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A Succinct Account of New South Wales and Observations on the Plan of establishing a Colony of Convicts at Botany Bay: With an accurate Chart of New Holland...
London: W. Bent, March, 1787. Octavo, bound extract comprising pp. 113-168 from the {i Universal Magazine}, with an unrelated engraved portrait plate and folding engraved chart measuring 275 x 205 mm., very good in gilt lettered half calf by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Cockatoos of 'exquisite beauty'. Extract from the London published {i Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure }for March 1787, containing a three page summary of plans for the convict settlement at Botany Bay. Of special interest is folding map accompanying the article captioned "Chart of New Holland with the Adjacent Countries and New Discover'd Islands 1787", containing good detail of the eastern coast of New South Wales and an inset detail of Botany Bay. The map is clearly derived from the chart accompanying {i An Historical Narrative of the Discovery of New Holland and New South Wales }published by John Fielding in 1786. Clearly published to satisfy strong public interest in the planned convict colony, the article condenses information from the first voyage account of James Cook.Although short, the article is rich in detail, outlining early Dutch discoveries and the landfalls of William Dampier before treating Captain Cook's survey of the east coast. The passages treating the landscape and vegetation of Botany Bay echo the bountiful descriptions of Cook and Banks that fostered false hope and bitterly disappointed early settlers who found conditions far from suitable for ready agriculture. For example, here find 'the trees tall, straight, and without underwood, standing at such distance from each other, that the whole country, at least where the swamps do not render it incapable of cultivation, might be cultivated without cutting down one of them'. The beauty of Australian wildlife is likewise here reported before the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove: 'the trees overhead abounded with birds of various kinds, among which were many of exquisite beauty, particularly loriquets and cockatoos, which flew in flocks of several scores together'. Finally, the strategic and mercantile advantages a British colony in the South Pacific are discussed, especially regarding trade with China and the northwest coast of America: 'Its situation is well adapted for carrying on a trade between Nootka Sound and Cook's River, on the American coast, and the isles of Japan and the Chinese Empire, in sea-otter skins...' The {i Universal Magazine} was published in separate parts in titling wrappers with continuous pagination, this example is complete without the wrappers (which were typically discarded).
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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