Bob Gamble, John Bailey Pavey & Black Jack Anderson
Above: The story of Truganini, perhaps Australia’s best known female Aboriginal ancestor, extends through her sisters and other women like her, via Kangaroo Island, all the way to King George’s Sound. Cartoon image by Chris Grosz, taken from the politics, society and culture magazine The Monthly, May, 2012.
While the populace and commercial appetite of wider New South Wales, provided by their fifty year head start, roused the envy of the ambitious who had decided to settle in the paralysed West, Governor Stirling’s prized convict-free idyll also caught the flotsam of the social and economic tumult fermenting across the Bight. Continue reading
The Sealers of the Schooner’s Hunter and Governor Brisbane 1825-26
Above: Part of a sealing gang captured in full flight. Probably American, the gang are thought to be clubbing Cape Fur Seals off Namibia sometime in the early 1800’s. Image uncredited and taken from The Seals of Nam website.
King George’s Sound was settled some years before Robert Gamble became known there, so we should go first to the story of the sealers who Captain D’Urville of the Astrolabe came to know in October 1826, and who Major Lockyer encountered when he arrived in the Colonial Brig Amity a few months later. These were the sealers who stole the seven year old from Cape Arid, the little Aboriginal girl Lockyer named Fanny (see The Major’s Butterflies Beat Him Down); the same men Lockyer labelled ‘a complete set of pirates.’ Continue reading
From New Zealand and Bass Strait to Kangaroo Island, Middle Island and King George’s Sound
Above: The business of hunting fur seals boomed in the 1790s, arriving in Australian waters around 1798. At the time seal rookeries were crowded and hundreds of thousands of the animals were slaughtered in the opening years. Australian sealers graduated westwards from New Zealand and Bass Strait, impacting the South Coast between Albany and Esperance during the 1820s. Photo courtesy SV-Take it Easy website.
I had intended to complete Part 2 of this subseries with a look at a couple of rogue mariners from the east who had come to make Albany their home during the 1830s and 40s. These were the sealers John Bailey Pavey and Robert Gamble. However, the more I looked into it the more story I saw needing to be told, not least the incredible feats of journey made in small open boats but also with regard to those who came to live on the poor and criminal edge of white society at Albany. While the conflicting interests of the moneyed settlers and the colony’s officials tells one story, the contrast between those powerful land owners and the working classes is quite another. Thus, we temporarily set aside our main subject while we seek insight into the less known, less discussed, less regarded individuals of the day, those who influenced the town and coast peripheral to the Taylors of Candyup. Continue reading
Originally Published 30 April 2015:
Above: The Lower Kalgan River meanders past Mount Boyle into Oyster Harbour and King George’s Sound reflecting the rural idyll of old Albany. Campbell Taylor’s childhood home lay on the upper part of the hill. Built in 1837 by his father Patrick, the living room gave commanding views, a sweeping landscape of trees, grass and water to the south and west. The Taylor property was given the name Glen Candy, while the hillside area itself became known as Candyup. Nobody knows if the name is of Aboriginal or European origin. Photo source also unknown.
Campbell Taylor was five when the family returned to the Candyup homestead in 1848.
Born at the Vasse River, he was brought to Albany with the rest of the family in October 1843 when he was just ten months old. After three damaging and dangerous years at Cattle Chosen his father wanted nothing more than to escape the Bussells and go back to a place that was both safe and his, but the Candyup house had fallen into disrepair and the grounds overgrown, so Patrick moved the family into the second of his town cottages, the one on the foreshore, Lot 23, Lower Stirling Terrace. Here Christina Capel Taylor was born and for reasons of proximity and economy the family ended up staying for the next five years. Continue reading
Originally Published 01 March 2015:
East Along The Coast
Above: Cape Arid featuring Middle Island and the eastwards view toward Point Malcolm. This is the place where Aboriginal and Settler historical records along the South Coast began and where the story of one particular pioneer, Campbell Taylor, stands out. Photo courtesy Dirk Veltcamp, Panoramio 2008
There had been fleeting interaction, possibly as early as 1600, between the Aborigines and various seafaring parties, but from the commencement of permanent settlement late in 1826, the coast between Cape Arid and King George’s Sound began to entwine the lives of the Indigenous with the determined economic activities of the newcomers.
