Early Australian Voyages: Pelsart, Tasman, Dampier eBook

John Pinkerton
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 173 pages of information about Early Australian Voyages.

Those things being considered, it is very plain that the Dutch, or rather the Dutch East India Company, are fully persuaded that they have already as munch or more territory in the East Indies than they can well manage, and therefore they neither do nor ever will think of settling New Guinea, Carpentaria, New Holland, or any of the adjacent islands, till either their trade declines in the East Indies, or they are obliged to exert themselves on this side to prevent other nations from reaping the benefits that might accrue to them by their planting those countries.  But this is not all; for as the Dutch have no thoughts of settling these countries themselves, they have taken all imaginable pains to prevent any relations from being published which might invite or encourage any other nation to make attempts this way; and I am thoroughly persuaded that this very account of Captain Pelsart’s shipwreck would never have come into the world if it had not been thought it would contribute to this end, or, in other words, would serve to frighten other nations from approaching such an inhospitable coast, everywhere beset with rocks absolutely void of water, and inhabited by a race of savages more barbarous, and, at the same time, more miserable than any other creatures in the world.

The author of this voyage remarks, for the use of seamen, that in the little island occupied by Weybhays, after digging two pits, they were for a considerable time afraid to use the water, having found that these pits ebbed and flowed with the sea; but necessity at last constraining them to drink it, they found it did them no hurt.  The reason of the ebbing and flowing of these pits was their nearness to the sea, the water of which percolated through the sand, lost its saltness, and so became potable, though it followed the motions of the ocean whence it came.


By direction of the Dutch East India Company. [Taken from his original Journal.]


The great discoveries that were made by the Dutch in these southern countries were subsequent to the famous voyage of Jaques le Maire, who in 1616 passed the straits called by his name; in 1618, that part of Terra Australia was discovered which the Dutch called Concordia.  The next year, the Land of Edels was found, and received its name from its discoverer.  In 1620, Batavia was built on the ruins of the old city of Jacatra; but the seat of government was not immediately removed from Amboyna.  In 1622, that part of New Holland which is called Lewin’s Land was first found; and in 1627, Peter Nuyts discovered between New Holland and New Guinea a country which bears his name.  There were also some other voyages made, of which, however, we have no sort of account,

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Early Australian Voyages: Pelsart, Tasman, Dampier from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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