Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/551

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Appendix B


[The following is a fairly literal translation of Péron's report on Port Jackson, furnished to General Decaen at Ile-de-France.]

Port N.-O., 20th Frimaire,
Year 12.[1]

Citizen Captain-General,

Fifteen years ago England transported, at great expense, a numerous population to the eastern coast of New Holland. At that time this vast continent was still almost entirely unknown. These southern lands and the numerous archipelagoes of the Pacific were invaded by the English, who had solemnly proclaimed themselves sovereign over the whole dominion extending from Cape York to the southern extremity of New Holland, that is to say, from 10° 37' S., to 43° 39' S. latitude. In longitude their possessions had been fixed as reaching from 105° W. of Greenwich to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, including all the archipelagos with which it is strewn.[2])

Note especially in this respect that in the formal deed of annexation no exact boundary was fixed on the Pacific Ocean side. This omission seems to have been the result

  1. i.e., Port North-West (Port Louis), December 11, 1802.
  2. This is a literal translation of Péron's statement, which is obviously confused and wrong. 105° W. long. is east of Easter Island, as well as being an "exact boundary" in the Pacific, which, Péron goes on to say, did not exist. The probability is that he gives here a muddled reproduction of the boundaries actually fixed by Phillip's commission—"westward as far as the 135th degree of east longitude … including all the islands adjacent in the Pacific Ocean." [Mr. Jose's note.]