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Abel Jansoon Tasman. His life and voyages (maps)

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Walker, James Backhouse (1895) Abel Jansoon Tasman. His life and voyages (maps). Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 1-56.

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PDF (Front)
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Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

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PDF (Complete article excluding maps)
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PDF (Page 19. Mappe-Monde, circa 1630)
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PDF (Page 31. Map of Tasman's voyages, 1642 and 1644)
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PDF (Page 49. Map of Anthony van Diemenslandt)
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Abstract

No life of the first circumnavigator of Australia has hitherto
appeared in English. Nothing has been accessible to the
English reader but an abstract of one voyage and a few lines
in biographical dictionaries. This is scarcely surprising, when
we consider how careless Tasman's own countrymen have been
of his fame. Fifty years ago all that had been printed in his
own country consisted of short abstracts of a few voyages, and
these were hidden away in bulky collections. Even the date
and place of his birth were matter for conjecture and dispute.
Things are somewhat better now. Thirty-five years ago the
complete journal of his famous voyage of 1642 was published
in Holland, and we are now promised a sumptuous fac simile
edition of the original manuscript, with notes by two eminent
scholars, and with an English translation.
Moreover, patient searchers in the Dutch Colonial Archives
have for years past been laboriously gleaning scattered particulars
respecting him, and the results of their investigations
have been printed from time to time in the transactions of
Dutch learned societies, and in other places. It has thus
become possible to piece together a fairly connected account of
the great navigator's life.
But after all available information has been made use of,
the result is disappointing. The man himself remains for the
most part an indistinct figure. Personal details are few. The
facts are mostly dry and meagre, gathered from formal official
despatches and dusty registers. The material is wanting for a
biography which would give a clear and sharply defined picture
of the man as he lived.
It is possible, however, to attain what is of even more
interest. We can arrive at a just estimate of his work as a
discoverer, and of his place among the great navigators of the world. The discovery of Tasmania and New Zealand was no
chance adventure. It was the result of a steady policy. It
was the outcome of the adventurous energy which in the 16th
and 17th centuries created the Dutch Republic ; gave to
Holland her Colonial Empire ; and — not content with her
possession of the Eastern Archipelago — sent out her sailors to
search for a new world in the unknown regions of the
mysterious South. Tasman and Visscher are but types of the
men who won for their country her once proud position of
mistress of the seas.
In the following pages an attempt has been made not merely
to give all that is known of Tasman's life and work, but to
present that work in proper historical perspective.

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. 1-56
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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: 06 Aug 2013 02:57
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:53
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