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Before two in the afternoon we stretched eastward again; and at four, a white rock was reported from aloft to be seen a-head. On approaching nearer, it proved to be a ship standing towards us ; and we cleared for action, in case of being attacked. The stranger was a heavy-looking ship, without any top-gallant masts up; and our colours being hoisted, she showed a French ensign, and afterwards an English jack forward, as we did a white flag. At half past five, the land being then five miles distant to the north-eastward, I hove to; and learned, as the stranger passed to leeward with a free wind, that it was the French national ship Le Géographe, under the command of captain NICOLAS BAUDIN. We veered round as Le Géographe was passing, so as to keep our broadside to her, lest the flag of truce should be a deception; and having come to the wind on the other tack, a boat was hoisted out, and I went on board the French ship, which had also hove to.




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As I did not understand French, Mr. Brown, the naturalist, went with me in the boat. We were received by an officer who pointed out the commander, and by him were conducted into the cabin. I requested captain Baudin to show me his passport from the Admiralty; and when it was found and I had perused it, offered mine from the French marine minister, but he put it back without inspection. He then informed me that he had spent some time in examining the south and east parts of Van Diemen's Land, where. his geographical engineer, with the largest boat and a boat's crew, had been left, and probably lost. In Bass' Strait captain Baudin had encountered a heavy gale, the same we had experienced in a less degree on March 21 in the Investigator's Strait. He was then separated from his consort, Le Naturaliste ; but having since had fair winds and fine weather, he had explored the South Coast from Western Port to the place of our meeting, without finding any river, inlet, or other shelter which afforded anchorage. I inquired concerning a large island, said to lie in the western entrance of Bass' Strait; but he had not seen it, and seemed to doubt much of its existence.

Captain Baudin was communicative of his discoveries about Van Diemen's Land ; as also of his criticisms upon an English chart of Bass' Strait, published in 1800. He found great fault with the north side of the strait, but commended the form given to the south side and to the islands near it. On my pointing out a note upon the chart, explaining that the north side of the strait was seen only in an open boat by Mr. Bass, who had no good means of fixing either latitude or longitude, he appeared surprised, not having before paid attention to it. I told him that some other, and more particular charts of the Strait and its neighbourhood had been since published ; and that if he would keep company until next morning, I would bring him a copy, with a small memoir belonging to thein. This was agreed to, and I returned with Mr. Brown to the Investigator.

It somewhat surprised me, that.captain Baudin made no enquiries concerning my business upon this unknown coast, but as he seemed

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more desirous of communicating information, I was happy to receive it; next morning, however, he had become inquisitive, some of his officers having learned from my boat's crew that our object was also discovery. I then told him, generally, what our operations had been, particularly in the two gulphs, and the latitude to which I had ascended in the largest ; explained the situation of Port Lincoln, where fresh water might be procured; showed him Cape Jervis, which was still in sight; and as a proof of the refreshments to be obtained at the large island opposite to it, pointed out the kangurooskin caps worn by my boat.'s crew; and told him the name I had affixed to the island in consequence. At parting, the captain requested me to take care of his boat and people, in case of meeting with them ; and to say to Le Naturaliste, that he should go to Port Jackson so soon as the bad weather set in. On my asking the name of the captain of Le Naturaliste, he bethought himself to ask mine; and finding it to be the same as the author of the chart which he had been criticising, expressed not a little surprise; but had the politeness to congratulate himself on meeting me.

The situation of the Investigator, when I hove to for the purpose of speaking captain Baudin, was 35° 40' south, and 138° 58' east. No person was present at our conversations except Mr. Brown; and they were mostly carried on in English, which the captain spoke so as to be understood. He gave me, besides what is related above, some information of his losses in men, separations from his consort., and of the improper season at which he was directed to explore this coast; as also a memorandum of some rocks he had met with, lying two leagues from the shore, in latitude 37° 1', and he spoke of them as being very dangerous.

I have been the more particular in detailing all that passed at this interview, from a circumstance which it seems proper to explain and discuss in this place.

