16th January 1770
Variable light Airs and Clear settled weather. At 1 p.m. hauled close round the South-West end of the Island, on which stands the Village before mention'd, the inhabitants of which were all in Arms. At 2 o'Clock we anchor'd in a very Snug Cove,* (* Ship Cove, in Queen Charlotte's Sound.) which is on the North-West side of the Bay facing the South-West end of the Island in 11 fathoms; soft Ground, and moor'd with the Stream Anchor. By this time several of the Natives had come off to the Ship in their Canoes, and after heaving a few stones at us and having some Conversation with Tupia, some of them Ventur'd on board, where they made but a very short stay before they went into their Canoes again, and soon after left us altogether. I then went ashore in the bottom of the Cove, accompanied by most of the Gentlemen on board. We found a fine Stream of Excellent Water, and as to wood the land is here one intire forest. Having the Sean with us we made a few hauls and caught 300 pounds weight of different sorts of fish, which were equally distributed to the Ship's Company. A.M., Careen'd the Ship, scrubb'd and pay'd the Larboard side. Several of the Natives Visited us this Morning, and brought with them some stinking fish, which, however, I order'd to be bought up to encourage them in this kind of Traffick, but Trade at this time seem'd not to be their Object, but were more inclinable to Quarrel, and as the Ship was upon the Carreen I thought they might give us some Trouble, and perhaps hurt some of our people that were in the Boats alongside. For this reason I fir'd some small shott at one of the first Offenders; this made them keep at a proper distance while they stay'd, which was not long before they all went away. These people declared to us this morning, that they never either saw or heard of a Ship like ours being upon this Coast before. From this it appears that they have no Tradition among them of Tasman being here, for I believe Murtherers bay, the place where he anchor'd, not to be far from this place;* (* Tasman's Massacre Bay lies 70 miles to the West-North-West.) but this cannot be it from the Latitude, for I find by an Observation made this day at Noon that we are at an Anchor in 41 degrees 5 minutes 32 seconds South, which is 15 miles to the Southward of Murtherers Bay.* (* The bay in Queen Charlotte's Sound in which the Endeavour anchored, Ship Cove, lies 7 miles within the entrance on the western shore.)
Joseph Banks Journal
At day break this morn 3 Canoes and about 100 Indians came to the ship bringing their women with them, a sign tho not a sure one of peacable inclinations. Soon after our longboat put off from the ship with Cask in her, they atempted to follow her on which a musquet loaded with small shot was fird at them which made them immediately return, tho as they were full 100 yards from the ship it is improbable that blood was drawn from any of them. They had in their canoes some fish which they offerd to sell and we to buy, so a man in a small boat was dispatchd among them to trade; he bought several bundles which they sold very fairly when one Indian seeing his opportunity snatchd at the trade which he had in his hand, but missing immediately put himself in a posture of defence flourishing his patoo-patoo as if he meant to strike. A musquet load of small shot was fird at him a few of which struck his knee, the rest missd him, on which they all left of to trade but paddled peaceably enough round the ship and at last came under the stern to Tupia and discoursd with him about their antiquity and Legends of their ancestors.
The women in these canoes and some of the men had a peice of Dress which we had not before seen--a bunch of black feathers made round and tied upon the top of their heads which it intirely coverd, making them look twice as large as they realy were. On seeing this my Judgement paid an involuntary compliment to my fair English countrey women; for led astray by this head dress which in some measure resembles their high foretops I was forward to declare it as my opinion that these were much the hansomest women we had seen upon the coast, but upon their nearer aproach I was convincd that nothing but the head dress had misled me as I saw not one who was even tolerably hansome. After dinner we went in the boat towards a cove about a mile from the ship. As we rowd along something was seen floating upon the water which we took to be a dead seal; we rowd up to it and it provd to our great surprize to be the body of a Woman who seemd to have been dead some time. We left it and proceeded to our cove where we found a small family of Indians who were a little afraid of us as they all ran away but one; they soon however returnd except an old man and a child who staid in the woods but not out of sight of us; of these people we inquird about the body we had seen. They told Tupia that the woman was a relation of theirs and that instead of Burying their dead their custom was to tie a stone to them and throw them into the sea, which stone they supposd to have been unloosd by some accident. The family were employd when we came ashore in dressing their provisions, which were a dog who was at that time buried in their oven and near it were many provision baskets.
