Posts Tagged ‘Aborigines’

THE SWITCH 1790 – CONTEXT GLOBAL WAR 1775 – 1815

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

‘For a brief moment there was hope…within a matter of years violence had broken out on both sides and Phillip would now instruct raiding parties to bring back the severed heads of warriors. The birth of Australia was meant to be so different…it need not have been this way’. Stan Grant, Talking to My Country, Text Publishing, 2017

Why is Australia ‘this way’ a divided nation? See: G is for Genocide- Colonial Breeding

‘Phillip…had instructions to deal with the ‘natives’ with ‘amity and kindness’. Professor Larissa Behrendt, The Honest History Book, – Invasion or Settlement, NewSouth Press, 2017   

What had gone so wrong with the ‘deal’? 

‘Within a generation the heads of Aborigines were shipped to Britain in glass cases to be studied as relics of a doomed race’. Grant. ibid.

What flipped the switch from ‘amity and kindness’ to ‘nasty’ creeping frontier wars that by 1838 had brought about the near destruction of Australia’s First Nations?

London – 1838:  ‘On the subject of the Aborigines of New Holland...It is impossible to contemplate the condition or the prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest commiseration. Still it is impossible that the government should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Select Committee of the British Parliament, Lord John Russell to [Governor] Sir George Gipps, 21 December, 1838. Historical Records of New South Wales Vol.1

First Nations’ authors, Stan Grant and Larissa Behrendt, hone in on a critical pinch-point that occurred in the first decade of Britain’s ‘original aggression’.

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

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SWORD AND WORD BOTH ARE MIGHTY – GOVERNOR ARTHUR PHILLIP’S MILITARY CAMPAIGN FOR KING AND COUNTRY

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

‘The cultural arrogance of the British was evident even before the First Fleet sailed.There was no recognition that the Aborigines had their own notion of right, that from their point of view they were entitled to defend themselves from invasion’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, A History of Law in Australia, Allen and Unwin, 1995

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1790 – April: ‘per week 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 [2 ½] pounds of flour, two [2] pounds of rice, or a quart of pease.

The pork and rice we brought with us from England; the pork had been salted between three and four years, and every grain of rice was a moving body, from the inhabitants lodged within it’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961

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‘On the 9th of the month [December 1790], a serjeant of marines, with three [3] convicts, among whom was M’Entire, the governor’s game-keeper (the person of whom Baneelon had, on former occasions, shewn so much dread and hatred) went out on a shooting party’. Tench. ibid.

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1790 – Sydney Headquarters, 13 December:  ‘Put to death ten…bring in the heads of the slain…bring in two prisoners.I am resolved to execute the prisoners…in the most public and exemplary manner, in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected’. Governor Phillip, General Orders to Captain Tench, cited Tench. ibid

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1790 – Botany Bay, 10 December: Governor Phillip’s General Orders were issued in response to the wounding of convict John McIntyre by the Bidjigal warrior  Pemulwuy.

McIntyre was one (1) of three (3) ‘First Fleet’ convict marksmen licensed to carry firearms.

Mc Intyre was alive. Pemulwuy  with a ‘blemish in his left eye’ was the known single assailant.Yet the General Orders were ‘Indiscriminate and disproportionate’.  They put no limit on barbarity.

‘But in this business of M’Entire I [Phillip] am fully persuaded that they [Aborigines] were unprovoked’, cited Tench.

Governor Phillip’s ‘but’ refers to his ‘own spearing’ by Wileemarrin, ‘a native from Broken Bay’. That action had taken place three (3) months previously – September 1790. See: Manly, Location Location Location

‘Unprovoked’ . ‘ A shooting party…among whom was M’Entire, the governor’s game-keeper (the person of whom Baneelon had, on former occasions, shewn so much dread and hatred’). Tench. op.cit.

A year earlier (December 1789) Bennalong had, on Phillip’s orders, been kidnapped from Manly Beach. He was held captive within British lines until he escaped in May of 1790.See: Kidnapped – Manly What’s In A Name

bbbbbbbbbbb So that’s the background to the 13th of December 1790

The men, women and children of the ‘First Fleet’ had been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney – January 1788 to June 1790

‘Perched precariously on the edge of an impenetrable continent, the threat of starvation constantly present, death was never remote from the tiny colony’. Dr. Bryan Gandevia, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 61, Part 1, 1975

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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 [Britain’s ] the occupation of their country’. Samuel Bennett, Australian Discovery and Colonisation, Vol 1 – 1800, facsimile ed. 1981

Documentary evidence supports Governor Phillip’s expectation logistical support would reach him soon after the ‘First Fleet’ naval expeditionary force had reached Botany Bay. See:  On the Rocks

None came. ‘Every morning from day-light until the sun  sank’ Marine Captain Tench wrot ‘did we sweep the horizon in the hope of seeing a sail’.   

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

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’. Governor Arthur Phillip to Joseph Banks, 2 July 1788. Oxford Book of Australian Letters, ed. Brenda Niall, John Thompson, 1998   

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1790 – Sydney, I January: ‘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.

From the intelligence of our friends and connections…we had now been two years in the country and thirty-two months  in which long period no supplies had reached us from England. Famine besides was approaching with gigantic strides’. Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961     

Britain’s abandonment of the Englishmen, women and children of the  ‘First Fleet’ amounted to treachery. See: Arthur Phillip – Hung Out to Dry

But what was devastating for the English was catastrophic for Australia’s First Peoples.See: Dead Aborigines Don’t Eat

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A PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS – THE ENGLISH MEN WOMEN & CHILDREN 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 –  Botany Bay, 18 January: HMS Supply, the first of eleven (11) vessels that made up the ‘First Fleet’ with a complement of 1500 hungry souls, reached Botany Bay New Holland, now Australia.

