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Title: The Discovery of Van Diemen's Land in 1642 Author: James Backhouse Walker * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: 0600551h.html Edition: 1 Language: English Character set encoding: Latin-1(ISO-8859-1)--8 bit Date first posted: May 2006 Date most recently updated: May 2006 This eBook was produced by: Col Choat and Bob Forsyth Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular paper edition. Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file. This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online at http://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to http://gutenberg.net.au
EARLY TASMANIA PAPERS READ BEFORE THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF TASMANIA DURING THE YEARS 1888 TO 1899 BY JAMES BACKHOUSE WALKER, F.R.G.S., MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF TASMANIA AND VICE-CHANCELLOR OF THE TASMANIAN UNIVERSITY. NOTE: THE DISCOVERY OF VAN DIEMEN'S LAND IN 1642; WITH NOTES ON THE LOCALITIES MENTIONED IN TASMAN'S JOURNAL OF THE VOYAGE is the only article included in this ebook. The other items are detailed in the Contents for information only.
[Biographical Sketch (by the Rev. George Clarke) The French in Van Diemen's Land, and the First Settlement at the Derwent The English at the Derwent, and the Risdon Settlement The Founding of Hobart by Lieutenant-Governor The Expedition under Lieutenant-Governor Collins in The Discovery and Occupation of Port Dalrymple] THE DISCOVERY OF VAN DIEMEN'S LAND IN 1642; WITH NOTES ON THE LOCALITIES MENTIONED IN TASMAN'S JOURNAL OF THE VOYAGE [The Deportation of the Norfolk Islanders to the Derwent in 1808 Abel Janszoon Tasman: His Life and Voyages Notes on the Aborigines of Tasmania extracted from the Manuscript Journals of George Washington Walker, with an Introduction by James Backhouse Walker F.R.G.S. Some Notes on the Tribal Divisions of the Aborigines of Tasmania The Tasmanian Aborigines The Cartography of the Terra Australis and New Holland CHARTS.]
Abel Janszoon Tasman was unquestionably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of the navigators between Magellan, who in the early years of the 16th century first crossed the Pacific Ocean, and Cook, who in the latter years of the 18th practically opened Oceania and Australia to Europe.
Little is known of Tasman's personal history, except that he was born about the year 1602, at Hoorn on the Zuyder Zee, a seaport which produced many another hardy navigator. Tasman has made familiar in our seas the name of one of these fellow townsmen, the Corneliszoon Schouten, who in 1616 doubled the Cape, afterwards called the Horn in honour of the birthplace of its discoverer.
That Tasman's merit has not received due recognition, and that his fame has not been as wide as his achievements deserved, is the fault of his own countrymen. In the 16th and 17th centuries the persistent policy of the Dutch was to conceal the discoveries of their navigators, and suppress their charts, for fear other nations should reap advantage from the knowledge and rival them in the eastern seas. In later times when this motive had lost its force, Tasman's countrymen were strangely indifferent to the honour which their great sailor had won for his native land. Of his second voyage in 1644--in which he explored the northern coast of Australia, and laid down with painstaking accuracy the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria--we have to this day only meagre hints and the record contained in a sketch map. Of his more
famous voyage to the Great Southland in 1642--in which he discovered Tasmania and New Zealand, and made a great step towards solving the vexed problem of the fancied Terra Australis--the journal remained unpublished for more than two centuries. It is true that a short abstract of this voyage was published in Holland late in the 17th century, and was shortly afterwards translated into English, and included in several collections of voyages made by English and French editors, and that Valentyn, in his great work on the Dutch East Indies published in 1726, gave a more extended account, illustrated by copies of Tasman's maps and sketches. But the journal itself remained practically unknown until a copy of it and of the original sketches and charts was discovered in London in 1776 and purchased for half a guinea. This MS. afterwards came into the possession of Sir Joseph Banks, and he employed the Rev. C. G. Woide, a Dutch clergyman living in London, to make a translation of it. Thirty years later the substance of this translation was printed by Dr. Burney in his "History of Discovery in the South Sea," published in 1814. Woide's MS. is now in the British Museum, and a verbatim copy of the part relating to our island has lately been made by Mr. Bonwick for the Tasmanian Government. In Tasman's own country his original journal remained neglected for more than two centuries, until in the year 1860 it was printed in extenso at Amsterdam, under the editorship of Mr. Jacob Swart.
