A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas
[comprehending the occurences that happened from the ship's departure from England to its arrival in the South Seas]
On the 22d of July, 1768, I went on board the ship, Endeavour, then lying in the Galleons Reach, in the river Thames: on the 3d of August arrived in the Downs; and then failed for Plymouth Sound, where we anchored on the 14th, and took on board some more seamen, with a few marines. Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Mr. Green, with their attendants, also joined us at this port; and our number was then increased to ninety six. Having taken in some more stores and guns, and made a few necessary alterations in the ship, on the 26th of August we sailed from Plymouth, with the wind at N. N. W. but it did not continue long in that quarter, but changed to S. W. where it held till the 2d of September, soon after which, we discovered Cape Ortugal. From this time, till the 4th of October, we had variable winds, and then we saw Cape Finistere at about ten leagues distance.
We continued our course, and met with no material occurrence till the 12th; then we discovered Puerto Santo, about nine leagues off; soon after we saw the island of Madeira; and, on the 13th, in the morning, anchored in Fonchiale Bay.page 2
This country is very mountainous, yet it is cultivated to the very tops of the mountains; and, being covered with vines, citrons, oranges, and many other fine fruit-trees, it appears like one wide, extended; beautiful, garden. During our stay on this island we resided at Fonchiale, which is the capital, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander lodged at the house of the British. consul, W. Cheap, esq. and made several excursions into the country.
A great part of the best provisions used on this island are imported from England and other parts of Europe, especially such as are eaten at dinner; from whence also they import most of their utensils and wearing-apparel; so that many of the necessaries of life bear a very high price amongst them.
While the ship lay in this harbour, we had the misfortune of losing Mr. Ware, the chief-mate, who was a very honest worthy man, and one of our best seamen. His death was occasioned by an unlucky accident which happened to him while he stood in the boat to see one of the anchors slipped. The buoy-rope happening to entangle one of his legs, he was drawn overboard and drowned before we could lend him any assistance.
Having taken in a supply of water, wines, and other necessaries, on the 19th of September we proceeded on our voyage, with the wind at E. S. E. and on the 22d saw the islands of Salvages, at about two leagues and a half distance. They lie between Madeira and the Canaries, are small and uninhabited.
On the 23d we fell in with the trade-winds at N. E. and on the same day discovered the peak of Teneriffe.
On the 24th we sailed between that peak and the grand Canary islands. In our passage we saw some land birds, and caught two of them, which were very much like our water wag-tail.
On the 29th, we had a view of the island of Bona Vista, at about four leagues distance.page 3
Nothing material occurred from the 29th to the 7th of October; then we had variable winds, with some showers of rain; and the dampness of the air greatly affected all our iron utensils. We caught two sea swallows, and several curious marine animals, of the molusca tribe, such as sea-worms, star-fish, and sea urchins.
On the 21st, we reached the S. E. trade wind, and continued our course without any remarkable occurrence till the 8th of November; then we discovered land at about eight leagues distance, and spoke with the crew of a Portugueze fishing vessel, of whom Mr. Banks bought a great quantity of fish, among which were dolphins and breams, which afforded much speculation to our naturalists. After having left the vessel, we stood in for the land, which proved to be the Brazils; and coasted along the shore till the 13th, and then sailed into the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, which lies in latitude 22° 56' south, and longitude 42° 45' west; but before we arrived in the harbour, the captain had sent Mr. Hicks, the first lieutenant, and the chief mate, in the pinnace, to the viceroy, to obtain a pilot; however, as the wind was fair, the captain ventured to continue sailing on, and was assisted by signals from the forts.
The viceroy detained the lieutenant and the mate, and sent back the pinnace with three of his own officers in it (of which one was a colonel) but no pilot. The colonel told us, that our officers would only be detained till the ship should be examined, according to custom: we therefore stood forward into the harbour, and anchored near the north end of Ilhos dos Scobros, or Snakes Island; but the colonel would not permit any of us to go ashore.
Our lieutenant had been instructed to evade answering any questions the Portugueze might ask him respecting our destination; or at least to answer them with reserve: the captain thought such questions would be impertinent, as our vessel was a ship of war; and the lieutenant observed these directions.
The viceroy held a council, the result of which was, to prohibit any person coming on shore from our ship; but they condescended to order all necessary page 4supplies to be sent to us. We were displeased on receiving this intelligence, as we had expected to have met with agreeable entertainment on shore. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander appeared much chagrined at their disappointment: but, notwithstanding all the viceroy's precautions, we determined to gratify our curiosity, in some measure, and having obtained a sufficient knowledge of the river and harbour, by the surveys that we had made of the country, we frequently, unknown to the centinel, stole out of the cabin window at midnight, letting ourselves down into a boat by a rope; and, driving away with the tide till we were out of hearing, we then rowed to some unfrequented part of the shore, where we landed, and made, excursions up into the country, though not so far as we could have wished to have done. The morning after we went ashore, my eyes were feasted with the pleasing prospects that opened to my view on every hand. I soon discovered a hedge in which were many very curious plants in bloom, and all of them quite new to me. There were so many, that I even loaded myself with them. We found also many curious plants in the fallading that was sent to us; and desired the people that brought it to procure us, if possible, all the different sorts that grew upon the, island.
We had plenty of fish from the markets every day, of which they are furnished with a great variety.
We often picked off some curious molusca from the surface of the sea; and also land insects of several kinds alive, which floated round the ship upon the water.
The country, adjacent to the city of Rio de Janeiro, is mountainous, full of wood, and but a very little part of it appears to be cultivated. The soil near the river is a kind of loam, mixt with sand; but farther up in the country we found a fine black mould. All the tropical fruits, such as melons, oranges, mangoes, lemons, limes, cocoa nuts and plantains, are to be met with here in great plenty. The air, it seems, is but seldom extremely hot, as they have a breeze of wind from the sea every morning; and generally a land wind at night*.
