James Burney journal | State Library of New South Wales

James Burney's journal

Death of Cook, ca. 1781-83, by John Webber, Oil painting, DG 26

James Burney, along with Second Lieutenant James King, went ashore after the deaths to persuade the Hawaiians to return the men’s bodies. Burney records that some time later Cook’s partial remains were returned to the Resolution.

Cook was buried at sea on 21 February 1779, after an hour long ceremony with flags at half-mast and half-minute guns fired across Kealakekua Bay. The following day, the Resolution and Discovery sailed out of the Bay and recommenced their journey north to continue searching for the North-West Passage.

James Burney's recording of Cook’s death is one of the most concise and sober of the accounts. He describes the events as they occurred, injecting no emotion into the account, however much he may have been affected personally.

The journal ends on 24 August 1779 when the ships were in the harbour of St Peter and Paul, Kamchatka. Burney returned to England in October 1780. He continued in service to the Royal Navy, becoming a captain in 1782, and was made a Rear admiral in 1821, not long before his death.

Burney spent his latter years writing about Pacific exploration and published a five volume work, A Chronological history of discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean, 1803-1817 and A Chronological history of north-eastern voyages of discovery and of the early eastern navigations of the Russians (1819).

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> Read the full account of Burney's journal via the Library's catalogue

Transcription, James Burney - Journal on HMS Discovery, 10 Feb. 1776 - 24 Aug. 1779, Manuscript, Safe 1/64; Safe 1/79

[Vol.3 - page 244]

1779 Sandwich Islands

February in Karacocooa Bay - Owhyhe

5 Days Absence, they returned without having reached even half way to the Snow Mountains. No
Towns were seen inland, and but few Houses, wherein those who looked after the Plantations

The Provisions we got at Owhy he, were Hogs {great Numbers of which were Salted for Sea Use}
Fowls, Breadfruit, Cocoanuts, Sweet Potatoes, Tarro, Sugar Cane, Bananas and Plantains, all in
great abundance. Yams, which we most wanted, they had very few of, nor were they much
cultivated at any of the Islands, they told us, except A tou i and Neehow.

The Ships were shorter of Bread than of any other species of Provisions, and Yams were the only
proper substitute for a good Sea Stock, as no other Roots or Vegetables here are capable of being
kept good any length of time.

Besides the Similarity of Language, the Natives of Owhy he have many Customs which are
common with the Southern Islanders; and but few that may not be found either at the Friendly or
Society Islands. The Tattow or marking of the Skin, the Tabu, the Tuggituggi, the Women not
eating with the Men, their being forbid Pork or Turtle, and many other particularities, are practised
in nearly the same method as to the Southward. Their Dancing, though is a ruder

[Vol.3 - page 245]


February Karacacooa Bay, Owhy he -

fashion, is much like. Their Musical Instruments are Conk Shells and Drums like those of Otaheite:
No Flutes. Their Common Dress is Cloth made of the bark of a Tree, which they paint in very
fanciful and sometimes elegant patterns: this is just fastened round the middle; they have no
covering above the Waist or below the Knees.

Their Ornaments in Dress are chiefly red and yellow feathers made up into Clokes, Caps and large
Rings to wear round their Necks and Heads.

All the Women have their Hair cut quite Short behind and the fore part kept turned back- those of
the better sort are commonly distinguished by wearing Ruffles made of Boars Tusks round their
Wrists, and the Chief People of either Sex by carrying a Fly flap - the Houses of Owhy he are like
those we before Saw at A-tou-i, dark and unpleasant.

The Natives are a Stout Active people, less cleanly in their Persons and I think more Savage in
their appearance than the Natives of the Southern Islands, the Island which governs and protects
the rest is honoured with the Title of Tabu - i.e. Tongitabu; and here the Chief of the largest and
most powerful Island is called Aree Tabu -

The Arees here are great drinkers of Kava -

[Vol.3 - page 246]

1779 Sandwich Islands -

February in Karacacooa Bay - Owhy he -

and many of the old Chiefs from an excess of drinking, are marked all over like the Scales of a
Fish, and this is reckoned an honourable distinction. These Islanders equal any people in
lewdness and uncleanness; there are no kind of impurities but are allowable and in daily practice
amongst them, and that without reproach or Shame.

