The Last of the Tasmanians

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The Last of the Tasmanians  (1870) 
by James Bonwick
Last of the Tasmanians Plate 1 - Fern Tree Valley.jpg

FERN TREE VALLEY NEAR HOBART TOWN

THE


LAST OF THE TASMANIANS;


OR,


The Black War of Van Diemen's Land.


BY

JAMES BONWICK, F.R.G.S.

FELLOW OF THE LONDON ETHNOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETIES, AND FORMERLY
AN INSPECTOR OF SCHOOLS, VICTORIA.


WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS, AND COLOURED ENGRAVINGS.


LONDON:
SAMPSON LOW, SON, & MARSTON,
CROWN BUILDINGS, FLEET STREET.

MDCCCLXX.


[All Rights reserved.]

LONDON:

R. CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS,

BREAD STREET HILL.

PREFACE.


My simple object in the publication of this book was to make known some facts of colonial history not collected by another. It is just possible that my own deep interest in the fate of the Lost Tribes may have led me to overvalue the importance of that knowledge. To me the story of the Tasmanians is so romantic, so affecting, so suggestive, that I, perhaps, have erred in deeming the public sensitive to such sympathies. Anyhow, a sense of duty has actuated the literary venture. Others had laboured for me; I did but return a little.

The critic's forbearance is respectfully solicited. I am conscious of irregularity of style, if not of graver faults. The apology is, that most of the book was written on the voyage from Australia; and those who know the constant disturbing influences of ship-board, and the absolute deprivation of quiet privacy, will be ready to accord me their indulgence.

The difficulties of collecting materials for such a work must be considered. It was not a mere hunt through Blue Books. The forest depths, the sultry plain—the homes of peace, the dens of penal woe—have each brought something to the store. The laugh of the Bushman, the sigh of gentle womanhood, the grief at lost affection, the curse from some remembered wrong, have been the varied accompaniments of tales thus told.

The returning of thanks to those who have aided my efforts is a pleasing duty. Yet where so many individuals have been kind it is not easy to name a few. To the Government officials of New South Wales and Tasmania I am under much obligation. The early records of both colonies were unreservedly submitted to my inspection. To the Australian Library of Sydney, the noble Public Library of Melbourne, and the Parliamentary Libraries of the Colonies, I am also much indebted.

If this simple narrative of the Tasmanians excite some benevolent desire to bless the rude tribes left beneath our sway, my object is accomplished.

The Second Part, soon to follow the present historical work, will speak of the Tasmanians in their home, and everyday life. It may be regarded as a sequel to the book in hand. The one traces their career as a nation; the other will bring them in their individuality before us. We shall see them at their meals, their sports, their sick couch, and their grave. Their songs and laughter will be heard, and their dark traditions told.

Should the British and American public listen favourably to the story of the Tasmanians, other chapters of early colonial days, as singular as they are interesting, may be unfolded.

It is with humble confidence in the sympathy of philanthropists, and a respectful reliance on the generosity of Anglo-Saxons in both hemispheres, that the book is launched upon the waters of the literary world.

James Bonwick.

Acton, London, October 18, 1869.

CONTENTS.

