Posts Tagged ‘starvation’

TITANIC: HMS GUARDIAN – AUSTRALIA’S TITANIC

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

‘The poor aborigines were quickly reduced to a state of starvation, and it is believed that many of them actually perished for want of food during the first few months of the occupation of their country’. Samuel Bennett, Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Vol 1 – 1800, facsimile ed. 1981

Documentary evidence supports the claim that Governor Phillip expected logistical support to reach him soon after the ‘First Fleet’ expeditionary force reached its destination but the expected ships never came.

1788 – July, Sydney:  ‘They [Aborigines] are now much distressed for food, few fish are caught & I am told that many of them appear on the Beach where the Boats  go to haul the Seins [trawling nets], very weak & anxious to get the small fish, of which they make no account in the Summer nor can we give them much assistance as very few fish are now caught, & we have many sick’. Arthur Phillip to Joseph Banks, 2 July 1788. Oxford Book of Australian Letters, ed. Brenda Niall, John Thompson, 1998   

The direst consequences of Britain’s callous abandonment of her country-men fell on the Aborigines of the Sydney area who; ‘were quickly reduced to a state of starvation’. See: Abandoned and Left to Starve Sydney Cove January 1788 to June 1790

1790

1790 – I January: ‘From the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth. We had now been two years in the country and thirty-two months  in which long period no supplies had reached us from England. from Portsmouth. Famine besides was approaching with gigantic strides’. Tench. ibid.    

Britain’s abandonment of the ‘First Fleet’ amounted to treachery. What was devastating for the English was catastrophic for Australia’s First Peoples. See: Arthur Phillip – Hung Out to Dry

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A PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS – THE ENGLISHMEN OF THE FIRST FLEET

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

‘A very tasty pea and ham soup washed down with tea from the leaves of the local sarsaparilla vine. In fact being British the colonists drank so much of the stuff that sarsaparilla remains almost extinct in the area around Sydney’. Tony Robinson’s History of Australia, Penguin 2011.

1788 – 18 January, Botany Bay: HMS Supply, the first of eleven (11) vessels making up the ‘First Fleet’ with a complement of 1500 hungry souls, reached Botany Bay, in the island continent of New Holland, now Australia on 18th January 1788, almost immediately Supply deployed her seine [trawling] nets.

‘No sooner were the fish out of the water than they [Aborigines] began to lay hold of them as if they had a right to them, or that they were their own; upon which the officer of the boat, I think very properly, restrained them giving, however, to each of them a part. They did not at first seem very well pleased with this mode of procedure, but on observing with what justice this fish was distributed they appeared content’. John White, Chief Medical Officer, First Fleet Journal

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A HATCHET JOB: HEADS OFF THE BIDJIGAL OF BOTANY BAY

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

‘In war the trophy head is a mark of supremacy and respect’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta, 2015

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1790 – 13 December, Sydney Cove: ‘If practicable, to bring away two [2] natives as prisoners and to put to death ten [10]. That we were to cut off, and bring in the heads of the slain, for which purpose, hatchets and bags would be furnished’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhadinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Can we know what drove Governor Phillip’s ferocity? Yes we can – simmering rebellion centred on ‘certain  officers’ of the newly arrived New South Wales Corps (June 1790) one in particular Lieutenant John Macarthur.

‘The author of this publication [Captain Watkin Tench] received a direction to attend the governor [Arthur Phillip] at head quarters immediately.

I went, and his excellency informed me, that he had pitched upon me to execute the foregoing command…infuse universal terror…convince them of our superiority…we were to proceed to the north arm of the [Botany] bay…destroy all weapons of war: no hut was to be burned: that all women and children were to remain uninjured’.  

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SMALLPOX – A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION – 1789

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

‘The body of the [Aboriginal] woman showed that famine, superadded to disease, had occasioned her death‘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, Sydney, 1961

Botany Bay – January 1788: At 2.15pm on 18 January 1788 HMS Supply, first of a large armed expeditionary force of eleven (11) ships, known in Britain and Australia as the ‘First Fleet’ with a complement of 1500 souls,  one-half convicted criminals, anchored in the entrance to Botany Bay, New Holland now Australia.

Governor Phillip estimated local Aborigines numbered 1500, the fleet’s complement doubled the population.

‘The main battle was about having enough to eat’. The Story of Australia, Don Watson 1984.

