Search the Collection
Advanced Search

A view in Port Jackson, New South Wales

Date: 1791
Overall: 135 x 195 mm
Medium: The copper engraving on paper.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00000853
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This engraving titled - View of Port Jackson, New South Wales was used to illustrate the title page - Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, by Surgeon General John White, first published in London in 1790.

    It depicts Indigenous Australians in Port Jackson involved in various fishing activities. The first European settlers were surprised to see that the indigenous people kept small fires burning (generally on a flat stone) in their bark canoes in order to cook fish as soon as they were caught.
    SignificanceThis engraving is representative of early colonial attempts to depict the Indigenous people and landscapes of New South Wales for European audiences.
    HistorySurgeon John White joined the Navy in 1780 and in 1786 was surgeon on board HMS IRRESISTIBLE which was one of Sir Andrew Snape Hamond's many commands. Hamond had political connections. He had been Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia for three years, was a friend of William Pitt and Horatio Nelson and had won the King's favour on account of his "many creditable exploits" in the American War of Independence. It is believed to have been Hamond's influence that saw White's appointment as Surgeon-General to the First Fleet.

    Upon White's arrival he was appointed First Surgeon-General of New South Wales by Governor Phillip and he remained in that position until he returned to England in 1794. Whilst in Sydney he collected flora and fauna and in 1790 published 'Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales' containing 65 engravings of plants, birds and animals - one of the earliest detailed accounts of the voyage of the First Fleet and the natural environment of Port Jackson.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: A view in Port Jackson, New South Wales

    Primary title: A view of Port Jackson, New South Wales

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.