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CHAPTER I.
VOYAGERS TALES OF THE TASMANIANS.
The First Battle 3
Captain Cook's Visit 5
The French Visit in 1792 9
Flinders and Bass at the Derwent 15
Péron's Visit in 1802 18
The French and the Wood-nymphs 23
CHAPTER II.
THE BLACK WAR.
Massacre of the Blacks in 1804 32
Destruction of Public Records 39
Kidnapping Black Boys 41
Michael Howe's Black Mary 47
Chase after Stock-keepers 50
Colonel Sorell's Order of 1819 53
CHAPTER III.
CRUELTIES TO THE BLACKS.
Cruelty of Early Settlers 59
Cruelty of Bushrangers 61
Spanish and Dutch Cruelties 68
CHAPTER IV.
OUTRAGES OF THE BLACKS.
Hanging of Two Aborigines 75
The Demarcation Order of 1828 78
Martial Law 82
Pictorial Proclamation 85
Proclamation of October 1830 89
Mosquito and the Tame Mob 98
Execution of Mosquito and Black Jack 103
Cruelties of the Blacks 107
A Hand left in the Trap 111
Bravery of a Half-caste Wife 121
Chastity of White Women respected 125
Time of Terror 129
CHAPTER V.
THE LINE.
Proclamation for Volunteers 133
Arrangements for the Capture 143
Leaders and Numbers in the Line 151
Savage's Tale of the Savages 158
Mr. Walpole caught a Black 163
Siege of the "Three Thumbs" 169
£80,000 for One Black 173
Egg-gatherers break through a Line 179
CHAPTER VI.
CAPTURE PARTIES.
Leaders of Parties 182
John Batman, the Blacks' Friend 189
The Sydney Black Guides 193
A Night at Ben Lomond 198
Gilbert Robertson, the Leader 201
Jorgen Jorgenson, the Dane 206
CHAPTER VII.
GEORGE AUGUSTUS ROBINSON, THE CONCILIATOR.
Bruni Island Depôt 213
Truganina, the beautiful Tasmanian 217
The Conciliatory Mission 220
Robinson's Capture of a Tribe 223
Triumphal Entry into Hobart Town 229
Truganina saves Robinson's Life 233
CHAPTER VIII.
FLINDERS ISLAND.
Swan Island Depôt 243
Gun Carriage Island 245
Flinders Island Depôt 247
Visit of the Quaker Missionaries 251
Life of Aborigines on Flinders Island 253
Mr. Clark, the Catechist 259
School Examination of the Natives 260
Dr. Jeanneret, the Commandant 267
Dr. Milligan removes Natives from Flinders 270
CHAPTER IX.
OYSTER COVE.
Author's Visit to the Natives at Oyster Cove 274
Death of Mr. Clark 277
Maryann and Walter 282
CHAPTER X.
THE SEALERS.
Home life of Sealers' Women 295
Robinson removes the Women to Flinders 300
The Qnakers and the Sealers 305
CHAPTER XI.
HALF-CASTES.
Murder of Half-castes 311
Fecundity of Mixed Races 318
Bishop Nixon's Visit to the Straits' Half-castes 317
Bong and her Daughter Dolly 321
CHAPTER XII.
NATIVE RIGHTS.
Legal Rights 327
Hanging of Four Tasmanians 331
CHAPTER XIII.
CIVILIZATION.
Whately's Degradation Theory 385
Effects of Civilization 348
Drink and Civilization 347
Walter, the civilized Tasmanian 352
An Aboriginal Discourse 354
Mr. Wedge's Black Boy 355
Failure of Australian Missions 365
Christian Tasmanians 367
CHAPTER XIV.
DECLINE.
Amalgamation of Races 378
Decline, a "Decree of Providence" 375
Hawaiian and Maori Decline 379
Drink, the great Destroyer 381
Story of the civilized Mathinna 388
Count Strzelecki's Theory of Decline 387
Lanné, the Last Man 398
Lalla Rookh, the Last Tasmanian 399

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

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COLOURED PLATES.
To face page
Fern Tree Valley, near Hobart Town

Frontispiece

Attack on a Settler's Hut 51
The Corra Linn of Northern Tasmania 364


WOODCUTS.
Mother and Child. (Péron's "Voyage") 23
Tasmanian Woman. (Péron's Arra Maida) 25
Tasmanian. (Péron's Grou-Agara) 26
Pictorial Proclamation for the Blacks 84
Mr. Robinson on his Conciliation Mission. (From Mr. Duterreau's great picture) 210
Wooreddy, Truganina's Husband. (From Mr. Duterreau's portrait) 217
Manalagana. (From Mr. Duterreau's portrait) 218
Fac-similes of Autographs 268
Wapperty, a Tasmanian Woman. (Photographed by Mr. Woolley) 279
Patty, the Ring-tailed Opossum. ((Photographed by Mr. Woolley) 280
Patty in Oyster Cove Holiday Costume. (Photographed by Dr. Nixon, Lord Bishop of Tasmania) 280
Bessy Clark, of Oyster Cove. ((Photographed by Mr. Woolley) 281
Walter George Arthur, and his Wife Maryann the Half-Caste. 282
William Lanné, the Last Man. (By Mr. Woolley, 1866) 393
Lalla Rookh, or Truganina, the Last Woman. (Photographed by Mr. Woolley, 1866) 399
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.