NARRATIVE OF THE VOYAGES ROUND THE WORLD, PERFORMED BY CAPTAIN JAMES COOK.
WITH AN ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE DURING THE PREVIOUS AND INTERVENING PERIODS.
A. KIPPIS, D.D., F.R.S., & S.A.
TO THE KING.
I esteem myself highly honoured in being permitted to dedicate and present my Narrative of the Life and Actions of Captain James Cook to your Majesty. It was owing to your Majesty's royal patronage and bounty, that this illustrious navigator was enabled to execute those vast undertakings, and to make those extraordinary discoveries, which have contributed so much to the reputation of the British empire, and have reflected such peculiar glory on your Majesty's reign. Without your Majesty's munificence and encouragement, the world would have remained destitute of that immense light which has been thrown on geography, navigation, and the most important sciences. To your Majesty, therefore, a work like the present is with particular propriety addressed.
It is impossible, on this occasion, to avoid extending my thoughts to the other noble instances in which your Majesty's liberal protection of science and literature has been displayed. Your Majesty began your reign in a career so glorious to princes: and wonderful has been the increase of knowledge and taste in this country. The improvements in philosophical science, and particularly in astronomy; the exertions of experimental and chemical inquiry, the advancement of natural history, the progress and perfection of the polite arts, and the valuable compositions that have been produced in every department of learning, have corresponded with your Majesty's gracious wishes and encouragement, and have rendered the name of Britain famous in every quarter of the globe. If there be any persons who, in these respects, would depreciate the present times, in comparison with those which have preceded them, it may safely be asserted, that such persons have not duly attended to the history of literature. The course of my studies has enabled me to speak with some confidence on the subject; and to say, that your majesty's reign is eminently distinguished by one of the greatest glories that can belong to a monarch.
Knowledge and virtue constitute the chief happiness of a nation: and it is devoutly to be wished that the virtue of this country were equal to its knowledge. If it be not so, this does not arise from the want of an illustrious example in the person of your Majesty, and that of your royal Consort. The pattern which is set by the King and Queen of Great Britain, of those qualities which are the truest ornaments and felicities of life, affords a strong incitement to the imitation of the same excellencies; and cannot fail of contributing to the more extensive prevalence of that moral conduct on which the welfare of society so greatly depends.
That your Majesty may possess every felicity in your royal Person and Family, and enjoy a long and prosperous reign, over an enlightened, a free, and a happy people, is the sincere and ardent prayer of,
SIR, Your Majesty's most faithful, and most obedient, subject and servant,
ANDREW KIPPIS. London, June 31, 1788.
Although I have often appeared before the public as a writer, I never did it with so much diffidence and anxiety as on the present occasion. This arises from the peculiar nature of the work in which I have now engaged. A Narrative of the Life and Actions of Captain Cook must principally consist of the voyages and discoveries he made, and the difficulties and dangers to which he was exposed. The private incidents concerning him, though collected with the utmost diligence, can never compare, either in number or importance, with his public transactions. His public transactions are the things that mark the man, that display his mind and his character; and, therefore they are the grand objects to which the attention of his biographer must be directed. However, the right conduct of this business is a point of no small difficulty and embarrassment. The question will frequently arise, How far the detail should be extended? There is a danger, on the one hand, of being carried to an undue length, and of enlarging, more than is needful, on facts which may be thought already sufficiently known; and, on the other hand, of giving such a jejune account, and such a slight enumeration of important events, as shall disappoint the wishes and expectations of the reader. Of the two extremes, the last seems to be that which should most be avoided; for, unless what Captain Cook performed, and what he encountered, be related somewhat at large, his Life and Actions would be imperfectly represented to the world. The proper medium appears to be, to bring forward the things in which he was personally concerned, and to pass slightly over other matters. Even here it is scarcely possible, nor would it be desirable, to avoid the introduction of some of the most striking circumstances which relate to the new countries and inhabitants that were visited by our great navigator, since these constitute a part of the knowledge and benefit derived from his undertakings. Whether I have been so happy as to preserve the due medium, I presume not to determine. I have been anxious to do it, without always being able fully to satisfy my own mind that I have succeeded; on which account I shall not be surprised if different opinions should be formed on the subject. In that case, all that I can offer in my own defence will be, that I have acted to the best of my judgment. At any rate I flatter myself with the hope of having presented to the public a work not wholly uninteresting or unentertaining. Those who are best acquainted with Captain Cook's expeditions, may be pleased with reviewing them in a more compendious form, and with having his actions placed in a closer point of view, in consequence of their being divested of the minute nautical, and other details, which were essentially necessary in the voyages at large. As to those persons, if there be any, who have hitherto obtained but an imperfect knowledge of what was done and discovered by this illustrious man, they will not be offended with the length of the following narrative.
In various respects, new information will be found in the present performance; and other things, which were less perfectly known before, are set in a clearer and fuller light. This, I trust, will appear in the first, third, fifth, and seventh chapters. It may be observed, likewise, that the fresh matter now communicated is of the most authentic kind, and derived from the most respectable sources. My obligations of this nature are, indeed, very great, and call for my warmest gratitude. The dates and facts relative to Captain Cook's different promotions are taken from the books of the Admiralty, by the directions of the noble lord who is at the head of that Board, and the favour of Mr. Stephens. I embrace with pleasure this opportunity of mentioning, that, in the course of my life, I have experienced, in several instances, Lord Howe's condescending and favourable attention. To Mr. Stephens I am indebted for other communications besides those which concern the times of Captain Cook's preferments, and for his general readiness in forwarding the design of the present work. The Earl of Sandwich, the great patron of our navigator, and the principal mover in his mighty undertakings, has honoured me with some important information concerning him, especially with regard to the circumstances which preceded his last voyage. To Sir Hugh Palliser's zeal for the memory of his friend I stand particularly obliged. From a large communication, with which he was so good as to favour me, I have derived very material intelligence, as will appear in the course of the narrative, and especially in the first chapter. In the same chapter are some facts which I received from Admiral Graves, through the hands of the Rev. Dr. Douglas, now Bishop of Carlisle (whose admirable Introduction to the Voyage to the Pacific Ocean must be of the most essential service to every writer of the Life of Captain Cook). The Captain's amiable and worthy Widow, who is held in just esteem by all his friends, has given me an account of several domestic circumstances. I should be deficient in gratitude, were I here to omit the name of Mr. Samwell: for though what is inserted from him in this work has already been laid before the public, it should be remembered, that through the interposition of our common friend, the Rev. Mr. Gregory, it was originally written for my use, and freely consigned to my disposal; and that it was at my particular instance and request that it was separately printed. My obligations to other gentlemen will be mentioned in their proper places.
But my acknowledgments are, above all, due to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, for the interest he has taken in the present publication. It was in consequence of his advice, that it was given to the world in the form which it now bears; and his assistance has been invariable through every part of the undertaking. To him the inspection of the whole has been submitted and to him it is owing, that the work is, in many respects, far more complete than it would otherwise have been. The exertions of zeal and friendship, I have been so happy as to experience from him in writing the account of Captain Cook, have corresponded with that ardour which Sir Joseph Banks is always ready to display in promoting whatever he judges to be subservient to the cause of science and literature.
CHAP. I. Account of Captain Cook previous to his first Voyage round the World
CHAP. II. Narrative of Captain Cook's first Voyage round the World in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771
CHAP. III. Account of Captain Cook during the Period between his first and second Voyage
CHAP. IV. Narrative of Captain Cook's second Voyage round the World in the years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775
CHAP. V. Account of Captain Cook during the Period between his second and third Voyage
CHAP. VI. Narrative of Captain Cook's third Voyage in the years 1776, 1777, 1778, and 1779, to the Period of his Death
CHAP. VII. Character of Captain Cook.—Effects of his Voyages.—Testimonies of Applause.—Commemorations of his Services.—Regard paid to his Family.—Conclusion
Account of Captain Cook, previous to his first Voyage round the World.
Captain James Cook had no claim to distinction on account of the lustre of his birth, or the dignity of his ancestors. His father, James Cook, who from his dialect is supposed to have been a Northumbrian, was in the humble station of a servant in husbandry, and married a woman of the same rank with himself, whose Christian name was Grace. Both of them were noted in their neighbourhood for their honesty, sobriety, and diligence. They first lived at a village called Morton, and then removed to Marton, another village in the North-riding of Yorkshire, situated in the high road from Gisborough, in Cleveland, to Stockton upon Tees, in the county of Durham, at the distance of six miles from each of these towns. At Morton, Captain Cook was born, on the 27th of October, 1728; and, agreeably to the custom of the vicar of the parish, whose practice it was to baptize infants soon after their birth, he was baptized on the 3rd of November following. He was one of nine children, all of whom are now dead, excepting a daughter, who married a fisherman at Redcar. The first rudiments of young Cook's education were received by him at Marton, where he was taught to read by dame Walker, the schoolmistress of the village. When he was eight years of age, his father, in consequence of the character he had obtained for industry, frugality, and skill in husbandry, had a little promotion bestowed upon him, which was that of being appointed head-servant, or hind, to a farm belonging to the late Thomas Skottow, Esq. called Airy Holme, near Great Ayton. To this place, therefore, he removed with his family; and his son James, at Mr. Skottow's expense, was put to a day-school in Ayton, where he was instructed in writing, and in a few of the first rules of arithmetic.
