Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/33

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
North Coast.]


under the command of Jan Carstens, were despatched from Amboina, by order of His Excellency Jan Pieterz Coen. Carstens, with eight of the Arnhem's crew, was treacherously murdered by the natives of New Guinea; but the vessels prosecuted the voyage, and discovered "the great islands Arnhem and the Spult."[1] They were then "untimely separated," and the Arnhem returned to Amboina. The Pera persisted; and "sailed along the south coast of New Guinea, "to a flat cove, situate in 10° south latitude; and ran along the West Coast of this land to Cape Keer-Weer; from thence discovered the coast further southward, as far as 17° to Staten River. From this place, what more of the land could be discerned, seemed to stretch westward:" the Pera then returned to Amboina. "In this discovery were found, every where, shallow water and barren coasts; islands altogether thinly peopled by divers cruel, poor, and brutal nations; and of very little use to the (Dutch East-India) Company."


Gerrit Tomaz Pool was sent, in April 1626, from Banda, with Pool
the yachts Klyn Amsterdam and Wezel, upon the same expedition as Carstens; and, at the same place, on the coast of New Guinea, he met with the same fate. Nevertheless "the voyage was assiduously continued under the charge of the supra-cargo Pieterz Pietersen; and the islands Key and Arouw visited. By reason of very strong Pietersen
eastwardly winds, they could not reach the west coast of New Guinea (Carpentaria); but shaping their course very near south, discovered the coast of Arnhem, or Van Diemen's Land, in 11° south latitude; and sailed along the shore for 120 miles (30 mijlen), without seeing any people, but many signs of smoke."

  1. In the old charts, a river Spult is marked, in the western part of Arnhem's Land; and it seems probable, that the land in its vicinity is here meant by The Spult.