State Library of NSW
[margin] Quit the coast of New Guinea [/margin]
Sept.1770 here were cocoa trees, bread fruit trees & plantain trees but we saw no fruit but on the former & these were small & green. the other trees shrubs plants etc. were likewise such as is common in the So. Sea Islands & in New Holland. upon my return to the ship we hoisted in the boat & made sail to the westward with a design to leave the coast altogether. this however was contrary to the inclination & opinion of some of the officers who would have had me send a party of men ashore to cut down the cocoa nutt trees for the sake of the nutts a thing that I think no living [?] could have justified, for as the natives had attacked us for meer landing without taking away one thing, certainly they would have made a vigorous effort to have defended their property in which case many of them must have been kill'd & perhaps some of our own people too & all this for 2 or 300 green cocoa nutts which when we had got them would have done us little service, besides nothing but the utmost necessity would have obliged one to have taken this method to come at refreshments, its true I might have gone farther along the coast to the northward & westwd. until we had found a place where the ship could lay so near the shore as to cover the people with her guns when landed but it is very probable that before we had found such a place we should have been carried so far to the W as to have been obliged to have gone to Batavia by the way of the Moluccas. & on the No. side of Java were we were all utter strangers these I did not think was so safe a passage as to go to the So. of Java & thro' the straits of Surada. the way I propose to myself to go, besides as the ship is leakey we are not yet sure wether or no we shall not be obliged to heave her down at Batavia. in this case it becomes the more necessary that we should make the best of our way to that place especially as no new discovery can be expected to be made in these seas, which the Dutch have I believe long ago narrowly examin'd as appears from 3 maps bound up with the French History of Voyages to the Terra Australis published in 1756: which maps I do suppose by some means have been got from the Dutch. as we found the names of many of the places are in that language. It should likewise seem from the same maps that the Spanish & Dutch have at one time or another circumnavigated the whole of the island of New Guinea, as the most of the names are in those 2 languages & such part of the of the coast as we were upon I found the chart tolerable good which obliged me to give some credit to all the rest not withstanding we neither know by whom or when they were taken & I always understood before I had a sight of these maps that it was unknown whether or not New Holland & New Guinea was not one continued land & so it is said in the very history
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