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France and Australia. The "prise de possession." A new chapter in our early history

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Dunbabin, Thomas (1921) France and Australia. The "prise de possession." A new chapter in our early history. Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 147-155.

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Abstract

When Ernest Scott, Professor of History in the University of Melbourne, was working on his Life of Flinders, he employed a copyist to obtain material from the Paris archives. The copyist found so much about Australia that the charges mounted very high. So Professor Scott pointed out to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library and the Mitchell Library that they ought to have copies of these valuable historical documents. The authorities agreed, and the cost of Professor Scott's material was one-third of what it would otherwise have been. This partial overhaul of the Paris archives by an intelligent copyist has thrown a flood of light on the early relations of France and Australia. An examination of the papers in the Commonwealth Library, made by the courtesy of the Speaker, reveals the hitherto unpublished fact that a French expedition did, in 1772, take formal possession of Western Australia. It is not in France alone that material may be found. Hidden away in some dusty corner in Portugal, Spain, or possibly Holland, there may be documents which upset accepted ideas about the obscure but fascinating subject of early exploration in Australasian regions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 147-155
Additional Information: In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2012 04:18
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:46
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/15746
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