Though there may be reason to supose they are obliged to us for the Venereal Distemper, yet they
never charged it upon us, neither did they seem to know themselves how they first caught it, nor
could we learn when -

On our first Arrival, the best Articles of Trade were Beads or Buttons sewed on slips of Cloth to
wear about their wrists, and Iron wrought into small Adzes in imitation of their own.

latterly Iron Spikes from 18 Inches to 2½ feet long, worked in the form of their own Wooden
Daggers, were given - these were called Pahooah: and few things that we set any Value upon
could be procured without them. 

[Vol.3 - page 247]

Sandwich Islands.

February - from Karacacooa Bay -

Thursday 4th. At Daylight, hove up our anchors, and Sailed out of Karacacooa Bay, Steering
alongshore to the Northward, for Mow-whe -

had light Variable Winds and fair Weather. Many Canoes followed us out of the Bay - an Indian
stole one of our Tackle Hooks, but being close pursued, was obliged to abandon his own Canoe
and get into another, in which he went clear off with his Prize - the Canoe we took on board -

in the Afternoon, Kerri oboo's Canoe came out to us loaded with Cocoanuts and Hogs -

Friday 5th. the light Winds continuing, made very little progress - in the Evening were becalmed
and near the Shore: hoisted our Boats out to tow off.

Saturday 6th. At 4 in the Afternoon, a fresh breeze suddenly sprung up from the NE. The Canoes
all left us, making towards the Land which was about 10 miles distant - in less

 than an hour the Wind increased to a Gale and we lost sight of the Resolution to the Northward of

At Midnight were within 3 Leagues of the South Side of Mow-whe. Stood backwards and forwards
till Morning.

Sunday 7th. At Daylight not seeing the Resolution and the Gale continuing, Stood back to the SE
to get under the Lee of Owhy he. At 1 after Noon Saw the Resolution - towards Evening the
Weather Moderated. All Night Standing off and on near the NW part of Owhy-he -

Monday 8th. in the Morning, being to Windward of the

[Vol.3 - page 248]

1779 Sandwich Islands -

February off Owhy he -

8th. the Resolution, took all the Sails in and set our Rigging up afresh -

Afternoon, running to the Southward along the West Side of Owhy he - find a Current against us.

in the Night the Resolution hailed us that they had sprung their Foremast -

Tuesday 9th. The Resolutions Boat came on board and informed us that the Head of their
Foremast was so badly sprung as to make it necessary to get the Mast out, and that their Old Leak
had broke out afresh, on which accounts Capt'n. Cook was bound back to Karacacooa Bay again,
there being no certainty of finding a Harbour at Mow-whe, and the Road at A-tou-i too exposed a
place for getting a Mast out. The Indians likewise have been Sufferers from the late Gale. On the
Afternoon of the 6th. when we lost sight of the Resolution, their Pinnace had been sent to Sound
near the Shore - in her return to the Ship they found a Canoe upset, and the people trying to bale
her out, which they were unable to do, the Sea running high - the Indians were taken into the
Pinnace and carried on board of the Resolution, glad to escape with the loss of their Canoe. The
next Morning they picked up another Canoe in which was 3 Men and a Child, whom they took on
board and hoisted their Canoe into the Ship.

in the Night a fresh Breeze from the NE with Squally Weather -

[Vol.3 - page 249]

Feb'ry. into Karacacooa Bay Owhy he -

Wednesday 10th. At 2 in the Morning, the Resolution having made too free with the Shore, found
themselves very near Breakers and made the Signal of Danger - both Ships hauled off till near
Daylight and then ran along shore again. in the Forenoon being Moderate Weather and in sight of
Karacacooa Bay, many Canoes came off to us with Provisions - the Indians told us that 8 Men in a
double Canoe were lost in the bad Weather.

