The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765.

[* See pp. 6, 7-8, 13 and note 2 infra.]

[** See the Documents under No.  XIV (pp. 21 ff.), and especially chart No. 7 on p. 46.]

On this occasion, too, the south-west coast of New Guinea was first touched at, after which the ships ran on on an eastern course.  Torres Strait was again left alongside, and mistaken for a Drooge bocht,[*] “into which they had sailed as into a trap,” and the error of New Guinea and the present Australia constituting one unbroken whole, was in this way perpetuated.  The line of the east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, “the land of Nova Guinea”, was then followed up to about 17 deg. 8’ (Staten river), whence the return-voyage was undertaken [**].  Along this coast various names were conferred. [***]

[* As regards the attempts to survey and explore this shallow water, see infra pp. 33-34]

[** See p. 37 below.]

[*** As regards this, see especially the chart on p. 46.—­Cf. my Life of Tasman, pp. 99-100.]

In the course of the same expedition discovery was also made of Arnhemsland on the west-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and almost certainly also of the so-called Groote Eyland or Van der Lijns island (Van Speultsland) [*] The whole of the southern part of the gulf remained, however, unvisited.

[* See my Life of Tasman, pp. 101-102; and pp. 47-48 below.]

{Page vii}

The honour of having first explored this part of the gulf in his second famous voyage of 1644 is due to our countryman Abel Janszoon Tasman together with Frans Jacobszoon Visscher and his other courageous coadjutors in the ships Limmen Zeemeeuw and Brak. [*] Abel Tasman’s passagie [course] of 1644 lay again along the south-west coast of New Guinea; again also Tasman left unsolved the problem of the passage through between New Guinea and Australia:  Torres Strait was again mistaken for a bay.  The east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria was next further explored, and various new names were conferred especially on rivers on this coast, which most probably got the name of Carpentaria about this time; of the names then given a great many continue to figure in modern maps.  After exploring the east-coast, Tasman turned to the south-coast of the gulf.  In this latter case the results of the exploration proved to be less trustworthy afterwards.  Thus Tasman mistook for a portion of the mainland the island now known as Mornington Island; the same mistake he made as regards Maria Eiland in Limmensbocht.  For the rest however, the coast-line also of the south-coast was delineated with what we must call great accuracy if we keep in mind the defective instruments with which the navigators of the middle of the seventeenth century had to make shift.  The west-coast of the gulf, too, was skirted and surveyed in this voyage; Tasman passed between this coast and the Groote (Van der Lijn’s) eiland.

[* See my Life of Tasman, pp. 115-118, and especially chart No.  I of the Tasman Folio.  Much information may also be gathered from chart No. 14 of the present work, since it registers almost the whole amount of Dutch knowledge about Australia circa 1700.]

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The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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