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Abel Tasman

Fragment of "Portrait of Abel Tasman, his wife and daughter" attributed to Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp, 1637 (not fully authenticated)[1]
Born day unknown 1603
Lutjegast, Dutch Republic
Died 10 October 1659 (aged 56)
Batavia (Jakarta),
Dutch East Indies
Nationality Dutch
Occupation navigator and explorer
Spouse(s) Claesgie Meyndrix
Joanna Tiercx

Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603 – 10 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant.

Tasman is best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the VOC (United East India Company). His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands, which he did in 1643. Tasman, his navigator Visscher, and his merchant Gilsemans also mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Contents

First pacific voyage

In 1634 Tasman was sent as second in command of an exploring expedition in the north Pacific. His fleet included the ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen. After many hardships, he made more voyages to Asia. In 1642 he signed a friendly trading treaty with the Sultan of Palembang, Sumatra.

In 1642, the Council of Batavia despatched Abel Tasman and Franchoijs Visscher on a voyage of which one of the objects was to obtain knowledge of "all the totally unknown provinces of Beach".[2] Beach appeared on maps of the time, notably that of Abraham Ortelius of 1570 and that of Jan Huygen van Linschoten of 1596, as the northernmost part of the southern continent, the Terra Australis, along with Locach. According to Marco Polo, Locach was a kingdom where gold was “so plentiful that no none who did not see it could believe it”. Beach was in fact a mistranscription of Locach. Locach was Marco Polo’s name for the southern Thai kingdom of Lavo, or Lop Buri, the “city of Lavo”, (ลพบร, after Lavo, the son of Rama in Hindu mythology).[3] In Chinese (Cantonese), Lavo was pronounced “Lo-huk” (羅斛), from which Marco Polo took his rendition of the name.[4] In the German cursive script, “Locach” and “Beach” look similar, and in the 1532 edition of Marco Polo’s Travels published by Simon Grynaeus and Johann Huttich, his Locach was changed to Boëach, later shortened to Beach.[5] They seem to have drawn on the map of the world published in Florence in 1489 by Henricus Martellus (the Latinized form of Heinrich Hammer’s name), in which provincia boëach appears as the southern neighbour of provincia ciamba. Book III of Marco Polo’s Travels described his journey by sea from China to India by way of Champa, Java (which he called Java Major), Locach and Sumatra (called Java Minor). After a chapter describing the kingdom of Champa there follows a chapter describing Java (which he did not visit himself).[6] The narrative then resumes, describing the route southward from Champa toward Sumatra, but by a slip of the pen the name “Java” was substituted for “Champa” as the point of departure, locating Sumatra 1,300 miles to the south of Java instead of Champa. Locach, located between Champa and Sumatra, was likewise mis-placed far to the south of Java, by some geographers on or near an extension of the Terra Australis.[7] As explained by Sir Henry Yule, the editor of an English edition of Marco Polo’s Travels: “Some geographers of the 16th century, following the old editions which carried the travellers south-east of Java to the land of “Boeach” (or Locac), introduced in their maps a continent in that situation”.[8] Gerard Mercator did just that on his 1541 globe, placing Beach provincia aurifera (“Beach the gold-bearing province”) in the northernmost part of the Terra Australis in accordance with the faulty text of Marco Polo’s Travels. It remained in this location on his world map of 1569, with the amplified description, quoting Marco Polo, Beach provincia aurifera quam pauci ex alienis regionibus adeunt propter gentis inhumanitatem (“Beach the gold-bearing province, wither few go from other countries because of the inhumanity of its people”) with Lucach regnum shown somewhat to its south west.[9] Following Mercator, Abraham Ortelius also showed BEACH and LVCACH in these locations on his world map of 1571. Likewise, Linschoten’s very popular 1596 map of the East Indies showed BEACH projecting from the map’s southern edge, leading (or mis-leading) Visscher and Tasman in their voyage of 1642 to seek Beach with its plentiful gold in a location to the south of the Solomon Islands somewhere between Staten Land near Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope.[10] Confirmation that land existed where the maps showed Beach to be had come from Dirk Hartog’s landing in October 1616 on its west coast, which he called Eendrachtsland after the name of his ship.

In accordance with Visscher's directions, Tasman sailed first to Mauritius. The reason for this was that his ships were sailing ships and the best route from one place to another was not always the direct route; of more importance was the direction of the wind. Tasman had some knowledge of the prevailing winds and so he chose Mauritius as a turning point and from there a course was set towards what was presumed to be the mainland of Beach, or Terra Australis. (At least part of the western shore of the continent was already known to the Dutch, but the shape of the southern coast was unknown).