Thursday 11th. At 6 in the Morning the Resolutions Anchored in Karacacooa Bay, as did we 2
hours after, nearly in our Old Birth and Moored the Ship -

the Natives flocked about us with Hogs, Vegetables, Curiosities &c. as formerly -

Friday 12th. The Astronomers Tents were erected at the same place as before. A great many
Canoes arrived in the Bay from the Northward -

 Kerri oboo with his followers amongst the rest - he was very inquisitive, as were several of the
Owhy he Chiefs, to know the reason for our return, and appeared much dissatisfied at it.

Saturday 13th. The Resolutions Foremast was taken out and hauled up on the Beach between
the Tents and the Watering Place. All the Carpenters of both Ships were set to work to repair it.

This Morning, an Indian snatched away a pair of 

[Vol.3 - page 250]

1779 Sandwich Islands

February in Karacacooa Bay, Owhy he -

13th. of Tongs from the Armourers Forge, with which he jumped overboard and put them into a
Canoe. Our Boat was quick after him that he had no time to get in himself but was seized and
brought on board, though the Canoe escaped - He was severely flogged and kept in Irons till the
Tongs were sent from the Shore to procure his release.

Our Launch Watering on Shore this forenoon, was much disturbed by the Indians who threw
Stones and played other Mischievous tricks, which made it necessary to have a Guard when she
was next sent.

in the Afternoon the same unlucky Tongs were again stolen and in the same Manner by an Indian
who jumped overboard and got into a Canoe with them - they were fired at with Muskets from the
Ship but without execution, whilst Mr. Edgar, Our master, in the Small Cutter pursued them to the
Shore near the South point of the Bay. Parrear, the Indian Chief before mentioned, was in Capt'n
Clerkes Cabin when the Theft was committed, and immediately left the Ship promising to get the
Tongs restored. At the same time the Resolutions Pinnace, which was at the Tent, seeing the
Bustle, rowed alongshore and joined in the Chase - the Thief got first on Shore and immediately
put the Tongs with

[Vol.3 - page 251]


February in Karacacooa Bay - Owhy he

13th. a Chissel and the Lid of a Harness Cask, that had been Stole but not missed, into another
Canoe which came out and delivered them to the Small Cutter. Mr. Edgar then thought of
returning to the Ship satisfied with what he had got, but seeing the Resolutions Pinnace at hand -
and Capt'n. Cook walking that way from the Tents, he thought he might safely venture to Seize the
Canoe in which the Thief had landed - for this purpose he got on shore and was pushing her off,
when Parrear, to whom it seems the Canoe belonged and who probably was the contriver of the
Theft, laid hold to prevent him, which was resented by one of the Pinnace's Men striking Parrear
with an Oar. A Crowd of Indians, who had been by the Water side {and till then all} all the time,
and till then quiet, immediately began to throw Stones. There being no Arms in either Boat, the
Pinnace men were so roughly handled that to avoid the Stones they all jumped into the Water and
swam to some Rocks at a little distance. Mr. Edgar and one of our Midshipmen, Mr. Vancover,
who were on Shore, fared very little better, till Parrear ordered the Indians to desist, and told our
people to go board with the Boats. This they would gladly have done but all the Pinnace's Oars

[Vol.3 - page 252]

1779 Sandwich Islands -

February in Karacacooa Bay, Owhy he -

13th. had been taken away. Parrear said he would fetch them, but he was no sooner out of Sight
than the Mob began to throw Stones again - Mr. Edgar on this, attempted to walk towards the
Tents, expecting to meet Captain Cook, but was prevented by some Indians who said they would
lead him to Parrear. he followed these people and soon met Parrear and another Man with an Oar
and a broken one - he was conducted back to the Boats and put off, rowing towards the Tents. In
their way thither, Parrear overtook them in a Canoe and brought Mr. Vancovers Cap which had
been lost in the Fray. he then asked if he might come on board the next Morning and whether we
should hurt him for what had happened. being promised he should suffer no harm if he came, he
went away paddling towards the Town of Kavaroora where Kerri oboo lived -

Captain Cook who at the beginning of the disturbance was at the Astronomers Tents, ran round
alongshore towards the Boats with Lieut't. King, & 2 of the Marines, but was misled by some of the
Indian Chiefs, and did not know any thing of the ill usage of the 

[Vol.3 - page 253]

February in Karacacooa Bay - Owhy he

13th. Boats till he returned to the Tents, by which time it was dark and too late to take any Notice
of it.

