invasion day

Activists will try to convince you that Australia was ‘invaded’.

It wasn’t.

Historical journal entries from the First Fleet, record that Captain Arthur Phillip was given precise principles by the President of the Royal Society of London, Lord Morton, before he left England that…’the shedding of native blood was prohibited as a crime of the highest nature and the Indigenous people could not be deprived of their land without consent.’

The records derive largely from the writings of key members of Captain Phillip’s team: David Collins, William Bradley, Watkin Tench, John Hunter and the surgeons, John White and George Worgan.

According to the journal entries, Phillip’s approach to the local natives was positive and outgoing from the start.

His precise instructions required him to ‘endeavour by every possible means to open an intercourse with the natives, and to conciliate their affections’, and to enjoin his British subjects to ‘live in amity and kindness with them’.

Phillip was also enabled to punish those who made ‘any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of the Indigenous people’s several occupations’.

It became his custom to greet the people with his arms open and outstretched, or with a handshake, the muskets laid clearly visible on the ground.

‘He dealt in an open manner with large parties’, Tench reported.

Phillip and the local natives communicated by ‘dancing and laughing’ together.

At Spring Cove the next day there was another impromptu dance party when some dozen men came in, leaving their spears in their canoes as a sign of friendship, and began ‘dancing and otherwise amusing themselves’.

That doesn’t fit the description of an ‘invasion’.

The paragraphs above, are slightly edited from an Australian government entry by Ann Moyal, ‘Arthur Phillip: 1788. The Foundation Year’.

However, today we are bombarded by a recently invented narrative, with no historical accuracy, no truth, and much dishonesty that Australia was ‘invaded’.

Our children are being fed these lies at school.

Ensure your children and grandchildren know the truthful recorded facts.

Here’s an excerpt from the article by Ann Moyal.

Arthur Phillip: 1788. The Foundation Year
by Ann Moyal

Against this backdrop, one of Arthur Phillip’s great achievements during that first foundation year, and into the next, was the relationship he cultivated with the Indigenous people.

Clear principles had been enunciated in Britain before he departed.

The shedding of native blood was prohibited as a crime of the highest nature and the Indigenous people could not be deprived of their land without consent.

These principles, conveyed originally to Cook by the President of the Royal Society of London, Lord Morton, became part of Phillip’s personal lexicon.

Over and above his despatches home, the Governor’s record and approach in this crucial interchange of cultures derives largely from the writings of key members of his team: David Collins, William Bradley, Watkin Tench, John Hunter and the surgeons, John White and George Worgan.

With the Fleet’s arrival at Botany Bay, Worgan on board Sirius described the Europeans first impression of the Aborigines.

‘As we were sailing in’, he wrote to his brother in England, ‘we saw 8 or 10 of the Natives sitting on the rocks on the south shore, and as the ships bordered pretty near thereto we could hear them hollow and observe them talking to one another very earnestly, at the same time pointing towards the ships; they were of a black reddish sooty colour, entirely naked, walked very upright, and each of them had long spears and short sticks in their hands.

Soon after the ships had anchored the Indians went up into the wood, lit a fire, and sat around unconcerned (apparently) as tho’ nothing had occurred to them’.

Phillip and John Hunter went ashore and the locals coming down but seeing the boats approaching ‘scampered up into the woods again with great precipitation’.

On this experience, Worgan commented, ‘the Governor advised that we should seem quite indifferent about them, and this apparent indifference had a good effect, for they very soon appeared in sight of us when the Governor held up some beads, red cloth & other baubles’.

Signifying peacefulness, the Governor showed the Aborigines his musket, then laid it on the ground.

Then ‘one of the oldest of the Natives gave his spears to a younger, and approached to meet the Governor’. Even so there were signs of ‘fear and distrust’ but, with the presentation of trinkets, ‘they began to show a confidence, and became very familiar, and curious about our clothes’.

The following day the Governor and his party went on shore again and, meeting the Indigenous men, ‘they all of them in a short time became confident, familiar & vastly funny; … laughed when we laughed, jumped extravagantly, and grunted by way of music & repeated many words and phrases after us’.