* S. Parkinson had not been idle from the, time he left England, having, as appeared by a letter from him to his brother, finished 100 drawings on various subjects, and taken sketches of many more; which he intended to have finished if he had lived to return.
On the 7th of December, 1768, our necessary provisions, and other supplies, having been taken on board, we left the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, coasting along the Brazils, and met with nothing worthy of note till the 22d of the same month, except, that in coming out of the harbour, Mr. Flowers, an experienced seaman, fell from the main shrouds into the sea, and was drowned before we could reach him.
On the 22d, we saw a great many birds of the procellaria genus, in latitude' 39° 37' S. and longitude 49° 16' W. and we also met with shoals of porpoises of a' very singular species.
On the 23d of December, we observed an eclipse of the moon; and about seven in the morning a bright cloud in the west, from which a stream of fire proceeded: it bore away to the westward, and about two minutes after we heard two loud explosions like that of a cannon; and then the cloud soon disappeared.
On the 24th, we caught a logger-head tortoise, which weighed one hundred and fifty pounds; and shot several birds, one of which was an albatros, that measured, from the tip of one wing to the other, nine feet one inch; and from the beak to the tail two feet one inch and a half. Some time after, we met with some birds of the same kind that measured fourteen feet from the tips of the wings.
The thermometer, in the middle of the day, was from 66 to 69; and in the evening 62, when the air was not so dry.
On the 29th, we saw several parcels of rock weed; and, from this time to the 30th, the weather was very unsettled; the wind sometimes blowing very hard; at others only a moderate gale; and then quite calm.
For several evenings, swarms of butterflies, moths, and other insects, flew about the rigging, which we apprehended had been blown to us from the shore. Thousands of them settled upon the vessel; Mr. Banks ordered the men to gather them page 6up; and, after selecting such as he thought proper, the rest were thrown overboard; and he gave the men some bottles of rum for their trouble.
On the 31st, we had much thunder, lightening, and rain, and saw several whales: we saw also some birds about the size of a pigeon, with white breasts and grey beaks.
On the 4th of January, 1769, we saw a cloud which we took for Pepy's Island, and made toward it till we were convinced of our mistake. The air at this time was cold and dry, and we had frequent squalls of wind.
On the 6th, we saw several penguins, with many other sea birds; and, on the 7th, had an exceeding hard gale of wind from S. W. in latitude 51° 25' S. and longitude 62° 44' W. We supposed ourselves not far from Falkland's Islands, but, not knowing their longitude, we could not so readily find them.
From several circumstances which occurred on the 8th, it was concluded that we had sailed between Falkland's Islands and the main land; and were in hopes of touching at the former place, from which we designed to have forwarded some letters to Europe.
On the 11th, we discovered Terra del Fuego; but, having contrary winds, and being apprehensive of danger from the foulness of the ground, which we discovered by sounding, we kept out at sea.
On the 16th, the wind changing in our favour, we approached the land; and at length anchored in Port Maurice's Bay, situated in latitude 54°. 44' S. and longitude 66° 15' W. Some of our principal people went ashore, and found several pieces of brown European broad cloth, in a hut that had been deserted by the natives. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander collected a great number of plants, shot several birds, and returned to the ship much pleased with their adventure.
On the 17th we left Port Maurice's Bay; and, at about one o'clock in the afternoon, anchored in the bay of Good Success.page break page 7
We had not been long arrived before some Indians appeared on the beach at the head of the bay; the captain, Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander, went on shore, and soon after returned on board with three of them, whom we cloathed in jackets; gave them some bread and beef, part of which they ate, and carried the remainder with them ashore: We gave them also some rum and brandy; but, after tasting it, they refused to drink any more, intimating, by signs, that it burnt their throats. This circumstance may serve to corroborate the opinion of those, who think that water is the most natural, and best drink for mankind, as well as for other animals.
One of the Indians made several long orations to the rest; but they were utterly unintelligible to every one of us. Another of them feeing the leathern cover of a globe lie in the cabin, sound means to steal it, and secrete it under his garment, which was made of a skin of some animal, and carried it ashore, undiscovered; where he had no sooner arrived, than he shewed his prize to the very person it belonged to, and seemed to exult upon the occasion, placing it upon his head, and was highly delighted with it.
* An animal something like a sleep but of the size of a mule, and has a thick fleece.
These poor Indians live in a village [see pl. II.] on the south side of the bay, behind a hill; the number of their huts is about thirteen, and they contain near fifty people, who seem to be. all the inhabitants of this dreary part of the island, where it is very cold, even in the midst of summer.
Their huts are made of the branches of trees, covered with guanica and feal skins; and, at best, are but wretched habitations for human beings to dwell in.
Their food is the flesh of seals and shell-fish, particularly muscles, of which we have seen some very large.
They use bows and arrows with great dexterity. The former are made of a species of wood somewhat like our beech; and the latter of a light yellow wood feathered at one end, and acuated at the other with pieces of clear white chrystal, chipped very ingeniously to a point. [See pl. XXVI. fig. 26.]
There are dogs upon this island two feet high, with sharp ears.
Having seen several rings and buttons upon the natives, we concluded that they must have had some communication with the Indians in the Streights of Magellan; but they appeared to be unacquainted with Europeans.