Sunday 14th. At Daylight, Our great Cutter which had been Moored to the Buoy of the Small
Bower Anchor, was missing, and on examining, the Rope which fastened her was found to have
been cut. this Theft was the more easily committed as the Boat was left full of Water to preserve
her from the Sun; which made the upper part of her Gunnel even with the Water's edge.

Capt'n. Clerke having informed Capt'n. Cook of this, Orders were given for our Launch and small
Cutter to go Armed to the South point of the Bay and prevent any of the Sailing Canoes going out,
but not to molest the small ones. the Resolution's great Cutter was sent in chase of a large Sailing
Canoe that was making off, their small Cutter was dispatched to guard the West point; whilst
Captain Cook himself prepared to go with his Pinnace and Launch to the Town of Kavarooa with
the intention to bring Kerri oboo on board.

The Canoe chased by the Resolutions great Cutter was not overtaken, but her retreat cut off in
such a Manner that she was forced to the nearest Shore within the South point of the Harbour,
where the Indians hauled her up, the Cutter not being able 

[Vol.3 - page 254]

1779 Sanwich Islands -

February in Karacacooa Bay - Owhy he

14th. to follow for the rocks. Capt'n Cook, who was then leaving the Ship, seeing the Canoe
ashore, said he was sure she could not escape; and being asked how the Cutter was to get her if
the Natives made resistance, he answered there could be no great difficulty, for he was very
positive the Indians would not stand the Fire of a Single Musket.

indeed, so many instances have occurred which have all helped to confirm this Opinion, that it is
not to be wondered at, if every body thought the same.

A little before 8, Capt'n. Cook landed at the Town of Kavarooa with Lieut. Philips of the Marines, a
Serjeant, Corporal and 7 privates, in all, reckoning himself, 11 - the Indians made a Lane for him to
march along, having always shewed great respect to both Captains, however insolent they may
have been at times to others. Capt'n. Cook had scarcely got on Shore when the Boats near the
South point of the Harbour fired several Muskets at some large Canoes that were trying to get out,

by which an Indian Chief named Nooe nemar was killed. the first notice we had of this was from 2
Indians that came off to the Ships in a small Canoe to complain of it, but finding they were not
attended to, they enquired for Captain Cook - being told he was at the Town of Kavarooa, they
went thither.

[Vol.3 - page 255]

Sandwich Islands -

Feb'ry. in Karacacooa Bay Owhy he

14th. About half an hour after this, we heard the firing of Muskets on shore which was followed by
the Resolutions Pinnace and Launch firing - with Glasses we could see Capt'n. Cook receive a
Blow from a Club and fall off a Rock into the Water. The Ships then fired, but at too great a
distance to make certain of any particular mark. The Boats soon after came off with an account
that Captain Cook and 4 of the Marines were killed and their Bodies in possession of the Indians.

The particulars of this Misfortune gathered from those who were on the Spot, are as follows -

When Captain Cook with his Party landed, the Indians made a Lane and some of them brought
Hogs which they offered him - he enquired for Kerri oboo and his 2 Sons; the Indians immediately
dispatched Messengers and the Boys came who conducted them to Kerri oboo's House - having
waited some time without, Capt'n. Cook doubted his being there. Lieut't. Philips went in to see and
found Kerri obbo just awakened. he came out to Capt'n. Cook who after some enquiries appeared
perfectly satisfied Kerri oboo was innocent of the Cutter's being stolen, and desired he would go on
board with him, to which Kerri oboo readily agreed, and they walked down towards the Boats. Ka
oowa the youngest of Kerri obbos Sons, who was a great favorite of

