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The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume Two]

January 1771

January 1771

1. Workd all night and today likewise. At night Anchord under a high Island call[d] in the draughts Cracatoa and by the Indians Pulo Racatta.

I had been unacountably troubled with Musquitos ever since we left Batavia, and still imagin'd that they increasd instead of decreasing, although my opinion was universaly thought improbable; today however the mystery was discoverd, for on getting up water today, Dr Solander who happned to stand near the scuttle cask observd an infinite number of them in their water state in it, who as soon as the sun had a little effect upon the water began to come out in real Effective mosquetos incredibly fast.

2. This morn when we rose we saw that there were many houses and much Cultivation upon Cracatoa, so that probably a ship might meet with refreshments who chose to touch here in preference to Princes Island. The wind was so foul and balkd us so often that after having saild the whole day we were glad at night to come back again to our old Birth under Cracatoa.

3. Tho we had again got under way in the night, Yet this morn we had gaind but little, nor did we much more all day; at night however a breeze sprung up at Se and we saild on Chearily.

4. Soon after Dinner time today we anchord under Princes Island and went ashore. The People who met us carried us immediately to a man whoom they told us was their king, with whoom after a few Compliments we proceeded to business, that was to settle the price of Turtle, in which we did not well agree. This however did not at all discourage us, as we doubted not but that in the morn we should have them at our own price, so we walkd a little way along shore and the Indians dispersd. One Canoe however remaind and just as we went off sold us three turtle on a promise that we should not tell the king.

5. Ashore today trading; the Indians dropd their demands very slowly but were very civil, towards noon however they came down to the offerd price, so that before night we had bought up a large quantity of Turtle. In the Evening I went to pay my respects to his majesty the king, who I found at his house in the middle of a rice feild cooking his own supper; he receivd me however very politely.

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6. Many People were down at the trading place with fowls, fish, Monkeys, small Deer, &c. &c. but few or no Turtle, they said that we had bought them all the day before.

8.1 In the Morn the ship which had in the night been driven something nearer the shore, was so near being ashore that the foot of the rudder touchd several times, and indeed gave the first intimation of our danger, but by the alertness of the officers she was hove into deep water in a very short time. The day was rainy throughout and very few Indians came to the watering place, so that nothing was bought but a few fish and fowls.

9. Fine weather today and rather more trade than usual. Early in the morn 8 guns were heard within Pepper point,2 but no ship had been seen by either us or the Islanders so we could not even guess the Occasion of them.

10. Little trade; the people brought down a deer of a kind weighing about 40 lb;3 our stock of Turtle was now Considerably increasd, some few having been bought every day, tho the Joint number did not equal what had been bought the first day.

11. My Servant Sander who I had hir'd at Batavia4 having found out that these people had a town somewhere along shore to the Westward and not very far off, I resolvd to visit it, but knowing that the inhabitants were not at all desirous of our company kept my intentions secret from them. In the morn I set out accompanied by our second Lieutenant and went along shore, telling all whoom I met that I was in search of plants which indeed was also the case. In about 2 hours we arrivd at a place where were about 4 or 5 houses, here we met an old man and venturd to ask him questions about the town; he said it was very distant, but we not much relying on his information proceeded on our way, as did he in our company, atempting however several times to lead us out of the pathway which we were now in; we remaind firm to our purpose and soon got sight of our desird Object. The old man then turnd

1 Banks adjusts this date from 7, which he had first written. Since leaving Batavia his dates have become unhinged, perhaps because of a lapse in the entering of his journal, followed by somewhat random dating—e.g. he anchors off Maneaters Island on December 28, but Cook not till the 30th, which should have been Banks's 29th. According to Cook the ship anchored off Princes Island and he ‘went a shore to look at the watering place and to speak with the Natives some of whome were upon the beach’ on the afternoon of January 6—properly Banks's 5th. Banks makes this January 4.—Cook has no reference to the danger recounted by Banks in this entry.

2 The point to the south of Peper bay, Derde punt. William Herbert, New Directory for the East Indies (ed. 4, 1776), pl. 35, calls this ‘3a or Pepper Pt’.