During our stay on this island, the naturalists collected a great many plants, and other curiosities, most of which are non-descript: but an unfortunate accident happened in one of their excursions; Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Mr. Buchan, with several attendants, two of whom were negroes, went far up into the country, and at length ascended the hills, which they found covered with snow, and the air upon them so intensely cold, that they staid but a short time. On their return, they missed their way, and wandered about for a considerable time, not knowing whither they went; but at length they found their former track. While the naturalists were searching for plants upon the hill, two negroes and a sailor, who were left to guard the liquor and provision, having made too free with the brandy-bottle, were rendered incapable of keeping pace with the rest of the company, who made all possible speed, hoping to have reached the ship before the day closed in upon them, dreading the consequence of being exposed in a strange land, and an inhospitable clime; but time, that waits for no man, brought on the night, which put an end to their hopes, and excited the most alarming apprehensions: Being out of breath, fatigued, and dispirited, and almost benumbed with cold, particularly Dr. Solander, insomuch that he was unable to walk, and was carried near two hours on their shoulders; and it was thought he would not have survived the perils of the ensuing night. In this hapless situation, they held a consultation on what was best to be attempted for their preservation, till the light of the morning should return; and determined, if possible, to kindle a fire, which they happily effected, gathering together some wood, and, by the help of their fowling pieces, and some paper, setting it on fire. The cold was so intense, that they found it would not be safe to lie down, left they should fall asleep, and be frozen to death; wherefore they walked round it all night. The three men who were left behind, being tired, fat down in the woods, and fell asleep, but one of them providentially soon awoke, started up, and, being apprehensive of the imminent danger they were in, attempted to rouse his companions, but they were too far sunk into the sleep of death to be recovered. In this forlorn situation the man could not expect to survive them long, and therefore he fled for his life, haliooing as he went along, in page 10hopes that some of the company would hear him, which, after wandering some time in a pathless wilderness, they happily did, and answered. him as loud as their enfeebled voices would admit: Overjoyed at the event, he resumed fresh courage, and, making toward the part from which the found proceeded, at length came up with them. Touched with sympathy for his companions, he told the company of the condition in which he left them; and they were disposed to have yielded them assistance, but, it being almost dark, there was not any probability of finding them, and the attempt would have been attended with the risque of their own lives; they therefore declined it. However, the next morning, after break of day, they dispatched the man in quest of his companions, whom he at length found frozen to death; but the dog that had been with them all the night had survived them: he found him fitting close by his master's corpse, and seemed reluctant to leave it; but at length the dog forsook it, and went back to the company; they all set out immediately towards the ship, which they reached about 11.o'clock in the.: forenoon, to our great joy, as we had despaired of their return.
Having furnished ourselves with wood and water, and let down our guns and lumber below deck, to be better prepared for the high gales which we expected in going round Cape Horn; on the 2lst of January, 1769, we weighed anchor, and left the Bay of Good Success, and proceeded on our voyage through the Straits of Le Maire, which are formed by Cape Antonio on Staten-land, and Cape Vincent on Terra del Fuego to the north; and on the south by Cape Bartholomew on Statenland, and a high promontory on Terra del Fuego, passing between them, and are about, nine leagues long and seven broad.
The land on both sides, particularly Staten-land, affords a most dismal prospect, being made up chiefly of barren rocks and tremendous precipices, covered with snow, and uninhabited, forming one of those natural views which human nature can scarce behold without shuddering. — How amazingly diversified are the works of the Deity within the narrow limits of this globe we inhabit, which, compared with the vast aggregate of systems that compose the universe, appears but a dark speck in the creation! A curiosity, perhaps, equal to Solomon's, though accompanied with less wisdom than was possessed by the Royal Philosopher, induced some of page 11us to quit our native land, to investigate the heavenly bodies minutely in distant regions, as well as to trace the signatures of the Supreme Power and Intelligence throughout several species of animals, and different genera of plants in the vegetable system, "from the cedar that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall:" and the more we investigate, the more we ought to admire the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the Great Superintendant of the universe; which attributes are amply displayed throughout all his works; the smallest object, seen through the microscope, declares its origin to be divine, as well as those larger ones which the unassisted eye is capable of contemplating: but to proceed.
On the 25th, we saw Cape Horn, at about five leagues distance, which, contrary to our expectations, we doubled with as little danger as the North Foreland on the Kentish coast; the heavens were fair, the wind temperate, the weather pleasant, and being within one mile of the shore, we had a more distinct view of this coast, than perhaps any former voyagers have had on this ocean.
The point of the Cape is very low; and at the S. E. extremity there are several islands, called, by the French, Isles d'Hermitage; and near it are several ragged rocks. The Cape is in latitude 55° 48' S. and longitude 67° 40'` W. We sounded in fifty-five fathom, and sound round stones, and broken shells.
On the 30th, we reached to latitude 60°2' S. and longitude 73° 5' W. variation 24° 54' E. This was our highest southern latitude; and from thence we altered our course, steering W. N. W. with but little variation, having pleasant weather, and short nights, until the 16th of February, when we had hard gales from W. by S. S. by W. and S. and we continued our course N. W. till the 10th; between that time and the 20th, we had very copious dews, like small showers of rain.
On the 21st, we saw a great number of tropic and egg birds, and shot two of the former, which had a very beauteous plumage, being a fine white, mingled with a most lively red: their tails were composed of two long red feathers; and their beaks were of a deep red. We found ourselves at this time in latitude 25° 21' S. and longitude 120° 20' W. having fair weather, with a dry, serene, and salubrious air.page 12
Continuing our course N. westerly, between the Dolphin's first and second track, on the 4th of April, about three o'clock in the afternoon we discovered land; and after two hours failing we approached near to it. It is a flat island, extending a great length from E. to W. describing the form of a crescent; and has a sand-bank joined to it, on which the surf ran very high. In the middle of the island, there is a large salt lagoon, or lake; and at the east end of it are many palm trees. We saw clouds of smoke ascend from different parts, proceeding, as we apprehended, from fires kindled by the natives, and designed as signals to us. Night came on before we could discover the west end of the island; and not knowing but there might be more islands, we lay-to all night, and the next morning we saw another in latitude 18° 23', which, on account of a great salt lagoon in the middle of it, we called Lagoon-Isle: Before noon we made another low island, which we called Thumb-cap Island. It stretched a long way, and is made up of several parcels of land joined together by reefs: it has also a lagoon inclosed with a reef, upon which we discovered many canoes; some having ten people in them, and others a lesser number. As we failed along, the natives followed us, some on the reef, others in canoes, and seemed desirous to have an intercourse with us; but though we beckoned to them, they would not come off. They appeared to be very stout men; their complexion almost black, with short hair, and quite naked, having long lances, or poles, in their hands. Some of them waded up to the neck in water to look at us, but they did not discover any hostile intentions. Their canoes had out-riggers, with mat-fails: and when we put away from the land one of them followed us.