[Vol.3 - page 256]

1779 Sandwich Islands

February in Karacacooa Bay Owhy he

14th. Captain Cooks, went before and got into the Pinnace. When Kerri oboo came near the
Water side, 2 Chiefs and an Old Woman who was crying, Stopped him, and made him sit down -
he then seemed irresolute and frightened. At this time our people began to suspect Mischief - the
Marines were stationed on a Rock close to the Water Side that they might not be surrounded by
the Natives who were seen to be Arming themselves - whilst an Old Man who seemed to be one of
the Priesthood was singing to Capt'n. Cook and Kerri oboo, as was thought, to prevent suspicion -
Capt'n. Cook then let Kerri oboo go, and said he was not to be forced on board without killing a
number of People - the Old Chief was then taken away and no more seen. Capt'n. Cook likewise
was about to give Orders for embarking, when he was provoked by the insolence of a Man Armed
with a thick Mat and a long Spike, at whom he fired with small Shot, which neither penetrated the
Mat nor frightened the Indians as was expected. Another Man with an Iron Spike came near Mr.
Philips who suspecting his intentions, drove him back with the But end of his Musket. 2 or 3
Stones were then thrown and one of the Marines knocked down. Capt'n. Cook who had a double
Barrel Gun, immediately fired with Ball - the Serjeant said he had shot the

[Vol.3 - page 257]

Sandwich Islands

February in Karacacooa Bay. Owhy he

14th. the wrong Man, on which he told the Serjeant to Shoot the right. The Indians gave a
general Volley of Stones and began to close on our people; Capt'n. Cook therefore gave Orders
for the Marines to fire, which they did amongst the Crowd and were seconded by the Boats. The
Indians at first gave back, but directly after, before the Marines had time to load again, advanced.
Capt'n Cook called out to take to the Boats - the Pinnace was near the Shore, but distant from the
Rock where the Marines Stood 10 or 12 Yards and this Short Space was uneven Slippery Rocks,
so that being pressed upon, in their retreat, they were obliged to take to the Water. Capt'n. Cook
in coming down, was Struck by an Indian behind him with a Staff, on which he turned and beat the
Man back with his Musket. he was again followed and received at the same instant, a Blow in the
Head and a Stab with a Spike, in the Neck, with tumbled him into the Water. being no swimmer
and stunned with the Blow, he turned towards the Shore again, and a Number of Indians
surrounded and dragged him on the Rocks, where they Beat and stabbed him in several places,
snatching Daggers from each other out of eagerness to have their Share in killing him.

[Vol.3 - page 258]

1779 Sandwich Islands

February `in Karacacooa Bay. Owhy he

14th. four of the Marines were killed, one of them on Shore {Thos. Fatchet} whom nobody knew
what became of: the other three in the Water, viz., James Thomas, Corporal; John Allen and
Theophilus Hinks, private.

The Corporal had loaded again, and received a Stab in the Belly when up to the middle in the
Water. he fired at the Indian who gave it and directly after fell dead. they were all dragged on

 of those that escaped, the Lieut't. of Marines was wounded in the Shoulder by a Spike, the
Serjeant received a Slight Wound, and one of the Marines, ...... Jackson was struck in the Face
with a Stone, by which he is in danger of losing an Eye; being unable to swim he would probably
have drowned or fell into the hands of the Indians, had not Lieut't. Philips jumped overboard out of
the Pinnace and assisted him. The People in the Boats, at first had so little apprehension of any
Danger from the Indians, that when the firing began on Shore, the Pinnace put close into the
Rocks to let Ka oowa Land, as he was much frightened and asked to go.

The whole of the Affair, from Capt'n. Cooks leaving the Resolution to the return of the Boats,
happened in the Short space of one Hour. 9 Stand of

[Vol.3 - page 259]

Sandwich Islands

in Karacacooa Bay - Owhy he

14th. Arms with Iron Ramrods, besides Capt'n Cooks double Barrel Gun and Hanger, fell into the
hands of the Indians -

On Notice of our defeat, the Boats Stationed near the Points of the Harbour were recalled and a
strong reinforcement sent to Lieut't. King at the Tents and soon after Orders to Strike them and get
the Resolutions Foremast off. Many Indians being seen assembling to the right of the Tents, kept
firing with our great Guns to disperse them; and a large Party of our People were posted on the
Morai , which overlooked that part of the Beach where the Mast lay, to protect those who were
busied in launching it.

