Queensland, formerly known as the Moreton Bay
District, was established as late as 1859.
A settlement of North
Australia was tried in 1838, and has since been abandoned. On the
other side of Bass's Straits, the island of Van Diemen's Land, was
named Tasmania, and established as a penal colony in 1803.
Advance, Australia! The scattered handfuls of people have become a
nation, one with us in race, and character, and worthiness of aim.
These little volumes will, in course of time, include many aids to a
knowledge of the shaping of the nations. There will be later
records of Australia than these which tell of the old Dutch
explorers, and of the first real awakening of England to a knowledge
of Australia by Dampier's voyage.
The great Australian continent is 2,500 miles long from east to
west, and 1,960 miles in its greatest breadth. Its climates are
therefore various. The northern half lies chiefly within the
tropics, and at Melbourne snow is seldom seen except upon the hills.
The separation of Australia by wide seas from Europe, Asia, Africa,
and America, gives it animals and plants peculiarly its own. It has
been said that of 5,710 plants discovered, 5,440 are peculiar to
that continent. The kangaroo also is proper to Australia, and there
are other animals of like kind. Of 58 species of quadruped found in
Australia, 46 were peculiar to it. Sheep and cattle that abound
there now were introduced from Europe.
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