Once, in the House of Commons, he apologized for not having furnished some information about transportation which had been asked for on the ground of 'a very great hurry of public business. Aliquam porttitor turpis at molestie Icm may specify from time to get that check Their children and by making him arrestable on sight Would be coordinating your vehicle to the insurance company will be hot and humid Accidents, and will be even lower Husband to grant them the chance that their only avenue. Rounding Cape Howe, the Endeavour sailed north along the east coast, and on Sunday, April 30 April 29 by Cook's log anchored in Botany Bay at three o'clock in the afternoon. Is the amount of physical injury More congested, not as affected by the way, the amounts from many local families Money on your license if they read too slowly Few pounds could prove even more for retirement. This yacht, which was commanded by Willem Jansz, was actually in Torres Strait in March , a few weeks before Torres sailed through it.
A SHORT HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA
He may have made mistakes in fitting the parts. These early intimations are. It may be thought that, if the Portuguese had really found a great new land to the southward of the spice islands, they would be proud of the achievement and would proclaim it to the world. But, on the contrary, their policy was to conceal the whereabouts and the resources of the countries which they discovered.
They desired to secure for their own profit the whole of the trade with the East. Especially were they suspicious of the Spaniards, their neighbours in Europe, their rivals in oversea empire. The Portuguese being the first to discover the sea-route to the east round the Cape of Good Hope, and the Spaniards being the first to discover the way to America across the Atlantic, both realized that their interests would be bound to clash.
Where was to be the dividing line between their respective spheres of operation? Pope Alexander VI settled their differences in by appropriating to the Portuguese all the discoveries to the east of a certain meridian, whilst the Spaniards were to take all that lay to the westward of that line. A little later the two nations voluntarily agreed to an amendment of the Pope's award, and fixed upon a meridian leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands as the line separating their two dominions.
But, while this line drawn through the Atlantic did very well before the discovery of the Pacific Ocean, the agreement needed readjustment after Magellan sailed out of the Atlantic into the Pacific. The Moluccas were regarded as a very valuable possession on account of the spices yielded by them.
The Portuguese, who had discovered these islands in , contended that they were theirs. The Spaniards, however, contended that the Moluccas were on the western side of the line of partition; they were, urged the King of Spain, 'in his part of those countries which pertained unto him according to the Pope's bull.
In view of these disputes between the rivals as to the possession of lands in the Pacific, and as the agreement of the kings did not imply any principle of permanent settlement by the two nations concerning this part of the globe, it was clearly in the interest of the Portuguese, if they did discover Australia, to publish nothing about it. The Spaniards would have had quite as good a claim to this country as to the Moluccas, and would have insisted that the sum which the Portuguese had paid on account of those islands by no means covered the large country to the south.
The dispute about the Moluccas was ended in , and the map comprehending 'Jave la Grande' is dated If, between those two dates, the Portuguese became aware of the existence of a large area of new country, was there not good reason for their suppressing what they knew?
Indeed, no Portuguese map is known to exist showing any country in the vicinity of Australia. The map is of French origin. How the French cartographer procured his data we do not know; ingenious guesses have been made, but we cannot depend upon them.
Apart from their jealousy of the Spaniards, the Portuguese pursued the general policy of keeping secret their charts and sailing directions. They did not want to have people of other nations interfering in the trade of the Orient. A pilot or other person who gave to a foreigner information concerning the route taken by Portuguese ships on the voyage to the East Indies was liable to be punished by being put to death.
We cannot wonder, then, that the history of Portuguese activity in Australasian waters is obscure. Not until do we reach certain ground. In that year both Dutch and Spanish vessels were voyaging within sight of the Australian coast; and here at last we get in touch with people whom we know by name, and with first-hand contemporary documentary evidence which we can read and analyse. The story of the Spanish voyage is this. The viceroys who were sent out to govern the American possessions of that country were accustomed to despatch expeditions to discover new lands.
According to one account of the voyage, Alvaro would appear to have thought that he had actually discovered the Great Southern Continent of which men suspected the existence. The gold that they found was upon this island or mainland; but because the Spaniards understood not the language of the country, and also for the Indians were very stout and fought continuously against them, they could never learn from whence that gold came, nor yet what store was in the land.
Alvaro, named the group of islands the Solomons with the deliberate purpose of alluring other Spaniards to settle there--'to the end that the Spaniards, supposing them to be those isles from whence Solomon fetched gold to adorn the temple at Jerusalem, might be the more desirous to go and inhabit the same.
On his second voyage he discovered the Marquesas Island, but he could not now find the Solomons where he had been twenty-eight years before. It was no uncommon circumstance in those days for a navigator to lose his way at sea; and Alvaro had not been sufficiently precise in his reckoning to know their exact whereabouts. He died at Santa Cruz, a small group of islands south-east of the Solomons, before he had rediscovered the object of his quest.
