“Tasmania’s Fascinating History: For The Best Timeline”. It is believed that the island of Tasmaina was once joined to the Australian mainland. The Furneaux Islands are visible reminders of the land bridge that connected Tasmania to mainland Australia until the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago. The strip of land connected the north east corner of Tasmania with Victoria’s Wilsons Promotory, which is the remnant of this connection on the mainland.
Wikipedia article: Tasmanian Aborigines
Tasmania was inhabited by an indigenous population, the Tasmanian Aborigines, and evidence indicates their presence in the territory, later to become an island, at least 35,000 years ago. The Aboriginal population at the time of British settlement in 1803 has been estimated at 5 000 but through persecution (see Black War and Black Line) and disease much of the population was eradicated. The impact of introduced diseases, prior to the first European estimates of the size of Tasmania’s population, means that the original indigenous population could have been somewhat larger than 5,000. Until the 1970s, most people thought that the last surviving Tasmanian Aborigine was Trugernanner, who died in 1876.
Tasmania’s Fascinating History: For The Best Timeline
The first reported sighting of Tasmania by a European was on 24 November 1642 by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who named the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt, after his sponsor, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. The name was later shortened to Van Diemen’s Land by the British. In 1772, a French expedition led by Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne landed on the island. Captain James Cook also sighted the island in 1777, and numerous other European seafarers made landfalls, adding a colourful array to the names of topographical features.
The first settlement was by the British at Risdon Cove on the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary in 1803, by a small party sent from Sydney, under Lt. John Bowen. In 1804 an alternative settlement was established by Capt. David Collins 5km to the south in Sullivans Cove on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. The latter settlement became known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, later shortened to Hobart, after the British Colonial Secretary of the time, Lord Hobart. The settlement at Risdon was later abandoned.
“Tasmania’s Fascinating History: For The Best Timeline”
The early settlers were mostly convicts and their military guards, with the task of developing agriculture and other industries. Numerous other convict settlements were made in Van Diemens Land, including secondary prisons, such as the particularly harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur in the south-east and Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast. The Aboriginal resistance to this invasion was so strong, that troops were deployed across much of Tasmania to drive the Aborigines into captivity on nearby islands.