At the above situation of 35° 40' south, and 138° 58' east, the discoveries made by captain Baudin upon the South Coast have their




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termination to the west; as mine in the Investigator have to the eastward. Yet Mons. Péron, naturalist in the French expedition, has laid a claim for his nation to the discovery of all the parts between Western Port in Bass' Strait., and Nuyts' Archipelago ; and this part of New South Wales is called Terre Napoléon. My Kanguroo Island, a name which they openly adopted in the expedition, has been converted at Paris into L-'Isle Decrés ; Spencer's Gulph is named Golfe Bonaparte; the Gulph of St. Vincent, Golfe Joséphine; and so. on. along the whole coast to Cape Nuyts, not even the smallest island being left without some similar stamp of French discovery.*

* The most remarkable passages on the subject are the following, under the title of Terre Napoléon.

De ce grand espace (the south coast of Terra Australis), la partie seule qui du
" Cap Leuwen s'étend aux iles St. Pierre et St. François, étoit connue lors de notre de-
" part d'Europe. Découverte par les Hollandois en 1627, elle avoit été, dans ces der-
" niers temps, visitée par VANCOUVER et surtout par DENTRECASTREAUX; mais ce der-
" nier navigateur n'ayant pu lui-ménie s'avancer au-delà des iles St. Pierre et St. François,
"qui forment la limite orientale de la terre de Nuyts, et les Anglois n'ayant pas porté
" vers le Sud leurs recherches plus loin que le port Western, il en résultoit que toute la
" portion comprise entre ce dernier point et la terre de Nuyts étoit encore inconnue au
" moment où nous arrivions sur ces rivages." p. 316. That is on March 30, 1802. M. Péron should have said, not that the south coast from Western Port to Nuyts' Land was then unknown ; but that it was unknown to them; for captain Grant of the Lady Nelson had discovered the eastern part, from Western Port to the longitude 140 1/4° in the year 1800, before the French ships sailed from Europe ; and on the west I had explored the coast and islands from Nuyts' Land to Cape Jervis in 133° 10', and was, on the day specified., at the head of the Gulph of St. Vincent.

" Dans ce moment, le capitaine Anglois nous béla, en nous demandant si nous n'étions
" pas l'un des deux vaisseaux partis de France pour faire des découvertes dans l'hémisphére
" Austral. Sur notre réponse affirmative, il fit aussitót mettre une embareation a la mer,
" etpeu d'instans aprés nous le reçûmes à bord. Nous apprimes que c`étoit le capitaine
" FLINDERS., celui-là même qui avoit déja fait la circonnavigation de la terre de Diémen;
" que son navire se nommoit the Investigator ; que, parti d'Europe depuis huit mois dans
" le dessein de compléter la reconnoissance de la Nouvelle Hollande et des archipels du
" grand Océan équatorial., il, se trouvoit, depuis environs trois mois, à la terre de Nuyts ;
" que, contrarié par les vents, il n'avoit pu pénétrer, comme il en avoit en le projet, der

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It is said by M. Peron, and upon my authority too, that the Investigator had not been able to penetrate behind the Isles of St. Peter and St. Francis; and though he doth not say directly, that no part of the before unknown coast was discovered by me, yet the whole tenor of his Chap. XV induces the reader to believe that I had done nothing which could interfere with the prior claim of the French.

Yet M. Peron was present afterwards at Port Jackson, when I showed one of,my charts of this coast to captain Baudin, and pointed out the limits of his discovery ; and so far from any prior title being set up at that time to Kanguroo Island and the parts westward, the officers of the Géographe always spoke of them as belonging to the Investigator. The first lieutenant, Mons. Freycinet, even made use of the following odd expression, addressing himself to me in the house of governor King, and in the presence of one of his compa-

" rière les iles St. Pierre et St. François ; que, lors de son départ dAngleterre," &c. p. 324,325.
" En nous fournissant tous ces détails, M. FLINDERS se montra d'une grande réserve
"sur ses opérations particulières. Nous apprImes toutefois par quelques-uns de ses
" matelots, qu'il avoit eu beaucoup à souffrir de ces mêmes vents de la partie da Sud qui
" nous avoient été si favorables., et ce fut alors sur-tout que nous pûmes apprécier dayan-
" tage toute la sagesse de nos propres instructions. Après avoir conversé plus d'une heure
" avee nous," (no person except Mr. Brown was present at my conversation with cap-
" tain Baudin, as I have already said), le capitaine FLINDERS repartit pour son bord,
" promettant de revenir le lendemain matin nous apporter une carte particulière de la
" rivière Dalrymple, qu'il venait de publier en Angleterre. Il revint en effet, le 9 avril,
" nous la remettre, et bientôt après nous le quittâmes pour reprendre la suite de nos tra
" vaux géographiques." p. 325.

