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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

[Enclosure.] — Lieutenant Cook to The Viceroy

Lieutenant Cook to The Viceroy.

The Memorial of Lieutenant James Cook, commander of his Britannick Majesty's ship Endeavour, in answer to one from his Excellency Count Rolim, Viceroy and Captain General of the States of Brazil, dated the 27th of November, 1768.

If my commission should be counterfeited, it follows, of course, that every other officer's commissions and warrants are counterfeits, that all other papers in the ship tending to the same end are counterfeits, that the officers' and marines' uniforms are counterfeited, and, lastly, the letters of credit I brought with me from Madeira are counterfeited. Was this true, your Excellency must agree with me in declaring it to be the most strange, the most daring, and the most publick piece of forgery that was ever committed in the whole world.

The astronomical observations of the transit of the planet Venus, for which alone this voyage is undertaken, is not, nor ever was, intended to be made in any part of his Most Faithful Majesty's dominions, or that of any other European State. It page 73 seems, therefore, contrary both to custom and reason that his Most Faithful Majesty should be beforehand advised thereof, when even the putting into this port was mearly accidental, and for no other reason than the necessity I was under of somewere recruiting my stock of provisions and water, not doubting but I should here meet with a friendly reception from the subjects of a King between whom and the King, my master, the longestablished amity and alliance were never before known to be violated.


James Cook.

Dated on board his Britannick Majesty's ship the Endeavour, in the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, the 28th of November, 1768.