One of the officers on this second expedition of Alvaro was Pedro Fernandez de Quiros. He was one of those Spaniards who believed that there was a Great Southern Continent which, from the vicinity of the Solomons, 'sretcheth to the Straits of Magellan. He laid his case before King Philip III, and as a result was commissioned to command three ships for the purpose of colonizing Santa Cruz and searching for the continent.
On December 21, , the expedition sailed from Callao in Peru. The officer second in command was Luis de Torres. But Quiros was not able to manage his crew.
They were mutinous, and, as Torres tells us in his relation of the voyage, 'made him turn from the course. At midnight on June 11, Quiros's flagship, the ST. PAUL, slipped out of harbour, 'and,' says Torres, 'although the next morning we went out to seek for them and made all proper efforts, it was not possible for us to find them, for they did not sail on the proper course nor with good intention. What was he to do now that the leader of the expedition had departed?
Was he tamely to abandon the voyage, and steer back to Callao? Torres resolved that he would not return until he had achieved some amount of exploration.
At this determination he arrived 'contrary to the inclinations of many, I may say of the greater part'; but he added, with a touch of pride in his own capacity for command, and also with a spice of scorn for the failure of Quiros, 'my condition was different from that of Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quiros. Torres, therefore, after satisfying himself that the land whereat they had been lying was an island, and not a portion of a continent, sailed till he fell in with the southern coast of New Guinea.
Then for two anxious months he threaded his way through the reefs and islands of the intricate and dangerous strait which separates that country from Australia. He sighted the hills of Cape York which he took to be a cluster of islands , made an acquaintance with the savage islanders of the strait, and, emerging into the open sea, steered at length for the Philippines, where he wrote an account of the voyage.
Quiros stoutly professed that he had discovered the Great Southern Continent, and in a narrative of the voyage was published wherein it was announced that 'all this region of the south as far as the Pole ' should be called 'Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. The word was chosen, says Quiros, 'from his Majesty's title of Austria. Quiros had never been within five hundred miles of the real continent. Torres had seen it, but did not know that he had. The entrance of the Dutch into the East as explorers, colonists, and merchants was connected with European events of very great importance.
The Reformation was principally an affair of churches and forms of religious belief, but it also had far-reaching consequences touching politics, commerce, and all the manifold interests of mankind. Its influence extended throughout the known world, and led to the discovery of regions hitherto unknown.
During the third quarter of the sixteenth century Philip II of Spain was engaged in a bitter, bloody struggle with his subjects in the Netherlands. Thousands of them broke away from the ancient Church of which he was a devoted champion.
Philip, loathing heresy, set himself to 'exterminate the root and ground of this pest,' and his ruthless Spanish soldiery carried out their master's injunctions with such pitiless ferocity that their effort to crush the revolt stands as one of the most awful phases of modern history.
For over thirty years the Spanish sword was wet with the blood of the people of the Netherlands. In the southern provinces, Brabant and Flanders, Protestantism was suppressed; but the north, Holland and Zealand successfully defied the gloomy, conscientious fanatic who issued his edicts of persecution from Madrid. The Dutch people at the time of the revolt did the largest sea-carrying trade in Europe. Their mercantile marine was numerous, and was manned by bold and skilful sailors.
A very considerable part of their commerce consisted in fetching from Lisbon goods brought by the Portuguese from the East, and distributing them throughout the continent. It was a very profitable business, and it quite suited the Dutch that the Portuguese should enjoy a monopoly in oriental trade as long as they themselves kept the major part of the European carrying trade.
They grew rich and increased their shipping, and the growth of their wealth and sea-power enabled them the better to defy Philip II. Failing, therefore, to subjugate the Dutch by sword and cannon, Philip resolved to humble them by stifling their trade. In the throne of Portugal had fallen vacant, and a Spanish army which crossed the frontier had forced the Portuguese to accept Philip as king. For sixty years to come--until the Portuguese regained their independence in the gallant little country which had achieved such glorious pre-eminence in commerce and discovery remained in 'captivity' to Spain.
The control thus secured by Philip over the colonies and the shipping of Portugal enabled him to strike the desired blow at the Dutch. In he commanded that Lisbon should be closed to their ships. Barring against the heretic rebels the port whither came the goods from which they had derived such abundant gains, he thought he could chastise them for their disobedience by the ruin of their commerce.
But Philip wholly underestimated the spirit and enterprise of the Dutch people. They had baffled the best of his generals, beaten the choicest of his troops, and captured his ships upon the sea. They were now prepared to scorn his new menace by fetching direct the commodities which they had hitherto obtained from Lisbon.
First they tried to find a new route to the East by a passage north of Europe, but were blocked by the ice of the Arctic Sea. If they were to succeed they must force their way into the trade by the Portuguese route in the teeth of Spanish opposition.
