Abel Tasman

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During the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company commissioned Abel Janszoon Tasman to go on multiple trips. He is best known for his expedition of the South Pacific in the hopes of finding a new shipping route connecting Australia and South America to expand the company’s trade opportunities. He was the first European to find New Zealand and Tasmania on this voyage, and Tasmania was eventually named for him. He returned to Australia on a future journey, when he spent time surveying the northern coastline. Despite the fact that his travels resulted in the discovery of various islands around the South Pacific, the Dutch East India Company considered his expedition to be incomplete. Tasman had failed to locate any useful shipping routes for the company’s trading needs, which upset the corporation. They also believed he had neglected to fully examine the islands he encountered, leaving him with little understanding of them. Later, Tasman was embroiled in even more scandal when he attempted to hang two of his sailors for insubordination. As a result, Tasman’s employment with the corporation was terminated without pay. He was reinstated eleven months later and worked for the corporation until his retirement.

Childhood and Adolescence

In 1603, Abel Tasman was born into a family of subsistence farmers in the Dutch village of Lutjegast.
The Dutch Republic, which ruled in the seventeenth century, supported progressive education, and it is widely considered that Tasman benefited tremendously from it. He was a good writer with a strong command of the Latin language.

Abel Tasman’s Career

In 1633, Abel Tasman joined the Dutch East India Company and was sent to Batavia (modern-day Jakarta) for his first assignment.
He was appointed the first mate of the ship ‘Weesp’ in 1634, and he became skipper of the ship ‘Mocha’ soon after.

He guarded the South Pacific for nine years against pirates and smugglers. He also traveled to Asia on multiple commercial missions, including to Japan, Cambodia, and Formosa (present-day Taiwan).
In 1642, he was tasked with leading an expedition to modern-day Australia and South America in quest of a Pacific passage to Chile. For this journey, he was given two tiny ships, the Zeehaen and the Heemskerck.

The voyage traveled to Mauritius before heading east at a latitude higher than the Dutch had ever explored, causing them to miss their intended target of Australia. On November 24, 1642, Tasman discovered a landmass, which he dubbed ‘Anthony van Diemens Landt’ (modern-day Tasmania) after Batavia’s Governor-General.

As he traveled eastward, he came across New Zealand and dubbed it Stated Landt, mistaking it for Staten Island, a landmass off the coast of South America.
They landed in Whariwharangi Bay on the South Island of modern-day New Zealand, where they met the Maoris for the first time. Four Dutch fishermen were killed in a horrific fight with Maori native Ngti Tmatakkiri, prompting Tasman to name the bay Moordenaars Bay, which means Murderers Bay.

The ship sailed north along the west coast but missed Cook Strait, which separates New Zealand’s North and South Islands. As a result, Tasman considered New Zealand to be a single island.

Tasman and his crew celebrated the first Christmas in New Zealand in December 1642 while seeking refuge from a storm. On January 4, 1643, they discovered a point on the west side of the North Island, which they named Cape Maria Van Diemen after the Governor’s wife.

They anchored in Tonga on January 21, 1643, to replenish their provisions. The expedition went on past Fiji without stopping to investigate the island.
The voyage arrived in New Guinea in April 1643 and subsequently embarked on a return journey, arriving in Batavia on June 15, 1643.

Tasman’s lack of effort in researching the places he identified and his failure to uncover a corridor that could be exploited as a shipping route to South America dissatisfied the Dutch East India Company. Despite this, a further voyage plan was turned down, leaving New Zealand and Tasmania unexplored by Europeans for a century.

In 1644, Tasman was dispatched to Australia’s northern shore in pursuit of a new route to South America. They mapped the coast from Torres Strait to Port Hedland during this time.
He was promoted to skipper commander by the Dutch East India Company. Until 1648, he was a member of the Council of Justice at Batavia.

An inebriated Tasman attempted to hang two of his men for insubordination in 1648. Tasman was tried by the Council of Justice and received an 11-month suspension without pay after one of the men nearly died.
In 1653, he retired and lived in Batavia, where he was the captain of a small freight ship. He was an extremely wealthy man since he owned 288 acres of property.

His Major Projects

Tasman was the first European to find New Zealand and Tasmania, which he explored on his journey in 1642.
During his 1644 exploration, he surveyed a large portion of Australia’s northern coast.

Personal History and Legacy

In the early 1630s, Tasman married Claesgie Hendrix. Before Claesgie’s death in 1631, they had one daughter, Claesjen.
In 1632, he married Jannetje (Joanna) Tjaerts.
He died on October 10, 1659, at his residence in Batavia, of unexplained circumstances.

His name is commemorated on the modern-day island of Tasmania. His name is also given to places in Tasmania. The Tasman Sea, the Tasman Peninsula, the Tasman Highway, the Tasman Bridge, and the Abel Tasman ferry are all examples of these.

In New Zealand, he is commemorated by the Abel Tasman National Park, the Tasman Lake, the Tasman River, the Tasman Glacier, Mount Tasman, and the Tasman Bay.

Tasman only spent 23 days investigating the area around New Zealand. Despite his brief stay, he is credited with being the first European to discover the island, and numerous locations on the island have been named after him.

During his most important journeys, he was credited with an average death rate of fewer than 7%, a remarkable performance in 17th-century seafaring.

Estimated Net worth

Abel is one of the wealthiest explorers and is on the list of the most popular explorers. Abel Tasman’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.