Tasman's expedition was probably the first systematic attempt made by the Dutch to explore the Great South Land. In the early years of the 17th century the Western Coast of Australia had been several times sighted by Dutch Captains. Ships, bound for the Dutch settlements at Batavia, had been driven to the southward by storms, and the resulting discoveries had, therefore, been to a large extent involuntary, or at least accidental. In the year 1642, however, the Governor-General Anthony Van Diemen, and the Council of Netherlands-India, determined to despatch from Batavia a properly equipped expedition, having for its sole object the discovery of the Great Southern Continent. The instructions
[(1)Journaal van de reis naar het onbekende Zuidland in den Jare 1642, door Abel Jansz, Tasman; medegedeeld door Jacob Swart. Amsterdam. 1860. ]
to the commander, prepared by their direction, have been preserved. They contain a detailed statement of all that was then known by the Dutch of the geography of those parts, and they prescribe the course that the ships were to pursue. The command of the expedition was entrusted to Tasman, then 40 years old, and the ship Heemskerk was assigned to him for the service, with the little fly-boat Zeehan as tender. Tasman sailed from Batavia on August 14; reached Mauritius (then a Dutch settlement) on September 5, and sailed thence for the South on October 5. He held a S.E. course until on November 6 he had reached 100 deg. E. long. in lat. 49 deg. S., without finding any signs of the supposed continent. A council of officers was held, and the chief pilot, Francis Jacobsen, advised that the course should be altered, and that the ships should make for lat. 44 deg. S. until 130 deg. E. Long. was reached, when, if no mainland was met with, they should sail into 40 deg. E. lat., and steer on that parallel until they reached 200 deg. E. long. By this course he thought they would be sure to fall in with islands, and having so far solved the problem of the great southern continent, he advised that they should stand north for the Solomon Islands, whence they might shape their course for home. By the middle of November they came to the conclusion that they had passed the extreme limits of the supposed continent, but on the 24th of the month land was seen bearing east by north, distant 10 Dutch miles (40 miles English). Unlike the invariable low sandy shore which former captains had described as characteristic of the Great Southland, the country before them was mountainous, and clothed with dark forest. Tasman says: "This is the furthest land in the South Sea we met with, and as it has not yet been known to any European we called it Anthony Van Diemen's Land, in honour of the Governor-General, our master, who sent us out to make discoveries. The islands round about, as many as were known to us, we named in honour of the Council of India." They skirted the newly discovered land, and on December 1 came to an anchor in a bay on the east coast. On December 3 they weighed anchor and sailed north until they reached a point about St. Patrick's Head, from whence they stood away eastward to make new discoveries. After eight days they sighted land, which Tasman called Staten Land, thinking that
it might be part of the Southern continent and joined to Staten Land, east of Tierra del Fuego. (When this supposition was shortly afterwards shown to be an error, the name was changed to that of New Zealand.) After a fatal encounter with the Maoris, Tasman sailed along the west coast of New Zealand to Cape Maria Van Diemen, and thence took a north-east course, discovering Amsterdam and other islands, and after skirting the north coast of New Guinea, he returned to Batavia. In his second voyage in 1644, Tasman again sailed from Batavia and explored the west, north-west, and north coasts of Australia, the Gulf of Carpentaria, and the south coast of New Guinea. Thus in the two voyages, though he left the question of the existence of a southern continent still unsolved, he had made the first complete circumnavigation of Australia and New Guinea.
We may now turn our attention to identifying the parts of the coast of our island which were sighted by Tasman. The difficulty is that his longitudes are very uncertain, and his latitudes, though less variable, do not agree with modern observations, being in general some 9 or 10 miles too southerly. His longitudes are quite hopeless. Their uncertainty is shown by the fact that he makes a difference of 3 deg. 40 min. between the west coast and Frederick Henry Bay, while the true difference is only 2 deg. 48 min.--an error of 52, or nearly a degree in that short distance. Many of his positions are stated to have been estimated by reckoning, and we know that in those days the ascertainment of longitude by observation was always very uncertain.