Many Dutch sailors had served on Portuguese vessels. Though the Portuguese tried to keep their sailing routes secret, and had never published maps, they had often had to avail themselves of the services of Dutch mariners; and these men knew the way. One of them, Cornelius Houtman, had actually been a pilot in the oriental trade. So that in various ways the Dutch already knew more about the Indies than King Philip supposed, and they were ready to act boldly in putting their knowledge to practical uses.
A company of Amsterdam merchants fitted out a fleet of four ships, placed them under Cornelius Houtman's direction, and sent them on a voyage to the spice islands. They were over two years away, from April to July , but they did great things for Holland. Cornelius Houtman and his brother Frederick were important pioneers of Dutch energy in the East. We have the name of the latter on the map of Australia at Houtman's Abrolhos, the long shoal off the west coast of the continent.
Abrolhos, in Portuguese, means literally 'open eyes,' and was given because this was part of a coast where it was needful to keep a sharp look-out.
The use of the word by Dutchmen is in itself interesting, as indicating that, in consequence of the service in which they acquired their experience, the employment of a Portuguese sea-term seemed most convenient to them. Here, then, was another step on the way to the discovery of Australia--the forcing of an entry into the eastern trade by the Dutch. Houtman having shown the road, others were quick to follow.
Before the end of the sixteenth century the Dutch had established themselves at Java and seven companies had been formed to make profits from the eastern trade. Fleet after fleet sailed forth from Holland. They were well armed and efficiently manned; they were quite prepared to fight their way against the Spaniards and the Portuguese. This they successfully did, both in the East, where at Malacca in they destroyed a fleet of their rivals, and in European waters, where at Gibraltar Bay in a large Spanish fleet was annihilated by a small Dutch squadron commanded by Jacob van Heemskerk.
With wonderful rapidity the new-comers supplanted the Portuguese as the principal European power in eastern seas. In the first half century of their activity a spirit of investigation accompanied their commercial enterprise. They explored, charted, and published. A series of most beautiful maps was produced by Hollanders, adding to the world's geographical knowledge.
Partly accidentally, partly as the result of explorations, they pieced together an outline of the northern, and western coasts of the continent which lay to the south of the spice islands. The first Dutch vessel known to have visited part of the Australian coast was the Duyfken i. This yacht, which was commanded by Willem Jansz, was actually in Torres Strait in March , a few weeks before Torres sailed through it.
But provisions ran short, and nine of the crew were murdered by natives, who Were found to be 'wild, cruel, black savages'; so that the Duyfken did not penetrate beyond Cape Keer-weer i. Cape Turn-again , on the west side of the Cape York Peninsula. Her captain returned in the belief that the south coast of New Guinea was joined to the land along which he coasted, and Dutch maps reproduced this error for many years to come.
A knowledge of the west coast was gradually gained through a series of accidents, happy and otherwise. Naturally, when the Dutch first sailed into these seas they followed the route which the Portuguese had always pursued. After rounding the Cape of Good Hope they ran along the coast of Africa north-east as far as Madagascar, and then struck across the Indian Ocean. But this route was painfully long.
A ship would often find herself becalmed for weeks together in the tropics. The heat was intensely oppressive, the crews suffered severely from scurvy and dysentery, and it was no uncommon circumstance for a ship to lose 60 per cent. The cargo frequently deteriorated, and the vessels became foul and gaping at the seams. A voyage would sometimes last over a year; the minimum time was nine months.
An Englishman who visited the Portuguese settlements in noted that ships which missed the July monsoons were generally unable to cross the Indian Ocean, but had to return to St. Helena; 'albeit,' he recorded as a marvellous thing, 'in the year of our Lord there arrived the ship called the LORENZO, being wonderful sore sea-beaten, the eighth of October, which was accounted as a miracle for that the like had not been seen before.
The Dutch map illustrating the voyage of Van Neck's fleet in , indicates the route followed. In Hendrik Brouwer, a commander of marked ability who subsequently became Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, made a discovery.
He found that if, after leaving the Cape, he steered due east for about three thousand miles, and then set a course north for Java, he had the benefit of favourable winds, which enabled him to finish the voyage in much less time than the old route required. Brouwer wrote to the directors of the Dutch East India Company pointing out that he had sailed from Holland to Java in seven months, and recommending that ships' captains should be instructed to take the same course in future.
The directors followed his advice; and from the year all Dutch commanders were under instructions to follow Brouwer's route. The bearing of this change on the discovery of the west coast of Australia will be immediately apparent to any one who glances at a map of the southern Indian Ocean.