About 1 every thing came off from the Shore without any other Molestation from the Indians than a
few Stones, in return for which, some of them were Shot who ventured nearer than otherwise they
would have done, from an Idea that their Armour {thick Mats soaked in Water} were Musket proof.

Notwithstanding this, an Indian of the Priesthood named Kerri kaer, well known amongst our
People, remained with them till the Tents were struck and supplied them with drest Hogs,
Cocoanuts and Water.

The Indians were observed to be very carefull of conveying away their Dead. Proofs of great
Courage were Shewn by 2 Men in

[Vol.3 - page 260]

1779 Sandwich Islands -

Febraury in Karacacooa Bay - Owhy he -

14th. carrying off a dead Body from within reach of our Fire.

At 4 in the Afternoon the Boats were ^(sent) to the Town of Kavarooa to demand the dead Bodies -
on approaching the Shore, Stones were thrown which fell short. Lieut't. King went in with our small
Cutter waving a White Flag, [ illegible] whilst the other Boats lay on their Oars. The Indians left off
throwing and waved a white Flag in return. They had already made a number of little Stone Breast
works to screen them from our Fire Arms, and during this conference they several times counted
our Numbers - in Answer to the Demand, some Chiefs said that to Morrow the Bodies should be
brought, of which, word was sent to Capt'n. Clerke -

An Old man, named Koo-aha, whom we have all along taken to be the Chief Priest, had the
confidence to swim off and get into the Boat, where her remained some time. he had an Iron
Dagger in his Hand. This is the same Man

[Vol.3 - page 261]

Feb'ry. in Karacacooa Bay - Owhy he -

14th. who performed the Stange Ceremonies when Capt'n. Cook landed at our first coming here -

The reason given why the Bodies were not delivered to Night, was that they were carried some
distance up into the Country.

At another part of the Town, however, the Indians made Motions which we thought Signified they
were cut to pieces - and one fellow came to the Water Side flourishing Capt'n. Cook's Hanger with
many tokens of exultation and Defiance. Orders soon after came for the Boats to return.

After Dark, a guard Boat was stationed to row round the Ship, lest any of the Indians should swim
off and attempt to cut the Cables - They were very busy on shore all Night, making much Noise,
running about with Lights, and Howling, as we suposed over their Dead.

Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Sloop, the Discovery

Charles Clerks, Commander,

in Company with the Resolution, Captain James Cook

Volume 4: 15th February 1779 to 24th August 1779

Part 2nd of death of Captain Cook

by Admiral James Burney

[Vol.4 - page 1]


At the Sandwich Islands -

in Karacacooa Bay, Owhyhe -

1779 February -

Monday 15th. in the Morning, Kooaha the Chief Priest came in a Small Canoe alongside the
Resolution and desired that Capt'n Clerke or Mr. King would go on Shore for the dead bodies. he
was answered we expected they would bring them. he came off 3 or 4 times in the course of the
day and always with the Same Message.

it being suspected the Indians were collecting a number of Canoes behind the NW point of the
Harbour, the Resolutions pinnace was sent to look but found none. the Indians threw Stones at
the Boat as she went alongshore -

in the Afternoon Lieut't. John Gore was appointed to command the Discovery, Captain Clerke
having taken command of the Resolution. likewise Mr. William Harvey was appointed 3d.
Lieutenant of the Resolution.

