A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and other Islands… performed in the Tartar Galley…. Thomas FORREST.
A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and other Islands… performed in the Tartar Galley…
A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and other Islands… performed in the Tartar Galley…
A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and other Islands… performed in the Tartar Galley…
A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and other Islands… performed in the Tartar Galley…

A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan…
A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and other Islands… performed in the Tartar Galley…

London: G. Scott, 1780.

Quarto, with 31 engraved maps and plates, many double-page or folding.; in modern quarter calf.

From Balambangan to New Guinea

The second edition of an important and early work on New Guinea, with extensive mapping.

The second edition of an important and early work on New Guinea, with extensive mapping.

Forrest was involved in the 1770 settlement of Balambangan, a colonising project based on recommendations by Alexander Dalrymple; from 1774 he was in the service of the East India Company, who wanted to extend their sources of trade in the direction of New Guinea. Along with two English officers and a crew of eighteen Malays in a native prahu named the Tartar Forrest pushed the exploration as far as Geelvink Bay in western New Guinea, present-day Irian Jaya, on his voyage 'of examination and enquiry rather than of discovery' (Hill). By the time his journey was abandoned at the entreaty of his crew, he had sailed some 4000 miles, returning to Aceh in Sumatra. This was his most famous voyage of exploration, but he also made another important voyage in 1782 when he surveyed the Mergui Archipelago.

Here he gives the details of his 'journey of exploration from 1774-1776, on behalf of the East India Company, to western New Guinea (now the Indonesian province of West Papua). The Company traveled in search of spices beyond the Molucca Islands, which were then claimed by the Dutch. Forrest's travels took him from the north coast of Borneo, through the Moluccas, to New Guinea, and then to Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines. His detailed observations lack the moral judgments found in so many other European accounts of the time…' (Cornell University, Treasures of the Asia Collections - online resource).

The numerous maps and coastal profiles published here show the detailed observations that Forrest was making on this voyage 'of examination and inquiry rather than of discovery' (Hill). There is some discussion, in the Introduction and elsewhere, of the voyages of Schouten and Le Maire, Dampier and Tasman. A wonderfully purple dedication on the first of the topographical views is worth quoting in full: 'In Testimony of Esteem & Regard to Joseph Banks Esq; President of the Royal Society, Who thirsting after Knowledge, left the Enjoyment of Opulence and Ease, to sail round the World'.

Hill, 623.

Price (AUD): $3,750.00  other currencies     Ref: #2707973

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