The 'Treachery' began in 1770 - the 'Genocide' began in 1788

Cook Landing at Botany BayLanding of Lieutenant Cook at Botany Bay, 1770 - E.Phillips Fox

Writings from the Cook Australian Expedition

Captain James Cook (post 1770)
James Cook was a Lieutenant when he claimed territory in Botany Bay, he became a Captain after this expedition.

The Secret Instructions, contained in the Letterbook carried on the Endeavour, include the Additional Instructions which authorised James Cook to take possession of 'a Continent or Land of great extent' thought to exist in southern latitudes. The second page instructs Cook 'with the Consent of the Natives to take possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain'.


James Cook made three voyages to the South Pacific between 1768 and 1779 and on each occasion carried 'Secret Instructions' from the British Admiralty. These contained an outline of the route of the voyage, described the activities he and his men were to undertake, and the manner in which he was to report his progress. They were secret in that they held the real intentions and plans for the voyage, while other papers issued would be made available on demand to show Cook's authority for his command and the enterprise.

On his first voyage, Cook sailed in the Endeavour to Tahiti (to assist in the scientific observation of the transit of the planet Venus) and then as instructed, sailed south in search of the fabled 'Great Southern Continent'.

The Secret Instructions provided that, in the event that he found the Continent, he should chart its coasts, obtain information about its people, cultivate their friendship and alliance, and annex any convenient trading posts in the King's name. Cook followed the coast of New Zealand (thereby debunking Abel Tasman's theory that it formed part of the southern continent), then turned west, reaching the southern coast of New South Wales on 20 April 1770. He sailed north, landing at Botany Bay one week later, before continuing to chart the Australian coast all the way north to the tip of Queensland. There, on Possession Island, just before sunset on Wednesday 22 August 1770, he declared the coast a British possession:

Notwithstand[ing] I had in the Name of His Majesty taken possession of several places upon this coast, I now once more hoisted English Coulers [Colors] and in the Name of His Majesty King George the Third took possession of the whole Eastern Coast . . . by the name New South Wales, together with all the Bays, Harbours Rivers and Islands situate upon the said coast, after which we fired three Volleys of small Arms which were Answerd by the like number from the Ship.

Cook had recorded signs that the coast was inhabited during the voyage north, and here he noted as he returned to the ship the great number of fires on all the land and islands about them, 'a certain sign they are Inhabited'.

Cook then sailed through Torres Strait, returning to England in May 1771.

Cook's Secret Instructions represent Britain’s first official expressions of interest in Australia. They record the quest for scientific discovery, combined with the desire to find exploitable natural resources and to expand Britain's control of strategic trading posts around the globe. The Instructions confidently assume that these varied interests could be made compatible with a respect for the native populations in those countries so identified.

Cook's report of his observations along the New South Wales coastline on his first voyage formed the basis for Britain's decision to establish the colony at Botany Bay in 1788. His careful charting of the coast also formed the basis for the British Admiralty Charts of Australian waters produced by the Hydrographic Office of the Admiralty from its establishment 20 years after Cook's voyage along the eastern coast of Australia.

Cook's second and third voyages involved a fuller exploration of the Pacific and Atlantic, including the search for a north-west passage through the Pacific to the Atlantic. He was instructed to make scientific observations and collect natural specimens, and to show 'every kind of civility and regard' to the natives, at the same time taking care not ‘to be surprized by them'. With their consent, he was to take possession in the name of the King of any convenient situations in any country he might discover. Cook eventually reached the north-west passage (the Bering Strait), but it was ice-bound and he was unable to cross it. Returning through the South Pacific, he was killed in the Sandwich [Hawai'i] Islands on 14 February 1779.

Secret Instructions to Captain Cook - 30 June 1768




James Cook and Joseph Banks

Journal of Captain James Cook

Journal of Joseph Banks

Off the coast of Australia
[1770, April] Thursday, 26th
Clear, serene weather. In the P.M. had a light breeze at North-North-West until 5, at which time it fell Calm, we being then about 3 or 4 Leagues from the land and in 48 fathoms. Variation by Azimuth 8 degrees 48 minutes East, the extreams of the land from North-East by North to South-West by South. Saw several smokes along shore before dark, and 2 or 3 times a fire. In the Night we lay becalm'd, driving in before the Sea, until one o'Clock A.M., at which time we got a breeze from the land, with which we steer'd North-East, being then in 38 fathoms water. At Noon it fell little Wind, and veer'd to North-East by North, we being then in the Latitude of 34 degrees 10 minutes and Longitude 208 degrees 27 minutes West, and about 5 Leagues from the land, which extended from South 37 degrees West to North 1/2 East. In this Latitude are some White Clifts, which rise perpendicular from the Sea to a moderate height.
Off the coast of Australia
26 April 1770

26. Land today more barren in appearance that we hade before seen it: it consisted cheifly of Chalky cliffs something resembling those of old England; within these it was flat and might be no doubt as fertile. Fires were seen during the day the same as yesterday but none so large.

27 April 1770
Var'ble light Airs between the North-East and North-West, clear pleasant weather. In the P.M. stood off Shore until 2, then Tackt and Stood in till 6, at which time we tack'd and stood off, being then in 54 fathoms and about 4 or 5 miles from the land, the Extreams of which bore from South, 28 degrees West to North 25 degrees 30 minutes East. At 12 we tack'd and stood in until 4 A.M., then made a Trip off until day light, after which we stood in for the land; in all this time we lost ground, owing a good deal to the Variableness of the winds, for at Noon we were by Observation in the Latitude of 34 degrees 21 minutes South, Red Point bearing South 27 degrees West, distant 3 Leagues. In this Situation we were about 4 or 5 Miles from the land, which extended from South 19 degrees 30 minutes West to North 29 degrees East.
27 April 1770