" L'lle principale de ce dernier groupe" (their Archipel Berthier) " se dessine sous la
" forme d'un immense liamaçon." (Thistle's Island seems to be here meant.) " Indé-
" pendamment de toutes ces iles, il en existe encore plus de vingt autres disséminées
" aux environs de la pointe occidentale du golfe et en déhors de son entrée : chacune
" d'elles fut désignée par un de ces noms honorables dont notre patrie s'enorgueillit à
" juste titre." p. .327.

Voyage de Découverte aux Terres Australes, rédigé par M. F. Peron,
Naturaliste de l'expédition, &c. Paris, 1807.           




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nions. I think Mons. Bonnefoy, Captain, if we had not been kept "so long picking up shells and catching butterflies at Van Diemen's Land, you would not have discovered the South Coast before us."

The English officers and respectable inhabitants then at Port jackson, can say if the prior discovery of these parts were not generally acknowledged ; nay, I appeal to the French officers themselves, generally and individually, if such were not the case. How then came M. Peron to advance what was so contrary to truth? Was he a man destitute of all principle? My answer is, that I believe his candour to have been equal to his acknowledged abilities; and that what he wrote was from over-ruling authority, and smote him to the heart: he did not live to finish the second volume.

The motive for this aggression I do not pretend to explain. It may have originated in the desire to rival the British nation in the honour of completing the discovery of the globe; or be intended as the fore runner of a claim to the possession of the countries so said to have been first discovered by French navigators. Whatever may have been the object in view, the question, so far as I am concerned, must be left to the judgment of the world ; and if succeeding French writers can see and admit the claims of other navigators, as clearly and readily as a late most able man of that nation* has pointed out their own in some other instances, I shall not fear to leave it even to their decision.


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Examination of the coast resumed. Encounter Bay. The capes Bernouilli and Jaffa. Baudin's Rocks. Differences in the bearings on tacking. Cape Buffon, the eastern limit of the French discovery. The capes Northumberland and Bridgewater of captain Grant. Danger from a south-west gale. King's Island, in Bass' Strait: anchorage there. Some account of the island. Nautical observations. New Year's Isles. Cape Otway, and the north-west entrance to Bass' Strait. Anchorage in, and examination of Port Phillip. The country and inhabitants. Nautical observations.


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I RETURNED with Mr. Brown on board the Investigator at half past eight in the morning, and we then separated from Le Géographe; captain Baudin's course being directed to the north-west, and ours to the southward. We had lost ground during the night, and the wind was very feeble at east, so that the French ship was in sight at noon, and our situation was as follows:

Latitude observed, 35 ° 44'
Longitude by time keepers, 138 58
Cape Jervis bore N. 82 1/2 W.
Hummock at the east end of the high land, N. 41/2 E.
Nearest sandy hillock, dist. 3 or 4 leagues, N. 65 E.

At the place where we tacked from the shore on the mornin of the 8th, the high land of Cape Jervis had retreated from water side, the coast was become low and sandy, and its trending was north-east; but after running four or five leagues in that direction, it curved round to the south-eastward, and thus formed a large bight or bay. The head of this bay was probably seen by




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captain Baudin in the afternoon; and in consequence of our meeting here, I distinguish it by the name of ENCOUNTER BAY. The succeeding part of the coast having been first discovered by the French navigator, I shall make use of the names in describing it which he, or his countrymen have thought proper to apply; that is, so far as the volume published enables me to make them out; but this volume being unaccompanied with charts, and containing few latitudes and longitudes by which the capes and bays can be identified, I must be excused should any errors be committed in the nomenclature.

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