It is generally stated that the first land sighted by Tasman was near Point Hibbs, and his little chart of Van Diemen's Land appears to favour this opinion, but an examination of his journal leads us to a different conclusion. From the entries in the journal it is evident that his position on November 24, when he first saw the land, is not laid down on the chart at all. The latitude
[(2) By the voyage of Brouwer round Cape Horn in 1643. ]
[(3)This conclusion is reached by a comparison of the latitudes shown on his chart for his anchorage on the east coast, for Maria Island, the Friars, and Maatsuyker Island. On the other hand, he gives the latitude of the point where he approached close to shore as 42 deg. 30 min., the true latitude of Point Hibbs being 42 deg. 38 min. ]
entered for noon that day is 42 deg. 25 min. As the weather was clear this was probably the observed latitude, and making allowance for the usual error we may place it some miles more to the north, say 42 deg. 20 min. or 42 deg. 15 min. From noon he sailed four hours E. by N. before he sighted land bearing E. by N. 40 English miles distant. When evening fell some three hours later this course would have brought him to a latitude a little to the northward of Cape Sorell (42 deg. 12 min.) This position would agree very well with his description of the land as he saw it on that evening, and which he describes as "very high." "Towards evening we saw three high mountains to the E.S.E. and to the N.E. We also saw two mountains, but not so high as those to the southward."
Flinders in his circumnavigation of the island identified the two mountains to the N.E. as those named by him Heemskirk and Zeehan, after Tasman's ships. They are visible at about 30 miles distance. Now, with Heemskirk and Zeehan bearing N.E. at a distance of say 20 miles, Mount Sorell, the southern peaks of the West Coast Range, and the Frenchman's Cap, would be nearly E.S.E., while the centre of the West Coast Range, seen over the low sandy foreshore north of Macquarie Harbour, would fit Tasman's description of the very high land in front of him. If the land near Point Hibbs had been first sighted, Mount Heemskirk would have been at least 50 miles distant, and not visible. It is therefore probable that the first land seen by the Dutch navigator was the mountainous country to the north of Macquarie Harbour. Without further observation the point must remain doubtful, but when we get the much-needed and long-expected Admiralty survey of the West Coast it will doubtless be possible to fix precisely the spot of Taman's landfall.
When the shades of evening fell over the strange shore they had just discovered it was deemed prudent to run out to sea during the night, and when morning broke the land was far distant. The breeze had died away, and it was noon before they had enough wind to run in again towards the shore. By 5 in the evening they were within 12 miles of the land, and they kept on their course until within one Dutch mile (4 English miles) of what was without doubt Point Hibbs.
This was the opinion of Flinders, than whom there could be no higher authority on such a question, and Tasman's sketch, rough as it is, seems conclusive. Point Hibbs is there laid down as an island, but its distinctive form unlike any point lying to the northward--is correctly shown.
The ships stood out to sea again and sailed south-east in thick, foggy weather, in which only glimpses of the coast were obtained. Tasman took some of the high headlands and mountains about Port Davey for islands, calling them De Witt and Sweers Islands. Then he rounded the South-West Cape, and named the Maatsuyker Islands, passing close to a small island about 12 miles from the mainland which looked like a lion, and which was identified afterwards by Flinders as the rock named by Furneaux the Mewstone. Thence he passed between the mainland and a rock which he named Pedra Branca (White Rock) from its resemblance to Pedra Branca off the coast of China, and sailed past the entrance of D'Entrecasteaux Channel without entering it, though in his chart he marks an opening in the coast. Rounding the Friars (which he called Boreels Isles) on November 29 he bore up for a large bay, intending to anchor there. When he had almost reached his intended anchorage a heavy storm arose, and he was driven out so far to sea that next morning he could hardly discern the land. It was from this incident that Storm Bay got its name. When the wind moderated he continued his easterly course, and rounding Tasman's Island (the Pillar) he turned northward along the east coast of Tasman's and Forestier's Peninsulas until, on December 1, an hour after sunset, he came to anchor in a good port in 22 fathoms, the bottom fine, light-grey, sand. "Wherefore," says Tasman piously. "we ought to lift up thankful hearts to Almighty God." The position of this anchorage,
[ (4)The only difficulty in reconciling the positions of the two days (Nov. 24 and 25) lies in the fact that the difference of latitude given in the journal is 5 min. only. The difference of latitude between Cape Sorell, where we suppose him to have been on the first evening, and Point Hibbs, where he certainly was on the second, is 26 miles. The discrepancy may, however, be accounted for. On the second day they had southerly wind and thick weather, and probably got no observation. They had been standing off and on for 24 hours, and currents unknown to them would probably lead to error in estimating their position. The probability of error in Tasman's latitude is increased by the fact that he makes the latitude 42 deg. 30 min. instead of 42 deg. 38 min., the error being too northerly instead of too southerly, as usual.]
