Definitions for van diemen's landvæn ˈdi mənz
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Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania, now part of Australia. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to land on the shores of Tasmania. Landing at Blackman's Bay and later having the Dutch flag flown at North Bay, Tasman named the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt in honour of Anthony van Diemen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies who had sent Tasman on his voyage of discovery in 1642. Between 1772 and 1798 only the southeastern portion of the island was visited. Tasmania was not known to be an island until Matthew Flinders and George Bass circumnavigated it in the Norfolk in 1798-99. In 1803, the island was colonised by the British as a penal colony with the name Van Diemen's Land, and became part of the British colony of New South Wales. Major-General Ralph Darling was appointed Governor of New South Wales In 1825, and in the same year he visited Hobart Town, and on December 3 proclaimed the establishment of the independent colony, of which he actually became Governor for three days. The demonym for Van Diemen's Land was 'Van Diemonian', though contemporaries used Vandemonian, possibly as a play on words relating to the colony's penal origins.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Van Diemen's Land
. See Tasmania.
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