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Cape Tourville

Cape Tourville

November 28, 2017

Tasmania was named after Able Tasman who first landed here in 1642. He was a Dutch seafarer and the first European to land here. In honor of the Governor-General of the Dutch East India Company, he named this island Van Diemen’s Land (though he did not know it was an island having just explored the south-eastern shores). A Spanish explorer followed in 1784. He could not “sell” the concept of claiming the territory to the Spanish Crown so he pitched it to the French. They came and established an outpost and did some exploration – but did not truly buy in to occupation and were gone by 1803. The British (who had established a firm foothold in New South Wales (Sydney) circumnavigated the island in 1798 and established an outpost. They became really interested in the island in 1803 with the purpose of establishing a penal colony. Still called Van Diemen’s Land – with the establishment of penal settlements some started referring to it as Demon’s Land. That did not fit the British sense of propriety and it was finally named Tasmania (in honor of able Tasman) in 1856.