[Footnote 1: The mud house in which Captain Cook drew his first breath is pulled down, and no vestiges of it are now remaining.]
[Footnote 2: This is the name which, in that part of the country, is given to the head-servant, or bailiff, of a farm.]
[Footnote 3: Mr. Cook, senior, spent the close of his life with his daughter, at Redcar, and is supposed to have been about eighty-five years of age when he died.]
Before he was thirteen years of age, he was bound an apprentice to Mr. William Sanderson, a haberdasher, or shopkeeper, at Straiths, a considerable fishing town, about ten miles north of Whitby. This employment, however, was very unsuitable to young Cook's disposition. The sea was the object of his inclination; and his passion for it could not avoid being strengthened by the situation of the town in which he was placed, and the manner of life of the persons with whom he must frequently converse. Some disagreement having happened between him and his master, he obtained his discharge, and soon after bound himself for seven years to Messrs. John and Henry Walker, of Whitby, Quakers by religious profession, and principal owners of the ship Freelove, and of another vessel, both of which were constantly employed in the coal trade. The greatest part of his apprenticeship was spent on board the Freelove. After he was out of his time, he continued to serve in the coal and other branches of trade (though chiefly in the former) in the capacity of a common sailor; till, at length, he was raised to be mate of one of Mr. John Walker's ships. During this period it is not recollected that he exhibited anything very peculiar, either in his abilities or his conduct; though there can be no doubt but that he had gained a considerable degree of knowledge in the practical part of navigation, and that his attentive and sagacious mind was laying up a store of observations, which would be useful to him in future life.
In the spring of the year 1755, when hostilities broke out between England and France, and there was a hot press for seamen, Mr. Cook happened to be in the river Thames with the ship to which he belonged. At first he concealed himself, to avoid being pressed; but reflecting, that it might be difficult, notwithstanding all his vigilance, to elude discovery or escape pursuit, he determined, upon farther consideration, to enter voluntarily into his majesty's service, and to take his future fortune in the royal navy. Perhaps he had some presage in his own mind, that by his activity and exertions he might rise considerably above his present situation. Accordingly, he went to a rendezvous at Wapping, and entered with an officer of the Eagle man of war, a ship of sixty guns, at that time commanded by Captain Hamer. To this ship Captain (afterward Sir Hugh) Palliser was appointed, in the month of October, 1755; and when he took the command, found in her James Cook, whom he soon distinguished to be an able, active, and diligent seaman. All the officers spoke highly in his favour, and the Captain was so well pleased with his behaviour, that he gave him every encouragement which lay in his power.
In the course of some time, Captain Palliser received a letter from Mr. Osbaldeston, then member of Parliament for Scarborough, acquainting him that several neighbours of his had solicited him to write in favour of one Cook, on board the captain's ship. They had heard that Captain Palliser had taken notice of him, and they requested, if he thought Cook deserving of it, that he would point out in what manner Mr. Osbaldeston might best contribute his assistance towards forwarding the young man's promotion. The captain, in his reply, did justice to Cook's merit; but, as he had been only a short time in the navy, informed Mr. Osbaldeston that he could not be promoted as a commission officer. A master's warrant, Captain Palliser added, might perhaps be procured for Mr. Cook, by which he would be raised to a station that he was well qualified to discharge with ability and credit.
Such a warrant he obtained on the 10th of May, 1759, for the Grampus sloop; but the proper master having unexpectedly returned to her, the appointment did not take place. Four days after he was made master of the Garland; when, upon inquiry, it was found, that he could not join her, as the ship had already sailed. On the next day, the 15th of May, he was appointed to the Mercury. These quick and successive appointments shew that his interest was strong, and that the intention to serve him was real and effectual.
The destination of the Mercury was to North America, where she joined the fleet under the command of Sir Charles Saunders, which, in conjunction with the land forces under General Wolfe, was engaged in the famous siege of Quebec. During that siege, a difficult and dangerous service was necessary to be performed. This was to take the soundings in the channel of the river St. Lawrence, between the island of Orleans and the north shore, directly in the front of the French fortified camp at Montmorency and Beauport, in order to enable the admiral to place ships against the enemy's batteries, and to cover our army on a general attack, which the heroic Wolfe intended to make on the camp. Captain Palliser, in consequence of his acquaintance with Mr. Cook's sagacity and resolution, recommended him to the service; and he performed it in the most complete manner. In this business he was employed during the night-time, for several nights together. At length he was discovered by the enemy, who collected a great number of Indians and canoes, in a wood near the waterside, which were launched in the night, for the purpose of surrounding him, and cutting him off. On this occasion, he had a very narrow escape. He was obliged to run for it, and pushed on shore on the island of Orleans, near the guard of the English hospital. Some of the Indians entered at the stern of the boat, as Mr. Cook leaped out at the bow; and the boat, which was a barge belonging to one of the ships of war, was carried away in triumph. However, he furnished the admiral with as correct and complete a draught of the channel and soundings as could have been made after our countrymen were in possession of Quebec. Sir Hugh Palliser had good reason to believe, that before this time Mr. Cook had scarcely ever used a pencil, and that he knew nothing of drawing. But such was his capacity, that he speedily made himself master of every object to which he applied his attention.
Another important service was performed by Mr. Cook while the fleet continued in the river of St. Lawrence. The navigation of that river is exceedingly difficult and hazardous. It was particularly so to the English, who were then in a great measure strangers to this part of North America, and who had no chart, on the correctness of which they could depend. It was therefore ordered by the admiral, that Mr. Cook should be employed to survey those parts of the river, below Quebec, which navigators had experienced to be attended with peculiar difficulty and danger; and he executed the business with the same diligence and skill of which he had already afforded so happy a specimen. When he had finished the undertaking, his chart of the river St. Lawrence was published, with soundings, and directions for sailing in that river. Of the accuracy and utility of this chart, it is sufficient to say, that it hath never since been found necessary to publish any other. One, which has appeared in France, is only a copy of our author's, on a reduced scale.
After the expedition at Quebec, Mr. Cook, by warrant from Lord Colvill, was appointed, on the 22d of September, 1759, master of the Northumberland man of war, the ship in which his lordship staid, in the following winter, as commodore, with the command of a squadron at Halifax. In this station, Mr. Cook's behaviour did not fail to gain him the esteem and friendship of his commander. During the leisure, which the season of winter afforded him, he employed his time in the acquisition of such knowledge as eminently qualified him for future service. It was at Halifax that he first read Euclid, and applied himself to the study of astronomy and other branches of science. The books of which he had the assistance were few in number: but his industry enabled him to supply many defects, and to make a progress far superior to what could be expected from the advantages he enjoyed.
While Mr. Cook was master of the Northumberland under Lord Colvill, that ship came to Newfoundland in September, 1762, to assist in the recapture of the island from the French, by the forces under the command of Lieutenant-colonel Amherst. When the island was recovered, the English fleet staid some days at Placentia, in order to put it in a more complete state of defence. During this time Mr. Cook manifested a diligence in surveying the harbour and heights of the place, which arrested the notice of Captain (now Admiral) Graves, commander of the Antelope, and governor of Newfoundland. The governor was hence induced to ask Cook a variety of questions, from the answers to which he was led to entertain a very favourable opinion of his abilities. This opinion was increased, the more he saw of Mr. Cook's conduct; who, wherever they went, continued to display the most unremitting attention to every object that related to the knowledge of the coast, and was calculated to facilitate the practice of navigation. The esteem which Captain Graves had conceived for him was confirmed by the testimonies to his character, that were given by all the officers under whom he served.
In the latter end of 1762, Mr. Cook returned to England; and, on the 21st of December, in the same year married, at Barking in Essex, Miss Elizabeth Batts, an amiable and deserving woman, who was justly entitled to and enjoyed his tenderest regard and affection. But his station in life, and the high duties to which he was called, did not permit him to partake of matrimonial felicity, without many and very long interruptions.
Early in the year 1763, after the peace with France and Spain was concluded, it was determined that Captain Graves should go out again, as governor of Newfoundland As the country was very valuable in a commercial view, and had been an object of great contention between the English and the French, the captain obtained an establishment for the survey of its coasts; which, however, he procured with some difficulty, because the matter was not sufficiently understood by government at home. In considering the execution of the plan, Mr. Cook appeared to Captain Graves to be a proper person for the purpose; and proposals were made to him, to which, notwithstanding his recent marriage, he readily and prudently acceded. Accordingly, he went out with the Captain as surveyor; and was first employed to survey Miquelon and St. Pierre, which had been ceded by the treaty to the French, who, by order of administration, were to take possession of them at a certain period, even though the English commander should not happen to be arrived in the country. When Captain Graves had reached that part of the world, he found there the governor who had been sent from France (Mons. D'Anjac), with all the settlers and his own family, on board a frigate and some transports. It was contrived, however, to keep them in that disagreeable situation for a whole month, which was the time taken by Mr. Cook to complete his survey. When the business was finished, the French were put into possession of the two islands, and left in the quiet enjoyment of them, with every profession of civility.
