Collie after Mokare
(Continued from Part 4A)
Cultural impasse aside, it’s important to stay close to our intended purpose of trying to determine the ultimate role played by Mokare in leading the Albany Aborigines into non-violent intercourse with the incoming European presence. The question is not whether Mokare and the succession of incomer leaders were inseparable friends, but what was the outcome of their association?
To that end, we can say in the wake of Mokare’s death and Collie’s continued presence at the settlement, relations remained intact; the foundation being strong enough to survive without its key protagonist. As the new administration sought to more fully exploit Aboriginal knowledge, Nakinah assented by leading two important local expeditions of discovery, both of which lay the groundwork for continued, indeed improved, cross-cultural cooperation.
Above: Development of the settlement and friendly Aboriginal relations at Albany are certainly in evidence, but from the summer of 1831/32 Governor Stirling’s administration cleverly arrested the Swan River Colony’s flagging appeal both locally and abroad through managed exaggeration of conditions down on the South Coast. Image: Panel from Panoramic View of King George’s Sound, Part of the Colony of Swan River, by Ensign Robert Dale, 1832. This version from S.P. Loha Foundation, Rare Book Collection.
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
Originally Published 30 April 2014:
Above: The Battle of Vinegar Hill, Co Wexford, Ireland, 1798. George Cheyne wasn’t there, but his brother John was. “Charge of the 5th Dragoon Guards on the insurgents – a recreant yeoman having deserted to them in uniform is being cut down” (William Sadler II)
The Cheynes were mostly medical men. Surgeons and Druggists from Edinburgh. The wider clan claimed prominent churchmen, merchants and military officers as well; one or two gentlemen in there too. In short, they were a numerous and generally successful middle-class clan of their times.
Originally Published 4 June 2014:
I thought I’d deviate for a moment and try and pull Patrick’s epic year of 1837 a little more together. That way it’s done properly and I won’t need to come back to it. It’ll be worth it, because this was no ordinary time.
Specifically, I want to try and find out who William was, the King George’s Sound native mentioned in the previous post and described in the Bussell family diaries, and whether or not it was him who lost his life at Garden Island. Also, I want to look more closely at the Albany/Perth expedition hosted by Dr Joseph Harris and Alfred Hillman in February of that year and Patrick’s role in joining it. I want to see if he had attached himself to any particular Aboriginal help by that time and if so, who it might have been. There is also the very interesting case of the Albany Aborigines going to Perth as a group subsequent to the death of the Albany man in Patrick’s company on Garden Island that year. As a back drop to this is the September wedding and the violence which broke out at the Bussell homestead, ‘Cattle Chosen’, ahead of it, and I want to try and see how exposed Patrick and Mary were to what happened. All of this took place within a colony beset by wider settler/native aggressions and an almost desperate sense of economic ill health.
Epic, just about describes it.
Originally Published 28 May 2014:
Above: Henry Camfield spent ten years roaming the Swan River, Van Diemen’s Land and New South Wales looking for love. When he found it, it came in the form of an orphan girl, Annie Breeze, but there were to be no children of their own. Painting; The Lovers, by Willliam Powell Frith.
As I set about constructing each of these posts I’m reminded by the content that I’m writing about a band of settlers who are known. What it feels like I’m doing is reinforcing the influence of an already established group. It’s a struggle to deal with that until I remember that in our white post-colonial world recorded history is all there is. You can only review the evidence. So, The View’s look back can only ever be about revising what’s already known while trying to find something recorded that hasn’t been added or discussed yet.