An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, with the Discoveries which have been made in New South Wales and in the Southern Ocean, since the Publication of Phillip's Voyage, complied from the Official Papers, including t
Price: 7,850.00 AUD
London: John Stockdale, 1793. Quarto, with 17 engraved plates, folding maps and charts; a very good copy, a decent size with the often cropped date on the title-page intact, in a modern binding of quarter morocco and marbled boards. First edition of John Hunter's Journal: a foundation book of Australian coastal exploration which, together with Phillip's account, gives the first charting of Sydney Harbour and includes an excellent account of their exploration activities in the environs of Sydney Cove. Hunter's account is a primary source for the early settlement of Norfolk Island, whose first settlement had also been named Sydney (or Sidney) Town in honour of the Home Secretary.Hunter sailed as second captain of HMS Sirius under Phillip for the voyage to Botany Bay. He began his exploration work the day after their arrival, sailing with Phillip and two other officers on a two-day voyage in search of a more suitable place for settlement. To the north of Botany Bay they discovered the full extent of Sydney Harbour, which Hunter described as 'a large opening, or bay, about three leagues and a half to the northward of Cape Banks'. Hunter continued to survey and explore the Harbour (his detailed chart was published in Phillip's Voyage in 1789), as well as making numerous trips to Broken Bay and Pittwater, and into the interior along the Hawkesbury River towards the Blue Mountains. He gives detailed accounts of his various forays into the country, particularly his many interactions with the indigenous people. These accounts are characteristically sympathetic and respectful and sometimes - as in the case of caring for a young Aboriginal girl recovering from smallpox - quite moving.Hunter only left for England in late 1791 after an enforced stay of eleven months on Norfolk Island following the shipwreck of the Sirius there. In England he published this account, and was later recalled to New South Wales in February of 1795 to replace Captain William Paterson as governor in September of that year.The engraved plates and maps, many of the latter from original cartography by Hunter, Dawes and Bradley, are very fine. Of particular note is the plate View of the settlement on Sydney Cove, after a sketch by Hunter, which is the earliest depiction of the town of Sydney, while the image A family of New South Wales, after a drawing by Philip Gidley King, was engraved by William Blake: Bernard Smith noted that "there is no finer pictorial expression of the idea of the noble savage in visual art than Blake's engraving" (European Vision and the South Pacific). Blake began his artistic career as a commercial engraver, having been apprenticed as a 14-year-old in 1772 to the engraver James Basire. In very good condition.