Murderers' Bay, 1642
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Tasmania

On the 24th November 1642 Abel Tasman sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour. He named his discovery Van Diemen's Land after Anthony van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Proceeding south he skirted the southern end of Tasmania and turned north-east, Tasman then tried to work his two ships into Adventure Bay on the east coast of South Bruny Island where he was blown out to sea by a storm, this area he named Storm Bay. Two days later Tasman anchored to the North of Cape Frederick Hendrick just North of the Forestier Peninsula. Tasman then landed in Blackman Bay - in the larger Marion Bay. The next day, an attempt was made to land in North Bay; however, because the sea was too rough the carpenter swam through the surf and planted the Dutch flag in North Bay. Tasman then claimed formal possession of the land on 3 December 1642.

New Zealand

After some exploration, Tasman had intended to proceed in a northerly direction but as the wind was unfavourable he steered east. On 13 December they sighted land on the north-west coast of the South Island, New Zealand, becoming the first Europeans to do so. Tasman named it Staten Landt on the assumption that it was connected to an island (Staten Island, Argentina) at the south of the tip of South America. Proceeding north and then east one of his boats was attacked by Māori in waka, and four of his men were killed. Tasman named it Murderers' Bay (now known as Golden Bay) and sailed north, but mistook Cook Strait for a bight (naming it Zeehaen's Bight). Two names that he bestowed on New Zealand landmarks still endure: Cape Maria van Diemen and Three Kings Islands (Cabo Pieter Boreels is now known as Cape Egmont).

The return voyage

On route back to Batavia, Tasman came across the Tongan archipelago on 20 January 1643. While passing the Fiji Islands Tasman's ships came close to being wrecked on the dangerous reefs of the north-eastern part of the Fiji group. He charted the eastern tip of Vanua Levu and Cikobia before making his way back into the open sea. He eventually turned north-west to New Guinea, and arrived at Batavia on 15 June 1643.

Second Pacific voyage

The route of the first and second voyage

With three ships on his second voyage (Limmen, Zeemeeuw and the tender Braek) in 1644, he followed the south coast of New Guinea west. He missed the Torres Strait between New Guinea and Australia, and continued his voyage along the Australian coast. He mapped the north coast of Australia making observations on the land and its people.

From the point of view of the Dutch East India Company Tasman's explorations were a disappointment: he had neither found a promising area for trade nor a useful new shipping route. For over a century, until the era of James Cook, Tasmania and New Zealand were not visited by Europeans - mainland Australia was visited, but usually only by accident.

Later life

The Abel Tasman map 1644, also known as the Bonaparte Tasman map. This map is part of the collection of the State Library of New South Wales, Australia.

On 2 November 1644 Abel Tasman was appointed a member of the Council of Justice at Batavia. He went to Sumatra in 1646, and in August 1647 to Siam (now Thailand) with letters from the company to the King. In May 1648 he was in charge of an expedition sent to Manila to try to intercept and loot the Spanish silver ships coming from America, but he had no success and returned to Batavia in January 1649. In November 1649 he was charged and found guilty of having in the previous year hanged one of his men without trial, was suspended from his office of commander, fined, and made to pay compensation to the relatives of the sailor. On 5 January 1651 he was formally reinstated in his rank and spent his remaining years at Batavia. He was in good circumstances, being one of the larger landowners in the town. He died at Batavia in October 1659 and was survived by his second wife and a daughter by his first wife. His discoveries were most important but led to nothing for more than 100 years.

Tasman's legacy

As with many explorers, Tasman's name has been honoured in many ways. These include:

In 1985 he was honoured on a postage stamp depicting his portrait issued by Australia Post [1].

