Discoveries in Australia/Volume 1

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Discoveries in Australia, Volume 1
by John Lort Stokes
This volume includes material authored by Edward Doubleday, John Edward Gray, John Richardson, Owen Stanley and Adam White.

DISCOVERIES IN AUSTRALIA;[edit]

WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE
COASTS AND RIVERS
EXPLORED AND SURVEYED DURING THE
VOYAGE OF H.M.S. BEAGLE,
IN THE YEARS 1837-38-39-40-41-42-43.
BY
COMMAND OF THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF THE ADMIRALTY.
ALSO
A NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN OWEN STANLEY'S VISITS
TO THE
ISLANDS IN THE ARAFURA SEA.
BY
[edit]

J. LORT STOKES,[edit]

COMMANDER, R.N.
VOLUME 1.
[edit]

LONDON
T. AND W. BOONE, 29, NEW BOND STREET.
1846.
[edit]

NATIVES OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA.
I.R. Fitzmaurice del.

TO
CAPTAIN ROBERT FITZROY, R.N.
THE FOLLOWING WORK
IS DEDICATED
AS A TRIBUTE TO HIS DISTINGUISHED MERIT,
AND AS A TOKEN OF HEARTFELT GRATITUDE AND RESPECT,
BY HIS OLD SHIPMATE AND FAITHFUL FRIEND,
THE AUTHOR.

INTRODUCTION.[edit]

I cannot allow these volumes to go before the public, without expressing my thanks to the following gentlemen for assistance, afforded to me in the course of the composition of this work: To Captain Beaufort, R.N., F.R.S., Hydrographer to the Admiralty, for his kindness in furnishing me with some of the accompanying charts; to Sir John Richardson, F.R.S; J.E. Gray, Esquire, F.R.S.; E. Doubleday, Esquire, F.L.S., and A. White, Esquire, M.E.S., for their valuable contributions on Natural History, to be found in the Appendix; to J. Gould, Esquire, F.R.S., for a list of birds collected during the voyage of the Beagle; to Lieutenants Gore and Fitzmaurice, for many of the sketches which illustrate the work; and to B. Bynoe, Esquire, F.R.C.S., for several interesting papers which will be found dispersed in the following pages.

Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S., also merits my warmest thanks, for the important addition to the work of his visits to the Islands in the Arafura Sea.

I have to explain, that when the name Australasia is used in the following pages, it is intended to include Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) and all the islands in the vicinity of the Australian continent.

All bearings and courses, unless it is specified to the contrary, are magnetic, according to the variation during the period of the Beagle's voyage.

The longitudes are generally given from meridians in Australia, as I much question whether any portion of the continent is accurately determined with reference to Greenwich. Sydney, Port Essington, and Swan River, have been the meridians selected; and the respective positions of those places, within a minute of the truth, I consider to be as follows:

Swan River (Scott's Jetty, Fremantle) 115 degrees 47 minutes East.

Port Essington (Government house) 132 degrees 13 minutes East.

Sydney (Fort Macquarie) 151 degrees 16 minutes East.

CONTENTS OF VOLUME 1.[edit]

CHAPTER 1.
INTRODUCTION.
[edit]

Page
Objects of the Voyage—The Beagle commissioned—Her former career—Her first Commander—Instructions from the Admiralty and the Hydrographer—Officers and Crew—Arrival at Plymouth—Embark Lieutenants Grey and Lushington's Exploring Party—Chronometric Departure—Farewell glance at Plymouth—Death of King William the Fourth 1

CHAPTER 2.
PLYMOUTH TO BAHIA.
[edit]

Sail from Plymouth—The Eight Stones—Peak of Tenerife—Approach to Santa Cruz—La Cueva de Los Guanches—Trade with Mogadore—Intercourse between Mogadore and Mombas—Reason to regret Mombas having been given up—Sail from Tenerife—Search for rocks near the equator—Arrival at San Salvador—Appearance of Bahia—State of the Country—Slave Trade—And results of Slavery—Extension of the Slave Trade on the eastern coast of Africa—Moral condition of the Negroes—Middy's Grave—Departure from Bahia—Mr. "Very Well Dice" 31

