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Abel Tasman's Journal of his Discovery of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand in 1642 with documents relating to his exploration of Australia in 1644

Date: 1898
Overall: 444 x 310 mm, 5.5 kg
Display Dimensions: 443 x 310 x 60 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00005983
Place Manufactured:Amsterdam

User Terms

    Facsimile edition of `Abel Tasman's Journal of his Discovery of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand in 1642 with documents relating to his exploration of Australia in 1644' with an English translation and facsimiles of original maps to which are added life and labours of Abel Janszoon Tasman by J E Heeres, LLD Professor at the Dutch Colonial Institute Delft and observations made with the compass on Tasman's Voyage by Dr W Van Bemmelen Assistant-Director of the Royal Meteorological Institute Utrecht'

    SignificanceThis work celebrates the achievements of Abel Janszoon Tasman. Tasman was the first European to chart part of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji on an epic voyage from 1642 to 1643.
    HistoryAbel Tasman (1606 - 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer and merchant. He is best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company, during which time his expeditioners became the first known Europeans to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand. In 1643 he also became the first European to sight the Fiji Islands. Tasman's expeditions produced important charts of parts of Van Diemen's Land, New Zealand and some Pacific Islands.

    In August 1642 Tasman left Batavia in command of the VOC ships ZEEHAEN and HEEMSKERCK. Both vessels had been built in 1639 in the company's shipyards in Amsterdam. An expedition to explore the unknown southern oceans had been in the VOC's plans for some time, and as a respected navigator and skipper, Tasman was a logical choice for the command.

    Once Tasman reached Van Diemen's Land, he followed the coastline until the winds made it difficult to continue. He sailed east across the Tasman Sea, and on 13 December the expedition sighted land on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Tasman referred to this new land as 'Staten Landt' wrongly believing it to be connected to Isla de los Estados (Staten Island) off the southern tip of South America.

    Tasman then proceeded north and then east and it was here that one of his ships was attacked by a group of Maori. Four of Tasman's crew were killed in the confrontation, earning the bay the title of Murderers Bay - now called Golden Bay. Nevertheless, the expedition went on, and Tasman explored Tonga and Fiji, and returned to Batavia on 15 June 1643.

    From the Dutch East India Company's perspective, Tasman's 1642 expedition had failed to locate any useful new trade areas and for over a century, until the voyages of James Cook, Tasmania and New Zealand were not visited by Europeans.

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