At the end of the season, Mr. Cook returned to England, but did not long continue at home. In the beginning of the year 1764, his old and constant friend and patron, Sir Hugh Palliser, was appointed governor and commodore of Newfoundland and Labradore; upon which occasion he was glad to take Mr. Cook with him, in the same capacity that he had sustained under Captain Graves. Indeed, no man could have been found who was better qualified for finishing the design which had been begun in the preceding year. The charts of the coasts, in that part of North America were very erroneous; and it was highly necessary to the trade and navigation of his majesty's subjects, that new ones should be formed, which would be more correct and useful. Accordingly, under the orders of Commodore Palliser, Mr. Cook was appointed on the 18th of April, 1764, marine surveyor of Newfoundland and Labradore; and he had a vessel, the Grenville schooner, to attend him for that purpose. How well he executed his commission is known to every man acquainted with navigation. The charts which he afterward published of the different surveys he had made, reflected great credit on his abilities and character, and the utility of them is universally acknowledged. It is understood, that, so far as Newfoundland is concerned they were of considerable service to the king's ministers, in settling the terms of the last peace. Mr. Cook explored the inland parts of this island in a much completer manner than had ever been done before. By penetrating further into the middle of the country than any man had hitherto attempted, he discovered several large lakes, which are indicated upon the general chart. In these services Mr. Cook appears to have been employed, with the intervals of occasionally returning to England for the winter season, till the year 1767, which was the last time that he went out upon his station of marine surveyor of Newfoundland. It must not be omitted, that, while he occupied this post, he had an opportunity of exhibiting to the Royal Society a proof of his progress in the study of astronomy. A short paper was written by him, and inserted in the fifty-seventh volume of the Philosophical Transactions, entitled, 'An Observation of an Eclipse of the Sun at the Island of Newfoundland, August 5, 1766, with the Longitude of the place of Observation deduced from it.' The observation was made at one of the Burgeo islands, near Cape Ray, in latitude 47 36' 19", on the south-west extremity of Newfoundland. Mr. Cook's paper having been communicated by Dr. Bevis to Mr. Witchell, the latter gentleman compared it with an observation at Oxford, by the Rev. Mr. Hornsby, on the same eclipse, and thence computed the difference of longitude respecting the places of observation, making due allowance for the effect of parallax, and the prolate spheroidal figure of the earth. It appears from the Transactions that our navigator had already obtained the character of being an able mathematician.
Narrative of Captain Cook's first voyage round the world.
There is scarcely any thing from which the natural curiosity of man receives a higher gratification, than from the accounts of distant countries and nations. Nor is it curiosity only that is gratified by such accounts; for the sphere of human knowledge is hereby enlarged, and various objects are brought into view, an acquaintance with which greatly contributes to the improvement of life and the benefit of the world. With regard to information of this kind, the moderns have eminently the advantage over the ancients. The ancients could neither pursue their enquiries with the same accuracy, nor carry them on to the same extent. Travelling by land was much more inconvenient and dangerous than it hath been in later times; and, as navigation was principally confined to coasting, it must necessarily have been circumscribed within very narrow limits.
The invention of the compass, seconded by the ardent and enterprising spirit of several able men, was followed by wonderful discoveries. Vasco di Gama doubled the Cape of Good Hope; and a new way being thus found out to the East Indies, the countries to that part of the earth became more accurately and extensively known. Another world was discovered by Columbus; and, at length, Magalhaens accomplished the arduous and hitherto unattempted task of sailing round the globe. At different periods he was succeeded by other circumnavigators, of whom it is no part of the present narrative to give an account.
The spirit of discovery, which was so vigorous during the latter end of the fifteenth and through the whole of the sixteenth century, began, soon after the commencement of the seventeenth century, to decline. Great navigations were only occasionally undertaken, and more from the immediate views of avarice or war, than from any noble and generous principles. But of late years they have been revived, with the enlarged and benevolent design of promoting the happiness of the human species.
A beginning of this kind was made in the reign of George the Second, during which two voyages were performed; the first under the command of Captain Middleton, and the next under the direction of Captains Smith and More, in order to discover a northwest passage through Hudson's Bay. It was reserved, however, for the glory of the present reign to carry the spirit of discovery to its height, and to conduct it on the noblest principles; not for the purposes of covetuousness or ambition; not to plunder or destroy the inhabitants of newly-explored countries; but to improve their condition, to instruct them in the arts of life, and to extend the boundaries of science.
No sooner was peace restored, in 1763, than these laudable designs engaged his majesty's patronage; and two voyages round the world had been undertaken before Mr. Cook set out on his first command. The conductors of these voyages were the Captains Byron, Wallis, and Carteret, by whom several discoveries were made, which contributed, in no small degree, to increase the knowledge of geography and navigation. Nevertheless, as the purpose for which they were sent out appears to have had a principal reference to a particular object in the South Atlantic, the direct track they were obliged to hold, on their way homeward by the East Indies, prevented them from doing so much as might otherwise have been expected towards giving the world a complete view of that immense expanse of ocean, which the South Pacific comprehends.
[Footnote 4: The Captains Wallis and Carteret went out together upon the same expedition; but the vessels they commanded having accidentally parted company, they proceeded and returned by a different route. Hence their voyages are distinctly related by Dr. Hawkesworth.]
Before Captain Wallis and Captain Carteret had returned to Great Britain, another voyage was resolved upon, for which the improvement of astronomical science afforded the immediate occasion. It having been calculated by astronomers, that a transit of Venus over the Sun's disk would happen in 1769, it was judged that the best place for observing it would be in some part of the South Sea, either at the Marquesas, or at one of those islands which Tasman had called Amsterdam; Rotterdam, and Middleburg, and which are now better known under the appellation of the Friendly Islands. This being a matter of eminent consequence in astronomy, and which excited the attention of foreign nations as well as of our own, the affair was taken up by the Royal Society, with the zeal which has always been displayed by that learned body for the advancement of every branch of philosophical science. Accordingly, a long memorial was addressed to his majesty, dated February the 15th, 1768, representing the great importance of the object, together with the regard which had been paid to it by the principal courts of Europe; and entreating, among other things that a vessel might be ordered, at the expense of government, for the conveyance of suitable persons, to make the observation of the transit of Venus, at one of the places before mentioned. This memorial having been laid before the king by the Earl of Shelburne (now the Marquess of Lansdown), one of the principal secretaries of state; his majesty graciously signified his pleasure to the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, that they should provide a ship for carrying over such observers as the Royal Society should judge proper to send to the South Seas; and, on the 3rd of April, Mr. Stephens informed the society that a bark had been taken up for tire purpose.
The gentlemen who had originally been fixed upon to take the direction of the expedition, was Alexander Dalrymple, Esq. an eminent member of the Royal Society, and who, besides possessing an accurate knowledge of astronomy, had distinguished himself by his inquiries into the geography of the Southern Oceans, and by the collection he had published of several voyages to those parts of the world. Mr. Dalrymple being sensible of the difficulty, or rather of the impossibility, of carrying a ship through unknown seas, the crew of which were not subject to the military discipline of his majesty's navy, he made it the condition of his going, that he should have a brevet commission, as captain of the vessel, in the same manner as such a commission had been granted to Dr. Halley, in his voyage of discovery. To this demand Sir Edward Hawke, who was then at the head of the Admiralty, and who possessed more of the spirit of his profession than either of education or science, absolutely refused to accede. He said, at the board, that his conscience would not allow him to trust any ship of his majesty's to a person who had not regularly been bred a seaman. On being further pressed upon the subject, Sir Edward declared, that he would suffer his right hand to be cut off before he would sign any such commission. In this he was, in some degree, justified by the mutinous behaviour of Halley's crew, who refused to acknowledge the legal authority of their commander, and involved him in a dispute which was attended with pernicious consequences. Mr. Dalrymple, on the other hand, was equally steady in requiring a compliance with the terms he had proposed. Such was the state of things, when Mr. Stephens, secretary to the Admiralty, whose discrimination of the numerous characters, with which by his station he is conversant, reflects as much credit on his understanding, as his upright and able conduct does on the office he has filled for so many years, and under so many administrations, with honour to himself and advantage to the public, observed to the board, that since Sir Edward Hawke and Mr. Dalrymple were equally inflexible, no method remained but that of finding out another person capable of the service. He knew, he said, a Mr. Cook, who had been employed as marine surveyor of Newfoundland, who had been regularly educated in the navy, in which he was a master, and whom he judged to be fully qualified for the direction of the present undertaking. Mr. Stephens, at the same time, recommended it to the board, to take the opinion of Sir Hugh Palliser, who had lately been governor of Newfoundland, and was intimately acquainted with Cook's character. Sir Hugh rejoiced in the opportunity of serving his friend. He strengthened Mr. Stephen's recommendation to the utmost of his power; and added many things in Mr. Cook's favour, arising from the particular knowledge which he had of his abilities and merit. Accordingly, Mr. Cook was appointed to the command of the expedition by the lords of the Admiralty; and, on this occasion, he was promoted to the rank of a lieutenant in the royal navy, his commission bearing date on the 25th of May, 1768.
When the appointment had taken place, the first object was to provide a vessel adapted to the purposes of the voyage. This business was committed to Sir Hugh Palliser; who took Lieutenant Cook to his assistance, and they examined together a great number of the ships which then lay in the river Thames. At length they fixed upon one, of three hundred and seventy tons, to which was given the name of the Endeavour.