References

  1. ^ Essay on "The portrait of Abel Tasman, his wife and daughter" at the Australian national library website
  2. ^ J.E. Heeres, "Abel Janszoon Tasman, His Life and Labours", Abel Tasman's Journal, Los Angeles, 1965, pp.137, 141-2; cited in Andrew Sharp, The Voyages of Abel Janszoon Tasman, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968, p.24.
  3. ^ G. E. Gerini, Researches on Ptolemy's geography of Eastern Asia (further India and Indo-Malay archipelago), London, Royal Asiatic Society, Asiatic Society Monographs vol.1, 1909, p.180.
  4. ^ Paul Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1963, Vol.II, pp.768-9, note 2.
  5. ^ Simon Grynaeus and Johann Huttich, Novus Orbis Regionum ac Insularum, Basel and Paris, 1532, Marco Polo cap.xi, “De provincia Boëach”; cited in Thomas Suarez, Early Mapping of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Periplus, 1999, p.160.
  6. ^ Milione: il Milione nelle redazioni toscana e franco-italiana, Le Divisament dou Monde, Gabriella Ponchi (ed.), Milano, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1982, p.540: cap. clxiii, "La grant isle de Java".
  7. ^ James R. McClymont, “The Theory of an Antipodal Southern Continent during the Sixteenth Century”, Report of the Fourth Meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, Hobart, January 1892, Hobart, the Association, 1893, pp.442-462; Paul Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1963, Vol.II, p.769.
  8. ^ Sir Henry Yule (ed.), The Book of Ser Marco Polo, London, Murray, 1921, Volume 2, pp.276-280.
  9. ^ Peter van der Krogt, Globi Neerlandici: The Production of Globes in the Low Countries, Utrecht, HES Publishers, 1993, p.64, plate 2.14.
  10. ^ Andrew Sharp, The Voyages of Abel Janszoon Tasman, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968, pp.25.

External links


Abel Tasman
Born day unknown 1603
Lutjegast, Dutch Republic
Died 10 October 1659 (aged 56)
Batavia (Jakarta),
Dutch East Indies
Nationality Dutch
Occupation navigator and explorer
Spouse Claesgie Meyndrix
Joanna Tiercx

Abel Janszoon Tasman (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈaːbəl ˈjɑnsoʊn ˈtɑsmɐn]; 1603 – 10 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant.

Tasman is best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the VOC (United East India Company). His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands, which he did in 1643. Tasman, his navigator Visscher, and his merchant Gilsemans also mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Contents

First pacific voyage

In 1634 Tasman was sent as second in command of an exploring expedition in the north Pacific. His fleet included the ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen. After many hardships, he made more voyages to Asia. In 1642 he signed a friendly trading treaty with the Sultan of Palembang, Sumatra.

In 1642, the Council of Batavia despatched Abel Tasman and Franchoijs Visscher on a voyage of which one of the objects was to obtain knowledge of "all the totally unknown provinces of Beach".[1] Beach appeared on maps of the time, notably that of Abraham Ortelius of 1570 and that of Jan Huygen van Linschoten of 1596, as the northernmost part of the southern continent, the Terra Australis, along with Locach. According to Marco Polo, Locach was a kingdom where gold was “so plentiful that no none who did not see it could believe it”. Beach was in fact a mistranscription of Locach. Locach was Marco Polo’s name for the southern Thai kingdom of Lavo, or Lop Buri, the “city of Lavo”, (ลพบร, after Lavo, the son of Rama in Hindu mythology).[2] In Chinese (Cantonese), Lavo was pronounced “Lo-huk” (羅斛), from which Marco Polo took his rendition of the name.[3] In the German cursive script, “Locach” and “Beach” look similar, and in the 1532 edition of Marco Polo’s Travels published by Simon Grynaeus and Johann Huttich, his Locach was changed to Boëach, later shortened to Beach.[4] They seem to have drawn on the map of the world published in Florence in 1489 by Henricus Martellus (the Latinized form of Heinrich Hammer’s name), in which provincia boëach appears as the southern neighbour of provincia ciamba. Book III of Marco Polo’s Travels described his journey by sea from China to India by way of Champa, Java (which he called Java Major), Locach and Sumatra (called Java Minor). After a chapter describing the kingdom of Champa there follows a chapter describing Java (which he did not visit himself).[5] The narrative then resumes, describing the route southward from Champa toward Sumatra, but by a slip of the pen the name “Java” was substituted for “Champa” as the point of departure, locating Sumatra 1,300 miles to the south of Java instead of Champa. Locach, located between Champa and Sumatra, was likewise mis-placed far to the south of Java, by some geographers on or near an extension of the Terra Australis.[6] As explained by Sir Henry Yule, the editor of an English edition of Marco Polo’s Travels: “Some geographers of the 16th century, following the old editions which carried the travellers south-east of Java to the land of “Boeach” (or Locac), introduced in their maps a continent in that situation”.[7] Gerard Mercator did just that on his 1541 globe, placing Beach provincia aurifera (“Beach the gold-bearing province”) in the northernmost part of the Terra Australis in accordance with the faulty text of Marco Polo’s Travels. It remained in this location on his world map of 1569, with the amplified description, quoting Marco Polo, Beach provincia aurifera quam pauci ex alienis regionibus adeunt propter gentis inhumanitatem (“Beach the gold-bearing province, wither few go from other countries because of the inhumanity of its people”) with Lucach regnum shown somewhat to its south west.[8] Following Mercator, Abraham Ortelius also showed BEACH and LVCACH in these locations on his world map of 1571. Likewise, Linschoten’s very popular 1596 map of the East Indies showed BEACH projecting from the map’s southern edge, leading (or mis-leading) Visscher and Tasman in their voyage of 1642 to seek Beach with its plentiful gold in a location to the south of the Solomon Islands somewhere between Staten Land near Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope.[9] Confirmation that land existed where the maps showed Beach to be had come from Dirk Hartog’s landing in October 1616 on its west coast, which he called Eendrachtsland after the name of his ship.