As historian Inga Clendinnen sums up in her book Dancing with Strangers, in the sheer unexpectedness of the meeting between these two very different cultures, the Australians and the British began their relationship by ‘dancing together’.

This dance continued when the ships moved to Port Jackson.

On 29 January William Bradley, conducting his first examination of the harbour, made contact with the Aborigines when a group of unarmed men, sporting rags on their head received from Phillip and his party the previous week, pointed the approaching long boat to a good landing place with ‘shouting and dancing’.

At Spring Cove the next day there was another impromptu dance party when some dozen men came in, leaving their spears in their canoes as a sign of friendship, and began ‘dancing and otherwise amusing themselves’.

Bradley would capture the scene of a group of the British visitors dancing jauntily hand in hand with the Aborigines on the shore ‘like children at a picnic’, in his watercolour, ‘View in Broken Bay, New South Wales, March 1788’.

The officers of Phillip’s team were deeply fascinated by the Aborigines, their Journals filled with accounts of their meetings and long descriptions of the physiques of the inhabitants.

They soon learnt that they were not dealing with one people, but a dispersion of different groups of the Eora people that required a repetition in their overtures of friendship.

Eager to comprehend, they turned their interest on how these very different people related to each other, what signs there were of status or hierarchy, what systems of governance ordered their affairs.

In one early encounter Bradley recorded that ‘a black man [from among the negro convicts] was landed among the working party with whom the Natives were much pleased & seemed astonished that he did not understand them, they wished him to stay with them & followed the boat that he was in as far as they could’.

‘They all expressed great curiosity as to our sex; having our beards shaved & being clothed, they could not tell what to take us for’.

They were soon enlightened when one of the young seamen was ordered by Lieutenant King to drops his pants, an act greeted by the locals with much whooping, delight and ‘a great shout of admiration’.

Only King himself stopped briefly to muse, ‘I think it very easy to conceive ye ridiculous figure we must appear to these poor creatures, who were perfectly naked’.

Phillip’s approach to the Eora people was positive and outgoing from the start.

His precise instructions required him to ‘endeavour by every possible means to open an intercourse with the natives, and to conciliate their affections’, and to enjoin his British subjects to ‘live in amity and kindness with them’.

He was also enabled to punish those who made ‘any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their [the Indigenous] several occupations’.

A true man of the Enlightenment, he had a distinct concept of a civilised society and, hoped ‘to cultivate an acquaintance with them without their having an idea of our great superiority over them, that their confidence & friendship might be more firmly fixed’.

After his first meetings at Botany Bay, Phillip was in frequent contact with the Port Jackson Eora.

There he often found himself in company with large numbers of them.

Writing in February 1788, reflecting on Cook’s very different experience of fugitive and unfriendly natives, at Botany Bay, he asserted: ‘The Natives are far more numerous than expected. I reckon from fourteen, to Sixteen hundred, in this Harbour, Broken Bay, and Botany Bay, and [I] once fell in with two hundred and twelve men in one party’.

‘I have reason to think’, he added, ‘that the Men do not want personal Courage they readily place a Confidence, and Appear to be a friendly inoffensive people, unless made Angry,’ with what Phillip saw as ‘the Most trifling Circumstances’.

On his Pittwater excursion, he gave the name ‘Manly’ to a cove to honour the men he met there.

And going forth, it became his custom to greet the people with his arms open and outstretched, or with a handshake, the muskets laid clearly visible on the ground.

‘He dealt in an open manner with large parties’, Tench reported.

On an excursion between Port Jackson and Botany Bay, the Governor fell in with a party ‘of more than three hundred persons, two hundred and twelve of whom were men’.

In his manifestly accessible approach, Phillip remained serene in his belief that he could keep the British and the Indigenous people on peaceful terms as part of his polity as long as they were under observation.

You can read the entire essay, with citations and historical references here.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/essay/21

Happy Australia Day.