27. The Countrey today again made in slopes to the sea coverd with wood of a tolerable growth tho not so large as some we have seen. At noon we were very near it; one fire only was in sight. Some bodies of 3 feet long and half as broad floated very boyant past the ship; they were supposd to be cuttle bones which indeed they a good deal resembled but for their enormous size. After dinner the Captn proposd to hoist out boats and attempt to land, which gave me no small satisfaction; it was done accordingly but the Pinnace on being lowerd down into the water was found so leaky that it was impracticable to attempt it. Four men were at this time observd walking briskly along the shore, two of which carried on their shoulders a small canoe; they did not however attempt to put her in the water so we soon lost all hopes of their intending to come off to us, a thought with which we once had flatterd ourselves. To see something of them however we resolvd and the Yawl, a boat just capable of carrying the Captn, Dr Solander, myself and 4 rowers was accordingly prepard. They sat on the rocks expecting us but when we came within about a quarter of a mile they ran away hastily into the countrey; they appeard to us as well as we could judge at that distance exceedingly black. Near the place were four small canoes which they left behind. The surf was too great to permit us with a single boat and that so small to attempt to land, so we were obligd to content ourselves with gazing from the boat at the productions of nature which we so much wishd to enjoy a nearer acquaintance with. The trees were not very large and stood seperate from each other without the least underwood; among them we could discern many cabbage trees but nothing else which we could call by any name. In the course of the night many fires were seen.

28 April 1770
 In the P.M. hoisted out the Pinnace and Yawl in order to attempt a landing, but the Pinnace took in the Water so fast that she was obliged to be hoisted in again to stop her leakes. At this time we saw several people a shore, 4 of whom where carrying a small Boat or Canoe, which we imagin'd they were going to put in to the Water in order to Come off to us; but in this we were mistaken. Being now not above 2 Miles from the Shore Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Tupia, and myself put off in the Yawl, and pull'd in for the land to a place where we saw 4 or 5 of the Natives, who took to the Woods as we approached the Shore; which disappointed us in the expectation we had of getting a near View of them, if not to speak to them. But our disappointment was heightened when we found that we no where could effect a landing by reason of the great Surf which beat everywhere upon the shore. We saw haul'd up upon the beach 3 or 4 small Canoes, which to us appeared not much unlike the Small ones of New Zeland. In the wood were several Trees of the Palm kind, and no under wood; and this was all we were able to observe from the boat, after which we return'd to the Ship about 5 in the evening.* (* The place where Cook attempted to land is near Bulli, a place where there is now considerable export of coal. A large coal port, Wollongong, lies a little to the southward.) At this time it fell Calm, and we were not above a Mile and a half from the Shore, in 11 fathoms, and within some breakers that lay to the Southward of us; but luckily a light breeze came off from the Land, which carried us out of danger, and with which we stood to the Northward. At daylight in the morning we discover'd a Bay,* (* Botany Bay.) which appeared to be tollerably well shelter'd from all winds, into which I resolved to go with the Ship, and with this View sent the Master in the Pinnace to sound the Entrance, while we keept turning up with the Ship, having the wind right out. At noon the Entrance bore North-North-West, distance 1 Mile.
28 April 1770

28. The land this morn appeard Cliffy and barren without wood. An opening appearing like a harbour was seen and we stood directly in for it. A small smoak arising from a very barren place directed our glasses that way and we soon saw about 10 people, who on our approach left the fire and retird to a little emminence where they could conveniently see the ship; soon after this two Canoes carrying 2 men each landed on the beach under them, the men hauld up their boats and went to their fellows upon the hill. Our boat which had been sent ahead to sound now aproachd the place and they all retird higher up on the hill; we saw however that at the beach or landing place one man at least was hid among some rocks who never that we could see left that place. Our boat proceeded along shore and the Indians followd her at a distance. When she came back the officer who was in her told me that in a cove a little within the harbour they came down to the beach and invited our people to land by many signs and word[s] which he did not at all understand; all however were armd with long pikes and a wooden weapon made something like a short scymetar.


A Family of New South Wales, by William Blake (engraver) from a sketch by Governor King, in Hunter 1793. (Australian Museum Research Library)

During this time a few of the Indians who had not followd the boat remaind on the rocks opposite the ship, threatning and menacing with their pikes and swords - two in particular who were painted with white, their faces seemingly only dusted over with it, their bodies painted with broad strokes drawn over their breasts and backs resembling much a soldiers cross belts, and their legs and thighs also with such like broad strokes drawn round them which imitated broad garters or bracelets. Each of these held in his hand a wooden weapon about 2_ feet long, in shape much resembling a scymeter; the blades of these lookd whitish and some though[t] shining insomuch that they were almost of opinion that they were made of some kind of metal, but myself thought they were no more than wood smeard over with the same white pigment with which they paint their bodies. These two seemd to talk earnestly together, at times brandishing their crooked weapons at us as in token of defiance. By noon we were within the mouth of the inlet which appeard to be very good. Under the South head of it were four small canoes; in each of these was one man who held in his hand a long pole with which he struck fish, venturing with his little imbarkation almost into the surf. These people seemd to be totaly engag'd in what they were about: the ship passd within a quarter of a mile of them and yet they scarce lifted their eyes from their employment; I was almost inclind to think that attentive to their business and deafned by the noise of the surf they neither saw nor heard her go past them. At 1 we came to an anchor abreast of a small village consisting of about 6 or 8 houses. Soon after this an old woman followd by three children came out of the wood; she carried several peice[s] of stick and the children also had their little burthens; when she came to the houses 3 more younger children came out of one of them to meet her. She often lookd at the ship but expressd neither surprize nor concern. Soon after this she lighted a fire and the four Canoes came in from fishing; the people landed, hauld up their boats and began to dress their dinner to all appearance totaly unmovd at us, tho we were within a little more than _ a mile of them. Of all these people we had seen so distinctly through our glasses we had not been able to observe the least signs of Cloathing: myself to the best of my judgement plainly discernd that the woman did not copy our mother Eve even in the fig leaf.