3 Presumably a Muntjak, Muntiacus sp.

4 Entered on the muster-roll as ‘Alexander’, 6 November 1770.

page 235 our freind and accompanied us to the houses, I suppose near 400 in number, divided into the old and new town between which was a brackish river. In the old town we met with several old acquaintances, one of whoom at the rate of 2d a head undertook to transport us over the river, which he did in two very small Canoes which we prevented from oversetting by laying them alongside each other and holding them together; in this manner we safely went through our navigation and arrivd at the new town, where the kings and all the nobilities houses were which the inhabitants very freely shewd to us. The most of them were shut up, the people in general at this time of the year living in their rice feilds to defend the Crop from Monkies, Birds &c. When our curiosity was satisfied we hird a large sailing boat for which we gave 2 Rupees 4s/, which carried us home time enough to dine upon the deer we had bought the day before, which provd very good and savoury meat.

In the Evening when we went ashore we were acquainted that an axe had been stole from one of our people; this as the first theft we thought it not proper to pass over, so immediate application was made to the king, who after some time promisd that it should be returnd in the morn.

12. The hatchet was brought down according to promise, the theif they said afraid of conviction had in the night conveyd it into the house of the man who brought it. Trade as usual, 2 or 300 weight of Turtle in a day with fowls &c. Myself was this day seizd with a Return of my Batavia Fever, which I attributed to being much exposd to a burning sun in trading with the Natives.

13. It was resolvd to sail tomorrow, which the natives had been informd of yesterday, so they brought down rather more turtle than usual. My Fever returnd, but I resolvd not to atempt to cure it till in the main Ocean I should meet with a better air than this uncleard Island could possibly have.

In the Eve after my fit I went ashore to the king, to whoom time after time I had made small presents altogether not of 5 shillings value, carrying 2 Qrs of Paper, which as he had done every thing else he most thankfully receivd. We had much conversation, the purport of which was his asking why the English ships did not touch here as they had usd to do; I told him that as they had not on the Island Turtle enough to supply one ship the[y] could not expect many, but advisd him to breed Cattle, Sheep and Buffaloes, which advise however he did not seem much to approve.

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Princes Island as it is calld by the English, in Malay Pulo Selan, and in the language of its inhabitants Pulo paneitan1 is a small Island situated in the Western mouth of the streights of Sunday; it is woody, and has no remarkable hill upon it, tho the English call the small one which is just over the anchoring place the Pike. This Island was formerly much frequented by India ships of many nations but especialy English, who have of late forsaken it on account it is said of the Badness of its water, and stop either at North Island, a small Island on the Sumatra Coast without the East Entrance of the Streights, or at New Bay,2 a few leag[u]es only from Princes Island, at neither of which places however any quantity of refreshments can be procurd.

Its cheif produce is water, which is situated in such a manner that if you are not carefull in filling high enough up the Brook it will inevitably be brackish, from which circumstance alone I beleive it has got a Bad name with almost all nations; Turtle, of which however its supplys are not great, so that if a ship comes second or third in the season she must be contented with small ones, and no great plenty of them — as indeed was in some measure our case; we bought at very various prizes according to the humour of the people, but altogether I beleive they came to about 1 halfpenny or 3/4 a pound. They were of the Green kind, but not fat or well flavourd in any degree as they are in most other parts, which I beleive is in great measure owing to the people keeping them sometimes very long in crawls of Brackish water, where they have no kind of food given to them. Fowls are tolerably cheap, a dozen of large ones sold when we were there for a Spanish Dollar which is /5d a peice. They have also plenty of Monkeys and small deer (moschus pygmaeus)3 the largest of which are not quite so big as a new faln Lamb, and another kind of Deer calld by them Munchack about the size of a sheep;4 the monkeys were about 1/2 a dollar 2/6, the small deer /2d, the larger, of which they brought down only 2, a rupee or 28/. Fish they have of many various kinds which are sold by hand as you can bargain, we found them however always tolerably cheap. Vegetables they have, Cocoa nuts a dollar for 100 if you chuse them or 130 if you take them as they come; Plantanes Plenty, some water melons, pine apples, Jaccas,5 Pumkins,

1 Panaitan.

2 A mistake for Mew Bay, on the Java shore of the strait.

3 A Mouse Deer, Tragulus kanchil.

4 Muntjak, Muntiacus muntjak

5 Jakfruit, Artocarpus integra, or the related sp., A. champeden. Portuguese jaca, from Malayan chakka; it is a kind of large coarse breadfruit, often 2 to 2½ feet in length.

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also Rice cheifly of the mountain sort which grows on dryland, Yams and several other vegetables all which are sold reasonably enough.