Upon these islands we saw a variety of verdant trees, amongst which were some palms; and upon the coast, rocks of coral appeared above water. We discovered some of their huts, and several fires burning around them. The land formed a large semicircular bay, and the reef before it the fame figure; and the water was as smooth as a mill-pond, and abounded with flying-fish; but, to our surprise, we could not reach the bottom of it with 130 fathom of line, at one mile distance from the shore.page 13
This day we also discovered another low island, which we called Chain Island: It is of an oval figure, consisting of a ridge of coral and sand, with a few clumps of small trees, and had a lagoon in the middle of it. These islands were dedicated to the Royal Society.
In the morning of the 10th, we saw Osnabrug Island, bearing N. W. by W. half W. about six leagues distant, and, leaving it to the northward, at noon we discovered George's Island from the main-top mast head, and flood toward it.
The 12th, the sea being mostly calm in the forenoon, we could get very little nearer land; but many of the Indians came off to us in canoes (one of which was double, and had much carved work upon it) bringing with them cocoa nuts, and apples, to truck for nails, buttons, and beads. These canoes were but just wide enough for one person to fit in the breadth: to prevent them from oversetting, they place out riggers, upon the top of which is fixed a bamboe fishing rod. The people in the canoes were of a pale, tawny, complexion, and had long black hair. They seemed to be very good-natured, and not of a covetous disposition; giving us a couple of cocoa nuts, or a basket of apples, for a button, or a nail.
While we lay before these islands, we had squalls of wind, some calms, and heavy showers of rain. Toward night we opened the N. W. point, and discovered the island named by the Dolphin's people, York Island, and called by the natives, as we afterwards learned, Eimayo. A breeze springing up, we lay off and on all that night; and, on the 13th, we made the island of Otaheite, called by the Dolphin's people George's Island, which is opposite to York Island. We entered Port Royal harbour, called by the natives Owarrowarrow, and anchored in nine fathom water, within half a mile of the shore. The land appeared as uneven as a piece of crumpled paper, being divided irregularly into hills and valleys; but a beautiful verdure covered both, even to the tops of the highest peaks. A great number of the natives came off to us in canoes, and brought with them bananas, cocoas, bread fruit apples, and some pigs; but they were errant thieves; and, while I was busied in the forenoon in trucking with them for some of their cloth, (an account of which will be given hereafter,) one of them pilfered an earthen vessel out of my cabin. It page 14was very diverting to see the different emotions which the natives expressed at the manoeuvres of our ship. They were very social, and several of them came on board; some of them remembered such of our people as had been there in the Dolphin, and seemed highly pleased at our arrival. The captain and Mr. Banks went on shore; but they returned greatly disappointed, as they could not find the principal inhabitants, and perceived that many of their houses had been taken down since the Dolphin left them.
On the 14th, in the morning, a great number of the natives came to us, round a reef point towards the south, and were very troublesome, attempting to. steal every thing they could lay their hands upon: they brought with them only two or three hogs, which they would not exchange for any thing but hatchets. Among the rest who visited us, there were some people of distinction in double canoes: their cloaths, carriage, and behaviour evinced their superiority. I never beheld statelier men, [see pl. III.] having a pleasant countenance, large black eyes, black hair, and white teeth. They behaved very courteously, and expressed some uneasiness at the conduct of the rest. We entertained them in the cabin, and then bent our sails, taking them with us for guides, till we had doubled the point, where we found a fine bay to anchor in. In the afternoon, a small party of us made an excursion into the country, and the inhabitants followed us in great numbers. At length, being fatigued, we sat down under the shade of some lofty trees, the undulation of whose leaves rendered it very cool and pleasant. The high cocoas, and the low branching fruit trees, formed an agreeable contrast; while the cloud-topt hills, appearing between them, added to the natural grandeur of the prospect. The inhabitants stood gaping around us while we feasted on the cocoanut milk, which afforded us a pleasing repast.
A centinel being off his guard, one of the natives snatched a-musket out of his hand, which occasioned the fray. A boy, a midshipman, was the commanding officer, and, giving orders to fire, they obeyed with the greatest glee imaginable, as if they had been shooting at wild ducks, killed one stout man, and wounded many others. What a pity, that such brutality should be exercised by civilized people upon unarmed ignorant Indians!
When Mr. Banks heard of the affair, he was highly displeased, saying, "If we quarreled with those Indians, we should not agree with angels;" and he did all he could to accommodate the difference, going across the river, and, through the mediation of an old man, prevailed on many of the natives to come over to us, bearing plantain-trees, which is a signal of peace amongst them; and, clapping their hands to their breasts, cried Tyau, which signifies friendship. They sat down by us; sent for cocoa nuts, and we drank the milk with them. They laughed heartily, and were very social, more so than could have been expected, considering what they had suffered in the late skirmish.— Have we not reason to conclude, that their dispositions are very flexible; and that resentment, with them, is a short-lived passion?
The horizon not being clear, we could not make any astronomical observations; and therefore did not attempt to go round the point to the other bay. The weather, however, since we arrived here, has generally been clear, with now and then a flight shower of rain, and the wind E. N. E.page 16
Mr. Buchan was seized with an epileptic fit this morning, and remained insensible all day.