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 deathIt is true our surgeons had brought out variolous (smallpox) matter in bottles’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. 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 an overwhelmingly  male complement of 1500 souls (1300 men, 221 women) and fifty (50) free children anchored in the entrance to Botany Bay, New Holland known now as Australia.

The population of the area had doubled overnight as Governor Phillip estimated the local Aboriginals of the area numbered 1500.

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

Captain Arthur Phillip RN the fleet commander had been assured more convicts and supplies would ‘follow shortly’. When nothing arrived by mid-1788 it became clear  white survival would depend on appropriating kangaroo, fish and crustacean, primary sources of protein for the local peoples of the area. See: Abandoned and Left To Starve Sydney from January 1788 to June 1790

‘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’. Professor Dorothy H. Crawford, The Invisible Enemy, Edinburgh University Press, 2000

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REAR WINDOW & ‘THE BUSINESS OF WAR’ : 7 FEBRUARY 2018 – 7 FEBRUARY 1788

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

1788 – 7 February, Port Jackson: ‘We have come today to take possession of this fifth great continental division of the earth on behalf of the British people. I do not doubt that this country will prove the most valuable acquisition Great Britain ever made. How grand a prospect which lies before this youthful nation’. Governor Arthur Phillip RN, Historical Records of New South Wales.

How ‘grand a prospect’ lay before this ancient land’s First Peoples?

1838 – 21 December, London: ‘You cannot overrate the solicitude of H. M. Government on the subject of the Aborigines of New Holland. It is impossible to contemplate the condition or the prospects of that unfortunate race without the deepest commiseration.  Still it is impossible that the government should forget that the original aggression was ours’. Lord John Russell to [Governor] Sir George Gipps, 21 December 1838, Historical Records of Australia, Series 1. Vol. XX

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

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

‘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

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

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Sydney – 1790 – 13 December:   ; ‘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’.  General Orders, Governor Arthur Phillip RN to Marine Captain Watkin Tench. Cited Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

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‘From 1788 there had been continuous disputation between the civil power represented by the autocratic uniformed naval governors and the military’. John McMahon, Not a Rum Rebellion but a Military Insurrection, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 92, 2006

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LIEUTENANT WILLIAM DAWES – THE ‘ETERNAL FLAME’ & THE SHOCK OF THE NEW SOUTH WALES CORPS

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

‘He [Dawes] was the scholar of the [First Fleet] expedition, man of letters and man of science, explorer, mapmaker, student of language of anthropology, teacher and philanthropist’. Professor G.A. Wood, Lieutenant William Dawes and Captain Watkin Tench, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal, Vol. 19, Part 1, 1924

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‘English clockmaker John Harrison, a mechanical genius who pioneered the science of portable precision timekeeping…invented a clock that would carry the true time from the home port, like an eternal flame, to any remote corner of the world’. Dava Sobel, Longitude, Fourth Estate, 1998

1788 – Warranne – Sydney Cove, 26 January:  K I – a faithful replica of H-4 John  Harrison’s ‘sea-going pocket watch’ fetched up at one particular ‘remote corner of the world’ aboard HMS Supply one (1) of  eleven (11) ‘First Fleet’ ships with a complement of 1500 souls.

While Indigenous Australians know of Marine Lieutenant William Dawes non-indigenous Australians ‘and from all the lands on earth we come’ know almost nothing of Dawes.

And it appears northing at all of Harrison’s chronometer H-4. The ‘portable precision timekeep[er]’  whose ‘eternal flame’, played such an important role in the invasion of New Holland and dispossession of its First Peoples?

Harrison H-4 Chronometer

‘When leaving Botany Bay [for Sydney Cove] Phillip noticed [La Perouse with] two French ships in the  offing….there would seem to be “some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six days”. Edward Jenks, History of the Australian Colonies, cited H.E. Egerton, A short History of British Colonial Policy, Methuen, London 1928

 

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A TETHERED GOAT – JOHN McENTIRE- DECEMBER 1790

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Sydney – 1790 – January: ‘Since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouthwe had been entirely cut off…from the intelligence of our friends and connections… no communications whatever having passed with our native country’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961 

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‘Since we first arrived  at this distant country [January 1788] all this while we have been as it were buried alive, never having the opportunity to hear from our friends…our hopes are now almost vanished’. Reverend Richard Johnson First Fleet Chaplain cited Jack Egan, Buried Alive, Eyewitness accounts of the making of a nation 1788-92, Allen and Unwin, Sydney 1999

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‘The other great change came [June 1790] in the arrival with the Second Fleet of the first companies of the New South Wales Corps’. Nigel Rigby, Peter van der Merwse, Glyn Williams. Pacific Explorations, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, London, 2018

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‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. These raids had commenced by [14] December 1790’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, History of Law In Australia, Allen & Unwin, 1995

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‘A smokescreen of legal confusion and argument covered up a continuing pattern of killings at the frontiers of the Australian colonies’. Kercher, An Unruly Child. ibid.

Since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouthwe had been entirely cut off…from the intelligence of our friends and connections…in which long period no supplies except for what had been procured for us at the Cape of Good Hope by the Sirius had reached us in [May 1789]’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961 

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