CHAPTER 3.
FROM THE CAPE TO SWAN RIVER.
[edit]

A gale—Anchor in Simon's Bay—H.M.S. Thalia—Captain Harris, and his Adventures in Southern Africa—Proceedings of the Land Party—Leave Simon's Bay—An overloaded ship—Heavy weather and wet decks—Island of Amsterdam—Its true longitude—St. Paul's—Water—Westerly variation—Rottnest Island—Gage's Road—Swan River Settlement—Fremantle—An inland lake—Plans for the future—Illness of Captain Wickham—Tidal Phenomena—Perth—Approach to it—Narrow escape of the first settlers—The Darling Range—Abundant Harvest—Singular flight of strange birds—Curious Cliff near Swan River—Bald Head—Mr. Darwin's Theory—The Natives—Miago—Anecdotes of Natives—Their Superstitions—Barbarous traditions, their uses and their lessons 43

CHAPTER 4.
FROM SWAN RIVER TO ROEBUCK BAY.
[edit]

Sail from Gage's Road—Search for a bank—Currents and soundings—Houtman's Abrolhos—Fruitless search for Ritchie's Reef—Indications of a squall—Deep sea soundings—Atmospheric Temperature—Fish—A squall—Anchor off the mouth of Roebuck Bay—A heavy squall—Driven from our anchorage—Cape Villaret—Anchor in Roebuck Bay—Excursion on shore—Visit from the Natives—Mr. Bynoe's account of them—A stranger among them—Captain Grey's account of an almost white race in Australia—Birds, Snakes, and Turtle—Move the Ship—Miago, and the Black Fellows—The wicked men of the North—Clouds of Magellan—Face of the Country—Natives—Heat and Sickness—Miago on shore—Mr. Usborne wounded—Failure in Roebuck Bay—Native notions 64

CHAPTER 5.
FROM ROEBUCK BAY TO SKELETON POINT.
[edit]

Departure from Roebuck Bay—Appearance of the Country—Progress to the northward—Hills and Cliffs—French Names and French Navigators—Tasman, and his account of the Natives—Hazeygaeys and Assagais—His Authenticity as an Historian—Description of the Natives—Marks and mutilations—Phrenological Development—Moral condition—Proas, Canoes, and Rafts—Another squall—Anchor in Beagle Bay—Face of the Country—Palm Trees—Dew—Hauling the Seine—A meeting with Natives—Eastern Salutation—Miago's conduct towards, and opinion of, his countrymen—Mutilation of the Hand—Native smokes seen—Move further to the North-East—Point Emeriau—Cape Leveque—Point Swan—Tide-races—Search for water—Encountered by Natives—Return to the Ship—The attempt renewed—Conduct of the Natives—Effect of a Congreve Rocket after dark—A successful haul—More Natives—Miago's Heroism—The plague of Flies—Dampier's description of it—Native Habitations—Underweigh—Wind and weather—Tidal Phenomenon—Natural History—Singular Kangaroo—Bustard—Cinnamon Kangaroo—Quails—Goanas and Lizards—Ant Hills—Fishing over the side—A day in the Bush—A flood of fire—Soil and Productions—White Ibis—Curious Tree—Rain water—Geology of the Cliffs—Weigh, and graze a Rock, or Touch and go—The Twins—Sunday Strait—Roe's Group—Miago and his friends—A black dog—A day of rest—Native raft—Captain King and the Bathurst—A gale—Point Cunningham—Successful search for water—Native estimation of this fluid—Discovery of a Skeleton—And its removal—The grey Ibis—Our parting legacy 82

CHAPTER 6.
POINT CUNNINGHAM TO FITZROY RIVER.
[edit]