On the 16th, but few of the Indians came to us in their canoes, being, we apprehended, somewhat alarmed at what had happened the day before. We got the ship moored, and Mr. Banks and the captain went ashore to confer with the natives, and to prevail on them to traffic with us again.
On the 17th, early in the morning, Mr. Buchan died, and we went out in the pinnace and long boat to the offing, and buried him.
Two of the chiefs came on board this morning, bringing with them a present of hogs, fowls, plantains, bananas, cocoas, bread-fruit and a fort of yams. At this season the cocoas are young, many of them yielding a quart of fine milk, and the shell is eatable, but they have no kernel.
We pitched one of the ship's tents †, and went into the valley, where an Indian invited me to his hut, and sent his son up a tall cocoa-tree to gather nuts: he climbed it very dexterously, by tying his feet together with a withe, then clasping the tree, and vaulting up very swiftly. They admired every thing they saw about me, and I gave them a few trinkets.
On the 18th, in the night, we lay on shore, and were much incommoded with a species of flies with which the island swarms; insomuch that, at dinner time, it was one person's employ to beat them off with a feather fly-flap, the handle of which is made of a hard brown wood, rudely carved, and somewhat resembles a human figure.
† As we were to make the observation of the transit on this island, we built a temporary fort for our accommodation on shore: [see pl. IV.] It had a foffé, with palisadoes, next the river: guns and sirvivels mounted on the ramparts; and within, we had an observatory, an oven, forge, and pens for our sheep. Centinels were also appointed as usual in garrisons, and military discipline observed. The sandy ground, on which the fort stood, was very troublesome when the wind was high.
Plate IV. Venus Fort, Erected by the Endeavors people to secure themselves during the Observation of the transit of Venus at Otaheite.
On the 20th, one of their chiefs, named Tubora Tumaida, whom we called Lycurgus, with his wife and son, came to visit and dine with us: While we were at dinner, one of his attendants made up a dish with some garbage which they brought with them, mixing it with cocoa nut liquor in a shell, and it tasted like sowens‡. This seemed to be a favourite dish with them, but we could not relish it They have also a kind of food like wheat flour in appearance, of which Lycurgus brought a small quantity, and mixed that also with cocoa nut liquor; and, dropping two or three hot stones into it, he stirred it about till it formed a strong jelly: on tasting it we found it had an agreeable flavour, not unlike very good blanc-mange. These people make up various kinds of paste, one of which, called Makey Poe Poe, is made of fermented bread-fruit, and a substance called Meiya, mixt with cocoa-nut milk, and baked, tastes very sweet. In making these pastes, they use a pestle made or a hard black stone, a kind of basaltes, with which they beat them in a wooden trough. See pl. XIII. fig. 10.
The mode of dressing their food too is very singular: they make a hole in the ground, and, placing stones in it, kindle a fire upon them; and when they are sufficiently heated, they sweep off the ashes, and then lay their food upon them. At their meals the married women ate apart from the men, and we could not prevail on them to join us. The men, especially, seemed to like the manner of our eating, and handled knives and forks very well. Hogs and fowls are not very plentiful amongst them yams, and the best bananas, are very scarce in this island; the natives bring down but few of either sort, and eat of them very sparingly. When the natives want to make a fire, they take a piece of light wood, make a groove in it, and rub along that with another piece till the small dust catches fire. This is very laborious, and requires a considerable time to effect it.
‡ A kind of flummery made of oatmeal.
The cloth, worn by the natives of this island, is of a very singular kind, being made of the bark of a small tree which contains a glutinous juice, some of which we saw in our excursions. The mode of manufacturing it is very simple, though very laborious, and is mostly performed by women. After the bark has been soaked in water for a few days, they lay it upon a flat piece of timber, and beat it out as thin as they think proper with a kind of mallet of an oblong square, [see pl. XIII. fig. 5.] each side of which is cut into small grooves of four different sizes: they begin with that side where they are the largest, and end with the finest, which page 19leaving longitudinal stripes upon the cloth, makes it resemble paper. These people have garments also made of matting, [see pl. IX.] which are chiefly worn in rainy weather.
The rates, or terms, on which we trafficked with the natives, were a spike for a small pig; a smaller for a fowl; a hatchet for a hog; and twenty cocoa-nuts, or bread-fruit, for a middling-sized nail.
When the natives beckon to any person at a distance, contrary to our mode they wave their hands downwards; and when they meet a friend, or relation, whom they have not seen for some time, they affect to cry for joy, but it seems to be entirely Ceremonial.
The tide rises and falls scarce a foot in the harbour; but the surf runs high. The inhabitants are very expert swimmers, and will remain in the water a long time, even with their hands full. They keep their water on shore in large bamboos, and in them they also carry up salt-water into the country. The boys drag for fish with a sort of net made of convolvulus leaves; and sometimes catch them with hooks made of mother of pearl oysters, large pinna marina, and other shells; and the shapes of them are very singular. They have also some made of wood, which are very large; [see figures of several of them, pl. XIII. fig. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.] They fifth without bait, but the fish are attracted the soonest by such hooks as are made of glittering shells. When they throw their hooks, they row their canoes as fact as possible: sometimes they make use of a decoy made of the backs of cowries, and other shells, which are perforated, and tied together in the shape of a fish, making a head to it with a small cowrey; and the tail is formed of grafts ingeniously plaited. At a little distance under this decoy, hangs the hook: [see pl. XIII. fig. 15 and 25.] To sink their lines, they make use of bone, or a piece of spar, which they sometimes carve. See ibid. fig. 16, 17.
The chief food of the natives is the bread-fruit and bananas, which they peel and scrape with a sharp shell; but they eat sparingly of flesh, and of fish in general; but of the latter, sometimes alive, or raw; and, as they have no salt, they dip their meat into salt water. The natives, it seems, are very subject to the itch and other page 20cutaneous eruptions, which is the more to be wondered at as their diet consists principally of vegetables. They often move from one part to another, in their canoes, carrying with them all their household stuff. Sometimes they deep all night in their canoes*, but those used for that purpose are made double, and have thatched awnings over them.
