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James Mario Matra

1746 - 1806

James Mario Magra was born in New York, United States, in 1746. His father had moved there from Dublin (where he changed his surname from Matra to Magra), he had migrated to Dublin from Corsica in the 1730s.

James Mario Magra served on board the ENDEAVOUR during Captain Cook's first voyage. Magra befriended Sir Joseph Banks on the voyage. Magra is a good candidate for the authorship of 'A Journal of a Voyage Round the World' published two months after the ships return in 1771. The account offers details of Cook's voyage not found in the official publications.

In 1775 Magra has his surname changed to Matra.

1783 Matra writes 'Proposal for Establishing a Settlement in New South Wales' recommending sending American loyalists and/or convicts to settle at Botany Bay in New South Wales.