The first known act of the settlement era, the kidnap of the little native girl Major Lockyer named Fanny, bound the mainland off Middle Island with King George’s Sound. The association evolved, continuing into the early part of the 20th century, after which the abandonment of the coastal sheep stations signaled the end of the pioneer reign.
Originally Published 15 December 2014:
People of the Wild Cherry
Above: Tijuk (Jeeuk-Bates), the Native or Wild Cherry, is related to the more widely known Quandong and a member of the Sandalwood Family. Also known as the Broom Ballart or Exocarpos Sparteus the plant is a weeping shrub native to Western Australia. Tijuk was totem to a clan of the Ngadgu (Ngadjumaia), Aborigines from the area north and east of Esperance. Photo courtesy of Mrs Roni Forrest, Perth, Western Australia
Notice: This post carries the names of many deceased Aboriginal persons
This is the last of the Interlude Pursued posts. In the past month I’ve been trying to complete the final story in the Outdone Collection, ‘The Lost Love of Henrietta Gillam’, which is the reason behind the The View’s vacant November period. I find the story writing process takes enormous effort and to complicate matters the researcher in me is always looking for what actually happened. That I can’t finish the story is a reflection of the truth that it’s still not clear enough in my mind as to who the Aborigines at Cocanarup were. The intention of this post is to try and resolve that.
Originally Published 31 October 2014:
Background to Violence
The events at Cocanarup during the 1880’s did not take place in a vacuum. Precedents of violent repression had been set along the Swan River since 1829, more forcibly at Pinjarra in 1834, the Vasse River and York District between 1835 and 1841 and at various localities in the North West including Boola Boola Station, Broome, in 1865 and Murujuga, Karratha, in 1868. Stories of put downs, battles and clashes both locally and from around Australia were carried in the newspapers of the day, the vulnerability and protection of the isolated settler being the prime concern of the publishing entities.
Above: Mounted police engaging Indigenous Australians during the Slaughterhouse Creek Massacre of 1838: Artist Unknown- Source; Wikipedia – Australian Frontier Wars
Originally Published 11 October 2014:
Cross-cultural understanding and the difficulty in researching old family histories
Preface: The following post, as with others in the Interlude sequence, contains the names and images of deceased Aboriginal persons. Also contained is a discussion about the difficulties Aboriginal families of the South West of Western Australia face in tracing their heritage. The conversation carries the names of certain old Aborigines recorded in various family trees and may be sensitive to some people. The intention is to help illustrate the nature of old Aboriginal family structures and the practice of keeping an oral history versus one based on written records. Also, to explain the dramatic change in traditional Aboriginal lore and culture that came with the arrival of settlement and the insurmountable problems surrounding the identification of a great many individuals during what was an extended and tragic period of transition.
Above: From Nyungar Tradition: Glimpses of Aborigines of South-Western Australia 1829-1914 by Lois Tilbrook. This photograph, said to be taken at Gnowangerup around 1910, is thought to be of the Williams family. There are eighteen children, three women and one man, but yet again, no names.
Originally Published 1 October 2014:
Above: Research takes time – I can’t go any faster. Photo Credit – http://blog.speedbit.com/?p=1485
Originally Published 15 September 2014:
More thoughts on the movements and whereabouts of John James Dunn prior to March 20th, 1881
Above: Construction of the East-West telegraph line between Albany and Port Augusta, South Australia, impacted upon settlement along Western Australia’s South Coast. Both the Gillam and Dunn families established in Port Augusta between 1876 and at least 1888. John Dunn and Henrietta Gillam may have gone there together with their infant daughter Grace, in December 1875.