Sydney Cove 1789:  Starving on the streets of Sydney and white survival.  In April 1789 viral smallpox wiped out 50% of Sydney’s Aboriginal families. See: Smallpox and Starvation Dead Aborigines Don’t Eat

‘Inexplicably, the epidemic did not affect the [invading] European population’.  People of Australia, Macquarie Series, Ed. Bryce Fraser, 1998

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AUSTRALIA’S HEROES – ENGLAND’S CASTAWAYS

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

‘How might the desolation and separation from loved ones, the lack of recourse from arbitrary decision and the sheer hopelessness of fate be tallied?…Gaoler and gaoled communicated across a gulf of mutual antagonism: against the formally declared and forcibly imposed authority’. Stuart Macintyre, 2004 A Concise History of Australia, 2004

It is risky to compare the heroes of one society with the cast-offs of another. Especially so when the comparison made is between Britain’s convict-soldiers, transported to Australia at the end of the 18th century and Australian soldiers, prisoners of the Japanese, in the middle of the 20th century.

‘Historians, like scientists have had only one comprehensive source of information on the subject of starvation. In Prisoners of the Japanese Gaven Daws compared the hunger of the men in the Minnesota [Experiment] to the privations suffered by Allied prisoners in the Pacific Theater. Todd Tucker,The Great Starvation Experiment, 2006

1944-45, America: A unique experiment conducted by Dr. Ancel Keys during World War II permits such comparison. The Minnesota Starvation Experiment with thirty-six (36) white American male conscientious objectors, all volunteers aged between twenty-three (23) and thirty-six (36) years, took place between November 1944 and December 1945.

1788

‘The administration gave no consideration to the date of expiry of sentences and several of the First Fleet had been tried as early as 1781 and 1782. As seven years transportation was the most common sentence, many had already served five-sevenths of their time on embarkation and six-sevenths on disembarkation at Sydney Cove’. Dr. John Cobley, Crimes of the First fleet, Angus and Robertson, Sydney

No matter how offensive the comparison may appear, Australia’s heroes and England’s cast-offs have much in common. Each group suffered and died under ‘forcibly imposed authority’. (more…)

‘TERROR’ – ARTHUR’S ALGORITHM – OPEN SESAME!

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

‘Put ten to death cut off and bring in the heads of the slain’.

‘The ability to shock bestows a kind of power’. Frances Larson, Severed, Granta, London, 2014

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1790 – 13 December, Sydney Headquarters:  Captain-General Governor Arthur Phillip RN to Marine Captain Watkin Tench; ‘Infuse universal terror…put ten [10] to death…cut off, and bring back the heads of the slain….two [2] prisoners I [Phillip] am resolved to execute the prisoners who may be brought in, in the most public and exemplary manner, in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected.

 [Adding] and my fixed determination to repeat it, whenever any future breach of good conduct on their side, shall render it necessary’.  Governor Phillip, cited Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Year, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples can, with laser accuracy, plot their ‘future’ near annihilation – from Governor Arthur Phillip’s General Orders of the 13th of December 1790.

‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. These raids had commenced by December 1790’. Professor Bruce Kercher, History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

From where lay the threat to Governor Phillip in December 1790? Certainly not with the Bidjigal of Botany Bay.

Beginning in April the previous year (1789) smallpox had killed 50% of Sydney’s Aborigines leaving its pock-marked survivors struggling to regroup. See: Smallpox – A Lethal Weapon Boston 1775, Sydney 1789 – Robert Ross and David Collins

‘For the Sydney people to lose 50% or more of their military capability in a few weeks was a crushing blow’. Stephen Gapps, The Sydney Wars, NewSouth Books, 2018

If not the Bidjigal who was Phillip’s ‘enemy’? See: A Clash of Giants – Arthur Phillip & John Macarthur – The Great Pretender

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AFRICA: IN AND OUT OF AFRICA – THOMAS LIMPUS, JOHN RUGLESS, SAMUEL WOODHAM

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

It is natural to infer that Government understands it is simply landing these people in Africa, to let them shift for themselves, and get their Board in the best manner they can’. Richard Miles, Governor Cape Coast Castle to Home Office, London.

West Africa: In 1644 England, during the third Anglo-Dutch War, captured Cape Coast Castle from the Dutch and established a permanent foot-hold in West Africa.