In accordance with Visscher's directions, Tasman sailed first to Mauritius. The reason for this was that his ships were sailing ships and the best route from one place to another was not always the direct route; of more importance was the direction of the wind. Tasman had some knowledge of the prevailing winds and so he chose Mauritius as a turning point and from there a course was set towards what was presumed to be the mainland of Beach, or Terra Australis. (At least part of the western shore of the continent was already known to the Dutch, but the shape of the southern coast was unknown).

File:Gilsemans
Murderers' Bay, 1642

Tasmania

On the 24th November 1642 Abel Tasman sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour. He named his discovery Van Diemen's Land after Anthony van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Proceeding south he skirted the southern end of Tasmania and turned north-east, Tasman then tried to work his two ships into Adventure Bay on the east coast of South Bruny Island where he was blown out to sea by a storm, this area he named Storm Bay. Two days later Tasman anchored to the North of Cape Frederick Hendrick just North of the Forestier Peninsula. Tasman then landed in Blackman Bay - in the larger Marion Bay. The next day, an attempt was made to land in North Bay; however, because the sea was too rough the carpenter swam through the surf and planted the Dutch flag in North Bay. Tasman then claimed formal possession of the land on 3 December 1642.

New Zealand

After some exploration, Tasman had intended to proceed in a northerly direction but as the wind was unfavourable he steered east. On 13 December they sighted land on the north-west coast of the South Island, New Zealand, becoming the first Europeans to do so. Tasman named it Staten Landt on the assumption that it was connected to an island (Staten Island, Argentina) at the south of the tip of South America. Proceeding north and then east, he stopped to gather water, but one of his boats was attacked by Māori in waka (canoes) and four of his men were killed. Archeological research has shown the Dutch had tried to land at a major agricultural area, which the Māori may have been trying to protect.[10] Tasman named the bay Murderers' Bay (now known as Golden Bay) and sailed north, but mistook Cook Strait for a bight (naming it Zeehaen's Bight). Two names that he bestowed on New Zealand landmarks still endure: Cape Maria van Diemen and Three Kings Islands (Cabo Pieter Boreels is now known as Cape Egmont).

The return voyage

On route back to Batavia, Tasman came across the Tongan archipelago on 20 January 1643. While passing the Fiji Islands Tasman's ships came close to being wrecked on the dangerous reefs of the north-eastern part of the Fiji group. He charted the eastern tip of Vanua Levu and Cikobia before making his way back into the open sea. He eventually turned north-west to New Guinea, and arrived at Batavia on 15 June 1643.

Second Pacific voyage

[[File:|thumb|The route of the first and second voyage]]

With three ships on his second voyage (Limmen, Zeemeeuw and the tender Braek) in 1644, he followed the south coast of New Guinea eastwards. He missed the Torres Strait between New Guinea and Australia, and continued his voyage along the Australian coast. He mapped the north coast of Australia making observations on the land and its people.

From the point of view of the Dutch East India Company Tasman's explorations were a disappointment: he had neither found a promising area for trade nor a useful new shipping route. For over a century, until the era of James Cook, Tasmania and New Zealand were not visited by Europeans - mainland Australia was visited, but usually only by accident.

Later life

, Australia.]]

On 2 November 1644 Abel Tasman was appointed a member of the Council of Justice at Batavia. He went to Sumatra in 1646, and in August 1647 to Siam (now Thailand) with letters from the company to the King. In May 1648 he was in charge of an expedition sent to Manila to try to intercept and loot the Spanish silver ships coming from America, but he had no success and returned to Batavia in January 1649. In November 1649 he was charged and found guilty of having in the previous year hanged one of his men without trial, was suspended from his office of commander, fined, and made to pay compensation to the relatives of the sailor. On 5 January 1651 he was formally reinstated in his rank and spent his remaining years at Batavia. He was in good circumstances, being one of the larger landowners in the town. He died at Batavia in October 1659 and was survived by his second wife and a daughter by his first wife. His discoveries were most important but led to nothing for more than 100 years.

