17th April 1769
At two o'Clock this morning, departed this life, Mr. Alex Buchan, Landskip Draftsman to Mr. Banks, a Gentleman well skill'd in his profession and one that will be greatly missed in the Course of this Voyage. He had long been subject to a disorder in his Bowels, which had more than once brought him to the very point of Death, and was at one time subject to fits, of one of which he was taken on Saturday morning; this brought on his former disorder, which put a Period to his life. Mr. Banks thought it not so advisable to Intern the Body ashore in a place where we were utter strangers to the Custom of the Natives on such occasions; it was therefore sent out to sea and committed to that Element with all the decency the Circumstance of the place would admit of.
This morning several of the Chiefs from the westward made us a Visit: they brought with them Emblems of Peace, which are Young Plantain Trees. These they put on board the Ship before they would venture themselves. They brought us a present of 2 Hogs (an Article we find here very Scarce) and some Bread Fruit; for these they had Hatchets and other things. In the afternoon we set up one of the Ship's Tents ashore, and Mr. Green and myself stay'd there the night to observe an eclipse of Jupiter's first Satilite, which we was hinder'd from seeing by Clouds.
Joseph Banks Journal
At two this morn Mr Buchan died, about nine every thing was ready for his interment he being already so much changd that it would not be practicable to keep him even till night. Dr Solander Mr Sporing Mr Parkinson and some of the officers of the ship attended his funeral.
I sincerely regret him as an ingenious and good young man, but his Loss to me is irretrevable, my airy dreams of entertaining my freinds in England with the scenes that I am to see here are vanishd. No account of the figures and dresses of men can be satisfactory unless illustrated with figures: had providence spard him a month longer what an advantage would it have been to my undertaking but I must submit.
Our two freinds the cheifs of the west came this morn to see us. One I shall for the future call Lycurgus from the justice he executed on his offending subjects on the 14th, the other from the large size of his body I shall call Hercules. Each of these brought a hog and bread fruit ready dressd as a present for which they were presented in return with a hatchet and a nail each. Hercules's present is the largest he seems indeed to be the richest man. In the afternoon we all went ashore to measure out the ground for the tents, which done Cap Cooke and Mr Green slept ashore in a tent erected for that purpose after having observd an eclipse of one of the satellites of Jupiter.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
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.
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