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Their first attempt to penetrate to the southward of Port Jackson was made in a boat, eight feet long, called the "Tom Thumb," and of which they themselves and one boy formed the entire crew'. Attended with more dangers and providential escapes than advantages, this adventurous expedition was but the forerunner of a bolder and more successful enterprise. In the beginning of 1789, Mr. Bass ventured in a whale boat along a coast line of 300 miles ; and reached and discovered the straits since named after him, and Port Western, while Mr. Flinders on his side visited in a small, leaky, and unseaworthy craft, the land seen by Furneaux, and discovered the chain of islands between Cape Portland and Wilson's promontory. About the end of the same year, both the voyagers embarked in the " Norfolk," a schooner of twenty-five tons, and discovered Port Dalrymple, the river Tamar, the inlets and bays of the river Derwent, and Tasman's peninsula, and succeeded in circumnavigating Van Diemen's Land, thus completely establishing the fact of its insularity.
The perusal of the details relating to these discoveries, which are here only summarily noticed, cannot but excite in every one acquainted with the boisterous climate of the region in which they were made, and with the slender means by which they were achieved, sentiments of unmingled respect and admiration for the memory of the enterprising voyagers. Indeed to both of them may be applied the eulogium which, in his work, Captain Flinders passed on the labours of his departed friend Mr. Bass: "The public will award to the high-spirited and able conductors of these voyages — alas! no more! — an honourable place in the list of those whose ardour stands most conspicuous for the promotion of useful knowledge." *
* No public act or expression of opinion has as yet occurred which can be viewed as a fulfilment of this anticipation; but the more genuine
The charts, dated 1801, which were the result of the joint and separate expeditions of Messrs. Flinders and Bass, gave a delineation and a survey of the line of coast from Port Jackson to Western Port, of the islands of the straits, and of Van Diemen's Land, including the survey of the river Tamar, and the bays and coves of the river Derwent and Tasman's Peninsula. They combined with nautical information accounts of the productions and capabilities of the discovered and examined harbours, and were considered of such signal service to science, commerce, and colo
and disinterested impulses of private feeling have already led a brother officer to pay an interesting tribute to the memory of Flinders.
Out of his own purse, and at a cost of more than 250/., His Excellency Sir John Franklin, late Governor of Van Diemen's Land, has, within the last year, caused to be erected on the peak of Stamford Hill, near Port Lincoln, a lofty stone obelisk, whereon is fixed a tablet bearing the following inscription, the kind and manly English feeling discoverable in which does honour alike to him to whom the monument is raised and to him who raised it.
From Which The Gulf And Its
Shores Were First Surveyed
On 26th Feby. 1802, By
MATTHEW FLINDERS, R.N.,
COMMANDER OF H. M. S. INVESTIGATOR,
AND THE DISCOVERER OF THE COUNTRY
NOW CALLED SOUTH AUSTRALIA,
ON 12. JAN. 1841,
WITH THE SANCTION OF
LT. COL. GAWLEB, K. H.
THEN GOVERNOR OF THE COLONY, SET APART FOR
AND IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE
GOVERNMENT OF CAPTAIN G. GREY
AHORNED WITH THIS MONUMENT
TO THE PERPETUAL MEMORY
OF THE ILLUSTRIOUS NAVIGATOR,
HIS HONORED COMMANDER,
JOHN FRANKLIN, CAPTAIN R.N.
LT. GOVERNOR OF
VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.
nisation, that no sooner had Mr. Flinders reached England, and made them known to the government, than he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and very shortly after, to that of commander, with a commission to the "Investigator," a sloop of war fitted out for the purpose of a complete examination and survey of New Holland and Van Diemen's Land."
The instructions which, on that occasion, Captain Flinders received from the Admiralty embraced a wide range of nautical and other scientific inquiry. The choice of instruments, books, officers, and scientific men was liberal and judicious. In the list of the latter appear the names of John Franklin and Robert Brown; names which, since that period, have been seen constantly connected with services rendered to science. The expedition was moreover secured against all chances of war, by a passport from the French Government, which, on principles worthy of the enlightened age, granted to it protection, assistance, and free ingress and egress to and from the ports of the French Republic.
In December, 1801, the expedition reached Cape Leeuwin. The line of coast stretching eastward of that cape to 130° of E. longitude had been, as already said, surveyed by the French under Admiral d'Entrecasteaux; but Captain Flinders, following the same track with the French chart in his hand, could not but improve upon that chart, partly in the details of many indentations of the coast, partly in soundings, in which the chart constructed by M. Beautemps Beaupr6, geographical engineer on board the "Recherche," was particularly deficient. This re-examination of the French survey, besides securing the soundings, led to the fuller examination of King George's Sound, the archipelago of the " Recherche," by which Lucky Bay, and many other coves or places of shelter, were discovered. Arrived at longitude 130°, at which point the French survey ceased, the examination of the unknown coast was commenced with all the interest and excitement which the exploring of a new region imparts. Such was the mystery in which the actual form of Terra Australis was at that time still enveloped, and so great was the tendency to imagine it divided by a sea channel running from north to south, that when the expedition anchored in the evening at the south-eastern extremity of Thistle Island, and its coast was observed trending away to the northward until all signs of land disappeared in that direction, while at the same time no sensible tides were noted, numerous anticipations and conjectures were raised as to the probable existence of deep inlets, inland seas, and passages into the Gulf of Carpenteria, and prospects of finding large rivers flowing into them, with other still more interesting discoveries, were freely indulged in.
If, on the next morning and the following days, the further examination of the coast dispelled some of these expectations, it realised others, in the discover}7 of Spencer Gulf, Kangaroo Island, and Port Lincoln, which last has since become a prosperous outlet for commerce.
While engaged in the survey of the main coast eastward of Cape Spencer and of Cape Jarvis, the expedition met the "Geographc," a French ship, engaged also in a voyage of discovery, and commanded by M. Baudin. The situation of both the ships at the moment when they hove-to for the purpose of communicating, was, as determined by Captain Flinders, 35° 40' south latitude, and 138° 58' east longitude. Considering that the nations to which the ships respectively belonged were at that period at war, and that their respective flags, whenever brought in sight of each other, became the signal of a fierce and bloody struggle, we cannot too highly estimate the advantages of civilisation when we find that, on this occasion, the display of the national colours of the "Investigator" and the " Geographe " aroused only sentiments of respect and regard for the interests of science.
Both the commanders met on board the "Geographe," in presence of Mr. R. Brown; exchanged freely and most liberally all the information which they thought would be most serviceable to each other, and parted on the 8th of April, 1802, Captain Baudin directing his course to the north west, Captain Flinders to the southward.
Before entering the straits, Captain Flinders made a running survey of the coast discovered by the French, and marked on the chart as Capes Bernouilly, Jaffa, and Buffon. Grant's discoveries, viz. King's Island, Cape Otway, Port Phillip, and Cape Shank, were next verified, as also the points marked in the previous survey of Bass and Flinders in Bass's Straits.
On the 9th of May, 1802, the "Investigator" entered Port Jackson, to refit for the prosecution of further surveys.
In July of the same year, she sailed for the northward of Sydney, and skirting the line of coast between Port Jackson and Glass-house Bay, began the examination of the north-east coast at Breaksea Spit. The survey of the Great Barrier Reef, which from that parallel stretches along the coast to the northward, was together with many indentations of the coast itself, replete with as much interest as danger. The examination of Harvey's Bay, Bastard Bay, Port Curtis, Keppel Bay, Port Bowen, and Broad Sound, also furnished many valuable observations connected with science and with the capabilities of the country. The main object, however, of the expedition being to