1743 map of Australia

1743 map of Australia

1279 x 1498

‘The NSW State Library currently has a sick exhibit going on called “Maps of the Pacific” which is basically showing the progression of European mapping of the world - it’s genuinely so interesting and it shows the progression of the mapping of Australia (and the rest of the world)’

1790s map of the Pacific and surrounding area

1790s map of the Pacific and surrounding area

4123 x 4890

‘Random things that catch my eye:

  1. For whatever reason (seasonal ice?) the Russian Arctic was charted before the Canadian Arctic. That part of the Arctic didn’t get fully clarified for another century, requiring a lot of expeditions, many of them never making it out of the ice. You might have heard about the Franklin Expedition, there were many like that. A lot of great survival stories.
  2. To me, the Pacific in this map is surprisingly thoroughly charted, so soon after Captain Cook discovered many of these places.
  3. Notice the discussion of the phantom islands east of Hawaii that “do not exist”, and must be the same as Hawaii. It’s interesting that the islands are on the map anyways.
  4. Okinawa is enormous here. Apparently not just on this map.
  5. Apparently Hokkaido was then known as Jeso. It was formally incorporated into Japan shortly after this time, in response to the encroachment of Russians. The Russians also gobbled up the Northern and Eastern parts of Manchuria after this time’

1753 map of Rottnest Island (with a mountain range on the south side)

1753 map of Rottnest Island (with a mountain range on the south side). Willem de Vlamingh [Dutch Explorer] called the island ’t Eylandt ’t Rottenest (“Rats’ Nest Island”) in 1696. The ‘rats’ of course, were the native Quokka population

3424 x 1654

‘Noongar people know the Island as Wadjemup. They have an oral story dating from the time when the island was separated from the mainland, telling of the sea level rising. That happened about 7000 years ago. It was also used as a prison for Indigenous people from all over Western Australia. About 3700 Indigenous prisoners were sent there overall. Many of them died horribly of disease while imprisoned … An estimated 370 Indigenous men died on the island and were buried on top of each other so much so that it created hills. Then Tentland was built on top of their graves and their prison was used for accomodation. It makes me sick that I was going to Rottnest for so long and there wasn’t even any mention of this dark history. There’s so many heartbreaking factors to their imprisonment. The local Whadjuk people saw the island as a sacred place of the spirits and not as a place for them’

New Holland (1799) drawn by Aaron Arrowsmith

New Holland (1799) drawn by Aaron Arrowsmith. Part of a world map, and one of the first maps to show the Bass Strait

2667 × 2856

‘Anyone familiar enough with Australian history to tell me why there are two Van Dieman’s Lands? Tasmania and the central North coast of Australia are both labelled as such … Places get similar names at different times. The NT area was named in 1618. Tasmania not until 1642’