After dinner the boats were mann'd and we set out from the ship intending to land at the place where we saw these people, hoping that as they regarded the ships coming in to the bay so little they would as little regard our landing. We were in this however mistaken, for as soon as we aproachd the rocks two of the men came down upon them, each armd with a lance of about 10 feet long and a short stick which he seemd to handle as if it was a machine to throw the lance. They calld to us very loud in a harsh sounding Language of which neither us or Tupia understood a word, shaking their lances and menacing, in all appearance resolvd to dispute our landing to the utmost tho they were but two and we 30 or 40 at least. In this manner we parleyd with them for about a quarter of an hour, they waving to us to be gone, we again signing that we wanted water and that we meant them no harm. They remaind resolute so a musquet was fird over them, the Effect of which was that the Youngest of the two dropd a bundle of lances on the rock at the instant in which he heard the report; he however snatchd them up again and both renewd their threats and opposition. A Musquet loaded with small shot was now fird at the Eldest of the two who was about 40 yards from the boat; it struck him on the legs but he minded it very little so another was immediately fird at him; on this he ran up to the house about 100 yards distant and soon returnd with a sheild. In the mean time we had landed on the rock. He immediately threw a lance at us and the young man another which fell among the thickest of us but hurt nobody; 2 more musquets with small shot were then fird at them on which the Eldest threw one more lance and then ran away as did the other. We went up to the houses, in one of which we found the children hid behind the sheild and a peice of bark in one of the houses. We were conscious from the distance the people had been from us when we fird that the shot could have done them no material harm; we therefore resolvd to leave the children on the spot without even opening their shelter. We therefore threw into the house to them some beads, ribbands, cloths &c. as presents and went away. We however thought it no improper measure to take away with us all the lances which we could find about the houses, amounting in number to forty or fifty. They were of various lenghs, from 15 to 6 feet in lengh; both those which were thrown at us and all we found except one had 4 prongs headed with very sharp fish bones, which were besmeard with a greenish colourd gum that at first gave me some suspicions of Poison. The people were blacker than any we have seen in the Voyage tho by no means negroes; their beards were thick and bushy and they seemd to have a redundancy of hair upon those parts of the body where it commonly grows; the hair of their heads was bushy and thick but by no means wooley like that of a Negro; they were of a common size, lean and seemd active and nimble; their voices were coarse and strong. Upon examining the lances we had taken from them we found that the very most of them had been usd in striking fish, at least we concluded so from sea weed which was found stuck in among the four prongs. - Having taken the resolution before mentiond we returnd to the ship in order to get rid of our load of lances, and having done that went to that place at the mouth of the harbour where we had seen the people in the morn; here however we found nobody. - At night many moving lights were seen in different parts of the bay such as we had been usd to see at the Islands; from hence we supposd that the people here strike fish in the same manner.

[At Anchor, Botany Bay, New South Wales.]
29 April 1770, Sunday
 In the P.M. wind Southerly and Clear weather, with which we stood into the bay and Anchored under the South shore about 2 miles within the Entrance in 5 fathoms, the South point bearing South-East and the North point East. Saw, as we came in, on both points of the bay, several of the Natives and a few hutts; Men, Women, and Children on the South Shore abreast of the Ship, to which place I went in the Boats in hopes of speaking with them, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia. As we approached the Shore they all made off, except 2 Men, who seem'd resolved to oppose our landing. As soon as I saw this I order'd the boats to lay upon their Oars, in order to speak to them; but this was to little purpose, for neither us nor Tupia could understand one word they said. We then threw them some nails, beads, etc., a shore, which they took up, and seem'd not ill pleased with, in so much that I thought that they beckon'd to us to come ashore; but in this we were mistaken, for as soon as we put the boat in they again came to oppose us, upon which I fir'd a musquet between the 2, which had no other Effect than to make them retire back, where bundles of their darts lay, and one of them took up a stone and threw at us, which caused my firing a Second Musquet, load with small Shott; and altho' some of the shott struck the man, yet it had no other effect than making him lay hold on a Target. Immediately after this we landed, which we had no sooner done than they throw'd 2 darts at us; this obliged me to fire a third shott, soon after which they both made off, but not in such haste but what we might have taken one; but Mr. Banks being of Opinion that the darts were poisoned, made me cautious how I advanced into the Woods. We found here a few small hutts made of the Bark of Trees, in one of which were 4 or 5 Small Children, with whom we left some strings of beads, etc. A quantity of Darts lay about the Hutts; these we took away with us. 3 Canoes lay upon the beach, the worst I think I ever saw; they were about 12 or 14 feet long, made of one piece of the Bark of a Tree, drawn or tied up at each end, and the middle keept open by means of pieces of Stick by way of Thwarts. After searching for fresh water without success, except a little in a Small hole dug in the Sand, we embarqued, and went over to the North point of the bay, where in coming in we saw several people; but when we landed now there were nobody to be seen. We found here some fresh Water, which came trinkling down and stood in pools among the rocks; but as this was troublesome to come at I sent a party of men ashore in the morning to the place where we first landed to dig holes in the sand, by which means and a Small stream they found fresh Water sufficient to Water the Ship. The String of Beads, etc., we had left with the Children last night were found laying in the Hutts this morning; probably the Natives were afraid to take them away. After breakfast we sent some Empty Casks a shore and a party of Men to cut wood, and I went myself in the Pinnace to sound and explore the Bay, in the doing of which I saw some of the Natives; but they all fled at my Approach. I landed in 2 places, one of which the people had but just left, as there were small fires and fresh Muscles broiling upon them; here likewise lay Vast heaps of the largest Oyster Shells I ever saw.
29 April 1770

29. The fires (fishing fires as we supposd) were seen during the greatest part of the night. In the morn we went ashore at the houses, but found not the least good effect from our present yesterday: No signs of people were to be seen; in the house in which the children were yesterday was left every individual thing which we had thrown to them; Dr Solander and myself went a little way into the woods and found many plants, but saw nothing like people. At noon all hands came on board to dinner. The Indians, about 12 in number, as soon as they saw our boat put off Came down to the houses. Close by these was our watering place at which stood our cask: they lookd at them but did not touch them, their business was merely to take away two of four boats which they had left at the houses; this they did, and hauld the other two above high water mark, and then went away as they came. In the Evening 15 of them armd came towards our waterers; they sent two before the rest, our people did the same; they however did not wait for a meeting but gently retird. Our boat was about this time loaded so every body went off in her, and at the same time the Indians went away. Myself with the Captn &c were in a sandy cove on the Northern side of the harbour, where we hauld the seine and caught many very fine fish, more than all hands could Eat.

