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colony has first occurred, to a final settlement at the antipodes, in some one of the several pursuits there open to the enterprising and industrious of all ranks, if mentally and physically qualified, will be treated in a plain, practical manner, with copious extracts from original letters from intending emigrants and successful colonists, and from the MS. journal of the brother of the author an Australian bushman.
FIRST DISCOVERERS SPANIARDS DUTCH - ENGLISH - FRENCH - 1520 - 1605
QUIROS — TORRES TASMAN DAMPIER COOK - LANDING AT BOTANY BAY
Australia,” now universally adopted to designate the whole island-continent, was suggested by the gallant, unfortunate, and ill-requited Flinders, in his “Account of a Voyage of Discovery to Terra Australis." From this work almost all writers on Australian geography have copied their aecounts of the progress of discovery previous to the voyage of Captain Cook.
The Dutch, who first explored the whole northern coast, called it New Holland in their own language. Captain Cook, after sailing round the south-eastern coast, gave it the name of of New South Wales, from a supposed resemblance to that part of Great Britain, and by that name the whole island was known in English works until other settlements were formed. But colloquially, until very recently, Botany Bay, the first landing-place of Captain Cook, was vulgarly and popularly the designation given to Australia, although no settlement was ever formed there; and it remains to this day a swampy suburb, at an hour's ride from Sydney, to which idlers resort, to drink, smoke, play quoits, and from which part of the water for the supply of that city is obtained.
Port Phillip, the name first given to the great bay on which are the ports of Geelong and Melbourne, * after Captain Phillip, first governor of New South Wales, has been applied to the whole province; and, although by the act of Parliament which created it a separate colony the name of Victoria has been affixed to this region, it will be long before the old inhabitants will remember or consent to give any other name than Port Phillip to the district which Sir Thomas Mitchell deavoured to designate as Australia Felix, and Dr. Lang, Phillipsland.
* Melbourne stands on the Yarra Yarra River, navigable by steamers of two hundred tons. Larger vessels lie off its mouth in Hobson's Bay.
DISCOVERED BY SPANIARDS AND DUTCH.
The act of Parliament that created the third colony fixed the name of South Australia.
Official and parliamentary documents have superseded the old name of Swan River by Western Australia. Van Diemen's Land retains its old Dutch name, although also occasionally more conveniently known as Tasmania.
Dutch, Spanish, and English have succeeded in affixing nominal marks of their discoveries on Australia, which is almost the last country peopled by an European race; but the French, in spite of efforts of great pains and cost, have been generally superseded, although at one time they had appropriated all the discoveries of Matthew Flinders.
The earliest authentic records of the discovery of any part of Australia are Spanish. The traces supposed to be found by some geographers in ancient charts of “ Jave le Grand,” and in a copy of Marco Polo's travels, with a map, are too obscure to deserve serious consideration.
That Chinese navigators knew of the existence of Northern Australia at a very remote period is, looking at the unchanging habits of that people, more than probable. They have formed a settlement on the Island of Timor, distant only 250 miles from Cape York, and are in the habit of resorting to the coast near the abandoned settlement of Port Essington to collect a Chinese dainty, the trepang or seaslug.
Between 1520 and 1600 the Spaniards, in the course of their voyages from their South American possessions, discovered several islands of the Australian group; and, in 1605, Pedro Fernandez de Quiros and Luis Vaez de Torres made a voyage of discovery in two ships. After finding land, which they named Terra del Esperito Santo, now known as the New Hebrides, the ships parted company in a gale of wind : Torres, the second in command, coasted along New Guinea, and sailed through the dangerous straits which are still the dread of the mariner in stormy seasons, and still bear his name. He passed two months in this difficult navigation, mistaking the portions of the coast of Australia which he sighted for islands. Of this voyage he transmitted a full account in a letter to the King of Spain ; but, in accordance with the jealous policy of the age, the record was suppressed, and the existence of the straits remained unknown until they were re-discovered by Captain Cook in 1770.
But in 1762, during our war with Spain, we captured Manilla by storm, and in the archives of that city Mr. Alexander Dalrymple, the historiographer of the British Admiralty, discovered a copy of the letter to the King of Spain, which had been deposited there by Torres.
Dalrymple, with that sense of justice and right feeling which should inspire all men of science, did justice to the discoverer by inscribing on the official maps issued from his department, against the intricate passage between Australia and New Guinea, “ Torres Straits.”
About the same time that Quiros and Torres were pursuing their investigations, the Dutch, then in the height of their maritime power, were prosecuting voyages of discovery in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
From the instructions prepared for the guidance of Abel Janz Tasman previous to his voyages in 1642 and 1644 (instructions which were signed by the Governor-General Antonia Van Diemen, and four members of the council, at Batavia), in which the previous discoveries of the Dutch in New Guinea and the “Great South Land ” were recited, it appears that a Dutch yacht, on a voyage of discovery in 1605–6, discovered the “South Land,” mistaking it for the west side of New Guinea; that a second expedition, in 1617, met with no success; and that, in 1623, a third, consisting of the yachts Pera and Arnhem, was despatched from Amboyna, by which were discovered the great islands of Arnhem and Spult,” being, in fact, the north of Australia, which still bears the name of Arnhem's Land. Other records show that, up to 1626, the Dutch had either accidentally, or by voyages of exploration, discovered and given names to about half the coast of Australia.
Many of these names are preserved to this day, for we have not the passion which afflicts some nations of re-naming after the standard of our own language-we can afford to be generous in peace and war.