* The women sometimes row the canoes.
On the 27th, we saw a very odd ceremony performed; Tiropoa, one of Tubora Tumaida's wives, after weeping, and expressing some emotions of sorrow, took a shark's tooth from under her cloaths, and struck it against her head several times, which produced a copious discharge of blood; then, lamenting most bitterly, she articulated some words in a mournful tone, and covered the blood with some pieces of cloth; and, having bled about a pint, she gathered up as much of it as she could, threw it into the sea, and then assumed a chearful countenance, as if nothing had happened. This, it seems, is a ceremony generally performed by widows after the decease of their husbands.
This morning a woman, a fat, bouncing, good-looking dame, whom we found the queen, having a great quantity of their cloth of all colours, made us a visit, and a present.
Tootahau, the king of the island, whom we called Hercules, too, and all his family, came and brought us presents, which we kindly accepted.
On the 30th, the weather being fair, we made a tour in the country, which was very pleasant, and met with several rare plants, which afforded much agreeable amusement to our botanical gentlemen.
On the 2d of May, we missed the astronomical quadrant it having been brought on shore the day before, in order to make observation of the transit of Venus: several men were immediately dispatched into the country to search for it; and they were informed, by some of the natives, that it had been carried through the woods to the eastward. The captain, Mr. Bank. and Mr. Green with some other of our men, Tubora Tumaida, and a few of the natives, all armed, set out in pursuit of it. Tootahau, the king, and several canoes, were detained till they returned. While they were on this expedition, I walked out to the east, in the evening, and was page 22was almost stunned with the noise of the grashoppers, with which this island abounds. At length I came to a large open place, on the side of which I saw a long house; and in the area many of the natives assembled, having brought with them large baskets of bread-fruit: some of them were employed in dividing them, and others carried away whole baskets full; so that it had the appearance of a market of breadfruit. Near to this opening, there was another long house, where, it seems, they coloured their cloth, of which I bought a few pieces, and returned to the fort. About eight o'clock in the evening, the party, that went out in quest of the quadrant, came back, having happily obtained it by the assistance of Tubora Tumaida. Some of the natives had taken it to pieces, and divided it amongst them, but had done it no material damage. It was stolen by a man named Moroameah, servant to Titaboreah, one of their chiefs. They also found a pistol, which one of the natives had stolen some time before. Tootahau wept while the party was absent, and was much alarmed on the occasion, apprehending that he should be killed if the quadrant could not be found; and had sent for two hogs to appease us. Oboreah, the queen, fled from us; nor would any of the natives come to market. When Tubora Tumaida, and his party, who accompanied Mr. Banks, returned, and saw Tootahau confined, they set up the most doleful lamentation imaginable; but they were soon pacified by the assurances made them that we designed them no injury.
On the 4th, very few people came to market with provisions, having been intimidated by the detention of their king Tootahau.
Some of the natives gave us an account of many neighbouring islands, to the number of nineteen, and shewed us one of them from a hill, which was Yoole Etea.
Plate V. A woman & a boy. Natives of Otaheite, in the dress of that Country.
The natives huts are inclosed; by a low fence made of reeds; and the ground within them is very neatly bedded with a kind of straw, upon which they lay mats to sleep on; and, for a pillow, they have a four-legged stool, joined at the bottom, which is made out of a solid piece of wood; and the only tools they have to work. with are made of stones, or shells, as they had no iron upon the island until the Dolphin arrived. [See pl. XIII. fig. 7.]
* I saw some stalks of cocoa-nuts which, were as heavy as. I could lift, which surprised me the more-as the stalks were very slender.
* A kind of diversion.
Plate VII. The head of a Native of omtaheite with the face Curiously tataoued. And the [gap — reason: illegible] mouth, or manner of defying their enemies practised by the people of that [gap — reason: illegible] the neighboring island.
The natives cut their hair in various forms. When their nearest relations die, some of them cut it off entirely, and go bare-headed; others leave a border all round the head; and others cut it into circles; while some have only a circular piece cut off the crown like a priest's tonsure; others still prefer another mode, leaving the hair upon the crown of the head, and cut off all the rest. All this they perform with a shark's tooth, which cuts it very close: they also shave with a shark's tooth fitted to a piece of coarse shell. The natives are accustomed to mark themselves in a very singular manner, which they call tataowing; [see pl. VII. fig. 1.] this is done with the juice of a plant; and they perform the operation with an instrument having teeth like a comb, dipped in the juice, with which the skin is perforated. [See pl. XIII. fig. 2, 3, and 4.] Mr. Stainsby, myself, and some others of our company, underwent the operation, and had our arms marked: the stain left in the skin, which cannot be effaced without destroying it, is of a lively bluish purple, similar to that made upon the skin by gun-powder. These people have invented a musical instrument, somewhat like a flute, [see pl. XIII. fig. 8. and pl. IX.] which they blow into through their noses; but their notes, which are but very few, are rude and ungrateful. Their dances are not less singular than their music; for they twist their bodies into many extravagant postures, spread their legs, set their arms a-kimbo, and, at the same time, distort the muscles of their faces, and twist their mouths diagonally, in a manner which none of us could imitate. [See pl. VII. fig. 2.]
† We saw two men who had been pierced through the skull by stones from a fling; the wounds were healed up, but had left a large operculum.
It is customary for the women to wear garlands of flowers on their heads, [see pl. VIII. fig. 1, 2.] which are composed of the white palm-leaves gathered from the spathas from which the flower proceeds. They also gather a species of gardenia, as soon as they open, and put them in their ears. Both sexes are very cleanly; they wash themselves in the river three times a day; and their hands and teeth after every meal.