30 April 1770
As Soon as the Wooders and Waterers were come on board to Dinner 10 or 12 of the Natives came to the watering place, and took away their Canoes that lay there, but did not offer to touch any one of our Casks that had been left ashore; and in the afternoon 16 or 18 of them came boldly up to within 100 yards of our people at the watering place, and there made a stand. Mr. Hicks, who was the Officer ashore, did all in his power to intice them to him by offering them presents; but it was to no purpose, all they seem'd to want was for us to be gone. After staying a Short time they went away. They were all Arm'd with Darts and wooden Swords; the darts have each 4 prongs, and pointed with fish bones. Those we have seen seem to be intended more for striking fish than offensive Weapons; neither are they poisoned, as we at first thought. After I had return'd from sounding the Bay I went over to a Cove on the North side of the Bay, where, in 3 or 4 Hauls with the Sean, we caught about 300 pounds weight of Fish, which I caused to be equally divided among the Ship's Company. In the A.M. I went in the Pinnace to sound and explore the North side of the bay, where I neither met with inhabitants or anything remarkable. Mr. Green took the Sun's Meridian Altitude a little within the South Entrance of the Bay, which gave the Latitude 34 degrees 0 minutes South.
30 April 1770

30. Before day break this morn the Indians were at the houses abreast of the Ship: they were heard to shout much. At su[n]rise they were seen walking away along the beach; we saw them go into the woods where they lighted fires about a mile from us. Our people went ashore as usual, Dr Solander and myself into the woods. The grass cutters were farthest from the body of the people: towards them came 14 or 15 Indians having in their hands sticks that shone (sayd the Sergeant of marines) like a musquet. The officer on seeing them gatherd his people together: the hay cutters coming to the main body appeard like a flight so the Indians pursued them, however but a very short way, for they never came nearer than just to shout to each other, maybe a furlong. At night they came again in the same manner and acted over again the same half pursuit. Myself in the Even landed on a small Island on the Northern side of the bay to search for shells; in going I saw six Indians on the main who shouted to us but ran away into the woods before the boat was within half a mile of them, although she did not even go towards them.

1 May 1770
 Gentle breezes, Northerly. In the P.M. 10 of the Natives again visited the Watering place. I, being on board at this time, went immediately ashore, but before I got there they were going away. I follow'd them alone and unarm'd some distance along shore, but they would not stop until they got farther off than I choose to trust myself. These were armed in the same manner as those that came Yesterday. In the evening I sent some hands to haul the Saine, but they caught but a very few fish. A little after sunrise I found the Variation to be 11 degrees 3 minutes East. Last night Forby Sutherland, Seaman, departed this Life, and in the A.M. his body Was buried ashore at the watering place, which occasioned my calling the south point of this bay after his name. This morning a party of us went ashore to some Hutts, not far from the Watering place, where some of the Natives are daily seen; here we left several articles, such as Cloth, Looking Glasses, Coombs, Beads, Nails, etc.; after this we made an Excursion into the Country, which we found diversified with Woods, Lawns, and Marshes. The woods are free from underwood of every kind, and the trees are at such a distance from one another that the whole Country, or at least great part of it, might be Cultivated without being obliged to cut down a single tree. We found the Soil every where, except in the Marshes, to be a light white sand, and produceth a quantity of good Grass, which grows in little Tufts about as big as one can hold in one's hand, and pretty close to one another; in this manner the Surface of the Ground is Coated. In the woods between the Trees Dr. Solander had a bare sight of a Small Animal something like a Rabbit, and we found the Dung of an Animal* (* This was the kangaroo.) which must feed upon Grass, and which, we judge, could not be less than a Deer; we also saw the Track of a Dog, or some such like Animal. We met with some Hutts and places where the Natives had been, and at our first setting out one of them was seen; the others, I suppose, had fled upon our Approach. I saw some Trees that had been cut down by the Natives with some sort of a Blunt instrument, and several Trees that were barqued, the bark of which had been cut by the same instrument; in many of the Trees, especially the Palms, were cut steps of about 3 or 4 feet asunder for the conveniency of Climbing them. We found 2 Sorts of Gum, one sort of which is like Gum Dragon, and is the same, I suppose, Tasman took for Gum lac; it is extracted from the largest tree in the Woods.
1 May 1770

1. The Captn Dr Solander, myself and some of the people, making in all 10 musquets, resolvd to make an excursion into the countrey. We accordingly did so and walkd till we compleatly tird ourselves, which was in the evening, seeing by the way only one Indian who ran from us as soon as he saw us. The Soil wherever we saw it consisted of either swamps or light sandy soil on which grew very few species of trees, one which was large yeilding a gum much like sanguis draconis, but every place was coverd with vast quantities of grass. We saw many Indian houses and places where they had slept upon the grass without the least shelter; in these we left beads ribbands &c. We saw one quadruped about the size of a Rabbit, My Greyhound just got sight of him and instantly lamd himself against a stump which lay conceald in the long grass; we saw also the dung of a large animal that had fed on grass which much resembled that of a Stag; also the footsteps of an animal clawd like a dog or wolf and as large as the latter; and of a small animal whose feet were like those of a polecat or weesel. The trees over our heads abounded very much with Loryquets and Cocatoos of which we shot several; both these sorts flew in flocks of several scores together.