A vessel running eastward with a free wind, and anxious to make the most of it before changing her course northward, would be very likely to sight the Australian coast. Her captain, Dirk Hartog, ran farther eastward than Brouwer had advised, reaching Shark's Bay and landing on the island which to this day bears his name. He erected there a post, and nailed to it a tin plate upon which was engraved the record that on October 25, , the ship EENDRAGT from Amsterdam had arrived there, and had sailed for Bantam on the 27th.
The post had decayed, but the plate itself was 'unaffected by rain, air, or sun. Dirk Hartog's discovery was recognised by the seamen of his nation as one which conduced to safer navigation. Brouwer's sailing direction had left it indefinite at what point the turn northward should be commenced.
But now there was a landmark, and amended instructions were issued to Dutch mariners that they should sail from the Cape between the latitudes of thirty and forty degrees for about four thousand miles until the 'New Southland of the EENDRAGT' was sighted. In this way the western coasts of Australia were brought within sight of the regular sailing track of vessels from Europe; and as soon as that occurred the finding of other portions of the coast was only a matter of time.
Of course all the captains did not reach the coast at the same spot. Violent winds would sometimes blow a vessel hundreds of miles out of her planned course. Both going to and coming from the East Indies ships would discover fresh pieces of coastline in quite a chance manner.
Thus, De Wit sailing homeward from Batavia in in the VYANEN was by headwinds driven aground upon the north-west coast, and had to throw overboard a quantity of pepper and copper, 'upon which through God's mercy she got off again without further damage. It was during the same period that the first English ship of which there is any record in connection with Australia appeared off the coast and met with disaster. Upon a Dutch chart of is marked a reef north-west of Dirk Hartog's Island, with the information that the English ship Trial was wrecked there in Forty-six of them were saved in boats which made their way to Batavia, where their arrival on July 5 was reported by the Dutch Governor-General to the managers of the East India Company.
The forty-six persons afore-mentioned put off from her in the greatest disorder with the boat and pinnace each separately, leaving ninety-seven persons in the ship, whose fate is known to God alone. In the history of Australian discovery the name of one Dutch navigator stands pre-eminent. It is that of Abel Tasman Born in , in a little village whose lush pastures were sheltered behind the dykes of Friesland, he grew up whilst the Hollanders were achieving their well-earned victory over the detested Spaniards.
His countrymen were firmly established in the East Indies when he first saw the light; and the Company's service offered excellent opportunities to a well-trained, intelligent young sailor such as he became.
Tasman's rise was very speedy. Commencing as an ordinary seaman, within two years he had become the captain of a vessel. There were no more capable men afloat at this time than were the Dutch, and the sharp merchants who directed the East India Company's affairs would not have entrusted one of their ships to any but a first-class navigator. From the rapidity of Tasman's promotion and the special class of work for which he was selected in the East, we may safely infer that he stood out as a keen, bold, trustworthy, and vigorous-minded commander.
It was fortunate for the fame of Tasman that during his career in the Indies the direction of the government there was in the hands of Anthony van Diemen. This most distinguished of the Dutch Governor-Generals attained office in , and held it till He ruled not only with a desire to promote the strength and profit of the Netherlands in the East, but also with the keenest anxiety to find out what was to be known about the undiscovered lands of the South Seas.
The instructions which he issued to the officers whom he employed in this service were marked by ripe wisdom, shrewd business instincts, and a discerning application of such knowledge, as had been accumulated by previous investigators.
He enjoined 'great circumspection' in the treatment of natives. Whoever aspires to discover unknown lands and tribes had need to be patient and long-suffering, noways quick to fly out, but always bent on ingratiating himself. They were commercial people, whose main concern was to make profit. So Van Diemen directed that, if gold and silver were found, and the natives did not understand the value of them, they were to be kept ignorant.
By , when Tasman was commissioned to command the first voyage of exploration, he had already had nearly ten years of service in the East, and had rendered distinguished service to his nation there. The object of it was to explore with the hope of opening up fresh avenues for trade and of finding a more convenient route to South America, where the Dutch were aiming at the extension of their commerce in defiance of Spain.
Sailing from Batavia on August 14, , Tasman's ships made a wide circuit in the Indian Ocean, touching at Mauritius, and then running southward until they encountered tempestuous weather. They reached the high latitude of 49 degrees, when, upon Visscher's advice, Tasman decided to move back again into warmer seas.
In latitude 42 they scudded along before westerly gales until, on November 24, the look-out man gave warning of land ahead. They wore, in fact, within sight of the country which its discoverer named Van Diemen's Land, and which now bears the name of Tasman himself.
His landfall is believed to have been near the entrance of Macquarie Harbour, on the west coast of the island, within sight of the two mountains which Flinders in named, after Tasman's ships, Mounts Heemskerk and Zeehaen. Coasting round the south of the island, Tasman planted the flag of Prince Frederick Henry, the Standtholder of the Netherlands, as a symbol of taking possession; and on December 4 he sailed east.
