This book does not pretend to be a history of Australia; it merely gathers into one volume that which has hitherto been dispersed through many. Our story ends where Australian history, as it is generally written, begins; but the work of the forgotten naval pioneers of the country made that beginning possible.
s voyage is also noteworthy on account of the massacre of the master of the Arnhem and eight of his crew by the natives while they were exploring the coast of New Guinea. In 1627 the first discovery of the south coast was made by the Gulde Zeepard, and the land then explored, extending from Cape Leeuwin to the Nuyts Archipelago, on the South Australian coast, was named after Peter Nuyts, then on board the ship on his way to Batavia, whence he was sent to Japan as ambassador from Holland.
In the year 1628 a colonizing expedition of eleven vessels left Holland for the Dutch East Indies. Among these ships was the Batavia, commanded by Francis Pelsart. A terrible storm destroyed ten of the fleet, and on June 4th, 1629, the Batavia was driven ashore on the reef still known as Houtman's Abrolhos, which had been discovered and named by a Dutch East Indiaman some years earlier--probably by the commander of the Leeuwin, who discovered and named after his ship the cap