Archive for January, 2016

SMALLPOX SYDNEY 1789 – A VERY CONVENIENT THEORY – 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 [Sydney] water-craft of stringy-bark’. Stewart Harris, Treaty, It’s Coming Yet, 1979  

1787 – 13 May, England: The ‘First Fleet’ – a large armed squadron of  eleven (11) British ships, with a complement of 1500 souls – sailed from Portsmouth in mid May 1787 charged with the invasion and conquest of New Holland, known now as Australia.

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

1788 – 18/20 January, Botany Bay: When the Englishmen of the ‘First Fleet’ arrived in 1788 they did not find the local Eora Peoples familiar with iron axes, knives, tobacco, cloth or glass but when introduced these items were valued highly.

1788 – January, Port Jackson: In January 1788 Commander Captain Arthur Phillip RN established an English settlement at Sydney Cove deep within Port Jackson. See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head Captain Arthur Phillip & Comte Jean-Francois La Perouse

By a strange coincidence, smallpox reached Port Jackson at about the same time as the First Fleet’. Cassandra Pybus, Black Founders, UNSW Press, 2006 

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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.

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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  

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