Collection 06 vol. 1: Philip Gidley King - Private journal, in two volumes, 1786-1792. Vol. 1 titled: `Remarks & Journal kept on the Expedition to form a Colony in His Majestys Territory of New South Wales Majesty's Ship Sirius ...', 24 October 178624 October 1786 - 12 January 1789

by Philip Gidley King

They were ordered on this service, with 2 other boats to attend them, under ye orders of ye un- fortunate De Langle. The Ships were lying too, & a strong Current sett them round a point out of sight of ye place where the boats landed, On landing they were surrounded as usual by the inhabitants who did not immediately discover any hostile intentions. The people in the Long boats had let them take the ground, & in using means to get them afloat again, the Natives were very troublesome & pressed close in upon them, De langle gave orders to the rowing boats to be ready to fire, but not to do it without his orders, some little altercation happening in consequence of their pressing so very close on ye French, which might have produced a blow from one of ye Natives, which was taken as a signal by the rest & ye Massacre began The natives were armed with short heavy Clubs by which means they rendered the Fire arms useless, orders were given to fire the Swivels but it was too late altho' the Natives fled the instant they were fired on dragging the bodies after them it was supposed that 30 of ye Natives were killed. Those belonging to the long boats, which