[(5)Known to our fishermen as "Peter's Bank." ]
[(6)The anchorage he aimed at was the same where Furneaux anchored in 1773, and which he named Adventure Bay. ]
as shown in Tasman's chart, is north-west of the rocky islet now called Green Island, just north of the basaltic cliffs of Cape Frederick Henry.
On December 2, early in the morning, the boat was sent to explore, and entered a bay a good 4 miles to the north-west (Blackman's Bay). The boat was absent all day, and returned in the evening with a quantity of green-stuff which was found fit to cook for vegetables. The crew reported that they had rowed some miles after passing through the entrance to the bay (now known as the Narrows). They had heard human voices, and a sound like a trumpet or small gong (probably a cooey), but had seen no one. They saw trees from 12 to 15 feet round, and 60 to 65 feet up to the first branch. In the bark of these trees steps had been hacked with a flint for the purpose of climbing to the birds' nests. From the steps being five feet apart they inferred that the natives were either very tall, or had some unknown method of climbing. The forest was thin and unencumbered by scrub, and many of the tree trunks were deeply burnt by fire. In the bay were great numbers of gulls, ducks, and geese. At various times during the day both the boat's crews and the people on board the ships had seen smoke rising from different points on shore, "so that without doubt in this place must be men, and these of uncommon height."
The next day (Dec. 3) the boats went to the southeast corner of the bay in which the ships were anchored, in order to get fresh water, but, though they found a lagoon, the shore was so low that the waves had broken through, and the water was too brackish for use. The wind blew strongly from the east and south-east, and in the afternoon, when they again tried to effect a landing with the boats, the sea ran so high that one boat was obliged to return to the ship. The other larger boat, under the command of Tasman himself, made for a little bay to the W.S.W. of the ships, but the sea was too rough to allow of a landing. The carpenter, Peter Jacobsen, volunteered to swim ashore with a pole on which was the Prince's flag. He planted the flag-pole in the ground on the shore of the bay, and thus Tasman took possession of our island for the Dutch.
[ (7)The early navigators had a fixed idea that these southern lands were inhabited by giants. At the Three Kings, north of New Zealand, Tasman describes the men they saw walking on the shore as being of gigantic stature.]
Next morning at daybreak (Dec. 4), the storm having subsided, and the wind blowing off shore, they weighed anchor and stood to the northward, passing Maria Island and Schouten Island, so named by Tasman after his fellow-townsman of the good port of Hoorn.
On the following morning (Dec. 5), he took his departure from a high round mountain (St. Patrick's Head) and stood away to the eastward to make fresh discoveries.
Of the localities associated with the discovery of this island, the one round which the chief interest centres is Frederick Henry Bay and its neighbourhood. The name has been dislocated from its rightful position on the map, and has been transferred to another part of the coast, where it is now fixed by long usage. Tasman never saw what is now popularly known as Frederick Henry Bay. The bay to which he gave the name of the Stradtholder of Holland was in the immediate vicinity of his anchorage on the north-east coast of Forestier's Peninsular. Its exact locality the records of the voyage leave a little doubtful. The journal contains no names of places, but the account of the planting of the flag would lead to the inference that he gave the Prince's name to the bay in which his ships lay at anchor, on the shore of which the Prince's flag was set up, and which is now known as Marion Bay. The charts, however, lead rather to the conclusion that it is the inner port or arm of the sea (now Blackman's Bay) which is the true Bay of Frederik Hendrik. The copy of the map in Burney leaves the point doubtful, the name being written on the land between the two ports. But in the chart as reproduced by Vallentyn, and stated to have been copied by him from the original journal, the name is distinctly written in Blackman's Bay. On the whole, therefore, it seems probable that this is the Frederik Hendrik Bay of Tasman.
The eastern shore of Forestier's Peninsular is wild and rugged, and scarcely known except to the hardy fishermen, who, in their trips northward along the coast, fish in its quiet nooks, or run for shelter into the beautiful inlet of Wilmot Harbour. With the exception of a solitary shepherd's dwelling on the shore of this harbour
[(8)Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange was Stadtholder of Holland from 1625 to 1647. He was the grandfather of William of Orange, afterwards William III. of England. ]
locally known as Lagoon Bay--the eastern part of the Peninsula is uninhabited, and so difficult of access that it is seldom visited. In the early part of 1889 I had an opportunity of thoroughly exploring a locality which must always be of interest as the spot where the sailors of the great Dutchman first set foot on the island which bears his name.