Survey the Coast to Point Cunningham—Move the Ship—Mosquitoes—Southern View of King's Sound—Singular vitreous Formation—Move to the south of Point Cunningham—Captain King's limit—Termination of Cliffy Range—Disaster Bay—An Exploring Party leave in the boats—The shore—A freshwater lake—Valentine Island—Native Fire and Food—A heavy squall—The wild Oat—Indications of a River—Point Torment—Gouty-stem Tree and Fruit—Limits of its growth—Another squall—Water nearly fresh alongside—The Fitzroy River—Tide Bore and dangerous position of the Yawl—Ascent of the Fitzroy—Appearance of the adjacent land—Return on foot—Perilous situation and providential escape—Survey the western shore—Return to the Ship—Sporting, Quail and Emus—Natives—Ship moved to Point Torment 118

CHAPTER 7.
THE FITZROY RIVER TO PORT GEORGE THE FOURTH, AND RETURN TO SWAN RIVER.
[edit]

Examination of the Fitzroy River—Excursion into the interior—Alarm of the Natives—Ascent of the River—Sufferings from Mosquitoes—Red Sandstone—Natives again surprised—Appearance of the Country—Impediments in the River—Return of the boats—An Alligator—Stokes' Bay—Narrow escape of an Officer—Change of Landscape—Pheasant-Cuckoos—A new Vine—Compass Hill—Port Usborne—Explore the eastern shore of King's Sound—Cone Bay—Native Fires—Whirlpool Channel—Group of Islands—Sterile aspect of the Coast—Visited by a Native—Bathurst Island—Native Hut and Raft—Return to Port Usborne—Native Spears—Cascade Bay—Result of Explorations in King's Sound—Interview with Natives—Coral Reefs—Discover Beagle Bank—Arrival at Port George the Fourth—Examination of Collier Bay in the boats—Brecknock Harbour—The Slate Islands—Freshwater Cove—An Eagle shot—Its singular nest—Rock Kangaroos—A Conflagration—Sandstone Ridges—Doubtful Bay—Mouth of the Glenelg—Remarkable Tree—Fertile Country near Brecknock Harbour—Return to the Ship—Meet with Lieutenant Grey—His sufferings and discoveries—Visit the Encampment—Timor Ponies—Embarkation of Lieutenant Grey's Party—Sail from Port George the Fourth—Remarks on position of Tryal Rock—Anecdotes of Miago—Arrival at Swan River—Directions for entering Owen's Anchorage 139

CHAPTER 8.
SWAN RIVER TO SYDNEY.
[edit]

Miago's reception by his countrymen—Whale Fishery—Strange ideas entertained by Natives respecting the first Settlers—Neglected state of the Colony—Test security of Owen's Anchorage—Weather—Celebration of the Anniversary of the Colony—Friendly meeting between different Tribes—Native beggars—Personal vanity of a Native—Visit York—Description of Country—Site of York—Scenery in its neighbourhood—Disappointment experienced—Sail from Swan River—Hospitality of Colonists during our stay—Aurora Australis—Gale off Cape Leeuwen—Stormy passage—Ship on a lee shore—South-west Cape of Tasmania—Bruny Island Lighthouse—Arrive at Hobart—Mount Wellington—Kangaroo Hunt—White Kangaroo—Civility from the Governor—Travertine Limestone—Leave Hobart—Singular Current—Appearance of Land in the neighbourhood of Sydney—Position of Lighthouse—Entrance and first view of Port Jackson—Scenery on passing up the Harbour—Meet the Expedition bound to Port Essington—Apparent increase of Sydney—Cause of Decline—Expedition sails for Port Essington—Illawarra—Botany Bay—La Perouse's Monument—Aborigines—Meet Captain King—Appearance of Land near Sydney 226

CHAPTER 9.
BASS STRAIT.
[edit]

