An Officer | State Library of New South Wales

An Officer

An authentic and interesting narrative of the late expedition to Botany Bay : as performed by Commodore Phillips and the fleet of seven transport ships ... containing an ... account of their ... voyage ... and safe arrival ... with ... descriptions of Jackson's Bay & Lord Howe's Island , written by an Officer...was published in April 1789. Very little is known about this rare publication, possibly the earliest account of the settlement. The text was taken from a series of articles published in the London Chronicle newspaper. The articles were based on "interviews" from various crew members from the Prince of Wales, the Borrowdale and the Alexander, transport ships returning to England from Sydney Cove at intervals throughout 1789. Added to this series of articles was An Historical Narrative of the Discovery of New Holland and New South Wales which was published much earlier in 1786. The authorship of this compilation of new and old material was attributed to “an Officer”.

The volume below is a rare edition of the above publication, published later in 1789. It contains a badly edited version of the first section of the earlier publication and includes an engraving of the Sirius and the Supply in Port Jackson.  This slim volume of which only two copies are known to exist,  was donated to the Library in 1952 from the personal collection of Sir William Dixson. It is bound with a catalogue of household effects and a poem entitled: The caterpillar and butterfly : an allegory.


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