Our party--which included my friend Mr. R. M. Johnston--left East Bay Neck in a fishing-boat to camp at Chinaman's Point just within "The Narrows." or entrance of Blackman's Bay. During the time of our ten days' camping we cruised in our boat over the great bay outside, seeing the coast from the point of view which Tasman occupied when the Heemskerk lay at anchor off rocky little Green Island. We could thus realise the scene, unaltered after two centuries and a half, which presented itself to the old navigator when he caught his first near view of the picturesque shores of this outpost of the Great South Land, the mysterious continent of his search. To the south stood the jutting basaltic columns of Cape Frederick Henry--a lesser Cape Raoul--backed by the high round of Humper's Bluff. Thence his eye travelled northward round twenty miles of curving shore, its white beaches broken here and there by dark cliffs and rocky points. On the north, beyond the long stretch of white sand barring Blackman's Bay, rose steep-wooded hills, buttressed at their eastern end by the abrupt mass of Cape Bernier, thrusting its almost precipitous slope into the ocean, and flanked by the hills of Maria Island, shutting in the great bay on the north-east. The coast view from the offing is fine, but if the visitor wishes to appreciate fully the picturesqueness of the shore and to identify the spots mentioned in the quaint old Dutch journal, he must be prepared for some rough scrambling on the Peninsula itself. The country inland is poor, almost without water, covered with thin gum forest, scrub, and meagre grass. It is only the shore that is interesting. The rocky headlands, cliffs, and islands, against which the ocean dashes, are rent and scarred by sudden fissures and chasms, into which the waves rush roaring and tumbling. Between the points lie a variety of lovely bays; now a broad white beach with long rollers of breaking surf, now a rocky nook, now a quiet and sheltered cove.
Our centre of observation was the camping ground within "The Narrows." from whence we looked out over the broad expanse of Blackman's Bay. This extensive inlet or arm of the sea is shallow and full of shoals and sandbanks, which make the navigation even of a boat dangerous to the inexperienced. It is shut in from the sea by a long tongue of land and by shoals, leaving only a small outlet, very appropriately called "The Narrows," through which the tide rushes with great force. Early on the first morning after the ships had come to an anchor the two boats, under the command of Pilot Francis Jacobszoon, rowed through this narrow inlet to explore the new-found country. The Pilot's description of the watering places, where the water trickled so slowly that they could with difficulty fill a bowl, is thoroughly characteristic of the eastern shores of Blackman's Bay. In the evening Pilot Jacabszoon returned on board with his collection of strange vegetables, and his report of the well-wooded country, the great trees scarred by fire, with marks on their bark of the steps of gigantic climbers, whom they had not seen, but whose mysterious voices they had heard.
The various localities mentioned in Tasman's journal were easily reached from our camp. Outside "The Narrows" the shore rises in high cliffs, at the foot of which a broad rocky shelf affords access to little nooks, which in the early days of the colony, were the sites of stations for bay whaling, and are still known as Gardiner's and Watson's Fisheries, Some two miles from "The Narrows" is Cape Paul Lamanon. A fishing excursion to the neighbourhood gave me an opportunity of landing on the Cape. It is a low point, the soil of which is stony and arid, covered with small timber and rough scrub. From the Cape a short walk took me to the little cove marked on the maps as Prince of Wales Bay. It was on the shore of this little cove (cleene bochtien), situated to the west-south-west of Tasman's anchorage, that the Dutch flag was planted two centuries and a half ago, The shores of the bay on each side of the entrance are rocky and broken, but further in the rocks give place to a beach of large grey shingle. As you advance along the shore up the bay the banks of shingle on each side
curve into two horns shelving out towards the centre of the bay, and forming a bar extending nearly the whole way across the entrance to the inner cove. Within the bar of shingle lies enclosed a lovely cove, its quiet waters fringed by a curved beach of great smooth stones. On either hand it is shut in by steep banks crowned with dark forest, and from the steep grey beach at the bottom of the cove a wooded valley runs inland. Standing just outside the shingle bar at the entrance to this inner harbour it needs no great effort of the imagination to call up the scene on that 3rd December, 1642. Away out in the offing, near yonder grotesquely shaped Green Island, the high-pooped old Dutch ships lie at anchor. The wind is blowing fresh from the eastward, and two boats put off from the ships and stand for the shore. The wind increases to half a gale, and while the smaller boat runs back to the ships the larger boat changes her course and heads for this bay. As she approaches we can see on board of her Tasman himself; and some of the Heemskerk's officers; Gerrit Janszoon, the master; Abraham Coomans, the supercargo; and Peter Jacobszoon, the carpenter. The surf breaks violently on the shingle, and Tasman finds that to land in such a sea is impossible without great danger of wrecking the boat. Must he, then, after all, sail away without taking formal possession of the newly-discovered land? There is a short deliberation as the rowers rest on their oars, and then the carpenter, Jacobszoon, hastily throws off his clothes, plunges into the sea, and, pushing his flag-pole before him, strikes out for the shore. Making his way through the breaking surf he lands on the shingle beach, and there, at the foot of the steep slope, where four stately gums stand in a crescent on the hill side, he plants the flag of the Prince Stadtholder. We can imagine the cheer which greeted the raising of the flag as the carpenter, in the name of the States-General, thus took possession of the new territory of the Great South Land. Then the boat is brought as close in to the shore as possible, the carpenter swims out to her again through the surf, and they return on board the Heemskerk. "Leaving the flag," says Tasman, "as a memento to posterity and to the inhabitants of the country, who, though they did not show themselves, we thought were not far off, carefully watching the proceedings of the invaders of their territory."