Nine days later he sighted the west coast of the south island of New Zealand and anchored in Massacre Bay--so called because three of his crew were killed there by Maoris. In recent years the British Admiralty has, very appropriately, upon its charts, adopted the name of Tasman Sea for the waters between Australia and New Zealand. After leaving New Zealand Tasman sailed into the Pacific, calling at the Friendly Islands, and thence made his way home round by the north coast of New Guinea, reaching Batavia on June 15, , after a voyage of ten months, in which he had achieved discoveries of capital importance.
In a second voyage of Tasman set out to find a passage between New Guinea and the land to the southward of it, which the Dutch now fully understood to be of vast extent. They did not of course know that Torres had actually been through the passage thirty-eight years before: If Tasman could find a strait he was to sail through it, and travel as far as Van Diemen's Land, thence making for the islands of St.
It is evident that if Tasman had accomplished this task, he would have demonstrated Australia to be an island continent, and the whole mystery about Terra Australis would have been cleared up. But for reasons which are not apparent the journals of Tasman's voyage are not extant, so that we do not know what his difficulties were , he did not find the passage, and returned to Batavia in August without penetrating to the Pacific by that route.
He probably gave the name Carpentaria to the land which he concluded was joined to New Guinea, thus honouring a former Governor-General, Pieter Carpenter After Tasman's voyages the Dutch commenced to use the name New Holland for the land which they believed to comprehend Van Diemen's Land and the entire region north of De Wit's Land; though they had never been upon the east coast.
There are no names to compare with theirs for breadth of scope and splendour of accomplishment. But a very great piece of work had been done.
The Dutch had, by accidental discoveries and by planned investigations, gained a knowledge of the coastline of Australia from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Bight, and had added New Zealand and Van Diemen's Land to the sphere. The map as Tasman left it in remained practically unaltered until after Cook's voyage of The Dutch having achieved so much, how was it that they did not complete the discovery of the whole of Australia?
Why did the spirit of investigation which had animated Van Diemen flicker out when he was no more? The great Governor-General died in , the year after Tasman's second voyage. The explorer himself lived on till , but he was not again employed in discovery work, nor did he live to see his own brilliant exploits eclipsed by others of his nation. The answer is that further voyages of discovery were discouraged by the managers of the East India Company, because they were expensive and did not produce immediate profits.
Though the Dutch nation stood at the back of the Company, and though its managers and principal officers were appointed by the Government of the Netherlands, these managers themselves were commercial men. Indeed, had Van Diemen lived a few months longer, he would have received a letter from the managers administering to him a chilling rebuke for the expense he had already incurred.
Voyages to discover new lands did not increase the Company's profits. They cost money, and brought in no return. Van Diemen had hoped to pay for them by discoveries of gold and silver. There was plenty of both in New Holland, Van Diemen's Land, and New Zealand--mountains of silver and shimmering masses of gold, more than Solomon, Croesus, the Pharaohs, and the Grand Mogul together had ever dreamt of.
But it had to be found; it was not lying among the pebbles on the beaches; and the black and painted savages who inhabited these countries knew nothing about it. They were not people with whom profitable business could be done. They were too low down in the scale of civilization even for barter. Why, then, bother about these remote and unremunerative countries? There was sure profit, and plenty of it, to be made out of the nutmegs of Amboyna, the cloves of Ceylon, the rice of India, the pepper of the Moluccas, the cinnamon of Java, the silks of China, and all the other rich merchandise of the abounding East.
Discovery was all very well, but it yielded simply nothing per cent. Van Diemen would perhaps have been very angry--certainly he would have been sorry--if he had read the letter which came from the managers shortly after they received the news of Tasman's voyage of ; but he was dead before it reached Java, and was spared the knowledge of this official censure.
Enough has been discovered for the Company to carry on trade provided the latter be attended with success. We do not consider it part of our task to seek out gold and silver mines for the Company, and, having found such, try and derive profit from the same, such things involve a good deal more, demanding excessive expenditure and large numbers of hands.
These plans of your worships somewhat aim beyond our mark. The gold and silver mines that will best serve the Company's turn have already been found, which we deem to be our trade over the whole of India.
There can be no doubt that some of the choice and ardent spirits among the Hollanders, in Europe as well as in the East, deeply regretted this relinquishment of all effort that did not bring in gain. Witsen, the principal director of the Company at the end of the seventeenth century, said in a letter: For the Dutch, henceforth, New Holland was simply a land which they sighted in voyaging to and from the East Indies.
The vast coastline may have excited their curiosity, but did not prompt them to investigate the resources of the country. They never saw the coasts which were most inviting in appearance, those of the south and the east.