While preparations were making for Lieutenant Cook's expedition, Captain Wallis returned from his voyage round the world. The Earl of Morton, president of the Royal Society, had recommended it to this gentleman, on his going out, to fix upon a proper place for observing the transit of Venus. He kept, accordingly, the object in view: and having discovered, in the course of his enterprise, an island called by him George's Island, but which has since been found to bear the name of Otaheite, he judged that Port Royal harbour in this island would afford an eligible situation for the purpose. Having, immediately on his return to England, signified his opinion to the Earl of Morton, the captain's idea was adopted by the society, and an answer conformable to it was sent to the commissioners of the Admiralty, who had applied for directions to what place the observers, should be sent.
Mr. Charles Green, a gentleman who had long been assistant to Dr. Bradley at the royal observatory at Greenwich, was united by Lieutenant Cook in conducting the astronomical part of the voyage; and, soon after their appointment, they received ample instructions, from the council of the Royal Society, with regard to the method of carrying on their inquiries. The lieutenant was also accompanied by Joseph Banks, Esq. (now Sir Joseph Banks, Bart.) and Dr. Solander, who, in the prime of life, and the first of them at great expense to himself, quitted all the gratifications of polished society, and engaged in a very tedious, fatiguing, and hazardous navigation, with the laudable views of acquiring knowledge in general, of promoting natural knowledge in particular, and of contributing something to the improvement and the happiness of the rude inhabitants of the earth.
Though it was the principal, it was not the sole object of Lieutenant Cook's voyage to observe the transit of Venus. A more accurate examination of the Pacific Ocean was committed to him, although in subserviency to his main design; and, when his chief business was accomplished, he was directed to proceed in making farther discoveries in the great Southern Seas.
The complement of Lieutenant Cook's ship consisted of eighty-four persons besides the commander. Her victualling was for eighteen months; and there was put on board of her ten carriage and ten swivel guns, together with an ample store of ammunition and other necessaries.
On the 25th of May, 1768, Lieutenant Cook was appointed, by the lords of the Admiralty, to the command of the Endeavour, in consequence of which he went on board on the 27th, and took charge of the ship. She then lay in the bason in Deptford-yard, where she continued to lie till she was completely fitted for sea. On the 30th of July she sailed down the river, and on the 13th of August anchored in Plymouth Sound. The wind becoming fair on the 26th of that month, our navigators got under sail, and on the 13th of September anchored in Funchiale Road, in the island of Madeira.
While Lieutenant Cook and his company were in this island, they were treated with the utmost kindness and liberality by Mr. Cheap, the English consul there, and one of the most considerable merchants in the town of Funchiale. He insisted upon their taking possession of his house, and furnished them with every possible accommodation during their stay at Madeira. They received, likewise, great marks of attention and civility from Dr. Thomas Heberden, the principal physician of the island, and brother to the excellent and learned Dr. William Heberden of London. Dr. Thomas Heberden afforded all the assistance in his power to Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander in their botanical inquiries.
It was not solely from the English that the lieutenant and his friends experienced a kind reception. The fathers of the Franciscan convent displayed a liberality of sentiment towards them, which might not have been expected from Portuguese friars; and, in a visit which they paid to a convent of nuns, the ladies expressed a particular pleasure at seeing them. At this visit the good nuns gave an amusing proof of the progress they had made to the cultivation of their understandings. Having heard that there were great philosophers among the English gentlemen, they asked them a variety of questions; one of which was, when it would thunder; and another, whether a spring of fresh water, which was much wanted, was any where to be found within the walls of the convent. Eminent as our philosophers were, they were puzzled by these questions.
Lieutenant Cook, having laid in a fresh stock of beef, water, and wine, set sail from the island of Madeira, in the night of the 18th of September, and proceeded on his voyage. By the 7th of November several articles of the ship's provisions began to fall short; for which reason, the lieutenant determined to put into Rio de Janeiro. This place he preferred to any other port in Brazil or to Falkland's Islands, because he could there be better supplied with what he wanted, and had no doubt of meeting with a friendly reception.
During the run between Madeira and Rio de Janeiro, Lieutenant Cook and the gentlemen in the Endeavour had an opportunity of determining a philosophical question. On the evening of the 29th of October, they observed that luminous appearance of the sea which has so often been mentioned by navigators, and which has been ascribed to such a variety of causes. Flashes of light appeared to be emitted, exactly resembling those of lightning, though without being so considerable; and such was the frequency of them, that sometimes eight or ten were visible almost at the same moment. It was the opinion of Mr. Cook and the other gentlemen, that these flashes proceeded from some luminous animal; and their opinion was confirmed by experiment.
At Rio de Janeiro, in the port of which Lieutenant Cook came to an anchor on the 13th of November, he did not meet with the polite reception that, perhaps, he had too sanguinely expected. His stay was spent in continual altercations, with the viceroy, who appeared not a little jealous of the designs of the English: nor were all the attempts of the lieutenant to set the matter right, capable of producing any effect. The viceroy was by no means distinguished either by his knowledge or his love of science; and the grand object of Mr. Cook's expedition was quite beyond his comprehension. When he was told that the English were bound to the southward, by the order of his Britannic majesty, to observe a transit of the planet Venus over the Sun, an astronomical phenomenon of great importance to navigation, he could form no other conception of the matter, than that it was the passing of the North star through the South Pole.
During the whole of the contest with the viceroy, Lieutenant Cook behaved with equal spirit and discretion. A supply of water and other necessaries could not be refused him, and those were gotten on board by the 1st of December. On that day the lieutenant sent to the viceroy for a pilot to carry the Endeavour to sea; but the wind preventing the ship from getting out, she was obliged to continue some time longer in the harbour. A Spanish packet having arrived at Rio de Janeiro on the 2d of December, with dispatches from Buenos Ayres for Spain, the commander, Don Antonio de Monte Negro y Velasco, offered, with great politeness, to convey the letters of the English to Europe. This favour Lieutenant Cook accepted, and gave Don Antonio a packet for the secretary of the Admiralty, containing copies of all the papers that had passed between himself and the Viceroy. He left, also, duplicates with the viceroy, that he might forward them, if he thought proper, to Lisbon.
On the 5th of December, it being a dead calm, our navigators weighed anchor, and towed down the Bay; but, to their great astonishment, two shots were fired at them; when they had gotten abreast of Santa Cruz, the principal fortification of the harbour. Lieutenant Cook immediately cast anchor, and sent to the fort to demand, the reason of this conduct; the answer to which was, that the commandant had received no order from the viceroy to let the ship pass; and that, without such an order, no vessel was ever suffered to go below the fort. It now became necessary to send to the viceroy, to inquire why the order had not been given; and his behaviour appeared the more extraordinary, as notice had been transmitted to him of the departure of the English, and he had thought proper to write a polite letter to Mr. Cook, wishing him a good voyage. The lieutenant's messenger soon returned, with the information that the order had been written several days, and that its not having been sent had arisen from some unaccountable negligence. It was not till the 7th of December that the Endeavour got under sail.
In the account which Lieutenant Cook has given of Rio de Janeiro, and the country round it, one circumstance is recorded, which cannot be otherwise than very painful to humanity. It is the horrid expense of life at which the gold mines are wrought. No less than forty thousand Negroes are annually imported for this purpose, on the king of Portugal's account; and the English were credibly informed, that, in the year 1766, this number fell so short, that twenty thousand more were drafted from the town of Rio.
From Rio de Janeiro, Lieutenant Cook pursued his voyage, and, on the 14th of January, 1769, entered the Strait of Le Maire, at which time the tide drove the ship out with so much violence, and raised such a sea off Cape St. Diego, that she frequently pitched, so that the bowsprit was under water. On the next day, the lieutenant anchored, first before a small cove, which was understood to be Port Maurice, and afterward in the Bay of Good Success. While the Endeavour was in this station, happened the memorable adventure of Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Mr. Monkhouse the surgeon, and Mr. Green the astronomer, together with their attendants and servants, and two seamen, in ascending a mountain to search for plants. In this expedition they were all of them exposed to the utmost extremity of danger and of cold; Dr. Solander was seized with a torpor which had nearly proved fatal to his life; and two black servants actually died. When the gentlemen had, at length, on the second day of their adventure, gotten back to the ship, they congratulated each other on their safety, with a joy that can only be felt by those who have experienced equal perils; and Mr. Cook was relieved from a very painful anxiety. It was a dreadful testimony of the severity of the climate, that this event took place when it was the midst of summer in that part of the world, and at the close of a day, the beginning of which was as mild and warm, as the month of May usually is in England.
