Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Found In Australia. Part two.

Following him after a long interval, in 1770, came Captain James Cook, in H.M.S. Endeavour, who, as has been told so often and with so much detail, after circumnavigating New Zealand, examined the whole of the eastern coast of Australia and gave it the name of New South Wales from a supposed resemblance to the South Wales of Great Britain.
Australia appears, however, to have been disappointing to its first discoverers. Not only was it much smaller than had been imagined by geographers, but it was found wanting in the natural productions necessary for the welfare of Europeans. Compared with the first points of land reached in America, it was barren and unfruitful. The Dutch would not have neglected their discoveries on the west coast had they not believed the descriptions of their seamen, who spoke of the "barren, sandy shores and wild, rocky coasts inhabited by naked black people, malicious and cruel". Besides these rocks and barren sand hills there seems to have been little for the Dutch to describe; the other details in the old journals only tell of mishaps to their ships, and the difficulty of finding fresh water.
Dampier's account is more interesting. In it we obtain glimpses of "the land of indifferent height with many gentle risings neither steep nor high—with white sand near the shore, but further inland red,—producing grass in great tufts, with heath and shrubs about ten feet high having their tops covered with leaves...and bushes of divers sorts with yellow flowers, or blossoms, some blue and some white—most of them with a very fragrant smell"[*]. This description answers to many a spot on the western coast. Yet neither the English nor the Dutch (after 1628) attempted to colonise it.

 Endevour replica.
 Endevour Cannon.

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