The inhabitants are Javans whose Radja is subject to the Sultan of Bantam, from whoom they receive orders and to whoom they possibly pay a tribute, but of that particular I am not certain. Their customs I beleive are very much like those of the Indians about Batavia, only they seem much more jealous of their women, so much so that I never saw one the whole time of our stay except she was running away full speed to hide herself in the woods. Their Religion is Mahometanism but I beleive they have not a Mosque upon the Island; they were however very strict in the observance of their Fast (the same as the Ramdan of the Turks) during which we hapned to come: not one would touch victuals till sun set or even chew their Betele, but 1/2 or an hour before all went home to cook the kettle nor would they stay for any thing but view of extrordinary profit.

Their food was nearly the same as the Batavian Indians, adding only to it the nuts of the Palm calld Cycas circinalis with which on the Coast of New Holland some of our people were made ill and some of our hogs Poisond outright.1 Their method of preparing them to get out their deleterious qualities they told me were first to cut the nuts into thin slices and dry them in the sun, then to steep them in fresh water for three months, afterwards pressing the water from them and drying them in the sun once more; they however were so far from being a delicious food that they never usd them but in times of scarcity when they mixt the preparation with their rice.

Their Town which they calld Samadang consisted of about 300 houses; great part of the old town however was in ruins. Their houses were all built up on pillars 4 or 5 feet above the ground. The Plan of that of Gundang, a man who seemd to be next in riches and influence to the king, will give an Idea of them all: it was walld with boards, a luxury none but the king and himself had, but in no other respect differd from those of the midling people except being a little longer.

The walls were made of Bamboo platted on small perpendicular sticks fastned to the Beams; the floors were also of Bamboo, Each stick however laid at a small distance from the next so that the air had a free passage from below, by which means these houses were

1 Banks seems to be mistaken here. Cycas circinalis is widespread in S. E. Asia, and the seeds are very poisonous before being suitably treated; but the Cycas media which did the damage on the Australian coast is a distinct species.

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a. the door. b. the window. c. the partition where the master and his wife sleep. d. the partition where the children sleep, c. where the victuals are cookd. f. where strangers or visitors sleep.

a. the door. b. the window. c. the partition where the master and his wife sleep. d. the partition where the children sleep, c. where the victuals are cookd. f. where strangers or visitors sleep.

always cool; the thach of Palm leaves was always thick and strong so that neither rain nor sunbeams could find entrance through it.

When we were at the town there were very few inhabitants there; the rest livd in Ocasional houses built in the rice feilds where they watchd the crop to prevent the devastations of Monkies, birds, &c. These occasional houses are smaller than those of the town; the posts which support them also instead of being 4 or 5 feet in hight are 8 or 10, otherwise the divisions &c. are quite the same.

Their dispositions as far as we saw them were very good, at least they dealt very fairly with us upon all occasions: Indian like however, always asking double what they would take for whatever they had to dispose of. This however producd no inconvenencees to us who were us'd to this kind of trafick.

In making out Bargains they were very handy and supplyd the want of small money reasonably well by laying together a quantity of any thing, and when the price was settled dividing it among each other according to the proportion each had brought to the general stock. They would sometimes change our money, giving 240 doits for a Spanish dollar, that is 58/ sterling, and 92, that is 28/ sterling 1 for a Bengall Rupee. The money they chose however was doits in all small bargains; dubblecheys they had but wer[e] very nice in taking them.

Their Language is different both from the Malay and Javan; they all however speak Malay.

