walkd till we compleatly tird ourselves, which was in the evening, seeing by the way only one Indian who ran from us as soon as he saw us. The Soil wherever we saw it consisted of either swamps or light sandy soil on which grew very few species of trees, one which was large yeilding a gum much like sanguis draconis, but every place was coverd with vast quantities of grass. We saw many Indian houses and places where they had slept upon the grass without the least shelter; in these we left beads ribbands &c . We saw one quadruped about the size of a Rabbit, My Greyhound just got sight of him and instantly lamd himself against a stump which lay conceald in the long grass; we saw also the dung of a large animal that had fed on grass which much resembled that of a Stag; also the footsteps of an animal clawd like a dog or wolf and as large as the latter; and of a small animal whose feet were like those of a polecat or weesel. The trees over our heads abounded very much with Loryquets and Cocatoos of which we shot several; both these sorts flew in flocks of several scores together.

Our second Leutenant went in a boat drudging: after he had done he landed and sent the boat away, keeping with him a midshipman with whoom he set out in order to walk to the Waterers. In his Way he was overtaken by 22 Indians who followd him often within 20 yards, parleying but never daring to attack him tho they were all armd with Lances. After they had joind our people 3 or 4 more curious perhaps than prudent, went again towards these Indians who remaind about ½ a mile from our watering place. When they came pretty near them they pretended to be afraid and ran from them; four of the Indians on this immediately threw their lances which went beyond our people, and by their account were thrown about 40 yards; on this they stoppd and began to collect the lances, on which the Indians retird slowly. At this time the Captn Dr Solander and myself came to the waterers; we went immediately towards the Indians; they went fast away, the Captn Dr Solander and Tupia went towards them and every one else stayd behind; this however did not stop the Indians who walkd leasurely away till our people were tird of following them. The accounts of every one who saw the Indians near today was exactly Consonant with what had been obse[r]vd on the first day of our landing: they were black but not negroes, hairy, naked &c . just as we had seen them.