In the passage through the Strait of Le Maire, Lieutenant Cook and his ingenious associates had an opportunity of gaining a considerable degree of acquaintance with the inhabitants of the adjoining country. Here it was that they saw human nature to its lowest form. The natives appeared to be the most destitute and forlorn, as well as the most stupid, of the children of men. Their lives are spent in wandering about the dreary wastes that surround them; and their dwellings are no other than wretched hovels of sticks and grass, which not only admit the wind, but the snow and the rain. They are almost naked, and so devoid are they of every convenience which is furnished by the rudest art, that they have not so much as an implement to dress their food. Nevertheless, they seemed to have no wish for acquiring more than they possessed; nor did any thing that was offered them by the English appear acceptable but beads, as an ornamental superfluity of life. A conclusion is hence drawn by Dr. Hawkesworth, that these people may be upon a level with ourselves, in respect to the happiness they enjoy. This, however, is a position which ought not hastily to be admitted. It is, indeed, a beautiful circumstance, in the order of Divine Providence, that the rudest inhabitants of the earth, and those who are situated in the most unfavourable climates, should not be sensible of their disadvantages. But still it must be allowed, that their happiness is greatly inferior, both in kind and degree, to that intellectual, social, and moral felicity, which is capable of being attained in a highly cultivated state of society.
In voyages to the South Pacific Ocean, the determination of the best passage from the Atlantic is a point of peculiar importance. It is well known what prodigious difficulties were experienced in this respect by former navigators. The doubling of Cape Horn, in particular, was so much dreaded, that, to the general opinion, it was far more eligible to pass through the Strait of Magalhaens. Lieutenant Cook hath fully ascertained the erroneousness of this opinion. He was but three-and-thirty days in coming round the land of Terra del Fuego, from the east entrance of the Strait of Le Maire, till he had advanced about twelve degrees to the westward, and three and a half to the northward of the Strait of Magalhaens; and, during this time, the ship scarcely received any damage. Whereas, if he had come into the Pacific Ocean by that passage, he would not have been able to accomplish it in less than three months; besides which, his people would have been fatigued, and the anchors, cables, sails, and rigging of the vessel much injured. By the course he pursued, none of these inconveniences were suffered. In short, Lieutenant Cook, by his own example in doubling Cape Horn, by his accurate ascertainment of the latitude and longitude of the places he came to, and by his instructions to future voyagers, performed the most essential services to this part of navigation. It was on the 26th of January that the Endeavour took her departure from Cape Horn; and it appeared; that, from that time to the 1st of March, during a run of six hundred and sixty leagues, there was no current which affected the ship. Hence it was highly probable that our navigators had been near no land of any considerable extent, currents being always found when land is not remote.
In the prosecution of Lieutenant Cook's voyage from Cape Horn to Otaheite, several islands were discovered, to which the names were given of Lagoon Island, Thrump-cap, Bow Island, The Groups, Bird Island, and Chain Island. It appeared that most of these islands were inhabited; and the verdure, and groves of palm-trees, which were visible upon some of them, gave them the aspect of a terrestrial paradise to men who, excepting the dreary hills of Terra del Fuego, had seen nothing for a long time but sky and water.
On the 11th of April, the Endeavour arrived in sight of Otaheite, and on the 13th she came to an anchor in Port Royal Bay, which is called MATAVIA by the natives. As the stay of the English in the island was not likely to be very short, and much depended on the manner in which traffic should be carried on with the inhabitants, Lieutenant Cook, with great good sense and humanity, drew up a set of regulations for the behaviour of his people, and gave it in command that they should punctually be observed.
[Footnote 5: The rules were as follow: '1. To endeavour, by every fair means, to cultivate a friendship with the natives: and to treat them with all imaginable humanity. 2. A proper person or persons will be appointed to trade with the natives for all manner of provisions, fruit, and other productions of the earth; and no officer or seaman, or other person belonging to, the ship excepting such as are so appointed, shall trade, or offer to trade, for any sort of provision, fruit, or other productions of the earth, unless they have leave so to do. 3. Every person employed on shore, on any duty whatsoever, is strictly to attend to the same; and if by any neglect he loseth any of his arms, or working tools or suffers them to be stolen, the full value therefore will be charged against his pay, according to the custom of the navy in such cases, and he shall receive such further punishment as the nature of the offence may deserve. 4. The same penalty will be inflicted on every person who is found to embezzle, trade, or offer to trade, with any part of the ship's stores of what nature soever. 5. No sort of iron, or any thing that is made of iron, or any sort of cloth, or other useful or necessary articles, are to be given in exchange for any thing but provision. J. COOK.']
One of the first things that occupied the lieutenant's attention, after his arrival at Otaheite, was to prepare for the execution of his grand commission. For this purpose, as, in an excursion to the westward, he had not found any more convenient harbour than that in which the Endeavour lay, he determined to go on shore and fix upon some spot, commanded by the guns of the ship, where he might throw up a small fort for defence, and get every thing ready for making the astronomical observations. Accordingly, he took a party of men, and landed, being accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Mr. Green. They soon fixed upon a place very proper for their design, and which was at a considerable distance from any habitation of the natives. While the gentlemen were marking out the ground which they intended to occupy, and seeing a small tent erected, that belonged to Mr. Banks, a great number of the people of the country gathered gradually around them, but with no hostile appearance, as there was not among the Indians a single weapon of any kind. Mr. Cook, however, intimated that none of them were to come within the line he had drawn excepting one, who appeared to be a chief, and Owhaw, a native who had attached himself to the English, both in Captain Wallis's expedition and in the present voyage. The lieutenant endeavoured to make these two persons understand, that the ground, which had been marked out, was only wanted to sleep upon for a certain number of nights, and that then it would be quitted. Whether his meaning was comprehended or not, he could not certainly determine; but the people behaved with a deference and respect that could scarcely have been expected, and which were highly pleasing. They sat down without the circle, peaceably and uninterruptedly attending to the progress of the business, which was upwards of two hours in completing.
This matter being finished, and Mr. Cook having appointed thirteen marines and a petty officer to guard the tent, he and the gentlemen with him set out upon a little excursion into the woods of the country. They had not, however, gone far, before they were brought back by a very disagreeable event. One of the Indians, who remained about the tent after the lieutenant and his friends had left it, watched an opportunity of taking the sentry at unawares, and snatched away his musket. Upon this, the petty officer who commanded the party, and who was a midshipman, ordered the marines to fire. With equal want of consideration, and, perhaps with equal inhumanity, the men immediately discharged their pieces among the thickest of the flying crowd, who consisted of more than a hundred. It being observed, that the thief did not fall, he was pursued, and shot dead. From subsequent information it happily appeared, that none of the natives besides were either killed or wounded.
Lieutenant Cook, who was highly displeased with the conduct of the petty officer, used every method in his power to dispel the terrors and apprehensions of the Indians, but not immediately with effect. The next morning but few of the inhabitants were seen upon the beach, and not one of them came off to the shill. What added particularly to the regret of the English was, that even Owhaw, who had hitherto been so constant in his attachment, and who the day before had been remarkably active in endeavouring to renew the peace which had been broken, did not now make his appearance. In the evening, however, when the lieutenant went on shore with only a boat's crew and some of the gentlemen, between thirty and forty of the natives gathered around them, and trafficked with them, in a friendly manner, for cocoa nuts and other fruit.
On the 17th, Mr. Cook and Mr. Green set up a tent onshore, and spent the night there, in order to observe an eclipse of the first satellite of Jupiter; but they met with a disappointment, in consequence of the weather's becoming cloudy. The next day, the lieutenant, with as many of his people as could possibly be spared from the ship, began to erect the fort. While the English were employed in this business, many of the Indians were so far from hindering, that they voluntarily assisted them, and with great alacrity brought the pickets and facines from the wood where they had been cut. Indeed, so scrupulous had Mr. Cook been of invading their property, that every stake which was used was purchased, and not a tree was cut down till their consent had first been obtained.
On the 26th, the lieutenant mounted six swivel guns upon the fort; on which occasion he saw, with concern, that the natives were alarmed and terrified. Some fishermen, who lived upon the point, removed to a greater distance; and Owhaw informed the English by signs, of his expectation that in four days they would fire their great guns.
The lieutenant, on the succeeding day, gave a striking proof of his regard to justice, and of his care to preserve the inhabitants from injury and violence, by the punishment he inflicted on the butcher of the Endeavour, who was accused of having threatened, or attempted the life of a woman, that was the wife of Tubourai Tamaide, a chief, remarkable for his attachment to our navigators. The butcher wanted to purchase of her a stone hatchet for a nail. To this bargain she absolutely refused to accede; upon which the fellow catched up the hatchet, and threw down the nail; threatening, at the same time, that if she made any resistance, he would cut her throat with a reaping-hook which he had in his hand. The charge was so fully proved in the presence of Mr. Banks, and the butcher had so little to say in exculpation of himself, that not the least doubt remained of his guilt. The affair being reported by Mr. Banks to Lieutenant Cook, he took an opportunity, when the chief and his women, with others of the natives, were on board the ship, to call up the offender, and, after recapitulating the accusation and the proof of it, to give orders for his immediate punishment. While the butcher was stripped, and tied up to the rigging, the Indians preserved a fixed attention, and waited for the event in silent suspense. But as soon as the first stroke was inflicted, such was the humanity of these people, that they interfered with great agitation, and earnestly entreated that the rest of the punishment might be remitted. To this, however, the lieutenant, for various reasons, could not grant his consent; and when they found that their intercessions were ineffectual, they manifested their compassion by tears.