At 8 in the Evening, 2 Men came off in a Canoe, one of them Kerrikaer who was with our people on
the Morai when the Mast was getting off. he brought with him a Small bundle in which was the
flesh of one of the thighs of our late Commander. he said the body had been burnt and the limbs
distributed amongst the Arees or Chiefs as trophies; that what he now brought was secretly and
without their knowledge. he advised Capt'n. Clerke to give no credit to Kooaha the Chief priest,
none of the Indians being inclined to peace except those living in the Towns round the Bay, who
were not likely to be the Sufferers. the account he gave of the loss sustained by the Indians was
20 killed and Kavarooa and 6 from the Morai at Karacacooa, besides many wounded.

Amongst the dead were 6 Chiefs, 2 of whom were Kanine and his brother. the former of greater
consequence than any of the rest. he had been a constant visitor to the two Ships, in particular

[Vol.4 - page 2]

1779 The Sandwich Islands

February in Karacacooa Bay - Owhyhe -

15th. Resolution, where he exercised his authority in keeping his countrymen orderly the as
Parrear had formerly done on board our Ship -

at 10 Kerrikaer was conducted past our Ship by the Resolutions boat, lest we should fire at him on
his way to the Shore.

Tuesday 16th. About 2 in the Afternoon, a Small Canoe came from the town of Kavarooa and
Stopped near the Resolution. after looking at her some minutes, an Indian in the middle of the
Canoe stood up and put Captain Cooks hat on, making many flourishes and antick gestures
expressive of defiance and derision. he was fired at and a boat manned to chase him, on which
he made towards the Shore where he was received with great Shoutings by a crowd of Indians. 3
Great Guns were fired which dispersed them.

Notwithstanding this, the Old Chief Priest came from the town of Kavarooa almost directly after and
paddled several times about the Ships asking for somebody to go on Shore. two boys likewise
swam off from the Town of Karacacooa each of them holding a Spear and singing or rather
repeating a set prayer. being permitted to come on board, they delivered their Spears and asked
to stay with us. not understanding the meaning of their errand, they were sent on shore again -

Wednesday 17th. in the morning, Carried out Small Anchors and warped the Ship nearer to the
town of Karacacooa so as to command the Watering place. At 9 the Launches of both Ships were
sent with the Resolutions Casks, and with them the other boats armed.

At their landing and during the whole time of watering, they were pelted by the natives from their
houses and from behind Stone walls with which many of the houses are surrounded; although a
constant fire of Musketry was kept up at every man that was seen and several Great Guns fired
from the Ship.

All this did not prevent Kooaha from coming off to the Ships with the same pretext as before. from
the Ships he went to the beach near our Waterers to whom he offered a Pig.

being turned away, he landed at the houses beyond the Morai and was afterwards seen

[Vol.4 - page 3]


February in Karacacooa Bay, Owhyhe.

17th. seen amongst the Stone throwers.

At noon the boats returned with 2 launch loads of Water -

Our Stock of fresh pork and vegetables being out, served Salt provisions and biscuits again -

during dinner time, our Small Cutter was stationed near the Well to keep off the Indians lest they
should play tricks with the water -

in the Afternoon, Lieut't. Rickman was sent again for Water, with orders in case of Molestation to
set fire to the Town.

The Indians beginning with their Slings, the boats were directed to keep out of the way of the Great
Guns, and a constant firing was kept up from the Ship for about 15 minutes, after which Our people
landed and set fire to the houses between the Watering place and Morai {about 60} . 7 or 8
Indians were killed and one taken prisoner, who was sent on board the Resolution and afterwards

The Well where we watered being at the foot of a Steep Hill, a Crowd of Indians got on that part
right over the Waterers and rolled large Stones down, some of which came very near and made
our people run to get out of the way, which always produced a loud Shout.

Among these people we saw Parrear and none appeared more busy. A wall piece was fired from
the Ship but would not carry the distance. except this, the Waterers met with very little disturbance
the rest of the day, scarce an Indian appearing within reach of a Musket. The Inhabitants of the
Town beyond the Morai were seen carrying their things away inland.

At 5 in the Afternoon, the Indians on the hill having been for some time quiet, about 12 of them
walked down to the Waterers each holding a White flag and a Sugar Cane - at the head of these
people was Kerrikaer with a very small pig - he said he was sent by Kerri oboo to desire peace -
one of our boats took him off to the Ships.

