14th November 1768
Rio de Janeiro
Moderate Sea and Low breezes and fine pleasant weather. At 5 p.m. Anchored in 5 fathoms just above the Isle of Cobras, which lies before the City of Rio De Janeiro. A little before we Anchor'd the Pinnace return'd and informed me that the Vice Roy had thought proper to detain the Officer until I went ashore. Soon after we Anchored a Boat came on board bringing several of the Vice Roy's Officers, who asked many Questions in respect to the Ship: Cargo, from whence she came, Number of Guns, Men, etc., all of which was Answered to their satisfaction. They told me it was the Custom of the Port to Detain the first Officer that came from any Ship on her first Arrival until a Boat from the Vice Roy had Visited her; that my Officer would be sent on board as soon as they got on shore, which was accordingly done. About this time a Boat filled with Soldiers kept rowing about the Ship, which had orders, as I afterwards understood, not to Suffer any one of the Officers or Gentlemen, except myself, to go out of the Ship.
In the Morning I waited upon the Vice Roy and obtained leave to purchase Provisions, Refreshments, etc., for the Ship, but obliged me to employ a person to buy them for me under a pretence that it was the Custom of the Place, and he likewise insisted (notwithstanding all I could say to the contrary), on putting a Soldier into the Boats that brought anything to or from the Ship, alledging that it was the Orders of his Court, and they were such as he could not Dispence with, and this indignity I was obliged to submit to, otherwise I could not have got the supplys I wanted; being willing, as much as in me lay, to avoid all manner of Disputes that might cause the least delay, and at the same time to Convince him that we did not come here to Trade, as I believe he imagined -- for he Certainly did not believe a word about our being bound to the Southward to observe the Transit of Venus, but looked upon it only as an invented story to cover some other design we must be upon, for he could form no other Idea of that Phenomenon (after I had explained it to him), than the North Star Passing through the South Pole; these were his own words. He would not permit the Gentlemen to reside ashore during our Stay here, nor permit Mr. Banks to go into the country to gather plants, etc.; but not the least hint was given me at this time that no one of the Gentlemen was to come out of the Ship but myself, or that I was to be put under a Guard when I did come; but this I was soon Convinced of after I took my leave of His Excellency and found that an Officer was to attend upon me whereever I went, which at first the Vice Roy pretended was only meant as a Complement, and to order me all the Assistance I wanted. This day the People were Employed in unbending the Sails, in fitting and rigging the Spare Topmasts in the room of the others, and getting on shore Empty Water Casks.
Joseph Banks Journal
This morn Captn Cooke went ashore, Dr Solander and myself impatiently waiting for his return which he promisd should be the moment he had spoke with the viceroy, who would no doubt tell him that the practica paper had been deliverd and we were all at liberty to come ashore when we pleasd. About twelve he came on board with a Portugese officer in his boat who had been put there by order of the viceroy, out of a compliment as he termd it, and an English gentleman Mr Forster by name a Leutenant in the Portugese service. The Captn told us that we could not be allowd to have a house or sleep ashore, so the Viceroy had told him, but Mr Forster told us that he had given orders that no person but the Captn and such common sailors as were requird to be upon duty should be permitted to go ashore, and that we the passengers were probably particularly objected to. We however in the Evening dress'd ourselves and attempted to go ashore under pretence of a visit to the Viceroy, but were stopd by the Guard boat whose officer told us that he had particular orders, which he could not transgress, to Lett no officer or Passenger except the Captain pass the boat; after much conversation to no purpose we were obligd to return on board and the Captn went ashore to remonstrate to the viceroy about it, but could get no answer but that it was the King of Portugals orders and consequently must be.
Posted by Arborfield at 08:16