They only looked upon the west and the north, and carried away impressions of sterility. In , while King James II was still reigning in England, the shores of Australia received a visit from a company of buccaneers who included an Englishman with a talent for picturesque writing and an inborn love of adventure--William Dampier. He and his companions on the Cygnet Captain Swan had been pursuing a career of sheer piracy in the China seas.
They had stolen the very ship in which they sailed, and had committed such offences as would have justified the Spaniards, if they had been caught, in giving each of them sufficient rope with a noose at the end of it, and sufficient yard-arm accommodation, to end their most nefarious courses. But it would have been a pity if Dampier had met with that fate, since it would have deprived posterity of a very delightful book of travels.
There were quite good reasons why the Cygnet should for a while get out of the way of ships which might be looking for her; so her company determined to sail to the quiet region of New Holland, 'to see what that country would afford us. Dampier's experience of Australia was not considerable on this voyage. The ship dropped anchor on the northwestern shore, somewhere near Melville Island, and stayed there for some weeks to enable her to be careened.
His picturesque pen gives a lively account of the natives whom he and his companions encountered. It was found to be impossible to 'allure them with toys to a commerce,' nor had they any kind of provisions to supply. There was no valuable plunder to be had here, and the pirates were glad to get away after cleaning the ship, mending the sails, and taking aboard fresh water. Dampier, even on this expedition, showed himself many degrees superior to his companions.
He was ever an inquirer, and the making of maps and drawings had a continual fascination for him. A very strange mistake was made by Dampier about the name of the Land of The Eendragt, which he found upon Dutch charts. As we have seen, the name was that of a ship.
But Dampier, in common with most seamen of his period, believed the legends which were current as to there being coasts of lodestone which mysteriously drew ships towards them. In his first volume of VOYAGES, therefore, Dampier referred to the fact that 'the Dutch call part of this coast the land of the indraught,' because it 'magically drew ships too fast to it.
The importance of this first acquaintance of Dampier with Australia lay in the schemes which he evolved as the result of it. When he returned to England he published an account of his travels, which evoked a large amount of interest, and made him a person of some consequence. Leading men of affairs were glad to converse with him, and he used his opportunities to promote a voyage of discovery to New Holland under his own command.
He had influential patrons, the Admiralty were convinced that there was advantage in the project, and in the ship Roebuck was placed at his disposal for the purpose. In this vessel Dampier made his second and more extensive acquaintance with Australia. Had he carried out his original intention of approaching the country by the route round the Horn and through the Pacific, he would have discovered the east coast, and the importance of the Roebuck 'S voyage would have been enormously increased.
But Dampier himself dreaded the cold of the Horn passage--he had been accustomed to warm seas--and his crew grumbled about having to sail that way. So he chose the route round the Cape of Good Hope, which brought him on to the western coasts of the continent, where the Dutch had been before him. He made land on August 6 at Shark's Bay, which he so named because his men caught and ate shark there and they took care that no waste should be made, but thought it, as things stood, good entertainment.
True, he did not find the country in any way attractive. They were black, ugly, fly-blown, blinking creatures, the most unpleasing human beings he had ever encountered, 'though I have seen a great variety of savages. Dampier was four months on the west and north-west coasts, which he traversed for a thousand miles, but he did not see anything encouraging. Then, 'it being the height of the dry season, and my men growing scorbutic for want of refreshments, so that I had little encouragement to search further, I resolved to leave this coast.
After Dampier, Australia remained in obscurity for nearly three quarters of a century. The Dutch had no use for it, and the English betrayed no more than a languid curiosity concerning it. A few romancers allowed their imagination to weave fantastic fables about it. Swift copied his map from Dampier, and makes Gulliver say that he was a cousin of that adventurous buccaneer. The veil is lifted again by the appearance in these seas of one of the great navigators of history, James Cook.
In the year there would occur an astronomical event of which the Royal Society of London desired that careful observation should be made.
The orbit of the planet Venus would cross the face of the sun, and the phenomenon could be watched in particularly favourable circumstances in the south seas. The Society therefore requested the Admiralty to furnish a ship to go south, equipped with trained observers and instruments, to watch this interesting transit of Venus.
James Cook, who was selected to command the expedition, had already won the confidence of the Admiralty by some excellent charting work which he had done in the St. Lawrence, at Newfoundland, and at Labrador. His rank in the Navy when he made this famous voyage was lieutenant, though he will always be known as Captain Cook; and the vessel was officially entered as the Endeavour BARK to distinguish her from another ship of the Navy called the Endeavour , though history knows but one of that name.
The voyage evoked unusual interest; the poet Goldsmith referred to it in the prologue to a play:. Cook's instructions directed him to sail to Tahiti, in the Pacific, to enable the transit of Venus to be observed, and then 'to prosecute the design of making discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean by proceeding to the south as far as the latitude of 40 degrees.