Tasman's legacy

As with many explorers, Tasman's name has been honoured in many ways. These include:

In 1985 he was honoured on a postage stamp depicting his portrait issued by Australia Post [1].

References

  1. ^ J.E. Heeres, "Abel Janszoon Tasman, His Life and Labours", Abel Tasman's Journal, Los Angeles, 1965, pp.137, 141-2; cited in Andrew Sharp, The Voyages of Abel Janszoon Tasman, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968, p.24.
  2. ^ G. E. Gerini, Researches on Ptolemy's geography of Eastern Asia (further India and Indo-Malay archipelago), London, Royal Asiatic Society, Asiatic Society Monographs vol.1, 1909, p.180.
  3. ^ Paul Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1963, Vol.II, pp.768-9, note 2.
  4. ^ Simon Grynaeus and Johann Huttich, Novus Orbis Regionum ac Insularum, Basel and Paris, 1532, Marco Polo cap.xi, “De provincia Boëach”; cited in Thomas Suarez, Early Mapping of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Periplus, 1999, p.160.
  5. ^ Milione: il Milione nelle redazioni toscana e franco-italiana, Le Divisament dou Monde, Gabriella Ponchi (ed.), Milano, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1982, p.540: cap. clxiii, "La grant isle de Java".
  6. ^ James R. McClymont, “The Theory of an Antipodal Southern Continent during the Sixteenth Century”, Report of the Fourth Meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, Hobart, January 1892, Hobart, the Association, 1893, pp.442-462; Paul Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1963, Vol.II, p.769.
  7. ^ Sir Henry Yule (ed.), The Book of Ser Marco Polo, London, Murray, 1921, Volume 2, pp.276-280.
  8. ^ Peter van der Krogt, Globi Neerlandici: The Production of Globes in the Low Countries, Utrecht, HES Publishers, 1993, p.64, plate 2.14.
  9. ^ Andrew Sharp, The Voyages of Abel Janszoon Tasman, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968, pp.25.
  10. ^ "First contact violence linked to food". New Zealand Herald. 23 September 2010. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10675488. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 

External links


Simple English

Abel Tasman
Born 1603
Groningen Holland
Died October 10 1659
Batavia
[[File:|thumb|240px|right|Map showing Tasman's trips]]

Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603 - 1659) was a Dutch sea explorer. He discovered Tasmania and New Zealand while on voyages in 1642 and 1644, in the service of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). He also discovered large parts of Australia.

He was born in Groningen, Holland. He went to Batavia (now called Jakarta) to work for the VOC in 1633. He went back to Holland in 1636. He went back to Batavia with his wife, Jannetie Tjaerss, 2 years later. He went north to Japan in 1640. In 1642 Tasman went south to Palembang.[1].

Tasmania and New Zealand 1642-3

Tasman set sail from Batavia with the ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen on August 14, 1642. He was told to search for New Holland. He was hoping to find gold, silver and other riches. On November 24, 1642 he discovered the west coast of Tasmania which he called Van Diemen's Land. He named it after Anthony Van Diemen, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies. Tasman sailed around to the east coast of Van Diemen's Land and claimed the land for the Dutch on December 3, 1642. The ships then sailed west and discovered New Zealand. His ships were attacked by Maori in large war canoes (boats) and 4 sailors died. Tasman then sailed north-east to Tonga and Fiji. He then sailed north west to New Guinea and got back to Batavia in June 1643.

Northern Australia 1644

In 1644 Tasman sailed from Batavia with the ships Limmen, Zeemeeuw and Bracq. He sailed along the west coast of New Guinea, and then the coast of Australia from Cape York to North West Cape. He went back to Batavia in August 1644. He showed that Western Australia and Queensland were part of the same country. He was not able to get through Torres Strait, but his maps were used for the next 200 years.

Tasman made more trips including to Sumatra in 1646, Siam in 1647, and Manila in 1648. He purchased a lot of land in Batavia where he died in October 1659.

Several places have been named after him, including Tasmania, the Tasman Peninsula, Tasman Island and the Tasman Sea.

References

  1. The Australian Encyclopaedia: Volume 8. 1958. p. pp. 423-424. 

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