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Author Frost, Alan, 1943-

Title The precarious life of James Mario Matra : voyager with Cook, American loyalist, servant of Empire / Alan Frost ; with the assistance of Isabel Moutinho
Published Carlton, Vic. : Miegunyah Press, 1995


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description xiv, 264 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, facsimiles, maps ; 25 cm
Series Second Miegunyah Press series ; no. 6
The Miegunyah Press series
Miegunyah Press series. Series 2 ; no. 6
Miegunyah Press series.
Contents 1. Around the World 1768-1771 -- 2. Consul at Tenerife 1772-1775 -- 3. Embassy Secretary at Constantinople 1778-1780 -- 4. Promoter of Imperial Schemes 1782-1785 -- 5. Consul at Tangier 1787-1806
Summary In August 1768 James Mario Matra, the 22-year-old son of an American loyalist, sailed with Captain Cook to unknown parts of the world. The voyage, fraught with danger and uncertainty, marked the beginning of what was to be, in many ways, a precarious life. On the Endeavour's return in 1771, Matra anonymously published the first major account of Cook's voyage. He never saw New Holland again, but his significant role in the history of the settlement of Australia was not yet ended. When the American War of Independence deprived Matra of his family inheritance, the Endeavour's celebrated naturalist, Sir Joseph Banks, helped get Matra employment as an official in various foreign outposts. In this capacity he turned his mind to ways of promoting Britain's global commercial network. Having personally felt the loss of one British colony, he conceived a plan to found another. In 1783 he proposed a British settlement in new South Wales to 'atone for the loss of our American colonies'. The settlement would give asylum to dispossessed American loyalists and would be built on the labour of young convicts. Matra offered to be its 'Conductor and Governor'. The Pitt administration concurred with Matra's proposal but declined to offer him the government of the intended colony. Instead he was given the post of Consul at Tangier, where he remained until his death in 1806. In this book Alan Frost has blended Matra's extensive and colourful correspondence with a biographical narrative to reveal for the first time the life and influence of this mysterious figure
Analysis Biography
Captain James Cook
History, Pre-1801
James Mario Matra
Overseas item
Sea travel
Notes CIP confirmed
Includes index
Bibliography Bibliography: pages 256-257
Notes Donation. Colin Steele 20120212 Brissenden collection, ANU Library
Using his letters and a probing biographical narrative, Frost builds up a picture of Matra, an important, but little-known figure in Australian history. An enigmatic American who sailed with Cook, Matra (who changed his name from Magra) was the first (in 1771) to have published a major book on the “Endeavour” voyage, and strove to found a colony in New South Wales for dispossessed American loyalists, only to end his days as Consul at Tangier
Signed by author with ephemera in pocket 1 copy. ANU
Subject Cook, James, 1728-1779 -- Travel -- Australia.
Matra, James Mario, 1748?-1806 -- Correspondence.
Matra, James Mario, 1748?-1806.
Matra family.
American loyalists -- Biography.
Diplomats -- Biography.
Consuls -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Midshipmen -- Biography.
Explorers -- Australia -- Biography.
Voyages around the world.
Australia -- Biography.
United Kingdom -- Biography.
Genre/Form Biographies.
Author Matra, James Mario, 1748?-1806.
LC no. 96102336
ISBN 052284667X
Other Titles James Mario Matra
James Mario Matra