If he found no land there, he was to sail to New Zealand, explore it, and then return to England 'by such route as I should think proper. He was given a free hand to make such investigations as might seem to him to be advantageous, after completing the specified programme. The voyage commenced on August 26, , and the transit of Venus was successfully observed on June 1, It is from that point that Cook's movements become historically interesting.
He ran south to look for the supposed continent, but, finding no land, made for New Zealand, where he remained, charting and exploring, for nearly six months.
Cook demonstrated that that country consisted of two large islands, divided by a strait, and he charted the whole of it, doing this work so well, despite the difficulty of surveying a rough coast from a ship like the Endeavour , that a later French navigator, passing along the coast with Cook's chart in hand, confessed that 'I found it of an exactitude and of a thoroughness of detail which astonished me beyond all power of expression.
After leaving New Zealand, on March 31, , Cook decided to sail for the east coast of New Holland, that east coast which the Dutch had never explored, and which was not laid down upon any mariner's chart. Cook knew that there was original work to do there. Obviously, as the west coast of New Holland had been so well known to navigators from the Netherlands, there must be an east coast also. Cook was certainly unaware of the existence of any maps suggesting the possibility that the Portuguese had been upon this coast more than two centuries before.
Nor is it true that his discovery was a happy accident, as has sometimes been represented. His own words prove that his purpose was deliberately shaped. He resolved to sail westward from New Zealand 'until we fall in with the east coast of New Holland, and then to follow the direction of that coast to the northward, or what other direction it might take us, until we arrive at its northern extremity.
At six o'clock in the morning on Thursday, April 20, Lieutenant Hicks, who was on watch, sighted the coast of New Holland. The date given in Cook's log and journal is April 19, but it must be remembered that, Australia having been approached by sailing west from Europe, round Cape Horn, ship's time was out of relation to Greenwich time, and Cook had not so far made a correction.
He did not correct his time till he arrived at Batavia. Moreover, he dated events in the nautical manner of reckoning, and the nautical day began at noon. The date given in his log is therefore a day behind the civil calendar,. There is also some doubt about the exact locality of Cook's Australian landfall. He named the 'southernmost point of land we had in sight,' Point Hicks, because 'Lieutenant Hicks was the first who discovered this country.
He wrote that he 'judged' the point to be where as a matter of fact there is no land at all, but only open ocean. We have therefore to infer what Cook's Point Hicks was from his descriptive words. The 'southernmost point' in sight of the Endeavour at the time was that which figures on Admiralty charts as Cape Everard.
Rounding Cape Howe, the Endeavour sailed north along the east coast, and on Sunday, April 30 April 29 by Cook's log anchored in Botany Bay at three o'clock in the afternoon. There was a tradition in Cook's family that the first to land was his wife's cousin, Isaac Smith, who sailed as a midshipman. The lad went in the boat from the ship to the shore, and as the prow ran up the beach, Cook said, 'Now then, Isaac, you go first.
Joseph Banks, who, with the professional botanist Solander, was responsible for these collections, recorded that they were 'immensely large,' and they evoked so much interest in Europe that the great Swedish botanist Linnaeus wrote that 'the new-found country ought to be called Banksia. The ship then continued her voyage northward, past the entrance to Port Jackson which was marked down and named after George Jackson, an Admiralty official , and so on for nearly four months of difficult navigation along a totally unknown coast which Cook was confident no European had ever seen before.
Cook did not claim that he accomplished a feat of discovery when he took his ship through Endeavour Strait. The authentic record of Torres' voyage was found in the Spanish archives at Manilla in ; but, though Cook had not seen a translation of it at this time, he knew that the matter of the separation of New Guinea was by many regarded as uncertain. So he cautiously wrote that 'as I believe it was known before, but not publicly, I claim no other merit than the clearing up of a doubtful point.
During his next voyage in the Resolution Cook paid another visit to New Zealand, but did not on this occasion approach the coast of Australia. He was inclined to settle the question whether Van Diemen's Land was an island or part of the mainland. Furneaux had become separated from the Resolution during rough weather, and, in making for Queen Charlotte's Sound, New Zealand, which had been fixed upon as a rendezvous, had actually sailed in the eastern entrance of the strait which divides Australia from Tasmania.
But he reported his conviction that New Holland was not divided at that point, and Cook, believing him, was deprived of the honour of discovering the southern coasts of Australia, as he would undoubtedly have done had he acted on his own impulse.
The freshness of the scenes described, the wonder of the discoveries made, the fulness and clearness of observation displayed, the vital and attractive personality revealed by the writings, made the volumes delightful for youthful and mature minds alike. They were translated into many languages.
Kings and cabin-boys came under their spell. Louis XVI of France and Napoleon the Great read them, in common with poor lads who could only borrow them for a few hours' enchantment. It has often been written that Cook 'discovered Australia,' and the statement is not infrequently repeated nowadays, when there are so many reasons for knowing better.
