Biography - Bennelong - Australian Dictionary of Biography
Governor Phillip and the Eora: governing race relations in the colony of New South Wales. [media]In the . Bennelong seemed to be the breakthrough Phillip and the officers were hoping for. .. ; quote Johan Reinhold Forster p. Woollarawarre Bennelong (c. – 3 January ) (also: "Baneelon") was a senior man of Phillip took a gesture by Bennelong towards another Aboriginal person, A scuffle broke out, but the officers managed to spirit the Governor away to He maintained ongoing good relations with the colony and in a gesture of. Jun 30, Most Australians recognise Arthur Phillip's name but few seem to know much about the man Phillip's marriage ended and he left the farm.
Phillip seems to have thought of these names in father-son terms: As a warrior enmeshed in the complex, post-smallpox, inter-tribal politics of the region, he seemed to be learning all he could about the Berewalgal, their allegiances, their fighting power, their great reserves of food, and he was doing all he could to please them and make them his allies.
Perspectives | Finding Bennelong
In April the fetter was struck from his leg, and Bennelong stripped off his clothes and escaped. Phillip and the officers were bereft. Yet another cross-cultural experiment seemed to have failed.
If the perpetrator could not stand trial, then someone of his or her family or clan would have to stand for them. Guilt was transferrable to family and clan. Several historians, including William StannerInga Clendinnen and Keith Vincent Smithbelieve that before any further relations could occur, Phillip had to stand trial and be punished according to Aboriginal Law for his crimes and the crimes of his people.
He and some of the officers hurried over in a boat and were greeted there by Bennelong. Relations were friendly and jovial, just like old times. But Phillip suddenly found himself surrounded by warriors and was then swiftly speared in the shoulder. There was panic as the officers and men rushed him into the boat and back to Sydney.
But the spear was not a death spear and the wound was not fatal. Most importantly, he refused to retaliate, suggesting that he sensed the purpose of the spearing.
Finally, after much negotiation, Bennelong was persuaded to 'come in' to Sydney, along with his family and friends. Bennelong was like a returning king: He asked for a British style gunyah house to be built for him on Tubowgully Bennelong Point and Phillip obliged. For Bennelong and his people, this move was very likely seen as taking possession of this country at Warrane.
Law [media] Phillip and the officers expected the Eora would now obey British law, not only in town but throughout the whole colony. They were seemingly still unaware that payback was Aboriginal Law and had to be upheld. Because the Eora continued to extend their Law to white colonists, conflict was inevitable. McIntyre had earlier wounded a warrior and probably his spearing was payback.
Many believed he had committed other serious crimes as well. The Eora needed to be taught a terrifying lesson, once and for all. As well, he wanted ten more men beheaded, and their heads brought back to town. Friendly relations of all kinds were suspended: Phillip agreed but insisted that those not executed would be exiled to the small colony at Norfolk Island. He added that if warriors could not be arrested, they were to be summarily shot. The party was provided with hatchets for the chopping and bags to carry the heads, so presumably the beheading order was still in force.
Despite marching around the area all day, Tench wrote that they failed to find a single person. So they headed east towards the 'south west arm' of Botany Bay — Georges River. But their guides lost their way and they found themselves on the 'sea shore…about midway between the two arms' that is, the Georges and Cooks Rivers where they saw and tried to surround five Aboriginal people. But these people escaped, disappearing into the bush.
Tench then marched the party to a known 'village' of huts on the 'nearest point of the north arm' — most likely on the south shore of Cooks River near its mouth present day Kyeemagh. But here again the Aboriginal people swiftly paddled to safety to 'the opposite shore'.
The mosquito-bitten party returned to Sydney, exhausted and frustrated. He sent Tench and the soldiers out again. The second expedition, on December 22, left Sydney at sunset, in the hope they would surprise, arrest or kill people while asleep in their camps by now the British knew that the Eora were heavy sleepers.
The party forded two rivers before almost drowning in quicksand in a creek. When they arrived back at the village on Cooks River, it was deserted and had been for some days. A final attempt to locate, arrest or shoot warriors was made at 1. Tench says he gave up four hours later and marched the soldiers back to Sydney. Contrary to Tench's account, Private Easty says they finally found a group of Aboriginal people on the beach at Botany Bay — but then returned to Sydney.
Those who admire Phillip find it difficult to accept that the enlightened, fair-minded and humane governor gave such gruesome orders and intended the arrest and execution of innocent people rather than just the guilty man.
Inga Clendinnen, taking cues from Tench's perhaps unintentionally comic account, interprets the whole incident as an elaborate piece of farcical theatre performed for the benefit of the unruly and resentful convicts. Wise Phillip knew the party would not find anyone, she says, let alone behead them. He never intended anyone to get hurt, and just to make sure, he put the sympathetic Watkin Tench in charge.
As we have seen, guns and the threat of violence were fundamental to the settlement project from the start. Once Bennelong and his people agreed to 'come in' to Sydney in latePhillip believed he had an agreement that the attacks and killings of unarmed convicts would stop because he thought he had finally brokered peaceful relations via leaders Bennelong and Coleby.
When McIntyre was speared and killed, Phillips saw it not only as a final betrayal of all his kindness and patience, but also as a breaking of the 'agreement' for peaceful relations. The fact that Phillip sent out two expeditions, rather than just one, is significant.
Had this been a piece of theatre for the benefit of the convicts and others, one would surely have sufficed. Two — the second starting out at dusk to catch people while they slept — signifies the seriousness of Phillip's intent. So does the fact that Tench scoured the country from the head of Botany Bay to the coast — thus while the intended targets may originally been Pemulwuy's Bidgigal clan, other groups were soon hunted as well. Lieutenant William Daweswho was also sympathetic to the Eora, at first refused to take part but was then persuaded to go.