1 S has a note, ‘fancy it should have been’ 96 doits to 2 shillings.

Princes Island Java Malay English
Jalma Oong Lanang Oran Lacki Lacki a man
Becang Oong Wadang Parampuan a woman
Oroculatacke Lari Anack a child
Hob Undass Capalla the head
Erung Erung Edung the Nose
Mata Moto Mata the Eyes
Chole Cuping Cuping the Earspage 239
Princes Island Java Malay English
Cutock Untu Ghigi the teeth
Beatung Wuttong Prot the belly
Serit Celit Pantat the Backside
Pimping Poopoo Paha the thigh
Hullootoor Duncul Lontour the Knee
Metis Sickil Kauki the Leg
Cucu Cucu Cucu a Nail
Langan Tangan Tangan a hand
Ramo Langan Jari Jaring a finger
These specimens of Languages so near each other in situation I chose to give together and selected the words without any previous choise as I had wrote them down on a paper, that the similar and dissimilar words might Equaly be seen. As for the parts of the Body which I have made the subject of this and all my specimens of Language, I chose them in preference to all others as the names of them are easily got from people of whose Language the enquirer has not the least Idea. What I call the Javan is the Language spoke at Samarang,1 a days journey from the seat of the Emperor of Java. I have been told that there are several other languages upon the Island but those I had no opportunity of collecting words from, meeting with no one who could speak them. The Princes Islanders call their langu[a]ge Catta Gunung,2 that is the Mountain Language, and say that it is spoken upon the mountains of Java from whence their tribe originaly came, first to New Bay a few leagues only off and from thence to Princes Island, driven there by the quantities of Tygers. The Malay, Javan and Princes Island all have words in them either e[x]actly like, or else plainly deriving their origin from the same source with others in the Language of the South Sea Islands: this is particularly visible in their Numbers, from whence one should at first be enclind to suppose that their learning at least had been derivd originaly from one and the same source. But how that strange problem of the numbers of the Black inhabitants of Madagascar, so vastly similar to those of Otahite, could have Come to pass surpasses I confess my skill to conjecture. The numbers that I give overleaf in the Comparative table I had from a Negro slave Born at Madagascar, who was at Batavia with an English ship, from whence he was sent for merely to satisfie my curiosity in the language. There being much fewer

1 Semarang, half way along the north coast of Java to the east. The language spoken in the central part of Java is Javanese; Sundancse is spoken in the west, and Madurese in the east. of. pp. 222–3 above.

2 Kata gunong.

page 240 words in the Princes Island language similar to S. Sea words is oweing in great measure to my not having taken a sufficient quantity of words upon the spot to compare with it.

Specimens Of Language

South Sea Malay Java Princes Island
1. Matta Majta Moto an Eye
2. Maa Macan Mangan to eat
3. Einu Menum Gnumbe to drink
4. Matte Matte Matte to kill
5. Outou Coutou a louse
6. Euwa Udian Udan Rain
7. Owhe Awe Bambu cane
8. Eu Sonsou Sousou a Breast
9. Mannu Mannu Mannuk a bird
10. Eyea Ican Iwa a fish
11. Uta Utan inland
12. Topoa Tapaan the foot
13. Tooura Udang Urang a lobster
14. Eufwhe Ubi Uwe Yams
15. Etannou Tonnam Tandour to bury
16. Enammou Gnammuck a Muscheto
17. Hearu Garru Garu to scratch
18. Tare Tallas Talas cocos roots
19. Outou Sungoot the mouth
20. Eto Tao sugar cane
S. Sea Malay Java Princes Isle Madagasgar
1. Tahie Satou Sigi Hegie Ifse
2. Rua Dua Lorou Dua Rua
3. Torou Tiga Tullu Tellu Tellou
4. Haa Ampat Pappat Opat Effats
5. Rima Lima Limo Limah Limi
6. *Wheney Annam Nunnam Gunnap Ene
7.Hetu Tudju Petu Tudju Fitou
8. Waru Delapan Wolo Delapan Walou
9. Iva Sembilan Songo Salapan Sivi
10. Ahouroo Sapoulou Sapoulou Sapoulou Fourou
11. Matahie Sabilas Suvalas
12. Marua Dubilas Roalas
20. Tahie Taou Duapoulou Rompoulou
100. Rima Taou Saratus Satus Satus
200. Mannu dua ratus Rongatus
1000. Lima mannu Soreboo Seawo Seawo
2000. Mannu Tine
page 241

The Madagascar language has also som[e] words similar to Malay words, as ouron the nose, in Malay Erung Lala, the tongue Lida Tang, the hand Tangan Taan, the ground Tanna.

From this similitude of language Between the inhabitants of the Eastern Indies and the Islands in the South Sea I should have venturd to conjecture much did not Madagascar interfere; and how any Communication can ever have been carried between Madagascar and Java to make the Brown long haird people of the latter speak a language similar to that the Black wooly headed natives of the other is I confess far beyond my comprehension — unless the Egyptian Learning running in two courses, one through Africa the other through Asia, might introduce the same words, and what is still more probable Numerical terms, into the languages of people who never had any communication with each other. But this point requiring a depth of knowledge in Antiquities I must leave to Antiquarians to discuss.1

14. Our intention of sailing this morn was delayd by want of wind, it being calm till 11 O'Clock when a gentle breeze sprang up which was favourable; the morning however was not thrown away for the Indians seeing us not gone brought fish and some Turtle which were bought. Our breeze tho favourable was however so slack that by night we had got no farther than abreast of the town where we anchord.

