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Description

One of the earliest separately published maps of Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) with Early Details Along the Contiguous Australian Coastline.

Detailed map of Van Diemen's Land, Bass Strait, along with the coastline of Australia from Port Phillip to Port Jackson, published in London by Belch and Phelps on March 11, 1822, separated by the recently discovered Bass Straits.

This is one of the earliest separately printed maps of Van Diemen's Land. The text strongly suggests a promotional theme. The map was published in 1822, only 19 years after New South Wales Governor Philip King sent Lieutenant John Bowen to establish a small military outpost on the eastern shore of the Derwent River in August 1803, in order to forestall any claims to the island arising from the activities of the French explorers.

Coming in the period after Flinders and Baudin, but before the founding of Melbourne and inland exploration of the region (with the exception of Parramatta, the map provides a fascinating snapshot of the region, 2 years prior to the adaptation of the name Australia (rather than New Holland). Over the next several decades, the coastal region depicted would transition from a thinly known and largely unexplored region to a booming agrarian economy and then the scene of a booming Australian Gold Rush in the 1850s.

At the bottom right, a lengthy notes provides interesting notes about the discovery of Tasmania, Aboriginal populous and natural resources :

Remarks: Van Diemen's Land, was discovered in the Year 1644, by Tasman, an eminent Dutch Navigator, & has since been visited by the celebrated Capt. Cook and others. The Aborigines of this Island are more barbarous and uncivilized than those of New Holland. -- The Climate is salubrious & congenial to the constitution of an European -- The Rivers abound with all kinds of fish, the Oyster & muscle is found in great abundance. -- Copper, Iron, Alum, Coal, Limestone, &c. &c. are to be found here. -- Horses, Cattle, Sheet &c. have been brought to Van Diemen's Land. -- The wild Animals consist of the Kangaroo, the Emu, the Opossum, the Opposum-Hyena, the Squirrel, &c &c. -- The Hunting of the Kangaroo, and Emu, forms the principal amusement of the Colonists, as well in this Island, as in New Holland. -- Van Diemen's Land, is divided into Counties, and Subdivided into 23 districts. The chief town and seat of Government Hobart Town, is situated on the banks for the River Derwent. -- It was founded seventeen years since, the Houses were in general of the meanest description. The population is about 6000 souls, The British Settlements are on the Rs. Tamar, Derwent &c.

The map is apparently very rare. We have been only able to locate an example of a 1981 reproduction of the map in Hobart, Published by J. Walch &‚Äč Sons, the collection of the National Library of Australia.

Condition Description
Minor soiling. Laid on a thick sheet of old paper.