4th November 1769

[In Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand]
The first and middle parts, little wind at East-North-East and Clear weather; the Latter had a fresh breeze at North-North-West and hazey with rain. At 1 p.m. 3 Canoes came off from the Main to the Ship, and after Parading about a little while they darted 2 Pikes at us. The first was at one of our Men as he was going to give them a rope, thinking they were coming on board; but the 2nd they throw'd into the Ship; the firing of one musquet sent them away. Each of these Canoes were made out of one large Tree, and were without any sort of Ornament, and the people in them were mostly quite naked. At 2 p.m. saw a large op'ning or inlet in the land, which we bore up for with an intent to come to an Anchor. At this time had 41 fathoms, which gradually decreased to 9 fathoms, at which time we were 1 1/2 Mile from a high Tower'd Rock lying near the South point of the inlet; the rock and the Northermost of the Court of Aldermen being in one bearing South 61 degrees East. At 1/2 past 7 Anchor'd in 7 Fathoms a little within the South Entrance of the Bay or inlet. We were accompanied in here by several Canoes, who stay'd about the Ship until dark; and before they went away they were so generous as to tell us that they would come and attack us in the morning; but some of them paid us a Visit in the night, thinking, no doubt, but what they should find all hands asleep, but as soon as they found their Mistake they went off.

My reasons for putting in here were the hopes of discovering a good Harbour, and the desire I had of being in some convenient place to observe the Transit of Mercury, which happens on the 9th Instant, and will be wholy Visible here if the day is clear. If we be so fortunate as to obtain this observation, the Longitude of this place and Country will thereby be very accurately determined. Between 5 and 6 o'Clock in the morning several Canoes came off to us from all parts of the Bay; in them were about 130 or 140 People. To all appearances their first design was to attack us, being all Completely Arm'd in their way; however, this they never attempted, but after Parading about the Ship near 3 Hours, sometimes trading with us, and at other times Tricking of us, they dispersed; but not before we had fir'd a few Musquets and one great gun, not with any design to hurt any of them, but to shew them what sort of Weapons we had, and that we could revenge any insult they offer'd to us. It was observable that they paid but little regard to the Musquets that were fir'd, notwithstanding one ball was fir'd thro' one of their Canoes, but what Effect the great gun had I know not, for this was not fir'd until they were going away.

Joseph Banks Journal
Our freinds meant to be still better than their word for they visited us twice in the night intending I suppose to wake us if we should be asleep, but as they found us not so they went away as they came without saying a single word. In the morn they returnd with the earlyest day break, about 150 men in 10 or 12 Canoes all armd with pikes lances and stones. We all got up to see the event. An hour and a half was spent in conversation sometimes civil sometimes otherwise: our resolution was that as we had in vain shewd them the power of musquets by firing near them and killing the bird yesterday we would on the first provacation they gave us fire at them with small shot, the last resource we had to shew them our superiority without taking away their lives. They at lengh offerd to trade for their arms and sold two weapons very fairly, but took a price for the third and refusd to send it up but offerd it for a second; the second was sent down but a third was requird instead of the weapon being parted with; this was a convenient time for the execution of our project as the man who had thus cheated us swaggerd prodigiously, having paddled the boat a few yards from the ship. Accordingly a musquet ball was fird through the bottom of the boat and small shot at the offender which struck him and another who sat next him, on which the canoe was immediately paddled off and remaind about 100 yards from the ship; but what was truly surprizing was that tho the men who were shot bled a good deal not one of the other boats went near them or enquird at all how much or in what manner they were hurt.

They returnd to the ship and renewd trade for their arms, a large quantity of which they sold without attempting to play any tricks; at last however one gentleman padled off with two different peices of cloth which had been given for one weapon, he got about 100 yards from the ship and thought himself safe. A musquet was fird after him which fortunately struck the boat Just at the waters edge and consequently made 2 holes in her; the people in her and the rest of the Canoes padled hard, as a finishing stroke to convince them of our superiority a round shot was fird over them and not a boat stoppd till they got ashore. Soon after this the Captn went in the boats to seek a place for the ship to stay that she might observe the transit of Mercury; it raind and as we were sure of staying 5 days Dr Solander and myself stayd on board. The Indians ashore were neither freinds nor foes, they shewd however much fear whenever our boats approachd them. After dinner the ship removd to the place he had found where were great plenty of birds, much Celery and good hopes of fish.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
Early in the morning, we were visited by several canoes; the people in them, about one hundred and thirty-five in number, had a few arms, but seemed unresolved what to do; sometimes staring at us in a wild manner, and then threatening us: but, at last, they traded with us, exchanging the few trifles they had brought for cloth. They were very sly, and attempted to cheat us. We fired several muskets at them, and wounded two of them; the rest, however, did not seem to be alarmed till the captain shot through one of the canoes, which struck them with a panic; and, on firing a great gun, they made off to land.

No comments:

Post a Comment