At Sunset, the Waterers came on board and soon after Keriikaer was landed again. We learnt
from him our great Cutter had been

[Vol.4 - page 4 ]

1779 The Sandwich Islands.

February in Karacacooa Bay, Owhyhe.

Stole by Parrears people - and that She was broke to pieces the day after Captain Cook was killed.

In the Night, Canoes came off to the Ships with Bread fruit, Sweet potatoes, &c.

Thursday 18th. At Daylight the Indians stuck white flags in different places round the Bay and on
the Hill. At 7 the boats were sent for Water. All quiet, the Indians keeping at a distance. Whilst
the Casks were filling, Karrikaer came and asked leave to make an offering of a roast pig to one of
the images on the Morai; which was granted.

in the forenoon, Kooaha, the old priest, came alongside in a small Canoe with a Hog and some
plantains - he was turned away from both Ships, after which he went on Shore among the houses
to the Southward and came near the Morai on which a small party of our Men were stationed, at
whom he threw Stones. 2 Muskets were fired which missed him. After he was gone, A Number of
Indians came one at a time with Sugar Canes and breadfruit which they laid on the beach and
went away - these were sent off to the Ships.

in the Afternoon an Indian Chief named Eapoo, came down the hill to the Waterers and asked to
go off to Captain Clerke, being sent, he said, from Kerri oboo. he was carried on board the
Resolution where he remained about an hour and was landed again. At Sunset the Waterers
came on board

in the Night some small Canoes came, and several Indians swam off to the Ships with breadfruit to

Friday 19th. Employed Watering. Eapoo made another visit and brought some hogs, plantains
&c. as a present from Kerri oboo.

Saturday 20th. Employed Watering. this forenoon the Resolution Stepped her foremast and
began to rig it.

At noon, a great many Indians with white flags, sugar Canes, hogs &c., marched in procession
down the hill to the watering beach, beating drums and uttering loud yells. At the head of these

[Vol.4 - page 5]


February From Karacacooa Bay, Owhyhe -

20th. was Eapoo, who came off with Captain Clerke in the Resolution's Pinnace, bringing a parcel
wrapped up in Indian Cloth, which contained part of the bones of Captain Cook -

Some time after, a boat was sent on shore to fetch off a present of Provisions.

Sunday 21st. At 10 this forenoon, Eapoo came down the hill in the same kind of order as
yesterday, and bringing the remainder of the bones of Capt'n. Cook, and his double barrel Gun.
With Eapoo came on board Kaoowa, the youngest of Kerriobbo's Sons.

In the Afternoon, Canoes came off to the Ships with provisions to sell. At Sunset the Resolution
fired 10 Minute Guns with the Colours half Staff up, when the remains of our late Commander were
committed to the deep.

Monday 22d. At Noon, a present of provisions came on board from Kerriobbo. in the Afternoon,
our Water being complete and the Resolution ready for Sea, Unmoored.

Received a four oar'd Cutter from the Resolution to supply the place of our large Cutter.

At 8 Weighed and sailed out of Karacacooa Bay, with a light land Wind.

Tuesday 23d. Standing to the Northward along the West Side of Owhyhe.

Some Canoes came off to us with provisions to traffic.

Wednesday 24th. Wind Easterly - a Moderate breeze all the Morning. Ran by the West side of an
Island called Karhowra owe, which is about 8 Leagues in Circuit. This Island looks ragged and
bare of trees, making such an appearance as Neehow.

At Noon, were Standing to the Northward between Mowwhe and another Island called Oranni - the
South Sides of each being in direct Opposition bore N79ºWt. and S79ºEt. 

Lat'de. Obs'd. 20º..44'No.

Long'de. 203º..12'Et.

Var'tn. 8º..30' Et.

Most part of the afternoon, light Winds and Calms. Canoes alongside with vegetables.

After Dark, the Wind coming from the South, hauled to the Westward to pass by the South Side of

> Read David Samwell's Narrative on the death of Captain Cook

Link to a Narrative on the death