Captain James Cook

It must here be mentioned, that the injuries sustained by the vessel proved destructive to many valuable specimens that had been collected by Mr. Banks, which had been put for security in the bread-room, but the salt-water saturating a great portion, they were utterly spoiled. The place where they refitted was named by Mr. Cook Endeavour River. Its entrance for many miles was surrounded with shoals, and the channels between them were very intricate. On the 4th August they quitted their anchorage, and it was not till the 24th that they got clear of the reefs and sandbanks. After another narrow escape from being wrecked, they made New Guinea on the 3d September, where they anchored, and went on shore; but the hostility of the natives, who resembled those of New South Wales, prevented intercourse. The latter used a sort of combustible material that ignited, without any report. The land looked rich and luxurious in vegetation, and the cocoa-nut, the bread-fruit, and the plantain trees, flourished in the highest perfection. Mr. Cook made sail to the westward, contrary to the wish of his people, who wanted to cut down the trees to get their fruit, but which, through humanity to the natives, he would not permit. In pursuing their voyage, they fell in with islands which were not upon the charts, and passed Timor and others, intending to run for Java: on the 17th they saw a beautiful island, and found Dutch residents, with cattle and sheep. The crew of the Endeavour had suffered many privations and hardships, and the scurvy was making havoc among them, so that they complained of their commander not having put in at Timor; but now they obtained nine buffaloes, six sheep, three hogs, thirty dozen of fowls, etc., with several hundred gallons of palm syrup. This was the island Savu, and the natives are spoken of as highly pure in their morals and integrity, and their land a perfect paradise.

On the 21st Mr. Cook again sailed, and on the 1st of October came within sight of Java, and on the 9th brought up in Batavia Roads, where they found the Harcourt East Indiaman, and once more enjoyed the pleasure of communicating with their countrymen, and obtaining news from home. As it was deemed necessary to reexamine the Endeavour's bottom, preparations were made for the purpose. Tupia and his boy Tayoeta were almost mad with delight on viewing the display of European manners on shore; but sickness assailed all who resided in the city, and the two Indians became its victims. In about six weeks there were buried Mr. Spearing, assistant to Mr. Banks, Mr. Parkinson, artist, Mr. Green, astronomer, the boatswain, the carpenter and his mate, Mr. Monkhouse and another midshipman, the sailmaker and his assistant, the ship's cook, the corporal of marines, and eleven seamen.

On the 27th of December the Endeavour, being completed, stood out to sea, and on the 5th of January 1771, anchored at Prince's Island, but sailed again on the 15th for the Cape of Good Hope, where they arrived on the 15th of March. On the 14th April Mr. Cook resumed his voyage home, touched at St Helena (1st May to 4th), made the Lizard on the 10th of June, and anchored the next day in the Downs, where Mr. Cook left her.

The arrival of Mr. Cook, and the publication of sketches of his voyage, produced earnest desires to ascertain the full extent of his discoveries. Unknown parts had been explored; vast additions were made to geographical and scientific knowledge; the productions of various countries, together with the manners, habits, and customs of the natives, excited universal curiosity and deep interest so that, when Dr. Hawkesworth's account of the voyage, from the papers of Mr. Cook and Mr. Banks, was published, it was eagerly bought up at a large price. The astronomical observations threw much information on the theory of the heavenly bodies; navigation had eminently proved its vast capabilities: it had been in a great measure determined that no southern continent existed, or at least that neither New Zealand nor New South Wales were parts of such a continent; and most interesting accounts were given of the places visited and the perils encountered.

Mr. Cook was promoted to the rank of commander; the Royal Society honored him with especial favor and notice; and his society was courted by men of talent and research, eager for information. His worthy patrons, Sir Charles Saunders and Sir Hugh Palliser, were gratified to find their recommendations had been so well supported; the Earl of Sandwich, then at the head of the Admiralty Board, paid him considerable attention; and his majesty George III, treated him with more than ordinary consideration. Captain Cook enjoyed sufficient to make him proud; but he was too humble in mind, too modest in disposition, and too diffident in manners, to cherish one atom of unbecoming self-estimation.