Evidence points to frontier violence

Robert Hogg of Ashgrove, Qld tries to rebut Wednesdays article in the Australian where claimed figures quoted by academic left wing “Black Band” historians are exaggerated. One of the main points of Windschuttle’s argument was; “Lloyd Robson claims that settler James Hobbs in 1815 witnessed Aborigines killing 300 sheep at Oyster Bay and the next day the 48th Regiment killed 22 aborigines in retribution. However, between 1809 and 1822 Hobbs was living in India, the first sheep did not arrive in Tasmania until 1821 and in 1815 the 48th Regiment never went near Oyster Bay” Other points were in similar vein. Robert Hogg replies; IT’S a pity Keith Windschuttle didn’t spend more time in state archives and less time at the weather bureau. If he had he might have unearthed more relevant evidence as to the nature of relations between white settlers and Aborigines, which he then could have passed on to Emeritus Professor Claudio Veliz (10/12). The Queensland State Archives, for example, contain a wealth of evidence as to the violent nature of frontier settlement. This takes the form of correspondence between the Colonial Secretary and the Mounted Native Police, the reports of commissioners for Crown Lands, and requests from settlers for protection from Aborigines seeking to drive the whites from their land. If the settlement process was as benign as Windschuttle and Veliz would have it, why are there so many requests on file from station owners asking for detachments of native police to rid their properties of blacks? Windschuttle didn’t say “settlement was benign” he just said it wasn’t as bad as some historians are trying to make out. Last years case of Professor Reynolds admitting that his 20 000 blacks killed was based on “so many whites killed times a factor (unspecified) and then doubled – robs him of any credit. Hope Reynolds doesn’t teach Stats 101. Robert wanders on. “William Hunter of Mt Abundance (Roma) wrote on 15 December, 1863, regarding the planned removal of native police from the eastern Maranoa that: “The consequences are likely to be very serious. There is a large number of blacks in this part of the country . . . and they need the presence and the dread of the native police force to keep them in check.” And Bernard Lane’s reproduction of Windschuttle’s weak scholarship is poor service to readers who rely on newspapers for their understanding of events.” Ashgrove, Qld Robert, no one doubts aboriginals were killed during the early years of white settlement however what some are doubting is the number killed. The greater the number the better the “Black Armband” historians like it. The rest of us are a little bemused by the argument. It was 200 plus years ago at a time when indigenous people were really being slaughtered by Colonialist other than the Brits. What they did here was reasonable for the times.