Another place of interest on this coast to which we paid a visit is Wilmot Harbour, locally known as Lagoon Bay, a deep cove to the south of the basaltic promontory of Cape Frederick Henry. Here is the one solitary dwelling on this part of the Peninsula. It is probably the only locality which has altered much in appearance since the time of Tasman. Everywhere else the wild bush remains untouched, but here is green pasture, and even a small cornfield or two. The southern headland of the harbour is one of the wildest and most picturesque of spots. Standing on the grassy surface of its narrow extremity, which is rent into chasms and fissures, you look down upon the sea breaking tumultuously into a deep gulf below. On the other side of the gulf, to the south, there rises abruptly out of the water the grassy and wooded steep of the headland, with bold outline like Mount Direction. Turning to the north you see at your feet two rocky islands, their precipices crowned with wood and scrub, the waves heaving and swirling round their bases. Across the mouth of the harbour stand the basaltic columns of Cape Frederick Henry--a lesser Cape Raoul. Beyond, over outlying rocks and islets, is the place of Tasman's anchorage; while in the distance, twelve or fifteen miles off across the sea, loom the peaks of Maria Island.
On our return we took the way of the Two Mile Beach (the North Bay of the maps). Behind the sandhills at the back of the beach lies a large lagoon, which discharges its brackish waters by a narrow sandy channel at the south corner of the beach. This is the spot where Tasman's boat's crew landed--on the morning after their exploration of Blackman's Bay--to search for water, and where they found that the sea breaking through into the lagoon had made the water too brackish for use. The spot is easily identified from Tasman's description, and is probably hardly altered in appearance by the lapse of two centuries and a half. The beach is a fine stretch of broad white sand two miles long, on which the great ocean rollers break splendidly, and is backed by a line of low sand hills, behind which lies the lagoon.
For more than a century after Tasman anchored off Green Island no navigator ventured to follow him into the stormy seas that wash the dark cliffs of the Great South Land. The first of the moderns who sighted the coast of Van Diemen's Land was the French captain
Marion du Fresne in 1772. Marion made the West Coast a little to the south of Tasman's landfall, and, following almost the same course as the earlier navigator, his ships, the Mascarin and Marquis de Castries, on the 5th March, 1772, anchored at a spot somewhat to the north-west of the Heemskerk's anchorage in 1642. Marion took this to be the Frederick Henry Bay of Tasmania but, as we have already seen, this was almost certainly an error, and since the visit of the Mascarin the outer bay, as distinguished from the inner, has borne on the charts the more appropriate designation of Marion Bay. The description in the narrative of the voyage is not sufficiently exact to enable us to determine the precise spot where the French landed, but it appears to have been on the Two Mile Beach (North Bay of our present maps). On this beach it was that the aborigines of Tasmania first came into contact with Europeans. The meeting was an ill-omened one. The blacks resisted the landing, and attacked Marion's party with stones and spears. The French, in retaliation, fired upon them, killing one man and wounding others. The ships lay at anchor in the bay for six days, during which the French explored the country for a considerable distance, searching for fresh water, and timber for spars, but they saw nothing more of the natives after this first fatal encounter. Being unable to find either good water or timber suitable for his needs, Marion sailed on March 10 for New Zealand, where he met his death in a treacherous attack on his people by the Maoris.
