Map Summary Eastern Portion of Australia

Australia from surveys made by order of the British Government

This title forms the right hand sheet of the map of Australia entitled Australia from surveys ordered by the British Government combined with those of D'Entrecasteaux, Baudin, Freycinet, &c., &c. It was published in two formats, one as part of the entire map of the continent and the other as a separately issued map with the title Eastern Portion of Australia. This is a cunningly contrived presentation by Arrowsmith which allows him to include the map of the continent, albeit in two sheets, in his London Atlas of Universal Geography, a portrait-styled publication.

In its first format where it appears joined to the left hand sheet the title of this right hand sheet is lacking. The eastern sheet as a separate production is designed to extend from longitude 130º to 154ºE. When however it is joined to the western sheet the area between 130º and 134ºE is overlapped by the western sheet. As the title of the eastern sheet is found lower left in the area between 130º to 134º degrees east it is eliminated.

When using the Eastern Portion of Australia on its own it is as well to realize that the area from 130º E to134º E is not updated when the map is revised as this was the discarded portion of the east sheet. In this area only outline information is included and very little detail. When using the loose two sheet version one needs to be aware of this fact particularly if one has access to only one of the sheets. In the 1860s issues Arrowsmith was obliged at that stage to alter his procedure in order to include the details of John McDouall Stuart's explorations to the north from his base in South Australia.

A perusal of a large number of copies of the map in two sheets indicates that there was no
obligation on Arrowsmith at any point to publish these simultaneously. Therefore there may or may not be a matching left and right hand sheet. On occasions although the imprints on both sheets may be similar the right hand sheet may be a second or third revision, particularly in the earliest issues. It was published from 1838 until 1862.
Twenty-one states of the east sheet have been seen and there may be more. It has also been found in 15 combinations with the west sheet as a two-sheet map joined.

Of all the maps which Arrowsmith published on Australia this one records the most change, particularly in the south-eastern part of the map which was the area which had a climate most suited to European agricultural methods and crops. The map published at a scale of 1:5 000 000 records the discoveries and shows the exploration routes of a multitude of explorers, describes the natural features, soils and vegetation encountered. Gradually the inland river systems are mapped and any hope of a vast inland sea fades as explorers penetrate the harsh and arid interior. The changes through which the Colony of New South Wales passes are there to see, having initially formed the eastern half of the continent but by the last stages recorded by Arrowsmith hugely reduced in size having spawned the colonies of Victoria, Queensland and Northern Australia during those twenty-five years. It also records the appearance of administrative as well as political divisions showing the counties into which each colony was divided and later the pastoral divisions in each colony.

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Dorothy F. Prescott