The Gulf of Carpentaria is still called after General Peter Carpenter, who explored it: at that period military titles were indifferently applied to commanders at sea as on land; and captains of ships then, as at present in the Russian navy, wore spurs. The names of Arnhem, Tasman, De Witt, Endrachts, and Edel, cover the whole of the coast of Northern Australia as far as Sharks' Bay.
It is curious that none of these explorations led to any permanent settlement; and that in this instance, as in many others—in America, at the Cape, and in India—England has reaped the fruits of Dutch industry and enterprise. They have scarcely been more fortunate than the indolent, anti-commercial Spaniard. The Dutch, of all their rich colonial possessions, retain only Java, and the Spaniards Cuba. And the two new gold-fields discovered by Dutch and Spaniards, Australia and California, have fallen into the hands of an English-speaking race.
Of Tasman's voyage no account has ever been published. There was found on one of the islands forming the roadstead called Dirk Hartog's Roadstead, at the entrance of Sharks' Bay, in 1697, and afterwards again in 1801, a pewter plate, attached to a decayed log half sunk in earth, which bore two inscriptions in Dutch, of different dates, of which the following are translations :
“ 1616. On the 25th October the ship Endracht, of Amsterdam, arrived here; first merchant, Gilles Miebais Van Luck; Captain Dirk Hartog, of Amsterdam. She sailed on the 27th of the same month for Bantam. Supercargo Janstins; chief pilot, Peter Ecores Van Due. Year 1616.” The second inscription was
“ 1697. On the 4th February the ship Geelvink, of Amsterdam, arrived here; Wilhelem de Plaming, captain-commandante; John Bremen, of Copenhagen, assistant; Michel Bloem Van Estoght, assistant. The dogger Nyptaught, Captain Gerril Coldart, of Amsterdam; Theodore Hermans, of the same place, assistant; first pilot, Gerritzen, of Bremen.
“ The galley Nel Wesetje, Cornelius de Plaming, of Vielandt, commander ; Coert Gerritzen, of Bremen, pilot. Our fleet sails hence, leaving the southern territories for Batavia.”
In 1642 Tasman discovered, and sailed along the coast of, the Island of Van Diemen's Land, supposing it to be part of the “South Land.”
In successive investigations by Captain Marrion, of the French navy, in 1772; by Captain Tobias, of the British service, in 1773; by Captain Cook, in 1777 ; and by the French Rear-Admiral D'Entrecasteaux, the coast line to the south and east was further explored; but the insularity of Van Diemen’s Land, the harbour of Port Jackson, and the Rivers Hunter, Brisbane, and Yarra, all destined to be the outlets to important districts in future colonies, remained undiscovered.
The many hundred leagues of coast so frequently visited by the Dutch had afforded no encouragement for the plantation of settlements similar to those which they had founded with such brilliant results in the Indian Seas.
The Commander Carstens, sent by the Dutch East India Company to explore New Holland, describes it as “barren coasts, shallow water, islands thinly peopled by cruel, poor, and brutal natives, and of very little use to the company.” Tasman's Land was pronounced to be the abode of howling evil spirits."
In these discouraging reports all mariners, until the time of Captain Cook, agreed; which is not extraordinary, considering that, after the time of Columbus, maritime discoverers sought lands in which either
gold was to be had for gathering, or where rich tropical fruits abounded in pleasant harbours.
In New Holland the natives were hostile and miserably poor, in the lowest state of human existence; they built no huts, they wore no ornaments of gold or precious stones, they cultivated no ground, their barren, unfruitful coast afforded no indigenous fruits for barter; neither the yam, the cocoa, nor the pineapple, the lemon, the citron, the gourd, nor indeed any other fruit grateful to European taste.
As the Spaniards were the first, so the British were the last, and, in their first attempts, the least successful, in exploring the coast of Australia.
William Dampier, one of the boldest and most scientific navigators of his age, author of a Voyage round the World,” from which Defoe drew many hints, visited New Holland three times on the first occasion with his companions the buccaneers; again as pilot of H. M. S. Roebuck, when he spent about five weeks in ranging off and on the coast of New South Wales, a length of about 300 leagues; on the third occasion he passed through Torres Straits as pilot to Captain Woodes Rogers, in 1710, when he explored Sharks' Bay, the coasts of New Guinea, New Britain, and New Zealand.
In July, 1769, Captain James Cook, after having observed the transit of Venus at Otaheite (or Tahiti), and cruised for a month among the other Society Islands, sailed southwards in search of the continent Terra Australis Incognita, which geographers for a preceding century had calculated must exist somewhere thereabouts, as a counterpoise to the great tract of land in the northern hemisphere.
In this search he first visited the Islands of New Zealand, which had been previously discovered by Tasman in 1662: he spent six months in investigating them, and ascertained that they consisted of two large islands. New Zealand owes the pig and potato to Cook, for which his memory was long honoured and even worshipped among those heroic savages. In his report to the Admiralty, Cook recommended that any settlement which it might be considered advisable to establish should be planted at the Valley of Thames, where Auckland, the capital of the northern colonies, has since been founded.
Leaving New Zealand, and sailing westward, he sighted New Holland on the 11th of April, 1770, and on the 27th anchored in the roadstead to which he afterwards gave the name of Botany Bay. On the following day he landed, with Mr. (afterwards Sir Joseph) Banks, President of the Royal Society, Dr. Solander, and a party of seamen. They were all charmed with the bright verdure of the scene, in which