Leave Sydney—Enter Bass Strait—Island at Eastern entrance—Wilson's Promontory—Cape Shanck—Enter Port Phillip—Tide-race—Commence Surveying Operations—First Settlement—Escaped Convict—His residence with the Natives—Sail for King Island—Examine Coast to Cape Otway—King Island—Meet Sealers on New Year Islands—Franklin Road—Solitary Residence of Captain Smith—Soil—Advantageous position for a Penal Settlement—Leafless appearance of Trees—Examine West Coast—Fitzmaurice Bay—Stokes' Point—Seal Bay—Geological Formation—Examine Coast to Sea Elephant Rock—Brig Rock—Cross the Strait to Hunter Island—Strong Tide near Reid's Rocks—Three Hummock Island—Rats—The Black Pyramid—Point Woolnorth—Raised Beach—Coast to Circular Head—Headquarters of the Agricultural Company—Capture of a Native—Mouth of the Tamar River—Return to Port Phillip—West Channel—Yarra-yarra River—Melbourne—Custom of Natives—Manna—Visit Geelong—Station Peak—Aboriginal Names—South Channel—Examine Western Port—Adventure with a Snake—Black Swans—Cape Patterson—Deep Soundings—Revisit King and Hunter Islands—Fire—Circular Head—Gales of Wind—Reid's Rocks—Sea Elephant Rock—Wild Dogs—Navarin and Harbinger Reefs—Arrive at Port Phillip—Sail for Sydney—Pigeon House—Drought—Mr. Usborne leaves 256

CHAPTER 10.
SYDNEY TO PORT ESSINGTON.
[edit]

Leave Sydney—Gale and Current—Port Stephens—Tahlee—River Karuah—Stroud—Wild Cattle—Incivility of a Settler—River Allyn—Mr. Boydell—Cultivation of Tobacco—A clearing Lease—William River—Crossing the Karuah at Night—Sail from Port Stephens—Breaksea Spit—Discover a Bank—Cape Capricorn—Northumberland Isles—Sandalwood—Cape Upstart—Discover a River—Raised Beach—Section of Barrier Reef—Natives—Plants and Animals—Magnetical Island—Halifax Bay—Height of Cordillera—Fitzroy Island—Hope Island—Verifying Captain King's Original Chart—Cape Bedford—New Geological Feature—Lizard Island—Captain Cook—Barrier and Reefs within—Howick Group—Noble Island—Cape Melville—Reef near Cape Flinders—Princess Charlotte's Bay—Section of a detached Reef—Tide at Claremont Isles—Restoration Island—Islands fronting Cape Grenville—Boydan Island—Correct Chart—Tides—Cairncross Island—Escape River—Correct position of Reefs—York Isles—Tides—Torres Strait—Endeavour Strait—Booby Island—Remarks on Barrier and its contiguous Islands and Reefs—Cape Croker and reef off it—Discover error in longitude of Cape—Reefs at the mouth of Port Essington—Arrive at the latter 311
Port Essington—Bearings from shoals in the Harbour—Appearance of the Settlement—Meet Captain Stanley—Church—Point Record—Prospects of the Settlement—Buffaloes escape—Fence across neck of Peninsula—Lieutenant P.B. Stewart explores the Country—Natives—Uses of Sand—Tumuli-building Birds—Beautiful Opossum—Wild Bees—Escape from an Alligator—Result of Astronomical Observations—Geological Formation—Raffles Bay—Leave Port Essington—Popham Bay—Detect error in position of Port Essington—Melville Island—Discover a Reef in Clarence Strait—Cape Hotham—Native Huts and Clothing—Geological Formation—Discover the Adelaide River—Interview with Natives—Attempt to come on board—Messrs. Fitzmaurice and Keys nearly speared—Exploration of the Adelaide—Its capabilities—Wood-ducks—Vampires—Another party ascends the Adelaide—Meet Natives—Canoes—Alligator—Visit Melville Island—Green Ants—Thoughts of taking ship up Adelaide abandoned—Tides in Dundas Strait—Return to Port Essington—Theatricals—H.M.S. Pelorus arrives with Provisions—Further remarks on the Colony 381
Leave Port Essington—Reach Timor Laut—Meet Proas—Chief Lomba—Traces of the Crew of the Charles Eaton—Their account of the wreck and sojourn on the Island—Captain King's account of the Rescue of the Survivors—Boy Ireland's relation of the sufferings and massacre of the Crew—Appearance of the shores of Timor Laut—Description of the Inhabitants—Dress—Leprosy—Canoes—Village of Oliliet—Curious Houses—Remarkable Ornaments—Visit the Oran Kaya—Burial Islet—Supplies obtained—Gunpowder in request as Barter—Proceed to the Arru Islands—Dobbo Harbour—Trade—Present to Chief—Birds of Paradise—Chinaming Junks' bottoms—Character of Natives—Some of them profess Christianity—Visit the Ki Islands—Village of Ki Illi—How protected—Place of Worship—Pottery—Timber—Boat-building—Cultivation of the eastern Ki—No anchorage off it—Visit Ki Doulan—Antique Appearance of—Luxuriant Vegetation—Employment of Natives—Defences of the place—Carvings on gateway—Civility of Chief—His Dress—Population of the Ki Group—Their Religion—Trade—Place of Interment—Agility of Australian Native—Supplies—Anchorage off Ki Doulan—Island of Vordate—Visit from Chief—Excitement of Natives—Their Arms and Ornaments—Carved Horns on Houses—Alarm of the Oran Kaya—Punishment of the Natives of Laarat by the Dutch—Revisit Oliliet—Discover that Mr. Watson had rescued the European Boy—Return to Port Essington—Mr. Watson's Proceedings at Timor Laut 438
List of Birds, collected by the Officers of H.M.S. Beagle 479
Descriptions of Six Fish. By Sir John Richardson. M.D., F.R.S. etc. 484
Descriptions of some New Australian Reptiles. By J.E. Gray, Esquire F.R.S. etc. 498
Descriptions of new or unfigured Species of Coleoptera from Australia. By Adam White, Esquire M.E.S. 505
Descriptions of some new or imperfectly characterized Lepidoptera from Australia. By E. Doubleday, Esquire F.L.S. 513