The children of both sexes are remarkably kind to one another, and, if any thing be given them, will, if possible, equally divide it among them.
On the fifth, the captain and Mr. Banks, with some others, went to the west, and waited upon Tootahau, and some other of the chiefs, who, it was supposed, had taken affront, as the people did not bring fruit, as usual, to market. They received them kindly, and entertained them with wrestling-and dancing: when they returned to the ship, Tootahau, their king, came along with them, brought a barbecued-hog, and the captain made him a present.
On the sixth being the next day, the natives brought their fruits to market as usual.
In walking through the woods we saw the corpse of a man laid upon a sort of bier, which had an awning over it made of mats, supported by four sticks; a square piece of ground around it was railed in with bamboos, and the body was covered with cloth. These burial places are called Morai.
This day we also saw them polishing their canoes, which was done with the madrepora fungites, a species of coral, or sea mushroom, with which they also polish the beams of their houses.page break
Plate VIII. Heads of divers Natives of the Islands of Otaheite, Huaheine & Oheiteroah.
On the 8th, Mr. Mollineux went in the long-boat to the east to buy some hogs but could not get any: the people told them that they belonged to Tootahau, which evinced the superiority of that man.
We saw a man this day of a very fair complexion, with ruddy nose and cheeks, having the hair of his head, beard, eye-brows, and eye-lashes, quite white; insomuch that he was a lusus naturæ amongst them.
On the 13th, as Mr. Banks sat in the boat, trading with them as usual, we saw a very odd ceremony performed:—Some strangers came up, to whom the rest gave way, making a lane for them to pass through: the first person in the procession presented Mr. Banks with a small bunch of parrot's feathers, with some plantain, and malape-leaves, one after another. A woman passed along the next, having a great many clothes upon her, which she took off, and; spreading them upon the ground, turned round, and exposed herself quite naked: more garments being handed to her, by the company, she spread them also upon the ground, and then exposed herself as before; then the people gathered up all her clothes, took leave, and retired.
On the 14th, we saw a person who had the appearance of an hermaphrodite.
On the 15th, we had but a slight sea breeze, and the weather was very sultry, though the clouds hung upon the mountains, and we expected some rain; we had some puffs of wind from the mountains, that raised the sand in little clouds, which covered every thing, and rendered our situation still more disagreeable. In the evening we saw a remarkable large ring round the moon.
On the 16th, it rained very hard, and there were two rainbows. We hauled the, Sein in several distant places, but caught no-fish.
On the 17th, the centinel fired at one of the natives, who came before it was light with an intent to steal some of the casks, which was the second offence; but the powder flashed in the pan, and the man escaped with his life.page 28
On the 20th, but few of the natives came to market, having been prevented by the rain.
On the 22d, it rained very hard, accompanied with thunder and lightening, more terrible than any I had ever heard, or seen, before. It rained so hard that the water came through the markee, and wetted every thing in it; and we were much afraid the ship would have suffered by the storm, but she providentially escaped.
On the third of June, it being very fair, the astronomers had a good opportunity of making an observation of the transit. Mr. Banks, and a party, went to Eimayo; and another party to the east, to make observations at the same time. Mr. Banks returned with two hogs, which he got from the king of Eimayo.
The following calculation of the Transit, being found amongst Sydney Parkinson's papers, as also a table of the rising and falling of the Thermometer, between the 27th of April, 1769, and the 9th of July following, they are here subjoined for the information of the curious.page 29 page 30 page 31
Dr. Solander, Mr. Banks, and several others, went to visit Tootahau, to see if they could obtain any hogs; and, after going much farther than where he usually resides, they met with him, and queen Oboreah: they treated them with fair promises, and invited them to stay the night with them, which they accepted; but, in the morning, some missed their stockings, others their jackets and waistcoats; amongst the rest, Mr. Banks lost his white jacket and waistcoat, with silver frogs; in the pockets of which were a pair of pistols, and other things: they enquired for them, but could get no account of them.: and they came away greatly dissatisfied, having obtained but one pig.
On the 12th, we received' an account from the natives respecting two ships that had been on their coast; and we gathered from them that the crew were Spaniards, and that they had introduced the lues venerea amongst them.‡
On the 15th, the oven-rake was stolen, which, joined to the other things that had been pilfered from us by some of the natives, and the insolent treatment Mr. Monkhouse met with, determined the captain to seek redress; he seized twenty seven double canoes, with sails, which happened to be at the point, in the morning, some of which came from another island; and he threatened to burn them if the stolen things should not be returned. Before noon they brought back the rake, but we had no account of the rest; and the canoes were still kept in custody. Tootahau was much displeased, and would not suffer any of the natives to supply us with bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, or apples. At this time the weather was very wet; P. Briscoe, one of Mr. Banks's servants, was very bad of a nervous fever, and we had but little hopes of his recovery, having been, by a long course of sickness, reduced to very great weakness; and, in this hot climate, it is a long; time before an European recovers his strength, as I have known by experience.
This day, the princess Tetroah Mituah's canoes were taken, laden with presents for us; but, as captain Cook knew she was innocent, he let her have her canoes again.
On the 21st, in the morning, many of the natives came to us with presents of various kinds; but, though called presents, they were all paid for. Our tent was nearly filled with people; and, soon after, Amoa, who is chief of several districts on the other side of the island, also came to us, and brought with him a hog. As soon as he appeared, the natives uncloathed themselves to the waist; which mark of obeisance to their superiors we had not observed before, but judged it was usually shewn to every person of distinguished rank amongst them. This man Oboreah called her husband, and Toobaiah his brother; but there is little regard to be paid to what they say. A woman, called Teetee, came from the west, and presented a very fine garment to the Captain, of a bright yellow in the ground, page 33bordered with red: in the middle of it were many crosses, which we apprehended they had learned from the French.