Our second Leutenant went in a boat drudging: after he had done he landed and sent the boat away, keeping with him a midshipman with whoom he set out in order to walk to the Waterers. In his Way he was overtaken by 22 Indians who followd him often within 20 yards, parleying but never daring to attack him tho they were all armd with Lances. After they had joind our people 3 or 4 more curious perhaps than prudent, went again towards these Indians who remaind about _ a mile from our watering place. When they came pretty near them they pretended to be afraid and ran from them; four of the Indians on this immediately threw their lances which went beyond our people, and by their account were thrown about 40 yards; on this they stoppd and began to collect the lances, on which the Indians retird slowly. At this time the Captn Dr Solander and myself came to the waterers; we went immediately towards the Indians; they went fast away, the Captn Dr Solander and Tupia went towards them and every one else stayd behind; this however did not stop the Indians who walkd leasurely away till our people were tird of following them. The accounts of every one who saw the Indians near today was exactly Consonant with what had been obse[r]vd on the first day of our landing: they were black but not negroes, hairy, naked &c. just as we had seen them.

2 May 1770
 Between 3 and 4 in the P.M. we return'd out of the Country, and after Dinner went ashore to the watering place, where we had not been long before 17 or 18 of the Natives appeared in sight. In the morning I had sent Mr. Gore, with a boat, up to the head of the Bay to drudge for Oysters; in his return to the Ship he and another person came by land, and met with these people, who followed him at the Distance of 10 or 20 Yards. Whenever Mr. Gore made a stand and faced them they stood also, and notwithstanding they were all Arm'd, they never offer'd to Attack him; but after he had parted from them, and they were met by Dr. Monkhouse and one or 2 more, who, upon making a Sham retreat, they throw'd 3 darts after them, after which they began to retire. Dr. Solander, I, and Tupia made all the haste we could after them, but could not, either by words or Actions, prevail upon them to come near us, Mr. Gore saw some up the Bay, who by signs invited him ashore, which he prudently declined. In the A.M. had the wind in the South-East with rain, which prevented me from making an Excursion up the head of the bay as I intended.
2 May 1770

2. The morn was rainy and we who had got already so many plants were well contented to find an excuse for staying on board to examine them a little at least. In the afternoon however it cleard up and we returnd to our old occupation of collecting, in which we had our usual good success. Tupia who strayd from us in pursuit of Parrots, of which he shot several, told us on his return that he had seen nine Indians who ran from him as soon as they perceivd him.

3 May 1770
Winds at South-East, a Gentle breeze and fair weather. In the P.M. I made a little excursion along the Sea Coast to the Southward, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. At our first entering the woods we saw 3 of the Natives, who made off as soon as they saw us; more of them were seen by others of our people, who likewise made off as soon as they found they were discover'd. In the A.M. I went in the Pinnace to the head of the bay, accompanied by Drs. Solander and Monkhouse, in order to Examine the Country, and to try to form some Connections with the Natives. In our way thither we met with 10 or 12 of them fishing, each in a Small Canoe, who retir'd into Shoald water upon our approach. Others again we saw at the first place we landed at, who took to their Canoes, and fled before we came near them; after this we took Water, and went almost to the head of the inlet, were we landed and Travel'd some distance in land. We found the face of the Country much the same as I have before described, but the land much richer for instead of sand I found in many places a deep black soil, which we thought was Capable of producing any kind of grain. At present it produceth, besides Timber, as fine Meadow as ever was seen; however, we found it not all like this, some few places were very rocky, but this, I believe, to be uncommon. The stone is sandy, and very proper for building, etc. After we had sufficiently examin'd this part we return'd to the Boat, and seeing some Smoke and Canoes at another part we went thither, in hopes of meeting with the people, but they made off as we approached. There were 6 Canoes and 6 small fires near the Shore, and Muscles roasting upon them, and a few Oysters laying near; from this we conjectured that there had been just 6 people, who had been out each in his Canoe picking up the Shell fish, and come a Shore to eat them, where each had made his fire to dress them by. We tasted of their Cheer, and left them in return Strings of beads, etc. The day being now far spent, we set out on our return to the Ship.
3 May 1770

3. Our collection of Plants was now grown so immensly large that it was necessary that some extrordinary care should be taken of them least they should spoil in the books. I therefore devoted this day to that business and carried all the drying paper, near 200 Quires of which the larger part was full, ashore and spreading them upon a sail in the sun kept them in this manner exposd the whole day, often turning them and sometimes turning the Quires in which were plants inside out. By this means they came on board at night in very good condition. During the time this was doing 11 Canoes, in each of which was one Indian, came towards us. We soon saw that the people in them were employd in striking fish; they came within about _ a mile of us intent on their own employments and not at all regarding us. Opposite the place where they were several of our people were shooting; one Indian may be prompted by curiosity landed, hauld up his canoe and went towards them; he stayd about a quarter of an hour and then launchd his boat and went off, probably that time had been spent in watching behind trees to see what our people did. I could not find however that he was seen by any body. - When the damp of the Even made it necessary to send my Plants and books on board I made a small excursion in order to shoot any thing I could meet with and found a large quantity of Quails, much resembling our English ones, of which I might have killd as many almost as I pleasd had I given my time up to it, but my business was to kill variety and not too many individuals of any one species. - The Captn and Dr Solander employd the day in going in the pinnace into various parts of the harbour. They saw fires at several places and people who all ran away at their approach with the greatest precipitation, leaving behind the shell fish which they were cooking; of this our gentlemen took the advantage, eating what they found and leaving beads ribbands &c in return. They found also several trees which bore fruit of the Jambosa== kind, much in colour and shape resembling cherries; of these they eat plentifully and brought home also abundance, which we eat with much pleasure tho they had little to recommend them but a light acid.

