Archive for January, 2016

A VERY CONVENIENT THEORY – SMALLPOX 1789 – IT WAS THE MACASSANS STUPID

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Up to 1,500 Macassans a year would reach [northern] Australia and they did influence the Aborigines by trading iron axes, tobacco, cloth, knives and glass. They taught the Aboriginal of those parts how to make dug-out canoes, more substantial than the simple water-craft of stringy-bark’. Stewart Harris, Treaty, It’s Coming Yet, 1979  

1788: The Englishmen of the ‘First Fleet’ did not find Sydney’s Eora Peoples familiar with iron axes, knives, tobacco, cloth or glass but when introduced they were valued.

1789, April: ‘Smallpox had decimated the indigenous population probably not brought by the Europeans, as first feared, but possible introduced by Indonesian traders visiting the far northern coast of Australia…By a strange coincidence, smallpox reached Port Jackson at about the same time as the First Fleet’. Cassandra Pybus, Black Founders, UNSW Press, 2006 

1789- April: If, in the light of Tench’s hard evidence ‘variolous matter in bottles’ came with the ‘First Fleet’, smallpox reached Sydney in 1789 would have been very ‘strange coincidence’ indeed.        .

‘It is true, that our surgeons had brought out variolous matter in bottles’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

It has also been suggested, its appearance may have stemmed from an outbreak in Samartra in the early 1780s. However given the way smallpox expresses; the soles of the feet, palms of hands, the face and eyes – affecting sight –  swollen mucous membranes with extreme thirst that argument is risible.

Add to these physical difficulties strict protocols observed by Aboriginals entering the country of another clan either peaceful or hostile, it would not be feasible for Aborigines to travel such a great distance from the most northern tip of the continent in time to coincide with the arrival of the ‘First Fleet’ at Port Jackson.

1789 – April, Sydney Cove: Smallpox appeared among local Aborigines a whole year after the ‘First Fleet’ arrived.

(more…)

A LETHAL WEAPON: SMALLPOX – ROBERT ROSS & DAVID COLLINS – BOSTON 1775: SYDNEY 1789 – MAJOR ROSS & CAPTAIN COLLINS

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

1775 – BOSTON – SMALLPOX

‘From time to time throughout history, peoples and governments around the world have used micro-organisms as efficient and cost-effective weapons of mass destruction. In 1763, in the earliest recorded deliberate release of a virus, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief authorised the distribution of smallpox-contaminated blankets to native Americans who were harassing European settlers around the garrison at Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania’. Professor Dorothy H. Crawford, Invisible Enemies, Edinburgh University Press, 2001.

1763 – America: British General Thomas Gage served as second-in-command to General Amherst during the Indian Wars. In 1763 North American Indian tribes united under Chief Pontiac and moved against the British.

At first their efforts were successful but later, when laying siege to Fort Pitt, they were out-gunned and not only out-gunned: “We gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital, I hope it will have the desired effect”.

General Gage was implicated in the distribution of ‘smallpox-contaminated blankets’ among the Indian tribes ‘harassing’ the British at Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh.

(more…)

TASMANIA – A WAR GRAVE – THE BACK STORY

Monday, January 11th, 2016

‘The first European settlements, from Port Jackson in 1788 [Tasmania 1803], Moreton Bay, Swan River and Adelaide during the next fifty years were intensive…This meant a complete undermining of the Aborigines’ way of life’. Professor A.P. Elkin, the Australian Aborigines, Epilogue, 5th edition, 1973

1792 – December: Governor Arthur Phillip RN returned to England after a five (5) year tenure as Britain’s first commissioned governor of New South Wales.

Whitehall failed to appoint a successor. As a result, by default, the immense power invested in Arthur Phillip, said to be unique in Britain’s long history of colonisation, fell to the military.

(more…)

BRITAIN BY A NOSE

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

1785 – August, Brest: ‘In 1785 Louis XVI quietly sent the Comte de la Perouse with two ships La Boussole & L’Astrolabe to survey likely spots for French settlements. Aboard were copper plates engraved with the royal arms to be used as permanent notification of French ownership’. Australian Discovery and Exploration, Michael Cannon, 1987  

(more…)