22 agosto 2009

Wednesday, 22nd. Possession Island

Between these 2 points we could see no land, so that we were in great hopes that we had at last found out a Passage into the Indian seas; but in order to be better informed I landed with a party of men, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, upon the Islands which lies at the South-East point of the Passage. Before and after we Anchor’d we saw a Number of People upon this Island, Arm’d in the same manner as all the others we have seen, Except one man, who had a bow and a bundle of Arrows, the first we have seen upon this Coast. From the appearance of the people we expected they would have opposed our landing; but as we approached the shore they all made off, and left us in peaceable possession of as much of the Island as served our purpose.

After landing I went upon the highest hill, which, however, was of no great height, yet no less than twice or thrice the height of the Ship’s Mastheads; but I could see from it no land between South-West and West-South-West, so that I did not doubt but there was a passage.

(...) the Eastern Coast from the Latitude of 38 degrees South down to this place, I am confident, was never seen or Visited by any European before us; and notwithstanding I had in the Name of his Majesty taken possession of several places upon this Coast, I now once More hoisted English Colours, and in the Name of His Majesty King George the Third took possession of the whole Eastern coast from the above Latitude down to this place by the Name of New South Wales, together with all the Bays, Harbours, Rivers, and Islands, situated upon the said Coast; after which we fired 3 Volleys of small Arms, which were answer’d by the like number from the Ship.