LIST OF CHARTS.[edit]

VOL. I.
General Chart of Australia.
Bass Strait.
Arafura Sea.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.[edit]

VOL. I.
Natives of Western Australia frontispiece.
South branch of the Albert facing page 1.
Native habitation 101
Singular tail of Kangaroo 103
Rocks on Roe's Group. 109
Native raft 112
Kileys of King Sound and Swan River 117
Substantial native hut 172
Spears of King Sound and Swan River 177
Monument to La Perouse 249
Circular Head 274
Reid's Rocks, King Island and the Black Pyramid 298
Section of the N-E Coast of Australia, and Great Barrier Reef 333
Magnetical Island facing p. 338
Mount Hinchinbroke 339
Section of a detached Coral Reef 353
Rush shoulder-covering of natives 406
Victoria, from the Anchorage 436
Native town of Oliliet Facing p. 458
FISHES.
Balistes Phaleratus Plate 1 484
Cristiceps axillaris " 1 486
Scorpaena Stokesii " 2 487
Smaris porosus " 3 489
Chelmon marginalis " 4 491
Assiculus punctatus " 2 494
REPTILES.
Silubosaurus Stokesii Plate 1 498
Egernia Cunninghamii " 2 499
Hydrus Stokesii " 3 502
Gonionotus plumbeus " 4 503
INSECTS.
PLATE 1.
505
" 2.
509
" 3.
519

ERRATA.[edit]

VOL. I.
Page 298, l. 15, for "outline" read "outer line."
Page 313, l. 28, for "sprung" read "spring."
Page 426, l. 28, for "a guide from" read "a guide for."
Page 459, for "Oran Kega" read " Oran Kaya."
VOL. II.
Page 5, l. 28, for "cross to" read "cross to the."
Page 46, l. 15, for "shore" read "banks."
Page 68, l. 2, for "and had" read "and we had."
Page 62, l. 5, for "of the way" read "across the way."
Page 125, l. 28, for "definable" read "definite."
Page 204, l. 25, for "the winds" read "these winds."
Page 327, l. 6, for "lower" read "lowest."
Page 362, note, l. 5, for "sixty read "six."
Page 375, l. 12, for "breakers" read "beaches."
Page 404, l. 7, for "north-eastern" read "south-eastern."
Page 422, 1.28, for "easterly" read "westerly."