England:  Oliver Cromwell in 1655 Oliver Cromwell made ‘reprieve from death conditional [on] banishment out of the realm’.

London – 1717/18: Following legislation, 4 Geo. 1 c.11, transportation to ‘an American colony’ became the normal sentence for criminals whose death sentence was ‘forgiven’ on condition they be banished.from ‘the realm’.

By the time of King George 111’s reign (1760-1820) ‘transportation to America’ – tied to twice yearly sittings of county courts, ran like-clock-work.

Every convict sent to America was sold like a slave. The only essential difference…one was sold for life the other for a term of years’. Roger Ekirch, Bound for America, 1981

Government made money from the convict trade. A transport merchant paid Treasury for each prisoner purchased.

On landing in America the ‘contractor’ sold their ‘service’ – labour – to cotton and tobacco planters.

‘To provide for the more speedy removal of convicts, 8 Geo. 111, c15 declared that where the King’s mercy was extended to them on condition of transportation they were to be delivered to the contractor forthwith, instead of lying in prison until the next session of the court to plead their pardons‘. Wilfrid Oldham, British Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1990

 America: Britain, between 1717 and 1775, exported  50,000 convicts to her North American colonies.

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ABANDONED & LEFT TO STARVE AT SYDNEY COVE JANUARY 1788 TO JULY 1790

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

1790 – 1 June, Sydney Cove: ‘No communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth…from the intelligence of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off…the misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted, even by those who have suffered under it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

1790 – weekly ration; ‘without distinction…to every child of more than eighteen (18] months old and to every grown person two [2] pounds of pork, two and a half [2½] pounds of flour, two [2] pounds of rice, or a quart of pease, per week…To every child under eighteen [18] months old, the same quantity of rice and flour, and one [1] pound of pork.

When the age of this provision is recollected, its inadequacy will more strikingly appear. The pork…from England had been salted between three [3] and four [4] years… a daily morsel toast[ed] on a fork catching the drops on a slice of bread, or in a saucer of rice…every grain was a moving body from the inhabitants lodged within it…flour brought from the Cape by Sirius [May 1789] soldiers and convicts used to boil it up with greens’. Tench op.cit.

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MISSING IN ACTION – HMS SIRIUS & HMS SUPPLY

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Sydney – 5 April, 1790: ‘Dismay was painted on every countenance, when the tidings were proclaimed at Sydney’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L, Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Norfolk Island  – 19 March 1790: the First Fleet’s flagship, while in the process of evacuating 50% of Sydney’s starving European population to Norfolk Island, ran aground on a submerged reef and sank. Her crew, one hundred and sixty naval (160) personnel, were marooned along with the evacuees.  See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney Cove, January 1788 to June 1790

China: ‘Famine was approaching with gigantic strides’. Sirius was to have sailed on to China and arrange rescue. ‘Dismay’ all hope of rescue was gone.

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

Monday, January 25th, 2016

‘These people last summer would neither eat shark or stingray, but the scarcity of fish in the winter, I believe obliges them to eat anything that affords the smallest nourishment.

They [Aborigines] are not pleased with our remaining amongst them, as they see we deprive them of fish, which is almost their only support;’. Governor Phillip dispatch to Lord Sydney, 28 September 1788  

England -1787 May 13: Commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip RN the ‘First Fleet’ – a large armed squadron of  eleven (11) British ships with a complement of 1500 souls – charged with the invasion and conquest of New Holland, now Australia – sailed from Portsmouth ‘bound for Botany Bay’.

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  

Botany Bay – 1788 January:  The First Fleet’s 1500 English men, women and children arrived at Botany Bay within thirty-six (36) hours between the 18th and -20th of  January 1788.

Port Jackson – January 26:  Governor Arthur Phillip RN established a permanent English settlement nine (9) miles north of Botany Bay at Sydney Cove deep within Port Jackson.

Sydney Cove – February 7:  Proclamation Day; Governor Phillip, without consent or treaty, proclaimed British Sovereignty over New Holland from ‘Cape York in the northern most extremity…to South Cape’. See: Australia – Britain By A Short Half-Head Captain Arthur Phillip & Comte Jean-Francois La Perouse

The invaders did not find the Eora Peoples familiar with iron axes, knives, tobacco, cloth or glass.  However when introduced the locals valued them highly – especially the hatchet.

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