Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Archival Magic ...

Colonial Times 21st August 1829

The Black Natives

On Saturday last, a tribe of black natives visited Tea Tree Bush, a circumstance rather remarkable, insomuch as our readers are aware, it is a rather populous district. Their approach having been discovered by Mrs Smith, who fled, leaving only one infant chid. They plundered the house of such articles as they could consume and carried off the babe!! Upon Mrs Smith alarming her neighbours and returning to the house, she found the infant gone. The feeling of the parents, of course, are more easily imaged than described!! A pursuit was instantly commenced, when, within about one mile from the house, the little child was found lying on the grass, and what is very remarkable, a quantity of sugar placed near its mouth. We may easily conjecture how overjoyed the parents of the child were. This humanity on the part of the black natives, shews that they are not of so savage a nature, as they have hitherto been supposed to be; or that they now have sense enough to discriminate between the innocence of a child, and of the grown people, who they doubtless consider their invaders and enemies.


  1. A shocking lack of the knowledge of dental health - how irresponsible to leave sugar by the mouth of a defenseless babe.

  2. God, really shows how little was really understood about Aboriginal people. Even today, they love babies. What a condescending attitude, to imagine that they were so very dumb as to not be able to distinguish between innocent babies and the very different adults who persecuted them. Quite astonishing really.

  3. Is/was the Colonial Times a Hobart paper?

  4. Launceston, I think, Ciaran but perhaps Hobart. It's easy to find on Trove anyway.
    MF, they were a newspaper of their time. The Black War was pretty full on. Women and kids, black and white, were often killed but the propaganda was rife and focussed on the VDL Aborigines' 'dire outrages' and not the almost casual murders of the Line. It's complicated ...
    I've been digging out the most amazing stories, to leave most by the wayside due to research priorities. That was one I couldn't leave behind.