An All-Australian Story

Originally Published 20 June 2014:

 

Australia Map 1851 - Rapkin, Marchant, Allen

Australia Map 1851: Drawn and engraved by J Rapkin. Illustrations by J. Marchant.

 

The story behind Albany’s early characters, both European and Indigenous, has as much about it as any great Australian drama. Most readers should now recognise the centrality of the Taylor’s of Candyup to this work. The experience of the Taylor’s tells an inclusive story of Albany, which in itself tells the story of the South Coast and on again as settlement of the South Coast helps tell the West Australian and All-Australian stories of how we got to where we are today.

The story behind this particular group of characters, who came together in the remote coastal setting of King George’s Sound during the 1830’s, has as much about it as any colonial history, told or untold. It is not the making of a great world power, but is every bit as compelling in its own unique way.

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Prelude and Postscript to a Wedding

Originally Published 4 June 2014:

sidetracked river

 

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.

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Love and War – Henry Camfield’s View

Originally Published  28 May 2014:

lovers, the -William Powell Frith- (424x500)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.

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