15. Weighd again and stood out to sea with a breeze so gentle that at night we were still in sight of Land.

16. This Morn we wakd in the open Ocean, nothing in sight but sea and sky. The winds, tho fair continud yet so gentle that we hardly knew whether we went on or stood still. At night a booby made us

1 The ‘Antiquarians’ have from time to time had a good deal of discussion over the part played by the ‘Egyptian Learning’ in the diffusion of culture, and some of them have had it running in many more courses than two. The Egyptian theories are not at present thought highly of; and Banks, we may suspect, makes about the same use of Egypt as—shall one say?—Mozart makes of Isis and Osiris in the Magic Flute. It was a sort of vague background for eighteenth century speculation or fantasy. Banks's speculation, so shrewd about Polynesian origins, did not take into account the possibility of the spread of a fundamental language in opposite directions through the spread of a people in opposite directions. His ignorance of Madagascar led him to suppose that its inhabitants were an African negro race (‘Black wooly headed’) whereas in fact the Malagasy—though living on what was geographically an African island—had their origin in a migration at some unknown distant date of dark-skinned Indonesians, followed by another, sixteenth century, migration of Malays—movements of peoples neither black nor woolly-headed. There was a little mixture of both African and Arab elements; but the Malagasy tongue was one of the Austronesian group, with dialectal differences within itself. Its affinities with Malay were noted as early as the sixteenth century, and comparative vocabularies were printed in the first two decades of the seventeenth century.

page 242 a visit and slept his last sleep in the stomachs of some of our men, not induc'd quite to forsake the old trade of Booby Eating even by the present abundance of victuals.

17. Calms and light breezes still detaind us till eve when a pleasant breeze sprung up and gave us hopes of soon gaining the trade wind, which we impatiently longd for especialy myself who had my fever every day; nor was I the only sick man, many began to complain of purgings. Some tropick birds and Gannets (Pelecanus pisc) were seen.

18. In the Morn Rain with light breezes. Several Man of war birds and some shearwaters were about the ship.

19. Light breezes all day. A ship in sight but too far off to distinguish her colours.

20. Weather as usual. 2 ships in sight who shew'd us Dutch Colours and then saild ahead of us, letting us know that sure as our ship might be she was too slow to outsail even a Dutchman. Several tropick birds were seen. In the Even the wind came foul.

Myself who had began with the Bark Yesterday miss'd my fever today, the people however in general grew worse and many had now the dysentery or bloody flux.

21. The Wind remaind as it was but one of the Duchmen had so far outsaild us as to be intirely out of sight; the other however was not so much ahead but that we sometimes flatterd ourselves with thinking that we could sail as fast as her. Some few Gannets and porpoises were about the ship.

22. Our freind the slow Dutchman was this morn out of sight: the wind still foul. Almost all the Ships Company were now ill with either fluxes or severe, purgings; myself far from well, Mr Sporing very ill and Mr Parkinson very little better, his complaint was a slow fever.

23. Myself was too ill today to do any thing; one of our people died of the flux in the Evening.

24. My distemper this day turnd out to be a flux attended (as that disease always is) with excrutiating pains in my bowels, on which I took to my bed. In the Eve Mr Sporing died.

25. One more of the People died today. Myself endurd the pains of the Damnd almost; at night they became fixd in one point in my bowels on which the surgeon of the ship though[t] proper page 243 to order me the hot bath, into which I went 4 times at the intervals of two hours and felt great releif.

26. Tho better than yesterday my pains were still almost intolerable. In the Evening Mr Parkinson died and one of the ships crew.

28. Self something easier but still in great pain. This day Mr Green our astronomer and two of the people died, all of the very same complaint as I labourd under, no very encouraging circumstance.

29. Self still Bad; three more of the people died this day.

30. For the first time I found myself better and slept some time, which my continual pains had never sufferd me to do before notwistanding the opiates which were constantly administerd. One person only died today, but so weak were the people in general that, officers and men included, not more than 8 or nine could keep the deck so that 4 in a watch was all they had.

31. This day I got out of my bed in good spirits and free from pain but very weak. My recovery had been as rapid as my disease was violent, but to what cause to attribute either the one or the other to we all were equaly at a loss.

The wind which came to E and Se yesterday blew today in the same direction so we had little reason to doubt its being the true trade, a circumstance which raisd the spirits of even those who were most afflicted with the tormenting disease, which now ragd with its greatest violence.

* N. B. in the Island of Ulietea 6 is calld ono.