An island south of australia and the smallest state of the commonwealth. Its capital is hobart. It was discovered and named van diemen's island in 1642 by abel tasman, a dutch navigator, in honor of the dutch governor-general of the dutch east indian colonies. It was renamed for the discoverer in 1853. In 1803 it was taken over by great britain and was used as a penal colony. It was granted government in 1856 and federated as a state in 1901.