By Marie Hansen Fels
In 'I Succeeded as soon as' – The Aboriginal Protectorate at the Mornington Peninsula, 1839-1840, Marie Fels makes the paintings of William Thomas obtainable to anthropologists, archaeologists, historians and the descendants of the Aboriginal humans he wrote approximately. extra importantly, those who dwell, paintings, learn, vacation or simply have a normal curiosity within the sector from Melbourne to indicate Nepean can find out about the unique population who walked the land earlier than it was once cleared for agriculture and concrete improvement. in fact, improvement of the Mornington Peninsula is ongoing and this e-book might help these all in favour of improvement or the administration of Aboriginal cultural history to spot, rfile and guard Aboriginal locations that will not be identifiable via archaeological investigations on my own. Marie Fels supplementations Thomas's writings with different modern debts and her exhaustive old learn sheds new mild on serious occasions and the numerous locations of the Boon Wurrung humans. Of specific significance is the serious assessment of data concerning the kidnapping of Boon Wurrung humans from the Mornington Peninsula. Winner of the simplest group examine, check in, documents on the group historical past Awards by way of the Royal ancient Society of Victoria and the general public checklist place of work of Victoria in 2011.
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Extra resources for 'I Succeeded Once': The Aboriginal Protectorate on Mornington Peninsula, 1839-1840 (Aboriginal History Monograph, 22)
Only 59 or so Tasmanian Aborigines were still alive in 1839, most of them confined at Wybelena on Flinders Island and expected then to die out as a people. The man who rounded up these Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) people in his so-called Friendly Mission in the 1830s, and subsequently became their Commandant at Wybelena, was George Augustus Robinson, now appointed by London to be the Chief Protector of the Aborigines of Port Phillip on the grounds of his prior experience in VDL. He was an unsuitable appointment for Port Phillip being vain and mean and more concerned with increasing his fortune1 than with his charges: he was appointed just before his fraud at Wybelena was recognised by the authorities in VDL.
Both observations are true, I suspect. 23 ‘I Succeeded Once’ The arrival of La Trobe as Superintendent may be seen with hindsight to be the trigger that caused the collapse of Bonurong and Warworong society. Our local landowners did not die from the gun: on the contrary no Aboriginal person was killed by guns on the Mornington Peninsula. Equally, if not more importantly, because it was one of their own proud boasts, and the source of feelings of ingratitude and injustice, they not only did not kill any Europeans, they defended and helped them.
Only the patient accumulation of biographical details will make it apparent whether they are the same people. The book concludes with the scholarly translations which Thomas made with the help of Indigenous people, only one of whom he names – the Western Port chief Budgery Tom. Although there is no summary statement of argument, my concluding remarks are given in an Afterword. It remains only to permit Thomas to make his own assessment of the part played by Mrs Thomas in his work, and to have the second-last word – his claim of ‘success’.