4 May 1770
Winds northerly, serene weather. Upon my return to the Ship in the evening I found that none of the Natives had Appear'd near the Watering place, but about 20 of them had been fishing in their Canoes at no great distance from us. In the A.M., as the Wind would not permit us to sail, I sent out some parties into the Country to try to form some Connections with the Natives. One of the Midshipmen met with a very old man and Woman and 2 Small Children; they were Close to the Water side, where several more were in their Canoes gathering of Shell fish, and he, being alone, was afraid to make any stay with the 2 old People least he should be discovr'd by those in the Canoes. He gave them a bird he had Shott, which they would not Touch; neither did they speak one word, but seem'd to be much frightned. They were quite Naked; even the Woman had nothing to cover her nudities. Dr. Monkhouse and another Man being in the Woods, not far from the watering place, discover'd 6 more of the Natives, who at first seem'd to wait his coming; but as he was going up to them he had a dart thrown at him out of a Tree, which narrowly escaped him. As soon as the fellow had thrown the dart he descended the Tree and made off, and with him all the rest, and these were all that were met with in the Course of this day.
4 May 1770

4. Myself in the woods botanizing as usual, now quite void of fear as our neighbours have turnd out such rank cowards. One of our midshipmen stragling by himself a long way from any one else met by accident with a very old man and woman and some children: they were setting under a tree and neither party saw the other till they were close together. They shewd signs of fear but did not attempt to run away. He had nothing about him to give to them but some Parrots which he had shot: these they refusd, withdrawing themselves from his hand when he offerd them in token either of extreme fear or disgust. The people were very old and grey headed, the children young. The hair of the man was bushy about his head, his beard long and rough, the womans was crop'd short round her head; they were very dark colourd but not black nor was their hair wooley. He stayd however with them but a very short time, for seing many canoes fishing at a small distance he feard that the people in them might observe him and come ashore to the assistance of the old people, who in all probability belongd to them. 17 Canoes came fishing near our people in the same manner as yesterday only stayd rather longer, emboldend a little I suppose by having yesterday met with no kind of molestation. Myself in the afternoon ashore on the NW side of the bay, where we went a good way into the countrey which in this place is very sandy and resembles something our Moors in England, as no trees grow upon it but every thing is coverd with a thin brush of plants about as high as the knees. The hills are low and rise one above another a long way into the countrey by a very gradual ascent, appearing in every respect like those we were upon. While we were employd in this walk the people hawld the Seine upon a sandy beach and caught great plenty of small fish. On our return to the ship we found also that our 2nd lieutenant who had gone out striking had met with great success: he had observd that the large sting rays of which there are abundance in the bay followd the flowing tide into very shallow water; he therefore took the opportunity of flood and struck several in not more than 2 or 3 feet water; one that was larger than the rest weigh'd when his gutts were taken out 239 pounds. Our surgeon, who had strayd a long way from the people with one man in his company, in coming out of a thicket observd 6 Indians standing about 50 yards from him; one of these gave a signal by a word pronouncd loud, on which a lance was thrown out of the wood at him which however came not very near him. The 6 Indians on seeing that it had not taken effect ran away in an instant, but on turning about towards the place from whence the lance came he saw a young lad, who undoubtedly had thrown it, come down from a tree where he had been Stationd probably for that purpose; he descended however and ran away so quick that it was impossible even to atempt to pursue him.