On the 1st of May, the observatory was set up, and the astronomical quadrant, together with some other instruments, was taken on shore. When, on the next morning, Mr. Cook and Mr. Green landed for the purpose of fixing the quadrant in a situation for use, to their inexpressible surprise and concern it was not to be found. It had been deposited in a tent reserved for the lieutenant's use, where no one had slept; it had never been taken out of the packing case, and the whole was of considerable weight: none of the other instruments were missing; and a sentinel had been posted the whole night within five yards of the tent. These circumstances induced a suspicion that the robbery might have been committed by some of our own people, who having seen a deal box, and not knowing the contents, might imagine that it contained nails, or other articles for traffic with the natives. The most diligent search, therefore, was made, and a large reward was offered for the finding of the quadrant, but with no degree of success. In this exigency, Mr. Banks was of eminent service. As this gentleman had more influence over the Indians than any other person on board the Endeavour, and as there could be little doubt of the quadrant's having been conveyed away by some of the natives, he determined to go in search of it into the woods; and it was recovered in consequence of his judicious and spirited exertions. The pleasure with which it was brought back was equal to the importance of the event; for the grand object of the voyage could not otherwise have been accomplished.
Another embarrassment, though not of so serious a nature, was occasioned, on the very same day, by one of our officers having inadvertently taken into custody Tootahah, a chief, who had connected himself in the most friendly manner with the English. Lieutenant Cook, who had given express orders that none of the Indians should be confined, and who, therefore, was equally surprised and concerned at this transaction; instantly set Tootahah at liberty. So strongly had this Indian been possessed with the notion that it was intended to put him to death, that he could not be persuaded to the contrary till he was led out of the fort. His joy at his deliverance was so great, that it displayed itself in a liberality which our people were very unwilling to partake of, from a consciousness that on this occasion they had no claim to the reception of favours. The impression, however, of the confinement of the chief operated with such force upon the minds of the natives, that few of them appeared; and the market was so ill supplied that the English were in want of necessaries. At length, by the prudent exertions of Lieutenant Cook, Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander, the friendship of Tootahah was completely recovered, and the reconciliation worked upon the Indians like a charm; for it was no sooner known that he had gone voluntarily on board the Endeavour, than bread-fruit, cocoa nuts, and other provisions, were brought to the fort in great plenty.
The lieutenant and the rest of the gentlemen had hitherto, with a laudable discretion, bartered only beads for the articles of food now mentioned. But the market becoming slack, they were obliged for the first time, on the 8th of May, to bring out their nails; and such was the effect of this new commodity, that one of the smallest size, which was about four inches long, procured twenty cocoa nuts, and bread-fruit in proportion.
It was not till the 10th of the month that our voyagers learned that the Indian name of the island was OTAHEITE, by which name it hath since been always distinguished.
On Sunday the 14th, an instance was exhibited of the inattention of the natives to our modes of religion. The lieutenant had directed, that divine service should be performed at the fort; and he was desirous that some of the principal Indians should be present. Mr. Banks secured the attendance of Tuobourai Tamaide and his wife Tomio, hoping that it would give occasion to some inquiries on their part, and to some instruction in return. During the whole service, they very attentively observed Mr. Banks's behaviour, and stood, sat, or kneeled, as they saw him do; and they appeared to be sensible, that it was a serious and important employment in which the English were engaged. But when the worship was ended, neither of them asked any questions, nor would they attend to any explanations which were attempted to be given of what had been performed.
As the day approached for executing the grand purpose of the voyage, Lieutenant Cook determined, in consequence of some hints which he had received from the Earl of Morton, to send out two parties, to observe the transit of Venus from other situations. By this means he hoped, that the success of the observation would be secured, if there should happen to be any failure at Otaheite. Accordingly, on Thursday the 1st of June, he dispatched Mr. Gore in the long boat to Eimeo, a neighbouring island, together with Mr. Monkhouse and Mr. Sporing, a gentleman belonging to Mr. Banks. They were furnished by Mr. Green with proper instruments. Mr. Banks himself chose to go upon this expedition, in which he was accompanied by Tubourai Tamaide and Tomio, and by others of the natives. Early the next morning, the lieutenant sent Mr. Hicks, in the pinnace, with Mr. Clerk and Mr. Pickersgill, and Mr. Saunders, one of the midshipmen, ordering them to fix upon some convenient spot to the eastward, at a distance from the principal observatory, where they also might employ the instruments they were provided with for observing the transit.
The anxiety for such weather as would be favourable to the success of the experiment, was powerfully felt by all the parties concerned. They could not sleep in peace the preceding night: but their apprehensions were happily removed by the sun's rising, on the morning of the 3d of June, without a cloud. The weather continued with equal clearness through the whole of the day; so that the observation was successively made in every quarter. At the fort where Lieutenant Cook, Mr. Green, and Dr. Solander were stationed, the whole passage of the planet Venus over the sun's disk was observed with great advantage. The magnifying power of Dr. Solander's telescope was superior to that of those which belonged to the lieutenant and to Mr. Green. They all saw an atmosphere or dusky cloud round the body of the planet; which much disturbed the times of the contact, and especially of the internal ones; and, in their accounts of these times, they differed from each other in a greater degree than might have been expected. According to Mr. Green, Morning. The first external contact, or first appearance h. min. sec. of Venus on the sun, was . . . . . . . . . . . 9 25 42 The first internal contact, or total immersion, was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 44 4
Afternoon. The second internal contact, or beginning of the emersion, was . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 14 8 The second external contact, or total emersion, was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 32 10 The latitude of the observatory was found to be 17 29' 15"; and the longitude 149 32' 30" west of Greenwich.
A more particular account of this great astronomical event, the providing for the accurate observation of which reflects so much honour on his majesty's munificent patronage of science, may be seen in the sixty-first volume of the Philosophical Transactions.
The pleasure which Lieutenant Cook and his friends derived, from having thus successfully accomplished the first grand object of the voyage, was not a little abated by the conduct of some of the ship's company, who, while the attention of the officers was engrossed by the transit of Venus, broke into one of the store-rooms, and stole a quantity of spike nails, amounting to no less than a hundred weight. This was an evil of a public and serious nature; for these nails, if injudiciously circulated among the Indians, would be productive of irreparable injury to the English, by reducing the value of iron, their staple commodity. One of the thieves, from whom only seven nails were recovered, was detected; but though the punishment of two dozen lashes was inflicted upon him, he would not impeach any of his accomplices.
Upon account of the absence of the two parties who had been sent out to observe the transit, the king's birthday was celebrated on the 5th, instead of the 4th of June; and the festivity of the day must have been greatly heightened by the happy success with which his majesty's liberality had been crowned.
On the 12th, Lieutenant Cook was again reduced to the necessity of exercising the severity of discipline. Complaint having been made to him, by certain of the natives, that two of the seamen had taken from them several bows and arrows, and some strings of platted hair, and the charge being fully supported, he punished each of the criminals with two dozen of lashes.
On the same day it was discovered, that Otaheite, like other countries in a certain period of society, has its bards and its minstrels. Mr. Banks, in his morning's walk, had met with a number of natives, who appeared, upon inquiry, to be travelling musicians; and, having, learned where they were to be at night, all the gentlemen of the Endeavour repaired to the place. The band consisted of two flutes and three drums; and the drummers accompanied the music with their voices. To the surprise of the English gentlemen, they found that themselves were generally the subject of the song, which was unpremeditated. These minstrels were continually going about from place to place; and they were rewarded, by the master of the house and the audience, with such things as they wanted.
The repeated thefts which were committed by the inhabitants of Otaheite brought our voyagers into frequent difficulties, and it required all the wisdom of Lieutenant Cook to conduct himself in a proper manner. His sentiments on the subject displayed the liberality of his mind. He thought it of consequence to put an end, if possible to thievish practices at once, by doing something that should engage the natives in general to prevent them, from a regard to their common interest. Strict orders had been given by him, that they should not be fired upon, even when they were detected in attempting to steal any of the English property. For this the lieutenant had many reasons. The common sentinels were in no degree fit to be entrusted with a power of life and death; neither did Mr. Cook think that the thefts committed by the Otaheitans deserved so severe a punishment. They were not born under the law of England; nor was it one of the conditions under which they claimed the benefits of civil society, that their lives should be forfeited, unless they abstained from theft. As the lieutenant was not willing that the natives should be exposed to fire-arms loaded with shot, neither did he approve of firing only with powder, which, if repeatedly found to be harmless, would at length be despised. At a time when a considerable robbery had been committed, an accident furnished him with what he hoped would be a happy expedient for preventing future attempts of the same kind. Above twenty of the sailing canoes of the inhabitants came in with a supply of fish. Upon these Lieutenant Cook immediately seized, and, having brought them into the river behind the fort, gave notice, that unless the things which had been stolen were returned, the canoes should be burnt. This menace, without designing to put it into execution, he ventured to publish, from a full conviction that, as restitution was thus made a common cause, the stolen goods would all of them speedily be brought back. In this, however, he was mistaken. An iron coal-rake, indeed, was restored; upon which, great solicitation was made for the release of the canoes; but he still insisted on his original condition. When the next day came, he was much surprised to find that nothing further had been returned; and, as the people were in the utmost distress for the fish, which would in a short time be spoiled, he was reduced to the disagreeable alternative, either of releasing the canoes contrary to what he had solemnly and publicly declared, or of detaining them, to the great damage of those who were innocent. As a temporary expedient, he permitted the natives to take the fish, but still detained the canoes. So far was this measure from being attended with advantage, that it was productive of new confusion and injury; for as it was not easy at once to distinguish to what particular persons the several lots of fish belonged, the canoes were plundered by those who had no right to any part of their cargo. At length, most pressing instances being still made for the restoration of the canoes, and Lieutenant Cook having reason to believe, either that the things for which he detained them were not in the island, or that those who suffered by their detention were absolutely incapable of prevailing upon the thieves to relinquish their booty, he determined, though not immediately, to comply with the solicitations of the natives. Our commander was, however, not a little mortified at the ill success of his project.
