Tuesday, 10th October, 1769

Tuesday, 10th. P.M., I rowed round the head of the bay, but could find no place to land on account of the Great Surf which beat everywhere upon the Shore. Seeing 2 Boats or Canoes coming in from Sea I rowed to one of them, in order to Seize upon the People; and came so near before they took notice of us that Tupia called to them to come alongside and we would not hurt them; but instead of doing this they endeavour’d to get away, upon which I order’d a Musquet to be fir’d over their Heads, thinking this would either make them surrender, or jump overboard; but here I was mistaken, for they immediately took to their Arms or whatever they had in the Boat, and began to attack us. This obliged us to fire upon them, and unfortunately either 2 or 3 were kill’d and one wounded, and 3 jumped overboard. These last we took up and brought on board, where they was Cloathed and Treated with all imaginable kindness; and to the Surprise of everybody became at once as cheerful and as merry as if they had been with their own Friends. They were all 3 Young, the eldest not above 20 years of Age, and the youngest about 10 or 12. I am aware that most Humane men who have not experienced things of this nature will Censure my Conduct in firing upon the People in their Boat, nor do I myself think that the reason I had for seizing upon her will at all justify me; and had I thought that they would have made the Least Resistance I would not have come near them; but as they did, I was not to stand still and suffer either myself or those that were with me to be knocked on the head.

In the morning, as I intended to put our 3 Prisoners ashore, and stay here the day to see what effect it might have upon the other Natives, I sent an Officer ashore with the Marines and a party of men to cut wood, and soon after followed myself, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia, taking the 3 Natives with us, whom we landed on the West side of the River before mentioned. They were very unwilling to leave us, pretending that they should fall into the hands of their Enemies, who would kill and Eat them. However, they at last of their own accord left us and hid themselves in some bushes. Soon after this we discover’d several bodys of the Natives marching towards us, upon which we retir’d across the River, and joind the wooders; and with us came the 3 Natives we had just parted with, for we could not prevail upon them to go to their own people. We had no sooner got over the River than the others assembled on the other side to the Number of 150 or 200, all Arm’d. Tupia now began to Parly with them, and the 3 we had with us shew’d everything we had given them, part of which they laid and left upon the Body of the Man that was Kill’d the day before. These things seem’d so far to Convince them of our friendly intentions that one man came over to us, while all the others sat down upon the Sand. We everyone made this man a present, and the 3 Natives that were with us likewise presented him with such things as they had got from us, with which, after a short Stay, he retir’d across the River. I now thought proper to take everybody on board, to prevent any more Quarrels, and with us came the 3 Natives, whom we could not prevail upon to stay behind; and this appear’d the more strange as the man that came over to us was Uncle to one of them. After we had return’d on board we saw them Carry off the Dead Man; but the one that was Kill’d the first evening we Landed remain’d in the very spot they had left him.


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