Afterwards he was disgusted with the whole expedition and would not retract this opinion. He was forced to leave the colony as a result, even though he wanted to stay. It is also possible that someone was wounded. Tench was not entirely truthful in his account — Collins reported that the soldiers on the expedition did in fact shoot at Aboriginal people, though he insisted that they failed to hit anyone.
But there are no more details on what happened that night. To return to the key question: As an eighteenth century naval officer, his actions were not out of character — though grandiose play-acting would have been.
Nor did his orders constitute unusual conduct, any more than for succeeding governors, including Governor Lachlan Macquariewho despatched even larger, and fatal, military reprisal parties against Aboriginal people. Botany Bay Project [media] Meanwhile the larger Botany Bay Project was already unfolding up the Parramatta River on the clusters of small, carefully planned farms Phillip had set out there. Here it is important to note that we cannot separate Phillip's relations with Eora and the inland Aboriginal people from his role as the founder of this colony.
New South Wales was, after all, never intended as a gaol, or a dumping ground for convicts, but a colony — a rather astonishing penal experiment in making a new society from transported felons. Convicts who were pardoned or had done their time were to be given land and everything they needed to become farmers. They would thus 'cease to be enemies of society… and became proprietors and cultivators of the land'.
But the lynchpin of the whole Botany Bay Project, the path to redemption for the convicts, was land, taken from Aboriginal people. And so it was on those early farms that the first signs of frontier conflict broke out in the latter months of His actions towards the Aboriginal people there were strikingly different to his relations with the Eora on the coast.
At Parramatta there were no meetings, no dancing, no gifts or high hopes of 'living in amity'. This is the untold story of Phillip and the Aboriginal people: The new public farm there took a large swathe of land right on the river, land the Burramattegal relied upon for food and access to water. This was the first recorded formal Aboriginal protest in Australia.
Maugoran told Phillip that the people at Parramatta were very angry at the invasion of their country.
Bennelong Quotes by Keith Vincent Smith
Phillip noted it all down, but observed bluntly that 'wherever our colonists fix themselves, the natives are obliged to leave that country'. Instead of attempts at compromise or amelioration one might expect from a governor so committed to peaceful relations, Phillip immediately reinforced the detachment at Parramatta with more soldiers. In October a nervy settler at Prospect began indiscriminately shooting into a group of Aboriginal people.
They responded by burning down his hut. After that, Phillip posted soldiers on every farm until all the land was clear of trees. Without trees, Aboriginal people would have nowhere to hide.
But from the start the Australian frontier was also an edgy place, and guns were the backbone of colonisation.
Governor Phillip and the Eora
Maize raids, constant attacks on unarmed settlers on the lonely roads, bloody military reprisals, corpses strung up in trees, terrible paybacks on both sides, and massacres were still in the future.
But before all that, an ailing Phillip had decided to leave. Was he a hero or a villain, a good guy or a bad guy? Do we keep him on his pedestal or knock him off? Or, do the twin lenses reveal something else: At least two scenarios are possible: He had conciliated them, as instructed, and he had done his job.
He knew that they were not cowardly, weak people who could simply be moved on, as Cook and Banks had described them. Although plenty of Sydney people now had Eora friends, Phillip's earlier policy of kindness and gifts could not completely stop Eora violence, any more than he could stop settler transgressions. The new farms made the situation still more complex and dangerous. They were spread over a much greater area than the town of Sydney, they were isolated, and they would disrupt many different Aboriginal groups.
How would it even be possible to use the policy of patient kindness with all of them? But his mission was to found an agricultural colony and he followed his orders to the letter. He armed the convict farmers because he knew that otherwise they probably would not stand a chance out there, either through their own wrongdoing, or because of Aboriginal anger, payback and resistance to the invasion of their lands. Phillip did not want any disasters. The two aspects of Phillip's humane policies we most celebrate contradicted one another: Heidi Norman, Bennelong Aboriginal Consultation Workshop, 28 June The adaptation that took place in those opening years was phenomenal and Bennelong is a strong example of that Heidi Norman, Bennelong Aboriginal Consultation Workshop, 28 June It's important to bear in mind that a lot of what we think we know about Bennelong is what people have chosen to record Tanya Koeneman, Bennelong Aboriginal Consultation Workshop, 28 June What they said about him being a drunk and addicted to alcohol … it was the currency of the time.
They the colony ran out of money … everybody was drinking. People of the time virtually drank more rum and wine than water … Djon Mundine, Bennelong Aboriginal Consultation Workshop, 28 June The way Aboriginal people lived was a choice, it was an informed choice Bennelong is an embodiment of that choice Tanya Koeneman, Bennelong Aboriginal Consultation Workshop, 28 June Everyone was trying to make out who these Martians were that had arrived here.
Bennelong would have been doing the same. Djon Mundine, Bennelong Aboriginal Consultation Workshop, 28 June He seemingly rejected a lot of the trappings of 'civilised' life.
He stripped off and went back to the bush and took up where he left off. Heidi Norman, Bennelong Aboriginal Consultation Workshop, 28 June I suppose when you think about it everyone one of us in this room knows a blackfella that has a Bennelong in him.
Was he a traitor? Was he an uncle tom? Did he go over to the white fellas to sell his people out? He existed from until his death in as a sad, pathetic figure, comfortable neither with his own people nor with the white settlers.
Bruce Elder, He appeared a volatile egotist, mainly interested in love and war; a tease, a flirt and very soon a wine-bibber; a trickster and eventually a bit of a turncoat. William Stanner, The History of Indifference Thus Begins, it is clear that he could no longer find contentment or full acceptance either among his countrymen or the white men. This reproduced the obituary in full and was slightly less condescending. A response to the article was published six days later from C.