On the 23d, in the morning, we missed one of our men, a Portugueze, whom we had taken in at Rio de Janeiro; enquiring among the Indians, we learned that he was at Opare with Tootahau; and one of them offered to go and bring him back to us, which he accordingly did the same night. The account which he gave on his return was, That three men came to him crying Tyau, which is the watch-word, amongst them, for friendship, and then carried him from the sort, and dragged him to the top of the bay, where they stripped him, forced him into a boat, and took him to Opare, where Tootahau gave him some cloaths, and persuaded him to stay with him. This account we believed to be true, for, as soon as is was known amongst the natives that he was rescued, all of them in the bell-tent moved off, and went to Opare in great haste, being apprehensive that we should reck our revenge on them.
On the 26th, the captain and Mr. Banks set out to make a survey of the island, and began with the west side.
On the 27th, we saw a favourite game, which the young girls divert themselves with in an evening; dividing themselves into two parties, one standing opposite to the other, one party throws apples, which the other endeavours to catch. The right of the game I am not acquainted with; but now-and-then one of the parties advanced, stamping with their feet, making wry mouths, straddling with their legs, lifting up their cloaths, and exposing their nakedness; at the same time repeating some words in a disagreeable tone. Thus are they bred up to lewdness from their childhood, many of them not being above eight or nine years of age.
The 28th; this evening the captain and Mr. Banks returned from their western excursion. And,
On the 29th, early in the morning, they set out for the east part of the island, to make a survey of it.page 34
Provisions of all kinds were, at this time, very scarce; and some of the inhabitants almost famished. This scarcity was principally occasioned by supplying us too liberally with bread-fruit, which obliged the inhabitants to eat ehee, roasted, in its stead, which tastes much like our chesnut: but, as the bread-tree was full of young fruit, we were in hopes that they would soon have another crop to relieve them.
On the first of July, in the evening, the captain and Mr. Banks returned from surveying the island, which they found to be larger than they expected, and brought with them several hogs, and could have obtained more with more hatchets. In their tour round the island, they discovered that it consists of two peninsulas, connected by a low marshy isthmus, through which Mr. Banks supposed canoes might be drawn. From Port-Royal, which is situate at the west end, the coast extends E by S. about nineteen miles to a reef of three small islands, forming a bay, called Society-Bay. From this the land inclines into a deep bay, at the isthmus or juncture of the two divisions, of which the smallest is nearly oval, and surrounded by a reef, which runs parallel to the shore at about two miles distance: This has several apertures, or passages, which afford safe anchorage within The north side of the island is likewise defended by a similar reef; but the ground within is foul, and unsafe for vessels of burthen. The whole length of the island is about fifteen leagues; and its circumference forty leagues. Besides the above-mentioned, they saw several other bays; some of them very good, and one, in particular, in which a large fleet might have rode with ease and safety: the name the natives give it is Papara.
They also learned, that the island is divided into two. principalities, one of which, comprehending the largest peninsula, is called Otaheite Nooa, or Great Otaheite; the other, comprehending the smallest peninsula, is termed Otaheite Eetee, or Little Otaheite. The former of these divisions is also called Oboreano, in honour of of queen Oboreah, who is regent of it. The other division is also governed by a woman named Teideede; she is younger than Oboreah. The people of the two divisions do not seem to be upon good terms, having but little communication, with. each other.page 35
In their voyage they also saw a large monument, of a pyramidal form, of polished stone, which they were told was the moral of Oboreah and Oamo, and the people there said they were brother and sister.
On the 6th of July, in the evening, a young woman came to the entrance of the fort, whom we found to be a daughter of Oamo. The natives complimented her on her arrival, by uncovering their shoulders. We invited her to the tent, but she did not accept of it.
On the 9th, two of our marines being enamoured with a girl, one of the natives deserted from the sort, and fled to the west part of the island, and intended to have staid there. On the same day one of the natives stole a knife from one of our sailors, and wounded him with it in the forehead, almost through his skull: — a fray ensued, and the Indians ran away.
On this day, Mr. Banks and Dr. Monkhouse went many miles to a valley toward Orowhaina: at length they came to a waterfall, and could proceed no farther. At this spot the mountains were almost: perpendicular; and from several parts of them hung some ropes, designed, as was apprehended, to assist those who should attempt to ascend them in times of scarcity, to get fayhee, or wild plantain. The stones and soil, on some of the highest mountains, appeared as if they had been burnt, or calcined: and, on the lower ones, where I have been, the earth is a sort of red-ochre covered with various plants, but chiefly with fern.
Most of the materials which composed the fort having been taken down, and put on board the ship, we prepared to set fail.
On the 10th, hearing no tidings of the two men who deserted us, we resolved to seize several of the principal people, and detain them till we could recover them: we also sent a party in the pinnace who apprehended Tcotahau, and brought him to the ship; upon which Oboreah, and several other of the chiefs, sent out their servants, who returned in the evening with one of them, and re-page 36ported that the Indians had detained one of our officers who commanded the party sent out after him; also one of the men who accompanied him, and, having seized their arms, used them very roughly; upon which the marines were dispatched in the long-boat after them, taking with them some of the natives. In the mean time, the natives, whom we had made prisoners, not knowing what would be their fate, were much alarmed; but the next morning the marines returned with the men that had been detained, with the others that had deserted; and the natives, whom we had imprisoned, were released. After making strong professions of friendship, they left us; and, as soon as they reached the shore, bent their course, as fast as possible, to Opare, shewing tokens of displeasure as they went along.
During our stay here, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were very assiduous in collecting whatever they thought might contribute to the advancement of Natural History; and, by their directions, I made drawings of a great many curious trees, and other plants; fish, birds, and of such natural bodies as could not be conveniently preserved entire, to be brought home.
The following catalogue exhibits some of the principal botanical subjects, natives of this place, made use of by the inhabitants.