5 May 1770
In the P.M. I went with a party of Men over to the North Shore, and while some hands were hauling the Sean, a party of us made an Excursion of 3 or 4 Miles into the Country, or rather along the Sea Coast. We met with nothing remarkable; great part of the Country for some distance inland from the Sea Coast is mostly a barren heath, diversified with Marshes and Morasses. Upon our return to the Boat we found they had caught a great number of small fish, which the sailors call leather Jackets on account of their having a very thick skin; they are known in the West Indies. I had sent the Yawl in the morning to fish for Sting rays, who returned in the Evening with upwards of four hundred weight; one single one weigh'd 240 pounds Exclusive of the entrails. In the A.M., as the wind Continued Northerly, I sent the Yawl again a fishing, and I went with a party of Men into the Country, but met with nothing extraordinary.
5 May 1770
5. As tomorrow was fixd for our sailing Dr Solander and myself were employd the whole day in collecting specimens of as many things as we possibly could to be examind at sea. The day was calm and the Mosquetos of which we have always had some more than usualy troublesome. No Indians were seen by any body during the whole day. The 2nd Lieutenant went out striking and took several large Stingrays the biggest of which weighd without his gutts 336 pounds.
[Description of Botany Bay, New South Wales.]
6 May 1770, Sunday
In the evening the Yawl return'd from fishing, having Caught 2 Sting rays weighing near 600 pounds. The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the Name of Botany Bay.* (* The Bay was at first called Stingray Bay. The plan of it at the Admiralty is called by this name, and none of the logs know Botany Bay. It seems probable that Cook finally settled on the name after the ship left, and when Banks had had time to examine his collections. A monument was erected in 1870 near the spot, on the southern side, where Cook first landed. Botany Bay was intended to be the site where the first settlement of convicts should be made, but on the arrival of Captain Phillip, on January 18th, 1788, he found it so unsuited for the number of his colony that he started in a boat to examine Broken Bay. On his way he went into Port Jackson, and immediately decided on settling there. On the 25th and 26th the ships went round, and Sydney was founded.) It is situated in the Latitude of 34 degrees 0 minutes South, Longitude 208 degrees 37 minutes West. It is capacious, safe, and Commodious; it may be known by the land on the Sea Coast, which is of a pretty even and moderate height, Rather higher than it is inland, with steep rocky Clifts next the Sea, and looks like a long Island lying close under the Shore. The Entrance of the Bay lies about the Middle of this land. In coming from the Southward it is discover'd before you are abreast of it, which you cannot do in coming from the Northward; the entrance is little more than a Quarter of a Mile broad, and lies in West-North-West. To sail into it keep the South shore on board until within a small bare Island, which lies close under the North Shore. Being within that Island the deepest of Water is on that side, 7, 6 and 5 fathoms a good way up; there is Shoald Water a good way off from the South Shore--from the inner South Point quite to the head of the harbour; but over towards the North and North-West Shore is a Channell of 12 or 14 feet at low Water, 3 or 4 Leagues up, to a place where there is 3 or 4 fathoms; but there I found very little fresh Water. We Anchor'd near the South Shore about a Mile within the Entrance for the Conveniency of Sailing with a Southerly wind and the getting of Fresh Water; but I afterwards found a very fine stream of fresh Water on the North shore in the first sandy Cove within the Island, before which the Ship might lay almost land locked, and wood for fuel may be got everywhere. Although wood is here in great plenty, yet there is very little Variety; the bigest trees are as large or larger than our Oaks in England, and grows a good deal like them, and Yields a reddish Gum; the wood itself is heavy, hard, and black like Lignum Vitae. Another sort that grows tall and Strait something like Pines--the wood of this is hard and Ponderous, and something of the Nature of America live Oak. These 2 are all the Timber trees I met with; there are a few sorts of Shrubs and several Palm Trees and Mangroves about the Head of the Harbour. The Country is woody, low, and flat as far in as we could see, and I believe that the Soil is in general sandy. In the Wood are a variety of very beautiful birds, such as Cocatoos, Lorryquets, Parrots, etc., and crows Exactly like those we have in England. Water fowl is no less plenty about the head of the Harbour, where there is large flats of sand and Mud, on which they seek their food; the most of these were unknown to us, one sort especially, which was black and white, and as large as a Goose, but most like a Pelican.* (* Most probably the Black and White or Semipalmated Goose, now exterminated in these parts.) On the sand and Mud banks are Oysters, Muscles, Cockles, etc., which I believe are the Chief support of the inhabitants, who go into Shoald Water with their little Canoes and peck them out of the sand and Mud with their hands, and sometimes roast and Eat them in the Canoe, having often a fire for that purpose, as I suppose, for I know no other it can be for. The Natives do not appear to be numerous, neither do they seem to live in large bodies, but dispers'd in small parties along by the Water side. Those I saw were about as tall as Europeans, of a very dark brown Colour, but not black, nor had they woolly, frizled hair, but black and lank like ours. No sort of Cloathing or Ornaments were ever seen by any of us upon any one of them, or in or about any of their Hutts; from which I conclude that they never wear any. Some that we saw had their faces and bodies painted with a sort of White Paint or Pigment. Altho' I have said that shell fish is their Chief support, yet they catch other sorts of fish, some of which we found roasting on the fire the first time we landed; some of these they strike with Gigs,* (* A fishing implement like a trident.) and others they catch with hook and line; we have seen them strike fish with gigs, and hooks and lines are found in their Hutts. Sting rays, I believe, they do not eat, because I never saw the least remains of one near any of their Hutts or fire places. However, we could know but very little of their Customs, as we never were able to form any Connections with them; they had not so much as touch'd the things we had left in their Hutts on purpose for them to take away. During our stay in this Harbour I caused the English Colours to be display'd ashore every day, and an inscription to be cut out upon one of the Trees near the Watering place, setting forth the Ship's Name, Date, etc. [Off Port Jackson, New South Wales.]Having seen everything this place afforded, we, at daylight in the morning, weigh'd with a light breeze at North-West, and put to Sea, and the wind soon after coming to the Southward we steer'd along shore North-North-East, and at Noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 33 degrees 50 minutes South, about 2 or 3 Miles from the Land, and abreast of a Bay, wherein there appear'd to be safe Anchorage, which I called Port Jackson.* (* Cook having completed his water at Botany Bay, and having many hundreds of miles of coast before him, did not examine Port Jackson, the magnificent harbour in which Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, now lies. His chart gives the shape of what he could see very accurately, but the main arm of the harbour is hidden from the sea. He named the bay after Mr. (afterwards Sir George) Jackson, one of the Secretaries of the Admiralty. This fact is recorded on a tablet in the Bishop Stortford Church to the memory of Sir George Duckett, which name Sir George had assumed in later years. This interesting evidence was brought to light by Sir Alfred Stephen, Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales, and puts an end to the legend which was long current, that Port Jackson was named after a sailor who first saw it. There was, moreover, no person of the name of Jackson on board.) It lies 3 leagues to the Northward of Botany Bay. I had almost forgot to mention that it is high water in this Bay at the full and change of the Moon about 8 o'Clock, and rises and falls upon a Perpendicular about 4 or 5 feet.
6 May 1770

6. Went to sea this morn with a fair breeze of wind. The land we saild past during the whole forenoon appeard broken and likely for harbours; in the afternoon again woody and very pleasant. We dind to day upon the sting-ray and his tripe: the fish itself was not quite so good as a scate nor was it much inferior, the tripe every body thought excellent. We had with it a dish of the leaves of tetragonia cornuta boild, which eat as well as spinage or very near it.

on Aborigines
From what I have said of the Natives of New Holland they may appear to some to be the most wretched People upon Earth; but in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans, being wholy unacquainted not only with the Superfluous, but with the necessary Conveniences so much sought after in Europe; they are happy in not knowing the use of them. They live in a Tranquility which is not disturbed by the Inequality of Condition. The earth and Sea of their own accord furnishes them with all things necessary for Life. They covet not Magnificient Houses, Household-stuff, etc.; they live in a Warm and fine Climate, and enjoy every wholesome Air, so that they have very little need of Cloathing; and this they seem to be fully sencible of, for many to whom we gave Cloth, etc., left it carelessly upon the Sea beach and in the Woods, as a thing they had no manner of use for; in short, they seem'd to set no Value upon anything we gave them, nor would they ever part with anything of their own for any one Article we could offer them. This, in my opinion, Argues that they think themselves provided with all the necessarys of Life, and that they have no Superfluities.* (* W. Wharton: The native Australians may be happy in their condition, but they are without doubt among the lowest of mankind. Confirmed cannibals, they lose no opportunity of gratifying their love of human flesh. Mothers will kill and eat their own children, and the women again are often mercilessly illtreated by their lords and masters. There are no chiefs, and the land is divided into sections, occupied by families, who consider everything in their district as their own. Internecine war exists between the different tribes, which are very small. Their treachery, which is unsurpassed, is simply an outcome of their savage ideas, and in their eyes is a form of independence which resents any intrusion on THEIR land, THEIR wild animals, and THEIR rights generally. In their untutored state they therefore consider that any method of getting rid of the invader is proper. Both sexes, as Cook observed, are absolutely nude, and lead a wandering life, with no fixed abode, subsisting on roots, fruits, and such living things as they can catch. Nevertheless, although treated by the coarser order of colonists as wild beasts to be extirpated, those who have studied them have formed favourable opinions of their intelligence. The more savage side of their disposition being, however, so very apparent, it is not astonishing that, brought into contact with white settlers, who equally consider that they have a right to settle, the aborigines are rapidly disappearing.)
Banks on Aborigines

