Northmost Australia

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Index:Northmost Australia volume 2.djvu

Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. Customer Service. In The Spotlight. Shop Our Brands. All Rights Reserved. Cancel Submit. How was your experience with this page? Needs Improvement Love it! At the time when Torres made his way through the strait between New Guinea and Australia--a strait which had probably been known to others before him--and when Janszoon sailed past the western opening of the passage and coasted Australia for miles to the south, never doubting that he was following the coastline of New Guinea, Queen Elizabeth was not long dead and William Shakespeare was still a living force.

The events occurring in the Cape York Peninsula some three centuries later were contemporaneous with the gay adventure of Germany in setting forth, carrying "sword and fire, red ruin and the breaking up of realms," for the acquisition of "world-domination," her title being that she was strong enough to take whatever she coveted, and found instead the "downfall" which had been ironically alluded to in her boasting as the absurd and wholly unimaginable alternative. Through the first three centuries of Australian history, contemporary events in Europe affected more or less the course of exploration.

The reader will be apt to reflect, as an example, 0n the bearing of the Napoleonic wars on the career of Flinders, and I venture to assert that Australian history is no isolated phenomenon, but will be best understood by a reader who can picture to himself what, at any given date, was happening in other portions of the globe. Instructions were accordingly made out for the yachts "Haring" and "Hasewint. The latter is followed hereunder, except that I have occasionally employed an English word or two which appeared "more agreeable to the text" than the expression selected by the translator.

INASMUCH as our Superiors earnestly enjoin us to despatch hence some yachts, with the object of making discoveries in the Southern Land; and since, moreover, experience has taught, through great perils incurred by several of our ships, and still more through the destruction of the English ship 'Trial' on the said coast, how necessary it is to have full and accurate knowledge of the true position of this land, so that further misfortunes may henceforth be prevented as much as is possible; and as, moreover, it is desirable that this land, or any inhabited portion thereof, should be explored, so as to ascertain whether any trade with them might be worth while;.

You may therefore run on as far as the thirty-second or thirty-third degree if you do not before that fall in with the land.

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If you should have sailed so far, and yet have seen no land, you may conclude [1] that you have fallen off too far westward, for sundry ships coming from the fatherland have accidentally come upon the South Land before these latitudes. In this case, you will have to shape your course eastward and run on in that direction until you sight land.

The aforesaid sunken rocks on which the Triall' was wrecked ought, according to the report of the Englishmen, to be due south of the west cape of Java. You will do the same if the land should turn westward. On the return voyage you will run along the coast as far as it extends to the north, and next eastward or otherwise as the land goes, and thus follow the land as close and as far as possible and as you judge your provisions will suffice for the return home, even if, in so doing, you should sail round the whole land and emerge to southward.

You will moreover land in various places and carefully observe whether they are inhabited, and what sort of people and country there are, what towns and villages there are, their government, their religion, their policy, their war-equipment, their waters, their vessels, their fisheries, and their commodities and manufactures, and more especially what minerals they have, such as gold, silver, tin, iron, lead and copper, as well as precious stones and pearls, and what vegetables, animals and fruits these lands afford.

Of all which places, lands and islands, the Commander and Officers of the said yachts will, by order and pursuant to the Commission of The Honourable the Governor-General, Jan Peterszoon Coen, sent out there [i. You will likewise endeavour to enter into friendly relations and make covenants with as such kings and nations as you shall happen to fall in with, and prevail upon them to place themselves under the protection of the States of the United Netherlands; of which covenants and treaties you will likewise cause proper documents to be exchanged with the other parties.

We also send samples of gold, silver, copper, iron, lead and pearls, that you may inquire whether these articles are known to the inhabitants and might be obtained there in any reasonable quantity. Should people come out to you from the land, you will take the like care that they suffer no harm from our men.

Northmost Australia

Item, if there are any good harbours or conveniently situated or fruitful lands, where colonies might be planted which might be amply self-supporting. In a word, let nothing pass you unobserved, and whatever you find bring us a full and particular report of it, by which you will do the States of the United Netherlands service and lay up special honour for yourselves.

No better instructions could have been drawn up to serve the guidance of sailors setting out on a voyage of discovery with the object of acquiring geographical and commercial knowledge although some clauses indicating what was expected, such as the references to kings and nations and treaties of alliance, may bring. In other parts, the language employed is intentionally and diplomatically ambiguous.

A notable instance. The word "behendlicheyt" meaning literally "hardihood," might be rendered as dexterity, adroitness, ingenuity, strategy, smartness, trickery or treachery, and the addition of "or otherwise" left no room for delicate scruples. The sailors made no mistake in interpreting their orders to mean that they were to capture slaves, with a minimum of friction, if possible, but in any case to capture them somehow.

It is not so written, but it is easy to understand that the voyagers were expected, by the capture of "adults, or, still better, young lads or girls," to do something substantial towards recouping the expenses of the expedition. Ample evidence will be found in the log of the "Pera," which carried out the instructions originally drawn up for the "Harengh" and "Hasewint," that this was the true meaning of the instructions.