The next navigator who visited the Tasmanian coast was Captain Tobias Furneaux, Cook's second in command on his second voyage of discovery.. It is to Furneaux's blunders that the confusion respecting Frederick Henry Bay is due. The two ships, the Resolution and the Adventure, were separated by a storm in latitude 50° south, between the Cape and Australia. Cook, in the Resolution, kept on his course for New Zealand; Furneaux, in the Adventure, being short of water, bore up for the land laid down by Tasman as Van Diemen's Land. On March 9, 1773, Furneaux sighted the land at a point which he took to be Tasman's South Cape. The point was, in fact, South West Cape, and from this
[(9)Nouveau voyage a la mer du Sud, commence sous les ordres de M. Marion Redige d'apres les journaux de M. Crozet (Paris, 1783). Through the exertions of Mr. McClymont and Mr. A. Mault, Marion's charts of Van Diemen's Land have been discovered in Paris, and fac similes of them obtained. See the Society's Papers and Proceedings for 1889. ]
initial error the whole course of subsequent blunders arose. From South West Cape he sailed eastward intending to make Tasman's anchorage in Frederick Henry Bay. Reaching the South Cape, he mistook it for the Boreel Islands, south of Bruny, and mistook the entrance to D'Entrecasteaux Channel for Tasman's Storm Bay. The south point of Bruny he mistook for Tasman's Island (the Pillar), and called it Tasman's Head. Rounding Bruny Island he stood north, under the impression that he was sailing along the east coast of Van Diemen's Land, and in the evening came to an anchor in a bay of which he says--"We at first took this bay to be that which Tasman called Frederick Henry Bay, but afterwards found that his is laid down five leagues to the northward of this." Furneaux named his anchorage Adventure Bay, the point to the north he called Cape Frederick Henry--believing that Tasman's Frederick Henry Bay lay to the north of this cape--and the opposite shore of Tasman's Peninsula he laid down on his chart as Maria's Isles. After five days' stay in Adventure Bay, he sailed out and rounded the Pillar, under the impression that he was rounding the south point of Maria Island. Thence he proceeded north as far as the Furneaux Group, and then bore away for New Zealand to rejoin Cook.
Cook, on his third voyage, cast anchor in Adventure Bay on January 24, 1777, without detecting Furneaux's mistake or correcting his charts.
In 1789, Captain J. H. Cox, in the brig Mercury, anchored in the strait between Maria Island and the mainland, but, misled by the charts of Furneaux and Cook never suspected that he was within a few miles of Tasman's Frederick Henry Bay.
In April, 1792 Admiral D'Entrecasteaux, with the ships Recherche and Esperance, sighted the Mewstone, and bore up for the mainland, intending to make Cook's anchorage in Adventure Bay. Through an error of his pilot, instead of rounding Bruny Island, he stood to the west of it, and found that he was not in Adventure Bay, but in the entrance of the channel, which he (like Cook) believed to be the Storm Bay of Tasman. D'Entrecasteaux explored the channel which bears his name, ascended our river, which he named Rivière du Nord, and explored the wide bay to the north-east, which he named Baie du Nord.. This bay, he thought, communicated with Tasman's Frederick Henry Bay on the east coast, and
under this impression the land which Cook had erroneously laid down as Maria Island he named Ile d'Abel Tasman.
In 1794, Capt. John Hayes, in the ships Duke of Clarence and Duchess, visited Storm Bay--although the name does not appear on his charts. He evidently had only Cook's chart, since he places Adventure Bay, Tasman's Head, and Maria's Isle as they are laid down by Cook. Capt. Hayes re-named all the other localities in Storm Bay, and it is to him that we owe the name of the River Derwent. The Baie du Nord of D'Entrecasteaux he called Henshaw's Bay.
In December, 1798, Flinders and Bass, in their first circumnavigation of the Island in the Norfolk, sailed up Storm Bay and explored and surveyed the Baie du Nord of D'Entrecasteaux. Flinders says that he was at the time quite ignorant that this bay had ever been entered before, and, misled by the errors of Furneaux and Cook, he laid it down on his first sketch chart) as Frederick Henry Bay.