About the same time, another accident occurred, which, notwithstanding all the caution of our principal voyagers, was very near embroiling them with the Indians. The lieutenant having sent a boat on shore to get ballast for the ship, the officer, not immediately finding stones suitable to the purpose, began to pull down some part of an enclosure in which the inhabitants had deposited the bones of their dead. This action a number of the natives violently opposed; and a messenger came down to the tents, to acquaint the gentlemen that no such thing would be suffered. Mr. Banks directly repaired to the place, and soon put an amicable end to the contest, by sending the boat's crew to the river, where a sufficient quantity of stones might be gathered without a possibility of giving offence. These Indians appeared to be much more alarmed at any injury which they apprehended to be done to the dead than to the living. This was the only measure in which they ventured to oppose the English: and the only insult that was ever offered to any individual belonging to the Endeavour was upon a similar occasion. It should undoubtedly be the concern of all voyagers, to abstain from wantonly offending the religious prejudices of the people among whom they come.
To extend the knowledge of navigation and the sphere of discovery, objects which we need not say that Lieutenant Cook kept always steadily in view, he set out, in the pinnace, on the 26th of June, accompanied by Mr. Banks, to make the circuit of the island; during which the lieutenant and his companions were thrown into great alarm, by the apprehended loss of the boat. By this expedition Mr. Cook obtained an acquaintance with the several districts of Otaheite, the chiefs who presided over them, and a variety of curious circumstances respecting the manners and customs of the inhabitants. On the 1st of July, he got back to the fort at Matavai, having found the circuit of the island, including the two peninsulas of which it consisted, to be about thirty leagues.
The circumnavigation of Otaheite was followed by an expedition of Mr. Banks's to trace the river up the valley from which it issues, and examine how far its banks were inhabited. During this excursion he discerned many traces of subterraneous fire. The stones, like those of Madeira, displayed evident tokens of having been burnt; and the very clay upon the hills had the same appearance.
Another valuable employment of Mr. Banks was the planting of a great quantity of the seeds of watermelons, oranges, lemons, limes, and other plants and trees, which he had collected at Rio de Janeiro. For these he prepared ground on each side of the fort, and selected as many varieties of soil as could be found. He gave, also, liberally of these seeds to the natives, and planted many of them in the woods.
Lieutenant Cook now began to prepare for his departure. On the 7th of July, the carpenters were employed in taking down the gates and palisadoes of the fortification; and it was continued to be dismantled during the two following days. Our commander and the rest of the gentlemen were in hopes that they should quit Otaheite without giving or receiving any further offence; but in this respect they were unfortunately disappointed. The lieutenant had prudently overlooked a dispute of a smaller nature between a couple of foreign seamen and some of the Indians, when he was immediately involved in a quarrel, which lie greatly regretted, and which yet it was totally out of his power to avoid. In the middle of the night, between the 8th and the 9th, Clement Webb and Samuel Gibson, two of the marines, went privately from the fort. As they were not to be found in the morning, Mr. Cook was apprehensive that they intended to stay behind; but, being unwilling to endanger the harmony and goodwill which at present subsisted between our people, and the natives, he determined to wait a day for the chance of the men's return. As, to the great concern of the lieutenant, the marines were not come back on the morning of the tenth, inquiry was made after them of the Indians, who acknowledged that each of them had taken a wife, and had resolved to become inhabitants of the country. After some deliberation, two of the natives undertook to conduct such persons to, the place of the deserters' retreat, as Mr. Cook should think proper to send; and, accordingly, he dispatched with the guides a petty officer and the corporal of the marines. As it was of the utmost importance to recover the men, and to do it speedily, it was intimated to several of the chiefs who were in the fort with the women, among whom were Tubourai Targaide, Tomio, and Oberea, that they would not be to leave it till the fugitives were returned; and the lieutenant had the pleasure of observing, that they received the intimation with very little indications of alarm, and with assurances, that his people should be secured and sent back as soon as possible. While this transaction took place at the fort, our commander sent Mr. Hicks in the pinnace to fetch Tootahah on board the ship. Mr. Cook had reason to expect, if the Indian guides proved faithful, that the deserters, and those who went in search of them, would return before the evening. Being disappointed, his suspicions increased, and thinking it not safe, when the night approached, to let the persons whom he had detained as hostages continue at the fort, he ordered Tubourai Tamaide, Oberea, and some others, to be taken on board the Endeavour; a circumstance which excited so general an alarm, that several of them, and especially the women, expressed their apprehensions with great emotion and many tears. Webb, about nine o'clock, was brought back by some of the natives, who declared that Gibson, and the petty officer and corporal, would not be restored till Tootahah should be set at liberty. Lieutenant Cook now found that the tables were turned upon him: but, having proceeded too far to retreat, he immediately dispatched Mr. Hicks in the long-boat, with a strong party of men, to rescue the prisoners. Tootahah was, at the same time, informed, that it behoved him to send some of his people with them, for the purpose of affording them effectual assistance. With this injunction he readily complied, and the prisoners were restored without the least opposition. On the next day they were brought back to the ship, upon which the chiefs were released from their confinement. Thus ended an affair which had given the lieutenant a great deal of trouble and concern. It appears, however, that the measure which he pursued was the result of an absolute necessity; since it was only by the seizure of the chiefs that he could have recovered his men. Love was the seducer of the two marines. So strong was the attachment which they had formed to a couple of girls, that it was their design to conceal themselves till the ship had sailed, and to take up their residence in the island.
Tupia was one of the natives who had so particularly devoted himself to the English, that he had scarcely ever been absent from them during the whole of their stay at Otaheite. He had been Oberea's first minister, while she was in the height of her power; and he was also chief priest of the country. To his knowledge of the religious principles and ceremonies of the Indians, he added great experience in navigation, and a particular acquaintance with the number and situation of the neighbouring islands. This man had often expressed a desire to go with our navigators, and when they were ready to depart, he came on board, with a boy about thirteen years of age, and entreated that he might be permitted to proceed with them on their voyage. To have such a person in the Endeavour, was desirable on many accounts; and therefore, Lieutenant Cook gladly acceded to his proposal.
On the 13th of July, the English weighed anchor: and as soon as the ship was under sail, the Indians on board took their leaves, and wept with a decent and silent sorrow, in which there was something very striking and tender. Tupia sustained himself in this scene with a truly admirable firmness and resolution; for, though he wept, the effort he made to conceal his tears concurred, with them, to do him honour.
The stay of our voyagers at Otaheite was three months, the greater part of which time was spent in the most cordial friendship with the inhabitants, and a perpetual reciprocation of good offices. That any differences should happen was greatly regretted on the part of Lieutenant Cook and his friends, who were studious to avoid them as much as possible. The principal causes of them resulted from the peculiar situation and circumstances of the English and the Indians, and especially from the disposition of the latter to theft. The effects of this disposition could not always be submitted to or prevented. It was happy, however, that there was only a single instance in which the differences that arose were attended with any fatal consequence; and by that accident the lieutenant was instructed to take the most effectual measures for the future prevention of similar events. He had nothing so much at heart, as that in no case the intercourse of his people with the natives should be productive of bloodshed.
The traffic with the inhabitants for provisions and refreshments, which was chiefly under the management of Mr. Banks, was carried on with as much order as in any well regulated market in Europe. Axes, hatchets, spikes, large nails, looking-glasses, knives, and beads, were found to be the best articles to deal in; and for some of these, every thing which the inhabitants possessed might be procured. They were, indeed, fond of fine linen cloth, whether white or printed; but an axe worth half-a-crown would fetch more than a piece of cloth of the value of twenty shillings.
It would deviate from the plan of this narrative, to enter into a minute account of the nature, productions, inhabitants, customs, and manners of the countries which were discovered or visited by Mr. Cook; or to give a particular detail of every nautical, geographical, and astronomical observation. It will be sufficient here to take notice, that our commander did not depart from Otaheite without accumulating a store of information and instruction for the enlargement of knowledge and the benefit of navigation.
While the Endeavour proceeded on her voyage under an easy sail, Tupia informed Lieutenant Cook, that, at four of the neighbouring islands, which he distinguished by the names of Huaheine, Ulietea, Otaha, and Bolabola, hogs, fowls and other refreshments, which had latterly been sparingly supplied at Otaheite, might be procured in great plenty. The lieutenant, however, was desirous of first examining an island that lay to the northward, and was called Tethuroa. Accordingly, he came near it; but having found it to be only a small low island and being told, at the same time, that it had no settled inhabitants, he determined to drop any further examination of it, and to go in search of Huaheine and Ulietea, which were described to be well peopled, and as large as Otaheite.