One hundred and thirty-three years later, the Dutch ship "Rijder" was carrying on the same tactics as were employed by the "Pera," and on the same western shore of the Cape York Peninsula. Even while the "Pera" was at sea, Torres was at work on the same lines, for his Spanish masters, on the southern shores of New Guinea; only he was more successful, as he records with satisfaction that in the course of the voyage he had captured twenty persons. Early in the seventeenth century, the idea that there was anything reprehensible in slavery had barely suggested itself to the European mind, and I desire to point out that the Dutch were neither better nor worse than their contemporaries.

If their proceedings appear simply abominable to readers in the twentieth century, there can be no doubt that those of their contemporary rivals were dictated by the same principles and carried out by the same methods. At the present day we are confronted by the spectacle of savage populations dying out wherever they come in contact with comparatively civilised men. Belated Christianity, benevolence, philanthropy, charity or fair dealing seem alike powerless to arrest the working of what appears to be a natural law.

THE history of the voyages of the "Pera" and "Aernem" in may be studied in the original records of the Dutch East India Company by those who have the opportunity. They consist, in the first place, of a "covering letter," dated 3rd January, , from the Governor-General and Council to the Directors of the Company, and secondly, what is entitled Journal kept by Jan Carstensz.

The above-named islanders, it is further stated, had of their own free will placed themselves under the rule and protection of the States of the United Netherlands and promised to come and trade with the fortresses of Banda and Amboina. For the remaining portion of the voyage, along the land of Nova GUINEA which was described as a barren country, inhabited by absolutely barbarous, cruel savages , the Directors were referred to the enclosure itself.

Brill , London, Luzac and Co. The Journal itself is bald and businesslike, makes no pretensions to literary form, and is even careless as to grammatical. Stoffel's translation, on the other hand, is a dainty piece of work. It is as if he had rewritten a plain tale with the object of suiting it for acceptance by a high-class magazine.

He has, indeed, while taking no serious liberties with the facts, presented the tale in the garb of early seventeenth-century English, the trick of which he has caught admirably. The only fault to be found with the translation is that it is better than the original. In the following pages, I have ventured, while freely acknowledging my indebtedness to the Dutch translator, to present an almost literally translated English version which, in my opinion, more nearly reflects the rough-hewn story of the author.

It is headed "Journal kept by Jan Carstensz," that being the contraction in common use at a time when surnames denoted only that the person known by a certain Christian name was the son zoon of somebody else. Vos, it was intended, should carry the flag, convene the Council and preside therein. A democratic institution, viz. From a reference in the log to a resolution of the Council on a certain date, which resolution is not mentioned in the log of that date, there is reason to suppose that the proceedings of the Council were recorded in a separate minute book, which has been lost, or lost sight of.

It would be interesting to know the names of all the adventurers who set out in and who lighted upon the Cape York Peninsula, but no list is given in the log, only a few names being mentioned incidentally, while a few more can be gathered from other documents.

Life in Iqaluit Nunavut

The number of the crew is nowhere stated, but at any rate it was large enough to furnish a boat's crew of thirteen men on occasion. Stoffel is unable to give an English equivalent for "jurebass" and no more can I, nor can any Dutchman whom I have had an opportunity of consulting. We must, therefore, for the present be content to define a Jurebass as "a person who performs jurebassial functions.

On loth February, , Meliszoon was killed by natives of New Guinea, together with an "assistant. When DE LEEUW--evidently some time after the voyage--drew his famous sketch-chart, he must have been satisfied of the error of this conclusion, as he showed the islands. On the other hand, they furnished the earliest account of a portion of Australia and added materially to the knowledge of New Guinea.

In the forenoon, I, personally, rowed to the land, with the two boats well manned and armed, in order to see if there was anything worthy of note there; but when we had got within a musket shot from the land, the water became so shallow that we could not reach it, whereupon we all of us went through the clay up to our waists and with great difficulty reached the beach, where we saw a number of fresh human footprints. On going a short distance into the bush, we saw 20 or more huts made of dried grass,.

We afterwards tried to penetrate somewhat further into the bush, in order to ascertain the nature and situation of the country. They also made signals to other blacks to come to their assistance. Being thus hard pressed, we fired three or four muskets at the blacks, killing one stone dead, which utterly took away their courage, and they dragged the dead man into the bush. Being so far from the boats and a very difficult path to travel, we returned, rowed out and went on board.

The same day, at low water, we saw a great shoal, extending SE. The said shoal stretches fully 4 miles [i6 minutes] WSW. In the south it is somewhat higher, and here some men inhabit it, and possess huts, but so far as we could ascertain it is barren, although closely covered with tall, wild trees. The men are quite black and naked. Their hair curls, like that of the Papuans. They wear certain fish-bones through the nose, and through the ears pieces of the bark of trees, a span in length, so that they look more like monsters than human beings. We got under sail in the forenoon, course WNW. At midday, both boats sent out to take soundings, and they went fully a miles WNW. The same day, it was found practicable to set up again the 'Aernem's' main topmast which had been lowered because it was useless in the calm weather , for which the weather was now every day becoming more suitable.

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At midday, got under sail, on a tide coming from the NW. Got under sail before midday. In the course of the day the wind dropped. Towards evening the wind veered round to WSW.

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Course NNW. In the evening, anchored in 3 fathoms. We have found that in these parts the currents set very strongly to SW.