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18 September, 1770

 

On 18 September, 1770, James Cook wrote “at Day-light in the Morning the same [Dutch] Colours were hoisted on the beach abreast of the Ship: by this I was no longer in doubt but what here was a Dutch Settlement and accordingly sent Lieutt Gore a shore to wait upon the Governor or Chief person residing here, to acquaint him with the reasons that induce'd us to touch at this Island. Upon Mr Gores landing we could see that he was received by a guard of the Natives and not Dutch Troops, and conducted up to the Village where the Colours were hoisted last night. Sometime after this I received a Message from him acquainting me that he was then with the King of the Island, who had told him that he could not supply us with any thing without leave from the Dutch Governor, who resided at a nother part of the Island, but that he had sent to acquaint him of our arrival and request... At 2 oClock in the PM the Dutch Governor and King of this part of the Island with his attendance came on board with Mr Gore (he having left two gentlemen a shore as hostages). We entertaind them at dinner in the best Manner we could, gave them plenty of good Liquor, made them some considerable presents and at their going away saluted them with 9 Guns. In return for these favour[s] they made many fair promises that we should be immideatly furnished with every thing we wanted at the same price the Dutch East India had it Company had it, and that in the Morning Buffaloes, Hogs Sheep &ca should be down on the beach for us to look at and agree upon a price. I was not attall at a loss for Interpreters for both Dr Solander and Mr Sporing understood Dutch enough to keep up a conversation with the Dutchman, and several of the Natives could speak Portuguese which Language two or 3 of my people understood”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “In the morn the Boat with the 2nd Lieutenant [Gore] went ashore and was receivd by a guard of 20 or 30 Indians armd with musquets, who conducted him to the town about a mile in the countrey, marching without any order or regularity and carrying away with them Duch Colours which had been hoisted upon the beach opposite to where the ship lay. Here he was introduc’d to the Radja or Indian King who he told by a Portugese interpreter that we were an English man of war who had been long at sea and had many sick on board, for whoom we wanted to purchase such refreshments as the Island afforded. He answerd that he was willing to supply us with every thing we should want, but being in alliance with the Duch East Indian Company he was not allowd to trade with any other people without their consent, which however he would immediately apply for to a Duchman belonging to that Company who was the only white man residing upon the Island. A letter was accordingly dispatchd immediately and after some hours waiting answerd by the man in Person, who assurd him with many Civilities that we were at liberty to buy of the natives whatever we pleasd. He express’d a desire of coming on board, as well as the King and several of his attendants, provided however that some of our people might stay on shore, on which two were left and about 2 they arrivd. Our dinners were ready and they readily agreed to dine with us. At setting down however the King excusd himself, saying that he did not imagine that we who were white men would suffer him who was black to set down in our company. A complement however removd his scruples and he and his prime minister sat down and eat sparingly. During all dinner time we receivd many professions of freindship from both the King and the European who was a native of Saxony by name Johan Christopr Lange. Mutton was our fare: the King expressd a desire of having an English sheep; we had one left which was presented to him. An English dog was then askd for and my greyhound presented to him. Mynheer Lange then hinted that a spying glass would be acceptable and was immediately presented with one. We were told that the Island abounded in Buffaloes, sheep, hogs, and fowls, all which should the next day be drove down to the Beach and we might buy any quantity of them. This agreable intelligence put us all into high spirits and the liquor went about full as much as either Mynheer Lange or the Indians could bear, who however expressed a desire of going away before they were quite drunk. They were receivd upon deck as they had been when they came on board, by the marines under arms: the King expresssd a desire of Seeing them excersise, which accordingly they did and fird 3 rounds, much to his majesties satisfaction, who expressd great surprize particularly at their so speedily cocking their guns, which he expressd by striking a stick upon the side of the ship saying that all the locks made but one click. Dr Solander and myself went ashore in the Boat with them; as soon as we put off they saluted the ship with three chears which the ship answerd with five guns.

We landed and walkd up to the town which consisted of a good many houses, some tolerably large, each being a roof of thach covering a boarded floor supported by Pillars 3 or 4 feet from the ground. Before we had been long there it began to grow dark and we returnd on board, having only just tasted their Palm wine which had a very sweet taste and suited all our palates very well, giving us at the same time hopes that it might be servicable to our sick, as being the fresh and unfermented juice of the tree it promisd ante-scorbutick virtues”.

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