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H.M.B. Endeavour - Reconciliation Rocks

“It was here on these rocks that a group of eleven Guugu Yimithirr men and James Cook and several of his companions reconciled their differences and restored the peace and friendship that was the defining nature of the European’s seven weeks stay in Endeavour River.”
H.M.B. Endeavour - Reconciliation Rocks

Reconciliation Rocks

19th July

BANKS – “Then meeting with some rocks from whence we might observe their motions we sat down and they did so too about 100 yards from us. The little old man now came forward to us carrying a lance without a point. He halted several times and as he stood employed himself collecting moisture from under his arm pit with his finger which he every time drew through his mouth. We beckoned him to come; he then spoke to the others who all laid their lances against a tree and leaving them came forward likewise and soon came quite to us.”

COOK – “We now returned the darts we had taken from them which reconciled everything. There were 4 strangers among them we had not seen before and these were introduced to us by name by the others; the man which we supposed to have been struck by the small shott was gone off but he could not be much hurt as he was at a great distance when I fired.”

BANKS – “Our troop now consisted of 11. We all proceeded towards the ship, they making signs as they came along that they would not set fire to the grass again and we distributing musquet balls among them and by our signs explaining their effect. When they came abreast of the ship they sat down but could not be prevailed upon to come on board, so after a little while we left them to their contemplations; they stayed about 2 hours and then departed.”

COOK – “And soon after set the woods on fire about a mile and a half and two miles from us.”

20th July

BANKS – “No Indians came near us but all the hills about us for many miles were on fire and at night made the most beautiful appearance imaginable.”

22rd July

COOK – “In the AM I sent some people into the country to gather greens, one of which straggled from the rest and met with four natives by a fire on which they were broiling a fowl and the hind leg of one of the animals before spoke of.”[kangaroo]

BANKS – “He came upon them as they sat down among some long grass on a sudden before he was aware of it.”

COOK – “He had the presence of mind not to run from them, being unarmed, least they should pursue him, but went and sit down by them.”

BANKS – “At first he was much afraid and offered them his knife, the only thing he had which he thought might be acceptable to them; they took it and after handing it from one to another returned it to him. They kept him about half an hour behaving most civily to him, only satisfying their curiousity in examining his body.”

COOK – “They felt his hands and other parts of his body.”

BANKS – “..which done they made signs that he might go away..”

COOK – “…without offering the least insult..”

BANKS – “…which he did very well pleased.

COOK – “…and perceiving that he did not go right for the ship, they directed him which way he should go.”

23rd July

BANKS – “In botanizing today on the other side of the river we accidentally found the greatest part of the cloathes which had been given to the Indians left in a heap together, doubtless as lumber not worth carriage. May be had we looked father we should have found our other trinkets, for they seemed to set no value upon anything we had except our turtle, which of all things we were least able to spare them.”

COOK – “Fresh breezes in the SE quarter which so long as it continues will confine us in port.”

[Thirteen days later]

4th August

COOK – “The wind continued at night and at 5 oclock in the morning when it fell calm, gave us an opportunity to warp out. About 7 we got under sail having a light breeze from the land..”

First translations of the Guugu Yimithirr language