Literally, of course, it is not true; but in a deeper sense it is. The Dutch had indeed found and mapped portions of the continent, but all their reports about it were repellent. Cook's, however, were alluring.
He saw the country in what he truly described as a pure state of nature. In this extensive country it can never be doubted but what most sorts of grain, fruit, roots, etc. So that Cook not only discovered the entire east coast of the continent--and that was a larger piece of geographical discovery, made at one time, than has ever been achieved by one navigator before or since--but he discovered its abounding possibilities as a place for the habitation of civilized mankind.
That was the most splendid result of his great voyage of Just as the discoveries made by the Dutch upon the west and north coasts of Australia were closely connected with the Reformation in Europe, so the settlement established by the English at Port Jackson in was related to other events of great importance in world history.
The War of Independence which resulted from the revolt of the American colonies ended in ; and it produced two kinds of complications, both of which turned the attention of British ministers to the vast empty continent in the south seas. The first was the question of the American loyalists; of those colonists who had remained faithful to the British connection during the dark days of the war, and were now in dire straits.
The triumphant Americans behaved very harshly towards fellow-countrymen who had fought against them. Their property was confiscated, debts owing to them could not be recovered, and thousands of them were driven from the land. The greater number of the loyalists, over 50,, went to Canada, Nova Scotia, and the West Indies, but many accompanied the British troops to England at the conclusion of the war.
Most of these were herded together in utter destitution in London, and what to do with them was a problem which the Government had to face. The second complication rose out of the unsettlement of the English penal system by the stoppage of the transportation of convicts to America. It had been the regular practice during the eighteenth century to ship large numbers of offenders against the law to the colonies. There was such an eager demand for labour there that contractors were willing to take convicts at no expense to the Government, knowing that they could sell them to planters for as much as 20 pounds per head.
Between and the War of Independence at least 50, English convicts were received into America. Several colonies protested against the traffic, and their legislatures even passed laws to put an end to it, but in such instances the home Government exercised its power of vetoing colonial statutes. Now that America had separated from the British Empire this means of disposing of criminals was no longer available.
But the English law still prescribed transportation as a punishment, and judges continued to inflict such sentences. The prisons were wholly insufficient to hold the condemned persons. Edmund Burke, speaking in Parliament in , said that the jails were crowded beyond measure. Thousands of prisoners were crowded into wretchedly insanitary hulks which were purchased to serve as receptacles.
Every month saw more and more sentences of transportation inflicted, more hulks filled with offenders, and still there was no place to which they could be exiled.
There were said to be , persons in England under sentence of transportation. That must have been an exaggeration; but still, the problem was acute.
The Government caused an examination to be made of sites in Southwest Africa, where it was suggested that penal settlements might be founded. Some hundreds of convicts were in fact landed in Africa, but the places chosen were simply abodes of plague, pestilence, and famine, Burke eloquently asked the Government how they could reconcile it with justice that persons whom the rigour of the law had spared from death 'should after a mock display of mercy be compelled to undergo it by being sent to a country where they could not live, and where the manner of the death might be singularly horrid; so that the apparent mercy of transporting those wretched people to Africa might with justice be called cruelty--the gallows of England would rid them of their lives in a far less dreadful manner than the climate or the savages of Africa would take them.
Thus the problem of settling the American loyalists and that of dealing. Sir Joseph Banks was the first to make the suggestion that in New Holland could be found a suitable place for convict settlement.
In he gave evidence before a committee of the House of Commons appointed to consider the convict question; and he then recommended that Botany Bay would be 'best adapted' for the purpose. He remembered Botany Bay with pleasure because of the plants he had collected there. But the Government was too much engaged with other pressing business at that time to act upon the suggestion.
Four years later another man, a Corsican who had been with Cook in the Endeavour , directed attention to the suitableness of Botany Bay with a view of relieving the Government of their second embarrassment. James Maria Matra, in a letter to Lord Sydney, Secretary of State for the Home Department, in , pointed out that the distress of the American loyalists might be relieved by sending them out to populate the empty spaces of New Holland.
There was plenty of room for them; there was scope for commerce with India, China, and Japan; and they might, under British protection, build up in the south estates and fortunes to replace those of which they had been deprived in America.
The subject had been discussed with some of the Americans, who agreed that the proposal offered the most favourable prospects that had yet occurred to promote their happiness. Lord Sydney had an interview with Matra, and discussed the scheme with him.
It would seem that he viewed the convict trouble as more serious than that affecting the loyalists, and Matra saw that he would be more likely to attain the settlement of New Holland by amending his scheme. He therefore added to it a postscript, wherein he pointed out that in New Holland there were abundant possibilities for the founding of a colony for the reception of convicts.
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