In January, 1802, the French discovery expedition under Admiral Baudin, in the ships Geographe and Naturaliste, arrived in D'Entrecasteaux Channel. During a stay of some weeks they completed the surveys of Admiral D'Entrecasteaux, and explored and surveyed the Baie du Nord. They then sailed for the east coast and anchored their ships in the passage between Maria Island and the mainland. From this point Freycinet, Baudin's lieutenant, made the first thorough examination of Tasman's Frederik Hendrik Bay. He explored it as far as East Bay Neck, and was thus enabled to correct the mistakes of former navigators. He found that D'Entrecasteaux had been mistaken in supposing that there was a channel between Frederick Henry Bay and the Baie du Nord, and that the supposed Ile d'Abel Tasman was a double peninsula, to which he gave the names of Forrestier's and Tasman's Peninsula (Presqu'ile d'Abel Tasman). He also proved that Flinders had been in error in applying the name Frederick Henry to the Baie du Nord. The charts of Baudin's expedition, constructed by Faure, were the first to show this
[(10)See Mr. A. Mault's paper, with fac simile of Hay's chart, in the Society's Papers and Proceedings for 1889. ]
[(11)See Mr. Mault's paper and f ac simile of chart, cited above. ]
[(12)Péron's narrative of Baudin's voyage was published in 1807. The author had, therefore, the opportunity of comparing Flinders' charts which were seized at the Mauritius in 1803. ]
coast accurately: in them for the first time the outer port was laid down as Baie Marion, and the inner one as Baie Frederick Hendrick.
Many years later, after his liberation from his long Mauritius captivity, Flinders came to write his "Voyage to Terra Australis." He had then had the opportunity of comparing his own surveys of fifteen years before with the French charts, and correcting his errors. In his atlas, therefore, the Baie du Nord is correctly named North Bay, and the name of Frederick Henry Bay is restored to its proper place on the east coast; though Flinders applies it to the outer port and not to the inner, which bears the name on Tasman's map.
The original error of Furneaux, perpetuated as it was by the high authority of Cook and of Flinders' first chart, had obtained too firm a hold to be displaced. On all the early English charts the Baie du Nord was laid down as Frederick Henry Bay, and by this name it is alluded to in all the early records; in Collins' despatches; in Knopwood's diary; (14) as such it continued to be known to the early settlers, and so it is universally known to the present day.
After the publication of Flinders' atlas some of the early map-makers endeavoured to restore the names to their proper localities. Thus in a chart of Van Diemen's Land compiled by G.. W. Evans. Surveyor-General and published in London in 1821. and also in a chart published in London by Cross in 1826, North Bay is correctly placed, and the name of Frederick Henry is in the first map applied to the outer bay, and in the second more correctly to the inner one. In Assistant Surveyor-General Scott's map published in Hobart by Ross in 1830, the name Frederick Henry appears in North Bay, but in Arrowsmith's map published in London in 1842, the alternative names are given, viz.--Frederick Henry Bay or North Bay; while the name Frederick Henry also appears correctly in the inner bay to which it was originally applied by Tasman. In all modern maps, however, D'Entrecasteaux's name of North Bay has been most inappropriately transferred to what I have described as the Two Mile Beach, on the east coast of Forestier's Peninsula.
The Fredrik Henrik Bay of Tasman is now known as Blackman's Bay. On early maps the name of Blackman's
[(13)King to Collins, January 8, 1806; Collins to King, June 24, 1805. (14)Knopwood's diary, February 12, 1804. ]
Bay is applied sometimes to the Two Miles Beach, and some times to Wilmot Harbour. By what freak of the map-makers of our Survey Department these names have been shuffled about so oddly I am quite at a loss to imagine.
The names as they stand are perhaps now too firmly established to be changed at once. But I would venture to offer to the Lands Office two suggestions:--
(1.) As there is already a Cape Frederick Henry on the east coast of Forestier's Peninsula, which rightly marks Tasman's anchorage, a more appropriate name should be given to the other Cape Frederick Henry, forming the north point of Adventure Bay on Bruny Island. Let the last-mentioned Cape bear the name of its discoverer, and be re-christened "Cape Furneaux." This would remove one source of misapprehension.
(2.) Though it may not be possible at once to restore the correct names of the bays, yet they may be indicated without causing confusion, and indeed with distinct advantage to the popular apprehension of our history. In all future maps let the names originally given be added in brackets. D'Entrecasteaux's Baie du Nord would then appear as "Frederick Henry Bay or North Bay," and in Blackman's Bay would also be added "Fredrik Hendrik's Bay of Tasman."
Thus to perpetuate the remembrance of the landing-place of Tasman would be a graceful act of justice to the memory of the great seaman who, two centuries and a half ago, first circumnavigated Australia, and has given his illustrious name to this fair island of Tasmania.
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