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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Joseph Banks

In their own words

Joseph Banks
Audio: 2 minutes

May the first. The Captain, Doctor Solander, myself and some of the people, making in all 10 muskets, resolved to make an excursion into the country. We walked until we completely tired ourselves, seeing by the way only one Indian who ran from us as soon as he saw us.

The soil wherever we saw it consisted of either swamps or light sandy soil on which grew very few species of trees, one which was large, yielding a gum … but every place was covered with vast quantities of grass. We saw many Indian houses and places where they had slept upon the grass without the least shelter; in these we left beads, ribbons etc. We saw one quadruped about the size of a rabbit. My greyhound just got sight of him and instantly lamd [sic] himself against a stump which lay concealed in the long grass. We also saw the dung of a large animal that had fed on grass which much resembled that of a stag; also the footsteps of an animal clawed like a dog or wolf and as large as the latter.

May the second. The morn was rainy and we who had got already so many plants were well contented to find an excuse for staying on board to examine them. In the afternoon however, we returned to our old occupation of collecting, in which we had our usual good success. Tupia, who strayed from us in pursuit of parrots, of which he shot several, told us on his return that he had seen nine Indians who ran from him as soon as they perceived him.

May 3. Our collection of plants was now grown so immensely large that it was necessary that some extraordinary care should be taken of them. I carried all the drying paper, nearly 200 quires of which the larger part was full, ashore and spreading them upon a sail in the sun kept them in this manner exposed the whole day, often turning them. By this means they came on board at night in very good condition.

Acknowledgements

Banks, Joseph (1770) The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks, 15 August 1769 -12 July 1771, State Library of New South Wales

Attribution

Voiced by James Thomasson

Related people

Sir Joseph Banks KCB

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Shipmates for years, James Cook and Joseph Banks each kept a journal but neither man shed light on their relationship.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency