Historical Records of New Zealand
(No. 4.) — The Deposition of Abraham Hendricke (confirmed by the Depositions of John Jones, Thomas French, and John Randall)
The Deposition of Abraham Hendricke (confirmed by the Depositions of John Jones, Thomas French, and John Randall).
All duly sworn before Revd. Saml. Marsden, one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, deposes: That he, Abraham Hendricke, was, together with the other above named deponents, on board the brig Daphne (Michael Flodyer, master), and sailed from Port Jackson in September, 1812; that when they made an island called Reematerra three very small canoes came off to the ship, and eighteen natives; the canoes were so small that the natives were obliged to swim alongside them; they brought some fruit, bananas, yams, and plaintains. The captain invited them on board. They quitted their canoes, let them adrift, and came on board. These natives appeared as if they never before had seen white people; they addressed the Europeans with the greatest reverence; fell down; clasped and kissed their feet. They got a small bit of iron hoop and a pearl shell each for the fruits. Their canoes were swamp’d alongside. The brig was standing out to sea; it blew fresh; the land was about seven miles distant. The captain ordered the mate to turn these islanders out of the ship, which was done in a very cruel manner; they were beat with a rope’s end, turned over the side, and while hanging to the ship their hands were beaten. They then swam to their canoes, which were already swamp’d, and fourteen out of eighteen were drowned at a short distance from the vessel. And this deponent remonstrated with the captain, saying these men would be drowned unless they were assisted; and upon a tack being made towards where the canoes were, it was too late, they having been drowned.