On the 15th of July, the weather being hazy, with light breezes and calms succeeding each other, so that no land could be seen, and little way was made, Tupia afforded an amusing proof, that, in the exercise of his priestly character, he knew how to unite some degree of art with his superstition. He often prayed for a wind to his god Tane, and as often boasted of his success. This, indeed, he took a most effectual method to secure; for he never began his address to his divinity, till he perceived the breeze to be so near, that he knew it must approach the ship before his supplication could well be brought to a conclusion.
The Endeavour, on the 16th, being close in with the north-west part of Huaheine, some canoes soon came off, in one of which was the king of the island and his wife. At first the people seemed afraid; but, upon seeing Tupia, their apprehensions were in part dispersed, and, at length, in consequence of frequent and earnestly repeated assurances of friendship, their majesties, and several others, ventured on board the ship. Their astonishment at every thing which was shewn them was very great; and yet their curiosity did not extend to any objects but what were particularly pointed out to their notice. When they had become more familiar, Mr. Cook was given to understand, that the king was called Oree, and that he proposed as a mark of amity, their making an exchange of their names. To this our commander readily consented; and, during the remainder of their being together, the lieutenant was Oree, and his majesty was Cookee. In the afternoon, the Endeavour having come to an anchor, in a small but excellent harbour on the west side of the island, the name of which was Owharre, Mr. Cook, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Mr. Monkhouse, Tupia, and the natives who had been on board ever since the morning, immediately went on shore. The English gentlemen repeated their excursions on the two following days; in the course of which they found that the people of Huaheine had a very near resemblance to those of Otaheite, in person, dress language, and every other circumstance; and that the productions of the country were exactly similar.
In trafficking with our people, the inhabitants of Huaheine displayed a caution and hesitation which rendered the dealing with them slow and tedious. On the 19th, therefore, the English were obliged to bring out some hatchets, which it was at first hoped there would be no occasion for, in an island that had never before been visited by any European. These procured three very large hogs; and as it was proposed to sail in the afternoon, Oree and several others came on board to take their leave. To the king Mr. Cook gave a small pewter plate, on which was stamped this inscription; 'His Britannic Majesty's ship Endeavour, Lieutenant James Cook, commander, 16th July, 1769, Huaheine.' Among other presents made to Oree, were some medals or counters, resembling the coin of England, and struck in the year 1761; all of which, and particularly the plate he promised carefully and inviolably to preserve. This the lieutenant thought to be as lasting a testimony as any he could well provide, that the English had first discovered the island; and having dismissed his visitors, who were highly pleased with the treatment they had met with, he sailed for Ulietea, in a good harbour of which he anchored the next day.
Tupia had expressed his apprehension, that our navigators, if they landed upon the island, would be exposed to the attacks of the men of Bolabola, whom he represented as having lately conquered it, and of whom he entertained a very formidable idea. This, however, did not deter Mr. Cook, Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander and the other gentlemen, from going immediately on shore. Tupia, who was of the party, introduced them by performing some ceremonies which he had practised before at Huaheine. After this the lieutenant hoisted an English jack, and in the name of his Britannic majesty, took possession of Ulietea, and the three neighbouring islands, Huaheine, Otaha, and Bolabola all of which were in sight.
On the 21st, the master was despatched in the longboat, to examine the coast of the south part of the island; and one of the mates was sent in the yawl, to sound the harbour where the Endeavour lay. At the same time Lieutenant Cook went himself in the pinnace, to survey that part of Ulietea which lies to the north. Mr. Banks likewise, and the gentlemen again went on shore, and employed themselves in trading with the natives, and in examining the productions and curiosities of the country; but they saw nothing worthy of notice, excepting some human jaw-bones, which, like scalps among the Indians of North America, were trophies of war, and had probably been hung up, by the warriors of Bolabola, as a memorial of their conquest.
The weather being hazy on the 22d and 23d, with strong gales, the lieutenant did not venture to put to sea; but, on the 24th, though the wind continued to be variable, he got under sail, and plied to the northward within the reef, purposing to get out at a wider opening than that by which he had entered the harbour. However, in doing this, he was in imminent danger of striking on the rock. The master, who by his order had kept continually sounding in the chains, suddenly called out, 'two fathom.' Though our commander knew that the ship drew at least fourteen feet, and consequently that the shoal could not possibly be under her keel, he was, nevertheless, justly alarmed. Happily, the master was either mistaken, or the Endeavour went along the edge of a coral rock, many of which, in the neighbourhood of these islands, are as steep as a wall.
After a tedious navigation of some days, during which several small islands were seen, and the longboat landed at Otaha, Lieutenant Cook returned to Ulietea, but to a different part of it from that which he had visited before. In a harbour, belonging to the west side of the island, he came to an anchor on the 1st of August. This measure was necessary, in order to stop a leak which the ship had sprung in the powder-room, and to take in more ballast, as she was found too light to carry sail upon a wind. The place where the Endeavour was secured was conveniently situated for the lieutenant's purpose of obtaining ballast and water.
Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander and the gentlemen who went on shore this day, spent their time much to their satisfaction. The reception they met was respectful in the highest degree, and the behaviour of the Indians to the English indicated a fear of them, mixed with a confidence that they had no propensity to commit any kind of injury. In an intercourse which the lieutenant and his friends carried on, for several days, with the inhabitants of this part of the island, it appeared that the terrors which Tupia had expressed of the Bolabola conquerors were wholly groundless. Even Opoony, the formidable king of Bolabola, treated our navigators with respect. Being at Ulietea on the 5th of August, he sent Mr. Cook a present of three hogs, some fowls, and several pieces of cloth, of uncommon length, together with a considerable quantity of plaintains, cocoa-nuts, and other refreshments. This present was accompanied with a message, that, on the next day, he intended to pay our commander a visit. Accordingly, on the 6th, the lieutenant and the rest of the gentlemen all staid at home, in expectation of this important visitor; who did not, however, make his appearance, but sent three very pretty girls as his messengers, to demand something in return for his present. In the afternoon, as the great king would not go to the English, the English determined to go to the great king. From the account which had been given of him, as lord of the Bolabola men, who were the conquerors of Ulietea, and the terror of all the other islands, Lieutenant Cook and his companions expected to see a young and vigorous chief, with an intelligent countenance, and the marks of an enterprising spirit; instead of which they found a feeble wretch, withered and decrepit, half blind with age, and so sluggish and stupid, that he scarcely appeared to be possessed even of a common degree of understanding. Otaha being the principal place of Opoony's residence, he went with our navigators to that island on the next day; and they were in hopes of deriving some advantage from his influence, in obtaining such provision as they wanted. In this respect, however, they were disappointed; for, though they had presented him with an axe, as an inducement to him to encourage his subjects in dealing with them they were obliged to leave him without having procured a single article.
The time which the carpenters had taken up in stopping the leak of the ship having detained our voyagers longer at Ulietea than they would otherwise have staid, Lieutenant Cook determined to give up the design of going on shore at Bolabola, especially as it appeared to be difficult of access. The principal islands, about which the English had now spent somewhat more than three weeks, were six in number; Ulietea, Otaha, Bolabola, Huaheine, Tubai, and Maurua. As they lie contigious to each other, the lieutenant gave them the general appellation of the Society Islands; but did not think proper to distinguish them separately by any other names than those by which they were called by the natives.
On the 9th of August, the leak of the vessel having been stopped, and the fresh stock that had been purchased being brought on board, our commander took the opportunity of a breeze which sprang up at east, and sailed out of the harbour. As he was sailing away, Tupia strongly urged him to fire a shot towards Bolabola; and, though that island was at seven leagues distance, the lieutenant obliged him by complying with his request. Tupia's views probably were, to display a mark of his resentment, and to shew the power of his new allies.
Our voyagers pursued their course, without meeting with any event worthy of notice, till the 13th, when land was discovered, bearing south-east, and which Tupia informed them to be an island called Oheteroa. On the next day, Mr. Cook sent Mr. Gore, one of his lieutenants, in the pinnace, with orders, that he should endeavour to get onshore, and learn from the natives, whether there was anchorage in a bay then in sight, and what land lay further to the southward. Mr. Gore was accompanied in this expedition by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander and Tupia, who used every method, but in vain, to conciliate the minds of the inhabitants, and to engage them in a friendly intercourse. As, upon making the circuit of the island, neither harbour nor anchorage could be found upon it, and at the same time, the disposition of the people was so hostile, that landing would be rendered impracticable without bloodshed, Mr. Cook determined, with equal wisdom and humanity, not to attempt it, having no motive that could justify the risk of life.
From Tupia our navigators learned, that there were various islands lying at different distances and in different directions from Oheteroa, between the south and the north-west; and that to the north-east there was an island called Manua, Bird Island. This he represented as being at the distance of three days' sail; but he seemed most desirous that Lieutenant Cook should proceed to the westward, and described several islands in that situation, which he said he had visited. It appeared from his description of them, that these were probably Boscawen and Keppel's Islands, which were discovered by Captain Wallis. The furthest island that Tupia knew of to the southward, lay, he said, at the distance of about two days' sail from Oheteroa, and was called Moutou. But he added, that his father had informed him of there being islands still more to the south. Upon the whole, our commander determined to stand southward in search of a continent, and to lose no time in attempting to discover any other islands, than such as he might happen to fall in with during his course.