Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia eBook

Philip Parker King
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 494 pages of information about Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia.
chasm which would otherwise have existed in the series.  Part of the west and north-western coast, examined by Captain King, having been previously visited by the French voyagers, under Captain Baudin, I was desirous of obtaining such information as could be derived from the specimens collected during that expedition, and now remaining at Paris; although I was aware that the premature death of the principal mineralogist, and other unfavourable circumstances, had probably diminished their value:* But the collection from New Holland, at the school of Mines, with a list of which I have been favoured through the kindness of Mr. Brochant de Villiers, relates principally to Van Diemen’s Land; and that of the Jardin du Roi, which Mr. Constant Prevost has obliged me with an account of, does not afford the information I had hoped for.  I have availed myself of the notices relating to Physical Geography and Geology, which are dispersed through the published accounts of Captain Flinders’,** and Baudin’s Voyages;*** and these, with the collections above alluded to, form, I believe, the only sources of information at present existing in Europe, respecting the geological structure and productions of the north and western coasts of Australia.

(Footnote.  M. Depuch, the mineralogist, died during the progress of the voyage, in 1803; and, unfortunately, none of his manuscripts were preserved.  M. Peron, the zoologist, after publishing, in 1807, the first volume of the account of the expedition, died in 1810, before the appearance of the second volume.  Voyage etc. 1 page 417, 418; and 2 page 163.)

(**Footnote.  A Voyage to Terra Australis, etc., in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803, by Matthew Flinders, Commander of the Investigator.  Two volumes quarto with an atlas folio; London 1814.)

(***Footnote.  Voyage de Decouverte aux Terres Australes etc.  Tome 1 redige par M. F. Peron, naturaliste de l’Expedition, Paris 1807.  Tome 2 redige par M. Peron et M. L. Freycinet 1816.  A third volume of this work, under the title of Navigation et Geographie, was published by Capt.  Freycinet in 1815.  It contains a brief and clear account of the proceedings of the expedition; and affords some particulars connected with the physical geography of the places described, which are not to be found in the other volumes.)

In order to avoid the interruption which would be occasioned by detail, I shall prefix to the list of specimens in Captain King’s and Mr. Brown’s collections, a general sketch of the coast from whence they come, deduced, principally, from the large charts,* and from the narratives of Captains Flinders and King, with a summary of the geological information derived from the specimens.  But I have thought it necessary to subjoin a more detailed list of the specimens themselves; on account of the great distance from each other of many of the places where they were found, and of the general interest attached to the productions of a country so very remote, of which the greater part is not likely to be often visited by geologists.  The situation of such of the places mentioned, as are not to be found in the reduced chart annexed to the present publication, will be sufficiently indicated by the names of the adjacent places.

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