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Discoveries and Surveys in New Guinea and the D'Entrecasteaux Islands

Date: 1876
Overall: 230 x 160 x 40 mm, 0.95 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, blue cloth covered boards
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00004345
Place Manufactured:London
Related Place:New Guinea, Torres Strait, Polynesia,

User Terms

    A book by Captain John Moresby titled 'Discoveries and Surveys in New Guinea and the D'Entrecasteaux Islands : A Cruise in Polynesia and visits to the pearl-shelling stations in Torres Straits of HMS BASILISK'. Published by John Murray, London, 1876.
    The book features maps and illustrations throughout and a fold out chart of East New Guinea.
    SignificanceCaptain John Moresby is primarily remembered as naming Port Moresby in New Guinea. He was also part of the effort by England to suppress kidnappings from the South Sea Islands.
    HistoryJohn Moresby (1830 - 1922) was the son of Sir Fairfax Moresby, a Royal Navy Admiral, and joined the navy at the age of 12. He later became a midshipman at 15 and a Lieutenant at 21.
    In 1871 Moresby was sent to the Australian Station aboard the HMS BASILISK, a first-class paddle sloop. In January 1872, after visiting New Zealand, Moresby was sent to the Torres Strait region in an attempt to prevent the illegal kidnapping of South Sea Islanders as labourers in Queensland. Whilst on this mission, Moresby sailed from Cape York through the waters of Torres Strait. He sighted and recorded Saibai Island and Warrior Reefs south of the Papuan coast. When he returned to Sydney in April he reported the results of his hydrographic surveys to Commodore Stirling and the Admiralty in April 1872 and returned north in January 1873 where he sailed to New Guinea and named Fairfax Harbour (after his father) and Port Moresby. He also 'claimed' New Guinea for Britain at Possesion Island and accurate charted Milne Bay.
    In 1874 Moresby returned to England. On his way back he visited more of New Guinea, including the Entrecasteaux Islands which are described in this publication of 1876.

    Related People
    Publisher: John Murray

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