Looking carelessly upon one of these we by accident observd 2 bones, pretty clean pickd, which as apeard upon examination were undoubtedly human bones. Tho we had from the first of our arrival upon the coast constantly heard the Indians acknowledge the custom of eating their enemies we had never before had a proof of it, but this amounted almost to demonstration: the bones were clearly human, upon them were evident marks of their having been dressd on the fire, the meat was not intirely pickd off from them and on the grisly ends which were gnawd were evident marks of teeth, and these were accidentaly found in a provision basket. On asking the people what bones are these? they answerd, The bones of a man.--And have you eat the flesh?--Yes.--Have you none of it left?--No.--Why did not you eat the woman who we saw today in the water?--She was our relation.--Who then is it that you do eat?--Those who are killd in war.--And who was the man whose bones these are?--5 days ago a boat of our enemies came into this bay and of them we killd 7, of whoom the owner of these bones was one.--The horrour that apeard in the countenances of the seamen on hearing this discourse which was immediately translated for the good of the company is better conceivd than describd. For ourselves and myself in particular we were before too well convincd of the existence of such a custom to be surprizd, tho we were pleasd at having so strong a proof of a custom which human nature holds in too great abhorrence to give easy credit to.
Sydney Parkinson Journal
All the coves of this bay teem with fish of various kinds, such as cuttle-fish, large breams, (some of which weighed twelve pounds, and were very delicious food, having the taste of fine salmon,) small grey breams, small and large baracootas, flying gurnards, horse-mackarel, dog-fish, soles, dabs, mullets, drums, scorpenas or rock-fish, cole-fish, the beautiful fish called chimera, and shaggs.
The manner in which the natives of this bay catch their fish is as follows:— They have a cylindrical net, extended by several hoops at the bottom, and contracted at the top; within the net they stick some pieces of fish, then lot it down from the side of a canoe, and the fish, going in to feed, are caught with great ease. The country, about the cove where we lay, is entirely covered with wood, and so full of a sort of supple-jack, that it is difficult to pass through it: there is also a little sand-fly which is very troublesome; and the bite of it is venomous, raising a bump upon the skin which itches very much. The tops of some of the hills, which at first appeared to be bare, we found covered with the fern plant, which grows up to about a man's height. The hills decline gently to the water's-edge, and leave no flat land excepting one place.
The woods abound with divers kinds of birds, such as parrots, wood-pigeons, water-hens; three sorts of birds having wattles; hawks; with a variety of birds that sing all night. We also found a great quantity of a species of Philadelphus, which makes a good substitute for tea. At one particular place we met with a substance that appeared like a kid's skin, but it had so weak a texture, that we concluded it was not leather; and were afterward informed, by the natives, that it was gathered from some plant called Teegoomme: one of them had a garment made of it, which looked like their rug cloaks. The air of the country, one would imagine, is very moist, and endued with some peculiar putrescent qualities, as we found maggots in birds a few hours after they had been shot.
The natives came to us sometimes, and behaved peaceably; but, to our surprise, we had adequate proofs that they are Cannibals. Some of our people, in the pinnace, went into a little cove, where one family resided, and saw several human bones which appeared to have been lately dressed and picked; and were told, that a little while before, six of their enemies had fallen into their hands; four they killed and ate; the other two jumped into the water and escaped from them, but they were unfortunately drowned, and our people saw one of their bodies floating upon the water. The natives also brought us several human bones on board, and offered them to sale, sucking them in their mouths, and, by the signs which they made to us, evinced that they thought human flesh delicious food. One day, in particular, they brought four skulls to sell; but they rated page 116 them very high. These skulls had their brains taken out, and some of them their eyes, but the scalp and hair was left upon them. They locked as if they had been dried by the fire, or by the heat of the sun. We also found human bones in the woods, near the ovens, where they used to partake of their horrid midnight repasts: and we saw a canoe the baler of which was made of a man's skull. The natives seemed even to take pride in their cruelty, as if it was the most laudable virtue, instead of one of the worst of moral vices; and shewed us the manner in which they dispatched their prisoners; which was to knock them down with their patta pattoos, and then to rip them up.
Posted by Arborfield at 08:05