…it seems high time to take leave of New Holland, which I shall do by summing up together the few observations I have been able to make on the countrey and people. I much wishd indeed to have had better opportunities of seeing and observing the people, as they differ so much from the account that Dampier (the only man I know of who has seen them besides us) has given of them. He indeed saw them on a part of the coast very distant from where we were and consequently the people might be different; but I should rather conclude them to be the same, chiefly from having observd an universal conformity in such of their customs as came under my observation in the several places we landed upon during the run of 00 leagues along the coast. Dampier in general seems to be a faithfull relater, but in the voyage in which he touchd on the coast of New Holland he was in a ship of Pyrates, possibly himself not a little tainted by their idle examples: he might have kept no written Journal of any thing more than the navigation of the ship and when upon coming home he was sollicited to publish an account of his vogage have referrd to his memory for many particulars relating to people &c. These Indians when coverd with their filth which I beleive they never wash of are, if not coal black, very near it: as negroes then he might well esteem them and add the wooly hair and want of two fore teeth in consequence of the similitude in complexion between these and the natives of Africa; but from whatever cause it might arise, certain it is that Dampier either was mistaken very much in his account or else that he saw a very different race of people from those we have seen.

This immense tract of Land, the largest known which does not bear the name of a continent, as it is considerably larger than all Europe, is thinly inhabited even to admiration, at least that part of it that we saw: we never but once saw so many as thirty Indians together and that was a family, Men women and children, assembled upon a rock to see the ship pass by. At Sting-Rays bay where they evidently came down to fight us several times they never could muster above 14 or 15 fighting men, indeed in other places they generaly ran away from us, from whence it might be concluded that there were greater numbers than we saw, but their houses and sheds in the woods which we never faild to find convincd us of the smallness of their parties. We saw indeed only the sea coast: what the immense tract of inland countrey may produce is to us totaly unknown: we may have liberty to conjecture however that they are totaly uninhabited. The Sea has I beleive been universaly found to be the cheif source of supplys to Indians ignorant of the arts of cultivation: the wild produce of the Land alone seems scarce able to support them at all seasons, at least I do not remember to have read of any inland nation who did not cultivate the ground more or less, even the North Americans who were so well versd in hunting sowd their Maize. But should a people live inland who supported themselves by cultivation these inhabitants of the sea coast must certainly have learn’d to imitate them in some degree at least, otherwise their reason must be supposd to hold a rank little superior to that of monkies.

Whatever may be the reason of this want of People is dificult to guess, unless perhaps the Barreness of the Soil and scarcity of fresh water; but why mankind should not increase here as fast as in other places unless their small tribes have frequent wars in which many are destroyd; they were generaly furnishd with plenty of weapons whose points of the stings of Sting-Rays seemd intended against nothing but their own species, from whence such an inference might easily be drawn.

That their customs were nearly the same throughout the whole lengh of the coast along which we saild I should think very probable. Tho we had Connections with them only at one place yet we saw them either with our eyes or glasses many times, and at Sting Rays bay, had some experience of their manners; their Colour, arms, method of using them, were the same as we afterwards had a nearer view of; they likewise in the same manner went naked, and painted themselves, their houses were the same, they notchd large trees in the same manner and even the bags they carried their furniture in were of exactly the same manufacture, something between netting and Knitting which I have no where else seen in the intermediate places. Our glasses might deceive us in many things but their colour and want of cloths we certainly did see and wherever we came ashore the houses and sheds, places where they had dressd victuals with heated stones, and trees notched for the convenience of climbing them sufficiently evincd them to be the same people.

The men were remarkably short and slender built in proportion; the tallest we measurd was 5 feet 9, the shortest 5-2; their medium hight seemd to be about five feet six, as the tall man appeard more disproportioned in size from his fellows than the short one. What their absolute colour is is difficult to say, they were so compleatly coverd with dirt, which seemd to have stuck to their hides from the day of their birth without their once having attemptd to remove it; I tryd indeed by spitting upon my finger and rubbing but alterd the colour very little, which as nearly as might be resembled that of Chocolate. The beards of several were bushy and thick; their hair which as well as their beards was black they wore cropped close round their ears; in some it was lank as a Europeans, in others a little crispd as is common in the South sea Islands but in none of them at all resembling the wool of Negroes. As for colour they would undoubtedly be calld blacks by any one not usd to consider attentively the colours of different Nations; myself should never have thought of such distinctions had I not seen the effect of Sun and wind upon the natives of the South sea Islands, where many of the Better sort of people who keep themselves close at home are nearly as white as Europeans, while the poorer sort, obligd in their business of fishing &c. to expose their naked bodies to all the inclemencies of the Climate, have some among them but little lighter than the New Hollanders. They were all to a man lean and clean limnd and seemd to be very light and active; their countenances were not without some expression tho I cannot charge them with much, their voices in general shrill and effeminate.

Of Cloths they had not the least part but naked as ever our general father was before his fall, they seemd no more conscious of their nakedness than if they had not been the children of Parents who eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Whether this want of what most nations look upon as absolutely necessary proceeds from idleness or want of invention is difficult to say; in the article of ornaments however, useless as they are, neither has the one hinderd them from contriving nor the other from making them. Of these the cheif and that on which they seem to set the greatest value is a bone about 5 or 6 inches in lengh and as thick as a mans finger, which they thrust into a hole bord through that part which divides the nostrils so that it sticks across their face making in the eyes of Europeans a most ludicrous appearance, tho no doubt they esteem even this as an addition to their beauty which they purchasd with hourly inconvenience

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